Finally, Teenage Engineering looks set to hit the sweet spot we want. Their new box has the stylish Braun-like industrial design of their high-end gear – but it’s $299 and builds on the fun of the Pocket Operator line.

And this does look like Dieter Rams built something for Nintendo, even more than past Teenage Engineering Outings. The EP-133 K.O. II is derived from the original Pocket Operator PO-33 K.O.! (The Pocket Operators, for their part, have quietly gone up in price to $99 – but it was surely their budget cost that made the original “the world’s most sold sampler.”)

This seems a perfect evolution for the Pocket Operator line. They were cheap, often sounded amazing, and were loads of fun but … were also so small to the point of being hard to use, lacked real connectivity, and you could actually sit on them and break them. This on the other hand is affordable enough, but looks far more usable and solid. It’ll still fit into your pocket; just buy overalls.

The original was itself a fun little instrument – 8 melodic slots, 8 drum slots, 40 seconds of sample memory, 16 effects, and a “step multiplier.” And thanks to our wonderful world of chips, it could still say it had “studio quality sound.”

Well, the number of slots has gone up just a bit to 999. There’s 64MB of memory. And they have some fun functionality, all running on battery power or USB-C. It’s definitely not an SP-404 – and at this price, you are starting to consider even a new model Roland, let alone a used SP. But that’s also not really the point: this has a simple workflow, a gorgeous design, and sips power.

This seems a perfect evolution for the Pocket Operator line. It’ll still fit into your pocket; just buy overalls.


  • 46 kHz (huh) / 16-bit
  • 999 sample slots / 64 MB memory
  • 6 stereo voices (or 12 mono voices)
  • high resolution sequencer
  • 6 built-in master fx and 12 punch-in fx
  • connectivity: 1x stereo output & input, sync in/out, trs-a midi in/out and usb-c midi device mode.
  • 4x AAA batteries or USB-C power
  • Punch in effects in real-time, chop and loop
  • Multifunctional fader
  • MIDI sync
  • Chromatic keys mode
  • Pressure sensitive keys

It looks really promising – like they took the fun stuff people like about samplers and left out all the complexity. So it’s really the polar opposite of KORG’s bulked-up Replay – which felt a bit more like the love child of a Kaoss Pad and a Roland SP-808 or something.

And yeah, it’s a cute little thing – big enough to give you roomy controls, but light and thin:

240 mm x 176 mm x 16 mm weight: 620 g / 22 oz

349 EUR from here in Europe, and they do seem to ship from different ends of the world direct.

Details – plus a whole bunch of merch to go with it:

EP–133 K.O. II

EP-133 is available from retailers:

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EP-133 K.O. II Sampler Composer [Perfect Circuit]

EP-133 K.O. II [Guitar Center]

And Cuckoo already is out with a review:

It has its own shorts: