Teenage Engineering Updates OB–4 ‘Magic Radio’ With Beat-Matched Looping & More

Teenage Engineering has released an update for their 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.

Here’s what’s new:

Beat Match Looping

The OB–4 helps you get perfectly timed loops from any audio source. Beat match analyzes the musical content of what you are listening to in real time and automatically detects the beats.

808 Metronome

The OB–4 features a new synthesized 808 kick drum sound as one of the metronome sounds. You can tune it and adjust the decay.

Ambient Effect

The OB-4 can turn any audio source into a drone, with its ‘Ambient’ effect.

External Looping

Looping now works with any external equipment connected through the line in. In the demo above, an OP–Z pattern is being looped and manipulated using the OB–4.

Pricing and Availability

The Teenage Engineering OB-4 is available now for $649 USD.

43 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering Updates OB–4 ‘Magic Radio’ With Beat-Matched Looping & More

  1. the technology itself accounts for about .1% of that cost

    i guess some people just cant live without hipster styling and trendy trends – but more importantly they are willing to pay so very much for it

    1. Industrial Design Engineer here, nope that .1% is absolutely not true. Considering the small batch sizes TE has to work with, the understated audio computing power this thing has and the reality of retailer margins, $650 is a very defendable price.

      Hipster styling isn’t more expensive to make, small batch sizes are (and as to what trendy trend this is, you tell me). The OB-4 might not have functionality that you want to pay $650 for (which is fair), but if you don’t understand the logic behind hardware pricing, don’t bother commenting.

  2. For that price better make toast and coffee!??
    A $649 808 metronome. This is really for the super rich person that has everything.

    Because you call it a boom box lets play some funk to show our over price electronics is from the ghetto too!
    Hey Teenage Engineering go Beat Match Looping some ABBA!

    Voulez-Vous to you Teenage Engineering!

  3. To me the entire Teenage Engineering lineup, pocket operators arguably aside, is Hammacher Schlemmer catalog stuff. Nice things to look at, but more along the lines of gifts that the really rich people give each other.
    The pocket operators are a bit more accessible, but certainly not my style. The tones they create are not pleasant to my ears, and the compositions they inspire are narrow and cliche’d.

    1. (replying to myself:) Some folks below are saying that there’s nothing wrong with marketing to the wealthy. I agree with that sentiment. These products are, by and large, well-constructed and thoughtfully designed. TE has created some very interesting and usable (and challenging?) interfaces, and at times redefined the way devices are conceived and laid out – sometimes in very good ways. But they are not marketing to me, and I am not likely to dig deep and buy any of their products. Even though I may spend into the thousands for an electronic musical instrument (and recently have), their offerings and their marketing simply do not resonate here.

      1. You’ve nailed it with “not marketed at me”. The same could be said of vintage synth enthusiasts decrying the JU-08 for only having 4 voices.

  4. I don’t quite get why making products for rich people is somehow considered wrong or bad. The underlying assumption seems to be that wealth is per definition unethical, but there are nice rich people too and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have nice products. No need to hate on a company for focusing on a certain customer base.

    1. They are advertising channel on a refugee camp, to use an analogy of the situation. And you expect the reguees to salute the advertisement…99.9999% of artists/musicians are way under middle class from an economic point of view.

      1. It’s a common misconception that the main target audience for music tech companies are professional artists and musicians. If that was the case, nobody would sell enough units to make any of this work. The largest portion of customers for companies like TE are hobbyists who make music for fun in their spare time. They have regular jobs and dispensable income to spend on their hobby.

  5. Rich people. As if that is bad? They can do what they want with their money. That includes buying b.s. things such as this. Since when does $650 fall into the rich people domain of access anyway? This product certainly appeals to any idiot who has a penchant for pissing away money, be it from any end of the wealth spectrum.

    1. Totally agree. I’m buying ten for all my grandkids and having my accountant write it off as a business expense.

  6. Tis eye, the idiot! This is awesome. Not going to buy it but im not douchey enough to think all products need to fall within a certain price range. You’d be a lair to say that if someone got you this as a gift, with no gift receipt (which I whole-heartedly believe in, don’t like it, too bad, enjoy) you’d just keep it in the bxo in your closet because your too cool for rich people products. If so, then you’re as dumb as TE’s product line.

      1. re: ADMIN ..Keep posting on topic and constructive. …stop trolling with non-synth related posts!

  7. This is quite cool. I don’t care about the whole price thing but I like the Make Noise Ecophon even more. There’s a very cool video on Instagram somewhere of the Ecophon in action.

  8. there is obviously room and a market for things like this, but i think the music making community is always hoping for more ‘serious’ instruments coming from TE though they never seem to come and may never. like i think everyone would be super excited about an OP-1 with more ‘pro’ features, but with radios and carrying bags being the only thing they seem to be focusing on i guess it’s not likely.

    1. This is very true. I think some people are disappointed because they were expecting TE to be a music instruments manufacturer after the OP-1 was created, but instead they defined themselves as a design agency with a wider field of interests. Perhaps it would have been smart for them to split up their company into a real music brand that focuses on innovative instruments, and a design agency that supports it, but also takes on roles in totally different projects. Would be less confusing to customers and help maintain a sharper image.

    1. Would purchase one if it had audio out honestly, not too bothered by the price. It’s useless to have all these cool features and no way to capture them for me personally but I guess it’s aimed at casual grooving, im confused as to what audience they’ve chosen to target that’s for sure.

    2. Step 1: Relax
      Step 2: Grab your tools
      Step 3: grab a beer
      Step 4: play desirable music( preferably in a different device)
      Step 4.1. Jack off (best decisions can be taken after a good stretch to the old goose)…once you confirm you need and output proceed with next step
      Step 5: open it
      Step 6: iron two cables to each speaker (just be sure you can id + & -) and be sure to have a females stereo jack
      Step 7: iron properly to the jack as per jacks specification data sheet (L,R and -)
      Step 8: Drill a proper hole wherever you want/can place the jack
      Step 9: jerk off again (just because)
      Step 10: attach jack and close and make a vid of your mod

      Neoyorquino

  9. Everybody seems to so hung up on the price that nobody’s said anything about this thing’s design or capabilities.

    I like the idea of having a portable device I could use for playing with in my living room or in the backyard or anywhere else. The fact that this also has performance features, like sampling and looping, is also something I’ve never seen before in a speaker.

    The thing about TE products is that they don’t look like something that’s created by a committee, like most products do. As IDESIGNSTUFF noted, the pricing is a function of the volume these are made in. The TE guys have designed inexpensive stuff, too, like the Pocket Operators or their IKEA speakers, but they’re high-volume designs. Products like this or the OP-1 are unique and well-made, but are niche products.

    It’s strange that people blow a gasket over products like this, instead of asking why other companies don’t make inexpensive products in the categories that TE works in.

    People always complain that the OP-1 should cheap like the old Casio VL-1’s – I’d like to see Casio do interesting portable music devices again, and Roland and Yamaha. Korg is the only big company to do any tiny portable audio devices, and they’ve been super successful, even though they have a fraction of the power of the OP-1.

    1. no the idea is pretty interesting… in fact i use so much found sound and nearly always have a desire to sample or record all kinds of things im watching or listening to everyday

      but its definitely not $600 worth of interesting

    2. also – reacting to people’s reactions is not any different than any other reaction.. so don’t blow a gasket over other people blowing a gasket or you will really seem quite confused and irrelevant

  10. Oh my, what lovely thing.

    Would be sweet if they made a new Pocket Operator with just the simple looper from this. Especially at a PO price. 🙂

  11. Considering that the main use case for this mostly likely is just as a loudspeaker for your handheld device, with the cute looping and groovy tweaking secondary, I would say it would be hard to buy this without seeing it in person and hearing the quality of the speaker.

  12. Everyone’s a critic! I think TE does a fine job of making things that are *unique*.

    I admit, half of the fun I have with my OP-1 is showing it to someone and letting them hold it: it looks like a cheap toy – until you feel the weight of it.

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