Mission: Get Bluetooth Stereo Headset Working in Linux. Current Status: EPIC FAIL

I’ve owned a Sony Ericsson HBH-DS970 for nearly 2 years now, and I use it pretty often with my previous phone ( the Sony Ericsson P1i ), and my current iPhone 3G. I also use it occasionally on my laptop. It has worked fine in Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7. Getting it to work with Linux, however has been an EPIC FAIL. The last time I tried it was probably a year ago, and I just gave up in frustration and continued to use my EP-630 as the earphone.

The situation however changed when recently some bloody fucking bastard person stole my EP-630 in office – since I don’t have any other headset, I got all “enthu” about trying to get this ting working. And now all that enthusiasm has gone, and I’m on the verge of giving up again. So let me point as to what steps I *have* tried.

Result: FAIL. Couldn’t build the required files, couldn’t get the required development files – packages do not exist as they have been obsoleted, and the method itself obsoleted.

Result: FAIL. Configured the .asoundrc file, added hcid.conf files, on testing with mplayer got an error message:

[AO_ALSA] alsa-lib: audio/pcm_bluetooth.c:1607:(audioservice_expect) BT_GET_CAPABILITIES failed : Input/output error(5)
[AO_ALSA] Playback open error: Input/output error

Tried with arecord:

sathya@shaman:~> arecord -D bluetooth -f S16_LE | aplay -D bluetooth -f S16_LE
ALSA lib audio/pcm_bluetooth.c:1607:(audioservice_expect) BT_GET_CAPABILITIES failed : Input/output error(5)
arecord: main:608: audio open error: Input/output error
ALSA lib audio/pcm_bluetooth.c:1607:(audioservice_expect) BT_GET_CAPABILITIES failed : Input/output error(5)
aplay: main:608: audio open error: Input/output error

Result: FAIL. Tried their script, seemed to work but no. At the end of script got an error message

Starting up...
Traceback (most recent call last): File "", line 7, in bus_id = manager.ActivateService('audio')
dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.UnknownMethod: Method "ActivateService" with signature "s" on interface "org.bluez.Manager" doesn't exist

The author mentions this error is because this method is now obsolete.

Got stuck when I issued:

pactl load-module module-alsa-sink device="bluetooth"

Error being:

sathya@shaman:~> pactl load-module module-alsa-sink device="bluetooth"
Failure: Module initalization failed


Result: Didn’t bother. Same as attempt #2.

I’ve just about given up trying to get this damn thing working. If you have any suggestions/advice, do drop a comment. FYI: I’m on openSUSE, my headset is a Sony Ericsson HBH DS970.


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  3. I hate to leave you in the lurch like that even though my article was not related to Suse at all. Contact me and I am sure we can get it to work. Then you can post a win instead of a fail :)

  4. Hi dude this works but the audio’s are not getting fixed for me…How to do that…I tried it in my friends PC but i was not able to fix the audio settings…

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