If your smartphone of choice has forced you to upgrade to wireless headphones, you probably hate having to swap them out for a corded pair when you want to play your Nintendo Switch with a little privacy. The portable console doesn’t come with Bluetooth, but a tiny dongle called the Genki does, theoretically making it easy to upgrade your Switch so it plays nice with your wireless headphones.
The Genki plugs directly into the Switch’s USB-C port, where it should have direct access to a digital stream of your game’s audio. As a result, there should be less lag than when using a Bluetooth adapter plugged into the Switch’s headphone jack, which requires digital-to-analog and then analog-to-digital conversions as extra intermediate steps. The Genki also draws all the power it needs while connected, so you’d never need to charge it separately.
The makers of the Genki claim it actually allows two sets of wireless headphones to be connected at the same time, so you can head-to-head game with your seat mate on your next flight without disturbing other passengers. And because the USB-C port is used when the Switch is docked, the company also claims the Genki works with a USB adapter so it can be plugged in to the old-school USB port on the back of the Switch’s dock.
The creators of the Genki have gone the crowdfunding route to help put the dongle into production, with a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign that’s already raised over $300,000. But that is in no way a guarantee that the Genki will make it into backer’s hands without any hiccups or delays once it moves towards manufacturing. If you’re willing to take the risk, a pledge of $39 gets you just the Genki dongle, or for $10 more you can get it with a USB-C adapter so that it works while the Switch is docked. It’s certainly not the cheapest Switch accessory out there, but if you spend all day long with AirPods jammed in your ears, the cost of upgrade might be well worth it.