Does the Nintendo Switch Have Bluetooth? Setup Guide and Some Tricks to Try

February 24, 2024 • Zachary Amos


Does the Nintendo Switch have Bluetooth? Yes, and you can use it to connect your wireless headphones and controllers. Here’s how.

How to Pair Headphones With Nintendo Switch via Bluetooth

Before, you had to buy a Bluetooth adapter to connect third-party wireless headphones to your Nintendo Switch. Thanks to a software update, you can now pair any Bluetooth audio device to your portable gaming console. Here’s the step-by-step guide.

  1. Update your Nintendo Switch to the latest software version before you begin.
  2. Turn on your Nintendo Switch and open the “Settings” menu.
  3. Scroll down and find “Bluetooth Audio.” Select it.
  4. Find “Pair Device” and look for your wireless headphones on the list of available devices.

Follow the same steps for speakers and other Bluetooth audio devices. You can pair up to ten wireless headphones, earphones or speakers to your Switch. It’s also worth noting that Nintendo only allows connecting two wireless controllers or one pair of Joy-Cons when you’ve got Bluetooth headphones connected to your device.

Fact: You will get disconnected from your Bluetooth headphones when you join a local multiplayer game. The Nintendo Switch has yet to add Bluetooth microphone support to its line. So if you’re a fan of using a voice chat system, it’s time to look elsewhere for alternatives.

Playing a game on the Nintendo Switch

How to Connect Your Wireless Controllers to Your Nintendo via Bluetooth

Nintendo Switch accepts many official controllers and they all connect via wireless technology. Here’s how to pair third-party controllers with your Nintendo Switch.

  1. Turn on your Nintendo Switch console.
  2. Go to the Home screen. Select the “Controllers” icon.
  3. Select “Change Grip/Order” to start pairing.
  4. Hold the SYNC button on your controller and release it once its LED flashes.
  5. Wait for the “Paired” message to appear on your console screen.

Fact: Nintendo lets you connect up to eight wireless controllers to your console simultaneously. This feature enables you to play with friends on multiplayer games.

Do Joy-Cons Have Bluetooth?

Yes, Nintendo Joy-Cons uses Bluetooth technology to pair with Switch consoles and other devices. In case you forgot, here’s how to pair Joy-Cons with your Switch.

  1. Power on your Nintendo Switch before starting the process. 
  2. Access the “Home” menu and select “Controllers.”
  3. Select “Change Grip Order” and check the screen for instructions.
  4. Hold the SYNC button on the Joy-Con you wish to pair to your console for at least one second.
  5. Your Joy-Con’s LED will light up according to the controller number.
  6. Press the L button on the left Joy-Con and the R button on the right Joy-Con if you wish to use the dual-controller grip.
  7. Press the SL and SR buttons on each Joy-Con if you wish to use it horizontally.
Playing with Joy-Cons using a TV

How to Connect Your Joy-Con Directly to Your TV

Did you know you can use your Joy-Con to turn on your TV at home? Some TVs are cross-compatible with Joy-Cons using HDMI-CEC. This feature allows devices to communicate via the high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI). Here’s how you do it.

  1. Open your Switch console and access the “Home” screen.
  2. Select “System Settings.”
  3. Scroll down to “TV Settings” and hit “Match TV Power State.”
  4. Toggle to “ON” to enable the connection.

Enabling this feature will allow you to turn on your TV automatically when you press the “Home” button on your Nintendo Switch. You can also turn your TV off by holding the “Home” button for a few seconds. It’s a cool tech trick to show your friends when you have them over for a gaming session.

When Did Nintendo Add Bluetooth to the Switch?

Nintendo added the Bluetooth capability to the Switch in 2021 through a software update. Many fans have clamored for a seamless Bluetooth pairing functionality and Nintendo answered. All Nintendo Switch models — from the regular Switch, Lite and OLED — are compatible with Bluetooth audio and controller devices.

Who Do I Get Delayed Audio When I Use Bluetooth Headphones With My Switch?

Users should note that connecting Bluetooth audio devices to the Switch can result in latency. You may experience delays in the audio output even when your console and headphones are working correctly. Here’s how you can solve this issue.

  1. Ensure your Nintendo Switch is on the latest OS version.
  2. Restart your portable gaming console by holding the power button for three seconds.
  3. Choose “Power Options” and hit “Restart.”
  4. Turn off your Bluetooth headphones and power it again. Make sure it has enough charge to continue the process.
  5. Pair your Bluetooth audio device again.
  6. Keep your Bluetooth headphones or speakers close to your Switch. Remove all metal or electronic equipment near your devices to avoid any interference.
  7. Check your audio device’s manual for troubleshooting tips. Call customer support if needed.
  8. On your Switch again, go to “Bluetooth Audio” settings and select “Pair” to search for available devices.
  9. Check the list of available devices and select the Bluetooth audio device you wish to pair.

Fact: Some third-party manufacturers offer latency-free audio output for the Nintendo Switch. These headphones often have a dongle that you attach to your console and use 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity instead of Bluetooth. The outcome is a smooth, delay-free listening experience that lets you enjoy your games better.

Person arranging memory cards next to a Nintendo Switch

What Does a Bluetooth Adapter Do for the Nintendo Switch?

Back when Nintendo only allowed audio connections via jack, users had to be inventive if they wanted to use their wireless headphones. Third-party companies quickly recognized the opportunity and released Bluetooth adapters to give the Switch wireless connectivity.

All you had to do was plug your Bluetooth adapter into the Switch’s charging port for handheld gaming or into the charging stand when it’s docked. You can then pair your wireless headphones or controllers with your Switch via Bluetooth. Of course, you can expect some latency or audio delays if you go this route.

Aside from letting you pair non-Nintendo wireless controllers with your Switch, third-party Bluetooth adapters also let you remap your controller buttons for more gameplay options. This feature comes in handy when you have a specific button layout that suits your gaming style.

Enjoying Bluetooth on the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch may be getting old, but there’s no denying that it remains a strong contender in the portable gaming scene. Thanks to Nintendo’s vast game library, users still enjoy playing on the handheld device for many years to come. Switch owners will find more reasons to keep playing now that they can customize their consoles with different third-party wireless audio devices and controllers.