The Nintendo Switch is one of the most innovative gaming platforms in this generation. Its ability to seamlessly combine both handheld and home console gaming has captured the hearts of fans of both styles. Today, three years after its original launch, the Switch now sports a massive library that ranges from immersive single-player experiences to massive online competitive titles.
Regardless of which game you are playing, one thing is for sure. You deserve to have a pair of headphones that can further enhance the experience. However, shopping for a pair of headphones for your Switch can be confusing, especially if you don’t know anything about headphones.
Gaming brands are using different marketing terms like 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound or enhanced bass. In reality, these shouldn’t be the features that you are looking for in a gaming headset.
If you are in the market for a new pair of headphones for your Nintendo Switch, then we highly recommend the Hyperx Cloud for portable use and for Nintendo Switch Lite owners. For players who are more into docked gaming, then we highly recommend the Sennheiser GSP300. If those products aren’t exactly your cup of tea, read the rest of the article as we have more interesting headphones that range from budget headphones, all the way to high-end premium gaming headphones.
Best Nintendo Switch Headsets
VE Monk – Best Cheap Earphones for Gaming (Budget Portable Mode)
Don’t let the price tag or the looks fool you. The VE Monk may look like a regular pair of earbuds, but it is the best value-oriented earphones that you can buy. Back in 2015, this pair of earbuds surprised the audiophile community. It provided a sound quality that was similar to full-sized headphones at a fraction of the cost.
With the VE Monk, you are getting a wide soundstage and detailed sound. What this means for gaming is that you will be getting more details in the various sound effects such as explosions and gunshots. In addition to that, the VE Monk provides a wide soundstage, which would make the environment of games feel more realistic.
The VE Monks are small and lightweight. It will easily fit in any bag or even in your Nintendo Switch carrying case. They also have a good fit and are easy to take on and off.
The only downside that the Monks have is their build quality. The shells are made with a decent type of plastic, but it does not look like it will survive major accidents. The cable is decent but is not braided. It should work fine for most cases, but you should definitely take care of this pair. However, considering the price, this is easy to forgive.
Overall, the VE Monks are a solid value that has a sound quality that can compete with twice or even thrice its price.
Pros: The VE Monk provides the best sound quality that you can purchase for its price
Cons: The VE Monk doesn’t have the best build quality. Make sure to treat this pair with care. The earbud design also means that external noise will leak in.
Hyperx Cloud Alpha – Best Value for Portable and Docked (Mid-Tier)
The Cloud series from Hyperx has always been a popular choice among gamers from different platforms. They are a modified version of the Takstar Pro 80, which is a studio monitoring headphone. This means that the Cloud Alpha is guaranteed to have a superior sound quality compared to other gaming headsets.
The Hyperx Cloud has different variants. We recommend the Alpha over the Cloud 2 since the 7.1 surround USB sound card is not compatible with the Nintendo Switch. The headphones themselves are the same, so it should not affect the overall experience.
In terms of the sound quality, the Cloud Alpha has a balanced sound. The bass is solid and clear without extending into the mids. Both the mids and highs are detailed, which significantly contributes to an immersive experience. Due to their closed-back design, they don’t have a soundstage as wide as the VE Monks. This also means that it does not sound as realistic as the monks. However, their closed-back design gives them good passive noise isolation.
The Hyperx Cloud Alpha has a minimalistic look that won’t stand out when used outside. Both the microphone and cable are detachable, which makes the Cloud Alpha flexible for both portable and docked use.
Pros: With its superior build and sound quality, the Hyperx Cloud Alpha is overall a great value for its price range.
Cons: The Hyperx Cloud Alpha can feel too basic for some people since it does not include any special accessories for the Switch.
Docked Mode: Astro A10 Zelda (Budget)
The Astro A10 is a solid budget choice for gamers who want a streamlined experience for online titles. It features a microphone that automatically mutes when it is flipped upwards. Both the microphone and the cable are detachable and replaceable in case they get broken.
The Astro A10 is small and lightweight, which makes it suitable for both portable and docked mode use. The lightweight frame and soft earpads make the A10 comfortable for long gaming sessions. The A10 already provides a splitter for the headphone output and microphone input that can connect to your smartphone for the Nintendo App or any other separate device for services such as Discord.
Out of all the gaming headsets in this category, the A10 is one of the better-looking pairs. This specific model has an official Nintendo licensed Zelda theme, which should perfectly match your Breath of the Wild Experience.
Unfortunately, the A10 does not sound as detailed or as realistic as any of the headphones in this list (including the cheaper VE Monks). It does its job, and it will fare better against other generic headsets in this price range. But the sound quality isn’t anything special.
Overall, if you are more interested in usability over sound quality and you have a lower budget, then the A10 Zelda edition is a good choice.
Pros: The A10 already has accessories included in the box to make your online experience easier.
Cons: The A10 does not have the best sound quality, which will definitely leave gamers who want a more detailed sound looking for more.
Sennheiser GSP300 – Best Closed-back Gaming Headphones (Mid-Tier)
The Sennheiser GSP300 is a well-respected model in the gaming scene. It boasts one of the best audio performance and microphone quality in this price range. The drivers are well-tuned, which is expected from this well-respected brand, the overall features and value also landed the GSP300 as the best affordable pick on our list of top Sennheiser gaming headphones.
The GSP300 has excellent clarity and details in the high-end. The bass is a bit boosted, but it doesn’t overpower the midrange. The midrange is a bit recessed but is still fairly detailed. Compared to most closed-back headphones in this list, the GSP300 has a wider soundstage that helps increase realism and immersion.
These features essentially help the GSP300 to be an excellent competitive pair of headphones as well as a detailed pair for games with exceptional sound design such as The Witcher 3. In terms of the build quality, the GSP300 has a solid plastic construction that makes it lightweight and comfortable.
The microphone quality is one of the best in this price range. It is clear and sounds natural, which should be good enough for in-game chat. It also has a mute function when not in use. The only downside in the build is that the cable is not removable. The cable has high quality, but it would have still been nice to have the ability to swap it out with a longer or shorter cable or even replace it if it breaks.
Overall, the Sennheiser GSP300 is a respectable product that has been used by professional gamers. If you value good sound quality for single-player experiences but also need a quality microphone for multiplayer titles, then the GSP300 is the one for you.
Pros: The GSP300 has well-tuned drivers suited for single-player and multiplayer titles. The microphone is also one of the best in its price range.
Cons: The GSP300 does not have a removable cable. It is not a deal-breaker, but the other headsets in its price range are including this option.
Philips SHP9500 Best Open Back Gaming Headphones
The Philips SHP9500 is an open-back pair of headphones that has gained popularity for delivering a sound quality that punches above its price range.
It is often compared to Sennheiser’s HD58X/6 series. Compared to closed-back headphones in this price range, the SHP9500 has a wider soundstage and more natural sound.
Games with large and open environments like Zelda Breath of the Wild and the Witcher 3 feel open and alive. The only downside here is that there is no passive noise isolation, which means ambient sound can leak both into and outside the headphones. The bass response is also not as closed-back headphones, such as the GSP300.
One thing that the SHP9500 has over the GSP300 is its removable cable. This not only allows you to replace the cable if it becomes faulty, but it also allows the use of 3rd party microphones such as the V Moda BoomPro.
Overall, the Philips SHP9500 is a solid open back gaming headphone that is an excellent alternative to the GSP300 if you are more interested in an open and natural sound that has a removable cable.
Pros: The Philips SHP9500 has an open back design that has drivers that are tuned for a more open and natural sound. It also has a removable cable that is compatible with external microphones.
Cons: The Philips SHP9500’s open-back design does not provide passive noise isolation, which could result in sound leakage and sound entering into the headphone.
Audeze LCD GX-Best High-End Gaming Headphones (High-End)
The Audeze LCD GX is the most expensive gaming headphone on this list. It shares the same design and form factor as the rest of Audeze’s planar magnetic headphones. With its hefty price tag, it is the best Nintendo Switch gaming headset that you can currently buy.
Unlike most gaming headsets that use a dynamic driver, the LCD GX uses a planar magnetic driver that can produce deeper bass than most dynamic driver headphones. However, the drivers used in the LCD GX are only single-sided, which is different from the ones used in the rest of the LCD series. The trade-off is that the LCD GX is lighter and more comfortable than the likes of the LCD 2.
In terms of sound, the LCD GX has an impactful and well-controlled bass. The highs are not sibilant but have a very good extension. And the mids are very accurate and detailed. The LCD GX’ imaging and soundstage is one of the best in this price range. Games genuinely come to life with this headphone, as every detail is reproduced with precision.
While the LCD GX isn’t hard to drive, Audeze recommends using a DAC/Amp with this model. Here is a list of compatible DAC/Amps with the Nintendo Switch.
In terms of the build quality, you are getting the same premium build quality from the rest of the LCD lineup. It even comes with a massive hard case for traveling. It also comes with multiple cables for connecting the LCD GX with various devices.
If you want the audio experience for your Nintendo Switch and budget is not a concern, then the Audeze LCD GX is the endgame gaming headset.
Pros: The LCD GX has the best sound quality in this price range. Games will come to life with the accurate audio reproduction of these headphones.
Cons: The LCD GX needs a headphone amp or DAC/Amp to release its full potential. This is another purchase on top of the headphones.
Another premium pair of headphones is the Sennheiser HD660s. This is the latest model in the HD6XX lineup and only has an impedance of 150 ohms. You may have to push the Switch a little louder, but the Switch can drive this pair.
The best feature of the HD660s is its mid-range reproduction and excellent imaging and soundstage. Like other premium headphones, this will accurately reproduce the sounds in the game. Unlike the LCD GX, however, the HD660s uses dynamic drivers. As a result, the bass reproduction isn’t quite as strong. It is still accurate since it is not overemphasized, but those who aren’t fans of a more precise and clinical sound may find this a bit lackluster.
The imaging if the HD660s is quite exceptional. Despite its limited soundstage, you can quickly pinpoint the location of your opponents. The 660s’ accuracy can be useful both for casual and competitive gamers.
In terms of the build quality, the HD660s is mostly made of plastic. The plastic material used has a very good quality, and the HD6XX series is known to survive for decades. If you want a high-end pair of headphones but do not want to get into the LCD GX price range, the Sennheiser HD660s is an excellent good alternative. See Full Specs on Sennheiser
Pros: The Sennheiser HD660s has very good imaging and soundstage. This gives an accurate sound that is good for both competitive and casual gaming.
Cons: The Sennheiser HD660s does not have the strongest bass in its price range.
Audio Technica ADG1X
The Audio Technica ADG1X is the gaming headset version of the widely popular Audio Technica AD700X. It is the cheapest in the High-end category of this list but is still significantly more expensive than typical gaming headsets.
What makes this special is its soundstage. The AD700X is known to have a wider soundstage than even Sennheiser’s HD6XX series. This is why the AD700X is popular with professional FPS players. This is also true for the ADG1X since it utilizes the same drivers.
Games like Breath of the Wild will feel wide and spacious with this headset. However, the tradeoff is that the bass response isn’t as solid as both the HD660s and LCD GX. The sound is also not as detailed and accurate as either of those.
But overall, the ADG1X still holds a lot of strong points and is better than most of the gaming headsets in its price category. If both the LCD GX and the HD660s are out of reach, then this is the next best gaming headset you can buy. If you don’t need the microphone, you can opt for the Audio Technica AD700X instead.
Pros: The Audio Technica ADG1X has one of the widest soundstage reproduction in its price range.
Cons: The overall sound quality of the ADG1X is not as accurate compared to the other premium headphones on this list.
Sony WF1000XM3 – Best Premium Bluetooth Earbuds
Wireless options are the most convenient for portable use. However, some of these require a Bluetooth dongle, which is a separate purchase, so keep that in mind.
Audio enthusiasts have praised the Sony WF1000XM3 as one of the best true wireless earbuds that are currently available. Its reputation comes from its exceptional sound quality, stable Bluetooth connection, and strong active noise canceling feature.
Both the passive noise cancelation that the in-ear design provides and the strong active noise canceling feature of the WF1000XM3 are enough to immerse you into the games you are playing. The WF1000XM3 also retains the solid and full sounding bass that most Sony headphones are famous for.
The WF1000XM3 also has a solid microphone that can be used for in-game chat. Just be reminded that you need an external accessory such as the Homespot Audio Transmitter in order to use this with your Nintendo Switch. See Full Specs on Sony
Pros: The Sony WF1000XM3 has excellent sound quality and a class-leading active noise cancelation that will surely satisfy Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite owners.
Cons: The Sony WF1000XM3 is not natively compatible with the Nintendo Switch. This means that its performance will depend on the Bluetooth dongle used.
Steelseries Arctis 1 Wireless – Best Value Wireless Gaming Headset
For players who are looking for a wireless gaming headset that works for both portable and docked use, then the Arctis 1 Wireless is your best choice. It already comes with its own USB Type C dongle in order to connect to the Switch.
The connector has a low profile design that does not stick out too much. Unlike other wireless options, the provided wireless adapter has been tested and optimized to reduce latency. In terms of the build quality and comfort, the Arctis 1 Wireless is primarily built of plastic. This helps with comfort, but the problem is the lack of padding in the headband area.
The headband area does not feel as well built as the rest of the headphones. They should be fine for shorter gaming periods. The Arctis 1 Wireless also has a 20-hour battery life, which is more than enough for portable and docked use. You can also use the provided 3.5mm cable to continue using the Arctis 1 if you run out of battery.
The Arctis 7 is more expensive than the Arctis 1, which makes the Arctis 1 a great value in terms of its sound quality. Of course, it won’t compete with wired audiophile headphones, but its excellent wireless capability more than makes up for it. See Full Specs on SteelSeries
Overall, if you are looking for a wireless audio solution for your Switch and do not want to spend an extra amount on 3rd party dongles, then the Arctis 1 is the best wireless gaming headset for you.
Pros: The Arctis 1 has the best wireless integration for the Nintendo Switch. It also has the same drivers as the Arctis 7, which makes it a good value.
Cons: The Arctis 1 does not have the best build quality. The headband, in particular, feels weak and may be uncomfortable for longer gaming sessions.
The Nintendo Switch is quite limited when it comes to headphone connectivity. The dock does not support 3.5mm microphone input for gaming headsets that have separate connections for the mic input and audio output. The Nintendo Switch also does not natively support Bluetooth audio devices.
Despite these shortcomings, manufacturers have quickly created 3rd party solutions for both of these issues. Check out our top recommendations.
If you want to use Bluetooth headphones or earphones with the Switch, then you need to have a Bluetooth Dongle. This connects via the USB Type-C port of the regular Switch and Switch Lite.
The HomeSpot Bluetooth Dongle is one of the best in the market. It features low latency connectivity that works great with APTX headphones and earphones. It also enables the mic functionality of your headphones/earphones, which can be useful when using the in-game chat on games like Fortnite. Since the Switch won’t likely support Bluetooth Audio anytime soon, the HomeSpot Bluetooth is a must-have for Switch owners.
Another essential accessory is a headset splitter. The Nintendo Switch only has a single 3.5mm port for audio. If you want to use both the audio output and microphone input of gaming headsets such as the Sennheiser GSP 300 (which we have a dedicated section), then you need to purchase a splitter. Most splitters will do the job, but we recommend this one for its quality build.
Stephen is a musician, cinematographer, and headphone enthusiast who is passionate about reviewing audio equipment. He has been playing guitar for at least a decade, which introduced him to professional recording equipment such as headphones and in-ear monitors. With the help of reviews and online content, he was able to learn the ins and outs of the hobby. His goal is to give back to the community by providing quality content to help others enjoy the beautiful (and expensive) world of audio.
Favorite Headphones: Sennheiser HD660s