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preston8452
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Joined: Jan 16 2022 - 5:44pm
Do I really need an " Audio Grade Network Switch "?

I think it's been a quite controversial topic for years, like what's the difference between normal network switch and an audio grade network switch, the price difference is certainly obvious though...
Anyway, I've done some researches, most audio reviewers say that under this " new digital streaming era " that an network switch is a must for an audio system, which is understandable for me, I mean because if I wanna play TIDAL or Qobuz or Spotify, I gotta use network so I can stream these online services, so yeah I get that if the network quality is good enough, it can possibly level up the music performance.

But anyhow, I'm new to this area, so I don't like to spend big bucks on my first purchase hahaha... there's a very wide range of the prices though, the top one is Ansuz Power Switch I think, the inner circuit and design look pretty sharp, and surely over my budget lol

So I'm choosing between Bonn N8 and SW-8, these two both got good reviews, and the prices seem so darn much friendly to me as I'm looking for an entry level switch now, do any of you have any insights to share?
or should I just go for the higher level ones?

Best,

Kal Rubinson
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Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
Here's a link to my only

Here's a link to my only encounter with such switches:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-90-mergingplayer-pl8-page-2 (Scroll down to find the relevant stuff.)

Krampus
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Network Switches

Hi mate,

I was browsing the site when I came across your query. I studied and worked in IT so I think I can give you some insight on the matter (it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine), hopefully it will actually be useful too.

Some time ago there was a similar fad in the gaming industry. Game specific network adaptors with tailored drivers and expensive cables that boosted your performance, lowered lag, turned you into a Gaming God, etc, etc.

Problem is, it’s BS. Networking technology already tackles all of these issues at its very fundamentals. Cable cross-talk, EM interference, network saturation, packet loss, data corruption, etc. Digital data transfer basically boils down to 1s and 0s. There is nothing in between. Either it worked or it didn’t and if it didn’t the data is resent. It’s a lot more complicated of course but that’s the basic gist.

Streaming over the Internet introduces a degree of latency and possible packet loss (depending very much how the streaming service works) but the services all compensate with a small amount of redundancy and buffering. Furthermore your local network only makes up a tiny portion of the process of data transfer. Once your data leaves your personal network it is at the mercy of the Internet.

Unless you’re configuring a network architecture for a huge company then a $20 consumer-grade network switch and $5 Ethernet cable will do everything for you that a $1000 super-switch will do. It gets a tad more complex with WiFi if you are, say, using older technology in a crowded inner-city apartment with a hundred other WiFi networks in the area but that is easily mitigated using newer tech.

Sorry for waffling. Hope this helps.

Kal Rubinson
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Wouldn't it be nice if that

Wouldn't it be nice if that finally settled the issue?

manunkind
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Joined: Apr 27 2019 - 7:27am
As long as people believe in

As long as people believe in homeopathy, aromatherapy, cupping and ear candles- they will believe in audiophile-grade network switches, bi-wiring and bidirectional cables. It depends entirely on the talent of the snake oil peddler offering tgese miracles.

geoffkait
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Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Don’t have a brain aneurism

Don’t have a brain aneurism but things have come a long way since pseudo skeptics first raised their heads. Now we’ve got directional fuses, directional cables, directional HDMI cables, highly polished wire surfaces, directional Ethernet cables, directional digital cables and last but not least directional power cords.

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