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

The EP–133 K.O.II (we’ll simply phone it Knock Out II) is a mix drum device, synthesizer and sampler. It’s a upgrade that is supersized 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* that is( than contemporary Roland groovebox. Its buttons, knobs and single fader look nearly oversized from the device that is thin. 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 response that is emotional. it is refreshing to see a hardware business have strange along with it; many appear very preoccupied with chasing Apple down its minimalist bunny hole.

Getting strange along with it is Teenage Engineering’s thing that is whole. The firm that is swedish cordless speakers, grooveboxes and hypebeasty add-ons for audience and artists alike. Their particular devices usually function lego-like buttons that are tactile 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 gear that is higher-end. That’s left a few of its followers listed out from the enjoyable. The cost in the knock-out II temptingly consumes a ground that is middle. 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 curve that is learning. Nevertheless, the look of Knock Out II tends to make it appear friendly. It seems to plead — maybe deceptively, that“you could totally learn this!”

For now, I’ll try my best to resist the gearhead siren song.(* if you aren’t willing to put in the hours —)