We’ve been inching ever closer to Star Trek’s Universal Translator for years. I can still remember being floored by a tech demo about 20 years ago, in which a phone conversation was translated into a different language more or less as it happened. And the iPhone’s iOS 14 update includes a translation app that works great, if you don’t mind holding the phone in front of you like a microphone. But Timekettle’s WT2 is a pair of earbuds, so you get the translation right in your ear. Today only, you can get the, which is 53% off the regular price of $300. I believe that’s the lowest price it has sold for on Amazon.
Even though I rarely travel abroad anywhere or meet people in person that would require me to navigate language barriers, I am obsessed with Timekettle’s real-time translation buds nonetheless. It’s incredibly cool to carry on a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak English and hear their intent in your own language right in your ear, as the conversation is happening. I’ve played with both the WT2 and the newer M2 earbuds, and both give me a thrill I don’t easily tire of.
Here’s how it works: After you pair the WT2 with your iPhone or Android device, each person puts on one earbud. The earbuds are essentially identical; there’s no left or right to worry about. They work in conjunction with Timekettle’s app, where you select the languages (it supports 40 languages and 93 accents) and then just start talking.
The app displays a split screen with the spoken and translated text, but you can largely ignore that — it only takes a moment to hear what your conversation partner has said in your ear. In my testing, accuracy was