[Solved] Manjaro Linux: Cannot connect Bluetooth headset

TL; DR: 1. sudo pacman -S pulseaudio-bluetooth
2. sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
3. Add «Enable=Source,Sink,Media,Socket» in [General] section
4. pulseaudio -k

Long version:
I recently stuck on connecting my Trakz Titanium Bluetooth headset in Manjaro Linux (kernel version 5.8.18-1). I saw it in the list of Bluetooth devices to connect, but nothing happened if I set the connection on. Needless to say that there was no option to choose a headset in the list of sound devices.

I had to spend some time reading docs, installing packages, and playing with conf files, and finally found the reason, so hopefully, this article saves you from this tedious journey.

  1. First of all, make sure you have your headset in pairing mode so that the device allows pairing with your laptop.

  2. Open Bluetooth Settings in Manjaro and click on the headset in the list of devices. The pop-up window should appear and there you need to toggle the «Connection» option to turn it on. If it didn’t work for you (and you’re not listening in your headset something like «connected») read the next chapter.

  3. Open log files for Bluetooth service to look out what happened underhood:
    $ journalctl -u bluetooth | tail

    if it has some records like below, proceed to the next chapter:
    $ bluetoothd[773]: src/service.c:btd_service_connect() a2dp-sink profile connect failed for %your_headset_mac%: Protocol not available

  4. The reason for the «Protocol not available» error was that I had no pulseaudio-bluetooth package installed. Moreover, I had a conflicted package named pulseaudio-modules-bt which I don’t need so we may remove it.

    $ sudo pacman -S pulseaudio-bluetooth
    [sudo] password for %username%:
    resolving dependencies…
    looking for conflicting packages…
    :: pulseaudio-bluetooth and pulseaudio-modules-bt are in conflict. Remove pulseaudio-modules-bt? [y/N] y
    Packages (2) pulseaudio-modules-bt-1.4-4 [removal] pulseaudio-bluetooth-14.0-1
    :: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]:: Retrieving packages…

  5. Now you need to configure Bluetooth settings to enable Bluetooth Audio devices.

    Open config file:
    $ sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
    Add the following line straight after [General] section (second line in the file for me):
    Save changes and close the file.

  6. Finally, you need to restart pulseaudio service to apply changes:

    $ pulseaudio -k

  7. That’s it. Go back to Bluetooth Settings and try to toggle the «Connection» option. It should work like a charm. I’d recommend also visit Sound settings and make sure you have selected your headset for input and output.

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