I have A Raspberry Pi 3 running OpenElec. I can pair and connect to my bluetooth speaker. What additional software do I need to install to play an mp3 file to the bluetooth speaker?

The current config only supports audio output to HDMI or analog, so output to bluetooth cannot be selected. Can this be achieved with OpenElec, or should I try another OS? I couldn't get it to work on the Raspberry Pi 1, even after installing pulse-audio etc (tried OpenElec and OSMC).

Have found a solution: Installed latest version of Raspbian-Jessie 2016-03-18 on Pi3. Added pulseaudio and A2DP suppport + bLueman : sudo apt-get install blueman pulseaudio pavucontrol pulseaudio-module-bluetooth Added vlc (media player) see: http://plugable.com/2016/03/14/listening-to-bluetooth-audio-on-your-raspberry-pi-3-pi-2-or-pi-zero No modification to config files required. All of this was done via ssh from my laptop.


2 Answers 2


Apparently Bluetooth audio isn't supported in OpenELEC. There's a somewhat apologetic explanation as to why not on their wiki:

Bluetooth audio is not supported on OpenELEC. What? in such a modern OS!? ..my laptop/desktop/phone/tablet/etc. has supported this for years!!!

Yup we agree it is a little stupid, but (and it's a big but) supporting Bluetooth audio under Linux requires pulse audio (not alsa) and to use pulse you must compile Kodi to exclusively use pulse audio. If you do this Bluetooth audio works (yay!) but pulse only supports 2-channel stereo output so you lose all the multi-channel (5.1, 7.1, etc.) output capabilities in Kodi (boo). As multi-channel support is rather fundamental to a mediacentre distro like OpenELEC and the project team does not have the manpower to release both normal and pulse builds; we only release builds compiled to use alsa that include multi-channel audio support.

Should things ever change to make Bluetooth audio a sensible addition we will add support, but for the foreseeable future this is not going to happen.

You should be able to get Kodi to work with Bluetooth audio as long as you install it into a fresh Raspbian image, rather than using OpenELEC. From Kodi's wiki:

When would I want PulseAudio?

You should use PulseAudio when:


Whenever you plugin your Bluetooth headset, Kodi audio will continue over this new device (when Default 'PULSE' device is chosen)


The lastest version of Openelec allows the use of Bluetooth Audio I checked it with JBL Charge and it worked. It now support PULSE AUDIO.

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