Nintendo Switch with Bluetooth Audio: Use wireless headphones without an adapter

In the middle of this week Nintendo released a system update for the Nintendo Switch out of nowhere. The firmware 13.0.0 brings a big change: in addition to controllers, audio accessories are now also supported via Bluetooth. It was almost four and a half years for the use of Bluetooth headphones and speakers on the Nintendo Switch additional accessories required. But now this restriction is a thing of the past - and brings with it new restrictions. I have tested for you how you use the new feature and what you need to consider.

The news section of the Nintendo Switch has been informing about the update for two days. You can find the instructions for the switch firmware update here.

The news section of the Nintendo Switch has been informing about the update for two days. You can find the instructions for the switch firmware update here.

Nintendo Switch Firmware 13.0.0 - List of What's New

In addition to the above-mentioned option of using Bluetooth audio from switch firmware version 13.0.0 without additional accessories, there are also a few other adjustments. Here is a list of the innovations that come with the Nintendo Switch firmware 13.0.0 on the console and dock: 

  • "Bluetooth Audio" is supported and has its own menu item in the system settings
  • Under the item “Console” there is now the option “Update Station”, both for the Nintendo Switch and for theirs OLED version (the dock update means that the different models can be used in the other dock)
  • Under “Standby mode”, the option “Maintain LAN in standby mode” has been added to enable updates in sleep mode of the console
  • The method for “Calibrate control sticks” under “Controllers and sensors” in the system settings has been changed
  • In the "Internet" overview, you can now see in the "Frequency band" line whether the switch is using the 2,4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency

Source

Update Nintendo Switch Firmware: Here's How!

If you want to bring the new features to your console (the dock options are of course not available for the lite version), then it's pretty easy. The Nintendo Switch must be connected to the Internet for this and you should have closed games and other software, as the console will restart after the update installation. When you are ready, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the System Settings (Gear icon)
  2. Select the item in the system settings Console
  3. Here you can find it directly System update as the first point
  4. On the update page you choose the button Update
  5. An automatic restart follows after the update installation
You can install the new firmware version 13.0.0 under System Settings (gear symbol) -> Console -> System Update. This is followed by an automatic restart of the console.

You can install the new firmware version 13.0.0 under System Settings (gear symbol) -> Console -> System Update. This is followed by an automatic restart of the console.

Test: Use Bluetooth headphones with the Nintendo Switch

After the update, I tried out how well Bluetooth audio accessories can be paired with the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to the new firmware version 13.0.0 and the added menu item on the console, the connection is already quite easy to control. Basically only these three steps have to be followed:

  1. In the switch settings the point Bluetooth® audio choose
  2. Turn on the headphones / loudspeaker and plug into the Pairing mode offset
  3. Select the device on the switch and let the connection be established
After the update, there is a new menu item for Bluetooth audio that can be used to pair headphones or speakers. Don't forget to put the audio devices into pairing mode to establish the connection.

After the update, there is a new menu item for Bluetooth audio that can be used to pair headphones or speakers. Don't forget to put the audio devices into pairing mode to establish the connection.

Restrictions in the use of Bluetooth devices on the switch

Nintendo has apparently not installed enough or not sufficiently powerful Bluetooth chips in the Switch console to be able to handle all functions at the same time. Because in addition to the audio transmission, the connection is also used for the use of wireless controllers (Joy-Cons, Pro Controller, Third party pads, etc.) as well as for the local connection of several consoles. 

As a result, only two wireless controllers can be used while using Bluetooth audio on the Nintendo Switch. Bluetooth audio is disabled when playing multiplayer in local mode. I am curious whether this will also be the case with the OLED model, which will appear on October 8, 2021. What do you think of that? Please leave a comment :)

New low prices for Nintendo Switch: Console available from € 284,90

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