Hands-Free output not showing up for bluetooth headphones

Hey guys,

FxSound does not show all the available audio output options.

For AirPods Pro 2, they have a “Stereo” output and a “Hands-Free” output, FxSound only sees the first.
Same thing applies for Sony XH-1000XM3.

Unfortunately, when using the microphone on these headphones/buds, audio only works via the Hands-Free output. Effectively, if I want to use the mic, I need to quit FxSound to have both Audio and Microphone capabilities.


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Hi Dumitru,
Could you please share which versions of FxSound and Windows you are running?
Unfortunately I have no personal “Hands-On” experience with the audio devices you mentioned.
Some guesses at possible explanations for this behavior on my part would be:

  • The AirPods Pro 2 were designed to be compatible with Apple devices, not Windows devices (see the product’s System Requirements & Compatibility),

  • The Hands-Free Bluetooth Profile (HFP) was designed for use with mobile devices, not computers (unsure, I honestly don’t know enough about this topic to tell with absolute certainty),

  • The earbuds and headphones need their frequency settings in Windows Sound tweaked,

  • The microphone is a Mono (single-channel) device and hence not supported by FxSound (for the AirPods, this is definitely the case, see Set Microphone to left, right, or automatic).

Apart from those explanations, there are some other tips in my list worth checking, like going through all the options in Windows Sound for Playback Devices ànd Recording Devices, and disabling Enhancements, Exclusive Mode, and Hardware Acceleration, among others.

Let me know if this was helpful.

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You mean the Sony WH-1000XM3, right?
Regarding those, I also found this on the support page:

Making a call:
You can enjoy a hands-free call with a smartphone or mobile phone that supports the Bluetooth profile HFP (Hands-free Profile) or HSP (Headset Profile), via a Bluetooth connection.
If your smartphone or mobile phone supports both HFP and HSP, set it to HFP.
The operation may vary depending on the smartphone or mobile phone. Refer to the operating instructions supplied with your smartphone or mobile phone.
The headset only supports normal incoming calls. Calling apps for smartphones and computers are not supported.

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Hi doolhoofd,

Thanks for the quick answer.

Here’s a discussion on this topic with more info


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yes that’s on the same exact topic.

Basically looks like FxSound supports the HSP profile but not the HFP profile.
Windows switches the profile under the hood automatically depending on whether microphone is used (but also shows them as separate outputs I can manually switch - if FxSound is not running)

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So, are you on Win10 or Win11?

Not sure what the LoE is on this- but basically without support for HFP profile, I can’t really use bluetooth headphones such as these models with FxSound.

… I just bought the AirPods after months of deliberating (not a Apple user here…) and overthinking every detail but did not expect issues with FxSound lol.

Windows 10 22H2

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But the only thing(s) not working are the microphones, so you can still listen to music and watch videos on your computer with audio boosted by FxSound, though, no?

Or, if possible, update to Win11…

I agree on the fact that all this technology has become way too complicated for any casual user.

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Yes, I can use the headphones as long as don’t have a meeting.
But since I have a bunch of meetings every day, and listen to music in between them, you can see how it’s not quite ideal to be killing fxsound for every meeting, switching outputs, etc.
I mean honestly, I don’t even like my PC without FxSound running :confused:

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I’m not sure Win11 would fix the issue though - if I knew that it does, I’d be highly motivated to upgrade.

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True - it won’t.
The AirPods will remain Mono, and the Sonys will still not support online meetings.

Yes, I understand that, certainly.
A user posted a question about Volume² recently, and mentioned it allows device switching through keyboard shortcuts, which works in conjunction with FxSound as long as FxSound’s auto-switch setting (in the General tab of the Settings menu) remains deactivated.

I would really love to offer you a solution, but apart from buying another headset or trying a different audio enhancer like e.g. SteelSeries Sonar, there isn’t much else that can be done, I’m afraid.

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I appreciate you looking into it.

The hope was that it would be easy for FxSound to recognize the Hands-Free audio output, and simply show it as an output.

I’d be fine with manually switching between Hands-Free and Stereo outputs, as automating that is likely a bit more complex. Also I wouldn’t expect any audio enhancements on that audio output… just want it to work.

If that’s not easy to do, I guess I’m stuck with having to quit FxSound for every meeting or generally as long as I use this type of headphones, which is not ideal but I guess something I’ll need to learn to live with.

Either way, huge thanks for looking into it, really appreciate it.

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I"m a game dev, so I’m comfortable making my own build off of a custom branch, I just am not familiar with Win APIs enough to try and change it myself.

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Happy to help.

For the AirPods, there is no way to add the Hands-Free output to the drop-down menu, since this output is a Mono device - except, of course, if support for Mono devices is added to FxSound…
I will add this as a feature request to the GitHub Issues Tracker later tonight, with the hope that some prodigy will come along one fine day, and encode it.

As for adding the Sony’s Hands-Free output to the drop-down menu; I’ve just sent a message to @bvijay, FxSound’s lead engineer, to inquire if this is possible, since he knows much more about the software and computers than me.

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Keeping it simple…

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Thanks again!

To be clear, not expecting sound improvements in Mono version, just for it to function as it does without FxSound, simply since the alternative means I need to kill FxSound every time.

Ideal solution would be: auto transition to this Hands Free profile while mic is in use, and back to Stereo profile when mic is not in use. That would make FxSound usable with all these bluetooth headphones (as far as I understand)

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Apparently, there’s a way to select the desired Bluetooth profile(s) manually, through a deep dive into the device settings.

Not sure what you mean here.

The 2 outputs show up as expected in Windows, they just don’t show up in FxSound.

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