iPhone Tips & Tricks: Stream audio from your iPhone to bluetooth headset

iPhone Tips & Tricks

If you are one of those who was disappointed not to see Bluetooth’s A2DP profile in the iPhone feature list then here is some good news for you as there is a workaround.

Thanks to a tip from one of TUAW’s reader, you should be able to stream audio from your iPhone to a Bluetooth headset.

What is A2DP?

In order to use Bluetooth, a device must be compatible with certain Bluetooth profiles. A Bluetooth profile is a standardized interface between Bluetooth devices. Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) is a profile that defines how high quality audio (stereo or mono) can be streamed from one device to another over a Bluetooth connection – for example in this context, music streamed from an iPhone to a wireless headset.

Now that we all know what A2DP stands for lets find out how you can stream audio from your iPhone to a Bluetooth headset. Audio here means audio from audio tracks as well as videos.

So achieve this you need to do the following:

  • Pair a Bluetooth headset with your iPhone, switch on your headset so that it can perform the handshake with the iPhone.
  • Go into the Visual Voicemail screen and tap the Audio button in the upper right (which is otherwise a Speaker button when your headset isn’t on and communicating with your phone)
  • You’ll receive an audio selection dialog much like the in-call dialog box that allows you to choose where to send the iPhone’s audio.
  • Select the Headset option, then switch over to the iPod and begin playing music or a video.

And you should be able to listen to the audio from the headset, however the only not so nice part of this iPhone tip is that the audio still plays from iPhone’s speakers.

This essentially helps you remove the cable clutter associated with a wired headset. So if you get this working don’t forget to thank Earle Davies the reader at TUAW for the latest iPhone tip.

Don’t forget to share your experience in the comments below.


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  • Pete

    Now this is truly a problem solver for me. No more cables! Cant count the times ive had the earbud yanked out trying to drive. Great tip. Hats off to Earl

  • yoyoyo

    The audio fidelity is not as close as the headphones. Probably good for audio books only and not music.

  • J

    I agree with yoyoyo as far as the audio fidelity, btw I'm using a Motorola HT820. Great tip nonetheless.

  • moe

    its not wrkin

  • AJ

    My car has bluetooth and I can use my iPhone to make or get calls. I can select the car (audi a8) from the audio list as described in this article, but I still can't listen to music through the car's speakers. Does anyone have any workaround for that?


  • patty

    the comment about not being able to listen to music through your car speakers, if you dont have an AUX port than you cant I have a BMW and that has ipod compatibilities

  • Dan Keller

    I use the Apple Blue tooth and it worked. Wish it would shut off the speakers though. ;(

  • Overseas Caller

    This solution does not work with jailbroken iphones using services other than AT&T because visual voicemail works only on the AT&T network. Regardless, it would make much more sense to have this feature – music on bluetooth – incorporated into the normal settings option the iphone.

  • pauldy

    Great tip, the problem with the audio is that it isn't a2dp it uses the headset profile. What the iphone needs is support for both profiles. If they support a2dp you will be able to get audio out of the device that is much closer to the headphones quality. Leopard finally has support for the a2dp profile so maybe we will see it on the iPhone soon.

  • Cookieberry

    I love it, like the others the speakers on the phone should be shut off.

  • risingmoonfart

    This also works and you can control the songs instead of losing audio and switching back and forth and no it doesnt use your minutes the only bad thing is you have to reset your phone to get proper phone funtion back:

    1. Pair your headset, make a test call to see if it works. End the call normally. or go to voicemail to check if your paired.
    2. Dial *#307#, press call.
    3. Press the answer button twice with 2 seconds delay in your bluetooth headset (If you don\\\'t do this correctly, you will continue to listen the ringtone in headset)
    4. Press answer on iPhone.
    5. Press the home button, do NOT end the call.
    6. Open iPod and play a song, YOU WONT HEAR SOUND!!! from iPhone, nor headset.
    7. Once it is playing, press the home button.
    8. Open phone.
    9. Dial 0, press Call.
    10. It will ring again, answer.
    11. Press audio source, select your headset.
    12. Press home button, do NOT end call. (we\\\'re almost there)
    13. Open iPod and play anything you like.

    Shorter Way:

    1. *#307# Dial, press the bluetooth headset button twice.
    2. Answer on iPhone, press source.
    3. Select bluetooth headset.
    4. Press home button, open iPod, play anything.

  • Risingmoonfart

    Forgot to say that this works i tested it on my 8gig Iphone 1.1.4 i found this tutorial on some bluetooth chat site.

  • PropfSaint

    Well, this hack works if you leave the iPhone in the Visual Voicemail mode. But on my Motorola T505, when you exit Visual Voicemail – like to change playlists – it stops playing your tunes through the car speakers. And of course, the built-in speakers continue to play the audio regardless of what mode you are in. I haven't tried it yet but I guess if you plug in the headphones or a headphone adapter into the iPhone it should stop speaker playback.

  • Shaikat

    Thanks alot bro ! Hats off to the people who have came up with this hack ! I could not appreciate it more. I was so frustrated at 1st cuz it wouldnt just pair to listen to music. But using hack it really helps. Thanks alot.

  • drakermom

    this option seems to have gone away with the 2.0 update. Anyone else had the same problem>

  • bn2wild

    I find that the selection available of playing voice mail only shows SPEAKER. Doesn't allow other paired Bluetooth devices to work, except after using DIALING pad, then source selection shows other Bluetooth devices available to choose from.

    Am I the only one with this problem? It is a standard non-cracked phone 2.0

  • TC Baker

    Thanks but it does not work with Motorola S9 headset. I managed to get the phone to route audio to the S9, which is a stereo headset. On a phone call, only the left side ear insert produces any sound. Switching over to ipod shuts off the S9 completely. I have the 2.0.2 update, don't know whether it may have worked prior or not.

  • I bought an iCombi bluetooth adapter to try to make the S9 work and initially it would not until I just discovered the post: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=552368
    That solved it! Got stereo playing through the Motorola S9 from iPhone 3G. Many thanks to shenaniganz08.

  • Dinesh Kondhalkar

    It works fine but when the phone gets auto locked the audio does not work seamlesly. There are interruptions and long gaps in the audio. After you activate the phone again it works fine.

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