Best cable to connect laptop to streamer

(Peter Jones) #1

Is it better to connect my laptop to my streamer (Cambridge CXN) using USB cable or Ethernet cable for the best data transfer/sound quality? Or are they the same?



(Peter Jones) #2

Meant to say, the length is approx 8m


(Ged) #3

The CXN isn’t roon ready so it would depend on what you are connecting from I guess.

(Peter Jones) #4

Just did a search and the Cambridge Audio website says for Roon network players: ‘Connect a USB A to B cable between your PC or Mac and the Cambridge Audio network player and select “USB Audio” as the desired digital input through the network players’ interface’, so I suppose I’ve answered my own question. I’ll give it a go anyway!


(Darryl Caillouet) #5

In your second post you mentioned that the length was 8m.

For USB 2 the recommended cable max is 5m & for USB 3 it’s 3m for regular cables. So just be aware that you might be flirting with a limit that would require something special to get the best performance if you decide to go the USB route.

(Mike O'Neill) #6

CXN user here

I run 2 ways

Ethernet on network, but this gives Airplay, Cd quality at best but Artwork

Coax from a RPi (via Ethernet) to digital input 1, this gives 192 , ie max but no Artwork

USB from pc depends on pc, Windows needs a CA driver download (free) to achieve USB class 2 ie 192, if not it maxes at 96, you get Artwork , but the pc is local with potential noise issues, fans etc.

I think Apples ok to 192 without

RPi Riopeee only works USB class 1 due to some Linux funnies , search the forum for CXN you’ll find a big thread

My recommendation would be the RPi route, with AlloDigione fed Ethernet then coax to the CXN, depends if you want Artwork though $200 ish, it’s really using the CXN as a Dac

The only way to get 192 plus artwork is USB direct, withe core local, nota Roon recomended layout

Shout if can help further, I think I’ve tried everything at some stage

(Mike O'Neill) #7

This is the thread I mentioned

(Peter Jones) #8

So, (ignore my stupid questions!) if I wanted to use Ethernet, do you basically plug one end into your laptop and the other into the streamer? Or is it more complicated than that?



Ethernet is meant to go either from router to streamer or from network switch to streamer.

If you want to connect DAC to laptop, you don’t need either Ethernet or a streamer. USB from laptop to DAC will work.

(Mike O'Neill) #10

To expand a bit

Ethernet uses a local network typically

Pc to your internet Router as a start, I assume you have one.

Now your Roon library will be available over the network

The CXN now connects to the network either wirelessly or a simple Ethernet cable run back to the Router

In my case I run a cable from the router to the lounge where there is a switch that splits off the Ethernet to 3 devices, RPi, CXN and avideo streamer

Wireless is ok on the CXN but a wire is better

(Peter Jones) #11

Hi, I use Virgin Media, so have a superhub 3. Is that the same? Would I just plug the ethernet cable from my pc into one of the phone sockets?


Ethernet doesn’t go into phone jacks (RJ11).

Ethernet goes into Ethernet jacks (RJ45), which is what you have on your hub.

BTW - Don’t try to use a phone cable in an Ethernet jack, it won’t work.

(Peter Jones) #13

Unfortunately i don’t believe that the Virgin Media hub has any in going RJ45 sockets just outgoing to TV etc.

(Ged) #14
  • Four ethernet 10/100/1000BaseT ports (from virgin web site)
    Those are Ethernet ports just plug the streamer into one and the laptop into another. Or run them wirelessly.

(Peter Jones) #15

OK I’ll try that. I’m not particularly savvy with things like this. I just assumed that as they are used to connect to devices like TVs etc they were outgoing only (if such a thing exists), if you get my drift.

(Dan Brown) #16

Hi @Peter_Jones. All Ethernet sockets are bi-directional. Information, or data, flows both ways down different pairs of wires within the cable. This means that any device connected via Ethernet can receive data, but the device can also ‘request’ data from wherever it is being sent from, be it the internet, or any other device on the same network. (Streamers, Roon Core, Endpoints, etc. )

For example… when you plug a smart-tv into your router, the tv can receive data (music, tv programmes etc.) from the internet, but you can also request data (eg. When you scroll to something in iplayer and press play). At that point you’re sending data to the internet.

I have a virgin media super-hub. You can plug up to 4 local devices into any of the Ethernet ports on the back of it.

Apologies if you already knew any of this, but I hope that clears it up a bit. :slight_smile:

(Peter Jones) #17

Hi, yes it does. Thanks for the info

(Ged) #18

And to be honest there is no earthly reason that you should know this rubbish. It’s mainly saddos like me who work in IT that know some of it.

(Peter Jones) #19

Thank you all for your help and advice!

(Peter Jones) #20

One last question, are any particular brands of ethernet cable recommended or are they all similar?