The Google Pixel Buds cost $159 and are available in November. They translate 40 different languages instantly.
Travel to a foreign country for the first time and, chances are, you won’t be able to understand the locals. Now you can with near-instant translation in your ear buds.
The Google Pixel Buds play music or a favorite audiobook while on the plane. Then, they’ll serve as your interpreter with the delay of just one to two seconds.
Announced Oct. 4 at Google’s hardware event, the headphones sync to your phone via Bluetooth, connect with a cord that loops behind the neck, and most importantly, offer impressive language translation.
On the event’s stage, the two presenters had a brief conversation in English and Swedish, all the while completely understanding each other thanks to the buds translation.
The biggest caveat, however: You also need a Google Pixel 2 phone.
Google Pixel Buds: Available November
Only one person needs the Google Pixel Buds in order to have a conversation in another language. With your Google Pixel 2 phone and headphones synced, the phone takes over as your translator.
Once the phrase is completed, the Google PIxel 2 picks up the sentence, translates it, and relays that now-understandable sentence to the user’s Pixel Buds. Then, the headphone wearer responds in their native tongue while pressing the headphones. After a minor delay, the Google Pixel 2’s speaker translates the sentence into the other person’s language. Thus, both parties should understand both ends of the conversation.
We’ve not tested it yet, but the video demonstrating this marvel of technology is jaw-dropping. Check it out:
The Pixel Buds come with a pocket-sized charging case (like a power bank). Fully charged, the headphones provide up to five hours of listening time. Through the charging case, the headphones can be charged and recharged again to provide up to a total of 24 hours of listening time.
The headphones come in “Just Black,” “Clearly White,” and “Kinda Blue.”
If the technology works properly, it could help ease communications for adventure travelers, international business owners, and many others the world over.