Google’s Pixel Buds are a must for travelers

When you travel to a foreign country, you may learn simple salutations and phrases to help you get by, but chances are you won’t understand the majority of conversations that happen around you. Well, all that is set to change with Google Pixel Buds.

To someone with any old Andriod or iPhone, these earbuds are just another wireless option. But to anyone with the Pixel or Pixel 2 Google smartphones, they come with the ability to translate languages in almost real-time, which could prove extremely valuable when trying to understand directions or shop in a far off place.

The spec

Connectivity: Bluetooth, but has a cord connecting the two earbuds

Battery life: up to 5 hours

Charging method: charging case

Compatible with:

-Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher

-iOS 10.0 or higher

Colours: Just Black, Clearly White or Kinda Blue (pictured below)

Google Pixel Buds and charging case

How they work

Google’s Pixel earbuds are connected by an adjustable cord, which means they won’t get separated and lost, but also means they aren’t fully wireless. The charging case plugs into the wall via USB-C conntection and one charge gives the earbuds 5 hours of battery life. The charging case does hold multiple charges though, so 24 hours of use is no problem.

To use with Google Assistant, you simply tap the touchpad on the right earbud and address Google as usual. You can ask it questions about the weather or navigation, or command it to do things, such as control your smart home or text or call a friend.

But translating is the really fun part: you hold down the touchpad and say something like “Help me speak Italian”. To translate English to French, you’d hold the touchpad down and speak and, when you let go, Google Translate reads the French equivalent to you. To translate French to English, you’d tap a button on your phone and speak into it, and the English translation will be read through your earpiece.

Woman using Google Pixel Buds with Google translate to speak Japanese

Worth the money?

If you have a Google or Android smartphone, I’d say it’s definitely worth giving these a try. If you have one of the Google Pixel phones and you’re a regular traveller, they’d be ideal. You can purchase them directly from Google for £159 or they are available through most phone accessory retailers.