Krzysztof is a lifelong future tech junkie investigating the latest stories from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon.
Timekettle M2 Translation Earbuds Hands-On
The Timekettle M2 Offline & Online Translation Earbuds combine true wireless headphones with real-time translation features for a satisfying user experience.
The one-size fits all white headphones arrive inside a snap-on Type-C magnetic case, and the buds have touch controls for voice assistant activation - music playback - calling, and most importantly, instantaneous online and offline language translation.
The M2's recently completed a very successful Indiegogo crowdfunding run with 5800+ backers and over $650,000 raised. They're jumping off other successful product launches including the Timekettle Zero and WT2 in-ear translator.
However unlike those two products, this one is geared towards the average consumer since the translation component feels baked in rather than a niche feature.
But if language translation is your goal then you won't go wrong here as Timekettle delivers 6 offline language translations including:
- English to Spanish
- English to Korean
- English to Russian
- English to Chinese
- English to French
- English to Japanese
These add-on offline translations and other upcoming packs can be purchased and downloaded (coming soon).
On top of that you get 93+ total languages and accents when using WiFi or cellular data, which directly challenges popular translation utilities from Google and Microsoft.
In addition the M2's real-time translation features can be used with 3 modes: lesson, touch, and speaker.
- Speaker Mode - Sentences get translated onto the app and can be played back using your phone's speaker
- Lesson Mode - Earbuds pick up nearby language/s and translate them directly onto the app (great for presentations and lectures)
- Touch Mode - Translate back and forth conversations with another person by touching earbud sensor when it's time for your or the other person to speak (must give one earbud to other person)
The 3 modes work well though their accuracy and success varies on nearby noise levels, how far you're away from someone speaking, and outside interference; a speedy internet connection also helps.
As good as the language features are, I'm even more impressed with how seamless everything feels. I've always been skeptical that 100% accurate, real-time translation would be a thing but the Timekettle M2's make me believe it'll really be possible one day.
M2 Product Information
30hrs w/case - 6hrs per charge
Recharge Time (case & buds)
IPX4 - sweatproof
Yes - 6 languages (English to Spanish - French - Japanese - Chinese - Korean - Russian)
Yes - 93+ Languages/Accents
Voice Assistant Control
Yes - Siri - Google - Bixby
True Wireless Stereo
Custom Ear Tips
Calling & Music Playback
iOS & Android
Qualcomm atpX Algorithm - 3 Translation Modes (Lesson - Speaker - Touch)
M2 Earbuds - Carrying Pouch - USB-C Charging Cable
10 Things the Timekettle M2 Earbuds Do Right
What do the Timekettle earbuds get right that competitors have failed to accomplish?
It turns out it was always the little things; below is a short list of things I've found that made the experience more rewarding.
Ten Reasons Why the Timekettle M2 Earbuds Succeed
- Bluetooth 5.0 with a long range connection of several meters
- Three translation modes that utilize a wide-range of translation capabilities
- Six language offline translations and 93+ language/accent online translations
- IPX4 sweat-proof resistance
- Magnetic snap-on USB-C charging case with 30+ hour total battery life and 6 hours per charge
- Smart touch controls for tap-to-touch translations, music/calling and voice assistant activation
- Good sound with true wireless stereo powered by Qualcomm
- Supports both Android & iOS software
- Broad consumer appeal as they can be used as TWS earbuds for music playback and calling
- Very comfortable to use
What I liked most about the M2's was that they could be used as normal wireless earbuds. I could use them to listen to music, to activate my voice assistant, and to take calls.
They're also broadly appealing and comfortable to use for long periods of time, they have sweat resistance which is good for light exercise, they work with Android and iOS, and they just sound good. I've used them to make calls and listen to tunes on Spotify and the sound quality was above standard.
It's nice that I can use these earbuds for everyday activities and not just for their translation features, so that's definitely something they got right. And as far as their translation services go, they're right up there with the best of them.
They cover a lot of languages and they're very accurate. I like their touch mode the most because you can give the other person one of your buds and translate back and forth on the fly.
And the best part is that you're in control. The buds will only translate when you want them too, which is better than the auto-translation that some apps or devices have.
5 Ways to Improve the Timekettle Headphones
As much as I'd love to keep praising these headphones, I noticed there were a few things that could be improved upon.
These things aren't a huge turn-off but it's something to work towards for the next version.
Five Things I'd Like to See in the Next Version
- Better waterproofing - IPX4 is good for sweat and light splashes but not great for moderate to intense workouts
- Custom ear tips - I understand the one size fits all option but everyone's ears are different plus they won't stay in your ear if you move your head too much (a common first gen AirPods problem)
- Improved app experience - I felt the app could've been more user friendly and I had problems with the lesson mode...the accuracy needs improvement
- Improved audio quality - I want more bass and an overall improved audio experience that could match higher quality wireless earbuds
- Continued language add-ons with improvement in translation accuracy and more offline language packs
Additionally the size of the headphones could be shrunken down; think of how the AirPods started to where they are now, I'd like to see something similar with the Timekettle earbuds and maybe introduce a couple new colors too.
Sorry to nitpick but there's always something that could be tweaked further to improve the customer experience. And most of my list is to take everything that's been built and take it up a notch whether it be the audio quality, offline/translation accuracy, app experience or waterproofing.
With minor upgrades I truly believe these earbuds can compete with the big three: Apple, Google, and Samsung. Given how good these headphones are already, I'm ecstatic to see what the next version will bring.
Timekettle M2 Online/Offline Translation Earbuds: Final Review
A big congrats to everyone on the Timekettle team for crafting such exciting and high quality translation earbuds. They are definitely worthy of the praise and rewards given.
I would give the Timekettle M2 Translation Earbuds 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Their offline translations are ground-breaking and represent the future of real-time language translation. On top of that they support 93+ languages and accents with online translation, which will only grow with software updates.
Even better than all of that is their user friendliness and broad appeal. The buds can be used by everyone for daily activities, and they perform well in basic tasks.
The audio quality is good, the touch controls are on par with the big 3, and they're comfortable to wear for long periods. I understand the exclusion of custom ear tips but they'd be good to have in the next version.
Everything else has already been said regarding potential improvements, and I trust the team to build on what they have accomplished.
The Timekettle M2 Translation Earbuds have been a wild success on Indiegogo for the positive reasons I've described, and I've been thrilled to get to try them out on my own.
You should definitely give these earbuds a shot when they become available because they're truly a look into the future that I never thought was possible.
To learn more about Timekettle and all their product releases then please visit them here.