There’s 3 possible things (and their combinations) that can ethernet system/cables sound different:
- Noise going out from ethernet cable and interfering with nearby gear
- External noise getting in
- Different behaviour in the PHY as a result of the ethernet cable employed (signal integrity?)
I’ve suggested the ethernet pullout method before to see if it makes a difference. Unfortunately, that’s useless with Roon as the buffers are so small.
If one thinks it’s noise getting in and that’s why cable A sounds better than cable B or C, it’d be fun to do this in a professional shielded room and see if the results still hold up. In that case, one can’t claim external noise being a culprit.
Awhile back, I tried putting over 100 feet of ethernet cable directly on top of my interconnects and DAC to see if it could mess with things and then unplug it and whether it’d make a difference after.
I know these things can sound different from one another, but until a manufacturer shows measurements with a proper theory, I will not be buying a single thing from them. They need to show and convince me that they actually know what they are doing and know what’s really going on.
I’ve been giving wireless a shot again. It’s much simpler than ethernet and more easier to control the variables (router or switch / power supply/ cables). Better isolation. Cheaper.