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Sometimes we feel the need to write stuff down because it’s obscure yet important. In this case, I’m putting this technical info online for others who may search for the key terms here, saving a little headache along the way. For anyone running Windows 7 and wanting to use the wireless headphones you use with your phone/portable music player, this article’s for you.

I managed to score a pair of BH-905‘s when Harvey Norman did an ‘internet special’ for the launch of Nokia’s n900 mobile computer in Australia. Unfortunately, this brought up my old bugbear – Microsoft removed some Bluetooth support from Windows 7 before release – and not just ‘some’, what I’d class as highly useful. Bluetooth headphones. This understandably got me cranky as Linux works with both my ROKR305‘s and the Nokia 905’s (what is it with decent BT headphones and “’05” model numbers?) out of the box. In Microsoft’s wisdom, they decided to let vendors supply A2DP software from here on in. Whilst I could’ve more or less happily survived in Linux, some of my Steam games won’t (this may change in the future, but I digress)

After screwing around with a couple of cheap adapters, I reached the conclusion that these adapters are cheap because BlueSoliel is bundled, but charged for if you want to use more than a sparrow’s fart of data. And junk. I say junk as I only want one feature that’s missing, and I’ll be screwed if I’m going to pay a bunch of cash for it. To get away with using these cheap adapters without BlueSoliel, I also had to elbow some support files out of some earlier windows package for mobiles that’s since been desupported. Now, I like free operating systems as much as the next person. But if I pay for something, I’d like it to work. It’s not as if the Vista/7 driver model’s brand spanking new. Can you guess that the entire situation was raging me?

Imagine my joy, then, when I spotted on the shelf at the local PC store the ASUS BT21 adapter. Asus are a well-known brand. It stated Windows Vista support with A2DP. I trembled, yes even a little weak at the knees. Bought it, took it home, plugged it in. Deader than a dodo. So the Vista drivers hadn’t made it to Microsoft’s online driver DB. I then installed the Vista drivers.

The ROKR worked without a hitch. The 905, though. Minor issue about two ‘Bluetooth peripheral device’ entries. The 905 wouldn’t connect and I suspected these ‘Driver not found’ entries in Device Manager as the cause. A brief googling turned up an article describing how to change the Widcomm .inf file so it would work. This was a bit of fun as the file was ‘in use’ and ‘protected’ by the BT subsystem. However after stopping BT, firing up Notepad++ as Admin (to be sure, to be sure ;), copy/pasting the hardware ID’s of the non-working devices in to the btwavdt.inf file’s BTWAUDIO section, paying attention to increment the DeviceDesc. Saved this file and started the BT system up again.

Magic. All I had to do was pair the device as usual, then rightclick on the device in the ‘device view’ and select ‘Headphones’ as a service. Then switch the sound output to use the cans. Yay! No more strangling myself with headphone cables when I do a 360 in my swivel chair. I might note that the drivers that came with the Asus adapter came with a bunch of other features and stuff that seem very useful, too. If you’re in the market, would happily recommend it.

P.S. I’m glad I’m not using a phone that doesn’t support previous/next track select via AVRCP. Would drive me mental! 😉

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