Nintendo finally brings Bluetooth audio to the Switch with new software update

After years of asking for the feature, gamers can now use Bluetooth headphones on the Nintendo Switch.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
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The Nintendo Switch may be a few years old, but on Tuesday night Nintendo at last gave the console an update users have long requested: Bluetooth audio support. 

In a tweet Tuesday night, the Nintendo confirmed that it has enabled the feature as part of a new Switch update. "The latest #NintendoSwitch update is now available," the company tweeted, "including the ability to pair Bluetooth devices for audio output."

In an accompanying support document, the company notes a few of the limitations of the feature. When Bluetooth audio is in use you can only connect two wireless controllers to the Switch. As for headphones or speakers, while the Switch can save 10 Bluetooth devices it can only connect to one audio device at a time. 

Bluetooth microphones will also not be usable on the console. 

The new update means Nintendo fans will no longer have to buy accessories to enable listening over Bluetooth. In recent years a number of Switch-compatible adapters have popped up as people looked for ways to play games without having to rely on the built-in speakers or plug-in wired headphones. 

A new OLED version of the Switch is set to go on sale next month. On Wednesday, Nintendo of America confirmed that the OLED Switch -- which was previously said to not support Bluetooth audio -- will now support the feature at launch. 

As for why it decided to add the feature more than four years after the console's launch, the company wasn't as clear. "We chose to add Bluetooth compatibility since it will be a useful feature for those who take their Nintendo Switch systems on the go," a spokesperson said.

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