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 find myself in situations involving language barriers, I'm obsessed with Timekettle's real-time translation buds. It's incredibly cool to carry on a conversation with someone who doesn't speak English and to hear his or her intent in my own language, right in my ear as the conversation is happening. I've played with both the WT2 and the newer M2 earbuds, and both give me a thrill.
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 takes only a moment to hear what your conversation partner has said in your ear. In my testing, accuracy was excellent, but then again I was using it in low-stress environments. I've never tried to conduct a business meeting with someone who spoke only Korean, or who needed to find the nearest hospital in Berlin.
Even so, I've been impressed. I suspect that the most challenging aspect of using the WT2 is getting other people to stick an earbud in their ear. That might not be something you can accomplish in any situation.
It's worth noting that the WT2 is exclusively a translation tool; it's not a general-purpose earbud you can use to listen to music or take calls. (If you want earbuds that handle ordinary audio tasks and also translate, check out Timekettle's M2.) But if you're OK with the fact that this is something of a single-use-gadget, today's your day to get the WT2 for what I believe is the lowest price ever.
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