Tuesday, June 25, 2024

How to use Bluetooth headphones with your Steam Deck

If you want more personal audio while playing on your Steam Deck then Bluetooth may be the way to go.

The Valve Steam Deck has some decent speakers for listening to game audio, but sometimes you might want the option to opt for headphones for a more personal and immersive experience. Whether you’re just trying to block out the sounds of the console’s fans or would rather people didn’t hear what you were listening to, there are other options.


Obviously, you can make use of the Steam Deck’s 3.5mm audio jack and plug in a wired headset, but there’s something to be said for the freedom of Bluetooth. So here’s how to connect your favourite Bluetooth headphones to your Steam Deck.

How to connect Bluetooth headphones to Steam Deck 2

How to pair Bluetooth headphones with your Steam Deck

To get started using Bluetooth headphones or a gaming headset with your Steam Deck you first need to pair the devices. To do this, first turn on your headphones and put them into pairing mode.

For demonstration purposes, we’re using the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless which has both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth modes. You’ll need to hold the Bluetooth button on the earcup for a couple of seconds to put the headset into pairing mode. This is the usual process with most headphones, but check the manual if you’re not sure.

Once that’s done turn on your Steam Deck and press the “Steam” button on the left-hand side of the console to access the menus.

Valve Steam Deck review controls photo 3

With that menu open navigate to the settings menu and look for the Bluetooth options. In the Bluetooth menu turn the Steam Deck’s Bluetooth on. Once you’ve done that you should then see the available Bluetooth devices that you can pair.

With your headphones in pairing mode you should see them appear under this menu. Click to pair and wait for the headphones to connect to the handheld console.

Now the headphones are paired you can use them to play games without worrying about others hearing you. Once paired they’ll be available each time you turn your Steam Deck. If Bluetooth is activated on both the Steam Deck and your headphones then you can just connect without having to pair each time. If you find that your headphones aren’t connected then just press the Steam button, head to the Bluetooth settings and then click to connect again.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 8

How to connect other Bluetooth devices

The Steam Deck’s Bluetooth capabilities mean you can use it with a number of other devices, not just headphones.

If you want external controls it’s possible to connect a gaming mouse or keyboard to the console as well. If you happen to have a mouse with Bluetooth capabilities (like the SteelSeries Aerox 9 seen pictured) then all you need to do is to follow the same steps.

First, put your mouse or keyboard into Bluetooth mode (there’s usually a switch for that) then press the Steam button to access the settings menu on your handheld console. Navigate to Bluetooth settings and turn Bluetooth on, then find the mouse or keyboard in the pairing options and click to pair.

This will then give you more granular control over your Steam Deck which may be better suited for some games than the joysticks and controller buttons you’ll otherwise be using.


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