Do router and ethernet cables affect sound quality?

Transferring music via Ethernet cables is a new experience for me. I was convinced, that shorter the signal path the better (Computer-USB-DAC) Tell me please.

Does the router and Ethernet cables affect to the sound quality?

If it is, which routers or switches and Ethernet cables are you recommend for using for the best performance?

Best regards


A resounding NO.


Oh deary me. This will open a can of worms, I think.

As long as the router provides stable network connections, you’re good.

Audiophile network cables? No such thing IMO.


I use basic Cat5e cabling and off the shelf switches £10.00 ish with my Meridian SE system and have the best sound I have ever heard.
MQA arrives un molested too… Just saying.

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It has been discussed here before.

Check out #tinkering, for more threads on this. Short answer; no :smile:

Then you should not use any streaming services. The signal path with it could easily be more than 10000 km long :smiley:

Simply, no.


Unless they’re broken, and thus don’t make any sound, or you make money selling them, no they don’t.


No. Use your money for better speakers.

That’s good advice for analogue connections. In the digital domain (Ethernet) it doesn’t matter. So, no router (I think you mean switch) and Ethernet cables don’t affect audio. There are plenty of good switches available; the Netgear GS308 is a popular choice.

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I tend to distrust any cable manufacturer that makes Ethernet cables in different “levels” and claim various differences in sound profile.

For standard ethernet cables in general most are really bad quality. But as long as you don’t experience performance issues you’re going to be ok even with the bad spec cheap ones.


Like everything in audio, computer audio has its own set of believers and nay sayers for everything in the digital chain. So I suggest if you can try different cables do so, likewise switches and power supplies. Trust YOUR ears, everyone hears differently.

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I can’t speak for cables because I purchased regular CAT6a cables and stuck with them. But I have experience of two products. The Uptone EtherREGEN and the Jcat Net Femto. Both have 30 day return options above and beyond normal distance buying regulations. Both stayed after being auditioned.

I’d like to point out that this is actual experience of both these products.


Same here (except for the cables - I don’t have a high opinion of some of the very expensive cables which I have not found offer a balanced presentation of acoustic instruments, but a good quality screened cable - e.g. Belden CatSnake Cat5e or Cat6a but with screen not connected - definitely sounds better in my system than either the very expensive cables or the cheapies, including the solid performers like Blue Jeans Cat6a). Either a Cisco Catalyst 2960 PD switch with bundled external power supply or Uptone EtherRegen sounds significantly better in my system (in that order, EtherRegen best) - more natural in tone, texture, attack and decay, more extended and with a more in-the-room soundstage than even the very good Netgear GS105. You can get the Cisco switches second hand without paying a fortune.

Note, however, that these are switches, not routers.


It is very easy to put this to the test. I explained how in another thread.

If you do decide to do the test, please do so during the 30 day return period for the EtherRegen. If that period has passed, please don’t do the test; the result will only upset you.

Do router and ethernet cables affect data integrity? No. Do router and ethernet cables affect sound quality? Perhaps, but only in the analog domain… This is not by design, ethernet cables are galvanically isolated, but some have a screen, which will either function as an antenna or ground path. This is my caveat, because I don’t want to totally diss the skeptics :wink:


There’s more to it than data integrity, including inter-frame timing and noise shaping. But I’m not interested in the science or pseudo-science. I’m interested in the music.


Have you put it to your test?

There are a nearly infinite number of things I could test, and only a finite amount of time to do so. Therefore, I restrict myself to testing those things that I think might improve SQ. Are “audiophile” ethernet switches one of those things?

Sorry, no.

OTOH, anyone who does think an ethernet switch can improve SQ has it within their means to rigourously test that hypothesis.

If anyone does decide to do this test, please report back your results here. I am, after all, open to evidence.


Assuming WiFi and router components are separated from audio gear - I don’t see an issue :zap: