Google's New Earbuds Can Instantly Translate 40 Different Languages

This could change how we communicate across the globe.

Google announced yesterday that it will make its own earbuds to accompany its Pixel phone, and to directly counter Apple's own Air Pods. Yes, that means Pixel Buds are wireless, with no headphone jack to anchor them to the phone, just like the Air Pods. With Google and Apple on board, you might as well accept your wireless, jackless fate now. Pixel Buds are connected by a cord that can loop behind your head, though, which makes them easier to keep track of. Points for Google.

Pixel Buds are touch-controlled in the right bud, and they can be paired with Google Assistant via your smartphone (they were launched with the Pixel 2). Basically, it's like having a Google Assistant in your home, only with Pixel Buds, it can whisper softly in your ear.

And that lends itself to possibly the coolest feature of the Buds: They have the ability to translate, in real time, 40 different languages. This is some seriously sci-fi stuff. If you want to carry on a conversation with a Swedish person, for example, you could direct Google Assistant to audibly translate an English phrase into Swedish via the Pixel 2. Then, upon getting a response in Swedish, the Buds would give you the English translation directly into your ear. Google demonstrated at its event yesterday:


If the translation capability functions as advertised, it could fundamentally change how humans communicate with each other across the globe. Looks like Google's got Apple beat in the earbud field—for now. 

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Sarah Rense
Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more.
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