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Streaming over WiFi versus Ethernet Connection


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3 hours ago, jeromelang said:

What made you buy this particular brand and cable?

 

In my case I started by trying out their 4K HDMI cable after some recommendations by customer. Found them to be very good sound wise. Then tried their cat6 cable, good. Then tried cat7 cable

 Better. Tried thicker cat7 cable. Even better. Then tried cat8 cable. Jaw dropped.

 

?

 

 

 

I was in Japan and it was there. My rig had been sensitive to Ethernet quality prior. So I grabbed two lengths to take home.

 

Was quite impressive.

 

This said an optical section should do the same, and it's probably possible to use a local router and carefully managed power to same ends.

 

Still for what little the cable costs it's great, really great, and exposes any alleged audiophile ethernet cable for what it is - bullshido.

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2 hours ago, aussievintage said:

I am seeing a huge parallel here with the power cable debate.  Somehow the last couple of meters matter, despite it the data coming right around the world through all sorts of weird connections. :)

 

Not really, it's simple. The last leg out of the wall is usually amidst a bunch of other cables. They radiate noise. On top of which ethernet itself is surprisingly noisy. 

 

Isolate from surrounding crap at the wall exit if necessary... with a better isolated cable.

 

Isolate from the crap upstream... with some form of inline isolation.

 

Yes you can build a DAC with isolation and reclocking. That stuff is legitimately around $1k in production, so unless your DAC places an unusual degree of prominence in it, or is typically $8k+, your rig is likely sensitive to crap downstream. 

 

But there's so magic here, testing is easy. Pull the ethernet cable and play the same track locally. If it sounds better, that's what you're engineering towards. If not don't let FOMO keep your money from leaving your wallet. Simples.

Edited by rmpfyf
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39 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

Not really, it's simple. The last leg out of the wall is usually amidst a bunch of other cables. They radiate noise. On top of which ethernet itself is surprisingly noisy. 

what about the cables at your ISP's routers and switches, and their suppliers',  and the same again at the other end where you are streaming from?

 

40 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

Isolate from surrounding crap at the wall exit if necessary... with a better isolated cable.

 

Isolate from the crap upstream... with some form of inline isolation.

Wasn't questioning isolation, just about one cable being so much better sonically than another

 

 

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Wasn't questioning isolation, just about one cable being so much better sonically than another
 
 
All new servers cables are well specced and shielded. But they are not connected to a Dac are they?

In the servers the signal is intact, the noise is not important just right before the Dac..
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9 minutes ago, Dankeshon said:

All new servers cables are well specced and shielded. But they are not connected to a Dac are they?

In the servers the signal is intact, the noise is not important just right before the Dac..

How can you possibly know what is happening with equipment in different buildings and in different countries from where you live?

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35 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Sorry, that's where it fails.  It does not sound better.

 

If in your case it doesn't so be it. That's your journey.

 

In my case it does. I've invested I. Isolation and reclocking at the DAC, and hopefully this will be the end of that.

 

There are many valid technical reasons why this can or can't be so. Depends on many factors that vary considerably in any situation or installation 

 

What I don't do is pass my experience off as an absolute. I've no idea your rig, you've no idea mine. 

 

26 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

what about the cables at your ISP's routers and switches, and their suppliers',  and the same again at the other end where you are streaming from?

 

That's what inline isolation is for. Again, not an audiophile specific solution. Plenty of industry examples - the isolator I use comes from medical, optical isolators for short runs come from industrial tech... It goes on.

 

Don't know about you but my ISP doesn't connect to my house on Ethernet... Comes in over a long line of quad insulated coax. As in... They engineer that too.

 

27 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Wasn't questioning isolation, just about one cable being so much better sonically than another

 

Strawman argument there.

 

You well know ethernet cables don't 'sound'. They can impart phenomena which affect processes which can affect an audible iutcome. - that's it.

 

In many cases the last leg of Ethernet can be subjected to a ton of noise... mostly because in wall or ceiling a cabler will lay things out specifically to minimise noise, and the same does not generally happen out of a wall plate. That noise can impact power fluctuations, data integrity and a range of other issues that ultimately affect operating system jitter and ultimately stream output jitter. These are not audiophile terms or phenomena, there are other applications with similar sensitivities where engineers with targets and not audiophile FOMO spend jobs making things better.

 

Before we get into an ethereal discussion about whether jitter is or is not audible, we might all agree that there's a measurable effect.

 

You can hit that with a hammer at the DAC end and isolate/reclock. You can have that much or certain characteristics of clock jitter at your last transport stage that anything upstream is inaudible anyway.

 

Doesn't change that it's measurable where it applies.

 

Whether or not it applies to you is another thing.

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3 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

Strawman argument there.

 

You well know ethernet cables don't 'sound'. They can impart phenomena which affect processes which can affect an audible iutcome. - that's it.

 

 

Yes, and that get's shortened to something like cat 8 sounds better.  No matter I know what you mean.

 

and now I'll do what I should have done earlier and bugger off and let you all discuss cables.    I normally try not to get dragged into cable arguments (power and audio) but the ethernet one was a new twist (pardon the pun).

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21 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Yes, and that get's shortened to something like cat 8 sounds better.  No matter I know what you mean.

 

I'd shorten it to 'CAT8 has higher bandwidth and lower noise as per specifications consistent with ongoing evolutions of Ethernet cable'. 

 

Whether that's a trend that gives a favourable outcome in any situation... depends on the situation. 

 

23 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

and now I'll do what I should have done earlier and bugger off and let you all discuss cables.    I normally try not to get dragged into cable arguments (power and audio) but the ethernet one was a new twist (pardon the pun).

 

Stay in it - it'd be no fun and nothing to learn if we didn't have different opinions.

 

This discussion is missing characterisations of varying situations anyway. What's your rig like?

 

My current rig terminates in an Amanero then a DAC - it's sensitive to what's upstream. I can run different Linux kernel's and it'll sound different.

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How can you possibly know what is happening with equipment in different buildings and in different countries from where you live?
In Europe an I think also in US and Most of developed China there are industrial Standards.

And I bet Spotify and Tidals servers are up to date.

Or else there would be the famous objecist point of view with audio in 0-1.

Glitches, signal lost.


Of course that can happen in endpoint at home also. But noise and causing jitter and time error is what I discuss here.

Of course the music plays mostly with this.. but it sounds like crap.
My Bluetooth Audio Pro sounded better from the phone.. soundquality

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How can you possibly know what is happening with equipment in different buildings and in different countries from where you live?
Industrial Standards and safety regulations...

If they used crap on long distance it wouldn't work.

They don't use crap, they use specced, shielded cables. Not expensive, not crap.
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15 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

This discussion is missing characterisations of varying situations anyway. What's your rig like?

 

My current rig terminates in an Amanero then a DAC - it's sensitive to what's upstream. I can run different Linux kernel's and it'll sound different.

 

I tried various things, including a black box "internet radio", using a laptop sitting in my hifi 'rack' , but I really like my little Raspberry Pi running various systems (Volumio, Moode, etc) mostly using an mpd daemon back end,  with external DAC (currently a little Fiio which surprises me with how nice it sounds) and local hard drive.   I have a NAS that also stores the same music files - that's why it is so easy for me to compare local vs network playback.

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  I tried various things, including a black box "internet radio", using a laptop sitting in my hifi 'rack' , but I really like my little Raspberry Pi running various systems (Volumio, Moode, etc) mostly using an mpd daemon back end,  with external DAC (currently a little Fiio which surprises me with how nice it sounds) and local hard drive.   I have a NAS that also stores the same music files - that's why it is so easy for me to compare local vs network playback.

 

Have you tried different Cat cables? Bjc, Qed and Supra has cheaper good quality cables.. I think Audioquest has some too. Pearl, Forest.... 

My experience with the Supra Cat8 was obvious, so much that I've changed my setup, and how I listen/what setup I choose...

 

I will say that this budget Cat8 cable did more gain than other Analogue and digital for over 120+

 

Probably not because the Rca or coax is bad, it's just that generic and freebee Lan cables is terrible and bad quality.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Dankeshon said:

Have you tried different Cat cables? Bjc, Qed and Supra has cheaper good quality cables..

 

 

 

If you read what I posted, you'll see any difference between songs played over the LAN and played from local hard drive is not apparent.  In other words, the existing LAN cables and Wifi are doing a "perfect" job, at least as good as a local hard drive.  Nothing to be improved on.

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11 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

I tried various things, including a black box "internet radio", using a laptop sitting in my hifi 'rack' , but I really like my little Raspberry Pi running various systems (Volumio, Moode, etc) mostly using an mpd daemon back end,  with external DAC (currently a little Fiio which surprises me with how nice it sounds) and local hard drive.   I have a NAS that also stores the same music files - that's why it is so easy for me to compare local vs network playback.

 

There's that much jitter in a Pi and (frankly) the USB receiver in a Fiio that I'd be surprised if you noticed any difference. Not least the way the Pi implements Ethernet is inherently noisy.

 

Your situation certainly isn't applicable to everyone.

 

Doesn't mean it can't sound good, though, or that there aren't kickass Pi rigs out there - just that what you have isn't going to be sensitive enough to make an audible difference.

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

In other words, the existing LAN cables and Wifi are doing a "perfect" job, at least as good as a local hard drive.  Nothing to be improved on.

 

No, it's more the effective noise floor in your system is so high that they don't make a difference.

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2 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

Doesn't mean it can't sound good, though, or that there aren't kickass Pi rigs out there - just that what you have isn't going to be sensitive enough to make an audible difference.

and yet, I just listened to a system worth over $50k playing local files like I mostly do, and the Pi system has NOTHING to be ashamed of.  Truly!  

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2 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

 

No, it's more the effective noise floor in your system is so high that they don't make a difference.

It would have to be a lot of noise in order to be audible through the natural noise floor at your listening position (that's I think at least 20dB in a very quiet spot).

 

This should be easy to test, no guessing or expensive measurements required. If you put your ear right next to the tweeter or midrange driver of your speaker, while everything is turned on, volume up but nothing playing (or perhaps "digital silence" from a test CD), then you should hear some faint hissing. At least if your system is anything like mine :). This should be faint and become inaudible once you're a foot away from the speaker.

 

You can now compare this close-up hiss across a variety of conditions – different network cables, Ethernet vs. WiFi, laptop on battery vs. SMPS, different power cables, action figurines holding up speaker cables, and whatnot. If you don't hear an appreciable difference at the very close range then you certainly won't hear it at the listening position. If you do, try to increase the distance between ear and driver, and see how far away it matters. If you hear a difference (or the hiss) at the listening position then I'd suggest something is seriously wrong with your system. Or, alternatively, your ears are so good that the sound of blood rushing through your vessels, or the beating of hearts in the next room must drive you mad...

Edited by Steffen
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48 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Why?  Why is running linux on a Pi with an appropriate kernel any different to other linux based systems?  The Pi is loafing along, so there's no cpu problems.  We are nowhere near exceeding the bandwidth of any data path.

OS jitter and CPU load are two very different things. Part of what's inherent in power saving in a Pi involves specific CPU timings that don't favour time dependent code execution.

 

A Pi's USB and Ethernet controller are shared. There's no shutting down or optimisation to be had. It's done to make the Pi smaller and cheaper, and not what you'd do for a last word system. A stock Pi is one of the few cases where WiFi is potentially comparable.

 

31 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

and yet, I just listened to a system worth over $50k playing local files like I mostly do, and the Pi system has NOTHING to be ashamed of.  Truly!  

Didn't say it can't sound good. Stick a FIFO  and a great DIY DAC on those, some decent power and they're legitimate budget SOTA contenders.

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