Bluetooth Headphones on Linux (Kubuntu)

I recently purchased a pair of Motorola S805 Bluetooth Headphones. My primary motivation with these is to replace my wired noise cancellers and use the built-in bluetooth on the Kubuntu laptop.

First off, I have to say, I just jumped out and bought the headphones without any research as to how well they would work with Linux. It turns out that they work surprisingly well. The info on the Bluetooth-alsa site is fairly comprehensive and useful.

Some bluetooth stuff was installed during the installation of Kubuntu. To get the audio going I installed the "bluetooth-alsa" package.

sudo apt-get install bluetooth-alsa

Next up, identify the address of the headphones. To do this, I held the button to put them in pairing mode, then I ran the scan

hcitool scan

to find it. Then, I copied the sample a2dpd file to my $HOME directory.

cp /usr/share/doc/bluetooth-alsa/sample.a2dprc ~/.a2dprc

In my copy of the file, I just edited the address line to match the one found during the scan. The last part here, is to start the a2dpd


To get the bluetooth audio working for other applications, I also created a .asoundrc file in my $HOME directory with the following.

pcm.bluetooth {
        type bluetooth
        device 00:19:1F:00:12:71

pcm.a2dpd {
        type a2dpd

Getting Kaffeine ot Output to the Bluetooth Headphones

To get Kaffeine to work with the phones was a little more work. The instructions say to edit $HOME/.kde/share/apps/kaffeine/xine-config

In my case the file did not already exist. I actually made Kaffeine create it for me by editing the 'xine Engine Parameters' under settings. I then edited according to the instructions on the bluetooth-als page. Started kaffeine and it appeared to work well. One problem is that it kept changing the value for audio.device.alsa_front_device on restart. It turns out that using the gui settings makes it stick.

Setting for alsa driver

Kaffeine setting for alsa driver

Configuring the alsa front device to use the a2dp deamon.

Configuring Kaffeine alsa front device to use the a2dp deamon


The results, these phones sounds really good. I haven't pushed the range but, I'm basically only using them with the laptop. The volume control on the earpiece is very usable (the outer rim of the earcup turns with a spring to kick back). I do get a little chop every once and a while but, I'm not sure if its the phones or the online music I'm listening too.

Next up, figure out if the player controls on the phones will work with XMMS...


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