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Plantronics Pulsar 590A does not work with HP/Compaq nx8220 notebook

Posted on 2006-07-08
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I decided to get rid of wires and bought a Plantonics Pulsar 590A BT headset to use for Skype primarily. The device was discovered and paired OK. Two devices appeared - Bluetooth Audio and High Quality Bluetooth Audio. However it turned out that headset works only if selected as High Quality Bluetooth Audio. And it does not work properly.
If I use it with Media Player, it works for approx 5 minutes, then the sound becomes interrupted and disappears at all. If I use it as a Skype sound device, I can only hear the recording of the Skype answering machine, but never can hear my recorded voice (this I believe is the proof that the microphone does not work in Skype). Moreover even the Skype answering machine is not audible in most cases - sometimes I can hear it and sometimes (more often) I cannot. In most cases the Skype answering machine is audible immediately after I connect the headset. If it stays idle being connected for a while, there is a good chance that I wil hear nothing at all. Frequently while being used with Skype the headset gets disconnected by itself.
Despite that the device's microphone works properly in Speech Recognition. I can train and adjust the microphone.
The headset and audio gateway profiles startup automatically in my BT configuration.
I contacted Plantronics techsupport with the issue. This is what they replied:
"The Plantronics Bluetooth headsets are designed for use with devices that support a Bluetooth handsfree and headset profile with audio and data capabilities (the Pulsar 590a also supports the A2DP Bluetooth profile).

Please contact the manufacturer of your computer, or Bluetooth adapter, to verify it supports a Bluetooth handsfree and headset profile with audio and data capabilities (or A2DP for the Pulsar 590a), and for Bluetooth pairing ***and user*** instructions."

I asked the HP techsupport the above question and they confirmed that the notebook fully complies with the above requirements.

So, both manufacturers claim that their products are OK and perfect, but they do not work together. They seem to be OK separately. HP notebook works fine with BT Nokia E61. The headset also works fine with the same Nokia E61. But not together!

I suspect that something's wrong in the BT config of the notebook. Despite the fact that the latest WIDCOMM driver is installed, I observe a surprising fact. After I remove both BT audio devices in the Device Manager and re-boot the machine, both BT audio devices are being discovered and drivers installed EVEN IF THE HEADSET IS TURNED OFF.

Experts, please, help!
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Question by:yk_nb
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 17081344
Does the headset show up in audio set-up as a seperate audio source?
This headset is not made to do what you are using it for. primarily its for phone systems not pc . The problem seems to arise from the inability of the pc audio card or chip to properly process the delivery of sound, or pick up the mike,then route it through the bluetooth for the secondary audio component
( Plantonics Pulsar 590A BT) because of limited bandwidth.
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Author Comment

by:yk_nb
ID: 17081659
Yes, it does. As I wrote there are two audio devices.  Bluetooth Audio and High Quality Bluetooth Audio.
The manufacturer has a different opinion: "The Plantronics Pulsar™ 590 Series Bluetooth® Stereo Headsets deliver the ultimate in wireless freedom! Seamlessly switch between your Bluetooth phone and your favorite music or movie so you’ll never miss a call. With up to 12 hours of talk time and 10 hours of listen time, you can enjoy wireless stereo listening on laptops, PCs, TVs, DVD and MP3 players."
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by:Mark
ID: 17082243
But only two way voice communication with a mobile phone. Are you using the universal adapter with the headset or direct connection through the audio port?
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by:Mark
ID: 17082265
Scratch the last part of my statement concerning audio port( bluetooth connection) but the universal connector part of the question still applies.
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Author Comment

by:yk_nb
ID: 17082295
Yes, I'm using the universal adapter which is the built-in HP integrated BT module (in fact WIDCOMM).
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 17082470
This person seems to have found a workaround with skype and a viao laptop http://forum.skype.com/viewtopic.php?t=56618&sid=7ca06cd8b2bd1c8785232910e8c7fbc2
I don't see where he may have been using the adapter.
The guide for the headset(page 4)  also mentions that  the universal adapter is for listening only. http://www.plantronics.com/media/media_resources/literature/user_guides/pulsar590_userguide_en.pdf
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Author Comment

by:yk_nb
ID: 17085079
I'm sorry I did not undestand what you mean. I am not using the Plantronics universal BT adapter (coming in a kit with headset) at all. I know it's for listening.
I have the BT adapter in my notebook.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 17085639
Then the workaround found in that link may apply to your laptop. The fact that it starts to work and then fades or stops working is sounding more like a problem with the bluetooth hardware in the laptop.
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Author Comment

by:yk_nb
ID: 17089459
I believe I will get crazy soon. The mentioned workaround does not entirely apply to my case. The guy struggled to achieve the connection to headset. I have the HEADSET. But it does not work. Today one more device appeared in My Bluetooth Places - also called 590Plantronics Headset but with "2" at the end - 590Plantronics Headset2. The difference is in icons - the first has earphones only, the second - the complete headset with the mic. Despite the above none of them works. When I connect the second - the headset begins to beep warningly.
Besides that the guy had a Toshiba BT, while I have WIDCOMM. Any more ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 17091543
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Author Comment

by:yk_nb
ID: 17221535
If it's interesting. I finally came to the solution of this problem myself.
The trick is that that Pulsar 590 does not work with WIDCOMM BT stack. I bought an USB dongle with WIDCOMM drivers, installed them on a separate desktop computer and found out that the headset does not work with that computer as well. Finally I bought a Billionton PCMCIA BT 2.0 adapter with Toshiba BT stack, installed it on my notebook. Now Pulsar 590 works fine via the mentioned PCMCIA BT adapter.
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Accepted Solution

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Mark earned 250 total points
ID: 17227553
So the link to the guy with the Toshiba BT did actually have it right?
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Author Comment

by:yk_nb
ID: 17228101
Well, it's a good question. No doubt your advise was useful.
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