Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Finally Adds Bluetooth to the Switch

Well, the wait has felt like 84 years, as that one popular gif proclaims, but Nintendo has finally announced that today’s firmware update includes Bluetooth audio support.

While the console and its Lite version both have perfectly serviceable 3.5-millimetre audio jacks onboard, fans have been pleading with the company since the console’s very inception for the ability to use wireless headphones.

Once you download firmware update 13.0.0., Bluetooth Audio’s subsection will appear on the System Settings page. I don’t think I have to tell you what to do from there, but I’ll include the instructions per Nintendo just in case:

  1. Make sure that no more than two wireless controllers are currently connected to your Nintendo Switch system. If a controller needs to be disconnected, hold the SYNC Button on the controller for at least one second.
    • A pair of Joy-Con counts as two wireless controllers.
  2. Turn on your Bluetooth audio device and set it to a searchable state or pairing mode.
    • Follow the instructions for your specific Bluetooth audio device on how to enable it to be paired.
  3. From the Nintendo Switch HOME menu, open System Settings.
  4. Scroll down to Bluetooth Audio, then select Pair to search for any available Bluetooth audio devices in range.
    • Searching for pairable devices can take several seconds.
    • If 10 devices have already been paired and saved to the system, you will need to remove at least one saved device before you can pair a new one.
  5. Select your Bluetooth audio device’s name when it is found.
  6. Once connected, any audio that is played will be output through your Bluetooth device. Be sure to adjust the system volume to a comfortable level.

Only one Bluetooth audio device can be paired at a time, meaning you won’t be able to have your couch co-op players hearing together on different audio devices. However, you can save up to tend different paired devices, so the whole family can easily use a shared Nintendo Switch.

Apparently, having more than two controllers attached to a single unit will unpair Bluetooth headphones.

While this is all quite annoying, we’ll celebrate the sweet, sweet liberation of going wireless the next time we’re playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.