Does Raumfeld Stereo M Wireless Speaker Strike The Right Chord?
Well, of course they do! That's why they are in our top wireless speakers list. Anyway, here's a bit about the company in question. The Raumfeld company was established in Berlin in 2008 by two audio enthusiasts, with the specific goal of developing and marketing innovative multi-room audio products.
The Raumfeld company was soon acquired by Teufel, one of the largest online seller of loudspeakers in Europe, and now both are part of the Berlin Acoustics Group, who is currently engaged in expansion into international markets.
Throughout the acquisitions, Raumfeld has remained a distinct brand, with their own product lines and target audience. Along with online sales and the recently opened flagship Teufel Raumfeld storefront in the prestigious Bikini Concept Mall in Berlin.
The Raumfeld product line is now available internationally, notably in the USA via Amazon.
Is It a Computer Or Is It a Speaker?
The world of audio equipment is a lot different now than it was fifty years ago. Depending on how you feel about it, things have either gotten a lot more exciting, or a lot more complicated. With some equipment, it can be difficult to figure out whether you’ve got a computer that plays music, or a piece of audio gear with a computer in it.
With the Raumfeld Stereo M, that question is still easy to answer. You get a pair of stereo speakers, each with a heavy MDF cabinet, a removable grille, and the same sort of drivers you find in traditional high quality stereo speakers.
The drivers are actually not quite as conventional as they look; we’ll talk about that later. You can put your pair of Raumfeld Stereo M speakers on a shelf, or on speaker stands, and you can adjust them to give you really nice separation and a perfect stereo sound stage.
When you look a little closer, you’ll start to notice some of the interesting items. We first noticed the tactile design of this audio system with the Volume knob and row of buttons on the front of the Master speaker.
The Raumfeld Stereo M is a powered speaker system, and also tucked inside that speaker is a powerful Class D amplifier that provides the power to run both speakers, as well as the electronic circuitry gives the Raumfeld Stereo M streaming and multi-room capabilities.
All of the electronics live inside one speaker. The other speaker is passive, and connects to the active one with a regular speaker wire. Thoughtfully, you get to decide whether the speaker with the controls and the power cord goes on the left or right.
Multiroom Raumfeld and Spotify Connect [Video]
Connectivity & Audio Sources
The Raumfeld Stereo M system is mainly a network music player, and offers both a wired Ethernet input and WiFi connectivity. The Stereo M can play music from most network attached storage devices, including DLNA servers.
We love that it also offers a USB input where you can connect a USB drive containing music, and a stereo analog input you can use to connect it to other analog sources.
Keep in mind: The Raumfeld Stereo M does not support Bluetooth or Apple Airplay.
As far as Streaming Services, the Raumfeld Stereo M works directly with a limited number of streaming services, but they’re good ones. It works directly with Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Napster, and TuneIn – and Internet Radio service.
Remember that you’ll also be able to stream all music sources to the Stereo M from your DLNA server.
German-engineered WiFi streaming brand Raumfeld at CES 2016 [Video]
Audio Format Support
The Raumfeld Stereo M supports a wide variety of audio formats, including the popular MP3 and AAC lossy formats, WAV and ALAC lossless formats, as well as the popular FLAC format (this is a nice touch; many units omit being able to play FLAC files from a USB stick).
Does Stereo M have Audiophile Hardware Specifications?
The Raumfeld Stereo M speakers incorporate the sort of drivers you’d expect to find in a pair of high quality speakers. Each speaker in the matched pair is a three way design, with a 1” fabric dome tweeter, a 4.3” coated midrange driver, and a 5.5” polypropylene woofer.
The tweeter is mounted coaxially with the midrange, which helps the Stereo M speakers to deliver wide imaging, even when you’re not sitting directly in front of them. A 320 watt Class D amplifier located in the powered speaker provides plenty of clean audio power to drive the Raumfeld Stereo M speakers to very satisfying listening levels.
Raumfeld rates the frequency response of the speakers at 42 Hz to 22 kHz, and claims they can deliver an impressive sound level of 108 dB at one meter.
Raumfeld Tutorial: Setup via iOS app for Apple devices [Video]
The Raumfeld Stereo M system is comprised of a powered unit, which contains the amplifier and all the electronics; and a passive unit, which contains only the matching speaker components.
The passive speaker is connected to the powered unit using a length of ordinary speaker cable – via a pair of speaker terminals on each. AC power is supplied via a standard removable IEC power cable (another nice touch).
An AC power switch is located near the power cable receptacle. The Stereo M has a protection fuse, which is conveniently located inside the power cord receptacle.
At the top of the rear panel on the powered unit you’ll find:
- an Ethernet connection for a wired network connection
- a pair of RCA jacks for connecting an external analog signal source
- a USB jack where you can connect a USB hard drive with music on it
- two buttons used to configure the unit (Reset and Setup)
Raumfeld Tutorial: Setup via Android app [Video]
Operating The Stereo M
The Raumfeld Stereo M itself has only a few controls.
The Power switch on the rear panel switches the main power on and off (when that’s off, nothing will work). The rear panel also includes a Reset switch, used to reset the unit if something odd happens, and a Setup button, which is only used during configuration.
The Raumfeld Stereo M features an automatic Standby power saver mode (it draws 2 watts in Standby).
The front panel of the powered unit offers a convenient traditional Volume control, a Power button, and four buttons which can be programmed to access your favorite streaming sources or music selections directly.
The active speaker in the Raumfeld Stereo M system includes a Power button, a Volume knob, and four preset buttons.
The Controller App isn’t especially fancy by modern standards, but it allows you to choose what to play, set up playlists and such, display album art, and synchronize Raumfeld audio systems in different rooms. Although the App isn’t complicated it has a classic businesslike appearance.
The Raumfeld Controller App also includes a few neat extras. One we like, is what Raumfeld refers to as The Equalizer. This is a three-band tone control that adds a Midrange band to the stock Bass and Treble controls.
For those of us who sometimes prefer adjusting a standard tone control to endless fiddling with all those bands on an equalizer we think this was a pretty good choice. It also includes a Sleep Timer, which can be handy.
Raumfeld Has an Ecosystem?
Raumfeld makes quite a few different wireless components, and they can be considered to be a multi-room system by virtue of all being controlled by the Raumfeld Controller App.
The App can synchronize multiple systems to play the same content at the same time, or individually selected content.
You will, however, find that the various components aren’t nearly as well integrated as components from some other brands – like Sonos. For example, Raumfeld’s subwoofer works with their sound bar but not the Stereo M system.
Apparently some or all of Raumfeld’s software is open source. That means that, if you’re a programmer, you can modify the software, or even write your own software to work with it.
We didn’t dig into the details there. If you’re the sort of person who likes to play with this sort of thing, your eyes lit up when you read the words open source, so you’ll want to check that out for yourself.
Any Dark Clouds With the Raumfeld Stereo M?
While we really liked the Raumfeld Stereo M system, there are a few things that a few of you might consider:
No Bluetooth: While the Raumfeld Stereo M has plenty of connectivity options, can talk to your phone via your network, and can play FLAC files from a USB stick (which we really liked), is does NOT have Bluetooth.
While most smartphones have other options you can use, if you use other little Bluetooth enabled gadgets, you may not be able to figure out how to make them play through the Stereo M. (regarding Bluetooth Paul says, You can easily connect a Bluetooth adapter for $25-$50 dollars)
No Windows version of the Raumfeld Control App: You need to have an Apple computer or an Apple or Android phone to configure and control the Raumfeld Stereo M.
The Stereo M can be configured to play files you share from a Windows computer, but you’ll need an Apple or Android phone to ask it to do so.
Since the Stereo M doesn’t have its own screen or menu, you REALLY need the Raumfeld App to get it to do much of anything.
WiFi: The Raumfeld Stereo M system relies on either a wired Ethernet or WiFi network connection. If you’re like most of us, you probably have Ethernet or WiFi in your house, and Raumfeld even sells their own WiFi appliance, but the Raumfeld Stereo M does require a network to operate.
How Do We Rate the Stereo M?
We love wireless technology but if it doesn’t deliver quality sound what’s the point? Stereo M will provide you a better-sounding compact system than most. It’s three-way speaker design has many sonic virtues not found in other designs.
With lovely sonic detail, great stereo imaging, and a big soundstage the pair of Stereo M’s will make you think these speakers are bigger than they are.
We listened to hours of music on the Stereo M using many digital and analog sources and always came away happily surprised with the sound quality. For the price these speakers really floored us!
As you can tell we rather like the Raumfeld Stereo M and we think you will too… especially if you appreciate both the style of classic audio components and modern technology.
We like both, but sometimes it seems downright unnatural when they get mixed together too much – sort of like seeing a beautiful hand carved clock with a red digital display on it.
We will warn you that the Raumfeld Control App is functional, but it’s not our favorite remote control software.
We should also mention that setting up your Raumfeld Stereo M and configuring it to work with your network can be complicated; in fact it can be a real pain.
You may have to turn off or reconfigure your other network devices, and you’ll have to fiddle with stuff like signal strength and network passwords. However, since you only have to do it once, and it works well once you get everything right, we think it’s worth it.
On the high-end scale for full range wireless speakers we adore KEF LS50’s and Devialet’s Phantom and with the Raumfeld Stereo M, you’re getting something very similar in sound and and large pair of 3-way bookshelf speakers, a good amplifier to run them, and the ability to play streaming and stored music.
Best of all, it just seems natural to have these speakers in your living room. If you feel this way too, and you lean towards high-end speakers that have wooden enclosures instead of plastic boxes, then you’ll like the Raumfeld Stereo M.
Mechanical Specifications and Incidentals
- Dimensions (both units): 16.5” high x 8.3” wide x 11” deep
- Weight (powered unit): 25.35 pounds
- Weight (passive unit): 23.3 pounds
- Power consumption: 375 watts (max)
Don't forget to look at our top wireless speakers list to compare the Raumfeld M's with other similar speakers!