The ability to translate any language, in real time, through a set of headphones is one of those Back To The Future moments where the future feels upon us. Now, rather than limiting the feature to its own hardware, Google is rolling out real-time translation to all Google Assistant-enabled headphones.
Previously only available on Google’s own Pixel Buds paired with a Pixel phone, real-time Google Translate listens allows two people to hold a conversation in two different languages at the same time. Assistant will listen to your conversation partner and translate the audio so you can understand.
The LG Tone Platinum SE headset, which we reviewed last month, also has a Google Assistant button and support for the real-time translation, but this is the first time we’ve heard of this intention for universal access to the feature. In our review, we noted that real-time Google Translate requires some training until a conversation works properly, at the moment.
News of the wider access to Google’s real-time translation was picked up by Droid Life. Google quietly changed a support page for its Pixel Buds, which now states that “Google Translate is available on all Assistant-optimized headphones and Android phones”.
The actual translating is done via the smartphone that is connected to the headphones, so it is not a complicated process for Google to bring the feature to third-party hardware. Sony and JBL also have headphones with Google Assistant built in. If you own a set of those headphones, real-time translation should already be up and running for you.
Real-time translation current supports 40 languages. You can access the feature by using the voice command “hey Google, help me interpret…” followed by your language of choice.
Have you tried Google’s real-time translation yet? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments.