Smart Home Devices

Does anyone have actual experience of any effects with streaming systems or audio in general using the various modern lifestye devices such as Smart Speakers (Alexa, Google Assistant etc) Hive, Smart Plugs and Smart Light Bulbs …

I’m only looking for real world comments and opinions from people with these devises and if they noticed any effects to system SQ.

In my case I have Hive (heating) and just a few adjustable lights.
Initially I was concerned with Hive as it has a hub that plugs with an ethernet into the broadband router/hub, in my case I have it into the Cisco switch. This allows remote control of the heating system via an app. for Andoid or iPhone (phone or tablet)
Throughout the house the communication between the hub, thermostat and the heating system reciever is via Zigbee.
But what about that ethernet connection ???

I’m happy to report I have not picked up on any effect, positive or negative, but very interested in others experience(s)

I have a variety of Philips Hue lights all over the house, with the hub being connected by Ethernet through the same switch as my second system. I have heard no discernible bad effects from them. There is even one bulb on top of my cassette player and very close to my phono stage.

My hearing is still good enough to be able to pick out differences between units in blind testing, and pick the better unit.

Also have a wi-fi Wave unit for my boiler. Again, no problems.

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I have a couple of dozen wifi light bulbs operated via various Echo units plus a wiser heating system, also on wifi and have not noticed any detrimental affects. My streamer is the only device connected by ethernet. Everything else is wifi via Deco units

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We’ve got five Echo units, five lamps and one TV connected with smart plugs which are all on the Wi-Fi.

The Linn DMS is hardwired and no interference noted.


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I have various Crestron units, Lutron lighting, heating system and a distributed audio/video all connected by ethernet, plus a couple of wireless Naim QB’s and I haven’t noticed any interference or loss of SQ.

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I shouldn’t make any difference - they are just other devices on your network, and your streamer or server won’t see any of the packets they transmit apart from broadcast and multicast (and the latter can be prevented by the use of IGMP, as noted elsewhere in the forum).

If you’re really worried, do what I do with all of my IoT devices (Sonos Beam, Sensibo, Google Home devices etc), and put them on a separate network (I’ve set up a separate WiFi SSID and a separate LAN subnet, separated by a firewall). This configuration also helps ensure that if one of the IoT devices is compromised (not unheard of in these days of omnipresent security vulnerabilities), the hackers won’t have access to my NAS or PCs.

I am a bit of a reformed network geek though, so these configurations may be beyond the average plug and play audiophile :roll_eyes:

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I’m not at all “worried” JonoB, and thanks for your post.
I am familiar with the technology and what should and should not, plus ideas on possible solutions should anything be a problem.

I was just asking the question to hear if others have input based on practical experience.

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I currently have 74 devices on my network. Anyone honestly saying the could tell the difference if that was 76 or 70 is a lier/deluded.


I have a 1.5 Gbps fibre optic Mesh WiFi setup with 2 WiFi routers (Eero Pro 6e) hardwired together. .4Gbps is the slowest WiFi speed anywhere in my house. Plus 30 WiFi devices including computers, lights, sensors, switches and receptacles are connected.

Moving to WiFi 6 Tri-Band routers was a huge upgrade to my WiFi devices. Everything connected more consistently and with less issues.

With all this WiFi speed and performance my streamer/DACs are hardwired directly to my router. This will never change in my setups.

Also, I never have any type of buffering issue and have never noticed sound quality changes in my setup I can contribute to my internet connection or because of multiple connected devices.

How about 1 (audio) or 76 (Audio + 75)?

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I dont know what you are asking me. Ultimately if I removed the device I am listening to from the ethernet then yes I would not hear sound lol

How would your hi-fi sound if it were fully isolated from ALL other network traffic and associated noise?

Oh I see, god I don’t care, life gets in the way. It sounds great thats good enough for me.

Also to actually do that, you need two routers, two networks that are not related to each other physically in any way and I suppose ideally all power on a different ring to each other.

Anyone putting their hifi on a different vlan believing it makes a difference, really has no idea what they are doing.

Hi garyi,
It’s not really a case of believing that it makes a difference….theoretically at least it shouldn’t; especially if you already have bit-perfect files. When i started out with streaming I believed that you can’t do better than a bit-perfect file on the basis that to change the sound you have to change the file, so it would no longer be bit perfect. Entirely logical.
When I set up my streaming system the first thing I did was to make sure the files I was providing to my server were bit perfect. Then I started adding a few improvements like switches and power supplies. The files remained bit perfect, but the sound quality changed dramatically……becoming fundamentally better, so my IT-based theory that files need to change to sound different went flying out of the window. Clearly something was changing but it wasn’t the bits themselves.
What I found was that that noise of any type was detrimental to sound quality. I started removing noise at all possible stages of my network and obtained SQ improvements from every step. Network traffic is a major source of noise, as is error correction. I found that dedicating/isolating a network from all traffic other than audio related has a major impact on sound quality. I also found that the earlier in the network this is done, the greater the positive impact. You should try it sometime…its a fairly trivial step cost-wise and It’s likely to change your definition of great sound.

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So you have two routers?

Hi garyi,

Yes I have 2 routers. In fact I actually had 2 designs, the first based on wi-fi and the second based on fibre optic

The wi-fi comprises the ISP provided router, a tri-band router and a wi-fi to ethernet bridge.
Broadband comes into the house via a copper coax cable into the ISP provided router, set up in modem only mode. This is linked via WAN RJ45 cable to a tri-band router. The 2.4GHz band looks after all household and mobile devices. The first 5GHz band looks after Video streaming and the second 5GHz band is dedicated to Audio. The radio signal from the second 5GHz band is picked up by the wi-fi - ethernet bridge, which is set up with my server as the only ethernet client and with the 2.4GHz band and polling disabled. The stream then runs through a cascade of switches into my server.

At some point I was thinking about a further experiment with fibre optic. One of my switches takes a FO feed so the plan was as follows:
The cable modem is linked via WAN into a Ubiquity Edge Router xSFP, which is linked via FO directly into my Melco S10 switch which in turn feeds the server via Ethernet RJ45
The Ubiquity is connected to a fibre media convertor via RJ45 which is connected to a second FMC via FO cable. The second FMC is then connected to a 2 band router, with 2.4GHz for household network and mobile devices and video streaming via the 5GHz band

I never did implement the FO design as the wi-fi sounded so damned good :+1:

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I don’t know man this seems like a lot of work to hear Nora Jones at her best.

What I tend to do is on a Friday night pop down the pub for a couple then I sit down with a glass of wine and put some music on, it sounds bloody amazing!

But in all seriousness, I think there has to come a point where one stops. If you perceive a difference, or even if there is one, is it worth this extra cost and effort, but really is it? Two routers, presumably means two ISP costs each month? For what, a slightly better treble or what ever. Something I am willing to bet would be better spent into better speakers or room corrections, or room treatments etc. All this tweakery stuff, just blows my mind.

Hi garyi,
Maybe you need to try some of this stuff? I’ve been around hi-fi and doing all kinds of upgrades for over 50 years. Network optimisation is the most rewarding area for upgrading I ever found…….some of the results available are absolutely jaw dropping.

Two routers….1 ISP broadband subscription including router and £250 for something like a TPLink AC5400 Tri-band router. That’s it!