Nintendo Switch Bluetooth audio is not compatible with some Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids [Update]

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

Update [October 4, 2021]: Since our original report, a user named Ryan, has reached out to Can I Play That? to inform us that this issue does indeed appear to be an issue with hearing aids being connected to other devices. Ryan informed us that, “I found out that my Unitron hearing aid DOES work when you turn the Bluetooth off from the phone and other devices. The hearing aids cannot be paired with any other devices. Otherwise, the switch will not pick up the signal.”

Original [September 27, 2021]: The Nintendo Switch Bluetooth audio feature reportedly does not support some hearing aids.

Earlier this month, Nintendo announced a new firmware update that enables a built-in Bluetooth audio feature. This feature meaning that users can now connect their favorite wireless headphones to the handheld console and enjoy wireless audio. However, according to Twitter user @gaygermeister_, this does not include Bluetooth-capable hearing aid devices.

For those that don’t know, there are certain hearing aids that have Bluetooth available to connect their devices to their hearing aids. This could be having an iPhone connected for phone calls and music, or having an Android connected for listening to the audio while playing games.

While @gaygermeister_ and a few others in the comments to the above tweet have specified that their hearing aids aren’t working with the Nintendo Switch, one user says otherwise. “It works for me – I just have to turn off my phone’s Bluetooth” a user replied.

As such, it appears that the compatibility may differ for different brands and models. Whether this is something that Nintendo can update to support these devices is not known.

If you’re interested in checking this out for yourself, you can make use of the Nintendo Switch Bluetooth audio feature by going to System Settings and Bluetooth Audio to start searching for compatible devices nearby.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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