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Google’s New Headphones Translate Foreign Languages in Real Time

Picture of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor
Updated: 5 October 2017
Google has debuted a pair of wireless headphones capable of translating languages in real time.

“It’s like you’ve got your own personal translator with you everywhere you go,” reads a statement from the company.

“Say you’re in Little Italy, and you want to order your pasta like a pro. All you have to do is hold down on the right earbud and say, ‘Help me speak Italian’. As you talk, your Pixel phone’s speaker will play the translation in Italian out loud. When the waiter responds in Italian, you’ll hear the translation through your Pixel Buds.

“If you’re more of a sushi or French food fan, no need to worry—it works in 40 languages.”

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© Google

The wireless and buttonless earphones also play music and offer help from the Google Assistant with just a touch of the right earbud, which doubles as a touchpad. Just swipe forward or backward to control volume and tap to play or pause your music.

Each pair of Pixel Buds also comes with a pocket-sized charging case that gives you up to 24 hours of listening time. When you open the case near your phone, the Buds automatically pair with any Pixel or Android phone running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher.

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© Google

The Pixel Buds come in three colors—Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue—the same colours as the Pixel 2 mobile. They’ll be available in November in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Australia and Singapore and can be pre-ordered in the U.S. now for $159.

For more on how tech is removing language barriers and streamlining travel, check out the best travel apps to download before your next holiday or read about the language-learning app that instantly helps you to pronounce tricky menu items.