Are Audiophile Network Switches worth the money?

Are Audiophile Network Switches worth the money?

 Sound Advice from David - MD at Kronos AV

The Importance of  Audiophile Network Switches with Streamers

Sadly about 90% of the customers streaming music are not using an audiophile network switch. I say sadly because I genuinely believe that streaming without an audiophile network switch is such a compromise on the sound quality you can achieve.

To give you an example I think you should spend as much on the audiophile network switch and cable as you should spend on the streamer.

Now I appreciate many people are going to be extremely skeptical of the above comments and why they should buy an audiophile network switch but let me explain why they are so important.


On paper streaming is way better than a CD player because with streaming you can stream files up to 24 bit 192Khz whereas CD is only 16 bit 44Khz however when streamers first came out I thought CD players sounded better. Obviously that did not make any sense to me as high resolution files must sound better than CD. However here’s the issue with streaming.

  1. The ethernet signal is not grounded and therefore very noisy. 
  2. The ethernet signal is highly contaminated. Take a second and just consider how many things around you right now are using an ethernet signal or how many people around you are using the internet. Think of this, imagine a motorway that is backed up with vehicles, its covered in fuel, dirt and mud from vehicles and all sorts of contaminates. Now imagine someone opened up a new lane, with crystal clean tarmac. You are going to get to your destination quicker and cleaner! That is what an audiophile network switch does! It cleans all that ethernet signal up and gives your streamer a pure, clean signal.

How network switches fix this:

1. A networks switch will ground the signal and that reduces the noise by up to 40%. This is done by using things such as Tesla Coils. 

2. The Network switch features ethernet filters, removing contaminates such as EMI. A cleaner signal is going to give you a massive sonic upgrade. Like anything really, the better the quality of the materials used (signal) the better the final product. 

Hopefully you now understand why I am so invested in recommending network switches to people streaming music and why I always recommend that course of action.

One thing to bear in mind is there is a big difference between a Network Switch and an Audiophile Network Switch. If you go to any IT store you can buy a newtwork switch but these are very different. These are designed to offer more input ports, but not much else. An audiophile network switch features filters which is what improves the signal quality.  

It isn't expensive to start off with either. To "test the theory" you can buy audiophile network switches like an N8 from Silent Angel at £399 and you will hear a noticeable difference.

There is a better version, the N8 pro which is not using a switch mode power supply and at £1099 it is a really impressive switch with seven input connections so you can link it to multiple components.  There is also a 16 input version of this switch for those who need even more connections and a more expensive model with master clock at £3495.

The next upgrade in Network Switches would be the offerings from Ansuz, Waversa and Innuos.

These start at £2200 for the Waversa W SmartHub 3.0 Network switch which technically has a built in streamer and is battery powered and can be upgraded with better power supplies so you are getting a lot for your money and being battery powered it really drops the noise floor.

The Network switches from Ansuz start with the X-TC3 at £2300 and also feature their proprietary Tesla Coil and Square Coil technology which again drops the noise floor to an incredible degree. There are multiple models above this culminating in the D-TC Supreme at £12,000.

Another popular network switch is the one from Innuos, the Phoenix Net at £3295.

Some companies like Lumin have even incorporated a built in audiophile network switch in their streamers like the Lumin L2 at £2999 which I think something other manufacturers will emulate in the near future.

If you are still skeptical of Audiophile Network Switches then feel free to talk to Kronos AV and we will be happy to demonstrate what they can do.

I will leave you with an extract from a recent customer e mail:

"Thank you for suggesting the Ansuz switch to me and for letting me take it home for a trial.

I have to say that I had been somewhat skeptical about the potential impact of network switches, so was not expecting much.

How wrong I was!

The improvement in sound quality is quite extraordinary - things just seem more solid and present than before, and with a greater sense of relaxation. So this is definitely a keeper. DP"

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