Personal blog for expressing my experiences


Bluetooth headphone with Ubuntu Jaunty

Well, I recently got a pair of Dell Bluetooth headphone and was trying to use with Ubuntu 9.04 on my laptop. I went through the forums which suggested a lot of things, but this are the steps that really worked for me. I am summarizing the steps that were involved in pairing the headphone with the laptop. Before using the below, please install `pulseaudio` server.

prasanta@ophiophagus:~$ sudo apt-get install pulseaudio

1. Turn on the headset in pairing mode.
2. Open the terminal and use the following commands,

prasanta@ophiophagus:~$ hcitool scan
Scanning …
00:16:44:21:D5:4F Dell

4. Create a .asoundrc file in your home directory,

prasanta@ophiophagus:~$ emacs -nw .asoundrc
pcm.btheadset {
type bluetooth
device 00:16:44:21:D5:4F
profile “auto”

5. Enable bluetooth headphone to get the audio,

prasanta@ophiophagus:~$ sudo hciconfig hci0 voice 0x0060

6. Now we need to tell PulseAudio for the existence of the bluetooth headphone for sinking output.

prasanta@ophiophagus:~$ pactl load-module module-alsa-sink device=btheadset

7. Once pairing has completed, we can now test to see if we can send audio to the headset. In your terminal, type in the following:

prasanta@ophiophagus:~$ aplay -D btheadset -f s16_le /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/dialog-question.wav

Note: it will play only .wav files. It does not play .ogg files.
8. Install PulseAudio Preferences, the PulseAudio Manager and the PulseAudio Device Chooser application.

prasanta@ophiophagus:~$ sudo apt-get install paprefs paman padevchooser

9. Once everything is installed, go to
`Applications->Sound & Video->PulseAudio Device Chooser. `
This will add a black microphone jack icon to your system tray.
10. Do a left-click on the jack icon and a menu appears. In this menu, choose “Manager”. A new window appears. If it’s not already connected, click on the “Connect” button to connect to your local PulseAudio server. When connected, you will see details about it listed.
11. Click on the Devices tab. Under “Sinks” you should see an entry for “alsa_output.btheadset”. This is picked up directly from your .asoundrc file.
12. Now go to the Sample Cache tab. You are shown a list of sounds. Choose a WAV file from this list (it won’t play any other format). At the bottom is a “Playback on” drop-down. Choose “alsa_output.btheadset” from this list and click on the Play button. You should hear the Ubuntu “login ready” sound through your speakers. This proves to us that PulseAudio can play through your Bluetooth headpone (but this is NOT the redirection – this is just a test).
13. Close the PulseAudio Manager.
14. Do another left-click on the mic jack icon in your system tray.
15. Go to “Default Sink” and then choose “Other” from the sub-menu. A window appears. In this window, type in “alsa_output.btheadset” and click OK.

Woh! you are ready to rock.

To switch back to your speakers, simply click on the mic jack icon again, choose “Default Sink” and choose “Default” from the sub-menu. The next audio stream played will go back through your speakers.

Note: When you try to reload the module, it gives out an error, Module Authorization Failed. After unloading the modules it works, but most of the times it does not.

I am not able to go around this problem even after restarting bluetooth. Hope to find a solution.


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