Fixing Bluetooth Headset Playback Profile on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

[Edited 16-May-2019: Added autoconnect option.]

I recently started using a pair of Bluetooth headphones with my computer, and initially had a problem with the connection. Specifically, it was pairing properly, but defaulted to the HSP/HFP headset profile (which is suitable for making calls) rather than the A2DP profile (which is higher quality and suitable for media playback). To make matters worse, when I tried to switch to the A2DP profile using blueman, this failed and the profile remained as it was.

It took a bit of online digging to find the solution to this, which is why I’m writing up this blog post. Eventually I stumbled upon an article by Jean David, in which the author explains what to do. In my case, starting with an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS setup where I already had all the necessary bluetooth and audio packages installed, all that was necessary was to edit the BT audio configuration file:


And make sure it has the following section:


It is also important to make sure there is nothing else in this file, as it may easily interfere with the configuration. Once the file is edited, simply restart the bluetooth service:

sudo service bluetooth restart

At this point you should be good to go, with any headset starting by default in A2DP (high fidelity) mode.

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