Google's Pixel Buds Are (Nearly) Universal Translator

Google has finally made its own headphones, and they do so much more than just play music. On stage at its San Francisco hardware event today (Oct. 4), the company showed off the $159 device, which can translate conversations between people speaking 40 different languages -- but not if you're using an iPhone.

Image: Google

Image: Google

The Pixel Buds come in black, white, and "kinda blue," and come with a charging case that Google says provides 24 hours of battery life.

However, the Pixel Buds don't do the translation all on their own. On Google's product page for Pixel Buds reads:

"Use of Pixel Buds as an audio headset requires a Bluetooth enabled companion device. For minimum OS and hardware requirements, go to Additionally, the Google Assistant on Google Pixel Buds is only available on Android and requires an Assistant-enabled Android device and data connection. For available Google Assistant languages and minimum requirements, go to"

In short: You need an Android phone, and iPhone users aren't welcome.

Still, the Pixel Buds made for one of the coolest demos on Google's stage, and we hope the Buds work as well in real life. We look forward to getting our hands on them and trying the translation feature out on our own.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.