Wifi or Ethernet cable for streaming?

To be honest so called speed tests are notoriously unreliable. The key thing is to determine your backhaul downlink speed… not necessarily the speed across a particular root on the internet. Remember the internet is a public set of networks with no actual service levels.

If you are on BT with a xDSL type service you can use this measure website to determine the true actual bandwidth shaped for your connection by the bRAS.


Plug your line number in, and wait about 70 secs, and you will then see the shaping that is attached for your line to support its bandwidth…. This is the actual maximum down link bandwidth of actual data your line does provide and it is specific to your line, home wiring to router etc. This is not affected by your vagaries of home wifi or home network… The uplink bandwidth shown is not accurate for this purpose… as the uplink isn’t shaped in the same way.

In case you are interested speed shaping is a key factor in determining optimum throughput across network links of differing bandwidths. Without shaping your performance or actual data throughput for real data transfers using TCP would deteriorate…

The BT speed test link I posted above provides the same Profile information (select Additional Diagnostics option) and also indicates in some cases if there is a fault with the line (although often it won’t do so and the Profile itself indicates a line fault).

Cool… that is what you use rather any speed test if you want to determine the actual bandwidth of your line.

Essentially, yes, although in my experience I find speed tests to be accurate (i.e. they broadly reflect the stated line Profile from the BT speed checker), and are less hassle than checking the Profile. I check the Profile if I suspect that there’s a line fault (I’ve had 3-4 in the last 4 years).

Be careful, the BRAS profile won’t tell you if there is a line fault per se… for that you need to invoke a line test… which you can do via the BT portal.

If there is a fault, then you will likely find your synchronisation speed reduces by the DLM. (And your BRAS shaper speed will reduce accordingly).
Once the fault is fixed it may take a few months before the speed fully recovers… this is a function of the DLM focussing on reliability over absolute speed. If you know what you are doing and are persistent, you can ask for your DLM profile to be reset after the fault is fixed. and your speed will re optimise over a few days, just like with a new service.

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Yes, understand that however it’s helpful alongside checking the sync speed reported by my HG612 modem etc.


Whe n I got my Superuniti I never even thought about connecting it to WLAN. Naim speaks of a “better” antenne, available at your dealer, so I would guess there must be potential issues with signal into a device connected via WLAN. Other manufacturers, e.g. AVM, recommend LAN for reasons listed in this thread.
But what makes me think: with all the money that can be spend on ethernet cables, what do the hardcore Hifi-freaks do that connect via WLAN? Is there a particular room scent that imroves bass? Or would proper ventilation, i.e. more oxygen, allow for more transparent vocals? Questions over question…

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I find ethernet to be better than Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi streaming on my system is less sharp and more calm overal, both protocols are good, I still prefer ethernet connection.

Ethernet always on the big system, and elsewhere if easy.

Haven’t you answered your own question, I presume your Wi-Fi works fine ?
As mentioned already, if you want, test with a STP cable, that way music traffic won’t be nuking your Wi-Fi… Although probably not worth ripping up the floor for, unless you fancy a new floor. :slight_smile:

Whether it will sound better, (if you are not getting drop outs, pauses, then na I doub’t it), but try and see easy and cheap

Wired is always gonna give you better more reliable, secure guaranteed throughput…than Wi-Fi for data, be that music, video, whatever

Spoke to my feng shui master and he/she/it always recommends Coconut for any Classical music, a subtle dope smell for jazz… Rock / Rap a mixture or Orange/Lemon.

My Atom has a sofa and a brick wall between it and my router and WiFi works brilliantly. I did get a decent TP-Link router and that helped stability enormously and since then all good, even when others are watching Netflix. I’ve also tried a plug in range extender close to my hifi and connected an Ethernet cable from it to the Atom, but in that case the Roon app on my iPad kept getting confused and dropping out. I think you can get extenders that now when you move around the house you do not get dropouts.

My Atom HE connects wirelessly to the mesh extender and works flawlessly. I was getting dropouts with 192k and noticed it wasn’t connected to the extender and just unplugged and plugged back and was back to normal. I don’t like that you can’t manually switch a wireless device to the extender, just supposed to be seamless. I have not tried plugging it in with Ethernet cable yet. I have my doubts it would have much effect on sound quality.

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Sometimes it is not wifi or ethernet cable per se, but it depends on how noisy the network interface card (NIC) inside your streamer that receives and converts the digital (i.e 0 or 1) to electrical.

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We went over to Giagclear, which is fibre to the house earlier this year and chose their 200 mbs service.

Our test results are very consistent with this and we get:

  • 230 to Ethernet
  • 200 to Wi-Fi

I tend to scan WiFi networks to see what the neighbours are using and from there, decide which 3 non overlapping channels I use, one for each access point. This helps keep interference down and WiFi speeds up. The AP below has 10 clients but the WiFi network tested only has 3 of them. It was setup for 5ghz only clients (Atom HE being one).

Which I could get less crowded on my 2.4ghz like yours, Rx frames are too high here and I only have about 4 X 2.4ghz devices across 3 aps. Some times of the day it’s as high as 70 -80% utilised. Price I pay for being in a built up suburb. No issues with 5ghz.

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Because of this thread I got curious and wanted to see what my NDS would sound like going wireless. In my system it sounds a lot better with a wired connection. Interesting test since I never tried it before.

So just tried wired Ethernet on my Atom HE plugged into my extender (which is also hardwired) and actually think it may improve sound quality. Feel might have hint better separation. The extender is right next to the unit, so I might just leave it this way for a while. I know roon says to always go wired if you can but more for reliability than sound quality.