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?



@preston8452 All you can do is listen for yourself in your own rig. I remain completely unconvinced. Just be sure whatever switch you buy can be returned. I’d be interested to know your findings.

No you do not.

Also, for the un-informed, there is NO such thing as ethernet clocking. It is an ASYNCHRONOUS stream.

An el-cheapo switch like this will more than be enough:


It is also known as the "self learning bridge", plug & play, no configuration required. As long as you buy devices which are TRUE to the 802.3 and 802.11 standards, there will be no problems whatsoever. Cables will not matter diddly s..t either, AS LONG AS they are spec’ed to the standards.

Spend your money on a proper streamer and/or a DAC instead.

What is important however is NOT to place their SMPS wall warts next to sensitive analog electronics, like MC phono preamps.


It's been said previously but I don't mind re-iterating -

There is no such thing as an "audio grade" network switch... go ahead and try finding any OEM network component supplier who would even think of marketing an 8P8C/RJ45 connector as "audio grade". I've tried, they don't exist, these audio accessory companies are just clever with their marketing, apparently most "audiophiles" lap up whatever their favorite audio review rag touts.


@cakyol If I am the un-informed.. maybe I am uneducated and my English is not good but I wander what these specs are for then.. 

ITU-T Rec. G.8261

ITU-T Rec. G.8262

ITU-T Rec. G.8264 

ITU-T G.8264 Ethernet Synchronization Message Channel (ESMC) protocol data unit rec, which defines a background or heart-beat message to provide a continuous indication of the clock quality level

IEEE 802.x

IEEE 1588 v1,, v1.1, v1.2, v2, SyncE and Ethernet symbol clock


IEEE 802.3ay and newer revisions

At no point I said that Ethernet is synchronous or asynchronous because it depends on the flavor, and it is not relevant. 

Most Ethernet flavors have framing bits, that establish both the start of the frame and that prime the bit timing recovery circuitry of the receivers. The only one that comes to mind now that does not is Ethernet over RS-232, using UART to transfer data and  leveraging SLIP to transfer IP packets over a serial interface instead of Ethernet interface but that was many many years ago.

Quote from the spec explanation "Ethernet between a MCU and PHY typically uses the MII bus, which is synchronous interface. It even has two clocks, one for transmitting data, and one recovered for receiving data. The RMII combines the clocks into one which means the PHY has to have a data FIFO to tolerate clock differences between devices." 

These clocks are also used in the training, quote from the spec "The operation of the maxwait_timer requires that the PHY complete the startup sequence from states PMA_Training_Init_M or PMA_Training_Init_S to PMA_Fine_Adjust in less than 2000mS to avoid link_status being changed to FAIL by the link monitor state machine"

So, does Ethernet have a clock "line"? Yes at the PHY MII level, no at the medium, as it is embedded in the data. Is this synchronous or asynchronous? It depends on the definition. The clock must and will be recovered at the receiving end to receive the data symbols correctly.

Maybe we are talking about different things? and I failing to communicate correctly?

At the end, claiming that an ethernet switch can make any difference on how a streamer decodes into music is just not true, because by the time data bits get to the streamer processor they have been in multiple buffers, transformed and refclked outside of the Ethernet domain.