Hardware - How to use A2DP bluetooth headset

vachi - 23.04.2011, 04:00
Post subject: How to use A2DP bluetooth headset
I just managed to pair my bluetooth headset (Jabra BT620) using bluedevil and tried to play some audio using VLC. However, the audio did not go out to the headset.

Looking around in KDE system settings reveal nothing that look like the way to configure bluetooth headset.

Google search result shows that I may need pulseaudio and some arcane commandline editing. Is it *that* difficult or there is any newer easier way to do it?
michaaa62 - 23.04.2011, 09:29
Post subject: RE: How to use A2DP bluetooth headset
Not using vlc here, but could you not pick up the audio device in vlc's audio settings?
vachi - 23.04.2011, 11:52
Post subject: RE: How to use A2DP bluetooth headset
Could not find anything that look like that.
Anyway, this shouldn't be per-application setting, should it?
The other popular OS directs all sound to the headset.
blackhole - 23.04.2011, 12:19
Post subject: RE: How to use A2DP bluetooth headset
Not sure that bluedevil support bluetooth audio. If I remember well you can have this with blueman, but recently blueman is not working after last dist-upgrades.
vachi - 23.04.2011, 15:32
Post subject: RE: How to use A2DP bluetooth headset
After pairing, right click menu in bluedevil shows that the headset is connected as audio sink, and shows option to disconnect it. So, I guess bluedevil has certain level of support. It might not be completely supported as you suggest, though. My Google search turned up nothing interesting about that.

It is unfortunate that such basic hardware support is still lacking...
Hope linux devs use more bluetooth headset Smile
kris99 - 24.04.2011, 10:58
Post subject:
I have had the same problem 1.5 years ago. I found a hint in another forum to use pulseaudio. Give it a try. Just install pa and use pavucontrol to manage the audio streams.

These are the packages installed on my machine:
ii  gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio                    0.10.28-3                      GStreamer plugin for PulseAudio
ii  libpulse-browse0                            0.9.21-4                       PulseAudio client libraries (zeroconf support)
ii  libpulse-dev                                0.9.21-4                       PulseAudio client development headers and libraries
ii  libpulse-mainloop-glib0                     0.9.21-4                       PulseAudio client libraries (glib support)
ii  libpulse0                                   0.9.21-4                       PulseAudio client libraries
ii  libsox-fmt-pulse                            14.3.2-1                       SoX PulseAudio format I/O library
ii  pulseaudio                                  0.9.21-4                       PulseAudio sound server
ii  pulseaudio-esound-compat                    0.9.21-4                       PulseAudio ESD compatibility layer
ii  pulseaudio-module-bluetooth                 0.9.21-4                       Bluetooth module for PulseAudio sound server
ii  pulseaudio-module-gconf                     0.9.21-4                       GConf module for PulseAudio sound server
ii  pulseaudio-module-hal                       0.9.21-4                       HAL to udev transitioning module for PulseAudio sound server
ii  pulseaudio-module-jack                      0.9.21-4                       jackd modules for PulseAudio sound server
ii  pulseaudio-module-x11                       0.9.21-4                       X11 module for PulseAudio sound server
ii  pulseaudio-module-zeroconf                  0.9.21-4                       Zeroconf module for PulseAudio sound server
ii  pulseaudio-utils                            0.9.21-4                       Command line tools for the PulseAudio sound server
ii  vlc-plugin-pulse                            1.1.9-1                        PulseAudio plugin for VLC

If you use the flashplugin you have to create the file ~/.asoundrc with the following content to get the sound working with iceweasel or firefox:
pcm.bluetooth {
   type bluetooth
   device XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
   profile "auto"             #optional, supported profiles are: auto, hifi and voice
pcm.pulse {
    type pulse

ctl.pulse {
    type pulse

pcm.!default {
    type pulse

ctl.!default {
    type pulse

The device id could be found with 'hcitool scan'.

Some members in the board don't like pa since it crashes the system partial in the past. I installed this solution 3 times on different machines and do not have any problems.

Hope this helps

vachi - 25.04.2011, 16:23
Post subject:
Thank you Kris.
So I need to drag in Pulse Audio to use my headset, as suspected.
I just hoped there might have been some new "automagic" way now.
Like, just install a specific .deb and get a knob on mixer control or something...
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