Saturday, March 11, 2006

Headset or audio gateway service in Windows XP SP2

Many ask about how to configure a Bluetooth headset on XP (SP2) and a few also want to make their PCs' as audio gateway.

Because the Microsoft Bluetooth stack in Windows XP (SP2) doesn't support such services, you can't install the services without the help from a third party software. My suggestion is override the Microsoft stack with the software that comes with your Bluetooth adapter. Usually, the third party software supports more services, incl. headset or audio gateway profile.

The built-in Bluetooth stack in SP2 is able to discover a Bluetooth headset but it shows no services on the Bluetooth Devices window.

I'll have to compile some screenshots to clear the matter. Hopefully within the next few days, the material is ready for presentation if my priority doesn't change.

In the meantime, please cast your experience with WIDCOMM, TOSHIBA, BlueSoleil, Bluez, or Microsoft Bluetooth stack. Which one you like most and what is your favorite Bluetooth service?

Step-by-step Guide: How to configure a Bluetooth headset in Windows XP (SP2)?


Anonymous said...

I'm trying to do exactly this... I'd like to use my Logitech Mobile Express Bluetooth headset with my laptop (an Inspiron 6000 with the Dell TrueMobile 350 Bluetooth adapter built in).

I can pair the headset with the laptop, but that's about it. I can't actually do anything with it.

I played briefly with the Toshiba BlueTooth stack, but I really dislike it. It's more important at this point to be able to hotsync my Treo 650 via BlueTooth to the laptop, but the Toshiba stack makes it virtually impossible to pair the Treo 650 to the laptop. With the stock Microsoft bluetooth stack, it's a piece of cake.

It appears that I'm going to have to forgo my headset functionality for now. I'd love to hear if there is a way to add additional services to the Microsoft stack, which, although rather devoid of features, gets the job done pretty well.

net4me said...


The next time you buy a Bluetooth accessory, you must look into its specification in detail. Having sifted thru Logitech website weeks ago, I found that Logitech prefers WIDCOMM. It supports stated Bluetooth specification but recommends WIDCOMM over other stacks.

Regarding the Microsoft stack, I think we as users share the same hope that in the not-so-distant future it will be updated with support for more profiles, perhaps in the next Service Pack (if any).

I have no known way to run another Bluetooth stack and Microsoft stack in Windows XP (SP2) simultaneously. Instead, I must choose one stack to run at any one time. If you are like me -love trying-, I switch back and forth from Microsoft to Toshiba, WIDCOMM, and even BlueSoleil to get my hardware working. But of course this is not a recommendation.

JDLien said...

Thanks for the reply Zeneca. I haven't tried the WIDCOMM stack... is that going to be compatible with my Dell Truemobile 350 bluetooth adapter? Do you have a URL where that might be downloaded?

Just for reference, you can get Toshiba's stack here: TOSHIBA Bluetooth Download Page

JDLien said...

Oh, and another thing... When I downloaded the Toshiba stack from there, it didn't exactly install real smoothly on my Dell. Of course, you can get the stack from Dell, and it probably works better on a Dell laptop.

net4me said...

Bluetooth has been a must add-on for most new portable and mobile products. More stacks - than what I listed - were available and they were designed to be embedded in those devices.

I forgot to say in my articles that it is always a priority to run the native stack (the one that comes with the hardware). But maybe in the end, the one that gets the job done quickly without much trouble will prevail.

I think WIDCOMM for Windows is only available if you buy a dongle from certain vendors. Check Logitech website, maybe your headset has a specific user guide to run on a Dell laptop as with other popular products.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to get my BT headset to output to the speakers in real time. This is easy with a corded mic. You simply go to "Volume Control -> Options -> Properties", select your sound card, select "Playback" from "Adjust volume for". Then under "Show the volume controls for", select "Mic". Finally, make sure "Mute" is not checked and Mic volume is set high. At this point you can talk into the mic and the sound comes out the speakers.

To do this with BT seems impossible. (Please prove me wrong ;-). The reason is that the "Bluetooth Audio" device used by th headset does not have the "Mic" checkbox mentioned above. It appears that I need somekind of software utility that can split or redirect the audio stream from the "Bluetooth Audio" device to the regular sound card device. Any ideas?

net4me said...


When configuring my Bluetooth headset, my installation is very straightforward. The headset takes over the mic and the speaker.

I'm not quite sure whether you wanted to use your Bluetooth headset as an audio input and output device or did you try to use it only for talking (as a mic) but you wish to listen via regular speakers? Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

how do you turn on bluetooth on a dell inspiron 6000

mine has it built in but i cant figuer out how to turn it on?

net4me said...


Dell Inspiron 6000 as well as many other notebook series use the popular Widcomm Bluetooth stack and software (note: Widcomm, Inc its maker was acquired by Broadcom).

If your Bluetooth card has been installed correctly, you will find a Bluetooth icon on the system tray (taskbar), My Bluetooth Places icon on the desktop, and Bluetooth Configuration icon on Control Panel.
You can activate your Bluetooth from one of the three choices above.

Here below the step-by-step guide to install headset on Widcomm:
- (make sure you have turned on your headset and make it visible)
- right-click the taskbar icon
- select Add a Bluetooth Device
- the Bluetooth Setup Wizard will appear.
- search for Bluetooth devices by clicking Next.
- select your Bluetooth headset and clicking Next.
- pair your headset with your PC. Enter your headset passkey (usually 0000/four zero's) and click Pair Now.
- on the Bluetooth Service Selection dialog box, select the Headset service by checking the box next to it
- click Finish.
- right-clicking on the headset icon and selecting Connect Headset.
- (press your headset button when you hear a beep.)

P.S. If your Bluetooth adapter hasn't been installed, this Dell support link might help you.

net4me said...

This is a correction to my previous answer regarding Bluetooth in Dell Inspiron 6000.

That applied to older Dell that came with Dell TrueMobile 300 Internal Bluetooth Card.

While Inspiron 6000 comes with TrueMobile 350 Bluetooth card (optional). This card conforms to Bluetooth v2.0+EDR spec and bundled with Toshiba Bluetooth stack. So if you have it installed already in your notebook, you can follow the instructions in link above (on this post) to activate your Bluetooth and install your headset.

[I gave reference to Toshiba stack because it seems it is now used by the majority replacing Widcomm in some products.]

Below are some relevant Dell support links. Hope they'll help you.

- For making sure your laptop comes with integrated Bluetooth card
- Driver Installation procedure
- Driver and firmware update download

Anonymous said...

Freakin sweet post man!  Check out mine with Bluetooth earpiece and Bluetooth headset.

Anonymous said...

I own a Dell Inspiron 6000 with the integrated 350 bluetooth card. Does the Toshiba stack that one can download from the Dell support site have a headset profile that can work with popular bluetooth headsets?

net4me said...

I think so. Please try it first. The setup is easy even for non-techie. You're gonna have fun with your Bluetooth headset. And share your experience with us.

Anonymous said...

I have a E1705 with 350 module that uses the Toshiba stack with its drivers. No matter what I did with the Toshiba drivers there was no headset, audio gateway, or hands free profile. I even tried the latest drivers from toshiba.

I ended up having to cold format the machine and start over. Now I have the Microsoft stack and nothing but mice and keyboards are supported.

Trying to find a widcomm driver is impossible and I think its mostly just a hack of simple software they are trying to rob customers blind for. This is something that should be in Windows as it is a standard.

Bottom line this is fault of the mismanagement of the proprietary format called bluetooth that support is not given for standards and some customers like widcomm are allowed to do what they are doing.

Whats going on is like the Nuclear power plant making each city use different power plugs so that when customers move from one city to another they have to buy new power cables for their appliances to they can make more royalties. Highway robbery.

I am trying to make my own cables (hacking the widcomm driver) but its still a pita. Please post if you have any information.

Anonymous said...

Awesome thread, thanks for the help.

net4me said...


nice to see an old thread becomes lively again. Btw, regarding your frusration when installing a Toshiba stack, I couldn't help much coz it depends on your hardware configuration. But you aren't alone, I got a bunch of e-mails describing similar difficulties when trying to switch from one stack to another.

The Bluetooth standard divides its functions into many categories. Those are the Bluetooth profiles. If the profile of two devices matches, you can connect otherwise it's no use.

Please add your comment to my latest post at this link.

Hopefully your wish my wish will become a reality.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I fixed another strange problem I had on my Dell Inspiron 6000. With the default windows drivers I had no succes in connecting the logitech mobile express bluetooth headset. I tried installing the drivers Dell offered me, and got myself stuck with a blue screen at windows logon!
Reinstalled a less agressive tweaked nLited windows xp, thinking my windows was tweaked too much down to handle this new bluetooth installation (without VB, WHS, enz.)... but no, fresh slipstreamed windows installed, driver-reboot resulted again in a bsod! Reinstalled again, installed BT before any other software/drivers -> same blue screen!
Went googling for it and found out the Toshiba Bluetooth stack was too old, and after trying the Dell BT driver for their latest XPS-system, which couldn't upgrade the firmware due to incompatibility, I used the Inspiron 6400 driver, and it works like a charm! To bad Dell isn't offering this driver also on the Inspiron 6000's page, I'll send them a copy of this message..

Many regards, hope someone finds this usefull!


Anonymous said...

Toshiba stack works well with vista 64 bit and has a headset profile that works with my platronics headset but the stack displays evaluation period of 23 days so hopefully someone will come up with an alternative before it expires.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE HELP!! I am trying to figure out if i can do a 3rd party software or what i need to do to get my plantronics 300 to work w/ my HP pavillion laptop via bluetooth. i do not have an audio gateway and have not drop down option under sounds and audio device properties to swithc to bluetooth. i keep getting error 0x81000015 and connection cannot be established. i need a audio gateway. i have checked into my registry and do not have a bluetooth option under micrsoft folder. I have bluetooth on my computer but do i need an dongle as well? SOMEONE Please help!!! thanks!


Anonymous said...

Hello, I would like to continue with comment from Wed Apr 12, 06:14:00 PM PDT about some gateway between bluetooth headset and standard soundcard.

Is it possible in windows to redirect audio input/output from bluetooth headset into speaker/mic input output of standard soundcard? Example: I say something into bluetooth headset microphone and I want to hear it in the speaker connected to soundcard.

My BT headset works perfectly, but this feature is missed to me.

thanks for help
my email:
please respond to my mail rather

Anonymous said...

Searched a lot on net for my problem. I am running Vista on a Dell 9300. Installed the bluetooth drivers from Dell website upon installing vista. Connected a stereo bluetooth headset and windows automatically downloaded updates and installed. Everything worked perfectly. Used it for a month. Suddenly audio started skipping. Thought its my headset so tried with another. Same problem. Audio is normal for 10 sec, starts skipping for 10sec then normal then skips... Has anyone faced a similar issue? I uninstalled all bluetooth drivers and reinstalled but problem remains.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried the System Restore feature? It's available in XP as well as Vista. Here is how to do it. Be sure to choose a Restore Point of the time just before the said event occured. In times, this method has solved many weird Windows automatic update syndrome :)

christianp said...

Srkwithlove said...
Searched a lot on net for my problem. I am running Vista on a Dell 9300. Installed the bluetooth drivers from Dell website upon installing vista. Connected a stereo bluetooth headset and windows automatically downloaded updates and installed. Everything worked perfectly. Used it for a month. Suddenly audio started skipping. Thought its my headset so tried with another. Same problem. Audio is normal for 10 sec, starts skipping for 10sec then normal then skips... Has anyone faced a similar issue? I uninstalled all bluetooth drivers and reinstalled but problem remains.


yes. this is the same with my problem. i'm using sony drbt22 bluetooth headset, thinkpad sl400 and vista home. i have set the bluetooth headset as primary speaker and it works, but the sound is skipping for a while for 1-5 seconds, then it goes again. i'm suspecting that this is about the stress threshold of the gateway pairing between the soundcard and the bluetooth device of the laptop.

ChopperCharles said...

Pay the $27 for BlueSoleil 8. Then everything will just work. I have a generic bluetooth USB dongle and Iogear headset. Iogear doesn't provide drivers. Bluetooth dongle didn't come with drivers. I tried installing stuff from all over, never with one iota of luck. I've got an Aspire One netbook with XP SP2, but no services were ever listed after pairing. The trail of BlueSoleil 8 immediately connected my headset... but only lasted 2 minutes or so before bouncing off the trail limitations. But it was the ONLY thing I found that worked after weeks of searching, so i bit the bullet and paid the money for it.

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