Thank you for your donation!


[HowTo] Creative BT-W2 USB-Bluetooth Audio adapter
#1
I just purchased a Creative BT-W2 USB-Bluetooth audio adapter because:
  • it supports the proprietary aptX audio codec as do my Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC headphones
  • it is (relatively) inexpensive, at least compared to the few other aptX-capable USB adapters I could find
It turned out to be pretty trivial to use this adapter with moOde once I stopped thinking of it as a Bluetooth device. You won't find the usual BT controller functions so you can't discover, pair, and connect in the usual way.

On my RPi3B+ with moOde r4.2 installed-
  • turn off the integrated BT controller in System configuration. (I'm sure BT control of other devices is still usable; I just didn't want to confuse myself while configuring for the BT-W2.)
  • plug in the BT-W2 adapter
  • Set the headphones into pairing mode following Sennheiser's instructions. This involves turning them off and then pressing and holding the power button until the headphones have powered up and the LED begins flashing blue/red. 
  • Pair and connect the BT-W2 to the headphones following Creative's instructions. This involves pressing and holding the unlabeled button on the end of the adapter until the flashing blue LED turns solid. The headphone "voice" announces the connection is established.
  • On the moOde Audio Config/MPD page, select USB audio device and apply.
Et Voila!

I'm now listening to my Sennheiser headphones. The combination sounds sweet, especially with a little crossfeed dialed in, but I haven't figured out yet how to prove the aptX codec is in use.

Regards,
Kents
Reply
#2
Thats cool, it just shows up as a USB audio device :-)

Maybe try lsusb -L and see what the device reports

-Tim
Reply
#3
(07-21-2018, 07:56 PM)Tim Curtis Wrote: Thats cool, it just shows up as a USB audio device :-)

Exactly. That's the detail I was missing at first.

Quote:Maybe try lsusb -L and see what the device reports

-Tim

Ummmm, "aplay -L" maybe?

It reports a bunch of different audio endpoints. Skipping past the RPi stuff, I see

Code:
default:CARD=W2
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   Default Audio Device
sysdefault:CARD=W2
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   Default Audio Device
front:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   Front speakers
surround21:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   2.1 Surround output to Front and Subwoofer speakers
surround40:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
iec958:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
dmix:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   Direct sample mixing device
dsnoop:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   Direct sample snooping device
hw:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   Direct hardware device without any conversions
plughw:CARD=W2,DEV=0
   Creative Bluetooth Audio W2, USB Audio
   Hardware device with all software conversions

Regards,
Kent

PS - After the fact, I'm thinking my post probably belongs in "Audiophilia/Audio Systems" instead of here in "FAQs and Guides". I may try to move it.
Reply
#4
(07-21-2018, 05:46 PM)TheOldPresbyope Wrote:
Code:
I just purchased a Creative BT-W2 USB-Bluetooth audio adapter because:

[list]
[*]it supports the proprietary aptX audio codec as do my Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC headphones
[*]it is (relatively) inexpensive, at least compared to the few other aptX-capable USB adapters I could find
[/list]
It turned out to be pretty trivial to use this adapter with moOde once I stopped thinking of it as a Bluetooth device. You won't find the usual BT controller functions so you can't discover, pair, and connect in the usual way.

On my RPi3B+ with moOde r4.2 installed-

[list]
[*]turn off the integrated BT controller in System configuration. (I'm sure BT control of other devices is still usable; I just didn't want to confuse myself while configuring for the BT-W2.)
[*]plug in the BT-W2 adapter
[*]Set the headphones into pairing mode following Sennheiser's instructions. This involves turning them off and then pressing and holding the power button until the headphones have powered up and the LED begins flashing blue/red. 
[*]Pair and connect the BT-W2 to the headphones following Creative's instructions. This involves pressing and holding the unlabeled button on the end of the adapter until the flashing blue LED turns solid. The headphone "voice" announces the connection is established.
[*]On the moOde Audio Config/MPD page, select USB audio device and apply.
[/list]
[i]Et Voila![/i]

I'm now listening to my Sennheiser headphones. The combination sounds sweet, especially with a little crossfeed dialed in, but I haven't figured out yet how to prove the aptX codec is in use.

Regards,
Kents

Did you ever decide if aptX is in use? I am interested to explore feeding a Naim MU-so with something quality. I tried DLNA and that sounds good. AptX might be close I am thinking and keep Moode player as the source.
Reply
#5
moOde's Bluetooth stack does not include the aptX codec because Qualcomm places a restrictive license on it that prohibits its distribution in Open Source Software. Its been reverse engineered but you would have to install it yourself at your own risk :-0. https://github.com/Arkq/openaptx

-Tim
Reply
#6
I put the device into a USB slot of a rPi 2. When I set the Bluetooth Renderer active things just hour glassed and declined to play. Pity.
Thanks for the heads up TIm.
Reply
#7
(10-11-2018, 07:01 AM)aBrianH Wrote: Did you ever decide if aptX is in use? I am interested to explore feeding a Naim MU-so with something quality. I tried DLNA and that sounds good. AptX might be close I am thinking and keep Moode player as the source.

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been out of town.

In short, no. Since it's a USB device so far as Linux is concerned, my go-to BT tools like bluetoothctl and hcidump are useless. I'm not going to spend $100+ for a device like Ubertooth One to passively/promiscuously sniff BT packets over the air, capture them to file, and then wade through them with kismet. The response from Creative Technology to another user who asked "how can I be sure" was basically, if the remote device supports AptX, then it "just works."

At some point I'll try A/B tests listening to my Sennheiser headphones first connected via the BT-W2 (should be AptX) and then connected via the RPi BT transceiver (for sure will be SBC). Haven't had time yet.

Regards,
Kent
Reply
#8
(10-12-2018, 02:55 PM)aBrianH Wrote: I put the device into a USB slot of a rPi 2. When I set the Bluetooth Renderer active things just hour glassed and declined to play. Pity.
Thanks for the heads up TIm.

Did you pair/connect with your remote device first? Have you looked at the relevant logs to see if there is useful diagnostic information there?
Reply


Forum Jump: