Nintendo Switch’s Latest Update Improves but Doesn’t Fix Its Wonky Bluetooth Headphone Support

Nintendo Switch’s Latest Update Improves but Doesn’t Fix Its Wonky Bluetooth Headphone Support
Photo: Andrew Liszewski - Gizmodo

Back in September of 2021, Nintendo released the 13.0.0 firmware update for the Switch that finally added native support for wireless Bluetooth headphones. It was far from perfect, however, so with the new 14.0.0 Switch update released last night, Nintendo has improved the console’s functionality with wireless headphones.

When the 13.0.0 update arrived, it didn’t take long to figure out why Nintendo had held out on Bluetooth headphone support for so long. The Switch uses Bluetooth connectivity for its wireless Joy-Con controllers too, and with Bluetooth headphones connected, the console is only able to connect to two controllers at a time, limiting how many players can join in the fun with games like Super Mario Party. Bluetooth headphones also had to be disconnected whenever two nearby Switches were wirelessly connected to each other for multiplayer gaming.

Does the 14.0.0 Switch update remedy these shortcomings? Unfortunately not. But as a consolation prize, the volume level of connected Bluetooth headphones or speakers can now be adjusted using the Switch’s volume buttons or dedicated controls on the Bluetooth audio device itself, including on-screen indicators of volume adjustments when that’s done. The update also promises to increase the volume of some Bluetooth audio devices, so gamers can be more effectively startled when an attacking Pokémon screams at them in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Nintendo Switch’s Latest Update Improves but Doesn’t Fix Its Wonky Bluetooth Headphone Support

Another useful feature in the 14.0.0 firmware is the introduction “Groups,” allowing users who’ve downloaded countless games over the console’s five-year lifespan to better organise them on the Switch’s home screen.

Up to 100 different group folders can be created and filled with up to 200 games, and each folder can be assigned a custom label. Creating and sorting app icons into the Groups doesn’t look as easy as it is on smartphones — Nintendo has provided a step-by-step how-to here — but it’s still a welcome upgrade that also does away with the “All Software” button that now only appears on the home screen when there are “13 or more software title icons on the system.”