Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi, one more time

Roon Core Machine


Networking Gear & Setup Details


Moon 280D

5000 tracks on external drive

Considering switch from wi-fi to Ethernet

EDIT: Sorry for incomplete post. (I had not posted on an iOS device before!) So here’s the thing: I stream from an iMac upstairs to a Moon streaming DAC, to my amp. I’ve had absolutely zero glitches, drop outs, etc. But I want to make sure that I’m optimizing audio fidelity. Some very nice people have said that there is no sonic advantage to running a long Ethernet cable upstairs and going that way rather than wi-fi. Others have said that the quality (fidelity to the stream) will be better using Ethernet. Also in the mix, if I go the Ethernet route, would be using a Nucleus or NUC rather than my iMac, which is not dedicated to music. Again, there have been no dropouts or glitches. Thanks for your patience!

Not really much to consider providing the change is relatively painless to achieve.
It will be peace of mind insurance as far as Roon is concerned.
Go for it!


Depending on you DAC/streamer if it can be connected directly by wired ethernet or not. Otherwise, it does not really matter.

Thanks. Please see edit above for further info.

Thanks. Please see edit above for further info. Thanks again!

Ideally you need the CORE for Roon on Ethernet and if you can also the Moon Endpoint.

I think you seem to be thinking to connect the iMac to the Moon via one long cable? … While this “might” work BUT it’s not the way things should be done.

You need to connect the iMac to an ethernet port on your router or a switch connected to the router and the same for the Moon

From a connectivity perspective an ethernet connection is the better, and recommended, option for Roon core to your DAC or Streamer and will be less affected by unwanted external interference/influences (electrical interference etc.).
From a sound perspective it will make no difference (although some community members may disagree).
So, as you’re not having any problems i.e. “glitch free” streaming, the benefits of ethernet connection may not be obvious at present but the stability it offers would, IMHO, benefit you in the long term.

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No need to fix a running system.
You know the pitfalls and can take care of them once problems arise.
Lean back and savor the music for now!


Thanks! Makes sense.

Many thanks!

Thanks. I mis-wrote. It would be from the router or switch to the DAC.

The iMac IS connected to the router. Thanks

I see.

If I were you, I would get a good switch (maybe the Chord English Electric 8 port), one end point connecting to your router, another endpoint connecting to your Moon Dac via a good Ethernet cable. There are many good flat Ethernet cables on Amazon, which makes it easy to hide.

I have a Linn DSM/3 which supports wifi, copper and optical Ethernet, and I have tried them all, eventually I’ve settled down on optical Ethernet because it sounds best to my ears. Wifi is kind of dull, flat to me.

@Jennifer_Martin The above is the most important thing for whatever options you try, but to your ears of course :wink:


Trust me you cannot hear a difference with the network connection. It keeps the buffer full or it does not. The network has crc to make sure it got frame or it resends it. Encoding and decoding yes but the tcp/ip layer makes zero difference to the sound.


oh yes, you can hear it, just as you hear the switch from mac to roon Nucleus.


I completely agree. I did some testing in the past and decided that wireless sounded best in my setup. Which was a bummer because I could have saved €400 on Ethernet cables. :stuck_out_tongue:
All jokes aside, do some testing and let your ears decide.

I went from Wifi to Ethernet and it made zero difference in terms of sound quality. It did of course eliminate potential drop outs while streaming which sometimes happened on Wifi. So just for that I think it’s worth it to use ethernet.


I can’t hear any differences but like was said above it’s about stability for me too


I was running Roon on a Windows PC to a Raspberry Pi (& Schiit Bifrost 2 DAC) over fast, reliable wifi. To see if sound would improve, I switched to a 75-ft. ethernet cable. Difference was unsubtle – sound became blurred, two-dimensional, sluggish compared to the wifi. Your mileage may vary, of course. The experiment only cost me the price of the cable. If I ever get a dedicated Roon Core machine (instead of general-purp. PC), I’ll try ethernet again.