How to use a bluetooth headset?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Fri Oct 26 10:31:23 BST 2012

Marcelo Magno T. Sales posted on Thu, 25 Oct 2012 08:42:13 -0300 as

> Em quinta-feira, 25 de outubro de 2012, às 05:29:18, Duncan escreveu:
>> Marcelo Magno T. Sales posted on Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:03:34 -0300:

>> > How do I make KDE use the bluetooth headset?
>> There's a lot of levels at which this question could be asked...

> I don't have any of those other desktops / operating system installed,
> just Linux + KDE. And the headset does not work for any application I
> run on this desktop.
>> Simple first:  If non-kde apps and non-kde desktops are already
>> working, and all you need is to get kde working...
>> Then you need to look in kde's system settings [...] phonon, and
>> adjust the priority of the bluetooth sound device

> The bluetooth headset does not appear there. Only the internal soundcard
> is listed. Anyway, I would expect KDE would have a more automated
> solution for directing sound to a connected headset than having to
> manually change the order in which phonon should use the available
> devices for each possible application category every time I connect and
> disconnect the headset...

Once you set the priorities, as long as you don't delete devices (phonon 
will often warn and ask if it can delete if it doesn't see a device... 
one would hope it has logic to know not to do that with bluetooth devices 
since they're /expected/ to come and go, but I'm not sure...), when the 
device is the highest priority available, it will be what's chosen.  But 
when it's not there but something with a lower priority is, it'll 
fallback to whatever it has available.  So it actually is automated -- 
you don't have to do it ever time.

>> If you don't see any bluetooth sound devices in that list, then it's
>> probably not a kde problem, but a system/platform problem.  That's
>> really out of scope for this list, but I'm guessing it's what you're
>> seeing.


> I don't think so, since the headset appears in KDE's bluetooth
> application and in SystemSettings -> Network and connectivity ->
> Bluetooth. Besides, I can pair and connect the headset successfully
> there.

And here we hit the multiple layers problem.  If kde's bluetooth app is 
seeing it, then you have base connectivity.  But there's a problem 
between that and the phonon level, so it's not being seen in phonon.

> I'm running Kubuntu 12.04 x86_64.

OK.  Hopefully someone on kubuntu (either here or on their lists/forums, 
which I'm simply assuming they have, but most distros do) can fill in the 
missing pieces.

> I have a bluetooth keyboard + mouse kit (just one dongle for the two
> devices).
> They work perfectly. But this is another thing, because they do not use
> the bluetooth adapter embedded in the desktop, but their own provided
> bluetooth dongle,

OK.  That could possibly be used for troubleshooting, but that would be 
troubleshooting the bluetooth connectivity layer since it's a different 
device.  And we now know the connectivity layer is fine -- the device 
shows up and can be paired at that level.  So the troubleshooting at this 
level shouldn't be necessary.

> However, I can send files from the KDE desktop to my android devices
> using the embedded bluetooth adapter.

That's QUITE useful, as now we know not only can it pair, but at least 
some devices are fully operational over it.

>> Also mention whether /any/ apps, not just kde apps, play sound to the
>> bluetooth headset or not.  The common Firefox browser is gtk-based
>> (Chrome/Chromium aren't kde based either, neither is Opera, all of
>> which are browsers), for instance, so if it works with the bluetooth
>> headset it may well be a kde problem.  But if they don't work either,
>> it's probably lower in the system.
> No application play sound to the bluetooth headset, Qt or GTK. System
> sounds are not played to the headset either.

OK, seems the problem is most likely at the alsa or pulse-audio layer, 
since we know the connectivity layer works, but the device simply doesn't 
appear at the phonon layer, so it's gotta be in between and those are the 
major possibilities between.

That's progress! =:^)

But... FWIW, I don't use pulse-audio here at all, never have.  And I 
strongly suspect that kubuntu's using it.  So I'll be of little help 
there.  Also, I don't actually use bluetooth here.  So I'm of limited 
help in that regard, beyond narrowing down the layer as we just did.  And 
finally, I'm a Gentooer, not a Kubuntuer (Kubunteer?  Kubunter?).

So I've probably provided all the help I can, personally.  But knowing 
what we know now about the layers, someone else with better area-specific 
knowledge should be more effective at helping you now.

The one other thing I can suggest, altho I don't know enough about 
bluetooth audio to be sure, is...

I'd guess that you may still need the specific audio hardware kernel 
module loaded.  Just like USB-audio needs both USB and the specific audio 
driver, so here I suspect you need both bluetooth (which does seem to be 
loaded and working) and the audio driver, presumably ALSA-based.  But 
that's just a guess.  Bluetooth audio may work differently.

Either that or there's something screwed up with pulse-audio, which I 
haven't the foggiest how it works or is configured as I've never used it.

Either way, I've gone about as far as I know how to on the problem, so 
hopefully someone else can take it from there.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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