Raumfeld One S
Raumfeld is an audio brand that you might not have heard of before, but it’s now owned by the long running German loudspeaker specialist, Teufel. Whether you’ve heard of either, Raumfeld products are now easily available in the UK and we’ve taken a look at the firm’s pint-sized multi-room speaker.
Although the Raumfeld One S is small, that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. This little speaker will set you back £199, although it’s the most budget of the brand’s wireless speaker line-up. You might want to make a stereo pair with two and you can save £50 if you buy this way.
The price, size and features mean that the One S has some tough competition in the ever expanding multi-room audio market. Sonos is recognised widely as one of the leading brands and is something of a benchmark. Its latest speaker – the Play:1 – costs £169 and is a fantastic little speaker, so let’s see whether it’s worth paying extra for the One S.
Like the Sonos range, the Raumfeld is available in black or white, with the latter being the company’s classic option. The design is square and industrial with straight lines, which is different from Sonos’ approach but may fit in better with the style of your home.
The One S measures just 18cm wide and weighs 1.4kg, so if space is limited, then it’s well suited to squeezing into narrow and tight gaps. We like the simplistic appearance with the fabric wrapping around to the sides. The build quality is excellent and there are some nice details such as the spun finish on the power button.
A major advantage of the One S is that’s it’s designed to work in bathrooms and kitchens thanks to a humidity resistant design. A rubber cover seals all the physical ports on the rear, although you won’t be able to use any apart from the power cable when this is attached.
There’s an ethernet port that is partly for set up, but you can use it for connectivity if you like. There’s also a USB port, but it’s downward facing which is something of a design flaw since there’s not enough room for a normal sized flash drive.
Like other multiroom systems, you can simply start by buying one speaker and adding more as and when you choose (or can afford to). If you have more than one Raumfeld speaker, you can place them in different rooms around your house and choose what music to play on each – or synchronise them to play the same tunes.
We found that the system works well, and you can control everything with the free app for iOS and Android. The app is decent but not a patch on the polished Sonos app. It’s intuitive to use and we like the virtual volume dial and the addition of an EQ, even if it is limited to simple bass, mid and treble sliders.
There are physical buttons on the top of the Raumfeld One S, which are under a rubber cover (to keep any moisture out if you’re using it in a bathroom or kitchen). You’ve got volume control as you would expect and four other buttons simply labelled 1 to 4. These work like a car stereo and allow you to create pre-sets. Long pressing one while listening to a radio station, album or playlist will assign it then in future you can just press the button to start it up. It’s a shame not to have play/pause or skip buttons, though.
Whether you connect your One S to the network via ethernet or Wi-Fi, you can stream music from various different sources including computers on your network or the device you have the Raumfeld app installed on. It’s much more clunky than Sonos, but works.
It’s easy to listen to radio stations with TuneIn, but things are somewhat limited when it comes to other services with just Spotify and Tidal available, both require subscriptions. This means, to name a few, Amazon Music, Google Play Music and Deezer are all missing.
If you’re happy with Spotify and/or Tidal, then the sound quality of the One S is very good. Although Teufel has been making loudspeakers for decades, the speaker uses a Class D amp, which is a shame but also not a surprise.
The One S uses a two-way coax system with a 90mm mid-range driver and a 25mm tweeter. These are joined by side-mounted 95mm passive bass radiators (one on either side). The result is well-rounded and suits the vast majority of music genres but sounds muddy at times.
With the two Class D amps output a maximum of 40W RMS, and we were impressed with how loud you can pump the One S without losing sound quality and introducing distortion. Even with a lower quality radio stream, you’ll won’t believe the sound is coming from this tiny box. Pairing two speakers into a stereo pair creates a huge sound stage.
With the EQ you can tweak the sound to suit your taste, the room your in or the music you’re listening to, but most of the time we found little need. The mid and bass frequencies tend to dominate at default settings, so we recommend boosting the treble a little.
The Raumfeld One S is impressive with its sleek design and decent sound performance. Preset buttons are handy and the humidity resistant design make it perfect for the kitchen. However, it’s more expensive than the Play:1, lacks some music services and the app could be improved.