While the Nintendo Switch is a hugely popular console, it’s not perfect. One of the main complaints about the console is the lack of support for Bluetooth accessories, namely wireless headphones. Though there is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the console, many people use wireless headphones in their day-to-day lives and the idea of buying a wired headset just for the Switch isn’t appealing.
Thankfully, there is a way to use Bluetooth headphones and some wireless gaming headsets with the Nintendo Switch. Here, we explain all you need to know about wireless headphone support on the Switch.
How can I use Bluetooth headphones with the Nintendo Switch?
Sadly, there’s no official way to connect to the Nintendo Switch via Bluetooth, but there is still a way to use Bluetooth headphones on the handheld console.
It comes in the form of third-party adapters, namely Bluetooth adapters. These come in all shapes and sizes, but all you need to make sure is that it offers a 3.5mm headphone jack input like the TaoTronics Transmitter (£19.99). Using a Bluetooth adapter and a 3.5mm headphone cable, you can plug the adapter into the headphone jack of your Switch. As far as the console is concerned, it’s providing audio via a wired connection, with the Bluetooth adapter handling audio transmission from the Switch to the headset.
The setup varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so follow the instructions in the manual to figure out how to connect your Bluetooth headphones. There may be issues as neither are likely to have a display, so we’d recommend turning off Bluetooth on nearby devices (smartphones, PCs) during setup to avoid accidentally connecting to the wrong device.
We've reviewed - and can happily recommend - the RHA Wireless Flight Adapter, a £40/$50 dongle that attaches directly via 3.5mm jack (so no trailing wire) and will then pair with up to two pairs of Bluetooth headphones simultaneously. The 16-hour battery will comfortably outlast the Switch itself, and it charges via USB-C so you can top it up with the same charger you use for the main console.
Officially supported wireless gaming headsets
While the Nintendo Switch didn’t support any wireless gaming headset at launch in 2017, that has now changed, though it’s still an awkward experience that we hope Nintendo improves in the future. The change came with the introduction of the Switch 5.0 update back in April 2018, which quietly introduced support for specific wireless headsets - but only while the Switch is docked.
The issue? Nintendo hasn’t revealed a full list of supported headsets, making it much more difficult to purchase a wireless headset to use with the Nintendo Switch.
Thankfully, with the internet being the internet, Switch fans are creating an unofficial list of supported headsets. The following list is courtesy of Reddit, and while we can’t personally vouch for each headset on the list, it’s a good rough guide:
- Sony PlayStation Gold Wireless (2018)
- Sony PlayStation Platinum Wireless
- Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Rage Wireless
- SteelSeries Siberia 840
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
- Turtle Beach Elite 800
- Turtle Beach Stealth 450, 500P, 520, 600 and 700 for PS4
- Logitech G933
- Logitech G533
- Plantronics Rig 800HD
- Plantronics Rig 800HS
- Plantronics Rig 800LX
If you’ve got one of the above headsets and you’re wondering how to use it with the hybrid console, simply put your Nintendo Switch in your Dock and plug the USB into the rear of the Dock, next to the HDMI port and charging port. The audio should then be transmitted to your headset automatically, though it’s worth pointing out that you won’t be able to use your headset’s built-in mic on the Switch.
USB-C wireless headphones
Manufacturers are also beginning to develop wireless headphones designed specifically for the Switch. One such example is the £99/$99 SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, which comes with a small USB-C dongle, which it uses to transfer audio wirelessly from the Switch.