Music is a passion of ours here at TechFruit Towers, we even have a section dedicated to it, so when we heard that German speaker company Raumfeld was making wireless speakers that were outperforming the Sonos speakers we had in our setup, we were desperate to give them a review.
I was lucky enough to first give a thorough testing to a pair of Raumfeld Stereo Cubes, and now I have got my hands on a Raumfeld One M to put through its sonic paces.
Rather than coming as a pair of speakers like the Stereo Cubes, the One M is a single device and competes with the likes of the Sonos Play:3 or the Bose SoundTouch 20, both of which are available in a similar price bracket and fit nicely onto any good-sized bookshelf or mantelpiece.
Getting the One M up and running was a very simple affair using the free Raumfeld apps available for Android and iOS.
Following the supplied guide, you switch on the speaker and press the setup button on the back to start the installation process. After clicking setup, the speaker begins broadcasting its own WiFi network and you connect your smartphone or tablet directly to the device within the app itself on Android or by manually choosing the Raumfeld network on iOS. Once connected to the speaker you can select your home or office WiFi network, enter its password, and you are all setup.
If you are connecting the One M directly to your router with an ethernet cable then the process is even more simple as there are no passwords to add, but otherwise the process is basically the same. I wanted to use the speaker in a different room to the router so chose the WiFi option, and found no issues at all, but those wishing to stream HD audio to the speakers may find a wired connection more reliable.
If you have more than one Raumfeld speaker, then you set them up one-by-one using the Raumfeld app, which makes it easy to create “Music Zones” or “rooms” where the speakers work together in perfect sync.
The One M supports streaming of pretty much any audio format you will come across, including MP3, AAC, OGG, WMA, WAV, FLAC, and ALAC standards, with support for sample rates up to 192kHz and gapless playback.
The app finds the music on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet and streamed everything we threw at it with ease. It is also the place where you can connect to the various streaming services that have been designed to work on Raumfeld’s platform, including Spotify, Napster, Tidal, WiMP, Last.fm, and TuneIn Radio.
The apps are a delight to use on both iOS and Android, making it a breeze to choose what you want to play and which set of speakers you want to play it on. The easiest comparison is with the Sonos apps, and for me the Raumfeld apps are far superior in both looks and ease of use. However, Sonos does have the lead in terms of the number of music services supported – it supports Rdio, Soundcloud, 22tracks, and Hypem Machine, all of which are currently unavailable on Raumfeld.
There are also currently no apps available for Windows or OSX, but because Raumfeld support the UPNP/DLNA streaming standard it was pretty straight forward to get music streaming from any Windows laptop with the free Stream What You Hear app.
The Speaker also has a USB port on the back on the back, where you can plug in a hardddrive or USB stick to directly play back audio files, and has left and right channel-in connections on the back to directly connect other sound sources.
WiFi connectivity and apps are great, but the One M is most importantly a speaker, and here is where it really shines. Behind the fabric grill is a pair of speakers with a frequency range of 62-20000 Hz, with the bass supplied by a subwoofer beneath the unit with a 130mm driver.
The One M is relatively compact measuring 409mm (width) X 182mm (height) X 202mm (depth), but gives a lot of oomph out of the 120 watt stereo amplifier. It can be very loud, managing to fill a large room with sound and with enough bass for any party.
The sound is crystal clear, and even with the power of the bass it remains tight even when at a volume that makes the walls rattle. The quality is excellent with standard 320kbps MP3s, but if you have a subscription to Tidal’s HD streaming service or have your music in lossless FLAC or ALAC, then you will be in for a treat, hearing extra subtleties in your favourite music that you may never have noticed before.
I found little need to play with the levels, with the sound sound excellent straight out of the box, but if you are looking for a little less bass when listening to a podcast or streaming Radio 4, the Raumfeld app offers graphic equalisers to alter the sound make-up to better suit what you are listening to.
Conclusion – Should I buy the Raumfeld One M?
The One M competes with the likes of the Sonos Play:3 or the Bose SoundTouch 20, but offers significantly superior sound quality and volume, so makes for an easy recommendation. At its price, there is no better compact wireless speaker on the market, and you would be very hard pushed to beat its sound quality with separates setup in the same price range.
Price at time of review: £299.99