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Here goes yet another post about bluetooth problems... I have bluetooth headphones (Samsung Level U) and a laptop running ubuntu 16.04.
The headphones work perfectly when pairing with windows/android devices, and they connect automatically and without problems; but with ubuntu - there are always some problems.
Usually they work fine when I pair them with ubuntu the first time; however, each time after reconnect, I have to manually turn on bluetooth connection, then go to audio settings, select bluetooth headphones as audio sink, and then change the sink mode from telephony duplex to high fidelity playback (a2dp sink).
As if that isn't annoying enough, every time after my bluetooth headphones connect with any other device (like an android phone), the connection to Ubuntu starts to "fail" in random places. 50% of the time Ubuntu can't find my headphones in a list of bluetooth devices. 25% of the time it finds and connects well, but there is no sound and no bluetooth headphones in the list of audio sinks. 25% of the time there are headphones in the audio sink list, but they fail to switch modes from telephony duplex to a2dp sink (the buttons in Ubuntu work, but the mode isn't actually changed, and the sound remains awful).
As a result, every time after my headphones connect to any other device, I spend 3-5 minutes turning headphones on and off, turning bluetooth on and off, deleting and pairing them again, bouncing back and forth between audio sinks and playback modes, until I finally get them to work properly.
I have this problem for over a year now (ubuntu 14.04 before 16.04), and every month I try to google for solutions, but nothing ever actually works for me.
I've tried installing and reinstalling blueman, pavucontrol and pulseaudio; i've tried creating a pairing with blueman instead of Ubuntu default bluetooth settings; I've tried editing etc/pulse/default.pa; I've tried writing pulseaudio -k after reconnecting to headphones. Nothing of this worked - the only time I can get my headphones to work is with default ubuntu bluetooth settings, but every time they reconnect I have to go through the long procedure of getting them to work.

Please help!

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  • I'd hate to tell you, but I've had the same problem for quite some time as well. I've got a pair of Sony Bluetooth headphones that work wonderfully with Windows and Android. I even tried getting a new bluetooth dongle, and that didn't help at all. -- Perhaps we can work together to solve the issue, because I would love to see this fixed, FOR GOOD, too. I'll restart my quest to solve this issue tonight. Sep 7, 2016 at 20:42
  • I should say I haven't made much progress. I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work on this. Sep 12, 2016 at 22:01
  • I'm facing similar issues (AKG K845BT headphones). Perhaps there is less of juggling needed to bring the headphones back to working with Ubuntu 16.04. Usually removing from Bluetooth devices and re-pairing helps. However this is still annoying it almost never connects well again after connected with an other device in the meanwhile. I'll check the script you've posted.
    – topr
    Jan 30, 2018 at 10:40

2 Answers 2

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I have finally found the answer in this thread: No sound from bluetooth headset, but it's detected This script https://gist.github.com/pylover/d68be364adac5f946887b85e6ed6e7ae#file-a2dp-py just fixes the problem. Works flawlessly

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  • Good to hear that!
    – pylover
    Jun 23, 2021 at 7:04
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It looks like you could benefit from some scripting. The following batch script, which I also posted here, is easier to understand and modify.

We need to make sure we have:

  • Connected our headphones to bluetooth properly.
  • Configured our computer to output audio to our headphones.

Connect your headphones to Bluetooth Properly

We will use the bluetoothctl command-line utility:

  • Important: Make sure your device is bluetooth discoverable by pressing some button on the device.
  • Find the bluetooth device's MAC-address by running $bluetoothctl scan on.
    • This command will start discovering your devices and you need to spot your device's mac address in the output. My device is called "Avi Ear" and it was found in the line:
      • [CHG] Device 4C:87:5D:9E:04:B8 Name: LE-Avi Ear
    • From the above output, we know that my device's MAC address is 4C:87:5D:9E:04:B8.
  • Now that we have the MAC address, we can connect to the device with the following bash script AFTER replacing my MAC address with yours:
    • Important: Before running the script, make sure your device is bluetooth discoverable by pressing some button on the device.
#!/bin/bash
# remove headphones and start fresh
bluetoothctl remove 4C:87:5D:9E:04:B8
# turn bluetooth off
bluetoothctl power off
# turn blutooh on
bluetoothctl power on
# scan for devices for 15 secs so that our device gets discovered.
timeout 15s bluetoothctl scan on
# pair with headphones
bluetoothctl pair 4C:87:5D:9E:04:B8
# trust headphones
bluetoothctl trust 4C:87:5D:9E:04:B8
# connect to headphones
bluetoothctl connect 4C:87:5D:9E:04:B8
  • Finally, you should see headphones in the "Connected" state in Bluetooth Settings. For example, as you can see in the image below, "Avi Ear"(Name of my headphones) is "Connected". enter image description here

Configure your computer to output to your headphones

Even though my headphones were shown as connected, I did not hear any sound. To hear sound you need to:

  • Open the PulseAudio Volume Control App. This came preinstalled with Ubuntu for me, but you should be able to find easy instructions to install if you don't have it.
  • Go to the Configuration tab and make sure you have all other devices turned off except your headphones like this: enter image description here

You should now be able to hear sounds from your headphones now.

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