Great usability and genuine hi-fi sound quality make the Raumfeld system a great alternative to SonosWrite your own review
- Unfussy setup
- great sound from all zones
- built-in storage
- looks and build
- Transferring music to the hard disk is a manual affair
- active speakers could dig a little deeper
- the Speaker Ms require space and stands to work best
Raumfeld is seriously gunning for Sonos with this multiroom system. Just as with the fine Sonos system, you connect one unit (here it's the Base) to your router using an ethernet cable. It then creates its own wireless network to which you add the music-playing zones.
These zones can access any media stored on your network, as well as internet radio and Napster. The Raumfeld has a 160GB hard drive built in, so if you don't own a network attached storage device (NAS), you can store your tunes locally, and keep your PC off.
Our only complaint is that there's no automatic synching of your PC's music with your Base, so you'll need to transfer manually any new music you rip or download.
A number of options
There are various system options available. We've specified three zones using one of each Raumfeld unit: the ADAM Audio-powered Speaker M, the smaller Speaker S (both of which are active speakers) and the non-amplified Connector, which will stream your data to an existing hi-fi system.
All three are operated using the plush touchscreen Controller. After the 15 per cent system discount has been applied, we arrive at the £1679 price above.
Unsurprisingly, given ADAM Audio's involvement, the Speaker M zone sounds excellent. Play a high quality rip of Foals' Total Life Forever and the snappy, detailed delivery relays lots of excitement.
Taut bass and a sparkly treble
The neutrality and tonal balance on offer is impressive. Bass could perhaps be a little deeper, but it's taut and well-integrated with the midrange, while the treble is sparkly, but well behaved – as long you avoid overly sharp recordings.
The Speaker Ss sound similar to the Ms. They won't fill a room as well, but they're more flexible over placement and happy on a shelf.
Then there's the Connector – its overall delivery will depend on your amp and speakers, but a test with our reference hi-fi proves that it's capable of conveying truly excellent detail and dynamics.
Its attractive starting price and partnering flexibility will push many multiroom buyers towards Sonos, but if you fancy something a bit different, the Raumfeld's a serious option.