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I'm relatively new to the Bluetooth mess.

I don't understand why there should be any reason that I cannot use a Bluetooth headset designed for a phone (I have a Motorola HX550) on a PC to, say, make a Skype call.

I'm on Windows 7 x64. Using what I have "lying around" (a "Silicon Wave" Bluetooth dongle; Silicon Wave is long gone and who knows who actually packaged this thing with the USB bits, but I do get a driver from Windows "no problem") I can pair to the HX550 but then Windows "cannot find the drivers" for its functions so there's no way to actually use it. These "drivers" are one for each profile that I select in the headset's properties in Windows; apparently each profile shows up as a different device in device manager.

So in searching around lots of people point to installing drivers from other manufacturers, etc. One of the most linked sites when people claim success is this one. But if I understand correctly, that's a driver replacement for the Bluetooth radio (the Silicon Wave in my case).

I don't care if I have to buy a new dongle. But you go on Amazon, etc. and you see piles of them with reviews like "awesome" followed by "doesn't work".

The Windows compatibility site which is often referred to by discussions on the Microsoft forums doesn't even seem to acknowledge the existence of headsets for phones. But it does list plenty of Bluetooth radios ("adapters", under networking).

But I'm not clear that my Bluetooth radio is the one that's preventing Windows from installing "drivers" for headset profiles. And I didn't have much success finding any manufacturers with drivers you can download for the headsets intended for phones.

I've also read about the Windows Bluetooth stack not supporting certain profiles, but I'm confused as to how exactly I go about replacing such "stack". My interpretation is that Bluetooth is suppose to standardize the functions ("profiles") so that as long as you have a hardware driver for the radio, everything else should work as long as the radio can talk to the headset. I'm guessing the stack is the "driver" that interprets the Bluetooth profiles and translates them into something windows can understand (e.g. "speaker", "microphone").

What it boils down to is:

  1. Can I use a "phone" headset with Windows 7 to make calls with Skype (which I think means it needs to show up as a microphone)? Routing audio back to the earpiece would be a nice bonus but honestly if it comes out of the main speakers I don't care.
  2. If so, how do I do it? If it involves new hardware (headset/radio) then so be it. Has anyone done this? It has important implications for people who put PC's in their cars, and I imagine there's quite a few of them out there.
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

As it turns out, the solution is to have the correct Bluetooth adapter on the PC. This is because the driver for the adapter must provide the appropriate profiles (Headset Profile - HSP in this case).

In my particular case, I solved the problem with a Medialink adapter.

If the specs of the adapter don't list the profiles supported by the driver, it's worth knowing that there are apparently two well-known Bluetooth stacks that support HSP. One is Broadcom's Widcomm, another is from Toshiba. More details in the Wikipedia article.

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