Pokémon Sword & Shield audio options are inaccessible without this item

pokemon sword and shield hi-tech earbuds audio options item

Pokémon Sword and Shield is just a few days away for the general public. Reviewers and other intrepid gamers have already gotten their hands on the game, though, leading to a bevy of information both large and small leaking out about the upcoming entry in Nintendo’s iconic RPG franchise. One piece of information shared on Twitter earlier today is particularly perplexing, though. It turns out that the simple act of changing the volume of music and sound effects in Pokémon Sword and Shield has to be unlocked by finding some Hi-Tech Earbuds.

Detailed on Twitter by an early player of the game posting under the hashtag #SWSHLeak, it turns out that the sound control settings in the Options menu of the game are locked behind a key item, the Hi-tech Earbuds, described in-game as “Strange earbuds that allow you to freely control the volume of various sounds.”


Despite being a key item that gives you access to pretty major audio control settings in-game, you’ll need to seek out the Hi-tech Earbuds on your own. Rather than having them thrust upon you through a mandatory NPC interaction, you’ll only get them if you happen to talk to this random character chilling out in front of the stores in Motostoke.

pokemon sword and shield hi-tech earbuds NPC

Despite it being all the rage to get up in a tizzy over every little change, removal, and messy development decision that seems to be plaguing Pokémon Sword and Shield, this is a pretty cute little gameplay element. The same way the weird, minor 4th-wall breaking antics in games like Nier: Automata and Metal Gear Solid V tickle my fancy, having a simple audio option that plenty of people take for granted be tied behind this Hi-tech Earbuds item that you find in-game is honestly really interesting. I’m curious to see if any other options or basic elements of the game might be tied behind key items like this.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are set to launch this Friday on Nintendo Switch.


Miguel Moran
I'm a writer, voice actor, and 3D artist living la vida loca in New York City. I'm into a pretty wide variety of games, and shows, and films, and music, and comics and anime. Anime and video games are my biggest vice, though, so feel free to talk to me about those. Bury me with my money. Social Media Manager for Akupara Games