Bionik BT Audio Sync Review – True Plug-and-Play Audio For The Nintendo Switch
BT Audio SyncAugust 5th, 2019
If there’s one thing that the Nintendo Switch is missing to make it a perfectly portable console, it’s a way to completely remove cables from the equation. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offer wireless headsets, although those solutions usually aren’t as graceful. There’s adapters or cords sticking out of the console USB ports and you’re often limited to using one specific headset with those attached adapters. Options like the Razer Thresher or the Turtle Beach Stealth 600/700’s for Xbox One offer a truly wireless connection without needing any dongles for the Xbox One. That may work for home consoles, but what about Nintendo’s hybrid gaming platform? Bionik has come up with a reasonably priced solution to connect any manner of Bluetooth headset to the Nintendo Switch with the BT Audio Sync adapter.
As a side effect of the 4.0.0 firmware update for the Nintendo Switch, USB dongles could be used to connect headsets to the console, either to the USB ports adorning the side of the Switch dock when playing on TV or via transmitters plugged into the top 3.5mm headphone jack or plugged into the USB-C connection under the unit. Typically this is a solution that works but without a very appealing form factor. Those flimsy dongles can snap off or be an unsightly tumor, so I’m grateful that someone finally came out with a solution that is a natural fit with the Switch’s handheld form factor. Also included with the BT Audio Sync is a short USB connector cable to connect it to one of the Nintendo Switch's USB ports while docked.
Adorning the rounded bump of the Bionik BT Audio Sync are only two points that the user will ever need to interact with once it’s plugged into the USB-C port at the bottom of the Nintendo Switch console. One is a female USB-C port, allowing the player to charge their Nintendo Switch as they play via a passthrough design. The other is a single orange button that only needs to be briefly held down to activate the pairing mode, indicated by a series of rapidly flashing lights.
When I first took the Bionik BT Audio Sync out of the packaging and plugged it into my Nintendo Switch, it had a slight issue with pairing to the only bluetooth headset I had one hand at the moment to test, a HyperX Cloud Mix. It wasn’t until I went through the motions of resetting the Audio Sync (done by holding down the sync button for much longer than the standard pairing mode) that I could get the pairing to sync.
From that point on, the Bionik BT Audio Sync worked like an absolute charm. Any time I fired up Cadence of Hyrule, I’d plug in the Bionik BT Audio Sync and switch on my Bluetooth headphones and within seconds, I’d be jamming along to crystal clear audio. I have more than enough issues with getting Bluetooth to work in my car, so getting an adapter to work on my Nintendo Switch with zero issues after the initial setup is always a positive in my book.
If you’re a player that’s looking to do a bit of cooperative play on the go, the Bionik Audio Sync supports two headsets at any given time. Or, if you’re using Apple AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds (which I own and tested), or any other truly wireless earphones, these are only permitted to use pair along with the Bionik Audio Sync given the extra wireless signal between the two separate units.
Without a doubt, the Bionik Audio Sync is the smartest upgrade I’ve picked up for the Nintendo Switch. Any time that I want to put on a pair of headphones to peacefully enjoy playing Fire Emblem during a commute, it’s as simple as inserting the dongle and turning my headphones on and I certainly can’t say the same for Apple AirPlay in the car. The only thing that keeps the Bionik Audio Sync from being a perfect accompaniment to the Nintendo Switch is the lack of console voice chat (you still need your phone handy for that) but perhaps that’s something that can be figured out in a future patch.
Review unit provided by the manufacturer.
At forty dollars, Bionik's BT Audio Sync fixes an issue that Nintendo omitted from the Nintendo Switch and introduces true wireless audio that's as simple as plugging in and turning your headset on.
- Pair once and it'll work every time
- Support for two Bluetooth headsets simultaneously (unless using AirPods or other wireless earbuds)
- Adapter to run the BT Audio Sync while docked included in the box
- Passthrough support to charge the Nintendo Switch while in use
- Still no wireless voice chat on Nintendo Switch (at no fault to Bionik)
- BT Audio Sync can't be used in tabletop mode without externally propping the Switch up