Nintendo Switch finally supports Bluetooth audio with new update

Nintendo Switch finally supports Bluetooth audio with new update

The Nintendo Switch uses Bluetooth for connecting to wireless controllers, including the built-in Joycon gamepads, but the console has never supported Bluetooth audio. Your only options for wireless headphones or earbuds with the Switch was either to use a headset with a wireless USB adapter, or to buy one of many 3.5mm-to-Bluetooth adapters. At long last, Nintendo is rolling out Bluetooth audio support for the Switch.

Nintendo announced today that a new firmware update for the Switch is rolling out, which adds support for playing audio to Bluetooth devices. After updating, you’ll see a new ‘Bluetooth Audio’ page in the system settings for pairing Bluetooth speakers and headphones.

However, there are some limitations to Bluetooth audio on the Switch. You can only have two wireless controllers paired while using Bluetooth audio — if more people want to play, you have to disconnect your headphones first. Bluetooth audio is also turned off during local communication, and only one audio device can be paired at a time (up to 10 can be saved).

Nintendo also isn’t supporting Bluetooth microphones, but that’s not much of a loss. There are only a few Switch games that use native voice chat, such as Fortnite, Paladins, and DC Universe Online. Other games, such as Mortal Kombat 11 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, require you to talk through the Switch Online app on a phone or tablet.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.