A Nintendo Switch firmware update made it possible to use wireless headphones directly with the console (without the need for an external third-party dongle or workaround to use Apple AirPods, Powerbeats, and more. popular bluetooth headphones with the system.
In this Nintendo Switch Wireless Headphones Connection Guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to connect your AirPods to Switch and see how to set the maximum volume of the Switch headphones to your liking. It will also look at some common Bluetooth audio issues and offer potential solutions.
Nintendo Switch Bluetooth Headphones Connection Guide
In this Switch wireless earphones guide, we will cover how to connect Bluetooth earphones to Switch, as well as some common issues that arise and questions you might have.
To note: We’ve used AirPods as an example throughout this article (as these are the bluetooth headphones we have), but the vast majority of the information below will apply to any bluetooth earbuds, headsets, or other wireless audio devices. that you own.
Let’s start with the basics …
How to Connect Apple AirPods to Switch
Navigate first to ‘System settings’ on the main screen (the second circular icon from the right at the bottom) and scroll to “Bluetooth audio” in the left column.
To note – You will need to make sure your Switch is updated to the latest firmware – Bluetooth audio update comes with version 13.0.0 – to check the system version, scroll to the bottom of the left column “System settings” for ‘System’. Just below “System Update” it should display your “Current System Version: XX.XX”.
Faucet ‘Add device’ and the system will start to search for detectable bluetooth audio devices. As the prompt tells you, you will need to make sure that the Bluetooth device (headset, speaker, etc.) is in discoverable mode and is not locked to another device.
For Apple AirPods, for example, this means that you will have to put the AirPods in their case, open the cover and hold down the button on the case until it starts flashing with a white light (others varieties of bluetooth headset may have a detectable mode entry method – check the instructions for your specific earbuds or earbuds).
Once the console has identified it, select device to pair the console with your headphones. Accomplished job!
How do I adjust the volume of my headphones on Switch?
Hold down the Home button (on the right Joy-Con) and a menu will appear allowing you to adjust the volume of the connected headset (as well as the screen brightness).
Can I use wireless headphones with my Switch in Docked mode?
We went from handheld again to docked to portable mode with no interruption or BT audio disconnection.
Nintendo Switch Bluetooth audio issues faq
Anyone with experience with Bluetooth audio devices has likely encountered connection issues at some point. It’s probably good to remember that Bluetooth was never originally designed to transfer data-rich audio, and problems can arise for a variety of reasons.
In this section, we present common problems that arise with solutions and explanations. We will update this guide with more questions and solutions.
My AirPods won’t connect to Switch
If your headphones do not appear to be discoverable on your Switch, or if they do not connect after they have already been paired with your Switch, connecting them to another the device may prevent them from pairing with your console.
For example, if your AirPods are connected to your iPhone, they will not be able to connect to your Switch. In this case, you’ll want to turn off Bluetooth on your phone (on an iPhone, you can scroll up and tap the Bluetooth icon to quickly turn off BT without going to settings).
I put my Switch in sleep mode and now my AirPods won’t reconnect
If you play and then press the Sleep button to go to sleep mode, your headphones will disconnect from the Switch.
Assuming you haven’t fixed them with another device, the Bluetooth headphones should automatically reconnect to Switch. this is necessary with our AirPod Pros).
It’s too quiet! How do I increase the volume of my headphones on Switch?
Some people experience very low volume with AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones on Switch.
While it seems like the max volume is still lower than other audio devices (we switched to wired Apple headphones to test and found the max volume noticeably louder – which is uncomfortable, but obviously your mileage will vary here) , you can have ‘Lower Maximum Headphone Volume’ enabled.
The “Lower Maximum Headphone Volume” setting is found in the “System” settings rather than in the “Bluetooth Audio” section (at the very bottom of the column in the System Settings main menu) and is designed to prevent accidental hearing damage.
If you’ve enabled it, just tap the option to turn it off (if you’ve enabled parental controls, you’ll need to enter your PIN to unlock it – check out the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app to find your PIN if you forgot this.
With Lower Maximum Headphone Volume off, we found the sound to be comfortable at full volume with AirPods, and obviously easier to hear with AirPod Pros noise cancellation on. However, the maximum volume when using Apple AirPods seems to be significantly quieter than other brands.
We will update with more information after more testing.
I can’t connect the controllers when using bluetooth headphones
This is one of the limitations that Nintendo highlighted: a maximum of two controllers can be connected to a console when Bluetooth audio is used.
For two players each using a single Joy-Con, you’ll be fine. However, if you’re playing in Tabletop mode and someone wants to use, say, a Pro controller, you’ll see a little message reminding you that:
Up to two wireless controllers can be used during Bluetooth audio.
It should be noted that playing local multiplayer with multiple switches will also turn off Bluetooth audio.
Can I use my Bluetooth microphone for voice chat?
No, unfortunately that’s another restriction. Nintendo explicitly states that:
Bluetooth microphones cannot be used.
Why is the audio lagging behind the on-screen action?
Bluetooth may have become an industry standard for quickly transferring data between devices, but it’s not the best when it comes to high quality audio and you might notice some audio lag.
The length of the delay varies depending on your device. As an example, when using AirPods, we found that the sound of Sonic’s jump (in Sonic 2) is not heard until the character approaches the top of the jump. Audio lag is noticeable and can have a negative effect if game audio is critical to gameplay.
Playing something like Cadence of Hyrule, for example, which relies on precise button presses at a beat, would be tricky. However, in other games, you might not even notice the audio delay. It all depends on what you play and how sensitive you are.
We hope you have found this guide useful. We’ll update it over time, so if you have any questions or suggestions drop them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them.