A2DP on Windows 7

When I bought a pair of bluetooth stereo headphones, I wanted to make sure they would work on Windows 7, however when I searched for A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile – the protocol for streaming stereo audio to a bluetooth device), I mostly found posts relating to how A2DP support was missing from Windows 7 RTM.

So when I bought a bluetooth dongle, I went ahead and immediately installed the ancient version of BlueSoleil that came with it. This is an awful piece of software, but it does get your headphones working. However, I started getting random blue-screens which identified BlueSoleil as the culprit. So I investigated my options:

– Install the latest version of BlueSoleil, and provided no further blue-screens occur within the trial period, buy it 🙁
– Install the Toshiba bluetooth stack, and buy if it does the job.
– Remove all 3rd party bluetooth software and try the Microsoft one.

I tried the toshiba bluetooth stack and the audio randomly cut out every few 1 or 2 seconds. So don’t bother with that.
Not wanting to pay for crap software, and spurred on by seeing mention that an update for A2DP support in Windows 7 was pushed out, I decided to give the Microsoft stack a go. Uninstalled Toshiba and Bluesoleil software, then after re-enabling the ‘Bluetooth Support Service’, my headphones were promptly discovered and connected. Audio quality is perfect (no drop-outs), and no need for any 3rd party software.

So, if you’re using Windows 7, don’t bother with BlueSoleil or Toshiba, stick with the Microsoft bluetooth stack.