Pocket operator – Arcade


Original Pocket Operator series by Teenage Engineering from Sweden became quite popular, so the manufacturer came with three new devices to the series last year. This time we will take a look at Pocket Operator 20 Arcade, which is designed as arcade synthesizer and provides you with possibility to create sounds similar to the ones in old videogames.


Those who knows original PO series would not be surprised with design, consisting of 16 simple looking buttons with two knobs directly on a circuit board. Above them you can see a monochromatic screen which will help you with operating the device. There is still not much of space available, so the buttons are marked only by numbers and simple pictures. For further information, you need to read user manual which describes basic functions and button combinations.

The back side contains a simple stand and also battery compartment. And if we say battery, we mean nothing else but classical AAA batteries, the same as you may find in your TV remote control or other devices. Maybe you don´t think so, but these cells are strong enough to ensure 2 years in standby mode for the device.


Information on the screen are supported by funny animations and as they are not too practical, they are at least nice to watch. There is also classic 3,5 mm jack to connect either input or output devices. And what more, if you have more PO devices you can connect them together and create one mixed output. PO´s are pretty loud on their own so you will be maybe surprised about how loud they can go without connecting to speakers.

Although the design is not very intuitive and it may take some time to master it, PO offers lot of fun in a very small package and if you like to experiment a little, this is exactly what you need.

Teenage Engineering TE010AS020A PO-20 Arcade Pocket Operator

2 new from $59.00
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as of January 16, 2020 10:20 pm


  • A minimalist arcade synthesizer module that's perfect for modern tabletop synth rigs
  • Loaded with 16 nostalgia-inducing synthesized arcade-style sounds
  • Create sophisticated arrangements with chord mode and 128-chord chaining
  • Enhance your sounds with 16 punch-in effects such as bit crush, stutter, and delay
  • Create entire songs on the 16-step sequencer with 128 patterns and pattern chaining

Internal Sound Engine Yes
Sequencer 16-step sequencer
Manufacturer Presets 16 drum sounds
Number of Effects 16
Effects Types Delay, distortion, filters, stutter, bit crush, vibrato
Analog Inputs 1 x 1/8″ TRS
Analog Outputs 1 x 1/8″ TRS
Power Supply 2 x AAA batteries
Manufacturer Part Number TE010AS012

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