Google brings Pixel Buds live translation skills to all Google Assistant headphones

Breaking down language barriers from the ears just got more accessible
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Google's real-time translation feature is now available to use on a lot more devices. It was initially an exclusive feature on the not very good Pixel Buds and its more impressive Pixel phones. Now, the folks at Droid Life have spotted that Google has updated the support page dedicated to translating with Google Pixel Buds.

The page now states that Google Translate is available on all Google Assistant-optimized headphones and Android phones.

Essential reading: Best hearables to buy right now

What that means is that you'll be able to use other non-Pixel Android phones and a range of headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the JBL Everest 110GA to make use of the Google Translate installed on your phone.

So by pressing the button dedicated to launch Google Assistant on your on-ears or in-ears, you can ask Google to speak Spanish or translate French for example. You can then point the phone in direction of the person you're trying to understand to start having a conversation.

Our experience of the real-time translation support on the Pixel Buds was mixed. While it did work, it wasn't as impressive a feature as it initially seemed when Google first introduced it. Ultimately, you could still do the same thing passing your phone back and forth. Maybe opening up the software support though could be an attempt by Google to see how they can make improvements with the way translation works.

At its recent big hardware event, Google didn't launch new Pixel Buds but it did introduce Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. The new buds, which look a lot like the Pixel Buds added a USB-C cable into the mix. Whether we'll see another pair of the Pixel Buds is not really clear. The first pair didn't get a lot of love for a number of reasons including an awkward design and leaking sound.

Maybe opening up the features that did initially make them an enticing prospect is the right move to give us that Babelfish translator we're still dreaming of.

Google brings Pixel Buds live translation skills to all Google Assistant headphones

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

Related stories