Ethernet over power or wifi for streaming?

I am using EoP but it’s suddenly causing an earth hum with SN3 for no apparent reason. Is there any quality difference between EOP and wifi?

Realize that the Ethernet over power inject all the network traffic in the mains, which your amp is also dependent on.

I’d just rely on WiFi - which I do with my Atom and it works fine.


@mynaim For me, WiFi was not viable for streaming. In my home, there is a WiFi signal dead zone where my system is. Our apartment construction also mitigates against good WiFi. It was only when we had Ethernet cable run from our system to the router located in our office (second bedroom) did streaming become viable. I would also not favor EOP FOR the reason already stated.

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Me too.



Can you not use a mesh system, effectively having repeaters in key places to strengthen and spread signal? That’s what I did when faced with wifi dead areas. (Nothing to do with music.)


@Innocent_Bystander A mesh system will not likely work. The construction in the walls is plaster/concrete/cinder block/wire mesh. This is very WiFi unfriendly. There is little usable WiFi where the system is. The whole area where the stereo is located is a WiFi dead zone. I barely get enough to use my iPhone for the Naim app, when seated on the couch.

We have plaster over lath throughout the house. I have not stepped up to a wired network, but we use Eero and have been very happy with it. We also use the English Electric switch to access the NAS and the ND555 in the Eero network. I can even use the Roon ARC over this setup. I do want to step up to wired ethernet for streaming at least, someday. But the plaster walls don’t make re-wiring easy.


EoP is not really Ethernet as it doesn’t conform to the clearly defined Ethernet standard. It can work, but it does so by turning your entire mains wiring (and probably your neighbours too) into a big RFI emitting antenna which has the potential to interfere with your HiFi and other sensitive electronics. If you can possibly find an alternative I would urge you to do so.
The cheapest, and often most reliable option is to instal Ethernet cables through your home. This can be disruptive, but a good professional installer can often suggest discrete solutions that you may not have considered. If that’s not practical, a proper Mesh WiFi network using multiple oberlapping wireless access points can also be very effective.


It’s weird how it was okay until I connected a SUT for the Linn. Now with everything disconnected as soon as I switch on the EOP the hum starts. Only if the Ethernet cable is connected to a device but the device isn’t connected to the amp. I’ve been using EOP for years with no problems with my 32/140.

The cable connecting the SUT may be what is picking up interference that is transmitted by your EOP. You could try moving it, or possibly using a different cable to see if it helps. Otherwise proper Ethernet or WiFi is probably the best option.

Powerline adapter don’t actually offer true duplex ethernet - they act as a kind of network bridge between ethernet segments by modulating hundreds or thousands of RF carriers it injects onto the mains and mains wiring. Because they don’t offer actual ethernet you may find things like discovery etc are not that reliable.

They are however notorious for causing RFI and as such various parts of the radio spectrum have to be avoided by power line adapter manufacturers so as not to cause unlawful radio interference to protected services. The net result is however they convert your mains and appliance wiring into one large near field antenna radiating low power RF 24/7 into your home, including bedrooms with bed side lamps (ie very close proximity to where you sleep) etc. RF on the mains and near field emission don’t make good bed fellows with hifi - and they will cause distortion - although if you are lucky it might not be obvious unless you are using high end hifi equipment. Also by having different layouts of mains cables can affect the RF interference propagation within your house.

Really I would avoid on family safety considerations as well as SQ reasons as they can and usually do cause serious RF electromagnetic pollution. You can tell I am not a fan - I was involved with an engineering EMC lobby pressure group once in the UK / EU to have them banned within the EU - but we are out lobbied by certain large commercial and political interests at Brussels … but we did get the RF carve out concessions for protected services… it was a very enlightening experience…

Luckily these days wifi is super advanced and wifi solutions are a lot more effective and reliable compared to not so many years ago, as well as people using their home networking for more demanding uses and it has made fortunately much power line adapter technology outdated and obsolete. The best approach with wifi is to have multiple over lapping wifi access points say two or three APs in a small house that are best connected via ethernet. In 2024 there is no real excuse for having wifi deadzones where having multiple APs is now so easy. If for some reason you can’t use wifi in an erea then actual ethernet is the next best thing. As Chris says - having ethernet structured wiring is relatively straightforward and quick for a competent electrician company to do.

Powerline adapter interference can sound like a rasping or humming sound of various intensities.
Another test if you suspect a neighbours power line adapter is causing issues on your hifi, is to take a SW radio - tune not to a station and take it near any appliance or wiring, if you hear a large buzzing or humming sounds - then you likely have power line adapter EM pollution issues… if its not yours - you might need to talk to the neighbour.


I recommend hardwiring all the devices that can be hard wired. For a domestic environment with runs less than 100m, Cat5e is fine.


Your posts suggest you are quite knowledgeable about networking. Any chance you can explain, or post links to sites, that demonstrate the field strengths created by powerline Ethernet exceed generally accepted safety limits? To raise “family safety” as a concern warrants some justification please.

For health matters I invite you to look into the WHO health studies on background RF and proximity to people sleeping (this would be applicable to low emission devices whatever they would be). This is an area of research and concerns are about potential risks… you need to decide, I have.
One example, but you will need to research… this sort of thing is not social media ready.

The test lab RFI certificate of the Comtrend device.

Remember newer devices will be slightly different, but the same principles are used, by RF modulating the mains… and newer devices can have tighter RF spectrum carve outs.

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Simon the weekend papers had an article which even suggested wifi being deactivated overnight permits better sleep patterns for some.
Would you have a view personally, as to whether this is a worthwhile idea?
I know I use a tablet in the bedroom, conscious that a book would be a much more restful alternative.
IIRC as the National Grid was expanded in the 1960/70/80s, there were reports of those who found themselves next to a 132kv pylon in urban areas, experiencing side effects. Is that a similar or different phenomena?

There is still an option that may help solve a lot of problems, and that is to use a mesh WiFi system that can be energised by PoE (Power over Ethernet as opposed to Ethernet over Power). This enables a WiFi Access Point device (a WAP) to be connected and powered by a single discrete flat Ethernet cable - these can be as small as 6mm wide, 1.5mm thick. place one of these in the room with the streamer and both that and the controller will have a good connection. More mesh WAPs can be place around the house as necessary and the PoE switch can then be connected back to the ‘router’

Don’t forget to turn OFF the WiFi from the router!

In my consideration it’s more about the close proximity of radiating antennas to where you are sleeping. Wifi from an AP is significantly less potent than a mobile, and typically APs are not in bedrooms. PLA affected mains wiring is.
So yes I would switch off or not have mobiles close by (ie within 1m or so ) to where one is sleeping on a regular basis, other than that it’s probably fine.
Remember field strength exponentially decays with distance.
I think the biggest thing with wifi and kids is deactivating at night so they are encouraged not to play online on their devices which in turn would interrupt sleep. Been there with my kids.

BTW the field strength from iPads and computers is not trivial either. For laptops you can get EM shields to go between you and your lap…and other parts.
This things are generally considered safe for relative short exposures, it’s the long term affect of long term exposure that is not so known. Just look at the stuff now coming out about UPF, that we haven consuming for decades, it feels like smoking all over again.


Perhaps in some regards it is the same, not entirely sure, we were talking about very low level RF non ionizing radiation, I believe with power lines it’s more about the very low frequency magnetic field and non ionizing field strength. The interesting thing, than field strength exponentially decays proportional to distance and frequency. These powerlines are at 50 Hz, so the decay rate over distance is reduced.

We have some 400 kV powerlines not far from us that connect Sizewell B to the super grid. If I stand underneath or very close to them touching anything ferrous, I can feel a low level electric shock and vibration., like the buzz you get from some double insulted appliances. Also if there is moisture in the air you can hear the water droplets buzzing and crackling. Really un nerving.


I agree with this everyday & twice on Sunday.

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When I was a kid we used to do a cross country course that ran across fields to pylons like that. Very weird when it was damp……

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