This is not what you think it is. The Teenage Engineering OB-4 presents as a portable boombox, but it’s more, it’s a magic radio.
What is it about Teenage Engineering and why are they in our minds creating the instruments and devices we didn’t know we wanted? They’ve created a one-of-a-kind product, which is no small feat in today’s market, the OB-4.
The OB-4 is a magic radio. It’s a boom box presenting portable radio that lets you manipulate audio sources from Bluetooth to line in any FM radio station. It also has internal sounds from an ambient drone creator, to a metronome to 30 mantras.
Teenage Engineering is a quirky company that inspires people to create, and not when I say people I mean Bon Iver, Thom Yorke, Childish Gambino, Skrillex, and Trent Reznor. Their new field series — which we’ve covered a few times — is packed with features and a portable design made with the intention to create music anywhere.
The OB-4 blurs the lines between music consumers and music creators. This magic radio automatically records up to 2 hours of audio on its internal tape for you to play with, it even tracks your moves between radio stations. Neat.
It’s a pretty simple device. It’s stereo with its 2 tweeters, 2 woofers and a bass reflex for the low end. There’s 4 inputs — Line In, Bluetooth, FM radio and Disk — a Volume/Power knob, a Tape Dial, a display and the handle is also the antenna which you can boost the reception with the extended antenna supplied. And It’s got an average of 40 hours of battery life.
The coolest feature by far is the internal Tape. With that, you can rewind, fast forward, change the speed, and create loops. With a few simple movements and button functions, you can sample a live radio station and manipulate it.
The Disk mode is pretty neat too, with its 3 modes. Switch between Ambient, Karma and the Metronome. Ambient creates drones generated by the FM radio, Karma is a collection of 30 different preloaded mantras, and the metronome goes from 1 beat per minute up to 800 beats per minute.
You can dial in the mix of the ‘ambience‘ when in Ambient mode, scroll through Karma to find something to Zen out to and When on the 808 style Metronome you can change the pitch of the kick drum.
Once you start learning the tricks of the OB-4 — which is not hard at all — you’ll be exploring sound like never before.
The OB-4 comes in two colours, Matte Black and Gloss Red. The Matte Black costs $519 USD and the Gloss Red costs $559 USD and you can accesorize it with a leather or mesh backpack and a Ortho Remote, to control the OB-4 wirelessly.
Find out more or buy the OB-4 from Teenage Engineering’s website.