I have an bluetooth headset connected to my computer, the buttons play/pause/volume are working fine, but I have no sound in the headset, but in the speaker of the computer.

In fact, I played with the sound settings of my headset in the sound settings of Ubuntu, and after choosing "switch off", the headset did "disappear" from the settings.

My question is: how can I make it appear there again, to be able to hear the sound via the headset? Thank you all for your help!

  • 8
    Did you check sound settings and confirm the correct 'output' is selected? For some more setttings I would advice to install pavucontrol. It saved me some troubles diagnosing sound issues.
    – Rinzwind
    Jan 9 '13 at 21:07
  • Yes, that's it, it works, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I found the headset in pavucontrol and was able to turn it on again - it was not visible in the "sound settings" after i did choose the "switch off" profile - that is to correct by ubuntu i guess. Thank You again.
    – imago
    Jan 9 '13 at 21:32
  • Here you go @imago :) Glad it worked out!
    – Rinzwind
    Jan 9 '13 at 21:42
  • 1
    Already answered this exact duplicate q: Accidentally changed Bluetooth mode to off
    – gertvdijk
    Jan 9 '13 at 21:46
  • possible duplicate of Accidentally changed Bluetooth mode to off Jan 10 '13 at 0:07

For some more settings I would advice to install pavucontrol. It saved me some troubles diagnosing sound issues. It also will list any possible output where Ubuntu sound sometimes forgets to show outputs that should be available (though it keeps getting better: HDMI used to not show up; 1 update after 12.10 release it started showing up.

You too will be able to find your headset and control it from here.

If I recall correctly after I used pavucontrol to activate my hdmi ubuntu control picked it up too (but that might have been caused by an update too). Otherwise do not use Ubuntu sound settings but switch to this program since it also has far more options.

enter image description here

Command line install

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol
  • 6
    The bluetooth device doesn't show up as an output. That's the problem...
    – Cerin
    Jul 3 '15 at 2:07
  • 3
    Worked for me immediately, though I had to enable the headset first on this screen: screenshot Jul 26 '16 at 8:08
  • I'm trying to get this to work, and although the BT headset shows up on the configuration screen in PAVU, any change from the 'off' setting isn't saved by PAVU.
    – JamesBB
    Apr 6 '17 at 7:45
  • This works while the default audio control on Kubuntu fails to let me switch playback device. It still doesn't show my HDMI outputs though (while the default sound control settings in Unity worked).
    – xji
    Jan 28 '18 at 21:29
  • Worked for me. My issue was there was another sound adapter and sound was directed to that. PulseAudio can list down all adapters and show the flow.
    – Sudheera
    Jul 31 '18 at 5:56

Try this script: a2dp.py

Install using:

curl "https://gist.githubusercontent.com/pylover/d68be364adac5f946887b85e6ed6e7ae/raw/install.sh" | sh


$ a2dp.py 
Connection MADE
Selecting device:
1. 00:22:37:3D:DB:1A JBL E40BT
2. 00:22:37:3D:DA:50 JBL E40BT
Select device[1]: 2
Device MAC: 00:22:37:3D:DA:50
Device ID: bluez_card.00_22_37_3D_DA_50
Sink: bluez_sink.00_22_37_3D_DA_50
Turning off audio profile.
Disconnecting the device.
Connecting againt.
Setting A2DP profile
Device ID: bluez_card.00_22_37_3D_DA_50
Updating default sink
Exiting bluetoothctl
  • 3
    The ultimate script !! Wonderful, thanks pylover
    – eouti
    Jan 1 '17 at 22:03
  • 2
    holy shit this works! I have been trying to fix my bluetooth problems for at least a year, and this script finally helped me! Mar 1 '17 at 13:23
  • 2
    Many thanks, this is golden. Canonical, come and look at this please! Mar 7 '17 at 20:19
  • 1
    Really magical! :)
    – user276851
    Feb 20 '18 at 21:07
  • 2
    I'm utterly gobsmacked. This works like magic! "I can't believe it! My whites have never been so white! To coin a phrase"
    – Nicole
    Jun 11 at 20:01

Terminating the PulseAudio daemon with pulseaudio -k did the trick. Headset started appearing.

-k | --kill

Kill an already running PulseAudio daemon of the calling user (Equivalent to sending a SIGTERM).

  • Found solution here: askubuntu.com/a/372111/13330 May 26 '16 at 7:27
  • 3
    I don't full understand, how this worked. But it is working! (I did purge pulseAudio and start over) Thank you! Ubuntu is awesome, but this bluetooth issue needs to be resolved, it's 2017!
    – Chad
    Jul 14 '17 at 5:16
  • I think pulse audio has some issues with detecting the bluetooth headphones as an output (especially when there's more than 1 audio profile) Aug 1 '19 at 13:23
  • This also fix similar issue with USB connected "Jabra Evolve 30" jabra.com/business/office-headsets/jabra-evolve/…
    – Pascal
    Oct 3 '19 at 6:17

With the latest Ubuntu version (15.10) the bluetooth headphone are recognized but not available into pavucontrol. For enable it after some test I found the simple solution!

Install bluetooth package then reboot the bluetooth service and now the headphone are visible.

sudo apt-get install bluetooth

after this

sudo systemctl restart bluetooth

  • Worked for me. Ubuntu 18.04, Thinkpad P43s
    – Ddorda
    Apr 14 '20 at 9:32
  • I did this. It asked Enter Private Key Password:, I did not look but assumed it was asking for sudo so I entered my password (two times). Now, the bluetooth does not work any more at all on my Dell Latitude...
    – bomben
    Jun 4 '20 at 7:26
  • Worked for me on Ubuntu 20.14.1 Sep 21 '20 at 12:07

I am relatively new to the Linux world, but have had no major issues converting from Windows. Please be patient with my explanation because I wrote it with a brand new person to Linux in mind. I have fallen in love with Linux and wish for other "newbies" to do the same :)

For someone converting from windows... powerful "sudo" commands that are entered without understanding of their meaning... may quickly lead to a fresh re-install of one's favorite flavor of Linux. I speak from experience. If you are new to Linux, especially switching from Windows, it is important to know that not all hardware is compatible and to make it even more interesting, Linux “distros” are also not equal. I am currently using Linux Mint 17.1 KDE, which is more or less a derivative of Canonical's Ubuntu. For example, if you didn't know, most HP printers are recognized immediately and effortlessly within Linux because of the the wonderful HPLIP opensource project. Just connect and turn on your HP printer, then go to printer settings within Ubuntu or Linux mint 17.1 and simply add your HP printer (which should be already listed).

A little research first will definitely save a huge headache later. :)

I tried using my Insignia Bluetooth Receiver in the past, but had no luck on Mint or Ubuntu, while my newly bought Kensington Bluetooth 4.0 dongle #K33956AM was recognized and paired seamlessly with my other devices. It was able to list the exact device name along with the MAC address. Unfortunately, I had NO SOUND. :( I double checked it was not my system. My computer played the music file normally though my built-in analog stereo hardware. :(

I read what the awesome and helpful people stated above, but went though the graphical interface instead of using the terminal (I've used windows for the past 20 years, what can I say... LOL) I went to System Settings/Multimedia/Audio and Video Settings and discovered my Analog stereo hardware received priority over my Bluetooth hardware. I first attempted to change the priority of the devices within the "Audio Playback Device Preference for 'Music' Category" but this did not fix my sound.

THEN I DISCOVERED THE SOLUTION TO MY PROBLEM... I changed the priority of devices in the "Audio Playback Device Preference for 'Video' Category" and BINGO!!! :) :) :) This worked perfectly. For some reason the video setting also controls the music. I changed all pertinent settings to make my Bluetooth have priority and have not had any further issues since that point. Hope this helps. :)

Pulse Audio Volume Control is Pre-installed on Linux Mint 17.1 (. This is a great tool. Just search in the menu bar for the program or use the PPA from the repository a.k.a. Software Manager. Although I should mention, this program would not work for me until after I changed the settings in the Multimedia.


  • Where in Mint did you find System settings/Multimedia/Audio and Video? I am using 17.3 (Rosa) and can not find 'multimedia' anywhere off the menu.
    – RyanNerd
    Feb 24 '16 at 6:35

(This issue has bothered me for a long time, and I just found the solution, it worked on my laptop.)

I am using Mint mate 18, which is based on Ubuntu 16.04. To make headset & ubuntu/mint work together, need both blueman and pulseaudio.

Connect & choose output device


  • sudo apt-get install blueman
    Install blueman.
  • blueman-manager &
    Start blueman, and enable bluetooth as tip, if not yet.
  • Start your headset device, make sure it's not connected to other device yet.
  • In blueman:
    • Search device.
    • Right click headset -> trust, if not yet.
    • Right click headset -> pair, if not yet.
    • Right click headset -> audio sink.
    • And wait a bit for it to connect.
  • sudo apt install pavucontrol
    Install pavucontrol.
  • pavucontrol &
    Start pavucontrol.
  • In pavucontrol.
    • In playback tab.
    • Find a outputer, e.g chromium.
    • Choose the headset device as it's output.
  • Play some music in your chrome browser.
  • Now your headset should be playing chrome's sound.


  • In pavucontrol, for each outputer (e.g chromium), could choose which device to use.
    By default, it's usually the computer's built-in audio, not your bluetooth headset.
  • Each time bluetooth connected, need to choose which device to use in pavucontrol again.

Command shortcut

Add to .bashrc:

## bluetooth headset related,
alias btmanager="blueman-manager &"
alias btctrl="pavucontrol &"

It's really convenient

Next time, I want to get some drinks or snacks, I could just walk away, without needing to unplug the wired headset, and without interrupting the music or video I am listening to, really convenient.

Cheers !!!

  • What's the down vote for ? Is this answer not working or do you think it's duplicated with others ???
    – user218867
    Oct 30 '19 at 6:56

Thanks CPlovlin, this is the one last config step I was missing. My Bluetooth headset works much better in Debian than in Windows 10. I had short range when using Windows and it cut out a lot. In Debian Jessie, I have nearly double the range.

For others using Debian or Ubuntu. Here is what I did to get my Bluetooth dongle to work and my headset configured.

1.) First I plugged my USB Bluetooth Dongle into my computer. After that I did a quick check to see if it was recognized.

sudo lsusb

2.) Open up terminal, you will need to install a few things.The following meta-package has most of what you will need. Don't forget sudo or su.

sudo apt-get install bluetooth

3.) Now we need an applet in the tool bar at the bottom. For KDE, I did this (if you are using a different window manager, you may wanna look for whichever will work best for you:

sudo apt-get install bluedevil

4.) I then had to add the blue tooth software to get the volume control to have the bluetooth modules needed.

apt-get install pulseaudio pulseaudio-module-bluetooth pavucontrol bluez-firmware

5.)After that, you should just probably do a quick reboot. Do either of the following: sudo reboot


sudo systemctl restart bluetooth

You should have a bluetooth icon in your system tray. Now just right click and choose 'Add Device'

Now that your bluetooth is all set up, make sure to follow what CPlovin said above. Just because your testing out an mp3, make sure that your headphones are the preferred device for video and audio. I just set it to be my preferred device for everything.

Hope this helps others!

  • Thanks for your help ! Make sure you restart pulseaudio service after installing pulseaudio-module-bluetooth using systemctl --user restart pulseaudio.service Oct 6 at 14:18

if not already installed install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth, this will add the required pulse audio sink that is needed.

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth

Then make sure in the bluetooth manager your headset is connecting to the audio sink. At this point it should also appear in pacucontrol, make sure it uses the high quality audio protocol.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.