All this kit and convenience doesn't come cheap. The basic system will set you back £1149 with one pair of S speakers or £1212 with two pairs. The Ms will set you back £699 a set, while extra Connectors cost £280 and further Controllers £349 a pop.
The speakers also come in white
By contrast, a basic two-room Sonos wireless music system with a pair of BU250 bookshelf speakers will set you back £839. That's clearly cheaper, but it lacks the Raumfeld's internal storage.
The trick up Sonos' sleeve is the network mesh it sets up allowing the system to expand ever outwards from the source. Clearly a simple 802.11g basestation-to-clients network won't be able to match that, but the system worked perfectly well in my three bedroom semi - and didn't interfere with my domestic 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network. Raumfeld recommends the use of standard Wi-Fi repeaters as a way of extending your music network's wireless footprint.
Assuming you don't balk at the price, the Raumfeld is a very impressive system. It's extremely easy to set up, even easier to use, and produces a very fine sound. The remote control is a superb bit of design, and the bundled speakers - often the Achilles' Heel of all-in-one-box systems - are very easy on the ear. ®
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Raumfeld multi-room wireless music system
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.