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Audiophile Network Switches for Streaming ... really ?

Discussion in 'audio' started by beammeup, Jun 9, 2022.

  1. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    Can anyone explain the need for audiophile network switches when streaming from Qobuz or the likes please?

    I thought all streaming was done over the TCP/IP protocol to the streamer which ensures perfect data delivery into the streamers buffer through any ordinary competent network switch designed for that role.

    There may well be a need for these tweaked switches to improve sound - but I just need to understand the logic if anyone here can help.
  2. stuwils

    stuwils pfm Member

    I thought badger baiting was illegal.
    Curtis and Rockmeister like this.
  3. chiily

    chiily PFM Special Builder

    Yes it is a thing, exciting isn't it, but not logical, then some people are not Mr Spock in our thinking.
    Zombie, shrink and narabdela like this.
  4. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Hey, they're expensive, they must be good. What's logic got to do with it?
    Tonewheelkev, Zombie, miktec and 3 others like this.
  5. chiily

    chiily PFM Special Builder

  6. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I'm kind of surprised some bright spark hasn't marketed an audiophile switch with ethercon sockets.

  7. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Not all streaming uses TCP. Scientific/Proven need for an Audiophile Switch - none. There are opinions that they reduce noise in some way or other. Some mention of their power supplies being a weak point.

    Only way you'll know is to get a demo or two - preferably at home on an extended period or buy some used gear. Once you look at switches you may as well look into Fibre and SFP. Quite a popular subject on the Naim forum or used to be - they were into certain models of Cisco which are dead cheap used on eBay so easy to try for yourself. Worth a mess about with if you like the IT side of streaming, I've had a play about with lots of network stuff to satisfy my curiosity.
    Discopants, Mr Pig and cb01 like this.
  8. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Absolutely correct and UDP is connectionless with no re-transmission or sequencing. But that's not something any of these switches 'fix'. And very unlikely to be a problem anyway unless a switch is saturated and discarding packets.

    These discussions tend to be a bit circular :) . I don't see what you might gain but if people want to swap in cheapish decent quality gear like Cisco then I don't see the harm. If people feel they absolutely need to spend £1000 on a UTP patch cord to get good sound then I think frankly they've been had.
    Zombie, chiily, Rockmeister and 3 others like this.
  9. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    It’s easy enough to try this stuff out for yourself, don’t see the need to have every thread turn into a slanging match/circular argument, as you say no harm buying a used Cisco rather than a cheapo new one from Amazon - greener for sure, not quite as green as that PoE switch above though :)

    Lots of places will do home loan/sale return over 30 or 60 days. I bought a couple Cisco switches, SFP modules and fibre cable off eBay for £70 so pretty much a risk free experiment.
    cb01 and ask like this.
  10. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Aw come on- it's the same "logic" as for any other device for transmitting bits. You know it. You want it.
  11. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    I work in IT and the whole concept of 'audiophile networking' products (including cabling) is a con. There'll be loads of people along in a mo to explain how they can hear a difference (where the kit measures identically) and it's all subjective etc etc. It's emperor's new clothes. End of the day it's their money, if they want to give it to people for products that literally do nothing then that's up to them.

    It is, however, like seeing an old person get conned by one of those fake 'IT support' call centres that all operate out of India - and no matter how much you tell them they're being conned, they still send the money to the scammers.
    TubeFanPhil, pLudio, shrink and 13 others like this.
  12. matt303

    matt303 pfm Member

    If we're going to push this idea to it's illogical conclusion I've currently* two internet connections into the house so we could do a does streaming sound different via different ISPs thread :D

    Once the now 3 Openreach vans leave, the fibre install has turned into a bit of an epic.
  13. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    stony and Funk like this.
  14. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    It's like religious people who're convinced their god 'speaks to them'. Zero evidence, yet they KNOW it.

    When it comes to audio, human ears are terrible measuring devices. Like a 'Tesco Value James Randi', a while ago I wagered a grand for anyone who could consistently blind ABX a £5 and £1000 USB cable yet no-one took me up on it. Surely if there's such an obvious and audible difference with that £1k cable then taking my money would be as simple as taking sweets from a toddler?
    Zombie, chiily, AndyCC72 and 3 others like this.
  15. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    It is in almost no one’s interest within the ‘industry’ to promote or even discuss unsighted comparison, once the balloon is pricked…
    Mozart likes this.
  16. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    The biggest issue is that once everything went digital and digital cabling is bit-perfect at bargain-basement prices the industry had to come up with a new way to sell expensive stuff.

    It's hilarious to realise that someone thinks that £2k ethernet cables linking their free ISP-supplied router to their £1k audiophile switch into a £5k streamer will magically improve the sound from Qobuz that arrived down 30-year old skinny copper wires in the wall that went via a thousand different connections and cables inside boxes on the pavement and under the street etc...
  17. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    well yes but being honest I think we should ask ourselves the question: let us suppose that it is in fact impossible to improve on this component/these components and that there is no point buying a new one (or anything to connect it, or put it on or clean it or whatever) and you are bascially stuck with what you have- does this make me feel happy or sad?
  18. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    If it can't be made any better then great; we've created something that does a job perfectly - surely that should be nirvana... Why does 'being stuck with something' that's perfect equate to being 'sad'?

    Take paperclips - the one we know and still use today (GEM type) has been the same since around the late 1800s. It does what it should do so perfectly there's been no reason to try and redesign or improve it in the last 130+ years. Some 40-odd years ago ring-pulls on cans were redesigned to replace the 'pull-away' ones - they work perfectly every time, create no separate waste - they're design genius. What could be improved that wouldn't ultimately be a waste of time and money trying to develop?

    Ask yourself this; if something is technically perfect and can't possibly be improved upon, does outright lying and bullshit about non-existent 'improvements' make you happy or sad..?

    My car does 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. That's measurable, quantifiable. It doesn't matter if it feels faster to me or how much I squeeze my eyes shut and will it to be quicker - it's still only capable of doing 0-60 in 4.8 seconds.
  19. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    OK so all and sundry here think that audiophile switches are a con?

    If they do work I must understand the logic - the Spock logic to me suggests that the streamer's buffer fills with identical bits (due to TCP checksumming) - as those from Qobuz in the first place.

    If there is UDP involved that may be different - I will have to find out.

    For some reason you need improved clocks in the switch - I thought that clocking was only relevant from inside of the streamer and DAC etc - not during IP data transmission. Eh?

    To be honest there may be a reason and someone may in fact chip in with an answer.
  20. matt303

    matt303 pfm Member

    That's correct, any streaming system buffers the data coming in from the network to such an extent that the timing of the incoming data is immaterial, it's amazing how long some streamers will continue playing after a network failure which should prove to anyone the folly of audiophile network cables.
    Funk and Curtis like this.

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