Connecting wireless headphones

To begin with, I’m a total newbie in this, so forgive me if this is something everyone knows (but I couldn’t find an answer in the discourse). I want to use Ardour on Ubuntu connected with my wireless headphones. I am able to connect headphones to Ubuntu, Ardour is totally able to record sounds with the headphones (or so it seems) but it keeps giving audio output to my laptop’s main speakers and I can’t figure out how to channel the output to my headphones. Any help/tips on this are much appreciated :slight_smile:

I’d try looking at the output routing on the master channel (at the bottom end of the channel strip in the mixer window), to see if the headphone driver appears as an output device in the “hardware” tab.

Note, however, that if your wireless headphones use Bluetooth and you are using them to monitor during recording, you won’t get very good results because there is a lot of delay in a Bluetooth link.

I only see ‘system’ in that tab, what am I supposed to see? Also, I just found that Ardour is using my laptop’s mic instead of my headphone’s, meaning it’s totally ignoring my earphones.

As far as I know it is impossible to use bluetooth headphones with Ardour because Ardour uses Alsa to
connect to audio hardware, and there is no Alsa driver for bluetooth. Bluetooth can only be connected via Pulse audio, but Ardour does not use Pulse. However, you can buy a bluetooth USB doogle that has uses an Alsa driver, as a workaround. There used to a an Alsa driver for bluetooth, but for some reason it was removed.

1 Like

For various reasons the bluetooth stack is mostly in user space meaning that it would be hard (although not impossible) to write a kernel driver for bluetooth audio devices and due to the dynamic nature of bluetooth devices pulseaudio is a better fit for it then jack. So the best option to use a bluetooth is to use Ardour with jack and then bridge jack to pulseaudio. I have no idea how well this will work and probably not at all suitable for live monitoring during a recording

Not sure if this will automatically work (as you can get it to with a normal USB/PCI(e) audio device and jack2 or jack1 with dbus patch) so might require some manual setup.

1 Like

You will need to use jack to make this work. You will also need to bridge jack to pulse where your headphones are. So instead of connecting your output to system_1/2 you would connect it to whatever your pulse bridge input is. Getting pulse to send an input directly to one of it’s outputs would be something with the monitoring setup within pulse… which I have never tried and don’t have the hardware to try… so I can’t help there. I believe the next version of Ardour which is still not ready for use, will be able to connect directly to pulse (at least one way).

1 Like


However, keep in mind that bluetooth has a very high latency (at best ~40ms, more commonly 100-200ms). When mixing (playback only) this is not an issue. Yet when recording, and using the headphones for monitoring everything over 10ms is usually not acceptable for musicians.

Still not a kernel driver :wink: I had completely forgoten ALSA itself has a userpace component as well.
That said this might be usable by jack/Ardour directly. If I had a bluetooth headphones I would try this out. Thanks for the find!

that’s a lot of info…can you give some resources I can use to see how this works? and thanks for the reply :slight_smile:

wouldn’t there be any plugins or something for this (or is this is something that Ardour doesn’t let plugins change)? asking just because I am unable to find any dongle uses ALSA instead of Pulse :confused:

Look here for more discussion on bluetooth headphones including an example of a dongle:

Also I see many bluetooth transmitters that have a 3.5mm jack to plug into a headphone jack.

Bluetooth also has high latency (at least 40ms) so its not good for recording.

This topic was automatically closed 28 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.