Effect of ethernet cables on Naim streamers?

I always understood how speaker cables and interconnects can influence the sound but in the above video they share their experiences with ethernet cables and I am finding that hard to swallow. Any thoughts or experiences?

It is totally impossible for ethernet cables to affect the sound. It’s just digital files. People say they make a difference but a blind test will prove otherwise.


I was just thinking that why can’t this difference in quality be evident in graphics design, video rendering, 3d animation, gaming and other high demand computing tasks where performance can be measured objectively in render time or file opening time, etc.

Once the system is connected again in my house will swap out different ethernet cables (all generic though) and see if I can hear a difference.

Can of worms I guess.

1 Like

For the EE8 to ND555 I tried a few Chords; C-Stream - OK, Shawline - didn’t gel, Epic - Just right.

BJCat 6a other connections to NAS, Router etc. The BJCat 6a on the last leg was just a tad dull, hence the experimentation.




It’s all in your mind. Bit are bits, no ifs or buts.

See if you can get someone else to swap (or not swap) for you, without telling you what’s connected. See if you can tell the difference, and if so, which you prefer.



Even easier, as it needs only one cable: The modern Naim streamers will keep playing from the buffer for several minutes after pulling the cable. So just have someone pull the cable without telling you when.

As bits are bits, the bogeyman to blame has become an unspecific “noise” coming over the cable. Surely pulling the cable would remove this possibility

Bits are bits indeed, that’s unarguable. How they are transmitted and received is where things get a bit less determinist.

I’m happiest with the Epic, and that’s what matters to me.



You need to live with any change for a while ime. Only then do you notice if things are ‘off’.



Of course, acoustic memory is not able at all to provide such a comparison over long time frames

1 Like

They have none in my experiments worth worrying about. Sit down enjoy the music and don’t worry about cables, switches or other things.

Bits are bits, but Ethernet cables make a difference, and sometimes cheaper ones are better than boutique, sorry posh, ones. The effect of changing Ethernet cables is however very system dependent, which might partially explain the differing views we see on here.

But bits are bits so they can’t make a diffference, right?

Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no, but…….

We never tire of this stuff, do we….


Are you going to be eating salted or some form of sweet popcorn? Do we need a thread to determine which goes best with thread watching? Or then maybe not?

Has anyone pulled the cable?

Oh no !!! Not another ethernet thread

Whatever, I’m more or less sold on the idea that ethernet cable sound does vary, its subtle & best not to get too excited about it.
OK OK bits are bits & they do not change
I suspect any differences in sound might be caused by variances in the manchester encoded voltage, this is analogue and can be affected by electrical parameters, then we have RF & other noise, add to that crosstalk, return losses, timing drift and other bandwidth limiting issues.

The problem is an individual can spend a lot of money seeking audio nirvana on cables (& other ethernet components) and end up with very little bang for a lot of bucks.
The fact that Naim and Linn don’t sell an ethernet cable says a lot, and that’s more than confirmed with the cable ‘specialist’ Russ Andrews not supplying ethernet & that to me indicates that even he doesn’t relish swimming in that pond.


A pity because this seems like the most simple test if the electrical noise over the cable is really to blame.

1 Like

Or you can go wireless and forget about ethernet cables, except maybe the one from the Core to the router.
It might not give the best sound but then it might if the cable would be carrying noise into the streamer, which is the theory for why people, me included, hear an effect from swapping cables.