It’s been more than 10 years since Teenage Engineering released the beloved OP-1 portable synthesizer. Now we finally get a proper successor with the OP-1 Field that’s been loaded with new features. The only downside? It costs $2,000.
The “field” label in its name means it’s part of Teenage Engineering’s “field system” family of products that focuses on portability, compatibility, and durability. Of course, that label might as well mean expensive too, since the first Field product, the TX-6, costs $1,200.
For the OP-1 Field, Teenage Engineering says it applied more than a decade of ideas from its first portable synth to refine and improve the new model. The company didn’t stray too far away from the original OP-1, which is probably a good thing since it seems like everyone loved its simple yet functional design. Teenage Engineering did however make the OP-1 Field both thinner and louder than the original.
Major improvements — The OP-1 Field has a lower profile frame with a floating keyboard, a new color palette for its dials, and a high-resolution screen. The new speaker system gives you a “detailed, fat and loud sound,” according to Teenage Engineering, and the upgraded synth has a much longer battery life of 24 hours.
Some of the more notable updates to the OP-1 Field include 32-bit audio, FM broadcasting, MFi (Made For iPhone) compatibility, and eight-tape recording. Teenage Engineering even made it a lot easier to connect by incorporating a USB-C port, four-pole audio jack, headset mic support, and more durable line in and out sockets.
Teenage Engineering says there are actually 100 new features on the OP-1 Field, with the list spanning major things like BLE compatibility for wireless MIDI, to minor things like charging power status LEDs. If you’re really curious about every single new feature, the company lays them all out on its website.
Expensive equipment — The OP-1 Field is undoubtedly an impressive and good-looking piece of audio equipment, but it’s hard to justify that $2,000 price tag. If you’ve already dropped big money on the TX-6, it’s worth noting that combining it with the OP-1 Field basically gives you a portable studio that’s battery-powered and USB-C chargeable. Maybe that sweetens the already very expensive deal?
For those of you already invested into the Teenage Engineering audio ecosystem, you might be used to the exorbitant pricing and ready to snap one up. But there is an important disclaimer: The company says it’s experiencing logistics and warehousing issues, so it could take up to 45 days to ship the OP-1 Field.