It only took Nintendo four and a half years of us asking, but you can finally pair any Bluetooth headphones to the Nintendo Switch.
It remains baffling that Nintendo could enable such a huge feature with the flick of a switch (ha!) in the software, but here we are. Gone are the days of needing to drape wires over your lap just to take comfort in private audio. Now, you don’t even need anything that’s officially licensed by Nintendo. If you have a pair of Bluetooth headphones, then they should be compatible with all models of the Nintendo Switch.
How to start the pairing process
Thankfully, the pairing process is just as simple as any other smart device. Head to the settings app from the Nintendo Switch home screen and scroll down to the Bluetooth Audio tab. There, you’ll see an option to add a device. Any wireless devices that you’ve previously connected will show up here once paired, too.
Select ‘Add Device’ and your Nintendo Switch will begin to search for nearby pairing devices. It’s now that you’ll need to put your Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode. Every pair of headphones is different in this regard, so you might need to check the manual that your device came in.
For the sake of this tutorial, I’m using a pair of Apple AirPod Pros. To put these into pairing mode, open up the case and hold the button to the rear of the capsule until the front LED flashes white. Eventually, you’ll see the device appear as ready to pair on the Nintendo Switch. Select the device that you’d like to pair, and you should be ready to start listening to audio wirelessly.
Be aware of the drawbacks…
There are some caveats to consider while using Bluetooth audio with the Nintendo Switch. While listening wirelessly, only two wireless controllers can be connected at one time. Although this sounds limiting, it shouldn’t be an issue if only one person is listening via Bluetooth headphones anyway.
It’s possible to connect Bluetooth headsets to the Nintendo Switch, but you won’t be able to send a microphone input to your console. In addition, depending on the type of Bluetooth device you’re using, you may experience a small amount of audio latency. Some noise cancelling headphones can introduce a lot of lag due to the audio processing that occurs when active noise cancelling is enabled.
Despite these drawbacks, it’s refreshing to finally be able to be free of cables while playing the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode. I can imagine that those who use the console on commutes will especially benefit from the feature.
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[Featured Image Credit: Nintendo]