Advice for 48-port fanless switch acoustically similar or better than 2960

Hi @Simon-in-Suffolk and others,

I was planning on purchasing a Cisco WS-C2960L-48TQ-LL (fanless, without PoE, with 2 10GB SFP+ ports) for a completely renovated apartment. Unfortunately, it seems to be very difficult to find – especially in the current covid-19 restricted climate. I would like to explore other options as a fallback.

While I could get by with 24-ports, it means I would need to choose what to connect and what not to, and that sounds like a pain that I would rather avoid.

I was wondering if anyone would recommend alternative 48-port fanless switches that have similar or better acoustic properties. The fanless aspect is not negotiable due to the placement location, but if the unit being recommended is not as good in terms of audio quality then I would be willing to consider additional small audio-grade switches at the main audio endpoints.

All endpoints currently converge (Cat 6a cabling) in a ventilated cabinet where the switch will be installed.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

EDIT: I wonder if anyone has experience with Ubiquiti Unifi US-48 switch? While it is not fanless, it indicates fairly quiet levels of 0.7dBr to 13.5dBr, depending on the fan speed.

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To be honest, I think you’ll be hard pushed to find a 48 port switch that is fanless.

Get a 48 port switch and hide it somewhere away from your listening area, then connect it to a silent 8 port switch (or 2) for the music system only.

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Thanks - that is the backup plan.

Hi the C2960L 48 port appears fanless - so will be silent. I have no idea whether it will give the benefits many of us have heard with similar smaller devices - but there is no reason to see why not.
Overall its probably better to have fewer switches as you need and ideally not daisy chain unless you have to - so a single fanless 48 port is a good shout - although you may have a large number of cables bundled to it - which you might want to reduce with using multiple smaller switches

Thank you @Simon-in-Suffolk. Yes I am aware that it is fanless, but my challenge is I cannot find the C2960L 48 port anywhere at the moment. Hence my search for possible alternatives.

Well go for a smaller one… there are many older 8 port versions on the market as suggested above

I cannot imagine your set up, but really and ideally switches should be away out the way some where surely?

There a a few WS-C2960L-48TQ-LL on the bay. There is one in the office I would be in were I not at home, it has been running for at leat 5 years. I have my eye on it if it ever gets replaced.

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As mentioned by others your choice of 48 port fan less gigabit switches is going to be somewhat limited. Add 10Gb uplinks and good luck. Add someone who may have actually audio compared multiple devices… Either buy the Cisco or try something like a Zyxel XGS1930-28, which has 28 ports, is easy to buy and costs a fraction of the Cisco but note Zyxel switches bigger than 28 port are not fan less. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Zyxel as a network device but the comparison for audio - well you’d need to find a Cisco first as well and then have a go. Note that if you need to link multiple switches with 10Gb cables then you can use simple Cat6a copper into RJ45 plugs or Twin-ax into SFP+ both over short distances (Cisco Twin-ax cables are generally very cheap from the bay and work with many manufacturers devices including the Zyxel). Some switches need to be configured to accept Twin-ax links but this is usually a tick box in the port config. Good luck.

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