FireTV Bluetooth Headphones
You surely got a nice set of Bluetooth headphones around.
But then, your FireTV also got Bluetooth connectivity so you may wonder “What about using my bluetooth headphones ?”
Well at least I know I did wonder about it. Fueled mainly by the need of watching somewhat noisy movies, while the kids are sleeping, my interest includes certain urgency.
So I promptly started digging into this topic, with the hope of finding a solution… which I did find, kinda!. Let me tell you about it:
At the time of this writing, the official online documentation for FireTV states that the Bluetooth interface includes the HID, HFP 1.6 and SPP profiles.
In layman terms this means that it supports a keyboard, remote controller, gamepad and mouse (HID), the remote controller microphone, for voice input (HFP 1.6) and more generic (and basic) serial connectivity (SPP).
Where is the support for Bluetooth Headphones on FireTV ?
FireTV, out of the box, does not support Bluetooth Headphones. They do not even list the correct Bluetooth profile, called A2DP, designed for advanced audio distribution.
Anyway, I turned on my Bluetooth headphones, placed them on discovery mode, and tried to get them recognized by my FireTV on the Settings / Manage Bluetooth Controllers option. No luck.
Adding support on FireTV for Bluetooth Headphones
Searching the web about FireTV Bluetooth Headphones support, I ended up in the excellent XDA Developers forum, where the same question has already been placed some months ago. I just needed to try the answer: “Install an Android settings.apk” …
This should add the extra libraries / software needed in order for the Bluetooth option to appear. So I did proceed, first getting a suitable settings.apk and then sideloading it into my (not rooted) FireTV.
Once installed, I had to navigate into Settings and manage my apps, where I found the new “Settings” app installed 🙂 I run it and found the Bluetooth option just ok.
I placed my Bluetooth headphone in discovery mode, and … voilá: FireTV found and paired with my nice Nakamichi Bluetooth headphones.
I started a movie, and sound started pouring into my headphones in glorious hifi stereo, instead of the TV, as It should. I turned my headphones off and sound was redirected into my TV.
The only caveat: Sound was delayed by almost a full second (0.9 seconds to be precise).
This audio delay can be solved when watching movies through XBMC, which allows you to skew audio backwards or forwards. I did some testings, and as expected, audio was synched with video by introducing a 0.9 second positive (to the right) delay on the audio menu.
You can access such menu while watching a movie on XBMC by pressing the center button on the FireTV’s Remote control circular pad. The AUDIO menu is into the bottom right, with a -yep- speaker icon depicted.
So here I end my quest for HIFI Bluetooth audio, I found it. At this time, sadly enough, you will be able to use it while watching moves on XBMC, provided that you skew your audio almost a second to get in synch with video.