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Bluetooth wireless headphones will not work with the Nintendo Switch

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The headphone options are very limited

Nintendo Switch handheld with Zelda main menu Austin Pikulski/Vox Studios

If you were hoping to lounge on your couch, Joy-Con controllers in hand and listen to the soothing music of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild through a pair of wireless headphones, you’re out of luck.

Bluetooth headphones will not be able to pair with the Nintendo Switch, Polygon confirmed this week. We tried to connect a pair of wireless Beats headphones both before and after the day-one update went live, and each time could not. It wasn’t that the headphones wouldn’t pair — there’s no option to pair them at all.

In the four screenshots below, you can see the select few options Nintendo has provided when it comes to audio. Most of them center on players choosing between a stereo or mono setting for both the console’s internal speakers and the television’s speakers, but there isn’t anything about wireless headphones.

TV sound options
Nintendo
TV sound options
Nintendo
System sound options
Nintendo
System sound options
Nintendo

Audio options on the Switch are pretty limited. There is a headphone jack on the top of the system itself, but there isn’t a jack on the Joy-Con controller. There’s no headphone jack on the Joy-Con Grip, Joy-Con Charging Grip or Pro Controller, either. All of which means that if you plan to use headphones with the Switch while using playing in television mode, you have to sit pretty damn close to the system. Unless you have a pair of headphones with an extremely long cord or are willing to sit pretty close to the dock itself, you’ll be forced to use the television’s speakers.

The Switch does incorporate Bluetooth: It’s what the Joy-Cons use to connect to the system itself. So why can’t Bluetooth headphones work with the Switch? Polygon has reached out to Nintendo multiple times and has yet to receive a response. We will update when more information becomes available.

Nintendo isn’t looking to compete with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One — both systems allow the use of Bluetooth headphones for play — but the entire audio setup is strange. The Wii U GamePad has a headphone jack, allowing players to plug in their headphones to the tablet and sit on a couch. It’s odd that Nintendo wouldn’t include the option to do so here. The only way players could comfortably wear headphones while playing the Switch is if the console is in portable mode.

The Switch, which will be available on March 3, is the first new Nintendo home console in five years. If you’re still on the fence about dropping $299 on a Switch, be sure to check out Polygon’s review of the system.