Teenage Engineering OP-1 Field Takes Synthesizer Keyboard To A Strange New Place

Teenage Engineering has carved a solid reputation for itself as a brand that makes meticulously crafted gear with a playfully creative side, including audio gear. The OP-1 synthesizer is one such device, and over a decade since its debut, it now has a successor that offers an updated design and comes with a bold promise of "100 new features." Dubbed the OP-1 Field, the latest portable synth and sequencer from Teenage Engineering doesn't offer a radical design change.

There's a subtle change of color, but the form factor is now a lot slimmer courtesy of an anodized aluminum housing and a low-profile frame married to a floating keyboard. The company has added a high-resolution screen to the OP-1 Field and an upgraded speaker array with louder sound output courtesy of a passive radiator. The device also makes the upgrade to a USB-C port, sturdier line in and out sockets, and headset mic support enabled by a TRRS 4-pole audio jack.

The OP-1 Field also adds a next-gen FM antenna that can both receive and transmit signals. Teenage Engineering is touting a battery life of 24-hours for its latest offering, alongside support for multiple styles, tapes, and recording formats. Buyers also get perks like 32-bit audio, stereo output across the entire signal chain, and a new synth engine.

A major upgrade with a huge price tag

Teenage Engineering has also released a short clip that gives an instructional overview of the process detailing the selection of synth presets and putting them on tape. Aside from the remarkable audio-centric upgrades, the company has also added velcro rings at the bottom to attach accessories and covers. The color scheme for buttons is a lot more subdued, eschewing the bright green and blue button shades in favor of darker tones.

The OP-1 Field also marks the expansion of Teenage Engineering's "field" mantra that was introduced with the TX-6 portable synth/mixer, promising a truly portable music-making gear that is battery operated and can be easily carried to different places. From circuitry to connectivity, the company claims to have made tangible improvements in all departments and is targeting the OP-1 Field at professionals seeking a no-compromise system. For the suite of upgrades that come with the OP-1 Field, Teenage Engineering is asking music enthusiasts to shell out a hefty sum of $1,999.

That's quite a steep price bump, considering the fact that the original OP-1 can still be purchased for around $1,500. Another hassle is that it will take up to 45 days for the order to ship due to logistic issues that the company notes are beyond its control. Teenage Engineering is also working with buzzy startup Nothing, a brainchild of former OnePlus alumni Carl Pei that is set to launch its first smartphone later this year.