How To Use Bluetooth Speakers In Ubuntu

Brief: This tutorial shows you how to connect Bluetooth devices to your Ubuntu system.

How to setup bluetooth speakers in Ubuntu 14.04

One of the It’s FOSS reader, Tim Pedersen, requested a tutorial on setting up Bluetooth speakers in Ubuntu around 20 days back. What a coincidence! Because I have been thinking of buying a Bluetooth speaker for some time and I used Amazon Prime Day to buy me Inateck Mini Bluetooth Speakers a few days later. I am not going to review the speakers, at least in this post. The post is dedicated to setting up and using Bluetooth speakers in Ubuntu Linux.

Set up Bluetooth speakers in Ubuntu

For this tutorial, I have used Ubuntu 15.04 and above mentioned Inateck speakers but I presume that the tutorial should be applicable to other versions such as Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 12.04 and other speakers as well. Let’s see what do you need to get the Bluetooth Speaker working in Ubuntu.

Step 1

Turn Bluetooth on in both Ubuntu and the speaker. Usually, Bluetooth is turned on by default in Ubuntu but if it is not enabled, just look for Bluetooth in Unity Dash and go to its settings. Normally you should see Bluetooth icon in the Unity Panel, click on it to set up a new device.

setup bluetooth device in Ubuntu

Step 2

It will try to look for all the Bluetooth devices in the vicinity. Make sure that you have turned on the Bluetooth speakers and in the set up, you have chosen ‘All Types’.

Bluetooth device setup in Ubuntu 14.04

Step 3

Wait for some time and you’ll see that Ubuntu has recognized your Bluetooth speakers as headsets.

Bluetooth device setup in Ubuntu 14.04

Step 4

Once found, Ubuntu will try to setup the device. Have patience. Just wait for a few minutes. If the device setup fails or it asks for a password, try to restart both Ubuntu and speakers, it did work for me. Once the setup is finished, normally you would see a screen like this:

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Bluetooth Speaker Setup in Ubuntu 14.04

Step 5

Once you have successfully paired up the Bluetooth headsets or speakers with Ubuntu, you should see that Bluetooth icon in the top Unity panel has been changed to indicate that it is connected to other device. Click on it and you’ll see your connected speakers or headsets there. To successfully play the audio through Bluetooth device, make sure that you have set the visibility on in Bluetooth settings in Ubuntu.

Play audio through Bluetooth speakers in Ubuntu

Step 6

To play audio through the Bluetooth speakers, go to Sound Settings (it’s in the previous screenshot) and you’ll see the option of choosing Bluetooth. This is similar to what you do to play sound through HDMI in Ubuntu. Selecting that would start playing audio through the Bluetooth speakers.

Playing audio through bluetooth speakers in Ubuntu

If you do not succeed to play through Bluetooth speakers right after the setup. try restarting both Ubuntu and speakers. Surprisingly, the restart worked for me.

Worked for you?

This is all you need to do for setting up Bluetooth speakers in Ubuntu. Hope this helps you fix no sound in Bluetooth headsets in Ubuntu. Any questions or suggestions are always welcomed.

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No joy. From looking around the internet, this appears to be a problem with all linux distros. Hard to believe in 2015/16, something as basic as bluetooth speaker connection still does not function properly. Love my linux distro, but hate this persistent issue.

agree with you and it is now June 2017

i used fedora and it worked fine , but on ubuntu i tried 2 speakers without succes

Hello i am having ubuntu 16.

Its shown in the list of output devices.but after that when i try to play any video its not picking up the speaker instead picking up my laptop speaker, kindly help and suggest

GREAT ARTICLE.

please add that after doing this you need to kill current audio deamon to start playing.
Alt+Ctrl+T:
pulseaudio -k

default option is still showing after the running the command you have mentioned any other suggestion.

i am having ubuntu 16 in my laptop

Just installed Linux Mint 18.1. Bluetooth speaker would not pair.

Went to software manager and installed package "Blueman' then went to "all applications" from , " menu" , right clicked "Bluetooth" then "uninstall".

Blueman icon showed up on "Panel", clicked on it, followed the very intuitive menu and within about one minute my bluetooth speakers worked fine. Be sure and go to "sound settings" and select the speakers.

Very simple.
https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/328721/bluetooth-not-working-in-linux-mint-18

followed all this and it still does not work

I just got the Bose Soundlink Color 2 and following the instructions here my Ubuntu 16.10 says that it connected successfully, but the indicator on the speaker shows that it's still in the connecting mode and never finishes connecting no matter how long I wait.

Hi, I have an old Toshiba Satellite running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. I am using a USB Asus Bluetooth dongle and it connects nicely to a Logitech bluetooth audio adapter that is wired to my speakers. This setup works really nice. I have also been able to create a simulated audio sink that allows me to use both these Bluetooth speakers and the built-in speakers on the Toshiba.
Now what I would want to do is to buy and connect to a second bluetooth adapter and speakers in another room (geometry would allow for good reception); and I am wondering if this can be done (and preferably with the same make of Logitech bluetooth audio adapter, as it was easy to set up)?

in ubuntu 15.10 the connection was succesful, but the sound quality is very poor!

Everything work except for step 6. The sound goes to the internal speakers regardless how I select the output sink. If I back out to All Settings and then back to the Sound Settings again, the internal speakers are always selected. Maybe I just don't understand the user interface. How do I select the sink? Is it just to click on one or do I have to do something else?

I got exactly the same problem, I dont know how to select the external speakers in step 6... If you solved the problem, please tell me how :)
Thanks in advance,
Sandra

Hi ! When I try to enable my bluetooth in Ubuntu 14.04, it is completely grayed out and I cannot enable it on the configuration page. So when I try to get ubuntu to try to find my speaker, it just goes on and on without ever finding it. Any thoughts on how to get the bluetooth enabled ? Thank for any help in advance !