After 1.5 decades as a Mac user, I got a Windows gaming computer off a friend. It didn’t have Bluetooth, so I bought a cheap USB device that does appear to add Bluetooth capability to the computer. I successfully paired Bose wireless headphones with the computer. However, I cannot select them as an audio device! The system’s Nvidia graphics card and Realtek sound card appear to be available for use as audio devices (and I can successfully use the headphone jack or HDMI out for sound). So what’s up? Is there a missing magic piece to route audio over USB to Bluetooth?

How can I use Bluetooth headphones on this Windows PC?


I think I have figured it out. My headphones, Bose QuietComfort 35, were paired to the Windows 10 computer under "Other Devices" in the "Bluetooth & other devices" settings. This was not obviously wrong to me, but they need to show up as "Audio" instead.

Incorrect configuration screen shot

To remedy the problem, I un-paired ("Remove device") and re-paired the headphones. This time, I noticed that my headphones appeared twice in the list, once with headphone icons, and once with generic device icons. Selecting the audio version correctly allowed my to begin using my headphones over Bluetooth.

Double the options expected for this device, screen shot Correct configuration - screen shot

I’ve included some illustrations here in hopes that some poor soul out there benefits from this information.

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    Awesome, I'm glad you have worked it out. Your a great soul to share this with the world, I'm sure someone else can be saved by this also. +1 from your's truly. Great work ;-) – vssher Aug 27 '20 at 4:38

In Windows 10, when you hook up Bluetooth devices that are headphones, they act as "speakers". So you would control your bluetooth device just like a desktop speaker with volume up/down.

Your normal big desk speakers will not play any sound as long as that bluetooth headphone connection is active. Either your headphone works or your speakers work.

Why do you need to select your headphones as an audio device? Can you clarify? Are you trying to duplicate the audio signal to game stream or something with OBS?

If there is no sound coming out of your bluetooth headphones, it means you must have paired it earlier (in Windows 10 memory), but they are not connected (sending audio signals). To connect them turn your headphones and usb bluetooth dongle off, then turn them both on.

To access your bluetooth dongle, type "bluetooth" in the start menu. Open "Bluetooth and other device settings" and there should be a blue or grey circular toggle. Toggle it off then on. Then turn on your headphones. They should automatically connect. If not, unpair your headphones and pair them again.

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