Unable to pair Bluetooth headphones to your Nintendo Switch? This might help

Did you try turning it off and on again?


After the out-of-nowhere announcement that the Nintendo Switch is getting Bluetooth audio support to pair wireless headphones, a lot of excited users were left frustrated when their handhelds failed to detect and establish a connection.

Users even reported that pairing a wireless headphone caused their Switch to lag, with the device taking upwards of 20-25 seconds to wake up.

According to Nintendo, you can fix the pairing issue by making sure you’re running the latest system version. Below are steps Nintendo says will fix the problem:

  1. Restart the console by holding down the POWER Button for three seconds, then select Power Options and Restart.
  2. Power off your Bluetooth audio device and then power it on again. Ensure it is charged and in a searchable state or pairing mode.
  3. Follow the instructions for your specific Bluetooth audio device to enable it to be paired.
  4. Make sure you are not using local wireless features on the Nintendo Switch system, such as local multiplayer across multiple systems. Bluetooth audio cannot be used at the same time as local wireless.
  5. Make sure no more than two wireless controllers are paired to the system. Up to two wireless controllers can be paired while using a Bluetooth audio device.
  6. Move your Bluetooth audio device closer to your Nintendo Switch system and ensure there is no metal or electronic equipment between the audio device and the system.
  7. Return to the Bluetooth Audio settings in System Settings and select Pair to search for Bluetooth audio devices in range again. Select your Bluetooth audio device’s name when it is found.
  8. Further, according to folks over The Verge, who have come up with a different way of fixing the Switch’s Bluetooth audio issues, you need to shut down your handheld completely, turn it back on and go to the Bluetooth settings. Then, proceed to unpair/forget any paired audio device and completely turn off your Switch again.

Turn it back on, and the issue should be partially fixed, and you can proceed to pair a Bluetooth audio device to the Switch.

However, in some instances, the above-mentioned procedure didn’t work, and an “Unable to find Bluetooth audio devices” message appears, following which the Switch would take a while to wake up.

According to The Verge, the Switch turns on Bluetooth audio whenever it suspects you’re going to use it, but you can force it off by removing paired devices and performing a full device shutdown.

Considering that the Switch was released four years ago with Bluetooth hardware built into the console, the fact that it just gained Bluetooth audio support with a haphazard rollout is disappointing. However, Nintendo might release a future update to fix the pairing and lag issue completely.

Source: Nintendo 


  • Karandeep Oberoi

    Karandeep is a graduate of Durham College's Journalism and Mass Media program. He likes video games and testing out peripherals along with quirky gadgets and accessories.