How do you make Ubuntu 16 automatically switch sound output to Bluetooth headphones when they connect?

Currently, my Bluetooth and sound work perfectly, except whenever I want to use my headphones, I have to open settings, go to sound, and select the headset for output. I'd prefer it to work like cell phones do, where if a Bluetooth headset is connected, it automatically switches to that.

This is similar to this old question, but Ubuntu 16 doesn't come with Pulseaudio, nor do I want to screw up my perfectly working Alsa setup by installing it. I did try some of the methods suggested there, and naturally none of them work anymore.

  • 1
    " Ubuntu 16 doesn't come with Pulseaudio" Ubuntu and it's official flavors come with and use pulseaudio since 6+ years. – xangua Jan 3 '17 at 19:30
  • @xangua, Then why isn't it listed as a running service with sudo service --status-all? – Cerin Jan 5 '17 at 21:35

Might not be your final goal, but as a workaround, you could use a little app called Sound Switcher Indicator.

Sound Switcher Indicator is a sound input/output selector Ubuntu AppIndicator. It allows switching the current sound input and output (source and sink) as well as the specific output port with just two clicks.

Install Sound Switcher Indicator in Ubuntu

Sound Switcher Indicator is currently available in a PPA for Ubuntu users. Add the PPA and install it using the following command:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:yktooo/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-sound-switcher

Refered article: http://www.webupd8.org/2014/02/sound-switcher-ubuntu-indicator.html


This is also not fully automatic, but at least more convenient: If you are using gnome, this extension does its job quite well Sound Output Device Chooser

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