Teenage Engineering was founded in 2007 by Jesper Kouthoofd, Jens Rudberg, David Eriksson and later joined by David Möllerstedt. Möllerstedt had previously headed the audio department at EA DICE. Teenage Engineering has expanded to 30 employees, who work out of a garage in Stockholm. Their first product, the OP-1, was introduced at the NAMM Show in 2010. With influences from 1980s computers and Japanese synthesisers, the OP-1 is a synthesiser, sampler, and sequencer with a two-octave keyboard and microUSB MIDI. Its design is reminiscent of the Casio VL-1, a cheap synthesiser and calculator produced in 1980. The OP-1 received some criticism for its small size and simplicity, which make it resemble a toy. It also lacks velocity sensitivity, resulting in a minimally expressive keyboard. However, reception for the OP-1 was largely positive, citing its powerful synthesiser engines and unconventional format. Shortly after the release of the OP-1, Teenage Engineering also produced several “accessories”, which could be used to manipulate the unit’s knobs. One of the accessories makes the OP-1 compatible with Lego gears and motors, which can be used to mechanically modulate low-frequency oscillators and other effects.

Following the success of the OP-1, Teenage Engineering began working with the Stig Carlsson Foundation to develop the OD-11 cloud speaker. The OD-11 was named after another speaker that was manufactured by Sonab and designed by Swedish designer Stig Carlsson in 1974. The speaker was hugely successful in Sweden at the time, and Teenage Engineering’s recreation of the OD-11 was also well received for its minimalist design faithful to the original and expansive sound. The new version also added support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Despite two early appearances at the Consumer Electronics Show and an original release schedule of Summer 2013, the OD-11 was not released until 2014. Teenage Engineering aimed to maintain Carlsson’s goal of designing a speaker for use in a “regular home”, rather than one designed to be used in an unrealistically ideal, noiseless environment.

Three new Pocket Operators, the PO-20 series, were introduced at the 2016 NAMM show. The PO-20 synthesisers have some additional effects and functionality that were not present in the original PO-10 series, but maintain the US$59 price point.