While so many devices ditched the headphone jack over the past four years, the Nintendo Switch went in the opposite direction; the company only supported wired headphones, with no option to easily connect Bluetooth headphones or earbuds like AirPods. You used to need expensive workarounds to get wireless audio on the Switch; but now, it’s free and easy.
In the past, if you wanted to stream your Switch audio to Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, you needed to buy a Bluetooth adaptor, like HomeSpot’s offering. You would plug the adaptor into either the Switch itself, or your dock, depending on how you were playing. While you can still use these devices as a solution, they’re no longer necessary.
Bluetooth audio is part of the 13.0.0 Switch update
To be clear, this is a brand new feature to the 13.0.0 update for Nintendo Switch. In order to see the option in your Settings, you’ll need to make sure you’re updated to at least that version. To check, go to Settings > System, then check out the Current version under System Update. If it reads at least 13.0.0, you’re good to go. If not, choose System Update, and install the latest update.
How to connect AirPods and other Bluetooth audio devices to Switch
With your Switch updated, go to Settings > Bluetooth Audio. Select “Pair Device,” and your Switch will begin looking for a Bluetooth device. Put the Bluetooth device you’re trying to connect into pairing mode so the Switch can find it. (If you don’t know how to pair, look it up for your particular Bluetooth device.)
For example, with AirPods Pro, place both earbuds in the case, hold down on the button on the back, and open the case. The light on the front of the case will turn white; this is the pairing mode indicator. Keep your eye on the Switch, and watch for your AirPods Pro to appear. Once your device’s name appear, choose it, then allow your Switch to pair. If pairing was successful, you’ll see the following message:
Connected to Bluetooth audio.
- Up to two wireless controllers can connect while using Bluetooth audio.
- Bluetooth audio will be disconnected during local communication.
That’s not the whole story, though: Additionally, you cannot use the mic on your Bluetooth headphones, and you might experience a delay in the sound reaching your Bluetooth audio device.
How to disconnect Bluetooth headphones from the Switch
Disconnecting Bluetooth audio devices from the Switch is easier than connecting them. Go to Settings > Bluetooth audio, choose the active Bluetooth device, then “Disconnect Device,” and your Bluetooth headphones will disconnect from the Switch. If you want your Switch to forget the Bluetooth device, choose “Remove Device” instead.