Is the (current) BT Home Hub the best UK broadband hub in the consumer market for streaming Tidal into a Cisco 2960?
i.e. will it introduce less noise into my Naim system than other ISPs hubs?
If there is a difference, is it likely to be audible?
I know this is only possible to answer one installation at a time, but has anyone ever got significantly better sounding Tidal streaming just by switching from an ok ISP to a better ISP (i.e. because of reduction of noise)?
Or is the hub just about providing a stable signal?
My current ISP provides a good stable signal, so it’s really a question of whether the BT (or other) Hub might make a noticeable difference regarding electrical noise?
Or should I stick with my current provider but add a 3rd party Hub to reduce noise getting into the system?
I don’t have a noticeable problem with system noise, but am always looking for ways to improve SQ.
I don’t think modern devices with full duplex switch-sets carry a sound signature
I have a BT HH6 that connects to audio via Cisco SG110D i& although I don’t do much streaming, when I do it works & with web radio it never gets into buffer issues & in all areas it just works faultlessly.
A while back I had an Asus in the house to try to find out why it wouldn’t work on a neighbours system, what a faff that was (another story) but I got it working & let it run for a few days, its worked OK, I did not detect any difference in sound or speed of access, screen changing etc. It worked in the rooms I need wireless, but it did not have the range to reach the garage or lower garden that the BT does.
Mine is: PlusNet cheaply made Router > CISCO 2960 > 272
But I have been advised that I might get a SQ uplift if I added another item (e.g. one of the 2 named below) between my router and switch.
This would take almost all the electrically-noisy functions that are currently handled by my very cheaply made router and move them into a device that should be better designed and constructed and might have better electrical isolation and might reduce noise in the hifi system and thus improve SQ?
Having said all that, the PlusNet router may in fact have the guts of a BT Router inside its different plastic case, as BT owns PlusNet.
At least, I think this has been the case during some iterations of the PlusNet router.
On VDSL type services the Smart Hub 2 from BT is an excellent router with very good Wifi support.(supporting EasyMesh I believe)
It supports IGMP and IPv6 … and handles the latest VDSL physical protocols well, so has great modem interconnectivity and reliability.
Tidal, Qobuz(Hidef streaming) Amazon, Netflix, AppleTV, as well as BT TV all work very well with it…
The 4 switch-ports on the Smart Hub 2 also work well with IGMP support… no issues at all. You can connect directly to your streamer or via another switch if appropriate.
The other consideration is the higher performant VDSL devices need to be relatively low noise electrically so as not impact VDSL performance… which is quite sensitive to electrical noise, poor SMPS and RFI.
An advanced and reliable bit of kit.
I’m not sure its always the case that PlusNet use a BT hub, although I’m 99% certain one of the models was an iteration of the BT HH5 Type-A & made by SAGEM The Type-B was made by another I’m not sure of.
I would be concerned that a powerful, fancy router like that, with tri-band WiFi, USB ports, and a whole bunch of software functions that you probably don’t need, could put more noise into your system, rather than less.
The way I think about sound signature is that a specific hifi in a particular room has its own sonic signature.
And all the elements of the room/equipment/listener system co-produce that sonic signature.
But the 3 bits that tend to make the most difference (if nothing is broken) are the DAC, preamp and speakers (in a streaming setup).
I can’t say anything about quality as I’ve not see one, but its a pretty basic no frills spec
Its called PlusNet ‘Hub Zero’
Its manufactured by Sagemcom, a French cmpy who used to make some of the BT hubs.
They say its has an integrated gigabit switch, but its a bit misleading as the 4 port switch is only 10/100 which is ‘Fast’ (100mb/s) not Gigabit
They say it can be used with both ADSL & FTTC, not sure how, but it ain’t plug’n’play whatever
Wi-Fi is 802.11 B/G/N with only 2.4GHz, so no 5GHz channel
Very low tech compared to the BT HH6 & the latest SmartHub 2
Thanks for that detail, Mike.
Yes, my router fits that description.
PlusNet BB is a cheaper service than BT, so it makes sense that the hub should be lower spec.
Whether it would make an audible difference to have a better spec hub, when I already run the files thru the Cisco is an open question.
But I’m not planning to change providers to find out at the moment as I suspect it probably wouldn’t make an audible improvement.
Asus RT-AX88 is a very good router, there is a verson with a modem and one without. I have the one without, on a Virgin SH3 (cable) in modem mode, both have very good power supplies, the asus connects to a Cisco. Tidal and Qobuzs back ground is inky black, though I’d be hard pushed to say that there was any sonic improvements. It has stronger wifi coverage/connectivity than the SH2+disc or HH6 in our house, no niam app conection issues, which is also a major consideration for any router used with Naim.
Exactly - the devices like the BT Smart Hub 2 are designed for low noise - as it would otherwise impact the performance of your VDSL line, VDSL is sensitive to electrical noise - possibly more so than some of your hifi components.