Ethernet cables

Long time audiophile here but, more of a rookie regarding streaming. My basic question is should I upgrade my ethernet cables and what price point would be reasonable for my application.

The streamer is in a secondary system and is used only for casual listening. The streamer is hardwired to the system. At this point I do not have a streamer in the main system.

Below is a list of the gear in system 2.

The streamer is a Node 2i with the power supply upgrade from LHY (a DIY kit) sourced from Beatechnik out of Singapore. Not using the internal DAC but, feeding the digital signal to an outboard DAC.

DAC - Luxman DA-06

Preamp -  Simaudio P5.3

Amp - McCormack DNA-500 (yes, way overkill power wise for the system but, I love the very relaxed sound of this amp)

Speakers - Dynaudio Contour 30i

Cables - Primarily Transparent Ultra mm2 generation.

Internet is from my cable provider via coax cable.

There are three short cat 6 ethernet cables (5'). One going from the modem to the router, one from the router to the wall connection for a 100 foot cat 7 run in the attic and one at the system end wall connection to the Node. The short cables are Amazon Basics cat 6. The 100 foot cat 7 was sourced from Amazon with one of those never heard of names - Snanshi which, seems to be fairly decent but, I wouldn't really know.

So, do I upgrade the Amazon Basics cables and if so, what would be a reasonable choice?



Ag insider logo xs@2xmwh777

You have a wall plate and from there you connect to streamer…is that right?

Here’s something to try then…

iFi LAN iSilencer to the wall plate, then a short run of a good Ethernet cable from the iFi to your streamer. Pick whatever Ethernet cable you want to try but I wouldn’t spend a ton on it. 

I am with @audphile1…you can try LinkUp Cat 8 cables from Amazon. I don’t think you would hear any appreciable difference with Node 2i. 

Agree with the above.  I’d probably just replace the cable to the Node as many say that’s the most important.  Here’s a link to the cable @lalitk mentioned along with another that has gotten good feedback.

Good advise ,get rid of any separate Router modem , tell your provider you need a new all in one , the power supplies are horrible , I bought a motorola 8702 

it has docsis 3.1 most have older 3.0. This processor much faster ,and wifi for tv much better, the wall warts suck ,digital is not grounded,noise goes house to house. I bought from linear tube audio their  Excellent LPS , a much cleaner sound now , and the you only need 2 Ethernet cables , Sablon makes a very good cables 

beats cables at 2x it’s price it’s $400 each .  Your most important cable is your end point , wire world $200 from router, then Sablon to Ethernet streamer 

100 % get rid of separate router modem way out dated and pure garbage noise 

I replaced that same setup 2+ years ago with the Motorola 8702 on Amazon 

then the LPS power supply and comes with a excellent DC cable to the router 

and make sure use decent power cords , never stock , the Pangea awg14 sig mk2 

good for your LPS to router as well as from your Ethernet hub 

land replace junk 50 cents zinc buzz fuses with Hifi tuning fuses ,VH Audio  I get the CU gold Copper ,  your streamer no. Good , innuos make a streamer HD for around $1500 , and can get a deal from Anthony at Perrotta Consultants.

great interface app and sounds better then Roon ,but is Roon Ready .if you prefer.

get rid of the noise ,the lhy is good for a low cost solution ,I hav3 one to up the game a good one is around $3k on up to make a substantial difference.

the walll warts most are 12 volts  $3 in cost just add noise to a already corrup signal the LPS is a game changer and call your cable provider fr a all in one or buy a much better one as I did only $230.takes $5 minutes to setup then just call cable company tech support ,on bottom of motorola they have your pass word 

and they ask for your MAC address ,it has Nothing to do with Mac computers.

good 🍀 luck.

May I suggest Blue Jeans Cable for replacing your Ethernet cables.  They are the only place I trust to make a cable to proper specifications.  They test every cable that it meets spec and they  even include a paper indicating the measurements.  They say they have tested Ethernet cables from various prominent sources and less prominent sources and almost none equal the proper specification.


I actually buy almost all my cables from them.  There is so much potential for snake oil in cables that this company has become my go to source.

I just finished replacing all my cat 6 cables, including a 50' run from my router to my setup with cat 8 cables from Amazon. The quality seemed to be excellent and they are very pliable. Both feeds to my net connected gear terminate with iFi LAN Silencers. I haven't really noticed any difference in the sound quality, but a required update to my streamer seemed to be noticeably faster. I also haven't experienced any 'drop outs' in the stream since changing to cat 8, which is what prompted the change in the first place. I was originally using a standard flat ribbon non-shielded 50' cable. Router is a Linksys Max-Stream AC2200. Service feed is from a Verizon Internet Gateway. I use an unmanaged ethernet switch, also from Amazon, at the gear end of the 50' cable.

As far as the cables, since you specified "casual listening" for streaming, other than a lower cost filter, as some have suggested, I wouldn’t spend any money at all for different ethernet cables. I think you would get more benefit from ensuring the existing ethernet cables are separated a several inches away from other electrical cables if run parallel than upgrading them.

I was intrigued by audphile1 suggestion regarding the Lan Silencer. The pictures on Amazon show it placed right behind your streaming component. I get that. 

The question is does it make any sense whatsoever to have two or more of these devices?

I'm not trying to waste money, just wondering. 

Thank you!

Digital don't care about your fancy (read: stupid expensive) cables. You can't improve or make worse 1's and 0's. Why do people believe such nonsense? Oh wait, it's like religion. You have to have faith because there's no science behind it.

I agree with @rcm1203. Replace all your Ethernet with cat8 cables from Amazon. They’re all triple shielded and will definitely improve things. And they’re good for 10G. I changed everything in my house to Phizli. Cost is only pennies more than your average cat6.

I have a 4 server 2 desktop plus Orbi 960 system running up to a full 10G across a Dell 8024F switch. Cleaned up all my streaming stuttering issues too (Sonos) .

Also don’t go with your isp routers. They’re useless and can provide you a decent firewall and high speed at the same time.

I’m possible way above most of what people are using in that I’ve got a 2.5Gb symmetrical fios feed from Ziply (I’m in Washington), use a SonicWall TZ470 for my router/firewall, and use various multi-mode (1/2.5/5/10) and single mode (1G) SFP+ GPICs as the switch is a 24-port SFP+ switch (I use Cisco, SonicWall, Finisar)

Except for audioman58's spew of absolute nonsense, I am so glad that no one on this thread has suggested $500+ snake oil Ethernet cables.  It gives me hope for this group! 

@lovehifi22 I have mine plugged into EERO access point. Then Purist Audio Cat7 from Silencer into Aurender N200. I’ll be honest I could barely hear any difference with and without the iFi unit in the chain. Tried it into the Aurender as well. I figured cleaning up the signal right at the EERO output made most sense to me. Keep in mind the results will vary based on how good the Ethernet implementation is in your streamer. Aurender happens to have a solid isolated implementation and I attribute the very negligible change to this. I never tried using two Silencers since the results with one were barely, if at all, audible. I left in because 1) it’s not expensive and 2) it did no harm. But again, pretty sure the results will vary in each installation. Try one first. You can return it if it doesn’t work.
I also second @lalitk on LinkUp cable recommendation. Excellent cable that’s solidly built and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I have this cable and can say it’s a bargain. Not as detailed and lively sounding as the Purist but also not as expensive. 

+1, @audphile1 

The effectiveness of LAN filters largely depends on the implementation of Ethernet in your streamer and home network. I’ve used tested few of these add-on filters including iSilencer, iSO-Cat7 and Net Isolator ahead of N20 or N30SA….I couldn’t hear any appreciable improvement. I am also using a very high quality Ethernet switch ahead of my N30SA, another possible reason why these LAN filter were so ineffective in my system. 

Thanks everyone for your input. As per usual, the opinions ranged from the naysayers to the over the toppers. One cable that has not been mentioned here is the Supra CAT 8 ethernet cable. Jay Luong at Audio Bacon was very impressed with it even in comparison to much pricier cables. See page two of his cable reviews.

I think that I will order one Supra cable and one Linkup cable for comparison and then go from there.

Good decision. I think the Supra and LinkUp will be close. I tried Supra in both the regular original termination and the one upgraded with telegartner connectors. And both performed well. 

@mwh777 I own the Supra, which has been built by Audio Sensibility with the Telegartner connectors. It is sitting on the floor currently ever since I bought the sotm dcbl cat 7 cable. The sotm improved the sonic quality, but it is so very slight for the money. The Supras are pretty reasonable in price so if you were to replace 3 short links with this it wouldn’t hurt, but again for background music I/you probably wouldn’t know the difference.

AS Supra

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hey crock fan, 

Maybe you should read this- unlike ASR it is a real review from a real electrical engineer

PS Audio Lan Rover

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Great place to start is the Supra Cat 8, it's a really good cable for not much money. Just make sure to buy it from a good dealer. Madisound is a certified reseller, as is Sjofn HiFi on eBay. I use several Supra cables in my system, where I don't need really high end cables....they are very underrated 

I changed everything in my house to Phizli cable. Cost is only pennies more than your average cat6 and is available in all sizes on Amazon.  My entire house is now at 10Gbe, both copper, and fiber, and I”ve no problem. I have 32 ports in use, plus 6E WiFi, and am using Dell10G and Zyxel multi-speed switches.

Hi mwh777, thanks for the topic,

Without hesitation DH Labs Audiophile REUNION Cat 8 Ethernet cable.  See my posts elsewhere here...and others.  The terminations (the secret sauce I suspect) are the best fitting ever experienced for ethernet.  For streaming, akin to a preamp upgrade. 

More Peace.  Pin              (bold print for old eyes) 

With due respect, just for balance of message, an actual computer network engineer will tell you that any adequately designed cat 5e or above cable, within spec., will deliver the same sound.

Secondarily, be careful with Cat 8 and such - for reasons having nothing to do with data transmission for audio, their shielded design can actually be counter to the desire to eliminate the supposed "electrical noise" that networks supposedly carry. I’m not saying I believe in that, but the point is, you don’t just buy a "higher number" cable and think you’ve got something.

Any network tweaking, should you lean in that direction, should be done well after you have optimized your DAC (more critical) and streamer (less so) and digital source material (very much more so than anything else!).

I’m not an ASR fanatic by any means. But you absolutely cannot apply analog audio logic to digital anything. It’s important to understand how these things work well enough to focus on the things you can affect. Network switches, cables, regenerators, eh, if you don’t hear dropouts, the data is getting there.

With due respect, just for balance of message, an actual computer network engineer will tell you that any adequately designed cat 5e or above cable, within spec., will deliver the same sound.

I’ve seen more than a few “computer network engineers” here proclaim that a streamer can’t possibly make a difference either.  Horse hockey.  Bottom line — use your own ears. 

I know you've asked about the cable itself, and there are many suggestions already.


However, for not too much more, I strongly suggest integrating a fiber switch into the mix. It will likely make a more significant difference than just upgrading the Ethernet cable. 


You don't need a fancy switch. Something like the TEG-S51SFP from Amazon, along with decent shielded Ethernet cables, is a great start. All of this can be had for a few hundred dollars at most.


Good luck!

With due respect, just for balance of message, an actual computer network engineer will tell you that any adequately designed cat 5e or above cable, within spec., will deliver the same sound.


Any dietician will tell you that two steaks with identical fat to protein ratios will provide the same nutrition and taste the same. They are wrong and so might be the network engineer.

But you absolutely cannot apply analog audio logic to digital anything. It’s important to understand how these things work well enough to focus on the things you can affect. Network switches, cables, regenerators, eh, if you don’t hear dropouts, the data is getting there.

@jji666 digital signal is carried by analog signal in the case of copper Ethernet cables. And because of it there’s a good chance that your Ethernet cable is susceptible to RFI and EMI injecting garbage. You will have different streamers dealing with this differently. You really have to look into and understand how this interface is implemented. Digital signal going into the streamer gets then processed and converted to a signal the DAC will understand. That’s the other part of the streamer design. Then, depending on the interface you choose to use between your streamer and your DAC, what will impact the final result is the clock in the streamer, if you use SPDIF output, or the USB processing and clock in your DAC if you’re using USB interface. You can simplify it all you want and say it’s all 1s and 0s, but it doesn’t change the fact that Ethernet cables matter (less so with a very solid streamer implementation), and streamers matter as much as the DAC. 
I do agree though on components first approach. I wouldn’t be buying a $2,000 Ethernet cable hoping that it will make a $500 streamer sound amazing. 

Guys, the fact is there are as many or more knowledgeable folks who disagree with your network logic as agree.  You just all happen to collect and represent a vocal majority here.  That’s all fine but it’s important that newbies know that it’s far from universally accepted.

I want to comment on jji666's really thoughtful post earlier this morning, in particular his mention of RFI and EMI "contamination" of the digital signal -- to which I wish to add "common-mode noise" as a further corrupting contributor to that signal. Earlier this month, I was fortunate to obtain a very high-end DAC, a Bricasti M21, with its own internal media renderer, ultra-high-precision internal clock, etc. (heretofore, I was using a Lumin T2 streamer/DAC, which was good but hardly spectacular). Immediately, I was amazed by how much better the Quboz- and Tidal-streamed music sounded, and this was while keeping my "old" Ethernet cable, which is generally considered to be fairly decent and cost me a little over $200.

A few days ago, I visited one of my two local high-end audio equipment stores and mentioned to the owner how delighted I was with my new DAC. He asked what cable I was using; when I told him, he excused himself, and, a couple of minutes later, he came back with a cable that he said would make a real difference in my system. It was Shunyata's Sigma V2 Ethernet cable, which he just gave to me (with no deposit) to try for a bit and see whether it made a difference. What is unique about this Ethernet cable is the two noise filters embedded within it. That evening, I replaced my own cable with this Sigma one, and my jaw dropped. The most immediate improvements were vastly more clarity and much better-defined bass. I might best describe the clarity is by saying that I could hear elements of the music that had previously been obscured. The next night I begged my darling wife. who is totally uninterested in my audiophile hobby despite the fact that before we were married she was a professional singer, to listen to the effect of this new cable. First, I played a track with my old cable and then with the Sigma one (without telling her which was which). She said she definitely preferred the "second one". Then I switched the order and played "Layla" (she adores Eric Clapton's guitar work). About 10 seconds in -- with the old cable, after first hearing Layla with the Sigma cable -- she called out "Stop! I can't listen to this version any further. It sounds DEAD." I switched back to the Sigma cable, and we spent the next hour or so playing a number of her other favorites, during which she repeatedly mentioned that they sounded "real" and "lifelike". Over breakfast yesterday morning, she asked when I was buying this Shunyata Ethernet cable. When I told her it cost $2,000 MSRP, she didn't bat an eye, pointing out that I had just spent $16,000 on a new DAC and that money would be wasted without this Sigma cable. I was nearly dumbfounded hearing that from her (but I bought the cable that same morning).

I still believe that most Ethernet cables -- whether a good cable like my predecessor version or one costing thousands of dollars -- perform similarly. What makes the Sigma cable different (even from the other Shunyata Ethernet cables except for their Omega one) is its embedded noise filters. RFI, EMI, and common-mode are real, and they negatively impact what you hear in the playback of a music stream. This Shunyata cable is insanely expensive, but it certainly does work. However, I understand there are very moderately priced line filters from companies such as iFi that I urge everyone to try in their system at least as a start.


I just did a thorough search of all the internet audio forums. This is the 2,134,567th thread devoted to this topic. After the 5th one, nothing else has ever been said that wasn't said before. Yet, here we are again. 

Next time, I suggest doing a search for this topic rather than starting yet another  thread on the same topic which elicits the exact same responses as the 2,134,566 threads that came before this one. 



I was in IT most of my career and managed global IT infrastructure teams an worked with hundreds a electrical design engineers, most are so belief driven that they would not allow themselves to hear a difference because it could not be true. I have some friends and colleagues that have listened and become audiophiles, but they are far between.


it is a real review from a real electrical engineer

PS Audio Lan Rover

This person wrote that snake oil review as an influencer not as an ee. The only technical line mentioned was "The best part is the inherent galvanic isolation provided by the network." The rest is to praise " has HUGE sonic benefits...  PSA: Quite an elegant sound." I'm not surprised because America is full of dishonest doctors/lawyers/engineers (sadly). Galvanic isolation means "no direct conduction path" to swamp out noise and most DACs have this filtering function built in. So do not get fooled.

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I rarely respond to a poster whose raison d’etre appears to be to disparage others. That said, “CFR’s” snake oil obsession reminds me of someone who loudly and often proclaims it was impossible for humankind to have walked on the moon because he hadn’t done so personally. Until I actually installed the Shunyata Sigma V2 Ethernet cable in my own system, I had never imagined the easily discernible positive impact it can make on a high quality audio system. It is obvious CFR has never tried this cable in his own system, which is sad.

By the way, I have no economic interest in Shunyata. I am just an aging audiophile who wishes to share this personally exciting audio experience with others on line here.

Supra CAT8 Ethernet cable is reasonably priced and is, in my opinion, a quality product. I bought a couple of 1m runs from Holt Hill Audio in Boston - happy I did.

@classicrockfan just so you know…

In the case of copper cables, data is transmitted through electrical signals. The cable consists of twisted pairs of copper wires, with each pair carrying a different signal. These signals are encoded using a technique called pulse amplitude modulation (PAM), where different voltage levels represent different bits of data. The electrical signals travel through the copper wires, and the receiving device decodes them to retrieve the original data.

Because this is an electrical signal (it’s voltage) which is the same as your signal interconnects, it is susceptible to the same elements (RFI and EMI) as your analog signal because essentially it is an analog signal. Go crawl back under your classic rock again and stay there. 

@jmeyers +1

Just to chime in on the effect of ethernet cables. I switched out the cable from our SoTm network switch to the TV, temporarily replacing it with a Snake River Audio ethernet cable. My partner who normally does not notice cable differences could not believe the improvement in picture quality. I was instructed to immediately replace our other ethernet cables with the SR ones. 

Main message: cables matter! 

@atanarjuat99 I am now seriously considering an SoTM switch as a replacement for my current unmanaged Luxul switch. Are you satisfied with your SoTM switch? Were others under consideration?

These signals are encoded using a technique called pulse amplitude modulation (PAM), where different voltage levels represent different bits of data. The electrical signals travel through the copper wires, and the receiving device decodes them to retrieve the original data.

True ethernet uses PAM where data information is encoded in the amplitudes of signal pulses (modulation) mapped in one of 4 voltage levels -2 -1 1 2 v. Good copy/paste work though.

essentially it is an analog signal

Fundamentally different. Analog signals being continuous/digital signals.being discrete the closer it gets to absolute continuity the better the s.q. but achieving "limit to infinity" not possible although free from signal noise. Watch the following vid and keep up the good work.




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Shielded ethernet cables have a layer of metal shielding around the cable, which protects against EMI (electromagnetic interference) and RFI (radio frequency interference).  The shielding helps minimise the effect of interference, making the signal clearer and more reliable.

I didn’t believe in audiophile Ethernet cables either (just 1’s and 0’s right?) - I had Blue Jeans, and thought I’d try a returnable Cardas Ethernet which surprisingly did sound better, so I ordered a DH Labs and tried them side by side and sent the Cardas back. $200, I felt was well spent. My take was as I know I have a noisy environment, the shielding helped and the connectors are really well made.

I would not bother for a background music set up though.

I tried the Everstar filter, waste of money, sent it back, but I’m going to try the iFI filter as I only have the Cox Panoramic device and I’m sure it’s noisy.

I’ll send it back if no improvement.

Think about twisted pair, coaxial, fiber, satellite, multiple servers, firewalls, bridges, routers, optical/electric conversions, and back again between your house and the streaming server. Data is sliced into packets, transmitted via different routes, reassembled back at your router.

Will another 10 ft make a difference?

Ethernet does not lose anything. Anything lost is retransmitted and recovered. Nothing is changed or anyhow lost. Else your legal documents in remote cloud could change during transmission :-)


I tried the Everstar filter, waste of money, sent it back, but I’m going to try the iFI filter as I only have the Cox Panoramic device and I’m sure it’s noisy.

I’ll send it back if no improvement.

Exactly. Zero risk. I recall Alex at Uptone saying that with his 30 day money back guarantee he had sold over 3000 etherregens, and had just 3 returns. If that isn't proof the filter works I don't know what is.

@macg19 check out the SmoothLan ethernet filter thread started by ozzy.  Also, I just received a Snubway filter from Verafi Audio and it absolutely made a significant improvement.  I didn’t expect that kind of improvement. Removes switched power supply noise in your environment. Decware forum has a thread with all positive feedback.   

@mclinnguy Thanks for the reminder about Uptone - I think last time I looked they were not shipping.

@tksteingraber Thanks, will check out the thread and take a look at Snubway. I have a Purify and a SDFB although it really belongs with your amp. I had it converted for my DAC because my current integrated has an internal fuse and no specs in the manual. Mark is great.

I don’t think Snubway will address my primary mains concern though which I’m pretty sure is 60Hz noise. (I’ve got a lot plugged into a single 20 amp duplex and no easy way to add a dedicated circuit - rented house).

I hear a faint hum from my DAC and onboard MC phono module (both single ended / RCA only). Zero hum from my GoldNote phono using the balanced output but it died and I’m waiting on its replacement from the distributor.