Teenage Engineering Review EP-133 K.O. II Sampler Sequencer Composer

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Teenage Engineering EP-133 K.O. II emerges as a formidable contender in the realm of portable music production. With an array of powerful features packed into a compact form factor, it is designed to cater to both seasoned musicians and those just embarking on their musical journey. Here’s an in-depth look at what makes this device a game-changer.

Design and Build

The EP-133 K.O. II sports a sleek and modern design, maintaining the quirky aesthetic Teenage Engineering is known for. Its dimensions (240 mm x 176 mm x 16 mm) and weight (620 g) make it highly portable, fitting comfortably in a backpack or even a large pocket. The built-in mic and speaker add to its portability, allowing you to capture and play back sounds on the go without needing extra equipment. The vintage-style keys, combined with modern pressure sensitivity, offer a tactile and responsive playing experience.

Sound Quality and Sampling

At the heart of the EP-133 K.O. II lies a robust sampling engine with a sampling frequency of 46 kHz / 16-bit, ensuring high-quality audio capture. With 64 MB of memory and 999 sample slots, you can store a vast library of sounds. Whether you’re recording environmental sounds, vocal snippets, or musical instruments, the EP-133 K.O. II handles it all with ease. The stereo/mono sampling options, combined with the ability to slice samples live or automatically, provide immense flexibility in sound design.

Sequencing and Composition

The sequencer is where the EP-133 K.O. II truly shines. It works similarly to the Pocket Operator 128 Mega Man machine but the EP-133 every project you create can hold up to 80,000 notes, organized into 4 groups with 99 patterns each. This allows for intricate and detailed compositions. Patterns can be up to 99 bars long, offering ample room for complex arrangements. The high-resolution sequencer supports 12 tracks for samples and MIDI per pattern, giving you extensive control over your musical ideas.

The ability to sequence in free time or with quantization and swing adds to the versatility. Real-time recording and automation of all 12 fader assignments mean you can capture dynamic changes and subtle nuances effortlessly. The pressure-sensitive punch-in 2.0™ effects further enhance live performance and creative expression.

Connectivity and Integration

The EP-133 K.O. II is designed to integrate seamlessly with other gear. It features MIDI input and output (TRS type A, MMA compliant), sync input and output (Sync 8 PPM, 16 PPM, 24 PPQN), and USB-C for connectivity. This makes it easy to sync with other instruments and DAWs, enhancing its utility in a studio setup. The stereo in/out ports and high-quality stereo headphone/line output (24-bit, SNR: 98 dBA) ensure excellent audio fidelity during playback and recording.

Effects and Sound Manipulation

Sound manipulation is another strong suit of the EP-133 K.O. II. It comes with six built-in master FX and twelve punch-in FX, allowing for extensive sound shaping. The master compressor and curated selection of drum, bass, and keys samples provide a solid foundation for building tracks. The 32-bit float signal chain and 24-bit ADC/DAC maintain high audio quality throughout the process.

Workflow and Usability

The EP-133 K.O. II’s workflow is designed to be intuitive and fast, enabling you to go from idea to finished track efficiently. The ability to mix and match patterns on the fly, combined with the instant commit feature, facilitates rapid experimentation and arrangement. The user interface, supported by the world's first super segment hybrid display, ensures clear and immediate feedback on your actions.

Power and Portability

Running on 4x AAA batteries or USB-C, the EP-133 K.O. II is built for mobility. The battery option allows for untethered use, making it perfect for field recording and spontaneous jam sessions.

Selling points
  •     High-Quality Sampling: 46 kHz / 16-bit sampling and 32-bit internal signal chain.
  •     Extensive Memory: 64 MB storage with 999 sample slots.
  •     Portability: Compact and lightweight design.
  •     Versatile Power: Uses 4x AAA batteries or USB-C.
  •     Comprehensive Connectivity: MIDI, sync, and stereo in/out ports.
  •     Built-in Effects: Six master FX and twelve punch-in FX.
  •     Advanced Sequencing: 12 tracks per pattern, real-time recording, and automation.
  •     User-Friendly Workflow: Intuitive design with instant commit feature.
  •     Tactile Interface: Vintage-style, pressure-sensitive keys.
  •     Built-in Mic and Speaker: For on-the-go recording and playback.
Potential deal breakers
  •     Limited Sample Memory: 64 MB may be restrictive for some users.
  •     Battery Life: Frequent AAA battery replacements needed.
  •     Learning Curve: Complex features may be overwhelming for beginners.
  •     Price: Higher cost compared to simpler alternatives.
  •     Mono Sampling Limitation: Only 12 mono voices.
  •     Plastic Build: Less robust than metal alternatives.
  •     Small Screen: Compact hybrid display may be challenging for detailed editing.
  •     AAA batteries not included
  •     USB-C cable not included


The Teenage Engineering EP-133 K.O. II is a versatile and powerful tool for music creation. Its combination of high-quality sampling, extensive sequencing capabilities, robust effects, and seamless integration with other gear makes it an ideal choice for both studio and portable use. Whether you’re a professional looking to expand your setup or a hobbyist wanting a capable and flexible device, the EP-133 K.O. II offers an unmatched balance of functionality and creativity.

In a landscape filled with portable music devices, the EP-133 K.O. II stands out as a true heavyweight, ready to elevate your music production process to new heights. You can buy the EP-133 KO 2 from Teenage Engineering website.

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