Teenage Engineering OB-4: Portable Speaker with DJ Sound Processing

Swedish Teenage Engineering has released the OB-4 FM / Bluetooth speaker. A fairly large-scale sound is provided by two D-class amplifiers with a power of 38 watts. SPLs up to 100 dB are created by a pair of long-stroke mid / bass drivers, complemented by two ferromagnetic-cooled tweeters. All of these speakers are equipped with neodymium magnets.

The OB-4 can receive audio signal from the built-in FM tuner, the antenna of which is mounted in the handle. In addition, there is an analogue AUX input – 3.5 mm jack. The onboard Bluetooth module supports BLE (Low Energy mode). Teenage Engineering promised to add MIDI functionality to the device later.

Teenage Engineering OB-4

Many of the functions available in OB-4 are not quite common: for example, the input signal in the system is written to an intermediate digital storage device and played back from it. It becomes possible to work in the loop mode, applying effects such as changing the pitch or speed (pitch), “skipping” forward or backward.

And all this can be done with a radio program going in real time. These DJ functions are controlled by a motorized encoder on the panel of the unit. Another similar control is responsible for the volume and at the same time works as an indicator of its level.

Teenage Engineering OB-4

OB-4 was equipped with several additional functions, the number of which was promised to be added in the future. The Karma function diversifies the speech signal with psychedelic effects. Ambient mode applies abstract meditative synth effects to music. Metronome Mode turns the OB-4 into a regular metronome for music practice.

The built-in 5,000 mAh battery of the novelty will provide up to three days of normal use or 8 hours at maximum volume.

Teenage Engineering OB-4

The shape of the device is associated with the powerful all-wave portable radios of the late 70s – with their handles throughout the body. True, the design here is truly minimalistic. OB-4 is manufactured in the Czech Republic, its body is assembled from an amorphous polymer reinforced with fiberglass combined with milled aluminum.

In Europe, the cost of a black Teenage Engineering OB-4 was 600 euro. The OB-4 in red trim costs 150 euro more. The OB-4 can also be upgraded with a custom-made London leather harness case (costs €400), and for €100, you can add a wireless remote for remote volume control.