Use a wireless bluetooth speaker on Ubuntu 12.04

The integrated audio on my computer is the worst. So I recently bought a JBL Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, and while get it working with my Android tablet was straightforward, I wasn’t that lucky with my Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome 3 laptop.

The pairing with my computer was successful, but I was unable to reproduce any sound. My problem is that this device, and many new devices of this type, allows not only allow Audio Sink mode (A2DP), but also Headset mode. Headset mode is more complex because it can handle calls, audio sink (speakers) and audio source (microphone). By default, my device connected as Headset, and I’m speculating, but it seems that doesn’t know how to handle this profile. This is how I fixed it:

First, pair the device. Go to Bluetooth system applet, select Bluetooth settings and add a new device. How to pair the device is out of the scope of this article.

Once paired, install the Blueman manager, it allows to setup the device. Default Ubuntu system dialog for Bluetooth lack the advanced options we require.

sudo apt-get install blueman

Launch the applet:


The applet will appear in bottom bar on Gnome 3. Click it and select Devices…

Select your device, and go to menu:

Device -> Setup

Select A2DP profile (instead of the Headset profile) and save. Now, the device should appear available on the Sound Configuration dialog. Open the Ubuntu sound options and select your device. Now you can close the Blueman applet and the device will work from now on, including that each time your device is paired the audio will be redirected to it.


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11 pensamientos en “Use a wireless bluetooth speaker on Ubuntu 12.04

  1. jota dice:

    “stream setup failed”

    • cjenkins dice:

      If you paired your Bluetooth device with another device you need to re-pair it with yours. Try deleting the device and re-pair it, with you Bluetooth device in promiscuous mode.

  2. trinitykites dice:

    device added successfully, but failed to connect.

  3. nauj dice:

    worked great with a JBL flip and ubuntu 12.04 running on a Thinkpad T430, thanks very much

  4. […] stumbled upon this website here, but did not managed to get it to work. I see that I cannot change my speakers in the gnome sound […]

  5. alessia cara dice:

    i loved your articles about how How JBL FLIP 4 , even I have posted one blog on the same: . hope you will also like my info too…
    you are my inspiration, keep about keep updating your blogs ….


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