Out of the list of mind-boggling limitations of the Nintendo Switch, the biggest one is probably its lack of support for wireless headphones.
That's right — the console that prides itself of being on the go doesn't even let users connect their wireless headphones. That's perfectly understandable, though. The Switch already uses wireless controllers, and the introduction of another wireless device might bring up issues in latency and ultimately impact gaming experiences.
Still, it's a little bit annoying that a modern console doesn't allow pairing with Bluetooth headphones, especially when the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One does. Okay, okay: the Xbox One doesn't technically support Bluetooth pairing, but the Xbox One Controller features a headphone jack and Microsoft has an adapter for wireless pairing. By contrast, the Switch's Pro Controller doesn't even have a headphone jack, so there's no way to isolate audio when playing in docked mode.
The Switch Can Pair With Bluetooth Headphones With Genki
Simply put, the Switch does not support Bluetooth headphones. However, a Kickstarter campaign from a team named Human Things aims to solve that problem with a new device called Genki.
Genki is a tiny dongle for the Switch that brings Bluetooth 5.0 and multi-user audio so two audio devices can connect simultaneously. The device plugs into the console's USB Type-C port. It doesn't have its own battery, but the team says it pulls a tiny amount of power from the console — just 0.02 watts, to be specific. Users can also plug it behind the Switch dock, but that requires an additional $10 dock adapter.
Aside from letting users pair their Bluetooth headphones with the Switch, the Genki dongle also allows users to pair their Bluetooth-enabled speakers, in case players want their audio to be louder. As of writing, the campaign has already reached well beyond its original $30,000 goal, with over 6,000 backers collectively pledging nearly $350,000.
The Thing About Kickstarter Campaigns
It's important to note that Kickstarter campaigns don't always have happy endings. Just ask the Skarp Laser Razor, Zano Autonomous Drone, Asylum Playing Cards, and many others that failed to keep their promises despite having huge sums of money on their hands from hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of backers. Genki certainly sounds promising, and it's a simple solution for a problem that shouldn't have been there in the first place had Nintendo given the Switch's wireless functionalities a lot more thought. Still, make sure to practice caution when dealing with anything on Kickstarter.