Network switches

Tell me why I should eliminate one. Would it really make a different in sound quality? My router is downstairs, so I have one switch between it and all my audio gear, including my roon rock server. In particular though, my roon server, as it could easily be relocated and plugged directly into my router, would there be any benefits in doing this as far as sound quality goes?

You probably haven’t searched the forum deep enough to find that there a long lasting partisan war threads about whether network related components make any difference to sound.

All your answers are “there”, so please don’t start yet another tiring and senseless discussion.

Actually, you don’t seem to be convinced yet that it does make a difference - since you haven’t tested for yourself - so, better leave it as it is, brush off that flight of Audio Nervosa and just enjoy your music…


My personal experiance is no… but deceide for yourself if it gives you better SQ.

Here will be dragons.


If you have nothing constructive to say, don’t bother posting, you are just wasting my time.


My personal opinion is that it would make no difference in SQ unless something is wrong with the switch in question.


You’re wasting your time by posting in the first place!

What new insights are you expecting to extract from this thread anyways?

Have a nice day and spare some time to pray for the poor souls deprived of their human rights.


@Darius - I think that the problem with your question (which is actually a straight forward and honest question) is that Roon Community contains two quite distinct “schools of thought”. On the one had you’ve got the “bits are bits” school and on the other hand you’ve got the “every last thing in the signal (digital and audio) can make a difference” school.

Take a look at the ongoing threads about routers and cables affecting SQ and you’ll see that the “discussion” is endless and, for the most part, pointless. There is literally no common ground upon which reasonable debate can take place.


This tells you most of everything you should ever need to know on the subject quite possibly.
Just one of many here…


See, the problem is that this question has been hashed and re-hashed over and over again.

People that have been on this forum longer than 2 months have seen this question and the ensuing arguments ad nauseam…

No need to react so venomously, it’s just the way it is.

I offer these responses (which are easily found by a forum search), 1) Ethernet is by it’s nature lossless and immune to noise, 2) there have been tear downs of uber expensive switches and inside has been found normal off the shelf components, 3) uber expensive switches are just a snake oil gouge that doesn’t result in any improved SQ other than that afforded by one’s psycho-acoustic imagination and pride of ownership.

Still, it’s your money. You can buy what you want, of course. I do.


In your case and audio chain description, imho, you should not. A router’s main job is not to be a switch; most of the switches included with ISP provided routers are …not the best. So, I always put a good switch after the router and have everything plugged into that switch. Which it sounds like you are already doing.

However, in general, I believe in removing unnecessary steps in the audio chain; so, if there is an extra switch in the chain that with a bit of re-arrangement can be eliminated then I see no reason not too. Not for SQ, but, to reduce possible points of failure in the network.

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I’d be genuinely interested to understand your reasoning - any pointers, maybe?

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Switching is a very simple network function. Those included with home routers are rarely even specified beyond connection speed and number of ports. With ‘better’ switches you will pay for management capability (bad for Roon if you don’t know what you are doing) and plenty of features, which the home user will probably not need (port aggregation, QoS, monitoring, VLANs, optical connectivity, better throughput under heavy load etc).
The only reason to add a switch immediately after your router is if you need more connections than your home router typically provides (four usually) or need some management functions or optical ports.


No reason to change your setup as it won’t affect sound quality. Just make sure you stick with unshielded cables, i.e. no higher than Cat 6. Ethernet is galvanically isolated to prevent noise finding it’s way between devices. Shielded cables defeat this and can allow noise to propagate. Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables don’t belong anywhere outside of datacentres.

You’ve misread Marin_Weigel.

There are a couple of very protracted discussions on ethernet cables, switches, routers and sound quality. We really don’t need another one.

Some claim they make a difference, yet none of those truly understands this stuff nor has conducted blind listening tests. Others, who understand this stuff refute those claims, some of whom have conducted carefully constructed blind listening tests using 802.3ad LAGs.

Don’t get sucked into the rabbit-hole. Spend your money on the stuff that really makes a difference, first and foremost, speakers and room.

Please also bear in mind that this is an international forum - English is very often not a contributor’s first language. Subtle nuances don’t always transcend language barriers.

The Roon community is a very tolerant place - if a post of yours gets flagged/hidden, then take stock, think about what you said, and ask yourself 1. Did I need to say it? and 2. If yes, could I have said it in a better way?

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OP, if you use a streaming service, you don’t need to bother about a single switch. One less switch after the thousands of switches between your house and the server of the service can not make any difference.


This thread is very relevant…and entertaining :innocent:

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I’m staying out of that thread, though it’s bordering on hilarious. I bought a Zyxel (£20) just for giggles to tear it down and prove it’s the same internals as the EE8 and the Bonn N8 Silent Angel.

Martin still reckoned his EE8 was good value…


Can not be such a good value if the PSU was so rubbish that he had to replace it :laughing:

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Ah, but he replaced it with iFi iPower Elite, which must be better because it costs almost £300 :wink:

Nice to see always the same passionate guys being very much into telling how people have to perceive things :grin: