Posted by: kurtsh | March 21, 2008

HOWTO: Use a Bluetooth Headset with both Windows Vista & a cellphone simultaneously

If any of you intend on using a Bluetooth headset with Windows Vista & Office Communicator 2007:

1)  ERROR:  “Can’t find device driver for Bluetooth headset”

If you run into a problem where you attempt to pair your Bluetooth headset with your Windows Vista laptop and you find the install process asking you “for a driver to be installed from the device manufacturer”.  The reason for this was answered in the Technet forums:

“The Windows Vista Bluetooth stack does not support Audio in-box.  During Vista, Microsoft added the underlying mechanics to support Bluetooth audio and opened up the interfaces, enabling 3rd parties to develop audio support.”
http://forums.microsoft.com/technet/showpost.aspx?postid=960824&siteid=17&sb=0&d=1&at=7&ft=11&tf=0&pageid=1

The net of this is, the built-in Windows Vista Bluetooth stack works with virtually every bluetooth device… except audio headsets
Basically, you just need to upgrade your Bluetooth software to a stack that works with audio headsets.

To configure your computer’s built-in Bluetooth hardware to properly support Bluetooth Audio devices you need to contact the manufacturer of your computer to help you identify the specific Bluetooth hardware used in your computer, and to determine if software/driver updates are available to use as an alternative to the native Bluetooth software in Vista.  (Note: Currently there is no patch available from Microsoft available for this issue.)  If you have the HP nc8430: 

Software Support for HP Integrated Module with Bluetooth Wireless Technology (Microsoft Windows Vista)
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=1839150&prodNameId=1839197&swEnvOID=2097&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=ob-56755-1

2)  HOWTO:  “Find a Bluetooth Headset that works with both Windows Vista/Office Communicator & cellphone seamlessly”

The holy grail is to have a Bluetooth headset on your ear, and have it automatically receive the signal of inbound calls from either your laptop’s Office Communicator (using Telephony Integration) or from your cellphone seamlessly.  This is only possible on a select group of phones that have the capability of what’s called "multipoint pairing".

I’ve noticed that this functionality is available on roughly 30% of the headsets out there.  Since there’s no list of what headsets work best for usage with both your laptop and your cellphone, I started researching the topic myself by borrowing some people’s headsets, getting some sent to me to test from Plantronics, and also purchased a few.

Here’s the list of headsets that I’ve tested:

Headsets that DO work:

Headsets that do NOT work:


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