[Solved] AirPods Not Working with Nintendo Switch – Ultimate Guide

It is clear that the AirPods Pro are the best Bluetooth headphones for Apple products. But did you have any clue regarding their use with the Nintendo Switch? Recently, Nintendo has added Bluetooth audio support to the Switch.

Before this, you would have had to use a Bluetooth transmitter inserted into the headphones jack. Although the Nintendo Switch can be a little low on accessories, there is one accessory that works brilliantly with the console, and that is the AirFly.

While using a handheld console on the go, you will need headphones to filter out the outside noise to enjoy your gaming and also not distract the public. With the addition of Bluetooth to the Nintendo Switch, you can now officially pair your Bluetooth headphones with your console and enjoy gaming on the go. However, as easy as it may seem, users have still been facing issues with pairing and connecting AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones to their Nintendo Switch.

Gaming can get very dull and boring without sounds. If you play y our Switch without headphones in public, you’ll just be distracting people. There’s nothing to worry about if you’ve been facing issues with pairing your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones to your Nintendo Switch.

We will explain to you in a step by step manner how you can fix the issue of AirPods not working with Nintendo Switch. So, buckle up for the ride, and let’s head in.


Can I Connect AirPods Pro to Nintendo Switch?

Yes, it is definitely possible to connect your AirPods to your Nintendo Switch. Bluetooth was introduced officially to Nintendo Switch after patch 13.0 back in 2021. After updating your Switch to the latest software, you can enjoy the perks of connecting your AirPods Pro or other Bluetooth headphones with your Nintendo Switch.

Connect AirPods to your Nintendo Switch

Now that the Nintendo Switch supports Bluetooth, you won’t be needing any third-party adapter to link Bluetooth headphones to your Switch. You can easily connect a Bluetooth-enabled headset to your console and enjoy the best wireless experience with this brilliant feature. So, whether it’s gaming or just listening to music, your experience will definitely be amplified now.

From whatever angle you look at it, the Nintendo Switch spells perfection. Gamers have complained about the lack of wireless audio compatibility for a long time. When the Nintendo Switch was released in the start, it lacked Bluetooth connectivity.

However, Nintendo has now listened to its users and has rolled out Bluetooth support for the Nintendo Switch. Now, gamers can easily enjoy a wonderful gaming experience on the go using Wireless headphones.

In September 2021, Nintendo rolled out another upgrade to the Switch, allowing players to connect various gadgets like the AirPods to their System. You should know that it is possible to store up to ten devices on the Nintendo Switch.

You can only connect one at a time. You may only be able to utilize two wireless Joy-Cons simultaneously when making use of Bluetooth audio. This new feature is now present on both the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. It should be able to work with any Bluetooth headset and earbuds. This feature allows gamers to enjoy a hassle-free experience with their gaming. You can enjoy a brilliant gaming experience quietly on the go.

In order for Bluetooth to function on your Nintendo Switch, you must update your system software to version 13.0.0. In order to check if you are up to date, go to settings from your home screen, then to System, and finally to System Update using the drop-down menu. If your device hasn’t been updated, you’ll have to download and install the latest updated version to be able to use Bluetooth on your Nintendo Switch.

How to Connect AirPods to your Nintendo Switch

With the release of patch 13.0 in 2021, Nintendo received its Bluetooth update, which opened a door of possibilities. By updating your Nintendo Switch to latest version, you will be able to pair your AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones on your Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo users have yearned for Bluetooth connectivity for a long time. Using a wired connection on the Nintendo Switch was a turnoff as the whole world was shifting towards wireless. On the other hand, using your Switch without headphones in public will give you nothing other than horrible grim faces from people.

One possibility was to use third-party adapters; however, the good quality ones were always expensive. So, this is when Nintendo came through and rolled out Bluetooth to their devices. Every Nintendo Switch device out there now has Bluetooth connectivity available.

If you have the Nintendo Switch OLED, you won’t have to perform anything special on your device in order to gain Bluetooth connectivity, as this console comes with the most recent software. You can directly utilize your AirPods with it.

However, if you’re using an earlier model of the Switch, you’ll first have to make sure your firmware has been upgraded to version 13.0.0 or greater. Once you have updated your Nintendo Switch, you will now have to pair AirPods or Bluetooth headphones with your console.

The following are the steps to connect Apple AirPods to your Nintendo Switch:

  1. Startup your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Find your way to settings from the home screen.
  3. Navigate your way to Bluetooth Audio.
  4. Go ahead and select the Add Device option.
  5. Next, you must put your Apple AirPods on to Pairing Mode.
  6. Once your AirPods are in pairing mode, they should become visible on your Switch’s screen. Once they show up, tap on your AirPods name.
  7. You must now set the name of your AirPods for Switch.
  8. Go ahead and connect your AirPods with Switch.

And that’s it; that’s how easy it is to link your AirPods to your Nintendo Switch. You can now enjoy your gaming sessions on the go without disturbing anyone. If you want to unpair your AirPods, you can simply put them in their shell or disconnect Bluetooth from the Switch settings.

If you want to have Bluetooth headphones removed permanently, you can go to System Settings > Bluetooth Audio > Remove device. In order to pair them again, you must go through the steps above all over.

Bluetooth audio puts on certain limitations on the Switch. While using Bluetooth headphones, you’ll notice that you’ll only be able to couple two controllers to your Switch instead of eight. Besides that, Bluetooth headphones with a built-in microphone will also fail to operate.

Regrettably, you will not be able to communicate with your friends while using Bluetooth headphones on your Switch. This is a huge letdown, but we are sure Nintendo will have the problem fixed in the near future.

How to Pair AirFly with AirPods

The AirFly is basically a simple dongle about the size of a postage stamp. Although it may look like a simple device with not much going on on the outside, it really doesn’t need much. Here’s how you can use the AirFly:

  1. You’ll be able to see a flat button present on the top designated with the number 12 along with a cutout. To enter pairing mode, you must press and hold that button for about 10 seconds. Once the light behind the button starts flashing amber and white, this will indicate the device is in pairing mode.
  2. While your AirPods are in the case, press on the pairing button present at the back of the case for about 5 seconds to enter pairing mode. When in pairing mode, the status indicator will start flashing white. Once the status indicator inside your AirPods turns green, you’ll know the pairing was successful. The AirFly status indicator will blink white.

How to Connect AirFly with Nintendo Switch

You can connect AirFly to the Nintendo Switch by following the steps below:

  1. First, plug in on the end of the 3.5mm cable inside the AirFly.
  2. Plug the other end of the same cable into the headphone jack present on the Nintendo Switch.

And that’s it; that’s how simple it is to connect the AirFly to your Nintendo Switch. If you face issues where the audio is cutting out or being crackly, you can try flipping the 3.5 mm cable around to the other side and see if the audio has improved. I faced the same issue, and flipping the cable worked for me.

How well does AirFly work?

To my surprise, AirFly works amazingly well. This device is super easy to connect with your AirPods. Moreover, it is even easier to connect it with your Nintendo Switch. Everything sounds brilliant, as expected with the AirPods. Although you might experience some faints, yet rare buzzes while watching movies, they aren’t that bad and can be ignored easily.

You may have noticed that using a wireless transmitter with the Nintendo Switch is actually a complicated task. The same applies to the AirPods. However, with AirFly, you can avoid both hurdles and gain clear audio with ease without having to go through any hectic process of setting things up and using them.

If you are looking for the best Bluetooth transmitter for your Nintendo Switch, the AirFly is the best choice for you can go with. 

How to Fix AirPods not Working with Nintendo Switch

We have already explained how you can use AirPods or any other Bluetooth headphones on your Nintendo Switch. However, some users might face difficulties in connecting their AirPods to the Nintendo Switch. Such an issue may arise due to a software update. Your AirPods may not be in pairing mode.

Or, if you consider the worst-case scenario, faulty hardware may be responsible for this issue. Whatever the case is, we have got you covered. Go through the following fixes to see which one works for you.

Reboot Nintendo Switch

If you have been running your Nintendo Switch for a very long time, there is a possibility you might face some connectivity issues. Rebooting your Nintendo Switch will hopefully clear the cache and solve the problem.

Go through the steps below to reboot your Nintendo Switch:

  1. Search for the power button on your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Press and hold on to the power button for about 5 seconds.
  3. You must now select the power option.
  4. Go ahead and click on Restart to reboot your Nintendo Switch.

Once your Nintendo Switch has rebooted, make way to the Bluetooth Audio inside settings. Now try connecting your AirPods with your Switch console. Hopefully, it will connect without any issue this time. If you are still facing issues, try the next fix.

Update Nintendo Switch

If your Nintendo Switch hasn’t been updated recently, there’s a chance you don’t even have the Bluetooth option yet. You must update your Nintendo Switch to patch 13.0 or higher in order to be able to enjoy Bluetooth connectivity.

Without this update, you will not have the feature of Bluetooth connectivity. If you own a Nintendo Switch OLED, there’s no need to perform this procedure as these devices have rolled out with a preinstalled version 13.0 update. However, it may still prove beneficial to update your Nintendo Switch to the latest firmware.

The following are the steps you must apply to update your Nintendo Switch software:

  1. Find your way to the settings.
  2. In settings, go ahead and scroll your way down to System.
  3. In System, you must now select Software Update.
  4. Ho ahead and enable Automatic Update.
  5. You must download and update your Nintendo Switch to the latest firmware available.

Once you have updated your Nintendo Switch to the latest firmware, you should be able to see the Bluetooth Audio option. Once that option is visible, go ahead and pair the AirPods with your Nintendo Switch. If you don’t know to how pair AirPods with the Nintendo Switch, go through the procedure that has already been mentioned above.

Put AirPods on Pairing Mode

If you have not put your AirPods into pairing mode, there’s no way you can link your AirPods with the Nintendo Switch. If your AirPods are not in pairing mode, your Nintendo Switch will not be able to detect them. Therefore, you have to pair them manually to link your AirPods with the Nintendo Switch.

Go through the following steps to put your AirPods into pairing mode:

  1. Have your AirPods disconnected from the previous device first.
  2. Go ahead and put your headphones back in their case.
  3. Close the shell to have them completely isolated.
  4. Now open the lid and hold the button on the case down for about 10 seconds.
  5. Once the white light starts flashing, go ahead and release the button.

Now that the headphones have been put into pairing mode, you can now go to the Bluetooth settings on your console and try connecting your AirPods with your Nintendo Switch. If this fix also fails to work, there’s one other thing you can try.

Use a Bluetooth Adapter

If you have tried all of the steps above and you’re facing issues with connecting your AirPods to your Nintendo Switch, this might mean there’s something wrong with the hardware of your console. A problem of such type won’t let your AirPods connect to your Nintendo Switch. But don’t you worry as there are a couple of solutions to this problem too.

First of all, if you still have a warranty for your Nintendo Switch, you can easily claim it and get rid of any hardware-related problem for good. However, if your warranty has expired, or you didn’t have one in the first place, there’s still a possibility of using third-party dongles for Bluetooth.

Before update 13.0 came in, everyone used to use these third-party gadgets for Bluetooth connectivity. I myself used to use them, and they have benefitted me pretty well. Nevertheless, most of them are pretty cheap and have a good range. So, equip yourself with a decent Bluetooth dongle, connect your AirPods with it, and enjoy all the amazing games you’ll be playing with the best audio.

Some Final Words

With this segment of the text, our guide on fixing AirPods not working with Nintendo Switch is about to come to an end. AirPods are a wonderful accessory to add to your Switch as they provide the best sound quality. Moreover, you will be able to enjoy your games in public without distracting anyone else.

On top of that, you’ll be free from nasty wired headphones that become a mess when handling and carrying around. Having great headphones is a necessary component of having the best gaming experience.

We have provided you will all the possible fixes you can try out to fix the issue of AirPods not connecting to Nintendo Switch. If none of the fixes work for you, it’s best if you use a third-party Bluetooth dongle to get the connectivity you desire. Before getting Bluetooth on the Nintendo Switch, that’s how the world used to function. The AirFly is one of the best options you can go for in this case.

Hopefully, after going through this text, you will have found the solution to your problem, and now you’d be able to enjoy gaming on your Nintendo Switch with the best sound quality using the AirPods.

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Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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