Among the many things I thought I’d never do, reviewing a headset for a Nintendo console is definitely up there. Historically it sounds ridiculous, but since the implementation of Nintendo’s online service, we know a headset shouldn’t even work with the Switch. For those who don’t know, Nintendo’s response to the need for online chat with the Switch has been to release a phone app through which you can talk to your Switch friends. Apparently, no one told Nintendo that our phones can already do that. Anyway, I come home one day to find a Snakebyte Switch Headset S waiting for me. I do love a good mystery, so I opened it up and got to testing.
So the obvious question is, why? Why do you need a headset for a console that doesn’t have a party chat function? Well, a rather large clue was plastered on to the front of the box. In large lettering, the word FORTNITE appears on the packaging. Now, so many questions remained unanswered so here is what I’ve managed to figure out. The Nintendo app is intended for first party Nintendo games. It links up with Mariokart, Splatoon 2, etc. Fortnite doesn’t fall under this jurisdiction. Essentially, Nintendo couldn’t force Fortnite to be compatible with their app. Nintendo also can’t stop third-party companies making headsets for their system, so for games outside of Nintendo’s control, we have actual headset support. Clear? Of course, it isn’t. I’ve tested this headset with Fortnite, it works just fine. The twelve-year-olds were able to hear me just fine and sadly, I could hear them too. I shan’t repeat what was said but needless to say, you parents out there need to invest in some mouth soap.
As a headset, I have to say the audio is really good. I would have said they were about average until I saw the price. For forty or fifty quid these would have been somewhere in the middle, but at £17.99 on Amazon, they far exceed my expectations of sound quality. Build quality is about right for the price, not flimsy by any means but I wouldn’t test these too rigorously. The microphone is detachable when you just want headphones, but the audio wire is attached permanently. All of these connections are standard ⅛ inch jack so the headset can be used with most other devices. Nothing unusual in the realm of headsets, but a nice inclusion in the box is the extension cable. The cable attached to the headset is about average for headphones, making it ideal for use with the Switch in handheld mode. Unless you like to sit six inches from your television, this doesn’t work when the console is docked. Handily, Snakebyte includes an extension cable to give you more distance from the console. Depending on your living room situation this makes the headset ideally suited for the issue of handheld vs docked playing.
All in all, I’d recommend this headset to a specific group of people, children. As stated before this headset is designed specifically with Fortnite in mind. I tried it with other online games and if I could be heard, no one told me. In Fortnite I found out very quickly that other players could hear me, and they were exactly who I think this headset is for. Even down to the design, as the headset is quite small. I can wear it, but I’d never pick it over a full-sized headset that can go over my ears comfortably. This thing is built for smaller heads. It’s light, it’s cheap, in other words, it’s replaceable. If you’re a parent, an aunt or an uncle; if there’s a kid in your life who plays copious amounts of Fortnite on the Switch then this is an ideal Christmas gift. If you’d like to pick one up before Christmas, click here!