Nintendo Switch Not Outputting 5.1 audio?

    Switch 5.1 audio

    For a system as small as it is, it is a real shocker to see just how well the Nintendo Switch performs. You get HD visuals and a nice snappy touch screen, but what about audio? When I connected my Nintendo Switch to my sound system, all I got was stereo!

    Can the switch even do surround sound audio or is this a limitation of it being a handheld?

    The Switch Supports Surround Sound 5.1 Audio

    There’s no need to panic, the Switch does support surround sound, just not by default, for some reason?!

    I have my Switched connected to my AVR and the system is telling me that it is recieving stereo, this must mean the issue is with the switch outputting the wrong format. Let’s check the settings to find out what is wrong.

    How To Enable 5.1 Surround Sound On Nintendo Switch

    To enable surround sound on the switch, you will need to head to the setting menu and go down to TV options. Scroll down and you will see the sound output options. It will be set to stereo by default, which is why you are having trouble!

    Switch output 5.1 surround
    In the Tv options, you will find sound settings where you can switch from stereo to 5.1

    You can select this option and change to automatic, which is the best and weird how it is not default. If you select surround, the switch will enable 5.1 and will output some test sounds to each speaker to verify it works.

    If you are happy, save the setting and you have now enabled surround sound on the switch. Your audio device should be detecting a 5.1 signal and you will hear audio from the rear speakers when the decide is docked and playing a game.


    1. You should probably mention that when the Switch sends 5.1 audio, it’s uncompressed. If someone’s setup supports Dolby or DTS, but not uncompressed 5.1, then it will only work with stereo audio.

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