How Audiophile Myths Are Born

I came across this review Ethernet Filter Review recently and to my understanding of networked audio streaming most of the review reads like a nonexistant problem in search of an expensive ( £1,595) solution. Am I mistaken or is there some (any?) truth here?

Absent a bit of push back from knowledgeable professionals, this is how audiophile myths are born.


Non truths there. These myths are born even with pushback from professionals. People need to feel special one way or another.


Their product is targeting common mode noise and is based on a number of windings around a ferrite toroid.

Such a solution would cost around 50-60 EURO and is easy to build and test:

You can read more about this setup here - including a lot of measurements from a German technical guy:



Wait, so I’ve been using my Ethernet cables wrong? They don’t have any toroids…

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I’d be happy to test one if someone sent one my way. But, otherwise, I’m good.

I was at an audio show this past summer. A room was auditioning cables. They A/B’d an ethernet cable into the same streamer so there was a slight pause between the swap. The one cable did sound different. I also noticed a slight 2-3db bump in the room as I run a db meter on my watch. Louder = better. Cables don’t make things louder.


I think they’re doing a pretty good job (I have 1Gbps service):


Audiophiles trust their ears, not their watches.


This nonsense proliferates just fine regardless of what professionals (or people with a clue in general) say. People just want to believe that being rich enough to afford an “ethernet” (it probably won’t pass even Cat5 certification tests) cable for several thousand dollars gives them a shortcut to audio nirvana. And if people want to buy it, someone unscrupulous enough will sell it to them.


Yes, there‘s a lot going on in the radio frequency regime.
And witnessing EMV testing of electronics in accredited test facilities, I can attest to that fact.

All these audiophile FUD efforts fail in going the last little inch, which is measuring the before and after analog audio signal, where a null test would easily reveal any relevant differences, even to below the threshold of audibility.

And guess why no one, going through the trouble of demonstrating their expertise, shows the relevant data?
Simply because it won‘t show a difference.

But the power of psychology makes audiophiles hear a difference.

Those, who believe in it should really put their money where their mouth is, invest into turning their listening rooms into faraday cages and ban every and all RF equipment from it - the cost would be on par with many of the high-end devices applied in these circles.


Cable peddlers were rigging the test?! I am shocked! Shocked! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


It’s amazing how analog audio “logic” (where at least sometimes there is a theoretical impact) proliferates into digital, with all these rich guys buying their re-branded “audiophile” switches and non-spec cables and then recommending them in their echo-chamber forum threads, and then they form posses and shout out the person trying to add common sense to the discussion.

“Your system isn’t resolving enough.” I love that one.

It’s not limited to those who don’t understand digital, however. At AXPONA 2 years ago I sat through a lecture from a DAC designer where he literally said “ALAC sounds better if decoded on a Mac, FLAC sounds better if decoded on a Windows PC.” OMG. Imagine the poor sods in the audience that went home and split their collections so that their Mac could play back the ALACs and their PC could play the FLACs. And the wondrous sound improvements!

It’s not really the belief that bothers me so much - to each his own – it’s (1) that these things are recommended to audio neophytes and (2) that some get so angry and insulting when told the emperor is in his birthday suit.


One can basically replace “ethernet cable” with many other uber expensive audiophile upgrades in the above sentence and get the same result.

What puzzles me about well heeled audiophiles is that the notion that there are individuals, publications and companies out there who will gladly tell them what they want to hear in order to separate them from their money never seems to occur to them.


Hardware and software engineering are distinct fields. I don’t know how good the designer was in hardware, but they probably had a very poor understanding of software. The sad part is that people talk about things they don’t understand. And in the interdisciplinary area of digital audio, you need some breadth of knowledge.


Oh, most definitely!

Everyone wants to believe that not only do they have golden ears, but also that being rich makes them smart about everything. There is no way they could have been snookered into paying 20K for an “audiophile” server, it absolutely MUST sound much better.


Money doesn’t make you any smarter.


If you don’t understand how things work, it’s all magic. And with magic, anything is possible.

A lot of smart people who do understand how other things work, and made money with that understanding – doctors, lawyers, businessmen – get snookered because the whole tech world is out of their scope.


I think that a big part of it would be if you’ve put together a high end system with boutique brands of gear that you still have the itch to buy something new. Kind of a OCD need to keep “improving” the system? It really doesn’t bother me at all, it’s an unnecessary splurge but haven’t we all been guilty of splurging on something?

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Yes, but it doesn’t have to come with delusion or denial.


You and I are on that page but I don’t fret over other people’s lack of knowledge and common sense :wink:

Given the state of the world, that’s probably the thing I worry about the most. It doesn’t much matter when it’s about ethernet cables, but when it’s climate change, etc … whole other story.

Knowledge and common sense seem to be worryingly in decline.


I should have clarified that I meant in regards to frivolous spending on hobbies. Ecology needs be moved way up the list of priorities, reducing single use plastic.