Teenage Engineering’s new OB-4 is a one-in-one radio, instrument and speaker

Synth Wizards of Swedish electronics maker Teenage Engineering has unveiled their most amazing and interesting product yet: a rewindable radio and speaker system called OB-4. The device, now available in black or red for $ 599, is as sleek and well-designed as the company’s standard synth products, but it packs a whole lot of interesting tech under the hood.

The main feature of the OB-4 is the manual rewind dial attached to its integrated motor, which the company says will allow you to turn back what you’ve heard in the last two hours on a rolling basis – even if it’s a live radio. , Plugged into a device like a Spotify playlist or a single synth of teenage engineering played via Bluetooth. From there, you can replay what you’ve heard, or by dragging and looping it over time, you can mess with it in the audio dio.

Image: Adolescent Engineering

“Have you ever wished that while listening to the radio you could immediately turn back to the title of the song you played? OB-4 constantly remembers what you hear on endless looping tapes, ”the company writes on the OB-4 product page. “Rewind, time stretch and loop at the flick of your finger. On purpose or by accident. Instant rewind on radio is one of the magic tricks of OB-4. “

What can you really do with this? It is not entirely clear at this time. The company only has a short teaser video that displays the OB-4, and does not include any real-time demonstrations of Rewind Tech.

That said, it’s not hard to imagine some pretty interesting use cases, such as grabbing a sample from an FM radio cast and integrating it into the mix, which you’re putting together on the Teenage Engineering OP-1 Synth. The company says the device supports the new Bluetooth standards, so the OB-4 line will also be able to connect wirelessly to its new OP-Z synthesizer. There’s also a disk mode called “D-‘s, which Teenage Engineering says includes a variety of experimental features starting with the surrounding player and the metronome.

The product page reads, “If you ignore traditional inputs like line-in, Bluetooth and FM radio, you end up in disk mode.” “This is where we will continue to develop new pilot features for OB-4. It is our public research space, where we allow this media-instrument to explore and prototype everything we can. “

Image: Adolescent Engineering

Beyond this, it is clear that in teenage engineering, the function of the device is seen in part as a very nice looking but expensive Bluetooth speaker. The company says you can use it just to relax and listen to the radio or your favorite music, and there’s a carrying handle to bring it to a friend’s place or park hangout. When properly folded the handle also doubles like a stand, you can prop it up to better access its physical buttons and dials. It has an average battery life of 40 hours of listening on a single charge, and for those interested, there is a breakdown of the actual speaker specs on the product page.

It will be interesting to see more of what this device can do when it is in the hands of a bunch of creators and musicians who can really do magic when they use teenage engineering synths and similar devices. For now, though, it’s still a really well-designed radio, not the most expensive you’ve probably seen.