Wireless Headphones Are a Nightmare on Nintendo Switch

As a Switch owner, I'm of two minds when it comes to the messy situation Nintendo's created for wireless headphones. The company added support for wireless headphones — but only via USB adapters — to the Switch in an October 2017 firmware update. What's more, Nintendo never advertised the feature, only listing it in the fine print of release notes. And not all USB adapter headphones work with the Switch, so you can't just go out and buy a pair without having done some research.

Personally, I prefer wired headphones, for their simplicity. But even with wired headphones, it's still a pretty confusing situation for Switch fans who want to go wireless.

So, I was far from surprised that Tom's Guide forum member paulsmithy asked for help in finding the best wireless headphones for their Switch. Specifically, paulsmithy wants to connect headphones to the Switch via USB in docked mode, using that same pair over Bluetooth with their iPhone and iPad.

Well, let's start with the simplest solution: the Logitech H800, which currently costs around $60 on Amazon. We tested this headset out in our office, finding that its USB receiver is compatible with the Switch and its Bluetooth transmitter worked with my iPhone 8 Plus. It's also got decent range, as I stood about 20 feet from the Switch without an issue. The only major downside is that its build quality is on the low range, with foam pads and hinges that feel a little cheap.

MORE: The Best Headsets for Immersive Gaming

Alternatively, if you already own Bluetooth headphones that you love or if you don't have $60 to spend, look into the $30 Trond 2-in-1 Bluetooth audio adapter. It will send audio from the Switch's headphone jack to a Bluetooth headset. You will still need to charge the adapter, though.

At the end of the day, no matter what you choose, Nintendo's created a wireless audio quagmire with the Switch. How did the company not anticipate that people would want to use Bluetooth headphones on its portable console? Limiting wireless audio to the USB port on its dock is astoundingly shortsighted.

And sadly, the only solution that will be easy for everyone will come when Nintendo releases an official pair of wireless headphones for the Switch that also features Bluetooth (or at least, when the company works with a headphone maker to come up with an authorized pair). Both are necessary, because headphone technology has advanced to the point that you shouldn't need multiple kinds of wireless headsets.

Credit: Tom's Guide

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.