There is no shortage of beautiful wireless speakers in the world, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room left for newcomers to impress. Raumfeld’s One M is another entry in the home audio market, joining the likes of Sonos, Naim, Bang and Olufsen and more, that is not only a piece of high quality audio equipment, but also one of stylish décor. The design is decidedly modern, which jibes well with my personal taste but may not with those who prefer softer lines or rustic features. Raumfeld’s speaker is also immediately recognizable as such, unlike the Mu-so Qb from Naim or B&O Play’s M5.
That’s not a bad thing, it is a speaker after all, but I love technology products that defy our expectations with form. The Mu-so Qb was a fascinating addition to my living room because visitors had no idea what it was, but its striking looks drew them to it nonetheless. The One M is still beautiful, but it doesn’t have that sense of wonder.
None of that matters if it sounds great, of course. But if you’re looking for a device that may be more incognito, and thus slide into the design of your living room with ease, what Raumfeld offers may not be for you. If you couldn’t care less if a speaker looks like what it is (and who could blame you?), you’ll be happy with the hardware.
The speaker is incredibly well-built and hefty, inspiring confidence that it will be able to deliver top-notch, powerful sound for years to come. On the front, you get a volume knob (which I wish doubled as a play/pause button), the power button, status lights and four preset buttons allowing you to easily and quickly switch between your favorite streaming services and playlists, just like you would between radio stations in a car. The back holds all the I/O, which includes RCA connectors, an ethernet port, USB-A input and, of course, the power switch. Unlike portable wireless options, like UE’s Boom line, the One M needs to be plugged in at all times. That means you’ll have to find a spot in your house to park it permanently.
The One M comes in two color options, white and black. I’ve been testing the white variant for the last few weeks and noticed it does show dust and dirt easily. If you have dark haired pets, like I do, the black option would suit you better. Aside from that minor grievance, I have very little to complain about with the hardware here. The speaker is clearly well constructed and well designed, with a slight tilt upward so the audio can effortlessly fill a room. As long as its style is to your liking, the One M will be a solid component of whatever room you put it in for years.
Competing directly with the Sonos Play 5, Raumfeld’s One M has a lot to prove when it comes to sound. At $499, it’s no small purchase and one would rightfully expect the audio quality provided to live up to that price tag. The One M lives up to the expectations, delivering sound that is boisterous, crisp and clear. The standout of the sound profile is undoubtedly the bass. Thanks to the down-firing subwoofer, 120 watts of power and five drivers, Raumfeld’s little speaker offers up audio that is anything but little. If you’re a bass lover, there is more than enough here to appease you. Unsurprisingly, the genres it performs best with are those that heavily feature bass. Hip-hop songs explode out of the drivers, the ferocity of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. on full, accurate display.
I won’t go so far as to say the bass negatively affects the rest of the sound, but it is apparent the lower frequencies are the stars here. Mids and highs are represented, but can sometimes be swallowed by the thunder, as can vocals. If you are listening to a genre that’s softer that doesn’t employ bass in a manor as aggressive as EDM or hip-hop, the One M pushes the highs and mids forward better. All of this is dependent on how well a particular song is mixed, of course, as well as the quality of the file being used.
There have certainly been times where I was listening to a song on the One M and thought vocals were pushed aside or details were being masked, but there have been countless more times where everything coalesced in a matter that was so satisfying all I could do was sit back and listen. The sound produced is warm, rich and inviting. It may not be champion of detail, but at $500 it’s not expected to be in the wide world of audiophile equipment. What it does offer is an audio experience that is endlessly enjoyable and powerful. If you need it to fill a room, or be the lone audio source at a house party, it doesn’t care. All it wants is to kick out the jams. And it kicks pretty damn hard.
Because it is a wireless speaker, users are likely to use it, well, wirelessly. In this regard, Raumfeld has some work to do. It does support Spotify Connect and Tidal, but outside of that the choices are slim. The full list, after the two already mentioned, comes to: Rhapsody, SoundCloud, TuneIn and local files. The company claims 100-plus more, but the ones most users care about, Google Play Music, Apple Music and Amazon Music, are absent. There is Chromecast built-in, so you can cast from a Chrome tab and even use your Google Home to control it, which helps bridge the gap somewhat, but not entirely.
If it wants to compete on the same stage as Sonos, Raumfeld needs to up the amount of content providers it supports. The company should also take a long look at its app, which feels stale aesthetically and frustratingly unfriendly to users at times. Until the company addresses these issues, its line of wireless speakers are beautiful machines offering superb audio with a few serious caveats.
If you primarily consume your audio through your own local files and Spotify, the Raumfeld One M offers an experience that is well worth its price tag. The audio is sublime, save for the few times the bass throws off the balance, and the build is top-of-the-line. If you’re looking for a quality wireless speaker to be the centerpiece of your home audio experience, the One M is a great place to start.