Teenage Engineering OB-4

There’s been a steady undercurrent of hype in various bits of social media about a new Teenage Engineering product and it looks like it’s finally dropped.

It’s a radio. Sorry, a magic radio.

£599 here in the UK, or $769.33 in the USA, according to that nice Mr Google.

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I generally try to avoid sampling Internet Beef, but the comments on Instagram are just priceless.

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Well, this seems bad on every level–unless you’re a trust fund club kid. I can overlook the lack of imagination and 1% pricing, but encouraging people to blast loud music in public spaces is unconscionable to me. Fortunately, they aren’t going to be selling many of these–it may have taken 6 years to develop (goodness!), but this product will be only a dim memory in 6 weeks.

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Are you telling me you don’t want a £599 radio with optional £400 leather bag?

Seems like a product no one would want but what do I know, it’s already sold out.

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Fanboys never cease to amaze me…

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Okay, so I wasn’t alone in harboring this thought. I saw the photo of the thing on a chair and feared for the effect on public transportation.

I wouldn’t have thought that something like this would sell, but based on those Instragram comments, it’s already sold out :woman_shrugging:

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I’m waiting for the announcement of an additional ziploc bag…I mean “splash case” for it

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I am not the market for this, but it doesn’t seem totally insane when you compare it to a mass-produced equivalent with fewer features:

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I’m never going to buy this product, as it’s way to expensive for me, but I’m having a hard time understanding why TE and this product gets so much shade. It’s expensive, yes, but less expensive than a Norns, which is a tricked up raspberry pi, probably completely useless for alot of people, but most interesting products are.

I like the idea with the 2 hour buffer recording, and the built in generators.
And that rotating tape button is the dumbest thing i’ve seen in a while, but it’s awesome, and I’ve never seen physical feedback like that on device like this.

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I think the problem many people have with this is that it’s design for the expression of the designer rather than design for the sake of the customer… I get people will buy this as something of a work of art, that’s the same way I see the monome norns however the norns has MASSIVE capability on the other side, for the sake of the customer, where this… Is a glorified speaker, from a company that brought us some pretty nifty devices across a range of prices… It’s very disappointing for that reason… “wasted” resources to some…

edit: for the record I hate this thing and am writing off TE as a company that doesn’t care about the important products they’ve already released… it feels like it’s a company being run by some pretty big egos.

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Oh, for sure, it has some interesting features - anybody else notice the lack of a line out, though? (Or have I just misread the blurb?)

I guess even TE didn’t want to go head to head with the PRS…

Also, some good points about the potentially antisocial nature of its use:

“designed to be played outdoors, in public spaces and at high volume; carried on one shoulder with speaker elements facing the head. note: it is assumed that passers-by share the same musical taste.”

It still seems phenomenally expensive for a radio…

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I can’t help but think that the weeks of hype only added to people’s disappointment…
If they just would have dropped it as a surprise release would people be as mad? Or maybe waited until more of the other features they hinted at were ready to show?

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TE 100% set themselves up for this–with a pompous month long product tease (they couldn’t even come up with enough things to tease!), and a high profile launch for a me-too product. If you position yourself as an object of satire—expect satiric comments.

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this is very very dumb

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still waiting for the OP-1 SDK :sweat_smile:

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Yeah, I think super-hype music culture needs to really rethink itself. The whole “stay tuned” copy next to an mysterious back-lit photo is getting pretty exhausting. I don’t mind a well-measured campaign; I mean I want to know about new stuff from companies I like.

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I think maybe a more apt comparison is Arc. At $900 for what is essentially four encoders with LEDs around them, if you aren’t engrossed in the monome ecosystem already then it seems insane. It is a specialized product for a class of specially motivated people. And this speaker is probably intended for a small class of aesthetically-motivated people. I think we could argue that Arc provides a lot more functionality, but that’s only because it provides it to us. Ultimately, to an outsider, “it’s four knobs.”

The frustration probably comes from the fact that this is a little out of line for TE. Monome has a much smaller following and much more niche, so it’s easy sell people on things that are seemingly distant (teletype and arc, for example). But I don’t think TE has any obligation to their fans, and as much as I hate this thing I can just not buy it and be fine.

I do think they kind of set themselves up for this, they should have known that people would not get super excited about this.

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But really, what did they set themselves up for? They sold out immediately… They knew they would sell out immediately (or perhaps they just created an image of scarcity as a promotional tool, who knows!)

It’s something of a slap in the face when a designer throws a curve ball like this…

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On the contrary, I think they knew that SOME people WOULD get super excited. Namely the people buying $800 designer electronics :smiley: (what @forrest was quicker to say)

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I’ve have gone for the classic “This should be played at high volume, preferably in a residential area” personally

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