Which switch?

I’m trying out a switch from sotm and it does make a difference, mostly positive I think. Cleaner and very lifelike tone with deeper soundstage and easier to hear details.

I got 2 Ethernet cables to try also and they seem to be good. Only Ethernet cables I can compare with is cat snake and a no-name one.

Has anyone else tried this switch? Have you compared it to other switches and how does it fair in that case?

And oh, I tried a search and couldn’t really find a summary of which switches does what and which switches are preferred

I also thought this is quite a new field and that evolution might have kicked in with these things

There’s quite a few threads on switches so it’s worth having a search. Popular ones, are the old Cisco 2960, Chord EE8, Melco S100 and Innuos PhoenixNET to name a few.

This does not exist.


I think the OP might be better off googling something like “do hifi network switches improve music”.

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Indeed. For those with a lot of time on their hands, there are endless debates to be had.

Most people just borrow one, try it out and make their own mind up.


There’s also the question of whether you even need switches, associated power supplies and cables to “improve” the sound in the first place.

If you have WiFi capability, try that first. Sounds as good to me.

Wish I’d tried it before binge-reading the Ethernet cable and switch threads ! :scream:


My life is complete. Another switch thread :flushed:


Anything to please

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I Googled and found nothing and I live in the free world.

How can you be so sure? :0)


Found a review at Alpha and it was in favor.

Ah I didn’t read very thorough but read they found it better than the Bonn and ee8. Those are in a different price bracket though.

There is no summary because there is no consensus, the best advice was already given by james_n, either borrow or buy with a return policy and try them out (and please share the knowledge gained).


Another option is either an Innuos or Melco Music Server, they have a network port to plug in your streamer.
I went for the Innuos Mk 3 as I thought it sounded better than the Melco N100 , it was a substantial improvement on the Synology NAS I was using, and instead of having a power cable to the Synology and a power cable to the switch (both which were SMPS) I just have one good quality power cable to the Innuos.

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This may seem a bit crass, but may save you time and pain. Set a budget you would be happy to spend on a switch. The switches noted by james_n at the top of the thread pretty much summarise what’s available at different price points, with improved quality associated with each one. The only slightly contentious one would be the Melco S100 where feedback has been much more variable.

With regards to ethernet cables, the cat snake should provide decent quality and it has been often suggested that the final run from switch to your device can benefit most from a higher quality cable such as Chord Sarum T. But I’d regard that as a nice to have, not in any way essential. Depending on your budget of course!


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To add to James list the Uptone audio etheregen is used by a few on the forum.


Crikey, how could I forget - there was a long running comparison between this and the EE8 which I think cost a similar amount. Indeed I think I have an etheregen unit sitting on a shelf somewhere, replaced by an Innuos unit. Homer Simpson Dohh moment!!


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Thank you everyone.

I will most likely try some of these switches mentioned and if I do I’ll make sure to let you know how they compare in my system.

The sotm is quite good with Neotech Ethernet cables but I am not completely convinced. I heard an Innuos phoenix net with a modified power supply in a completely different system. We compared it to the sotm and it was very different. First thoughts was it was a lot better but I only heard it briefly.

There’s a free review on Hificritic for the Silent Bonn N8 switch with the Forrester ps, by Martin Colloms. ( a Naim afrocianados).

“Comparing the N8/F1 combination with my old stock, refurbished Cisco 2960 Catalyst switch, the gains were similar over an unmodified generic switch. Oddly, I found that the Catalyst itself is significantly improved with the addition of isolating feet and a NAIM Powerline mains cable but at substantial extra cost. With an ordinary mains cable on the Cisco Catalyst the difference between the two switches was somewhat smaller.”


I found that my three 5g modem sounded different to my VirginMedia one, which was better? I don’t know. I know that the three one gave me a higher download speed, so maybe I was getting more bits to improve the quality? Cisco switches are very highly rated in the industry, but that might be because they have an a very high MTBF rating? I use a Netgear switch, I have also tried wifi, but when I was streaming DSD I was getting jitter issues. Some dealers seem to recommend the English Electric switch.