Teenage Engineering’s TX-6 field mixer invites you to turn the knobs

Teenage Engineering, the company behind ultra-stylish synthesizers, speakers and PC cases, has released a new audio gadget: it’s called the TX-6, and it’s a tiny (in size, not price) field mixer that is absolutely decorated with buttons. In addition to letting you mix audio from six stereo inputs and send them to a computer, speaker, or both, in true Teenage Engineering fashion, the TX-6 can also serve as a basic synthesizer, drum sequencer, and USB-C audio interface.

However, we need to talk about those buttons first. By default, they act as controls for a three-band equalizer, allowing you to adjust high, medium, and low for each input. But a look at Teenage Engineering’s guide reveals tons of other things you can do with them, from checking compressor settings to adjusting the panning or node length. Whatever you use them for, you will do it in style; the buds are colorful and fluted at the top, which should help you grab something that is otherwise about the size of a large Q-Tip.

A side profile of the buds. And take a look at that power switch too.
Photo: Teenage Engineering

If you can tear your eyes away from the buttons, the rest of the operation is also brand new. You have father-sliders (which are probably more important than the buttons because they actually allow you to do so mix), a wealth of buttons as well as a combination button / button to navigate menus – be quiet in my heart. There are also LED volume meters, with controllable brightness.

A lot is happening on this device.
Photo: Teenage Engineering

In terms of I / O, the TX-6 has these six input jacks for input (Apple never could) and three output jacks; two are 3.5 mm for aux and cue out, and the main output is 6.35 mm or a quarter inch. It also has a built-in battery, which Teenage Engineering says is good for about eight hours of use, and is charged via the USB-C port, which also handles connecting the TX-6 to your device. It can be a computer or an iPhone / iPad if you have a suitable cable or adapter. Again, all of this, plus the delicious buds, is wrapped in something that has an absolutely small package.

The TX-6 has a footprint comparable to an iPhone.
Photo: Teenage Engineering

By the way, yes I can hear the whole of Britain laughing about me talking once again about my love of buds. No need to comment on it, my pages still hurt to read all the jokes about the last article. But come on, just look at them.

How Teenage Engineering starts its “Introduction of TX-6 field mixer” video. It catches attention.
Photo: Teenage Engineering.

Of course, I do not want to sleep on the other parts of this design – it has a CNC aluminum frame, an adorable little screen to show you menus and faux leather backing. To me, it looks a bit like an old-fashioned Sony device, but taken a notch up.

Hi, in fact, Teenage Engineering says the buttons are customizable. I’m sure of that some parameter you can control with those that go to 11 …

Tell me this does not look like a fancy-ass Walkman.
Photo: Teenage Engineering

Speaking of going past the upper limit, let’s talk about the price. TX-6 costs – deep breath now – $ 1,199. It is for the device itself along with a 3.5mm adapter for the main output and a USB-C cable. Additional cables, such as a 3.5mm RCA or dual-TS adapter, will cost a reasonable $ 10 or $ 15.

Although that price is almost incredible, I struggled to think of other devices like the TX-6. $ 150 Yamaha MG06X is compact, but it would be hard to call it that little, and it certainly does not look that cool, in my opinion. The $ 350 Zoom H6 can be configured to have the same number of inputs, but it’s significantly more bulky and is not nearly as rich in features as the TX-6. Plus, while you can use it as a mixer, it’s definitely more of a field recorder. Mackie MCaster Live is even cheaper at $ 230 and appears to be a similar size, but it does not have a battery and has only four inputs (although one of them is XLR, which can be handy if you want to connect a microphone ).

Although it’s in a league of its own may or may not justify its price, the price of the TX-6 is likely to reject a lot of DJ wannabes or music making casuals like me – even if it counts a “DJ mode” among its many extra features. But if I’m completely honest with myself, I would probably spend an embarrassing amount of money playing with one for a day, just so I could feel the sweet, sweet buds (again, I really shouldn’t post this just like the UK is waking up).

TX-6 is available on the Teenage Engineering website.