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Mymanu Wireless Earbuds are the Closest Thing We Have to Star Trek’s Universal Translator

The Clik Wireless Earbuds and app translate languages for you while on a call

Two things we’ve been hearing a lot of lately are true wireless earbuds and live translation. Skype’s the major player in the latter, adding a translation feature a couple years back that allows two people speaking different languages to call each other — it doesn’t always work, but it’s improving. It’s a relatively new field, and that means there’s opportunity for smaller players to work their way in. One of those is Mymanu, a Kickstarter company from last year with their own pair of true wireless earbuds.

The buds are called the Mymanu Clik, and while true wireless earbuds have already become pretty well-worn territory, they look promising. Key is that they use NFMI to connect the buds to each other, which makes for a stronger and more stable connection. With comfortable silicone ear covers and a few nice color options, they look pretty good, too, even if they look a bit big in the ears — something of an unavoidable problem with true wireless buds. They use three-way balanced armature drivers, so while they won’t be great for bass, they should have a nice balanced sound. The surfaces of the buds are touch sensitive, with control for voice assistants, play/pause, and track skipping. The buds can also read off smartphone notifications.

But, we’re here for this translation feature. Translation comes from a Bluetooth connection to Mymanu’s app, and there are some limitations to that kind of implementation. The best use for the app would be when making calls, especially for businesses with international offices or contacts — as long as both people (or all involved in a conference call) have the app running with buds connected, the app will translate what the others are saying to the user’s chosen language. Mymanu currently works with over 30 languages, including Arabic and Chinese, so they’re off to a good start there. One handy part of the app is that calls are established using one-time passcodes, so there’s no need to exchange numbers or user names.

Mymanu won’t be particularly useful while traveling. While it would be possible to translate someone else’s speech, they wouldn’t be able to understand you unless they had their own device running the app with their own pair of headphones. There could still be some uses, but only when you need on-way translation — it won’t facilitate communication.

The app, which will be available for Android and iOS, will also integrate playback from a number of streaming music services, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, and SoundCloud, and can also play music stored on your phone.

The Kickstarter campaign wrapped up last September, but it’s still possible to order a pair of Mymanu Clik from their website for £155. Shipping is currently scheduled for this May.