Wired via power through lines or WiFi?

Further to a separate thread I am just settling in with my new Nova.
I previously used my 172 XS wired through mains pass through devices which have worked well. There seems to be a strong school of thought that these introduce noise and degrade SQ. If I change the Nova to WiFi am I likely to hear an improvement in SQ? Anyone have experience of this?
Direct wired Ethernet from my switch to Nova is nigh on impossible.
Appreciate any direction and help.

The WiFi modules on the current range of streamers are much better than it was on the old models, so you may find it reliable. Then you could get rid of the powerline adapters, although if you continue to use them to connect other devices the high level of RFI they generate may still affect your hifi equipment.

I was in the same boat with my ND5 XS2 and powerline wifi extenders. Even though my router is in the same room as the streamer and got a good signal, the very presence of powerline adapters on my network made the whole network unstable. Symptoms were the Naim app not being able to find the streamer and random dropouts needing a reboot of the streamer and router to sort out.
I binned the powerline extenders and replaced them with a BT mesh wifi system and since then the whole network has been far better behaved, faster, and the streamer and NAim app have been rock solid. If you can get rid of the powerlines and replace with a mesh system, do it, it will save lots of grief.


I used an Ethernet over Mains connection for my Nova. I then installed a BT mesh Wi-fi in the house and went wireless with the Nova. Huge improvement in SQ. Don’t know if it was due to beneficial effect of Wi-fi, removal of detrimental effect of EoM or a mixture of the 2. What I am sure of is that a saved a load of money I had considered spending on switches, fancy Ethernet cables etc


I will definitely look at BT Mesh, sounds promising.
As an aside I also the power line adapters connected to my tv and sky box, would this still affect the Nova?
If I move to mesh I presumably could use the tv and sky over WiFi reliably too?

All I can say is that on my network removing the powerline adapters made the whole network far more reliable. There should be no problems using the TV and Sky box with a BT mesh wifi system assuming they have wifi built in. Even if they don’t if you site a disc near the TV and Sky box you could run an ethernet cable from the disc to a switch and connect both with ethernet cables

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Poweline adapters are atrocious things with respect to RFI, and can really interfere with sensitive audio, radio and computer equipment.
They also don’t provide Ethernet … so there is a misnomer in the above posts… there is no such thing as Ethernet over mains… they at best provide a bridging mechanism, albeit possibly causing issues with some protocols expecting Ethernet, by modulating RF energy conducting along the skin of your household mains wiring, with the side effect of turning your mains wiring into a very low power wide band radio antenna … that is radiating in the near field 24/7 into your house. Because of the relatively low frequencies of powerline adapters compared to wifi, the field strength is proportionally higher at a given distance from your mains cable and attached appliances for a given power compared to your wifi antennas. Something I would be mindful of with bedside lamps and mains powered alarm clocks.

Your wifi will provide far better SQ potential, and your streamer will likely function correctly and more reliably.


Really helpful explanation

Agreed and thank you @Simon-in-Suffolk.
I’ll try the Nova in WiFi and see what difference it makes.

I avoid WiFi due to an increasingly congested spectrum. I recommend installing Cat5 or Cat6 cables so you are not sharing the bandwidth with others.

Let us know what happens

I suspect with mesh systems becoming more prevalent, in urban areas the ISM bands are being better used and less congested, ie more low power APs, rather than single APs less efficiently blasting out a single very strong signal.
Newer wifi protocols far more efficiently use the spectrum and time/phase domains.

Been using on WiFi for the last few days with router upstairs and Nova downstairs and works fine on Qobuz and from my NAS as well as with internet radio.
Only minor gripe is the odd delay when adjusting volume in the app.
As for SQ, maybe a little cleaner but I think I need more time to evaluate.

I have this with the Naim app although the NDX2 is wired, and didn’t have it with the BluSound app controlling a NAD C658 that was on the wifi …

Just gone from power line adapters to BT complete wifi mesh stunned by the difference in sound quality it has made!

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Just done the same and entirely agree!

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Yep, it’s amazing what eliminating vast amounts of RFI does to quality audio equipment… :+1:


Agreed. I have a Google Home mesh system throughout our house and it’s amazing (to top it off, I live in a rural area where wifi providers are scarce). I initially used it and still sometimes do to see if I can identify/compare differences in SQ from wired. I typically use a wired connection due to my recent investment in switches, PSUs and Ethernet cables, but mesh systems are a godsend.

Did you detect any SQ differences between WiFi and Ethernet wired?

I would say at this point that the AQ Vodka cables, etherRegen switch and LPS1.2 contribute very marginally to the sound of my system, IMO, but it’s there if I were to swear by it. I felt the same when I had the Cisco Catalyst 2960 as well. That is, it contributed to the overall sound signature—again, not by leaps and bounds by any stretch of the imagination. I’m convinced that it is because of a new house build, coupled with the fact that I have a dedicated room with lines that serve only audio, so the benefits of wired connections and all of this ancillary equipment may very well be wasted on me. I have no doubt as to what others claim how it has transformed their sound for the better with each wired addition (be it switch, cables, LPS—whatever); it’s just I cannot make that claim.
Now, as for WiFi? In my estimation it ‘feels’ or ‘sounds’ more relaxed. Maybe that’s not entirely accurate. Natural? At ease? Less hifi? All of these? Possibly less impressive, but in a good way if that can possibly make any sense. Aside from this bad attempt at describing wifi’s contribution in my case, one thing I can definitely say is that the volume is less pronounced, which in turn may contribute to what I described above in some way. With Ethernet in the mix, it is definitely louder.
I recently changed speakers that are now of a higher sensitivity, so I’ve already had to bring the volume down considerably (no kidding…from a comfortable 9-9:30 prior to the change on my SN2 to an 8 for most material, for instance). Perceptively, with WiFi on, I have to nudge the volume up a bit across the board. It’s odd to say the least.
I ramble too much, so I’m not sure if this helps. SQ-wise? I cannot say which is better (meaning improvement). Wired = fun in a HiFi way. WiFi = fun in a musical way.
Please don’t take this as a declarative statement because it is quite subtle but noticeable nonetheless. That and I had to try describing it somehow without making a mess of things.

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