One way Google addressed the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack on the Pixel 2 at their October 4th event was by introducing Pixel Buds. These Bluetooth headphones feature the Google Assistant built-in, Fair Pair, and a real-time translation feature.
Fortunately, Google has now confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the neat latter feature will also work on last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL.
As an audio headset for listening to media, Pixel Buds work with Android 5.0 or higher and iOS 10.0 or above. To access the Google Assistant, Android Marshmallow is required, while the dedicated Assistant app needs to be installed on iOS. Meanwhile, Fast Pair also requires a device running Android 6.0 or above.
The real-time translation feature is exclusive to Made by Google phones. While demoed with the Pixel 2 on stage, a Google Support article confirms that it will also work with the original Pixel.
Additionally, Google Translate needs to be installed on your device, with Google also noting that the translation feature is launched from the Assistant by asking “Help me speak [language].” Therefore, all other Assistant requirements need to be met for use.
On stage, Google noted that Pixel Buds will be able to translate 40 languages at launch. The full list is as follows:
Pixel Buds will be available in Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue this November for $159. Unfortunately, they are sold out on the Google Store, though there is a wait list to be notified of availability.