Reprogramming Bluetooth Headphones for Great Justice

Like a lot of mass-produced consumer goods, it turns out that the internal workings of Bluetooth headphones are the same across a lot of different brands. One common Bluetooth module is the CSR8645, which [lorf] realized was fairly common and (more importantly) fairly easy to modify. [lorf] was able to put together a toolkit to reprogram this Bluetooth module in almost all of these headphones.

This tip comes to us from [Tigox] who has already made good use of [lorf]’s software. Using the toolkit, he was able to reprogram his own Bluetooth headphones over a USB link to his computer. After downloading and running [lorf]’s program, he was able to modify the name of the device and, more importantly, was able to adjust the behavior of the microphone’s gain which allowed him to have a much more pleasant user experience.

Additionally, the new toolkit makes it possible to flash custom ROMs to CSR Bluetooth modules. This opens up all kinds of possibilities, including the potential to use a set of inexpensive headphones for purposes other than listening to music. The button presses and microphones can be re-purposed for virtually any task imaginable. Of course, you may be able to find cheaper Bluetooth devices to repurpose, but if you just need to adjust your headphones’ settings then this hack will be more useful.

[Featured and Thumbnail Image Source by JLab Audio LLC –, CC BY-SA 4.0]

Robot takes voice commands via open source CSR

This is Chippu, a robot that [Achu] has been working on for some time. His most recent addition was to give the robot the ability to respond to voice commands. This is accomplished using a variation of the open source Continuous Speech Recognition package called Julius.

The package depends on two main parts, a set of acoustic models which let it match incoming sounds and a reference library of grammar which is built from those sounds. [Achu] published another post which goes into detail about using Julius on a Linux box. It seems like this is possible with less robust hardware (ie: on an embedded system) if you narrow down the number of acoustic and grammer models that need to be matched.

For now, Chippu is getting commands from a computer that runs the CSR. But this was only used as a proof-of-concept and [Achu] plans to transition the bot over to smaller hardware like the BeagleBoard.

Check out the demonstration of Chippu responding to voice commands in the video after the break.

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