How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Switch: Docked or Handheld

Nintendo Switch (From: Pixabay)
Nintendo Switch (From: Pixabay)

Learn the different ways on how you can connect Bluetooth headphones to Switch. And, discover the best accessories for a top-notch wireless headphone experience.

Nintendo Switch is one of the favorite consoles for people who prefer portability. And what better way to improve portability and convenience than partnering it up with a pair of wireless headphones?

However, connecting Bluetooth headphones to Switch is easier said than done.

In fact, until the latest upgrade, it wasn’t even possible! Thus, leaving many gamers no choice but to stick with wired headphones.

Good news, though! There are actually a few workarounds that can help you connect Bluetooth headphones to Switch. And this article will go through all that. So without further ado, let’s start!

Nintendo switch with box
Nintendo Switch

Can You Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Switch?

The short answer is: yes!

As mentioned earlier, it wasn’t possible to use Bluetooth headphones to Switch a few years ago. This is mostly because Nintendo reserved its Bluetooth connectivity with controllers and got no space for audio networks.

However, the 4.0 Switch system update sneakily addressed this one.

We say ‘sneakily’ because this feature wasn’t mentioned in Nintendo’s official patch notes. It’s unclear why Nintendo didn’t include this update in the announcements. Nonetheless, it came as a welcome surprise.

To be clear, the update didn’t make it possible to connect the Bluetooth headset directly to the Switch system. So unlike connecting your bluetooth headphones to any other devices, this won’t go as simple and will need a workaround.

How to Use Wireless Headphones on Switch in Docked Mode

Nintendo Switch in docked mode
Nintendo Switch in docked mode

If you want to use your wireless headphones while on docked mode, you’re going to need a USB dongle. Investing in a Bluetooth headset that already comes with a USB dongle is your best bet. However, you can also opt to buy a separate USB dongle if your current headphones don’t have one.

If you have a PlayStation Bluetooth headset with a USB dongle, you can use it on your Nintendo Switch in docked mode as well.

Before proceeding with any of the steps below, make sure to turn your headphones into ‘pairing mode’. Doing this depends on the brand, model, and type of device. But most of the time, like in the case of SONY WF-1000XM3, this only requires you to press and hold the power or Bluetooth button until the light flashes red and blue. For best results, consult your manufacturer’s guide.

Follow these steps:

  1. Take your USB dongle and insert it on a free USB port on your Nintendo dock.
  2. 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

Check out this youtube tutorial to see how it’s done.

How to Use Wireless Headphones on Switch in Handheld Mode

Nintendo switch in handheld mode
Nintendo Switch in handheld mode

If you prefer playing your Nintendo Switch on handheld mode, you can opt for either USB-C port accessories or 3.5mm jack accessories.

But compared to the docked method above, additional steps and accessories are necessary for wireless headphones to work in handheld mode. Read through the following sections to find out more.

Using the USB-C port

The Nintendo Switch’s USB-C port is located at the middle-bottom part of the device. This port is specifically intended for charging and docking. With the right audio transceiver and adapter, you can use this port to enable Bluetooth headphone connectivity.

Follow this tutorial to know more:

  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 Nintendo Switch by pressing the power button.

    Turning on Nintendo Switch
    Turning on Nintendo Switch

  5. Turn on your Bluetooth adaptor. 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.

    Turn on Bluetooth adaptor
    Turn on Bluetooth adaptor

  6. Turn your headphones to pairing mode.
    There are different ways to do this depending on your headphone model. If unsure, refer to your manufacturer’s guide.

    Putting headphones in pairing mode
    Putting headphones in pairing mode

  7. A few seconds after the pairing mode, the headset and the audio transmitter should connect automatically.

    Bluetooth headphones connected to Nintendo Switch
    Bluetooth headphones connected to Nintendo Switch

Using the 3.5mm jack

Another way to enable Bluetooth headphone connectivity is to use an accessory that’s compatible with the Switch’s 3.5 mm jack.

This tutorial features the Ugreen Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter. It has dual audio connectivity technology that allows simultaneous audio listening. It also features an aptX LL technology and an 8-hour built-in 120 mAh battery.

Follow these steps:

  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. Red and blue lights will flash alternately when it enters pairing mode.

    Pair bluetooth headphones to Switch
    Pair Bluetooth headphones to Switch adapter

  4. You’ll know if the pairing is successful once the white light flashes every ten seconds.

    Successful pairing
    Successful pairing

How to Use Bluetooth Headphones on Switch Without Buying a Dongle

If you want to use your wireless headset without buying any additional accessory or add-on, you can try this method. You only need three things for this: your Switch, a laptop or a PC, and a compatible AUX cord.

This works with both handheld and docked mode. However, it works better when docked.
  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, refer to this Youtube tutorial.

Alternatively, you can also connect your docked Nintendo Switch to TV, then connect your headphones to your TV. If you’re not sure how, head to our guide on how to connect Bluetooth headphones to TV.

Best Bluetooth Audio Transmitters for Nintendo Switch

Besides those mentioned above, another great way to connect Bluetooth headphones to Switch is to use audio transmitters. 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.

It can be used to stream audio to two headphones at the same time. It is also the first Nintendo Switch Bluetooth audio transmitter that has a built-in microphone.

When using this device, it’s advisable to remove your Nintendo Switch’s protective casing first. The casing may prevent the USB-C port from being fully inserted.

The downside to this is that it doesn’t have a USB-C pass-through charging port. Also, you can’t use this Nintendo Switch Bluetooth Adapter while on dock 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.

It comes with an audio adapter, a boom mic accessory, and a USB adapter for dock mode. It’s compatible with PS4, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, Android, iOS, Windows PC, and Mac.

Unlike the previous two, this has a USB-C pass-through charging port. This will enable you to charge your device while playing.

Conclusion

With these tips, you can now reclaim your freedom. No more tangled wires, no more frayed cables, and definitely no more sudden fall-offs due to accidental wire sweepages. You can now enjoy a freer and wider range of motion compared to using wired headphones while playing 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 that these tips helped you achieve a great Switch wireless headphone experience. If you tried any of these tips, make 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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