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Dear Berry: Can my Bluetooth headset stream audio from my BlackBerry Bold 9900?

Dear Berry
By Dear Berry on 5 May 2012 09:08 am EDT
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Hello again dear readers. It's time to once again open up the mailbag and clear up any BlackBerry woes you may have. This week's question comes from Steve and he writes:

I have a bold 9900 with Bluetooth which works great but I have a question...how do I use my Bluetooth to listen to media from my blackberry?.
Thanks S

After a few emails, Steve needed to know if his current Bluetooth headset was compatible but didn't know which model he had. All he knew was that he owned a Plantronics Voyager with dual pairing. Not all Bluetooth headsets possess the ability to stream media and some manufacturers have actually re-released the same model with the feature which is even more confusing. 

Dear Steve,

In order to stream music from your device to your headset you need what's called A2DP capability. Simply put, it's a profile that lets you stream audio over a Bluetooth connection. Both devices must support this feature. In this case, we're going with the BlackBerry Bold 9900 which has the profile. Therefore, your Bluetooth headset must also possess this protocol or you'll only be able to answer phone calls.

Now here's my own personal methods that I've employed in the past to see if any of my old Bluetooth headsets possess the capability to stream audio. I've found these tips to work so that way you won't have to scramble for the owners' manual or the original box. In your case, Plantronics released a few different models under that name; some had the streaming capability while others didn't. In this case I'll be using my Plantronics Voyager Pro+ as an example.

Method # 1 - Does the headset appear in the menu in the media player?

Headset Menu Option

If your headset is compatible all you would have to do is click the menu button while in the music application and select the option to activate your headset (it will show the model). In this case my Plantronics Voyager Pro+, which is A2DP compatible, appears in the menu. If all you see is the option to "Activate Speakerphone" or "Activate Handset" then it's probably not able to stream media stored on your device.


Method # 2 - Does the connection box show the Stereo Audio profile?

Stereo Audio

There's a little box that should pop up each time your accessory connects that says whether or not you've made the connection with your headset. For example, it should say "Connection to Voyager Succeeded." Below that line it lists all the features or profiles that headset supports. As some manufacturers use the word "Stereo" to describe the A2DP Bluetooth profile that is what we'll be looking for. If only "Handsfree" appears then you do not have the ability to stream music but only answer phone calls.

    Thank you for sending this in Steve! If you need further assistance, be sure to hit up our BlackBerry Help page or check out all of the stereo headsets at ShopCrackBerry.

    Let's turn this over to the CrackBerry Nation and see what they think. This was just a tip I've learned when sorting through all of the headsets I accumulated over the years. I've found this to work devices running OS5 and higher. Do you agree with what I told Steve? Sound off in the comments below.

    -Berry

    Have a question about BlackBerry etiquette? Need advice on how to cope with your BlackBerry addiction? Dear Berry has you covered and there's no question too big or problem too small. Submit any of your BlackBerry woes by email to dearberry@crackberry.com or on Twitter @DearBerryCB.

    See you next week!

    6 comments

    breakmedown

    I just bought the Motorola S10-HD and have a 9900. This seems to overcomplicate it. I turned my headset on, turned my BT on, and hit play. It was that simple.

    PatrickMJS

    Dear Berry, I definitely appreciated your lil how-to explanation. Well written, clear, easy to follow... I'm sure Steve & other BT headset users will be able to figure out how to get their streaming audio.

    Regarding the comment from "breakmedown", I think it's great that Motorola has been able to simplify the setup like that. But I have one question: you stated all you had to do was buy the headset, power on the phone & power on the headset then press play. In my experience, the first time you try to use a new bluetooth device, there is a pairing process to go thru, like what was described in the Dear Berry column above. Once the 2 devices are paired, the settings are saved and the NEXT time you bring the 2 devices together, they pair themselves automatically. But not the first time. Are you sure there was no initial pairing procedure you needed to go through, or perhaps someone else did that step for you. My question isn't meant to doubt what you wrote, just puzzled is all.

    breakmedown

    Not really. The only thing I would've had to do was go in and tell my Berry to search for the new device (which wasn't even covered in the article). It didn't even prompt me for a password or code or anything. The article isn't about how to pair a BT device to your phone. It was talking about how to get (stereo) music to play through the BT device.

    I experimented tonight. I turned my music on, turned my headphones on, and then my BT on the phone, and it actually switched over to the headset without even having to touch the phone. Now that's pretty slick!

    thatplaybookguy

    soon with the gate device it will be tap and go AND use any headphones.

    MaxPayne79

    you can already stream music and radio into any bluetooth earpiece regardless weather it's a2dp compliant or not. the big but is that native BB apps do not let you do that, but 3rd party apps do. apps like Stitcher and Tune in radio and that one with bass not as it's icon actually let you pump any thing it streams into a mono earpiece. naturally the sound quality is not very good but for am radio and podcasts, it's perfect. streaming services such as rdio or rhapsody or slacked don't actually have tyne option HOWEVER, once to you switch it over in Tune in for example, everything else will stream through the earpiece as long as it's connected until you go back to tune it and switch it again. it's crazy, and i know it sounds that way, but trust me when i tell you i've been doing this for years. i spent 20 dollars one an earpiece for news, am radio and podcasts. if i wanna listen to music i sometimes pump it through the earpiece but i stick to acoustic music or hip hip. no rock. it's not listenable. if i really wanna go all out, i put on a wired head set.

    if u have any other questions, just pm me or email me at film4dinner@hotmail.com :)

    niss63

    Yes, the response is correct according to what I've experienced.

    As an aside, some apps work better than others in this regard. (e.g. The plantronics voyager + does well with most apps, but google voice won't play back messages via the bluetooth device - only through the handset or via speakerphone.)