HOWTO: Setup Bluetooth Headphones

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OK, now the big mystery of bluetooth headphones on Linux. You can look for days online, with google, in books etc. but you never find anything, right? Well search no longer, I have looked and researched how to do this for about a year now and finally figured it out! Just follow the instructions and get confortable with pulseaudio a little bit (yes, I know. Pulse can be evil) and you'll do fine. Luckily thanx to J00st, our pulseaudio and alsa have stabilized and no longer hate each other :) ! Remember, you will need root access to perform these steps, open a root terminal. So lets get started! :D

equo install blueman paman pavucontrol

mv /etc/dbus-1/system.d/bluetooth.conf /etc/dbus-1/system.d/bluetooth.conf.bak
nano /etc/dbus-1/system.d/bluetooth.conf

and now copy and paste the data below into the new configuration file


<!-- ../system.conf have denied everything, so we just punch some holes -->

<policy group="root">
<allow own="org.bluez"/>
<allow send_destination="org.bluez"/>
<allow send_interface="org.bluez.Agent"/>
<allow send_interface="org.bluez.PasskeyAgent"/>


<policy at_console="true">
<allow send_destination="org.bluez.Manager"/>
<allow receive_sender="org.bluez.Manager"/>

<allow send_path="/org/bluez"/>

<allow send_destination="org.bluez.Adapter"/>
<allow receive_sender="org.bluez.Adapter"/>
<allow send_type="method_call"/>

<allow send_destination="org.bluez.Service"/>
<allow receive_sender="org.bluez.Service"/>

<allow send_destination="org.bluez.Database"/>
<allow receive_sender="org.bluez.Database"/>

<allow send_destination="org.bluez.Security"/>
<allow receive_sender="org.bluez.Security"/>


Now reboot

run blueman-manager use blueman to pair, and connect to your a2dp device a.k.a. bluetooth headphones/set bond and trust the device, then click "Device" in the file menu and click connect to a2dp service.

now use pavucontrol to configure the headphones sound. click configuration go to your bluetooth device and select "High Fidelity Playback (A2DP)" for the profile. Leave this window open for now.

Now open the program you want to listen to audio with using your bluetooth headphones (make sure the application is using pulseaudio).

NOTE: make sure your headphones volume is turned down on the headphones themselves or you'll blast your ears, just so you know they can get REALLY REALLY loud with this setup.

Now go back to the pavucontrol window and click the playback tab. you should see your application listed and it saying "audio stream on". next to that is a box with the current audio device being used. click that and select your headphones.

Congrats! you now have your bluetooth a2dp device working in linux!

BTW, when blueman 1.21 is released you should be able to use blueman to pulse to send certain audiostreams to your headphones instead of having to use pavucontrol. Even so pavucontrol is still recommended to have just in case pulse needs some extra configuring.