A2DP is the technology that allows connecting high quality audio bluetooth devices, such as headphones and speakers, to your system.


To connect your headphones, you need a working bluetooth device, and the following packages:

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

Once you have installed these packages, it may be necessary to restart the bluetooth and pulseaudio services:

service bluetooth restart
killall pulseaudio


It is also highgly recommended to install a graphical pairing tool. If you are using GNOME as your desktop environment, bluetooth-applet should already be installed from the gnome-bluetooth package.

If you are using an alternative desktop environment that does not already include graphical bluetooth tools, you can use the blueman-applet from the blueman package:

apt-get install blueman

Both of these applets will appear in the notification area of your desktop environment and will provide options for pairing and connecting to your speakers or headphones.

Pair your device as usual and give it the "trust" attribute. The "trust" attribute allows the device to automicatically establish a connection to your machine when turned on and in range.


Using pavucontrol from the pavucontrol package, it is really easy to setup A2DP for your device, and map connections to it. Your paired headphones should appear as an option to output audio.

Don't forget to put it in high quality mode (A2DP) in the configuration tab. This is necessary for some devices that have mixed mode.

If you prefer to use the command line, just do:

bt-audio -c 00:02:3C:38:AC:B9

Where 00:02:3C:38:AC:B9 is the address of your paired device.

Compatible devices

Any A2DP device should work out of the box.

If you still didn't bought one, the Creative WP-300 works very well and has a very very nice sound.


Bluetooth headset is connected, but ALSA/PulseAudio fails to pick up the connected device or there's no device to pick. This appears to be required for the Sony SBH50 and SBH52.

Under the [General] heading in /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf add or uncomment the following line:


Once you have edited this file, restart the bluetooth service:

service bluetooth restart

Personal Observation: When I restarted my computer, I had to restart the bluetooth service after PulseAudio had started in order to have the SBH52 show up in pavucontrol. Not sure exactly what causes this issue but would be nice if someone could document/fix this issue. -- IainLearmonth 2015-01-20 08:38:51