The idea of a device that translates between different languages in real-time or near real-time has long seemed the sort that would remain part of science fiction. Fortunately, that’s not the case, as the Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds do exactly that. Simply pop the earbuds in, choose a few settings in the comparison app, and soon you’ll be able to converse with anyone who speaks any of the 40 supported languages. That’s just the beginning of what the WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds are capable of.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Timekettle. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
The Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds feature multiple translation modes and bidirectional simultaneous translation. Some translation modes are better for one-on-one conversation, while others are better for translating while in large groups. You can easily transition between modes on the fly.
To help make conversations even easier, the WT2 Edge earbuds use Smart Noise Reduction. Timekettle says this technology can actually differentiate between who is speaking in group conversations, making it easier to have a conversation in a crowded area.
In this spirit of conversation, you don’t need a wake word like “Hey, Siri” or “OK, Google” to start using the WT2 Edge. Voice pickup and translation are fully automatic, so you don’t need to remember to enable translation whenever you may need it.
In 2020, Timekettle updated the WT2 Edge with offline translation and featured them on Indiegogo. Having used the outlet before, the company has raised nearly 1.2 million USD from more than 8,000 backers You’ll need to set them up and use them first, but once you have, you can use the earbuds to translate even in areas with little to no Internet access.
You’ll still need the Internet to use all of the WT2 Edge’s features, but you can translate, which is the most important part.
With one charge, you get three hours of continuous translation. The included charging case brings that to a total of 12 hours of translation between charging sessions. When it’s time to recharge, 90 minutes fully recharges the case and the earbuds inside.
Build Quality & Design
The Timekettle WT2 Edge are similar in overall size, shape, and appearance to Apple’s AirPods. They even come in a charging case that is somewhat similar to the case that the original AirPods used.
This stays true with the earbuds themselves, though the extended lower section that holds the microphones is slightly larger. Given the translation focus, this is to be expected. That said, it’s worth noting that these are slightly smaller than Timekettle’s earlier, somewhat less capable WT2 Plus Translator Earbuds.
While the translator earbuds themselves are fully wireless, the case isn’t. It charges the WT2 Edge earbuds without wires, but you’ll need to connect a USB-C cable to charge the case.
Unlike the original Apple AirPods, the Timekettle WT2 Edge ships with a few silicone protectors for the portion of the earbuds that goes in your ears. This is more to protect the earbuds than it is for fit purposes. That makes sense, as every so often you’ll be handing somebody one of your earbuds for two-way translation.
You also get a pair of plastic “wings.” These are meant to help the WT2 Edge earbuds stay in your ears, though most people shouldn’t need them.
Getting Started with the Timekettle WT2 Edge
Getting up and running with the Timekettle WT2 Edge is an easy process. Download the Timekettle app for iOS or Android, sign in, and select the WT2 Edge from the available models. You don’t want to pair the earbuds with your phone the standard way.
The app will prompt you to take the WT2 Edge out of the charging case and pair them. These pair separately, and there’s a reason for that, which we get into later.
Once you’ve successfully paired the WT2 Edge, you’ll be able to start translating with them.
Translating with the Timekettle WT2 Edge
How you use the Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds depends on the conversation you’re having. The standard method is “Simul Mode,” which is the mode that could be the handiest.
Choose your language and take one earbud, then choose the language of the person you’re speaking to and hand them the other earbud. Now you can both speak freely while the WT2 Edge communicates in both directions.
This takes just a few minutes to get used to, then it’s impressive how quickly and accurately the translation works. The key is making sure the earbuds understand what you’re saying, so you may want to speak slightly more slowly and more carefully than you normally would.
I was translating mainly between English and Spanish, but also translated French and German successfully. Timekettle says its translation is 95 percent accurate, which seemed fair in my testing.
Touch mode works similarly but only translates when you’re touching the earbud. This lets you stop the earbuds from translating everything they hear. In combination with the Smart Noise Reduction, it makes having a conversation in a crowded area much easier.
For one-way translation, you can use the speaker mode. This is perfect if you only need to very briefly communicate with someone. Just speak your native language into the earbuds and the translated message will come out of your phone speaker.
If you need to ask a simple yes or no question in an airport or similar situation, this is a perfect quick fix.
Finally, there is the group chat functionality. This requires more than one set of the WT2 Edge Translator earbuds, but it’s great for setting up meetings where one or more attendants speak different languages.
Can You Use the WT2 Edge as Standard Earbuds?
The Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds are called that for a reason. These aren’t meant to be a stand-in for your everyday earbuds. Instead, these are a standalone translation device. That said, if you’re seeking something that does both, you’re not out of luck.
We’ve previously covered the Timekettle M2 Translation Earbuds. When it comes to translating, these aren’t as powerful, as they don’t have the same smart noise canceling, for example. What they do have is the ability to function as standard earbuds, so they’re worth considering if you want one product that does everything.
Should You Buy the Timekettle WT2 Edge?
The Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds are impressive. While the inevitable forward march of technology will continue to improve translation technology, it’s hard to believe that these work as well as they do right now.
At some point in the future, this translation tech built into earbuds that can translate calls for you would be great. Of course, this brings with it a different set of problems, so it may be some time before we see that. In the meantime, the Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds are well worth it for anyone who spends time in places where they frequently encounter multiple languages.
The Timekettle WT2 Edge don’t instantly teach you how to speak a language, but for now, they may be the next best thing. The offline version is slightly more expensive, but they’re worth it for the peace of mind.