Fairbuds XL Linux / Steam Deck Compatibility

Hi Community

I am looking into the Fairbuds XL as a headset for my Steam Deck and Gaming Desktop (Fedora).
Do the headphones work via bluetooth on such systems? I only found a reddit post where they said that they are not recognized as headphones, which has me worried about purchasing them for this use case.

Thanks in advance.

I was pointed to this forum by the official support from Fairphone as they had no clue if it would work.


I don’t have the answer to your question but here are some findings/leads:

From your Reddit post:

We’d have to check which Pipewire version SteamOS (which is based on Arch and should therefore be rolling) uses.

Changelog for 0.3.72 is here:

According to Error - SteamDecki some Bluetooth profiles are (deliberately) disabled by default.


I would like to add I quickly tried the following devices on both Fairphone 4 and Steam Deck:

  • HHKB Hybrid KB800
  • Apple Magic Trackpad 2
  • Sony WF1000XM4
  • Sony WH1000XM4

All 4 worked out of the box on both devices. I didn’t check Bluetooth profiles (though I am happy with the Sony devices on my FP4). Even together, they worked. However, when both Sony devices were connected to the Steam Deck, only the first connected one would work (the other one was connected but did not produce sound, I did not verify why but after restarting Bluetooth it worked)

(FWIW, I already had those Sony NC headphones before the Fairbuds got released.)

I also got the Sony headphones working before via PipeWire on Ubuntu 23.04 and past months via Arch Linux (tho the latter I only used the WH version, not tried other ones), with PipeWire. I love PipeWire! You can control it via TUI, GUI, and CLI. You used to have to use some kind of patched PulseAudio to get more codecs working berglh comments on AptX, AptX_HD, LDAC Bluetooth codec Pulseaudio 15.0 support for Ubuntu 21.10 but with PipeWire this is no longer needed as these (proprietary) codecs work out of the box :slight_smile: so given SteamOS and your Fedora gaming desktop use PipeWire these work out of the box, too. For Android, you might have to enable developer options.


Thank you for the replies! I consequently ordered and just received the Fairbuds XL.

I can confirm they work well with the Steam Deck via bluetooth.

I Have not tested with Fedora, but should be fine as well.

One caveat is that bluetooth multipoint does not work on an accepteble level.
When both my phone and the deck are connected, audio from the deck only comes through partially in crackly bursts. So that is not ideal. I personnally do not really need it (will just only connect my phone via BT if I need to update firmare probably as the app does not recognize connection via cable). And I have the Steelseries Arctis Nova 7 for my PC or when docked, which has separate bluetooth and 2.4 GHz for this use case. But still something to be aware of for gaming on the go etc.

Otherwise really enjoying the headset so for, great feel and sound.


how’s the latency? I am very sensitive to latency and have found that most bluetooth headsets (and even controllers) have so bad latency, that I cannot use them. The fairphone true wireless earbuds e.g. have so bad latency that apart from podcasts or music I wouldn’t use them. Even watching videos had a very noticable delay between video and audio. So I ended up replacing them with a different brand that has a low latency mode. So how do the fairbuds XL perform in that regard?

Me and my girlfriend did not notice any latency issues with Witcher 3 and Hogwarts legacy on the Steam Deck via BT so far.

However, I suspect that we might be a lot less sensitive to this than you might be. So I would suggest checking the return policy of the Fairbuds and maybe testing it for yourself. I guess using it wired will have lower latency, but the dragging of a wire would personally drive me insane :slight_smile: .

Please keep us updated if you would test the headset.

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