The conclusion of the Absolute sound review:
The advent of the Sonore OpticalModule in the market around this time provided yet another audible level of improvement with a fiber-optic-based network. The higher-specification clock (crystal oscillator) and power supply of the OpticalModule provides improved timing and lowers the noise floor more than generic FMCs, so you get a lot less of the bad stuff and lot more of the good stuff described above. Power the OpticalModule with a good linear power supply, e.g., an Uptone Audio LPS-1.2, and you’ll effectively have a state-of-the-art network system for digital streaming that will be clean, quiet, transparent, and lifelike.
We’ve come a long way with respect to digital music reproduction, particularly in the last five years. Streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz have become mainstream as viable sources of musical content, and components specifically designed for networking digital streaming have become available to provide superior-quality audio reproduction. We’re no longer limited to physical media and disc players, and the convenience and ease of use that streaming offers is matched by equipment and components that provide a concomitant level of superb audio performance. In my experience and in my system, this performance is best realized by direct network connections from streamer to DAC utilizing the advantages that a fiber-optic connection has over traditional copper Ethernet, including immunity from RF, EMI, and high-impedance leakage currents from SMPS and network component clocks that increase jitter and clock phase noise.
Everyone’s system is different, and the degree of benefits in any system can be tricky to assess, but the components and cabling for a basic configuration are inexpensive enough to try for yourself, and see if they work for you. They certainly worked very well in my system. If you like the results, and want to upgrade these networking components, there are now audio-application-specific fiber media convertors, e.g. the Sonore OpticalModule, and power supplies (e.g., the Uptone Audio LPS-1.2) that provide higher performance and audio quality. Moreover, if you find that you also need an audiophile-grade Ethernet switch, the AQVox and SOtM Ethernet switches have been on the market for over a year, and the recently released Uptone Audio EtherREGEN Ethernet switch shipped in Q4, 2019. The EtherREGEN not only provides much higher-quality audio performance than other Ethernet switches, but also supports fiber-optic connections