How real-time translation works on Google Assistant headphones | Apps

Google’s Pixel Buds are no longer the only Google to support real-time translation via Google Translate.

In 2017, Google launched its own version of the Apple AirPods wireless earbuds. Called Pixel Buds, they came with a few exclusive features, like the ability to handle real-time language translation. However, Google recently changed a support page to confirm this Google Translate feature is now available for “all Assistant-optimized headphones and Android phones” – not just Pixel Buds.

What does real-time translation require?

Google Assistant headphones allow you to more easily talk with someone who doesn’t speak your language, thanks to their real-time translation feature, which was initially limited to Google Pixel earbuds, though any pair of Google Assistant headphones now support it, too.


  • A Pixel phone (Pixel/XL, Pixel 2/2 XL, or Pixel 3/3 XL)
  • Google Assistant headphones currently connected to your phone


How does real-time translation work?

Generally, you tap the dedicated Google Assistant button on your headphones and say, “Help me speak [language],” which then opens the Google Translate app on your phone. At that point, you can tap the Assistant button again (or mic button) to initiate conversation mode. Your headphones will send your phone a message, where the translation will be typed out and read aloud in the language you chose. And that’s it.

Translate with Google Assistant

  1. Invoke Assistant on your headphones. (For Pixel Buds, touch and hold right earbud.)
  2. Tell Assistant to help you interpret a language. (Example: “Help me interpret French.”)
  3. This will launch Google Translate in conversation mode with your languages set.

Note: A Google account is required.

Start talking

  1. Activate your headphone’s mic. (On Pixel Buds, touch and hold the right earbud.)
  2. Start speaking in the language listed under the headset icon.
  3. Deactivate your headphone’s mic. (On Pixel Buds, release finger from the right earbud).
  4. The app on your phone will then translate what you said in your selected language.

Receive a

  1. Hold your finger on the mic icon in your Google Translate app.
  2. Have the other person respond in the language listed under the mic icon.
  3. When they’re done, release your finger from the mic icon.
  4. Their will be translated and played back via your headphones.

Which languages are available?

For a list of languages to translate, go here. Examples include French, Japanese, German, Hindi, Swedish, Spanish, and so on.

Which headphones have Google Assistant?

For a list of headphones with Google Assistant, go here. The LG’s Tone Platinum SE, for instance, has a dedicated Google Assistant button.

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