Teenage Engineering OD-11 Assessment | Trusted Opinions


Professionals

  • Minimalist dice design
  • Glorious construct high quality
  • Expansive, room-filling sound from comparatively small field
  • Intuitive Orthoplay app

Cons

  • Spotify and AirPlay solely
  • No Bluetooth music streaming
  • Costly

Key Specs

  • Assessment Worth: £499.00
  • 100W class D amplifier and Ortho Engine
  • Spotify Join and AirPlay streaming
  • Neodymium cone tweeter and 6.5-inch cone woofer
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for non-obligatory Ortho distant
  • Orthoplay app for Android and iOS with multiroom playback

What’s the Teenage Engineering OD-11?

These days, many audio system provide omni-directional sound, reflecting the best way most individuals take heed to music of their properties – strolling round, working, having dinner events, not sitting within the candy spot between two meticulously organized tower audio system.

However right here’s a information flash – it isn’t a brand new concept. Approach again in 1974, Swedish audio pioneer Stig Carlsson got here up with the OD-11, a cube-shaped speaker that initiatives sound sideways, upwards and outwards, giving listeners a giant sound from a small field. It makes use of an ortho-directional speaker association (therefore OD), with one single cone tweeter and one woofer, each recessed into the highest and angled at round 45 levels.

Associated: Finest Multiroom Audio system

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Carlsson’s concept was that folks take heed to music in rooms with furnishings, partitions and ceilings that replicate sound, not in sonically sterile anechoic chambers, and the OD-11 – or ‘Carlsson Dice’ – is engineered to be used in that real-world setting.

4 many years later, Swedish model Teenage Engineering – greatest recognized for its snazzy synthesizers – has introduced the OD-11 bang updated in collaboration with the Stig Carlsson Basis. It’s now a streaming speaker with Wi-Fi, AirPlay and Spotify, plus a 100W class D amplifier and a number of different nifty options.

Teenage Engineering OD-11 – Design and Connections

The brand new OD-11 seems to be virtually similar to the 1974 model, utilizing the identical cubed cupboard in a selection of pink, black, white and walnut finishes. The white model prices £499, however the others add an £80 premium.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

It’s styled with typical Scandinavian minimalism, wanting extra like an Ikea plant pot than a speaker, nevertheless it actually works. With the inputs and buttons hidden on the bottom, the cupboard is totally muddle free. With its easy traces and understated styling, the OD-11 will look nice in any environment.
 
It’s versatile, too, designed for flooring, shelf or on-wall placement – with none compromise on sound high quality. Construct high quality is excellent, as you’d count on at this worth. The strong 7.5kg HDF cupboard stands on sturdy rubber pads that take in vibration.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

The angled high drivers are coated by the identical woven metal mesh as the unique, which is never seen on audio system as of late. It may be pulled out if you wish to have a gawp on the drivers beneath. A single LED shines by means of one nook of the mesh to point its present standing.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

A recess on the underside hides an optical digital enter, mains enter and a swap that configures the OD-11 to be used in a stereo pair alongside one other unit. The facility lead may be neatly tucked right into a groove that emerges from the facet. On the sting of the bottom you’ll discover quantity controls and an enter choice button.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Teenage Engineering OD-11 – Options

Contained in the OD-11 is a 100W class D amplifier and the ortho-engine, a custom-designed laptop that handles the crossover filtering and wi-fi communication. The amp is mounted on the facet of the unit’s U-bend bass reflex duct, utilizing the passing airflow to maintain it cool. It drives a top-mounted neodymium cone tweeter and 6.5-inch long-throw pulp cone.

Teenage Engineering OD-11
Teenage Engineering OD-11

The OD-11 helps AirPlay and Spotify Join. There’s additionally Bluetooth 4.0 – however, surprisingly, it could actually’t be used to stream music. It’s used solely for the non-obligatory Ortho distant that may set you again an additional £79.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Expensive it might be, however this wi-fi quantity knob is ridiculously cool, permitting you to manage quantity, skip tracks and pause from as much as 20 metres away. With its magnetic again you possibly can stick it to any metallic floor, whereas the rubber base stops it slipping round on a tabletop. It’s simple to make use of – press it as soon as to pause, twice to skip tracks and three to skip again – and makes a cool noise once you alter the quantity with no music enjoying.

In the meantime, the Orthoplay cellphone app for iOS and Android permits you to alter quantity, swap inputs and management as much as 4 OD-11s in several zones. There’s native Spotify streaming too, supplied you’ve a Premium account.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Nevertheless, in case you’re not a Spotify or AirPlay person, the OD-11 won’t be for you. Orthoplay presents no further music streaming providers, nor does it permit native DLNA playback from NAS drives and PCs. Sure, you possibly can stream information from iTunes through AirPlay, and Spotify ought to suffice for most individuals. However with rival producers providing a wider vary of performance by means of their apps, it makes the OD-11’s £500 price ticket tougher to swallow – particularly with no Bluetooth to fall again on.

Different options embrace a Cabin mode that permits you to stream music from a tool on to the speaker when there’s no Wi-Fi obtainable.

Teenage Engineering OD-11 – Setup and Operation

Fortunately, the OD-11 is a doddle to arrange. The Orthoplay app does all the be just right for you, discovering and linking the speaker to your Wi-Fi community. Alternatively, setup may be carried out utilizing an equally easy browser-based app. I used to be up and operating in minutes. If it’s worthwhile to begin from scratch, maintain down the quantity buttons concurrently to enter Wi-Fi setup mode.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Orthoplay is an impressive instance of app design. It seems to be as daring and minimal because the speaker itself, mixing splashes of main color with swanky graphics. It’s some of the intuitive apps I’ve used, largely as a result of it’s all confined to a single display screen. In fact, this straightforward format is partly a by-product of the OD-11’s restricted streaming options, however that doesn’t detract from its general high quality.

The big panels and acquainted icons make it simple to discover. You possibly can change the color of the massive quantity knob on the high and swap inputs utilizing a pop-up grid. Scroll down and also you’ll discover primary playback controls, plus one-touch bass and treble boosters. It additionally shows the AirPlay observe identify and time slider, which is a pleasant contact. On the very backside you possibly can tweak the configuration of related audio system in every zone.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

When inserting the OD-11 on the ground, it ought to sit near a wall (however not in a nook) with the highest LED pointing in the direction of the centre of the room. For shelf placement, lay it on its facet with backside in opposition to the wall. I setup two OD-11s on the ground in a stereo pair, following the advice that the space between them ought to be round 80% of the listening distance.

Teenage Engineering OD-11 – Efficiency

Given its distinguished musical heritage, I used to be anticipating nice issues from the Carlsson Dice – and it didn’t disappoint. In truth, its sound high quality is nothing in need of astonishing. Even with one unit enjoying in mono, it delivers a remarkably open and immersive sound, filled with heaps of element and muscular bass.

I streamed Gregory Porter’s ‘Liquid Spirit’ album through AirPlay from a laptop computer and it shows a stage of sonic sophistication that almost all wi-fi audio system can solely dream of. The opening double bass notes and creeping piano on ‘Musical Genocide’ are heat and strong. It effortlessly picks out the sharp twang of the bass strings and the emotional nuances in Porter’s velvety voice.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Full-bodied, natural-sounding devices give the music actual tangibility. You possibly can really feel the ‘whomp’ of the kick drum and the affect of each snare hit. When the refrain comes, it has the air of a dwell efficiency due to the layered devices and energetic horn riffs. The room is stuffed with spacious, immersive sound, the place every component has room to breathe. That’s fairly outstanding for a speaker packing only one tweeter and one woofer.

Switching to ‘Voyager’ by Moonchild, the OD-11 provides finesse to the album’s heat keyboards and floaty vocals. The assault and precision of the hip-hop tinged drums makes my head nod involuntarily. ‘Doorways Closing’ has a super-deep sub-bass sound that undulates by means of my chest however by no means feels pressured. This depth and rhythmic skill makes the OD-11 a extremely satisfying pay attention.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Its easygoing character is probably higher suited to background playback than targeted listening, and it lacks the clear imaging of stereo towers. However that’s the purpose. The OD-11 is designed to ship glowing hi-fi sound regardless of the place you might be within the room. Its easy tone permits you to crank up the quantity with no nasty spikes or hardening as the extent will increase.

Utilizing two OD-11s in a stereo pair brings nice rewards, regardless of setting you again the very best a part of a grand. The dimensions and scale of the sound will increase and particular person devices are positioned with higher accuracy. The mixed efforts of two woofers results in even richer, deeper bass.

Teenage Engineering OD-11

Ought to I purchase the Teenage Engineering OD-11?

If it had been judged purely on sound high quality, the OD-11 can be a must-buy. This unassuming dice delivers an immersive, room-filling sound wherever it’s positioned, with top-drawer element, excellent rhythmic skill and highly effective bass. Pair two models collectively and sound high quality goes stratospheric.

A fantastically designed cellphone app makes it a cinch to put in and function, whereas the daring minimalist design provides a splash of Scandinavian model to any lounge.

However with streaming restricted to Spotify and AirPlay, and no Bluetooth to again them up, the Carlsson Dice gained’t be for everybody. With most multiroom rivals providing a wider vary of streaming providers, alongside direct DLNA streaming by means of their companion apps, the OD-11’s choices appear restricted by comparability. You’d be forgiven for anticipating extra from a £500 speaker.

Verdict

This contemporary tackle Stig Carlsson’s iconic speaker delivers refined, room-filling sound from a fantastically constructed dice – however streaming performance is restricted for such a dear speaker.



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