Aesthetically, Raumfeld has spent the design budget where it makes the most impact. The Base and Connector are just anonymous black boxes, albeit well-made ones, but the speakers - available in black or white - really look the part, especially with the grilles off.
The Remote is cute
The remote Controller is an impressive looking angular affair with a large aluminium volume knob - you can adjust the volume without picking it up - and a 4.5in, 272 x 480 capacitive touchscreen. It presents a twit-proof menu structure and a fast scroll ability that deserves to win an award.
In short, it's wholly intuitive and a joy to use.
Being both active and wireless you can put the speakers pretty well anywhere you want so long as they are within reach of a power socket, though you do have to wire each pair together. For that purpose Raumfeld bundles 6m of quality speaker cable.
The speakers tie into the Base over the system's own, 802.11g wireless network which, like a Sonos set-up, is separate from any WLAN you may already have in place.
The Remote's UI is intuitive to use and speedy to navigate through
The Controller lets you play different music through each set of speakers, or the same music synchronised through all. The volume for each room can also be adjusted or muted individually. Each speaker has its own volume dial so you can turn it down manually if you don't have the remote to hand. The system supports "up to ten" sets of speakers, says Raumfeld, the exact total being dependent on the wireless environment it's operating in.
If I were a rich man...
I would certainly value ease-of-use over saving money and dicking about with setting up my own system which ends up with me having to use my laptop to control it.
In my eyes the ideal setup is speakers in each room and something like an iPad on the wall next to (or replacing) your light switches, with a central server hidden some place (or each pad clones data).
Does this already exist - using standard standalone speakers with a bluetooth/wifi connection and an iPhone app?
Top end audio kit has always cost a lot be it conventional hi-fi separates of techie stuff like Sonos. If you want it, you pay, if not you go for one of the myriad of cheaper options. I have German friends who own a Raumfeld (the system has been on sale in Germany since late last year). They bought it as a house warming present for themselves and are very happy with it. It's got their music library off the family laptop and replaced their old stereo & TV 2.1 system, lets them run music in three rooms - or in the garden, all you need is an extension cable - and control the whole thing from the remote. The convenience of being able to relocate the wireless speakers in seconds should not be overlooked. I was impressed with the sound too, especially from the larger speakers. Expensive? Yes. Do I want one? Yes.
Please, tell me the price was a joke!
£1,200 for that? It's not as if they spent a lot on styling or the speakers.