Native Bluetooth Sucks on Nintendo Switch, So Get a Bluetooth Adapter Instead – Review Geek

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The new Nintendo Switch on display at Fuorisalone, set of events distributed in different areas of the town during Milan Design Week
Tinxi/Shutterstock.com

Although the Switch consoles have been silently hiding a Bluetooth chip capable of connecting to more than just wireless Switch controllers for years, the Bluetooth audio connection process and support still aren’t the best. So even though you technically can connect your headphones or earbuds now, it probably won’t sound too great.

Luckily, a third-party Bluetooth adapter can help you connect not just one but two devices and deliver excellent quality audio with low latency. And most Bluetooth adapters can be used with more devices than just the Switch, too, so you get more bang for your buck.

What to Look For in a Bluetooth Adapter

There are quite a few Bluetooth adapters out there, but how do you decipher the lingo and determine which one is right for you? Here’s everything you need to pay attention to when choosing a Bluetooth adapter for your Switch:

  • Bluetooth Version: There are different numbered versions of Bluetooth out there, which tell you what a device is capable of. Cool new features are added with each new iteration, like increased range, enhanced data exchange, and more. The latest Bluetooth version, and the one your new Switch adapter should support, is Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Durability: Your Switch is made to be mobile and used while traveling outside of the house and is designed to be hardy enough to withstand a few bumps and accidental drops. So, likewise, your Bluetooth adapter should be just as durable.
  • Design: Bluetooth adapters for the Switch can connect one of two ways—either through the Switch’s USB-C charging port or through its audio jack. If you go for an adapter that connects via your Switch’s charging port, it’s going to draw battery from your Switch and might need to be taken out if you want to play it docked. These USB-C adapters typically look cleaner than an adapter that uses an audio jack to connect. That said, audio jack Bluetooth adapters come with a built-in battery, which is awesome if you usually use your Switch while you’re traveling or just out and about.
  • Range: You’ll want to make sure your Bluetooth adapter provides enough range for you to comfortably sit on your couch while your Switch is docked and not have any latency issues with your Bluetooth headphones. The standard range you’ll typically see with Bluetooth adapters is a little over 30 feet.
  • Dual Pairing: If you’re the only person who ever plays your Switch, this feature may not be important to you. But if you sometimes play with another person or maybe swap between two pairs of headphones, you’ll want to make sure your Bluetooth adapter has a dual pairing feature. This feature allows your Switch to pair with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, so you and your friend can both hear what’s going on in the game.
  • Compatibility: All of the options on this list are compatible with the Nintendo Switch (both new and old versions) as well as the Switch Lite. But if you stray from our picks, make sure the Bluetooth adapter you’re looking at is compatible either via the USB-C port or the audio jack.

Best Overall: HomeSpot Pro Adapter

HomeSpot Pro Switch Bluetooth Adapter, newer edition
HomeSpot

Pros

  • Multiple color combinations available
  • Helpful intuitive indicators

Cons

  • Can’t use with a protective case
  • Not the most affordable BT adapter

For those who use their Switch fairly frequently and simply want the ability to use their headphones or earbuds via Bluetooth, HomeSpot’s Pro adapter is where it’s at. Plus, with its 2-in-1 audio mixer, you can connect your smartphone and your headphones at the same time, allowing you to seamlessly listen to music or talk on the phone while gaming.

The HomeSpot Pro transmitter has intuitive indicators that light up and let you know if your devices are connected, if EQ or aptX is enabled for low latency, and if your internal mic is muted. It also has Bluetooth 5.0 support, an internal microphone for easy voice chatting, and simple button controls that are a breeze to master.

This adapter connects to your Switch via the USB-C charging port, though there’s also a USB-C to USB-A adapter included so you can still use the adapter with your Switch dock, PC, or even PS4/PS5 console. Since it connects via USB-C, this adapter doesn’t have a battery that you have to worry about keeping charged.

And although the version pictured has red and blue buttons, HomeSpot has pretty much every color combination of Joy-Cons out there. So you can easily customize this Bluetooth adapter to match the color of your favorite Joy-Cons, which we love.

Best Overall

HomeSpot Pro Adapter

The HomeSpot Pro Bluetooth adapter is easily the best option for your Nintendo Switch, from its matching colors to flawless functionality.

Another Great Option: GuliKit Route Air Adapter

GuliKit Route Air Bluetooth Adapter for Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite
GuliKit

Pros

  • Sleek black design
  • Super small

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with a protective case

If you want a Bluetooth adapter with more of a low profile, try out GuliKit’s Route Air transmitter. It’s completely black, with hidden buttons and small LED indicators, so it’s perfect if you don’t want to add anything too flashy to your Nintendo Switch.

This adapter supports dual streaming, with the A and B buttons on the adapter representing two paired devices. It also has a Qualcomm chip that supports Bluetooth 5.0 and the aptX low latency codec, which helps eliminate lag and makes your game audio sound fantastic.

It’s battery-free, using the battery from your Switch to keep it going, and it can support up to 10 meters of barrier-free transmission. Plus, there’s a USB-A to USB-C adapter that lets you connect GuliKit’s Bluetooth transmitter to your Switch when it’s docked, as well as to a PC or the PS4/PS5.

Another Great Option

Best Budget: ZIOCOM Adapter

ZIOCOM Switch Bluetooth Adapter
ZIOCOM

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Classic blue & red Switch colors

Cons

  • Blue & red colors may not match your particular Joy-Cons
  • Doesn’t work with thick protective cases

ZIOCOM’s Bluetooth adapter is an affordable option that’ll match your Switch if you use the original blue and red Joy-Cons. You can connect two devices simultaneously with dual pairing as well, which is nice. The adapter allows you to experience low latency with the aptX codec, and you’ll never have to charge it because your Switch keeps it juiced for you via the USB-C connection.

Naturally, it also comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable so you can use your favorite headphones or earbuds with your docked Switch, PC, or PS4/PS5 console.

Best Budget

ZIOCOM Adapter

ZIOCOM makes a Bluetooth adapter that gives you all the functions you need for a fraction of the price.

Best for Travel: UGREEN Transmitter

UGREEN Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter Compatible for Nintendo Switch Switch Lite 3.5mm Audio Adapter
UGREEN

Pros

  • Connects via a 3.5mm audio jack
  • 8+ hour battery life
  • Works with protective cases no more than 2mm thick

Cons

  • Blue & red colors may not match your particular Joy-Cons

If you travel quite a bit, UGREEN’s Bluetooth transmitter is a superb option for your Switch. It connects via the 3.5mm audio jack instead of the USB-C charging port on the console, which means your Switch battery will last longer in between charges. This transmitter has a built-in 120mAh battery that gives you up to eight hours of use and only takes about two hours to charge fully.

UGREEN shows off the Switch’s standard blue and red colors, which is fantastic if you still use the red and blue Joy-Cons. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 tech, lets you connect two devices simultaneously up to 10 meters away, and uses the aptX low latency codec to help eliminate any lag between game audio and your ears.

Best For Travel

UGREEN Transmitter

For travel, a Bluetooth adapter that connects via an audio jack is the best option, and this one from UGREEN is a great pick.

Best Premium: Twelve South AirFly Pro

Twelve South AirFly Pro Wireless TransmitterReceiver
Twelve South

Pros

  • 16+ hour battery life (connects via audio jack)
  • White color looks great with multiple devices
  • Works with most Switch protective cases

Just like UGREEN’s transmitter above, Twelve South’s AirFly Pro also connects to your Switch via the audio jack instead of the charging port, which is a superior connection simply because the transmitter has its own battery and doesn’t sap charge from your Switch. The AirFly Pro’s built-in battery can last up to 16 hours between charges. And if you forget to charge it before heading off somewhere, you can charge it with a USB-C cable while it’s in use on your Switch.

The AirFly Pro has Bluetooth 5.0 and dual pairing support, uses the aptX low latency codec to reduce lag, and has a standard 10-meter reach. With easy-to-see buttons and indicators for pairing, clearing connected devices, and more, this transmitter is simple to use and understand.

And if you have more devices than just your Switch that may need a Bluetooth transmitter, it’s nice that the AirFly Pro is entirely white and not a mix of red and blue to match the OG Switch. Plus, you’ll get a nifty keychain holder and travel pouch to help keep track of your Bluetooth adapter.

Best Premium

Twelve South AirFly Pro

If you’ve got the money to splurge and you may need a Bluetooth adapter for more devices other than your Switch, check out this pick from Twelve South.





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