I’m trying so hard not to gush over Teenage Engineering’s latest gadget

Must read

3,248 ETH Stolen In Axie Infinity Co-Founder Hack – Here Are The Details

On Thursday night, the Axie Infinity co-founder suffered a hack that included a large amount of ETH being withdrawn from the wallet and...

Coinbase CEO Dispels Rumours: No Government Ban On Nigerians From The Crypto Exchange

Coinbase, a prominent crypto exchange headquartered in the United States, has debunked allegations that it was instructed by the Nigerian government to prevent...

Dogecoin Falls Out Of Top 10 Crypto, Are Meme Coins No Longer A Threat?

Sign Up for Our Newsletter! For updates and exclusive offers...

US Bitcoin Miners Sue Biden Administration In Battle Over Regulation

On Thursday, February 22, Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms, along with industry groups Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, initiated...
Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh is a social media and digital marketing expert, CMO of Dream Machine Foundation, and storyteller with a purpose. She grew Dream Machine to 8M followers and edited videos that raised $750K for charity, earning attention from Oprah, Steve Harvey, and Khloe Kardashian.

Teenage Engineering’s new $300 groovebox has no business being this cute. That’s the whole point.

The EP–133 K.O.II (we’ll just call it Knock Out II) is a combination drum machine, synthesizer and sampler. It’s a supersized upgrade to Teenage Engineer’s pint-sized PO-33 K.O, which offers many of the same features for a fraction of the price.

The vibe of the Knock Out II is decidedly more 1980s drum computer than modern Roland groovebox. Its buttons, knobs and sole fader appear almost oversized on the thin device. I’m not sure exactly how to work it, but that leaves me no less tempted to fork over the money.

Whether you consider Teenage Engineering’s audio gear overdesigned, overpriced or just right, I’m simply glad the VC-backed startup makes things that elicit an emotional response. It’s refreshing to see a hardware company get weird with it; most seem overly preoccupied with chasing Apple down its minimalist rabbit hole.

Getting weird with it is Teenage Engineering’s whole thing. The Swedish firm creates wireless speakers, grooveboxes and hypebeasty accessories for listeners and musicians alike. Their gadgets often feature Lego-like tactile buttons and knobs, with a design language blurs distinct aesthetics — think: cassette futurism meets brutalism meets KB Toys.

Teenage Engineering built a following via its super affordable (and in my experience, frustratingly fragile) Pocket Operator sequencers, but in recent years the company’s devoted more attention to higher-end gear. That’s left some of its fans priced out of the fun. The price tag on the Knock Out II temptingly occupies a middle ground. It’s not a stocking stuffer, but it also isn’t two grand.  

Mastering a drum machine and sequencer takes time, and Teenage Engineering’s products are often so feature-packed and distinct that they come with a learning curve. Still, the design of Knock Out II makes it seem approachable. It appears to plead — perhaps deceptively, if you aren’t willing to put in the hours — that “you could totally learn this!” For now, I’ll try my best to resist the gearhead siren song.

More articles

Latest article

3,248 ETH Stolen In Axie Infinity Co-Founder Hack – Here Are The Details

On Thursday night, the Axie Infinity co-founder suffered a hack that included a large amount of ETH being withdrawn from the wallet and...

Coinbase CEO Dispels Rumours: No Government Ban On Nigerians From The Crypto Exchange

Coinbase, a prominent crypto exchange headquartered in the United States, has debunked allegations that it was instructed by the Nigerian government to prevent...

Dogecoin Falls Out Of Top 10 Crypto, Are Meme Coins No Longer A Threat?

Sign Up for Our Newsletter! For updates and exclusive offers...

US Bitcoin Miners Sue Biden Administration In Battle Over Regulation

On Thursday, February 22, Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms, along with industry groups Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, initiated...

Bitcoin Sellers Have Returned On Coinbase, Price Decline To Continue?

Data shows the Bitcoin Coinbase Premium Index has turned negative once more, a sign that could prove to be bearish for the asset’s...