Teenage Engineering Intros $600 OB–4 ‘Magic Radio’

Teenage Engineering today introduced the OB–4 ‘Magic Radio’, a portable high-fidelity loudspeaker that continually records what you play, so that you can rewind, time-stretch and loop it.

Features:

  • ‘natural’ sound – four tailor-engineered speaker elements deliver pure quality sound and a stereo field that fills the entire room. a flow-optimized bass reflex duct delivers deep natural bass.
  • 72 hrs listening – high capacity lipo battery delivers about 8 hours of noise at max volume, or an average of 40 hours on a single charge.
  • wireless – the OB–4 hardware platform is designed to support both high-definition bluetooth classic and the new ble audio standard. Support for wireless audio with OP-Z coming soon.
  • ‘smart antenna’ & a ‘fine-tuned smart spiral antenna’ that integrates in the handle.
  • motorized user interface – use your fingers to grab, spin and interact with the sound.
  • disk mode – if you skip the traditional inputs like line in, bluetooth and FM radio, you end up in disk mode. For now, there are three functions on the disk; ambient, karma and metronome.
  • handle-stand – designed to be played outdoors, in public spaces and at high volume; carried on one shoulder with speaker elements facing the head.

Pricing and Availability

The OB-4 is available to pre-order for about $600 USD.

41 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering Intros $600 OB–4 ‘Magic Radio’

  1. I was so ready to buy whatever they released! The build up got me with all those emails.Then the email came this morning…. A Radio! They teased a radio in 2020. I get the whole “we’re a product company” thing but dam. Like Lebron James quitting basketball to be a ping pong champion.

  2. This is a joke, right? A 400 dollar case? To carry around a magic radio that’s blasting at people who don’t want to hear it? That looks like an IKEA bluetooth speaker (that I bought, and use!)? This is some delicious troll food! Pocket Operators, good. Magic radios, bad.

    1. This type of comments are very common with TE products intro’s. but they prove more then once they can make a huge hits without basing on the past.
      Let’s come back to here in 10 years 🙂

      1. Part of my point was that I have bought their products in the past and have been excited to see what they would come up with next. That’s precisely why this is such a disappointment, shading to insult. The magic radio (even the name is bad, and smacks of Magic Alex, creator of expensive empty boxes for the Beatles; I am still not convinced this is not an elaborate prank) appears to be something TE already had on the drawing board for IKEA (at a 49 dollar price point), added 1 technical element (maybe 2 – a ‘metronome’?) and a 400 dollar case. It’s that case that pushed me over the edge! This product deserves some critical function… but don’t listen to me: I thought the World Wide Web was just a fad in 1993. Hopefully in 10 years we will all still be alive to look back on this product and LOL. Perhaps TE would better serve their fan-base if they designed Magic Ventilators to keep them alive…

  3. Where did all the OP-1 engineers and idea men go? After the OP-1 they immediately came out with these toys like the Donkey Kong keychains, I think called the “Pocket Lint” series. And then came out with bendy tin toys like after WWII when we were out of steel. Now a home-made looking radio?

  4. I get that you guys are bitching on this but i think its cool that there are company’s like this that make non standard almost ridicules wel designed products. Also dig the effort to make nice looking product video’s that show-off that they are proud of what they make and try to induce GAS.

    i rather see them make instruments and specifically a modern portable device like the OP-1 that fits into the standard workflow and has the hardware appeal like the OP-1. Also more focust on serieus sound design and not the sort of preset browsing like the OP-1 synths feel like. Don’t see them making a product like that so i hope other company ‘s will.

  5. Look, TE did some cool stuff with the OP1 and opz, but if you look at their site, they have 4 lambos parked IN the office (not being used). I think they are loaded now and get to burn R&D money on silly stuff like this. The OP1’s price was raised i think for profits based on this behavior, not whatever reasons we thought. This would have been cool in 1996 for me, but now? no.

    1. Absolutely. TE –> OP-1 is like Lebron James —> Basketball. Now TE —–> A radio is like Lebron James —-> Ping Pong. You gotta have a sense of humor and like the op-1 a lot for the analogy to work.

  6. It looks good, but it’s pretty sub standard compared to other radios. I miss AM, DAB+, channel memory. A simple short wave receiver with a tape deck does more for less. I wish TE would focus as much on functionality as they do on design.

  7. Surely this is a good-natured joke meant to lift our spirits after last nights debate. And, I admit, it did bring a smile to my face.

  8. I have no problem with the design of this product. It’s actually quite clever. Most of their products have a respectable style, this one included.

    However, it’s more of a tape player than a radio, innit?

  9. Can I point out that it’s now 30 years since Y.-J. Ringard invented the Mustard Watch, which combined the idea of a watch with the idea of a mustard pot. _Maybe_ this new idea, which combines the idea of a rewinding tape with a radio, is the logical next step from that brilliant innovation.

  10. Their OP-1 is groundbreaking, their OP-Z is very good, and their Pocket Operators are truly wonderful and decently-priced.

    Their modular is gimmicky (and a pain in the butt to build and to use), their previous $1000 bluetooth speaker thing is gimmicky, and this radio is gimmicky. And by gimmicky I mean it’s over-priced for what it does and price only reflects some sort of cool factor.

    And yes, I’m a big old curmudgeon.

  11. it’s an “interesting” product and if it cost $100 or so, (similarly to the IKEA ENEBY speaker it resembles that I just purchased) then I might have actually bought it as I’m in (or, was in) the market for a mid size bluetooth speaker… but $600?! … and a $400 case?! F right off TE. I know it has the little tape feature and whatnot but if that is something you really think you NEED to do, you could simply just hook your radio up to some sort of looper or recorder. It’s not that novel. I have hated this company ever since the whole OP1 price debacle. Typical greedy capitalist company, I don’t care if they make ‘hip’ things. I will buy the Polyend Tracker for that much money, which coincidentally also comes with a radio you can sample (plus is a full fledged music making station)!

    1. In their defence, they did collaborate with ikea on one of the ikea speakers.

      My TV has had “rewind or pause live TV” and it is nearly 10 years old. Personally, I’ve only used that feature about twice. I never felt I needed it on a radio.

      If you are after a polyend tracker I don’t think this is really competing in the same space. This is mainly something to put on the bookshelf behind you when you’re making important zoom calls. (having said that maybe the tracker plays the same role for some people.)

  12. This comment section looks just like when the OP-1 first came out, does anyone remember that? Cuz we all know how it ended don’t we?

    1. G Boy, no offense intended, but you have probably heard the saying before: “Let’s all eat manure; 100 billion flies surely cannot be wrong.”

      TE may well end up making money on this, but that doesn’t render it a commendable item. The world also has a market for a solid-gold, diamond-accented, 1/18th-scale Bugatti Veyron – a tiny nonfunctional model that costs more than the actual working car! – but that doesn’t make either of these anything less than a prime example of consumerism gone insane. (But then again, I’m now too old to really know anything.)

  13. Yep, it is not synth. But it is looks like it could be great bluetooth speaker. Great quality bluetooth speaker is hard to find. I have kerdon something and quality is piece of garbage, cheap. And – try to find good quality radio with good sound now. EVERYTHING is cheap plastic made in china, even Sony, TDK, everything – looks and play cheap. If you want good quality plastic, metal, wood you need to look on ebay for vintage. So, maybe they aren’t wrong. If someone want to buy good, very high quality speaker with radio.

  14. What a beautiful thing. I can’t afford it—like I can’t afford beautiful sailboats (or shoes)—but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

    Internet Radio seems a missing bit. So does the lack of radio station presets at all. We’ll see what they do with the built-in instruments. I’m assuming “Ambient Mode” is some sort of slow cross-fading between looped, effected radio signals. Would be interesting to open that sort of thing up to users.

    It’s TE. I have faith (even I don’t have the money).

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