I have Sony WH-1000XM2 Bluetooth 4.1 headphones (with profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, and HSP) which work with Ubuntu .

However, they constantly connect to the PC in the headset mode with subpar mono audio. For proper high def stereo, I must:

  1. Turn on headphones, wait for them to pair (auto connects to headset mode)
  2. Disconnect the headphones using Blueman-manager
  3. Reconnect to the headphones specifying the High Fidelity Playback Audio Profile.

When I try to change profiles while connected I get the Failed to change profile to a2dp_sink. Funnily enough it can change from a2dp to hsp/hsf just fine...

Is there a way to configure this Bluetooth device to auto connect to high fidelity playback?

Multiple searches for a solution on the web have found nothing useful.

  • 1
    This answer helped me to have the headset be recognized and detected automatically as new default sound device once it connected via bluetooth. Maybe it might improve your situation too, even if it doesn't look too related on first sight?
    – Byte Commander
    May 7 '19 at 12:50
  • You may find askubuntu.com/questions/806215/… helpful.
    – K7AAY
    May 7 '19 at 23:00

I had the exact same problem. My Sony WH-1000XM2 used to work only when initially paired with Ubuntu 18.04. After a reboot or headphones off/on they used to connect automatically but the sound was awful. I had to remove the Bluetooth device and pair it again. I tried all of the solutions on the Internet which claim that configurations in:




should do the trick. Well, they don't. The headphones keep working with the 'HSP/HFP' profile and the 'A2DP Sink' can not be set until the phones are repaired.

The more convenient way is to use the command line instead of physically pressing buttons and reconnecting through the UI. So this answer helped me achieve this. However, this looks like a lot of commands to me, so I scripted them in this gist. It should work out of the box.

Whenever the phones get automatically reconnected (after the initial pairing) and they start using 'HSP/HFP' just execute this script and the profile will be set to 'A2DP Sink'. You may have to tweak the sleep intervals according to your headphones.

I hope this is getting fixed in upcoming releases of PulseAudio and Ubuntu.

  • 2
    This is spot on, thanks for your gist! It worked for my Sony WH-CH700N headphones first time.
    – Al Bennett
    Nov 19 '19 at 18:53
  • 1
    I confirm gist works with JBL.
    – stiv
    Feb 5 '20 at 22:16
  • This is not working with Sony WH1000XM4. They are still going to HSP after running the gist. Apr 19 '21 at 6:45

I had a very similar problem. As egelev states, many of the solutions do not really solve anything...

However, for future reference, I found a solution involving changing /etc/pulse/default.pa which worked perfectly for me, the full solution can be found here. In short, doing the following automatically changes the profile to A2DP and disables the headphone function upon connecting to bluetooth headphones with mics:

# In /etc/pulse/default.pa do the following:
.ifexists module-bluetooth-discover.so
load-module module-bluetooth-discover
load-module module-switch-on-connect # Add this line

# Create or change /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf with the following lines:

# Restart pulseaudio
pulseaudio -k

I had a similar problem with Ubuntu 20.04

I was able to select the A2DP profile for my headphones (Bose QC 700). I was able to select A2DP, but every time the headphones disconnected, it would default to the HSP/HFP profile.

Following the solution mentioned here and here, A2DP is now selected automatically at every connection:

  • Add to /etc/pulse/default.pa to automatically switch pulseaudio sink to Bluez:
.ifexists module-bluetooth-discover.so
load-module module-bluetooth-discover
load-module module-switch-on-connect  # Add this
  • Edit /etc/bluetooth/main.conf to auto select A2DP profile (instead of HSP/HFP):
Disable=Headset # Add this
  • Apply changes (you may as well need to turn your bluetooth headphones off, then back on):
pulseaudio -k # Restarts pulseaudio
sudo systemctl restart bluetooth
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I wound up writing a custom script to do this. You're going to have to adjust the Bluetooth address in order to make it work correctly for your own headset:



if [ -e ${LOCKFILE} ] && kill -0 `cat ${LOCKFILE}`; then
    echo "already running"

# make sure the lockfile is removed when we exit and then claim it
trap "rm -f ${LOCKFILE}; exit" INT TERM EXIT
echo $$ > ${LOCKFILE}

/usr/bin/gdbus monitor --system --dest org.bluez |
    while read -r X; 
        if echo $X | grep  "${DEV_ID}.*'Connected': <true>"
            echo -n "BT headset detected, configuring "
            pacmd  set-card-profile bluez_card.${DEV_ID} a2dp_sink

I run this script from autostart, and it's been working for me.

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