Raumfeld Multiroom Audio

by Volker Weber

raumfeld_controller_perspektive0001

Sonos finally has a competitor. It's a small German startup from Berlin. And they have a promising solution. Since I have written a lot about Sonos here, I am going to try and tell you about similarities and differences. Please bear in mind that I have not actually seen or heard their system.

First of all, Raumfeld is a wireless music system based on 802.11g Unlike Sonos, the network seems to be a straigtforward access point and client setup without a mesh network. Raumfeld says their network can be extended with standard repeaters and powerline adapters.

You can play music through three different setups: wireless Raumfeld speakers in two sizes (and prices), and a Connector which feeds your stereo. The Connector would be a direct competitor to a ZonePlayer ZP90. Raumfeld has two speaker systems at different price points. Each consists of a pair of active and passive speakers. The active speaker has power, network and a volume button, and it drives the passive one over a speaker cable. A set of those speakers would compete with a Sonos S5 without being portable. There is no amplified player that could drive your own speakers. For that you need the connector and your own amp.

Raumfeld requires a Base, which is a wireless access point with a 160 GB hard drive. Speakers or the Connector tie into the Base which provides a storage for your music. The system is controlled by a handheld controller with a touchscreen and a large volume button. Raumfeld obviously tries to create an "analog" experience through this massive knob.

There is a couple of interesting features to the Raumfeld system:

I think this is an interesting new entry into the market, and I wish them luck. It is next to impossible for them to replace my massive Sonos setup, but once they are better stocked, I would certainly take a look.

raumfeldoverview.jpg

Speaking of looks, I don't particularly like the unique Raumfeld design, at least not from looking at their (mostly rendered) photos. You can hide most of their components, but you will need to see the speakers, and the controller of course. ;-)

More >

*) You need a Base for their simple setup, but it looks like you will also be able to use your existing infrastructure. Without a Base you can only drive two sets of speakers and have to enter SSIDs and passwords as configured in your WLAN access point.

Comments

Mir gefällt das Design. Klare, kantige Formen sind mir lieber, als ein rundgelutschtes Irgendwas. Wer kam eigentlich auf die blöde Idee, dass grundsätzlich Ecken und Kanten abgerundet zu sein haben??

Zumal ein 3-Raum-Set von Raumklang auch noch etwas günstiger kommt, als Vergleichbares von Sonos.

Was ich aber an derlei Apperaturen nicht verstehe: das Zeugs kann nichts mehr aber viel weniger, als ein iPhone oder ein simpler IR-Controller in Verbindung mit LinuxMCE. Wofür braucht man das und warum wohl würde man -im Falle von Raumklang- knappe 1.500 Tacken verfeuern wollen?

Ralf Stellmacher, 2009-11-30

Repeat after me: Competion is good for the customer.

*g*

Sven Richert, 2009-12-01

Oh ja!

Volker Weber, 2009-12-01

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