How to use a bluetooth headset?

Loïc Grobol loic.grobol at
Fri Oct 26 10:44:38 BST 2012

For what it is worth, on Kubuntu, fiddling with pulseaudio's settings can
solve many sound devices issues.
Try running `pavucontrol` and look for your devices. They may be here and
On Oct 26, 2012 11:32 AM, "Duncan" <1i5t5.duncan at> wrote:

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