Teenage Engineering OP-1 vs OP-Z

Sequencer is a must-have item for music makers. There are numerous devices in the current market that easily drive you crazy to choose one.

Among branded and unbranded synthesizers and sequencers, we devote a special love to the Teenage Engineering company.

Its OP-1 and OP-Z are real legendaries in the industry. In this article, we’ll provide a detailed review and make a clear comparison between OP1 vs OPZ. Let’s jump in!

OP1 vs OPZ - Similarities

Teenage Engineering OP1 vs OPZ share several similar functions. Initially, these synthesizers possess minimalist and sturdy-build designs.

OP-1 and OP-Z accept OP-1’s .aif sample format so you can effortlessly export samples from OP-1 to OP-Z. Additionally, both provide consumers with a variety of sounds.

It is noticeable that there are 8 built-in synthesis based audio engines, promising to bring an interesting sound experience.

For the portability and convenience, the manufacturer, Teenage Engineering, has constructed them as the wireless models. You can carry them anywhere if needed.

Last update on 2024-05-29 at 07:35 UTC - 4/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OP-1 vs OP-Z - Differences

There are several key differences between OP-1 vs OP-Z.

Firstly, while OP-1 comes with a screen featuring outstanding graphics, OP-Z requires an iOS phone or iPad to connect with and have a screen.

Secondly, in terms of battery life, OP-Z has a pretty short battery life compared to OP-1. While OP-1 can be used up to 16 hours, OP-Z only possesses 6 hours of battery.

op1 or opz

However, OP-Z outweighs OP-1 at portability. OP-Z features a compact and lightweight design as it is made from composite plastic.

Unlike OP-Z, OP-1 is made from metal for the sake of durability.

Teenage Engineering OP-1 Review

Released a decade ago but OP-1 has remained its firm position in the music-making industry.

There are numerous outstanding points to talk about this legendary OP-1. Let’s get started!


OP-1 impresses us with a compact design, bright and sharp screen with color-coded knobs.

All knobs and buttons are colored and arranged logically to deliver a tidy and clutter-free user interface.

The keyboard isn’t as lightweight as its outlook as it is built for lifelong with the metal material.


This synth has 12 synthesis engines, including D-box, D-synth, Drum Sampler, Dr. Wave, Digital, Cluster, String, Synth Sampler, Voltage, FM, Pulse, and Phase.

Each engine features a different graphic on the display screen and has its function. Besides, this synth also possesses 6 voices.

teenage engineering op1 vs opz

While D-box acts as a drum synthesizer, D-synth offers a dual oscillator synthesizer. Dr. Wave is responsible for manipulating the frequency spectrum of a sound.

Drum Sampler and Synth Sampler work with audio input, output, FM radio, and onboard microphone.

Clusters generate a sound from 6 detuned sawtooth oscillators.

As its name indicates, digital helps to deliver digital synthesis with waveshaping and ring modulation functions.

FM features a 4-operator FM engine.

Voltage and String are multi-oscillator and modeling string synthesizers relatively.

Finally, Phase offers 2 distorted and modulated pulse waves.

Features and Operation

OP-1 is equipped with a bunch of synth engines, exchangeable LFOs, and premium-quality effects.

This awesome instrument doesn’t limit musicians in a fixed style; it gives you rooms to create and play with diversified musical styles.

It has 4 track recorders that allow you to loop, mix, perform, cut, and paste. OP-1 comes with a built-in radio feature.

The external audio can be recorded with the line input and external microphone. The sequencer is the most highlighted part of this device.

Each sequencer can compose patterns and notes, arrange these notes into a visible format that can be recorded and edited.

Last update on 2024-05-29 at 07:35 UTC - 4/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Provide a wide range of synthesis and sequencing options
  • Long-lasting and portable
  • Unique sequencers


  • Not really user-friendly for newbies

Who Should Choose OP-1? 

Teenage Engineering differentiates its market segmentation well when providing 2 products at 2 levels. While OP-Z is designed for intermediate and professional players, OP-1 suits best for beginners. OP-1 features a simple button with easy-to-use operation.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z Review

OP-Z is a multimedia sequencer and synthesizer.

It gains its population due to its high performance, cutting-edge visual sequencing tools, and smart design.


The OP-Z connectivity isn’t highly appraised. It is quite limited as there is no accurate way to export multi-track songs.

However, the MIDI implementation is good as each system’s track can send MIDI to your iOS set up.

Get Music App

When using OP-Z, you must pair with iOS devices via Bluetooth to show the display with numerous sound editors, MIDI configurations, project management tools, and photo/3D video hubs.

While using the iOS OP-Z app, you can easily use your iPhone or iPad’s camera to take photos.

This app also facilitates users to create custom graphics, stop motion videos, artwork, photos, color pallet, and patterns in their Dropbox folder and iOS devices.

Features and Operation

OP-Z comes with 8 synthesis engines, 14 step components with 10 values each, and 16 sample packs with 24 samples each to maximize sonic possibilities.

opz vs op1

It handles sequence notes, visuals, lights as well as motion automation.

Furthermore, this model features 9 distinct built-in synths and drum samplers to control performance variations and effects.

Whether you create traditional or modern synths, OP-Z supports you all. Musicians use fx1 and fx2 effects buses to delay, bit crush, reverb, and distortion.

While LFO is responsible for vibrato, tremolo, and modulation effects, the tape track helps beat repeat and tape tricks effects.

Plus, to generate ear-catching sonic juxtapositions, players can apply punch-in effects like ducking, master track, or pitch-shifting.

In terms of visual, OP-Z has 3 dynamic visual creation tools including Photomatic, DMX protocol, and Unity.

Photomatic allows users to use their iPhones to take photos, animate, and filter them. People can sequence and edit these hi-res images for music videos.

OP-Z can set up light conditions through DMX protocol, from modest light to massive light. Unity is a game engine that is used for 3D visual making.

It allows players to control or sequence visuals on all types of screens.


  • Portable and minimalist design
  • Top-notch visual sequencing tools
  • Expandable hardware and sounds
  • Able to add videos into song


  • Not suitable for newbies
  • Requires iOS devices to fully use all functions
  • Limited audio export options

Who Should Choose OP-Z?

With a wide collection of sequencing, effects capabilities, sampling, and synthesis, OP-Z is specially designed for professional electronic musicians, especially for those who specialize in making hip-hop and dynamic pop. It suits both live and studio musicians.

If you are newbies, you should purchase an affordable synthesizer and sequencer, get used to it first, and switch to OP-Z when you already have sufficient skills.


Is the OP-1 discontinued?

There is a rumor about the discontinue of OP-1; however, it is half of the truth. From the end of 2018 to early 2019, AMOLED display screens used in OP-1 run out of stock.

Thus, the Teenage Engineering cannot supply OP-1 to the market as before, which led to the dramatic price increase of this model.

However, in February 2019, the manufacturer started OP-1 production. You can purchase OP-1 anywhere at a reasonable price.

Is the OP-1 good for beginners?

Unlike OP-Z, OP-1 is suitable for beginners as it provides sufficient functions for them to explore without getting lost in numerous buttons.

How do I factory reset my OP-Z?

With 3 simple steps below, you can easily perform a factory reset.

  • Step 1: Hold the screen and choose update mode
  • Step 2: Hold the screen and stop for 5 seconds
  • Step 3: Wait to see the track LEDs light up

Conclusion - Op1 or OpZ

All things considered, OP-1 vs OP-Z are great choices for musicians.

Each product has its pros that fit the player's requirements.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you can know more about these cutting-edge devices and make the purchase decision.

Thanks for reading and keep your music passion alive!

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