How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Switch: Docked or Handheld - Headphonesty
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How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Switch: Docked or Handheld – Headphonesty

learn the different ways to connect bluetooth headset to nintendo switch. and discover the best accessories for a premium wireless headphone experience.

nintendo switch is one of the favorite consoles of people who prefer portability. And what better way to improve portability and comfort than pairing it with a pair of wireless headphones?

Reading: How to connect bluetooth to switch

However, connecting the bluetooth headset to the switch is easier said than done.

in fact, until the last update, it wasn’t even possible! therefore, many gamers have no choice but to stick with wired headsets.

good news though! Connecting your Bluetooth headset to Nintendo Switch has never been easier this year, giving you more options to choose from. and this article goes over all of that. so without further ado, let’s get started!

can bluetooth headset connect to nintendo switch?

Using Bose Bluetooth headphones with Nintendo Switch

Using Bose Bluetooth headphones with Nintendo Switch

Yes, you can connect your Bluetooth headphones to Switch!

however, this is only a recent development. As noted above, Switch was not initially designed to work with Bluetooth headsets. This is because bluetooth connectivity was only reserved for their wireless controllers. there just wasn’t room to include bluetooth audio support.

It wasn’t until Nintendo released the 4.0 system update on Switch that a fix was provided. this update enabled bluetooth headset on nintendo switch via bluetooth adapters.

However, while the update was great, it wasn’t perfect, as it required users to spend more on bluetooth audio dongles and tweak some settings to get it to work. That’s why it took the Switch community by storm when Nintendo finally announced widely requested built-in Bluetooth audio support in its latest update, version 13.0, this September 2021.

finally, after four years of waiting, nintendo switch users can now use their bluetooth headset without third-party adapters.

Unfortunately, this new feature comes with some limitations. For example, you can only use two wireless controllers if your bluetooth headset is connected. we’ll cover more on this as we go along.

how to connect bluetooth headset to nintendo switch

The switch system firmware update 13.0 makes it easy to connect bluetooth headsets to the console. however, for this to work, make sure to update your nintendo switch to the latest version before attempting to pair it with your bluetooth headset.

When everything is set up, follow the steps below to connect both devices:

  1. Please make sure your nintendo switch system is only paired with two wireless controllers. Then turn on your bluetooth headset and set it to pairing mode.
  2. Navigate to system settings from the nintendo switch home menu.
  3. scroll down to bluetooth audio and select “pair”. this forces the system to start a search for available bluetooth audio devices that are within range.
  4. From the list of available devices, select the name of your bluetooth headset to connect to.

nintendo switch built-in bluetooth audio support limitations

While the new built-in bluetooth audio support frees you from cables when using your console, it’s not without its flaws. here’s a breakdown of some of its limitations:

number of wireless controllers

When in bluetooth audio mode, the console can only connect to two wireless controllers at a time. nintendo also states that a single pair of joy-con controllers counts as two.

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This means that if you’re playing a two-player game with a bluetooth headset, you’ll both need to turn the joy-con controller to the side for a comfortable grip.

number of bluetooth devices

Although the exchange system can store up to 10 bluetooth devices, it can only connect one bluetooth headset at a time. so if you already have 10 bluetooth devices saved and you want to add a new wireless headset or controller, you need to delete one of them first.

no local communication support

You should also know that bluetooth audio support will be disconnected when local wireless communication is active. This means you can’t use your bluetooth headset when playing local multiplayer games that connect two switch systems.

no bluetooth microphone support

the nintendo switch does not support bluetooth microphones and disables the headset microphone by default. While most Switch games generally don’t support microphone audio, this can still be a big bummer if you want to use your headset to communicate with other players via voice chat.

however, using a dongle with a built-in microphone might provide a way around this.

audio delay

You can also expect to experience some audio lag with some bluetooth headsets. This is because the Nintendo Switch uses Bluetooth 4.1, rather than the latest Bluetooth 5. Also, it turns out that the Nintendo Switch’s built-in Bluetooth audio only supports the SBC codec. Unfortunately, this is the most common audio codec and also the most susceptible to audio delays and connection issues.

the delay between on-screen action and audio can be so noticeable that it can negatively affect your gameplay and force you to ditch your headset.

cannot trace lost drivers

lastly, when bluetooth audio is connected, you cannot use the drivers menu to find missing drivers or change grip/order.

how to connect bluetooth headset to switch using bluetooth adapters

Nintendo Switch in docked mode

Nintendo Switch in docked mode

As mentioned earlier, while Nintendo Switch’s built-in Bluetooth is no doubt a valuable addition, it’s definitely far from perfect because of the various limitations. That’s why some people may opt to still use Bluetooth dongles or adapters instead.

also, investing in one can help with a lot of things. Using adapters can allow you to use more than two wireless controllers simultaneously, play games with your friends over a LAN connection, or even avoid audio lag and enjoy game chat. And if you’re worried about whether it’s a smart buy, consider that it may still pay off, especially if you’re buying something that also works with other consoles like PS4/5 or Xbox.

There are different ways to use bluetooth adapters with nintendo switch, depending on the type of adapter you have. Let’s discuss each of them below!

using a usb-to-bluetooth adapter

Whether you already have a bluetooth headset that comes with a usb dongle or a third party usb-a dongle, this type works best with nintendo switch in docked mode. this is because the only usb-a port on the switch can be found on the nintendo dock.

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Follow these steps to learn how to connect bluetooth headset via usb-a:

  1. Turn your headphones into ‘pairing mode’.
  2. Take your USB adapter and insert it on the USB-A port on your Nintendo dock.
  3. If you’re using a Bluetooth adapter that originally came with your headphones, the two should connect automatically once the adapter is plugged in. If not, the process depends on your chosen adapter, but it usually only requires pressing the Bluetooth/power button for a few seconds until the light changes color.
  4. You’ll see a notification on your screen saying that the USB audio mode is active. A volume level also automatically shows. Adjust this as desired.
    USB audio mode in Switch in Docked mode
    USB audio mode in Switch in docked mode

using a usb-c bluetooth adapter

The USB-C port on the Nintendo Switch is located at the bottom center of the handheld. this port is specifically designed for charging and docking. With the proper bluetooth audio adapter, you can use this port to connect your bluetooth headset and still use in-game chat.

here are the steps to connect bluetooth headset to switch using a usb-c adapter:

  1. Get yourself a Guilikit Route Air Pro Bluetooth Adapter or any compatible Bluetooth adapter. This is compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.
    Guilikit Route Air Pro Bluetooth dongle
    Guilikit Route Air Pro Bluetooth dongle
  2. Insert this into the USB-C port of your Nintendo Switch.
    Plugging USB-C Bluetooth adapter to Nintendo Switch
    Plugging USB-C Bluetooth adapter to Nintendo Switch
  3. If your Bluetooth adapter comes with a mic, plug that in the 3.5mm auxiliary port.
    Plugging mic to 3.5mm port in Nintendo Switch
    Plugging mic to 3.5mm port
  4. Turn on your Bluetooth adapter. This depends on your brand and model but it can usually be done by holding down the button at the bottom of the transmitter for about five seconds or until the light starts flashing.
    Turn on Bluetooth adaptor
    Turn on Bluetooth adapter
  5. Turn your headphones to pairing mode.
    Putting headphones in pairing mode
    Putting headphones in pairing mode
  6. A few seconds after turning your headphones to pairing mode, the headset and the audio transmitter should connect automatically. You can know if this is successful via the voice or audio prompts on your headset.
    Bluetooth headphones connected to Nintendo Switch
    Bluetooth headphones connected to Nintendo Switch

using a 3.5mm bluetooth adapter

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Another way to connect wireless headphones to switch is to use a bluetooth dongle with a 3.5mm jack.

this is how you can connect your switch via bluetooth 3.5mm adapter:

  1. Set your wireless headphones to pairing mode.
  2. Press and hold down the multifunctional button on the upper portion of the transmitter for three seconds. You’ll know it’s turned on when the white light flashes every five seconds.
    Holding down the multifunctional button of Ugreen Nintendo Switch Bluetooth Adaptor
    Holding down the multifunctional button
  3. Plug in the audio transmitter into the 3.5 mm audio jack of your device. Press the multifunction button twice to force it into pairing mode. You’ll know it’s in pairing mode when red and blue lights flash alternately.
    Pair bluetooth headphones to Switch
    Pair Bluetooth headphones to Switch adapter
  4. Once both devices are in pairing mode, they should automatically connect. To know if this works, wait for the white light on your transmitter to flash every 10 seconds.
    Successful pairing
    Successful pairing

how to use bluetooth headset on switch without buying a dongle

If you want to use your wireless headphones without some of the limitations and without buying any new accessories, you can try this method. you only need three things for this, which you may already have:

  • your nintendo switch
  • a laptop or pc
  • a compatible male-to-male auxiliary cable
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This method allows you to avoid the same limitations of the switch’s built-in bluetooth support as when using adapters. This means that this can be a good option for when you want to use more than two controllers or play games over a LAN connection. however, this will not enable mic input or game chat.

  1. Plug-in your AUX cord to your Nintendo Switch and your laptop.
    Aux cable connected to Switch and laptop
    Aux cable connected to Switch and laptop
  2. A small window will appear. Choose ‘Line-in’.
    Choose Line in
    Choose Line in
  3. Turn on your headphones’ and laptop’s Bluetooth. Then, connect your Bluetooth headphones to your PC or your Mac.
    Connect Bluetooth headphones to laptop
    Connect Bluetooth headphones to laptop

For a video illustration of how it’s done, check out this youtube tutorial.

Alternatively, you can also connect your docked nintendo switch to the television and then connect the headphones to the television. If you’re not sure how to do this, head over to our guide on how to connect bluetooth headset to tv.

best bluetooth audio transmitters for nintendo switch

If you’re looking for the best bluetooth audio transmitters for your switch, check out the list below.

homespot bluetooth audio transmitter

Homespot Bluetooth Audio Transmitter (From: Amazon)

Homespot Bluetooth Audio Transmitter (From: Amazon)

This Homespot Bluetooth Audio Transmitter is exclusively made for the Nintendo Switch. It has a high fidelity audio streaming feature that can be used in both headphones or speakers. Moreover, it is compatible with both Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.

can be used to stream audio to two headphones at the same time. It’s also the first Nintendo Switch bluetooth audio transmitter to have a built-in microphone.

the downside to this is that it doesn’t have a usb-c pass-through charging port. Also, you cannot use this nintendo switch bluetooth adapter while it is in base mode.

genki bluetooth audio transmitter

Genki Bluetooth Audio Transmitter (From: Amazon)

Genki Bluetooth Audio Transmitter (From: Amazon)

This Genki Bluetooth Audio Transmitter features a dual headphone connectivity technology. This feature works great for multiplayer games. It allows two headphones to connect to one adapter simultaneously.

comes with an audio adapter, a boom mic accessory, and a usb adapter for docking mode. It is compatible with PS4, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, Android, iOS, Windows PC and Mac.

conclusion

With these tips, you can now regain your freedom. no more tangled cords, no more frayed cords and definitely no more sudden drops due to accidental cord sweeps. now you can enjoy a freer and wider range of motion compared to using wired headphones while playing games with your beloved nintendo switch.

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without a decent wireless gaming headset. If you’re still looking for one, feel free to check out our list of the most recommended wireless gaming headsets today.

We hope these tips have helped you have a great experience with your switch wireless headphones. If you tried any of these tips, be sure to leave us a comment below. Also, if you have any more tips you want to add, feel free to share them as well. We love hearing from you!

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