Bluetooth Profiles ®
Bluetooth wireless technology is a short-range communications technology intended to replace the
cables connecting devices while maintaining high levels of security. Bluetooth is essentially a wireless
standard created so any Bluetooth device can communicate with any other Bluetooth device regard-
less of make or model.
As Bluetooth is widely used in many devices and applications, it’s necessary to define how the de-
vices talk to one another. The Bluetooth ‘profile’ is a way of doing this. For devices to work together
each device must share the same Bluetooth profile.
Bluetooth profiles used by Samsung devices:
HSP (Headset Profile)
The HSP describes how a Bluetooth enabled headset should communicate with a computer or other
Bluetooth enabled device such as a mobile phone. When connected and configured, the headset can
act as the remote device’s audio input and output interface.
• This is the most commonly used profile as it’s the one used to talk on a typical Bluetooth headset.
Note that this is not the same profile used in Bluetooth car kits. Provides basic ability to the user includ-
ing answer a call, hang up and adjusting the volume.
HFP (Hands-Free Profile)
HFP describes how a gateway device can be used to place and receive calls for a hand-free device. A typi-
cal configuration is an automobile using a mobile phone for a gateway device. In the car, the stereo is used
for the phone audio and a microphone is installed in the car for sending outgoing audio of the conversation.
HFP is also used for a personal computer to act as a speakerphone for a mobile phone in a home or office
• Most commonly used in hands-free car kits and Mono and Stereo Bluetooth Headsets. Provides voice dialing
and call holds also.
SPP (Serial Port Profile)
SPP defines how to set-up virtual serial ports and connect two Bluetooth enabled devices.
• This is a tough one to define as only legacy applications use it now. This allows devices to use the Bluetooth
connection as if it is a serial port. This emulates a physical serial cable running between Bluetooth devices where
you must configure a COM port. Some medical applications still require SPP, but mostly this has gone away.
DUN (Dial Up Networking)
DUN provides a standard to access the Internet and other dial-up services over Bluetooth Wireless
Technology. The most common scenario is accessing the Internet from a laptop by dialing up on a
mobile phone, wirelessly.
• Most common use for this is using the device as a modem for your laptop. Pair the device and
laptop and then you can use the data connection from the device to surf the web or get your email
on your laptop.
A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)
The A2DP profile describes how stereo quality audio can be streamed from a media source to a sink.
The profile defines two roles of an audio source and sink. A typical usage scenario can be consid-
ered as the “walkman” class of media player. The audio source would be the music player and the
audio sink is the wireless headset. A2DP defines the protocols and procedures that realize distribu-
tion of audio content of high-quality in mono or stereo on ACL channels.
• This is music streamed from a device to a wireless headset. When you hear someone ask if it’s
Bluetooth 2.0, they basically mean can it support 2-channel audio streaming or a stereo headset.
AVRCP (Audio/Visual Remote Control Profile)
AVRCP is designed to provide a standard interface to control TVs, Hi-fi equipment, etc. This profile is
used to allow a single remote control (or other device) to control all the A/V equipment that a user has
access to. AVRCP defines how to control characteristics of streaming media. This includes pausing,
stopping, and starting playback and volume control as well as other types of remote control opera-
• Most commonly used in hands-free car kits. Provides voice dialing also. This allows the device to be
control another Bluetooth device or be controlled by another Bluetooth device. You’ll most commonly
see this in stereo Bluetooth headsets when a user goes to change the song, stop, play or pause a song
by pushing a button on their headset. In theory if someone had the proper application on their device,
they could control Bluetooth objects around the house such as their Playstation or Nintendo that have
built in bluetooth. Some televisions have built in Bluetooth now also, although I don’t know of any remote
control apps for Bluetooth enabled TVs at this time. There are some applications that let you control the
Windows Media Player on your paired home PC with AVRCP from your device.
OBEX (Object Exchange Profiles)
OBEX is a transfer protocol that defines data objects and a communication protocol two devices can use to
exchange those objects. OBEX enables applications to work over the Bluetooth protocol stack as well as the
IrDA stack. For Bluetooth enabled devices, only connection-oriented OBEX is supported. Three application
profiles have been developed using OBEX which include SYNC, FTP and OPP.
OBEX is the underlying technology to support the following Profiles:
OPP (Object Push Profile)
Basic profile for sending objects, such as pictures, ringtones or vcards between devices.
FTP (File Transfer Profile)
FTP defines how folders and files on a server device can be browsed by a client device. Once a file or
location is found by the client, a file can be pulled from the server to the client, or pushed from the cli-
ent to the server using GOEP.
• Use this when browsing objects or files on a PC or server. If you rename or delete an object on
your device or manipulate it in any way from your PC or vice-versa, that is using the FTP profile. Pull-
ing folder lists and navigating through folders is also functionality of FTP Profile.
SYNC (Synchronization Profile)
The SYNC profile is used in conjunction with GOEP to enable synchronization of calendar and ad-
dress information (personal information manager (PIM) items) between Bluetooth enabled devices. A
common application of this profile is the exchange of data between a PDA and computer.
• Allows the synchronization of PIM information through Bluetooth. You can set up your device to
automatically sync with your PC when it comes in range of the Bluetooth device. Most of our devices
do not use this.
BIP (Basic Imaging Profile)
BIP defines how an imaging device can be remotely controlled, how an imaging device may print, as
well as how an imaging device can transfer images to a storage device. A typical scenario involves a
mobile phone being used to control the shutter operation of a digital camera.
• The most common use for this is pushing a presentation to a projector from your device. Third party
app and Bluetooth projector would be required. Windows Vista uses this with Windows Mobile Device
Center to detect and pull down new images from your device when you come in range of your paired
BPP (Basic Printing Profile)
BPP allows devices to send text, e-mails, vCards, images or other items to printers based on print jobs.
It differs from HCRP in that it needs no printer-specific drivers. This makes it more suitable for embedded
devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras, which cannot easily be updated with drivers dependent
upon printer vendors.
• Pretty straight forward, allows pushing a print job to a Bluetooth compatible printer.
PBAP (Phone Book Access Profile)
• Most Commonly used between devices and car kits. If your device supports PBAP you can download your
contacts into the car kit’s memory. Also gives access to things like Hold, call waiting and caller ID.