Your days of awkwardly pausing a fractured conversation to whip out Google Translate when you’re in a country with a thick language barrier are over. A British company, Mymanu, has created the world’s first truly wireless translation earbuds, working much like a normal pair of buds but designed to offer real-time speech-to-speech translation in more than 37 languages. The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign launched in 2019, the Mymanu CLIK S earbuds should be an easy game-changer for travellers wanting fluid conversations while abroad.
Let’s face it, you’re missing out on a whole heap of local knowledge just by sheepishly shying away from conversations and keeping them top-level if you’ve only studied a few handy phrases before heading to destinations like Japan and Italy. Google Translate was a solution to this when it launched all those years ago, and it’s since become much easier to talk into your phone and have it translate for you. These Myamu CLIK S earbuds are a significant step beyond that clunky process, acting like a personal translator in your ears.
And it works both ways as well. While the earbuds let you receive a live translation of pretty much any conversation in your preferred language, there’s a companion smartphone app that lets you select the language you wish to speak and makes your phone translate for you. That function works a bit similar to Google Translate, in that you’ll first need to speak and then watch as your phone translates it for you, then play it back to whoever you’re having a conversation with.
Once you speak your sentence, the translation will be displayed on the app and you can either try to read it out yourself, assuming you’re confident with the pronunciation or get your phone to speak on your behalf. When it comes time to work in the other direction, the translation is first recorded by your phone and then fed into your ear so you’ll get written text as well as a verbal translation.
The earbuds have already picked up a Red Dot Design award for the UK-based company, and honestly, it’s not much of a surprise. To my knowledge, nothing else like this exists in the market, letting you get the message across without hassle while also presenting an even more frictionless experience when you’re trying to understand someone completely foreign to you.
In addition to the seamless translation feature, the Mymanu CLIK S earbuds also work just as any regular pair of wireless earbuds would. You can stream music in HD, answer calls and read texts throughout the 30-minute battery life. The open-air design is necessary to help translate for you, so don’t go expecting any decent level of noise cancelling beyond passive noise cancelling.