Teenage Engineering OP-Z


Not sure, if this will ever come. Might be more of a question if bluetooth 5.0 LE latency is acceptable for audio. Maybe someone in this round is a bluetooth expert to clarify that?


Well if anyone can do it TE have a good chance given that they have just added Bluetooth streaming to their OD-11 wireless speaker…I am not suggesting they have solved the delay issues (apple have certainly minimised it with iPhone to airpods) but they have an understanding of the tech…


That’s really nice to hear, thank you for sharing. I’ve never actually been an active member there; I suppose I’ve been unfortunate in that while I’ve been lurking, I’ve happened to land on threads that have got a bit ugly.


No worries- as for ‘ugly threads’, there are always a few- you can even find a few on this site!!

Considering the lower than expected battery life, misprinted keys, no glow in the dark marking, no accelerometer control on synth etc etc people could have got really shirty, but generally after a littlie grumble most people seem genuinely taken with this little device and I think we all expect great things with updates in the future.


Interesting… I’m so intrigued by this device but no mic sampling and line in sampling just seems weird. To me that’s the beauty of an ultra portable battery powered unit like this. Hopefully it happens sooner than later.


Agreed, regarding the operator-1 forum. Sometimes there will be somebody in a bad mood and lash out, just like here, but the friendly new “step components” thread on that forum is more representative of what I’ve mostly seen there. I’ve gotten a lot of good help on musique concrete ideas and other stuff on using OP-1, and there’s a nice kit-sharing thread for PO-32 owners.


Mine arrived, after few minutes playabout I like it. Quite like the scruffy grey plastic case; means it should age well.
As I travel a lot and like to bring some music toys with me, the tiny-ness is a big attraction.
Even Digitakt is a bit large in small suitcase, let alone you won’t just take it out on a plane, train or whatever.
Sound quality seems 4/5 - which is plenty good in a world of legitimate Lofi as a genre, this is well above that. Reverb is like a medium hall rather than a cavern.
Exploring how much I can customize the sound palette will be interesting - stock kits sound great and the few synths are useful, but I look forward to seeing how far I can go customizing


This device is definitely on my radar… Think I’m going to wait till after winter NAMM to see the new gear coming out before I make a move. I still have my fingers crossed in hopes that Korg releases a real Electribe🤞 Unlike that grey thing they released a few years back.


Yea, personally I’ve had a good experience in the Operator-1 forum, but I admit I’m pretty new to it. Just did the last Op-1 battle that was put on & everyone was very nice & welcoming.

& of course it’s gotten more active since the Op-z was released. I bet there will be an Op-z battle in the near future :sunglasses:


A review popped up from Andertons :


Mine arrived today, has the ‘misprinted’ keys - I’m sure it would be better just to make all subsequent runs like this and change the app and manual to reflect it though?

Only had a play for a couple of hours, as usual the presets are an acquired taste, and thankfully seem easy enough to replace, I uploaded a few kits but was a bit disappointed that the name does not show up in the app, just ‘user’

Overall the sound quality seems fine to me, and operation seems fairly intuitive once you grasp the button combos/LED colours, not really a fan of the app so far, the only useful part for me is the OPZ parameter display, the photomatic and unity stuff seems like it will get old fast and seems a bit of a waste of tracks, the requirement to use the itunes bloatware to get any unity stuff of your own on there means that I won’t likely bother as I won’t put that on my computer. The reliance on apple/ios seems to dumb to me, especially given that it appears that only midi data over BLE is being sent?

I’m glad that for transferring sounds and backups it can just be put in drive mode and accessed like a regular USB drive, if that had required itunes I would have returned it.

Build quality seems pretty good, it feels solid and fairly responsive, the tiny buttons are pretty fiddly though even worse than the pocket operators IMHO, not really seeing the point of the mic, maybe rappers/vocalists might though, but feels a bit gimmicky to me as it can’t be recorded and if you are a vocalist you likely already have a better mic. Button placement and pitch bender placement could be better, if playing a long set you will get ‘crab hand’ for sure if you are over 25, I don’t like the edge placement so far, feels a bit fiddly.

Tried connecting a korg nanokey using a USB C to mini B cable but it doesn’t work, tried connecting the OPZ to my ipad using USB CCK but got ‘this devices uses to much power’ Meh.

The synth engines seem quite good, very similar to OP-1 and perhaps the PO’s but I guess it is early days yet, I hope more engines will be added in future updates, not a huge amount of parameters as you’d expect, but seem well suited to the UI.

The fx are quite good, the reverb and delay are usable enough with enough scope to cover most bases, the punch in fx might benefit from user configurations as that would make them less ubiquitous I think.

I have not delved into the step components much yet, although did notice a few issues with unexpected behavior, could well be my lack of familiarity with them though, so I’ll experiment more with them before commenting further.

So far I quite like it, the size of it is both a blessing and a curse though, I hope that I’m able to add a controller connected directly to it to get around the fiddly controls for performance use. I note that unlike the OP1 the Z is not so immediate and endearing, whilst the lack of a built in screen isn’t an issue for me I notice that because of the various design choices it isn’t as easy to tell what is going on until you get familiar with it, the LEDs do a good job of displaying information though, so I think after a few more hours of usage most of these points will be moot.

Lots more investigating to do, but I thought I’d post my initial impressions, I bought it mainly for a portable 8 track sequencer, I doubt I’ll bother with the graphics stuff unless it can be done without itunes in the future.


Similar thoughts. If the graphics tracks could be freed up to be optionally swappable in the future for any other audio function could be useful.
I like that this thing will take a bit of learning, no screen makes it feel deeper. But maybe more familiarity will shallow that out.

Weekend hope to try messing about with kits and samples; so far the synths are good, utilitarian and characterful. Even in this advanced age they have a particularly signature TE OP carnality to them.

Non funky non techno exploration a callin’ !


Welcome to the elete misprint club ;-)!

That’s a fair review other than perhaps the real power of the OP-Z is in the step components (a bit like reviewing electron stuff without the sequencer!)

Midi over USB works (shows up in your DAW) and you then have full cc control mapping- I made a little controller in Bitwig to get hands on and automation (and additional modulation) in bigwig. https://www.teenageengineering.com/guides/op-z/midi#implementation

The list of current controllers that just plug in directly are here: https://www.teenageengineering.com/guides/op-z/usb#supported-devices
I am sure this list will get longer over time!


On a device with its own battery?? Fuck iOS, seriously, your post brought back a wave of bad memories from when I was trying to integrate an iPad into my setup.


OP-Z outrules the Elektron Seq. in every manner…looking at you 2 Voice polyphony…and it sounds like a blast! :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m one of those (apparently now trendy \o/ !?#) ‘dawless’ weirdos, but after writing that initial review I connected it to my computer and it showed up as a midi device, but I was under the impression that it was also a midi usb host, so it seems that I was mistaken, maybe?

I’ll probably experiment a bit more with the midi side today, I have a couple of usb midi host boxes if the OPZ can’t be a host though so no real biggie for me.

Indeed, I’m getting tired of apple stuff, the cck seems hardly to be of any use at all for most of the devices I have tried, even flash drives don’t seem to work with it, a bit pathetic really considering the meagre power requirements of flash drives.

I hope that TE introduce some other ways to interact with the OPZ, google drive and chrome would be handy since a much larger user base could then use it, and not be tied to any particular operating system.


The OP-Z is a midi host but has some limitations:

Usb midi devices must adhere to the usb plug-and-play standard.

The OP-Z can provide a maximum of 100 mA which is not enough for some midi devices. for these cases, use a powered hub. please refer to the whitelist to see which hubs are supported.

Some devices present themselves as more than one midi device, which currently is not supported by the OP-Z.


During one of their forced updates they arbitrarily reduced the power allowance for USB devices. The hardware can support it, they just didn’t want to. Even if you got a flash drive powered up (via a hub) iOS will only let you pull photos from it. For transferring wavs etc you need to use iTunes. I lost patience and gave it to my mum who happily uses it to read ebooks now.

Have heard of people definitely using the Z as a host though, the feature is there. Maybe with some weird restrictions?


Thanks guys, I’ll try some other midi devices with it.


I realize you were attempting to use the OP-Z directly as a MIDI host, but for the sake of clarity, are you able to install the app and pair your iPad with the OP-Z via Bluetooth?

Web MIDI, though not supported by all web browsers https://caniuse.com/#feat=midi would be a nice way to access some of the functionality which is currently in the iOS app, but it is in itself more limited than the things that can be done through iOS directly.

I don’t blame Teenage Engineering for targeting iOS as the first platform to launch with. The difficulties of developing for the myriad versions of Android hardware have already been discussed earlier in this thread.

The multimedia aspect of the OP-Z, which is one of the things that makes it special and why I ordered one for myself is bound to stymie some people who just want to use it for music alone. In that sense, it’s not for everyone.