Teenage Engineering is a Swedish consumer electronics company and manufacturer founded in 2005 by Jesper Kouthoofd, David Eriksson, Jens Rudberg and David Möllerstedt and based in Stockholm. Its products include electronics and synthesizers, with its core product being the OP-1.
Teenage Engineering was founded in 2005 by Jesper Kouthoofd, Jens Rudberg, David Eriksson and later joined by David Möllerstedt, who previously headed the audio department at EA DICE. Their first product, the OP-1, was introduced at the NAMM Show in 2010. Shortly after release, Teenage Engineering produced several "accessories", which could be used to manipulate the unit's input knobs.
Following the success of the OP-1, the company began working with the Stig Carlsson Foundation to develop the OD-11 speaker, inspired by a speaker of the same name manufactured by Sonab and designed by Swedish designer Stig Carlsson in 1974. It was well received for its minimalist design, a faithful reproduction of the original, and for its sound quality. Despite two early appearances at the Consumer Electronics Show and an original release date of Summer 2013, it was not released until 2014. Teenage Engineering aimed to maintain Carlsson's goal of designing a speaker for use in a "regular home", rather than one designed to be used in an unrealistically ideal, noiseless environment.
In 2013, the company collaborated with the Swedish clothing company Cheap Monday after ordering new work uniforms from them; Kouthoofd had previously collaborated with creative director, Ann-Sofie Back. The companies jointly announced the Pocket Operator (PO-10) synthesizer series in January 2015. The series includes three models: PO-12 rhythm, a drum machine; PO-14 sub, a bass synthesizer; and PO-16 factory, a lead synthesizer. Each model doubles as a 16-step sequencer. According to CEO Jesper Kouthoofd, Teenage Engineering sought to design synthesizers that would retail for US$49; however, each PO actually retails for US$59. The POs target musicians seeking a less expensive alternative to the OP-1, which currently retails for US$1,299. The series uses a minimalist design, evoking pocket calculators and, according to Kouthoofd, Nintendo's Game & Watch games. Sonically, they emulate vintage synthesizers, in response to the contemporary surge in the popularity of retro style electronic music gear. The synthesizers debuted at the 2015 NAMM Show. The Pocket Operators were a success at NAMM, and sales were estimated by third parties to be as high as 40,000 units, which delayed shipments by up to three months.
The PO-20 series of the Pocket Operators were introduced at the 2016 NAMM show. The PO-20 synthesizers have some additional effects and functionality that were not present in the original PO-10 series, but maintain the US$59 price point. The PO-30 series further elaborates upon the original Pocket operators by adding a drum synthesizer made in collaboration with MicroTonic, a sampler, and a voice synthesizer. These were released starting in late 2017 at a slightly increased price from previous series. PO-30 devices feature a microphone for use in recording audio samples and for transferring data.
In 2018, Teenage Engineering announced a new line of audio equipment products, Frekvens, in collaboration with IKEA. The modular system takes visual cues from Bauhaus design. Founder Kouthoofd had previously collaborated with IKEA on Knäppa, a camera made of cardboard.
On May 22, 2019, Panic announced Playdate, a new handheld video game console designed in collaboration with Teenage Engineering. The device features a mechanical crank which is specifically credited to Teenage Engineering.