So for a long time I have been looking for a way to use my computer as a Bluetooth headset for my phone. This way I can use my headset to take calls without picking the phone up.

I used to do this just fine on my old computer with an Intel bluetooth chip and Windows 7. With the Windows 8 update, however, this functionality was lost and I thought nothing of it.

On my current computer, which came with Windows 8 and upgraded to Windows 10, I have an Intel 7260. I suddenly found the need for that Bluetooth call audio functionality again, so I started digging. What I learned was that back in Windows 8, Microsoft implemented a native Bluetooth stack that excluded many important functions, including this one. When I pair my phone, the only option I get is to transfer files. Microsoft's official stance is that it is up to hardware manufacturers to implement any additional Bluetooth functions in their drivers. Intel relies exclusively on this native stack, so their Bluetooth chip is neutered. They blame Microsoft for it and redirect you to them.

So after some research, I found that Broadcom still implements a custom Bluetooth stack in their WIDCOMM software. I bought a Broadcom-based Bluetooth dongle and just installed it. While it has much greater functionality, it is still missing the call audio feature.

Here are the options that are now available to me:

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Looking online, others have been able to get call audio working with WIDCOMM:

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Is there something that I am missing?


To anyone who may be reading this now, this is a software problem with WIDCOMM. It does not support phone audio on Windows 8 or later. Notice how all of the screenshots showing this feature have the Windows 7 style.

I have purchased a CSR based bluetooth device that came with a CSR Harmony software disk and after installing it I was able to use the Hands-Free audio service to use my computer headset with my phone.

The service is a bit limited. There is no interface to place calls from the computer, but once an outbound call has been made from the phone, the Hands-Free interface will work.

Specifically, I purchased the Zexmte Bluetooth 4.0 USB Adapter, able to be found on Amazon.

EDIT: Additional warning: This software is very temperamental. There are certain procedures you have to follow to pair the devices and reconnect them, or the drivers will literally break and the Bluetooth radio will not function until the CSR Harmony software is completely reinstalled.

To pair devices, one must use the CSR Harmony interface. Double click the bluetooth icon in the system tray to open the interface. Click "Add Device" and click the phone option. Use this dialogue to pair the devices. Initializing pairing from the phone has given me severe problems.

On the other hand, once the phone is paired with the computer, subsequent disconnection and reconnection should be done from your phone. Do not use the CSR Harmony interface to connect and disconnect the phone, as this will crash the drivers, requiring re-installation thereof.

One last word of advice: it's a good idea to disable the "Media Audio" service through your phone's bluetooth paired device settings, so that you are not annoyed by the media player that will automatically pop-up upon connection if this setting is enabled.

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