Best Router For SoundQuality

Hi…
Questions for those who have
tried this.
• How important is
the router for
the soundquality,.this
whether Wifi or
connection with
ethernetcable is used.?

• Which router do you
recommend who have
tried,.have the best
soundquality.?

• Which LPS do you
recommend to that
router you recommend.?

Anything else that I should
think about.?

In the picture below a…
Nighthawk 8-Stream router on top.
These are only temporarily on top of each other as in the picture.
In the middle an Ediscreation Fiberbox II,.and at the bottom a NAS.

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Since I’ve had my ND5 XS2 I’ve used three different routers and noticed absolutely zero difference in sound quality from any of them either from local streaming or from Qobuz. Using wifi to connect the streamer to the network.

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Hi…
I live in Sweden,.there we can turn the chuko connector 180 degrees on the SMPS unit to change where the “live” is on the DC plug to the router.
It definitely makes an audible difference to the soundquality from the router.

Then I tried a slightly simpler Linear powersupply to my standard router,.it also affected the soundquality in a positive direction.
So my feeling is that there is a lot to do here.
@Blackmorec has written a lot of interesting stuff about this earlier.

Below a Swedish SMPS to a router…

Can’t comment on the difference that the routers themselves make but mine (Asus DSL-88U) definitely benefited from powering with a linear power supply.

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The sensible thing to do is to use whatever router you like. If you use WiFi, it won’t matter. If you use an ethernet cable, put a good switch between the router and the streamer, close to the streamer so you have a short cable from the switch to the router (1 to 3 metres). If you really care about sound quality, upgrade the power supply of the switch.

All routers are ‘noisy’, by design and by nature, since they are not designed with audio application in mind. Neither are most switches, but due to their design, they act as a filter or barrier for the ‘noise’ (electrical noise, not audible noise like a hum).

More background: Why a good switch does matter for streaming audio - Alpha Audio

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How do you find out which position give best result with SMPS when you cannot measure Hot and Neutral on the DC side? Just by ear?

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Here are some simpler experiments in a friends house,.who wants to get help with his cabledressing,and try an LPS for his incoming fiber-box.

The fiber-box is visible on the right in the picture on the wall.
Here this simpler LPS definitely made a difference in the soundquality.
SO,.when all the cabling is optimized and exchanged, the next picture will look much nicer.

BUT,.back to the question of the importance of the router…

It has no relevance in terms of SQ.

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Hello :slightly_smiling_face:
With what practical experience do you make this statement.?

Have you tried and tested this yourself, or are you just speculating theoretically now.

According to my experience,.so…
:black_small_square:Everything Affects The sound.
That’s why I want opinions from those who have tested this in practice.

There is a difference in the quality of components and audio-boards between different routers,.it might/should be able to affect the soundquality also,according to my way of thinking theoretically.

Hi :slightly_smiling_face:
Of course by listening,.that’s what we do with our music-systems.

There is absolutely no problem hearing this difference.
BUT,.I repeat these listening tests for three - four days…
This is to rule out that external conditions not affect the result.

AND,.always start with your SMPS to your incoming fiber-box, after this your router and then your switch etc.
In other words,.as the “signal” travels towards your DAC/streamer.

Don’t know that I can describe it, but I believe there was a definite uplift when I swapped out my isp supplied router and put in a separate modem and TP-link router. More reliable also. I only use WiFi.

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Hi Peder, I tried some experiments with this some years ago, but over time with various changes up to current modern equipment, I don’t hear any difference between either ISP wireless hubs or the (claimed) high performance market offerings.

When I first started streaming I had a basic ISP wireless hub, and also not helping was a very variable network bandwidth of less than 5mb/s.
The hub over heated badly when feeding a stream through the hub over ethernet from NAS to NDX, its switch-set I believe was half duplex, so adding a full duplex network switch fixed that & noticeably improved SQ.

I then changed the hub to an Asus, still with the network switch, there was a slight improvement in SQ, but it turned out to be unreliable, I swapped that for a more upmarket version, again no improvement in SQ and again some nuisance issues.

Then I renewed the ISP contract (British Telecom) to get a higher bandwidth & they supplied a gigabit ported wireless hub. All this fixed the nuisance issues with the previous hub & although ADSL made a big improvement to phone line SQ, it made no audible difference to SQ when streaming web radio.

I stayed with BT & their supplied wireless hubs since then, the service is now fibre (VDSL) & has far far more bandwidth than streaming needs.
Also over this time the wireless hubs have been upgraded to what is now (arguably) the best performer on the UK market.

Over the time, since the line was ADSL & is now VDSL, I have not detected any audible ‘improvement’ in SQ despite that I have measured significant improvements in Bandwidth, Signal to Noise Ratio & Line Attenuation performance.

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Hello :slightly_smiling_face:
It is definitely just as important to upgrade to a linear powersupply for your router.
It is very easy to hear the improvement in soundquality compared to the associated SMPS that comes with the router.

I am very familiar with the rest of what you write,.and have spent a lot of time optimizing these things…

BUT,.I haven’t had time to explore the effect of the router itself on the sound quality yet.
That’s why I opened this thread,.to possibly get some experience from others here :smiley:.

:black_small_square:A tip:
When you mentioned an external linear powersupply to a switch.
You can also get a switch with a built-in dedicated LPS.
Ediscreation Silent Switch OCXO is a very good switch,.with a built-in dedicated linear powersupply.

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What I was looking for is if there is a way to use a phase pen which I have to make sure it is correct to save hours of listening. This is what I do with the power cables :slight_smile:

I will evaluate if it can recognize lower EMI by measuring distance to the SMPS to verify correct direction. I have done that in the past but not on SMPS.

By the way I just noticed a strange thing. My speaker closest to the incoming fiber/ethernetbox and WIFI router buzz even if I don’t have a speaker cable connected to it! :thinking: Will ground my Tannoy drivers which have a ground post connected to the basket and also move the WIFI away to see what happens.

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I have experimented with this, but it did not make a difference for me. Doesn’t mean it won’t for you.

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It’s a faith/belief issue. Some believe in a higher entity. My experience is based on an interest in listening to music on my own systems since 1972.

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Okay,.so you haven’t tried it in practice,or have practical experience of what I’m asking about,and which was the subject of this thread.

My experience is that…
• Everything Affects The Sound.
But I still thank you for your contribution to the thread :slightly_smiling_face:.

I found a gain by using a CISCO 200 series switch with an iFi low noise smps used as the final switch before the streamer.
Good SMPSs optimised for low noise can be as good as linears, and can be better in some cases (linear PSUs are prone to emitting some of the switching noise from the bridge rectifiers).

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Which LPS do you use for your router ?

No you’ve made an incorrect assumption and no it made no difference whatsoever.

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