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So I was setting up my bluetooth headset to my Ubuntu 12.10 desktop just for kicks, and I made a mistake. In Sound Settings under the Output tab, I changed the "Mode:" to "off". The headset has now disappeared from the sound settings entirely, however it is still connected to bluetooth. No change even after I disconnect and reconnect the headset (forget device and set up again).

Is there maybe a config file where I can adjust a line to make it revert to default?

Similar to this, link, but his solution of:

$ pactl list cards short
0   alsa_card.pci-0000_01_00.1  module-alsa-card.c
1   alsa_card.pci-0000_00_14.2  module-alsa-card.c
4   bluez_card.0C_14_20_28_4E_17    module-bluetooth-device.c

and running the command:

$ pactl set-card-profile bluez_card.0C_14_20_28_4E_17 a2dp

gave me the result:

Failure: No such entity

Oh, and it was really loud (while it was working, which is why I was messing with the settings to begin with) even with 1% volume. Not sure if that can be easily fixed. What do you think?

Thanks in advance.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In a standard Bluetooth setup we can change the profile of a Bluetooth audio device from the Hardware tab in Sound settings:

enter image description here

Alternatively we can use the command line to switch profiles:

pactl set-card-profile <name or index of card> <profile>

After we had chosen the profile to "Off" it will not be shown in the Output tab as a valid audio output sink. As soon as we had enabled another profile, e.g. "a2dp", or "hsp" it comes back as a selectable device for Output.


If this is not the case with your headset there may be an issue with the device's firmware. You may try the following steps:

  • reset pulseaudio with the following command:

    pulseaudio -k
  • Delete ~/.pulse:
    All user setting which may interfere here are stored in ~/.pulse. It is safe to delete this directory if you had not used it for custom settings files. To be able to restore the directory use the following rather than deleting:

    mv ~/.pulse ~/.pulse.000
  • Re-pair your headset:
    Remove your device from the list of known devices, and then pair it again as a new device.

  • Use pavucontrol Install pavucontrol rather than Sound Settings for adjusting sound hardware settings.
share|improve this answer
Thank you. My sound settings page did not include a "Hardware" tab. I reset pulseaudio, renamed the .pulse file, and repaired my headset. That combination, followed by a reboot, worked very well. :) – jtaptriot Apr 13 '13 at 6:15

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