The sound from a bt speaker (JBL Flip 3) is distorted: sometimes ok for a few seconds but mainly it's crackling and interrupted intermittently. Also the connection process is sometimes tricky... I have to connect/disconnect several times.

The same speaker is working fine on another Ubuntu 16.04 laptop.

What I tried so far:

  • It's not an hardware or intenference issue: it's ok if I boot with Windows
  • Within Ubuntu, another bt headset works fine
  • The good old trick of switching profile (A2DP/HFP) and then disconnect/reconnect doesn't solve
  • I've reinstalled pulseaudio and pulseaudio-module-bluetooth with no luck

Furthermore, my dmesg is full of:

Bluetooth: hci0: last event is not cmd complete (0x0f)

Apparently others are experiencing the same issues: Ubuntu 18.04 and bluetooth speaker JBL Charge 3


  • I've tried another JBL speaker (charge 3): same problem
  • I've updated bluez to v5.50, no luck
  • Same here. Any known solutions? Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 20:33

3 Answers 3


Ok, I finally got through this. :)

Simply: the sound is distorted only while the Bluetooth settings window is open and scanning for devices. Closing the windows clears the sound.

  • Oh, yeah.. for me and 18.10 and some Jabra headphone, it was also that the bluetooth settings window was open! Thanks
    – CPBL
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 14:57
  • for me it was here a problem for weeks and searching for a solution some how it is over... maybe the speaker got scared ..... so i did not do any thing...
    – tibi
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 7:34
  • I'd been looking for an answer to this problem for years; I just closed the bluetooth settings window (often open when I'm connecting a speaker..) and the crackling went away instantly 😶 Thanks!
    – supervacuo
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 22:41
  • awesome observation! mine JBL speakers too! Thanks! Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 7:17
  • Wow! I had the same problem with two different bluetooth speakers. Closing the settings window instantly fixed the problem!! (and both are not JBL)
    – Mike
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 2:56

This worked for me:

  1. Update your bluez version:
    • Open the terminal and check the current bluez version in your system with the following command: dpkg --status bluez | grep '^Version:' (in my case I received version: 5.48-0ubuntu3.1)
    • Add the following repository to get the last version of bluez (5.50 as of November 2018): sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bluetooth/bluez sudo apt-get update
    • After running the command you should be able to update to bluez 5.50 via: sudo apt upgrade
  2. Disable bluetooth
  3. Install blueman from Ubuntu Software Center
  4. Open blueman, search for devices, find and mark as trusted
  5. ..and voila - the sound from bluetooth speaker is clear and without distortions

Bluez install credit: https://medium.com/@overcode/fixing-bluetooth-in-ubuntu-pop-os-18-04-d4b8dbf7ddd6

  • 1
    Full of hope I went thru until #5, I was almost saying "voila - the sound from bluetooth speaker is clear and without distortions" but.... no luck, same as before even with bluez v5.50. Thank you for your try
    – Thomas
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 8:53
  • I also updated my BIOS to the latest version, maybe that also played a role Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 17:42
  • Check my answer. You also got the point installing blueman (unfortunately my "setting" window was still open in the background). Anyway blueman is not the solution and it's not a problem of the default bluetooth manager: also blueman produce the same distortion while "searching", the difference is that blueman seraches only when you tell him to do so, while the default bluetooth manager is constantly searching.
    – Thomas
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 9:23
  • 2
    This solved my problem, Thanks Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 15:50
  • worked for my dell 7559
    – otaku
    Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 18:58

I tried the things written above. It didnt worked out quite well. Then I simply restarted BT.

sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart

Thats it!

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