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 headset just for the Switch isn’t appealing.
Thankfully, there is a way to use wireless headphones on the Nintendo Switch. Here, we explain all you need to know about wireless headset support on the Switch.
Officially supported headsets
While the Nintendo Switch didn’t support any wireless 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. 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.
As a general rule, any wireless headset that relies on a USB dongle rather than a direct Bluetooth connection should work on the Nintendo Switch, but with no official confirmation from Nintendo, it’s a risk.
Thankfully, with the internet being the internet, Switch fans are slowly 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.
The above is great if you have a wireless headset with a dongle, but what about those that rely on Bluetooth? Sadly, there’s no official way to connect via Bluetooth, but there is a way to still use Bluetooth headphones on the Switch.
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 (£16.99). 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.
If you’re looking for a more bespoke accessory, you may be interested in GENKI. GENKI is a tiny dongle that provides the same function as the accessories mentioned above, but with a few key differences.
Firstly, it’s designed to work for the Switch, and plugs directly into the console’s USB-C port to access the audio stream. That should equate to less lag than when using a Bluetooth adapter plugged into the headphone jack, while also providing the accessory with a constant power supply and negating the need to charge it separately.
One of the biggest selling points is that it can apparently connect to two wireless headsets at the same time, allowing you and a friend to both use headphones when playing two-player games on the Switch.
It’s not out just yet, but it was successfully crowdfunded on IndieGoGo and shipments are due to begin in November 2018. You can pre-order GENKI now for $39 (around £30) ahead of the upcoming release.