Value of audiophile network switches

I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find an unmanaged Cisco with PoE+. Of the smaller form factor managed PoE+ switches, nothing matches your Netgear in terms of PoE+ power budget or pricetag. If you really want a Cisco, then a used/refurbed managed switch from eBay would be the way to go. I’d get hold of the user manual and have a read before pulling the trigger on one to make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew.

As I mentioned earlier, my first Dell (X1052P) was easy to setup, once I knew its IP address. The GUI is pretty slow but it works. In any case, I’m pretty sure it would have just worked as is, without any tinkering.

My Dell 5548P was a whole different story. Needed a
CLI connection via PuTTY over a serial/RJ45 console lead to do the initial setup. The GUI is much slicker than the one in the X1052P though. It was half the price of a used X1052P and with the exception of having 2 less SPF+ ports has the same performance, so the learning curve was worth it.

Well today I decided to reboot my cheap switches and on unplugging my Bluesound Pulse, it continued to play for some 15 seconds with no audible difference that I could hear. Just saying…


What about the Unifi Flex switches they are poe powered but hey only have 5 ports will lkely work without tinkering or their controller. I got one recently to expand out the 8 port one I had, pretty cheap to.

I don’t think any of them offer 802.3at PoE+ on the outputs though.

no just input for power.

I’ll just get another NetGear GS108PP for now.

I need dumb and unmanaged (like me).

I only got interested in your original post because it suggested the Cisco unmanaged supported PoE+ … I thought I could finally be one of the cool kids with a Cisco

Maybe they’ll release one that suits me some time in the future.

I’ll keep an eye out but for now, another NetGear GS108PP will work perfectly (as currently).

I think you missed out :wink: in his post.

I would be interested in or two of them. Price? You can pm me if you want. Thanks!

So I never looked into this until recently, but what are the benefits of using these higher end switches for home use? it is a reliability thing? Security? What would be the benefit of getting some Unify switches vs my netgear 8 port switches? what benefits to listening to music are there? I am just curious cause I really don’t know why and want to learn.

The higher end switches are enterprise grade units, so they’re designed for business use. Generally, build quality is higher, they’re designed to run cooler, they’re more reliable, backplane capacity is often higher, i.e. full-duplex capacity across all ports simultaneously, if PoE/PoE+, they usually have a higher power budget. They just generally make for a more reliable network.

Many of them are managed, which allows you to set up VLANS to segregate parts of the network for increased security. E.g. visitors to our place are confined to the Guest network which is on a separate firewalled VLAN. It means any malware or viruses on a visiting device can’t reach or wreak havoc in the more vital parts of the network.

Ubiquiti’s Unifi stuff sits somewhere between consumer grade and full on enterprise grade. It offers a complete ecosystem, whose capabilities extend far beyond your normal domestic network but don’t require a network engineer’s skills to set them up. The user interface is very intuitive, and fairly easy to work with. You can build a very robust, secure and scalable network without breaking the bank. A handful of their APs wired to a central switch will hands down beat the performance of any consumer mesh network and usually end up costing less.

It’s horses for courses. I use a mix of Ubiquiti Unifi stuff and managed enterprise switches, but not everyone needs the capabilities these systems offer.


Wow, that’s was a great explanation! Thanks so much for taking the time to write all of that, I really appreciate it. That was a lot of good info and I’ll probably start looking at ones soon, or even @CrystalGipsy cisco switches

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Not at all. He and I just get two different experiences out of MQA, his is almost all positive, mine almost negative. That doesn’t mean I am right and he is wrong, or that he is right and I am wrong, just that we hear and react different. There isn’t any facet of music that everyone agrees on. Heck, some people don’t even like music. (Lord help them, they do not know what they are missing). And nothing wrong with civilly disagreeing.

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Sorry your in the US and I’m in UK, so shipping costs too much you’ll get one on eBay locally easier.

ok. Thanks anyways!

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I only just watched this!

“There are. Isolation. Transformers. On. Every. RJ45. Connection. Point” :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Yeah, the same as in every other network switch. That’s how ethernet works!


He talks about it like it’s some kind of Voodoo magic.

The problem with these types of products is they’re all too easy to sell to the average audiophile, whose knowledge of ethernet is on about the same level as the average airline passenger’s knowledge of gas-turbines.


For the most part, Darko only knows what he reads in the manufacturers propaganda.

Sadly, there will be those who regard him as the fount of all knowledge.

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If you want a good primer on best practices with switches for low latency traffic, this is a good tutorial:

Puh this seems to be some heavy technical stuff - is there a recommended takeaway ?

Yes, ignore all threads involving foo audiophile network switches.