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Windows 10 has a Bluetooth Stack included and recognizes most Bluetooth Sticks without any problems. However, while Windows does support A2DP, it does not act as a sink and therefore, you cannot e.g. stream Audio from Android to the Computer, which is what I want.

The manufacturer of my BT Stick does not provide any Windows 10 Drivers, since Microsoft does this. I tried the older software, which can act as A2DP sink, but it has a memory leak that crashes my PC after longer sessions of listening to music, which is basically every day (I listen to music while programming/working). (Basically I can watch the non-pooled Kernel memory go up by the second when listening to music and can make it stop by stopping the music)

So my question is, is there any alternative, universal driver I can use that can act as said sink to receive Audio from my Phone on my PC?

7 Answers 7

23

TLDR

If you are running Windows 10 2004 or newer (which you should), download and run the excellent open-source program AudioPlaybackConnector and you're good to go.

Official GIF:

AudioPlaybackConnector Official GIF


2020-05-29:

Microsoft is re-adding A2DP sink support to Windows 10 in version 2004.

In the codebase of Windows 10 preview builds, references to Bluetooth’s A2DP Sink feature has been spotted again, suggesting that the feature is making a comeback.

A2DP Sink feature found in code

https://www.windowslatest.com/2020/01/26/windows-10-a2dp-sink-bluetooth-support/


However, while Windows 10 BT driver did implement A2DP Sink protocol, you still need an application to explicitly open the connection to your device. Without said application, audio from your device will not be piped to your PC, despite the device might be shown as "ready" in sound control panel.

Device "ready" but no audio

2021-06-19:

This answer originally recommended a UWP application - Bluetooth Audio Receiver to open the connection. However it had several problems - notably, its window has to be kept open and cannot be minimised to the notification area. It is also not open-source, and only available from Microsoft Store.

Per @mishamosher's advice (thank you), I now recommend AudioPlaybackConnector by Richard Yu @ysc3839. It is open-source and very minimalistic. It also has a more familiar look and feel to the Settings App, which is nice IMO.

After opening the connection successfully, your A2DP source device should show some kind of Bluetooth status. Here's Android for example:

Bluetooth speaker enabled on device
10
  • Thank you for this. I updated to build 2004 yesterday, and by pure happenstance, I tried for the first time today to play a podcast from my iPhone on my Windows 10 PC. Thanks to your answer, I have it working. Jun 17, 2020 at 20:21
  • The application does work in background for me. Maybe is has been updated ! Maybe it's because i have developer mode activated !
    – Softlion
    Sep 9, 2020 at 5:46
  • I don't suppose you know if there's a way to contact the developer of Bluetooth Audio Receiver? I can't install it on Windows 10 despite having all the latest updates (the store thinks I don't meet the minimum requirements). Sep 16, 2020 at 7:14
  • Is the source code available for this application? Mar 15, 2021 at 4:42
  • 1
    Here is a small MIT-Licensed C++ open source app: AudioPlaybackConnector Jun 19, 2021 at 9:22
5

It seems like Microsoft has disabled A2DP sink capabilities since Window 8, or it just doesn't work anymore.

You could try to download and update the audio driver with software supplied by the manufacturer of your Bluetooth card/chip.

If that doesn't help, you could replace the Microsoft Bluetooth Stack with a third-party product, such as :

[EDIT]

To summarize our discussion below:

  • The Broadcom drivers have the A2DP sink but suffer from a serious memory leak (which has been the case for the last decade), while
  • Microsoft's A2DP sink capabilities are not functional.

So the only options I can think of are:

  1. Try BlueSoleil and buy if it fixes the problem and the free version is too restrictive.
  2. Disable/enable your network adapter whenever a slow-down occurs, in the hope that this will reinitialize the memory. This can be done via a script run as admin:
    netsh interface set interface "network adapter name" admin=disable
    netsh interface set interface "network adapter name" admin=enable

  3. Replace your network adapter with a non-Broadcom card.

5
  • The Broadcom drivers have a memory leak. That is the root of the issue. After about 4-5 hours, my PC starts lagging because memory is full. Or even worse, it BSODs with an Out of Memory exception. Not sure if I want to pay 30 bucks for a driver that should be free... Jun 25, 2017 at 19:41
  • So you have Broadcom. I have seen advice that disabling the "DW WLAN Tray Service" stops the memory leak.
    – harrymc
    Jun 25, 2017 at 20:13
  • That is for Dell. I have a desktop that is self-built. Windows 10 64 bit (up to date), i5 6600K, Sapphire Nitro+ 8GB RX480, 8GB DDR4 3000 Mhz RAM. Z170-A Mobo from MSI. Jun 25, 2017 at 20:27
  • BlueSoleil used to allow free use but limit file transfer to 5 MB. But I think that the latest version is more restrictive.
    – harrymc
    Jun 26, 2017 at 6:03
  • So what could be the solution for non-Broadcom owners, non-Toshiba owners and those not willing to pay 30 bucks?
    – Suncatcher
    Apr 3, 2018 at 15:52
4

Sure, not for everybody, but usable:

  1. Use Linux in VirtualBox and capture bluetooth device. I have Kubuntu 16.04 as a guest on Win 10 and Intel BT and this setup works. (Or use old Win 7 as guest. It had this A2DP sink feature. But not tested by me. I used Kubuntu, because I use it at work on Win host.) It worked "automagically" after pairing in "System settings - Bluetooth".
3

Use this on Windows 10 2004 and later versions: https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/p/bluetooth-audio-receiver/9n9wclwdqs5j

1

I had this problem with a £3.50 ebay dongle, for which I had lost the driver CD. As stated by others, Windows 10 default drivers don't support A2DP sink mode.

The CSR 4.0 bluetooth Harmony software stack solved it for me.

1

Windows 10 May 2020 update restored A2DP SINK support. I found a tutorial which I am linking down below.

https://techcentaur.blogspot.com/2020/05/how-to-use-a2dp-sink-on-windows-10-2004.html

From the link

WHAT DO I NEED?

  1. WINDOWS 10 with May 2020 update, build 2004 (publicly available now/get it from official websites)
  2. Compatible PC with compatible Bluetooth. (Google for your adapter) 3.Bluetooth receiver app from Microsoft store.

SO HOW TO DO IT?

So you downloaded the update what now ? Your have Bluetooth. But how to get it to work?

  1. Open Bluetooth settings in windows 10
  2. Turn Bluetooth on
  3. Add Android Device.
  4. Open the app
  5. Click on connected device
  6. Click on open connection.

Now you have successfully connected device as A2DP source/sink.

Now you can use this for recording internal audio or to listen music, there are many more aspects to this as this is useful in can music systems also and some smart devices like Alexa-Dot need this feature for better connectivity with Windows.

3
  • Okay, what about it though. What can you put here that will be helpful if for some reason the link becomes broken? Quote and reference both for more helpfulness. May 30, 2020 at 2:46
  • why not remove I found a tutorial which I am linking down below. https://techcentaur.blogspot.com/2020/05/how-to-use-a2dp-sink-on-windows-10-2004.html it is not needed.
    – somebadhat
    May 30, 2020 at 11:10
  • 2
    The instructions are a quote and the source is needed. Otherwise it’s stolen content.
    – Daniel B
    Jun 5, 2020 at 10:59
-1

If you have Broadcom Bluetooth Chipset, such as BCM20702, you can try the BTW stack from Broadcom: https://www.iogear.com/support/dm/driver/GBU421 (ver. 12.0.0.9980). I'm guessing it implements entire or the most part of the BT stack with its own kernel drivers. Later drivers (ver. 12.0.1+) seems to utilize the windows BT stack and does not ship it's own kernel drivers (Only a very small helper kernel driver is loaded, presumably in charge of firmware loading).

I have success with iPhone 5c+BCM20702+Windows 10 x64 1809, where both A2DP and AVRCP works (There'll be a popup window showing which song is playing with other control buttons). You can even use your computer keyboard as the input device for your smart phone.

FYI: Device needs to be repaired after the driver is installed, you have to "forget" your computer from iOS settings to start the authentication process again.

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