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How to Connect USB-C Headphones to Your Nintendo Switch

Sometimes the best way to enjoy your Nintendo Switch is with headphones, as it blocks the outside noise and really lets you focus on your game. USB-C headphones can actually work with your Nintendo Switch, so you can go ahead and plug them in to get through a game of Fortnite undisturbed. 

There are two methods that your USB-C headphones can connect to your Nintendo Switch. The first is in dock mode, but that requires an adapter. The second, easier, method is through the handheld mode, which allows you to plug your USB-C headphones directly into the bottom of the device.

Like any form of technology, there are a few things that can go wrong when trying to connect your USB-C headphones to your Nintendo Switch. However, that small, flat connector on the end of your USB-C headphones is the industry standard for transmitting data in a fast, simple way, making it a great option to connect to your device. 

What are USB-C Headphones? 

Black and blue color of headphone gaming gear

USB-C headphones are mostly compatible with the Nintendo Switch, but you might be wondering if you have USB-C headphones or something else. USB-C headphones, like this pair from COOYA (on Amazon), are wired, with one end terminating in a male USB Type C connector.

This small, flat connector that charges most modern Android smartphones makes use of a reversible 24-Pin connector.

This is markedly different from previous standards like the micro-USB, which were predominantly found on mobile devices before 2017, or the rectangular USB Type A, which are like thumb drives. The USB-C is fast, reliable, and most modern technology uses this kind of system. 

Can USB-C Headphones Connect to a Nintendo Switch?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is maybe. Most USB-C headphones are compatible with the Nintendo Switch, but there are some that just use the USB-C as an analogue passthrough instead of having a digital to analogue converter of their own, which is needed.

Some USB-C headphones also aren’t compatible with the Nintendo Switch software. Figuring out if it’s a software issue or a connectivity issue is a matter of trial and error. 

How to Connect Your USB-C Headphones to Your Nintendo Switch

There are two ways that USB-C headphones can be connected to the Nintendo Switch. The first is through the dock mode. For this method you will need a USB-C to USB adapter. There are a few USB ports on the Nintendo Switch dock, including on the side and next to the power port.

If you’re wanting to connect your headphones while in dock mode, simply connect your USB-C connector to the USB-C to USB adapter and plug that into one of the USB ports on the Nintendo Switch dock. 

Connecting your USB-C headphones to the Nintendo Switch while in handheld mode is a lot more simple. All you need to do is plug the USB-C connector from your headphones right into the USB-C port at the bottom of the handheld device. There is no need for an adapter with this method.

What to Do if Your USB-C Headphones Won’t Connect

Earbuds or headsets with USB type-C connector with reflection on shiny black background

If your USB-C headphones aren’t working with the Nintendo Switch there are a few things you can try before throwing in the towel. 

  1. With the headphones connected, use the volume buttons to either increase or decrease the volume to see if it was muted or not.
  2. Try turning the Nintendo Switch off then on again, making sure it actually powers off and does not enter sleep mode. Sometimes when the device enters sleep mode, it can cause the headphones to stop working.  
  3. Check for updates on both the Nintendo Switch and your USB-C headphones, which can be done by going to the headphones manufacturer website.
  4. Unplug the headphones and try plugging them back in. Sometimes resetting can fix the connection. 
  5. Make sure the port is clear of debris. Lint and crumbs can get stuck in any port and it’s a good idea to make sure it’s clear of any visible debris if you’re having connectivity issues. Do not stick anything into a port to try and remove debris, as this can damage it. 

What Other Types of Headphones Are Compatible With a Nintendo Switch? 

If you can’t get your USB-C headphones to work and none of the steps above helped, then you do have other options. Any headphone with a 3.5mm headphone plug will work with the Nintendo Switch.

You could also try USB headphones and connect those through the dock method without an adapter or get a USB to USB-C adapter for your USB headphones to use in handheld mode.