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After installing Raspbian Strech from NOOBS_v3_0_0 on my Raspberry 3B I have observed that setting up Bluetooth is not a completely easy matter. Most helpful was the installation of the BT manager as explained here:

https://thepihut.com/blogs/raspberry-pi-tutorials/17841464-bluetooth-installing-and-using-bluetooth-on-the-raspberry-pi

As I was able to print on a HP sprocket, the BT device clearly works.

Now to my question: Is it possible to listen to audio via Raspberry's BT? I am able to connect and disconnect to a BT stereo device. The BT manager states "connected" resp. "disconnected" and the connecting/disconnecting sounds from the stereo are audible. However, there is no sound when I play a locally stored piece of music using vlc or an internet video stream using e.g. YouTube. By the way, vlc -> Audio -> Audio Device does not show the BT-connection as an option as it does on my laptop installation. Moreover, is not a vlc problem, as the analog connection via 3.5mm wire works.

Any hint is welcome. Thanks xenialUser

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I may be able to contribute a bit. I have a 3B+ and use the built-in BT to connect to a Logitech Audio Adapter which feeds my stereo. On first attempts using VLC, audio was horrible, mostly silence with occasional blasts of sound - severe stuttering to say the least.

However, using either mpg123 (for mp3s) or aplay (with wav files), sound played fine, without stuttering, etc. My hearing isn't the greatest, and for now, the sound system is in another room, so I won't claim it's audiophile quality, but at least it plays.

I had read that some feel using the built-in BT and wifi together was a bad combination that led to stuttering. So far, I haven't seen that to be a problem with mpg123 and aplay. I am able to play an mp3 file from my NAS (via wifi to the Pi) and stream the output via BT although testing hasn't been extensive.


Update May 14. Pi 3B+ with a clean install of Raspbian Stretch:

VLC plays mp3 and wav files fine through built-in BlueTooth to either a BT speaker or a Logitech Audio Adapter. No stuttering at all. The files are being streamed from a NAS via wifi (works with both 2.4 & 5 GHz). This is contrary to many reports that built-in BT and wifi don't play well together.

I also installed Logitech Media Server which so far only goes to the analog jack. I'm trying to get that audio to the BT but haven't managed to yet. Interestingly, I can stream internet audio via LMS out the analog jack and play audio files via VLC / BT simultaneously with it all coming in on wifi.

  • Thnxs, Paul, aplay seems to be part of ALSA package, I'll try. Probably, we cannot expect too much from Raspberry's sound capabilities. – Raspbian Beginner May 15 at 17:47

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