I've got a Ubuntu 16.04 box on an Intel NUC for HTPC purposes (running Kodi). Most of the time it's outputting audio to the TV via HDMI (one day will be via a receiver) however occasionally I'd like to output audio to my Bluetooth headphones to avoid bothering others. The box does not have a GUI installed on it and I'd like to keep it that way.

I don't want to install Pulseaudio if at all possible - ALSA is much simpler and seems to be better suited to Kodi.

What I want to achieve:

  • The HTPC should automatically connect to the Bluetooth headphones when I turn them on (having manually paired them once). I don't mind if there's a script running in the background periodically trying to do that.
  • The Bluetooth headphones should be available as a separate ALSA output device in Kodi
  • I don't mind manually switching the output device in Kodi from HDMI to the headphones

What I've tried so far:

  • I'm able to "see" my Bluetooth headphones using hcitool scan
  • I'm able to see them using bluetoothctl and pair with them, however "connecting" fails (I believe due to missing Pulseaudio)
  • I've tried defining an ALSA audio device for them (approximately following the guide here: Bluetooth/Alsa - Debian Wiki) however when I try and "aplay" to that device it complains about a missing .so module (libasound_module_pcm_bluetooth.so)

Hopefully someone has done this before (on a recent version of Ubuntu)

Update I've found the reason it's looking for "libasound_module_pcm_bluetooth.so" is based on the "type" in the asound.conf declaration. So I guess I need to use one of the modules that is present on my machine (under /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/alsa-lib/).

  • It looks like libasound_module_pcm_bluetooth.so was removed in Bluez 5. – eddiewould Jun 12 '16 at 2:38

alsa is really not suited to hotplugging , pulseaudio is far better suited to this mode of operation.

My TV supports sending to bluetooth audio so i use that , with my old tv i used a dedicated bluetooth sender that i got with some Plantronic backbeat 903+ headphones.

Bluetooth generally has a noticable latency so you will need to delay the video slightly to keep it in sync, i believe kodi supports this.


I use a Samsung TabA with Kodi and have been just using Ear Buds. Today I connected my LG 730 to the tablet. Then I turned on the movie in Kodi, next Inserted phone plug of Ear Buds, they were working. Next I unplugged the Ear Buds and my LG started working. I watched the movie for 25 minutes listing with my LG Bluetooth until I turned the movie off. 😆😆 I hope this procedure will work for other Bluetooth listeners!!

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