Apple AirPods use Bluetooth to communicate with iPhones, iPads, and Macs, and you can also connect them to your Switch on the go. The ability to use wireless Bluetooth headphones with the Switch was missing at launch, but has since been patched by Nintendo.
Can you connect AirPods to a switch?
As long as you’ve installed firmware update 13.0 or later, you can connect AirPods (and other types of Bluetooth headphones) to a Switch. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to update your Nintendo Switch to the latest available firmware in System Settings > System.
Press the “System Update” button to start the process. Your Switch will apply any updates that are ready and search the internet for new software to download. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi for this to work.
You can see your current software version using the System Update feature, but it won’t show if you have an update ready to install. Bluetooth audio is available to owners of all Switch consoles, from the original released in 2017 to the Lite and OLED model.
How to pair AirPods with a switch
With the latest update installed and your AirPods in hand, you can pair your headphones with your Nintendo console. To do this, launch the System Settings menu and using the sidebar on the left, scroll down to the “Bluetooth Audio” option.
Take a quick look at the limitations placed on your device before pairing it. Nintendo claims that only two wireless controllers can be connected when using Bluetooth audio, that microphones won’t work (you’ll need to use the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app for voice communication), and that latency can be an issue.
Now open your AirPods case and press and hold the button on the back until the LED indicator starts flashing quickly. Now press the “Add Device” button on the switch and wait for your headset to be detected by your console.
Select your AirPods from the list and wait for the Switch to establish a connection. It shouldn’t take long, after which you’ll see a warning about limitations when using Bluetooth audio.
Once you have made a successful connection, you will be able to select your Bluetooth headset in the Bluetooth audio menu. While connected, you’ll see a small Bluetooth icon and label in the quick menu, which you can access by pressing and holding the Home button.
there may be better options
While Bluetooth audio on the Switch is convenient, it’s not particularly well implemented. While testing the AirPods Pro, we noticed a slight delay in audio output. This was not enough to exhaust all the enjoyment, but your mileage may vary depending on the game you are using.
Best Overall Switch Bluetooth Adapter
HomeSpot Pro Adapter
The HomeSpot Pro Bluetooth Adapter is easily the best choice for your Nintendo Switch, from its matching colors to its flawless functionality.
Fortunately, you can get a Nintendo Switch Bluetooth adapter (like the HomeSpot pictured above) and vastly improve the wireless audio performance on your console.