For one, there is a motorized “tape” dial. The OB-4 records any sound through it on a loop, such as a dashcam but for audio. The dial rotates as it happens. Touching the dial will manipulate the sound like the world’s smallest turntable. You can slow things down, speed them up, rewind live radio, etc. Volume dial is Too Motorized, so if you increase the volume through your phone, the dial will automatically move to reflect that change. A party trick, sure, but these are designs that Kishore Engineering is known for.
There are also some experimental features that… are curious to say the least. These are found under the “Disk” mode setting. At the time of launch it will include a “Karma” feature (which plays spells and quotes in a creative, psychedelic manner); Ambient mode (which is being fed by live radio via a synthase engine that plays abstract, noticeable sounds) and metronome mode – which simply plays a repetitive grandpa “tick-tuck” sound at any tempo. Is the one you want. “This is an open space for us, where we will continue to experiment and develop the functionality of OB-4 over time.” Product designer Thomas Howard told Engdg. He suggested that more abstract or clever features for disk mode may include sounds that help you sleep or AI-based synthesis.
But first, we talk about that FM radio. You may ask: Who listens to FM? Well, according to Howard, Kishore does the team in engineering. And they think it is a rudimentary medium. “We’re really, really into FM radio […] I think it is really able to learn about something that is really alive and really local in your community, ”Howard told me.
Romance aside from an old technology, it is the radio teenage engineering genre. The owners of the company’s OP-1 synthesizer will be familiar with its built-in FM tuner. You can easily sample it and include it in your songs. The OB-4 is primarily a listening device, but you can still manipulate sounds by recording loops and giving them DJ-style effects such as beat-repeat or changing the length of the loop. This is true for all audio inputs, not just radio, so one person can be on the OP-Z, and someone else can remix it live through the speaker. Or just remix live radio, because why not?
But this is more than just being able to remix drive-time hits. FM functionality may be expanded to work with other adolescent engineering products in the future. “There’s more we can do [with FM], Creating the world of our products together, “Howard said. He suggested that future products could have FM transceivers meaning they could connect with zero qualification.
Interoperability is a big thing for the company, and Howard has tested using multiple speakers around an office that operates as a sort of local broadcast network. Essentially, if future products come with FM capabilities, there are all kinds of strange possibilities.
It is not just FM radio that will open up some more unusual opportunities. The OB-4 comes with “classic” Bluetooth, but also BLE (low energy). Offering some potentially interesting functionality beyond audio in particular – Kishore Engineering says it will also be used for MIDI, (and possibly “mesh” connections with other devices as well).
What I saw in my demo of OB-4 is very difficult to translate, what exactly is this product (beyond the speaker). But when I heard it, it made no sense. Howard said, “What we’re really trying to do, we’re thinking for ourselves, how can we make listening to music more active. How can we connect people to it.” Diya, who may not have a background in DJing, or is using sync, but can still be actively involved with music or sounds emanating from OB-4. He was also keen to explain That it’s something simple to use that isn’t intimidating – the OB-4 has a few buttons and only subtle visual feedback.
All of this… an interesting idea, but it can be a tricky one until we give ourselves some time with OB-4; Sometimes there is a fine line between clever and curiosity. This is a line that TeenEdge Engineering has been doing so far with all its previous products, so we are hoping that this is still the case.
However there is another factor to consider, and that is the price. $ 599, this is not a product that is designed to compete with the likes of JBL or Ultimate Year. It is more expensive than the Sonos One by a decent margin, and is also more expensive than the portable Sonos Move for that matter. Of course, Kishore Engineering would argue that it is not competing with any of those products. But potential buyer Will Need to ask yourself if the quirky extra features (and sound quality) is worth the extra expense. We are making a decision until we try it for ourselves, but experience tells us that what is somehow strange seems to be true once we will get to play with it. At least, that’s the hope.