Google's first earbuds offer real-time language translation

05 October 2017

Pixel Buds

Google might be following Apple's lead in killing the headphone jack on the Pixel 2, but it's launching a nifty pair of wireless headphones to try and make up for it. Dubbed Pixel Buds, Google's first pair of headphones offer a feature that's sure to make them stand out from the crowd: real-time translation.

When paired with a Pixel smartphone, you're able to use the Pixel Buds to translate languages. You'll speak into the Buds' microphone, and your Pixel will play out a translation over its speaker. When the other person speaks, you'll hear the translation in your ear. At launch, supported languages will include English, French, German, Japanese, and Portuguese.

Translation functionality will only work with the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL.

In addition to translation, the Pixel Buds have Google Assistant baked in. Assistant is able to play music, send text messages, read notifications, and provide walking directions via voice commands. While Pixel Buds will work with an iPhone, you won't be able to use the Google Assistant functionality unless you have an Assistant-enabled Android device.

Bose's newly announced QC35 II is the only other pair of headphones to currently feature Google Assistant. 

Pixel Buds in charging case

Google says Pixel Buds will last up to five hours on a single charge. When combined with the included charging case, you'll get up to 24 hours of play time before you need to recharge the case.

Pixel Buds will retail for $249 and will be available through Google's online store and select Telstra and JB Hi-Fi stores. A local release date has yet to be confirmed. Much like the Pixel 2, the Pixel Buds are available in a choice of "just black", "kinda white", or "almost blue".

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