Ethernet Cables - what are you using and why?

Curious about what everyone is doing for their streaming systems in terms of Ethernet cables. I know some people who swear by expensive models, but anecdotally it seems that folks care a lot less about Ethernet than they do about interconnects, AC, or even USB cables. 

I'm a believer but at the moment run a relatively affordable model that I might be looking to upgrade. Let's hear your thoughts.


DHLabs from wifi extenders to Aurender W20SE and N100. Have tried a number of equivalent and less expensive. One notably more expensive one sounded notably poor. But in general, with my W20SE the difference was small in comparison with interconnects and power cords. 

SoTM dcbl Cat 7 cable, chosen after reading several reviews from owners impressions and pro reviews. The improvement in sound quality over the Audio Sensibility modified Supra cat 8 cable is obvious, but yes in agreement with what you have surmised, and as ghdprentice reported, the difference is perhaps a 2/10 given that a power cable difference is 9/10. 

Check out Audio Bacon's review of a few of them; I agree with his findings comparing the Supra to the SoTM. 

Audio Bacon ethernet cables

I use short runs of Audioquest Dragon Ethernet and where a long run is required I use fiber optic.  I do think that if your plan is to upgrade your streaming system, and assuming your Ethernet cables are not the cheapest thing you can find on Amazon, there are better ways to spend your money to improve sound.  In my system the best bang for buck was the DAC (buy the best you can afford). After that a good/capable streamer). If you are playing music off your PC … consider a Roon Nucleus. If you have a long run of cable from source to DAC (and you should have) then add fiber optic. Ethernet cable upgrades would be low on my list of upgrade priorities.  They are not going to give you bang for buck unless you are using very low quality Ethernet cable. Some people will disagree with my priorities and that’s what this hobby is about.  My main point is be patient and save up for upgrades that really move your listening enjoyment forward in the most noticeable/enjoyable way.

I’ve seen some mind-bogglingly high end home theater setups and don’t recall one of them using a fancy Ethernet cable (e.g. for streaming 4K). Atmos didn’t seem to have any issue with regular Ethernet trimmings; perhaps 2Ch HiFi streaming responds differently. 😉

Your best Ethernet cable should be at your end point .

from router I have a AQ Diamond which is very detailed and a Jcat Reference at the end point which has 6% gold ,it is very detailed yet with the slightGold overlay 

a very natural detailed balance. When buying a cable connectors too matter.

Telegartner connectors are considered by many the best connectors.

and both of these cables have them which is a plus.

Triode wire labs freedom ethernet cables. Custom lengths of over 6 ft from my wifi extender to ethernet switch via optical fiber and shortest possible 16" length from ethernet switch to streamer. Excellent setup. Streaming sounds as good as vinyl. Made in USA.

I found that Ag plated copper wire ethernet cables make a nice improvement in the sound of streaming.  Some can be had for just 5x the price of basic cheap ethernet cables.  For short runs that isn't too bad.  I run AQ Vodka to my streamer/player now from the audio grade network switch.  The cables from the modem to router to network switch are AQ Cinnamon.  The Vodka is a thick, stiff cable.  The connectors are impressive looking and strong.  Don't try using this cable in something with a plastic chassis.

Streaming 4K can for sure benefit from good ethernet cables.  What a shame if some high end HT systems are not using better ethernet cables.  I bought a long CAT 7 cable to run across the house from my listening room network switch to the HT system as an experiment.  It made a significant upgrade to the streaming picture.  It took me the better part of a day to run that cable through the walls, under the house and over to the HT system but well worth it.  I have a Ag plated copper wire ethernet cable going from the wall to the Apple TV box.  Would that I could buy a silver plated ethernet cable to run across the house.  But I am very pleased with the picture.

Triplite 8. I want to try this $50 10’ cat 45 cable on Amazon. I just have not felt I needed to even try it. I know these cables and network switches make a huge difference. I would rather spend that money treating the room. Which I am slowly doing so I don’t waste money over treating parts of the room. 

I also use Triplite.

I purchased nearly 1000' of that wire for $20 and wired my entire house with wired internet.

I only use wi-fi for portables now.

Ansuz A2 works as advertised. Amazing improvement in clarity and vocal/instrument separation and depth.

I am using Blue Jeans ethernet cables just wanted to give something better than basic computer cables a try. At $17 each they were cheap and gave a nice improvement in the area of system clarity.

Purist Audio 🐈‍⬛ 7 into Aurender N200. Nothing fancy. Sounds great.

Tried: generic, Supra, Supra Telegartner, Network Acoustics Eno Streaming System, Amazon Linkup. My favorite is Purist.

My thoughts - Ethernet cables make a difference. But they are in the last place after components, room acoustics, clean power, speaker cables, interconnects, power cables, digital cables. 

Spent hundreds on 6 foot a Synergistic Atmosphere Ethernet cable. One of my mistakes over the years. At the recommendation of a cable designer/retailer I respect I purchased a Blue Jeans CAT 6 for $12 and improved SQ. Aurender Customer Service indicated to me to avoid Ethernet cables with metal connector  housings.  They stated they have found metal connector housings may create distortion.  The Synergistic has a metal and plastic connector housing.  The Blue Jeans all plastic.  I am only sharing what they stated in their email exchange. Anyone want the Synergistic on the cheep?😀.  No, I would not really do that.  Recommendation, go with Blue Jeans and buy high resolution content with what you save. 

@baylinor I didn't see a fiber optic option for the Triode Wire Labs Freedom Ethernet cable..... Doesn't fiber optic(Toslink) limit the signal to 96kHz?

I have Triode's High Power Digital American II Power cable. Very well made. 


The optical bundle I use is from Small green computers and it is located between my wifi extender and ethernet switch.

Oh. Ok...Is the FO considered Toslink? I ask because I heard that Toslink can't handle 192kHz well so it's lowers it to 96kHz. 

It is not a toslink connection, it is simply a way to get rid of interference caused by the metal elements of ethernet cables before it reaches the ethernet switch. The connection from my streamer to dac is still usb.

Look at my LHY SW-10 ethernet switch, it will show you better how I can feed the optical isolation bundle into it and the feeding comes out cleaned up into an ethernet output. It may seem complicated at first, but really isn't.

Wireworld Platinum or Starlight red. Amazing build, reasonable price and until I tried them I wasn’t a believer that an Ethernet cable could impact sound but these do and it’s not subtle, smooth, detailed, and noticeable. Good luck in your search.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Interesting that some people claim very small changes (as in, Ethernet should be the last upgrade in the chain) while others seem to find it more substantial. 

I'll read up on some of the options presented and see what catches my eye.

I use Furutech Lan-8 NCF. Incredible value. I have a lot of different (much more expensive) cables from this manufacturer, and I've heard it's often a good idea to follow what you already have in the system. For example, the top Transparent LAN may not be the best choice if you don't have other Transparent cables to match. 

For very little money, the Supra Cat 8 cable is a steal and a very very good cord.....I recently purchased an Audioquest Vodka ethernet cable on sale at Axpona, and there is a difference.....but not as big as I thought. Suspecting it may need more break in time

I use an eno Streaming Cable from Network Acoustics between their eno Ethernet filter and my Roon Nucleus Rev B music server. 

Melco C100 ethernet cable. It was a large step up from the Nordost Heimdall 2 ethernet, at 1/5th the price.

It uses a floating ground at one end, to drain noise away from the source component. So its directional and using it in the wrong direction is very audible.

DHLabs. Much better than BlueJeans and an Audioquest Cinnamon I tried out which was no better than the BLueJeans

My guess is the Ethernet cable matters more if you have a noisy environment/ router - I’m connected directly to a Cox Cable Panoramic router.

I liked DHLabs enough to also replace my Zavfino USB - also an improvement but not dramatically better

…….options for an Ethernet cable between a DAC and transport . No walls no rotor just between two pieces . Please recommend and thank you and hope that I didn’t hijack the thread . I have been looking for awhile and the pricing and construction are all over the place . It can get confusing as this is for my main system . Looking at Cardas Clear, Purist Audio …..Shunyata Omega ‘s …..just a few to mention.

I just purchased and installed the new, Shunyata Theta Ethernet cable and it is STUNNING beyond belief. I honestly didn't believe an ethernet cable would matter so much given I am already using a fiber optic network. But this one cable running from my EtherRegen A side to my Antipodes K41 server has contributed a substantial bump in SQ - a good 10% at least.  At $500 it purchase well above its weight. 

As a general rule, I tend to purchase all things high end audio to the limits of my affordability, i.e, if I can afford the upgraded $1000 ethernet cable over the lesser $650 ethernet cable, I'll buy the $1000 ethernet cable.  I currently use Shunyata Sigma ethernet cables, which aren't cheap, but I preferred them over all the other cables I auditioned.  Of course, as always, system synergy is the everything.  Happy listening.               

i'm very happy with wire world platinum either net, xlr, hdmi, rca. their orange either net is pretty darn good, too.  $100.00 dollar each Q-tips help  😁

I use (3) DHLabs Reunion CAT8 ethernet cables; from the router > Electric English 8Switch > EE1 network isolator > DAC. The DHLabs is doing the job, but I haven’t compared it to the other ethernet cables.

Anything within spec. They can't make a difference unless they're out of spec.


jji666, I understand the "perfect data" transimission concepts, but have you listened to two or three Ethernet cables on a resolving system. 

Since not mentioned above I use Inakustik Referenz Ethernet loom.

Handmade in Germany.

(Inakustik Micro Air interconnects)

I can detect nothing added to the signal path.

LTA Preamp/Bryston Amp/Magnapan LRS+/REL Sub.

I order cables out of England as 50% less than US.


Excellent cables.

Much as I hate to get in the middle of a dreaded cable debate, I figured this one might be safe enough.  

First off I do hear musically significant differences between different Ethernet cables.  Second, as is typically the case with Hi-Fi, cost has no relation to performance.  Third, I also hear a difference in the direction of the cable so it is best to try both ways when listening.  Fourth, also as with other cables there seems to be a length that is the most musical, although longer cables can be used where necessary with not much loss in performance in this case.

As to the cables, Fredrik Lejonklou, whose equipment I import from Sweden and distribute in the USA and Canada, and I have found the most musical cables so far to be Blue Jeans Cable (BJC) CAT 6a in an 8.5 foot length.  These have musically outperformed other much more expensive cables I have tried from Audioquest and others and everything Fredrik has tried.  Many customers, dealers and forum members have tried the same cables and are similarly happy.  They are quite inexpensive and I highly recommend trying them.  You can just order them from their website and receive them with quick delivery.  

They make them in multiple colors.  Since some will already consider me crazy I might as well add that I have not found any sound difference between similar cables of different colors, but I have found that each cable sounds a little different.  So I tested four at Axpona last year with Fredrik and a friend.  We found two white cables to sound musically different and a purple one to be the best closely followed by a black one, both better than the best of the two whites.  I recently ordered another batch of various colors but haven't had a chance to listen to them yet.  After all why should it be easy?

I use Belden 10GX CAT6A cables for my Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra and for my  router to my modem. They work very nicely for me. I jumped down the networking cable rabbit hole about a 5-7 years ago. I came up with these that can be purchase on eBay. Belden makes them in numerous predetermined length too. You can purchase them for like $9-30 with s/h each depending on the length. I’ll put a link here for you fellows. Cheers!


This is a no-brainer.  Blue Jeans cable is the cable to buy.  If you read their website you will discover that BJC has tested Ethernet cables from other manufacturers and has found that very few cables make their spec. Cat 6 cables might be cat 4 or 5!  And so on.  BJC includes a test record of how your cable tested.  You will know you are getting what you are paying for.  

Others mentioned BJC. They are good. Cables are where Amazon’s return policy is helpful. I ended up keeping a .75m AQ Cinnamon. This seems a fledgling market with new products launching every month. When asking what “Ethernet cable people use” it’s important to mention length. In 2 years I’ll check out what’s new and audition the marketplace again. The cinnamon had the best bang for buck. I tried a couple shorter 18” SOTA cables and liked the sound of the AQ more. The BJC was very good. All the standard ones I tried sound harsh and brittle even through the midrange. Voice not as refined with all timbres perfect. It’s all going to depend on what the streamer is and what the modem or network switch is. How these components react to the cables you bring to the party is what will make this fun. Pick some great music and listen. I just did this all with the understanding that in a couple years this will be a different marketplace. Right now, I’ve got a very competent connector. 

For what it’s worth the AQ Cinnamon has been out for a decade. I use them . 50% of my Blue Jeans were DOA but that experience is old…. like me

Some time back, over a year ago at least, I did not think an ethernet cable could make much of a difference.  Then I was reading about the skin effect, ie higher frequency signals ride on the surface of wires.  It is easily calculable so I looked at the skin effect of the frequencies used by the ethernet.  I don't remember the exact numbers now.  I would have to dig around in my notes but I recall that the signal travels very close to the surface of the wires.  The newer version of Pangea ethernet cables have Ag plated Cardas wire and they are, or were (maybe they still are) attractively priced- about 5x the price of a basic, cheap ethernet cable.  I figured silver would be a good conductor for the ethernet signal and solid silver wire was not needed.  So I bought a Pangea ethernet cable to try.  First result was the cable sounded worse than the stock $6 ethernet cable.  Hmm.  I let it break in for 24 hours but it still sounded bad.  Mainly the highs were worse- very edgy and unpleasant.  I was about to remove the Pangea cable but then I thought to turn it around.  Bam!  Now it sounded great.  It was much better than the stock ethernet cable.  Now the highs were better and clarity improved.  Too bad Pangea does not mark the direction on their cables.  I found it easy enough to hear the difference but it takes an extra step to get the cable oriented properly.  Since then I moved to AQ ethernet cables.  Better sound but not as cost efficient as the Pangea.  Those are a great upgrade for the price.

Hey tubeguy80...

Experienced wire guy here...see posts.  For the last couple years, I've focused on a more professional room tuning plus adding the BACCH dsp, as my budget allowed.  I chose to delay upgrading my 20' run of pedestrian, decently made, Ethernet cable that runs from my modem to my PC source.  My long-time IT audio buddies, who lean much more objective than subjective, strongly advised "don't bother." 

Well, a couple months ago I DID bother, changing to a 3.0M run of DH Labs REUNION Silver Sonic Cat 8 Ethernet cable, $250 less the "frequent flyer" discount.  My low expectations were immediately startled, and yes, it got better in the next several days.  I think the magic is in the absolutely firm connectors, the most snug-fitting, purpose built, Ethernet plugs I've yet encountered.  My results are akin to a preamp upgrade.  For quality and safety assurances I buy from The Cable Company.  Disclaimer:  I've no professional affiliation, simply a very positive history.  

More Peace     Pin              (bold print for old eyes)

@pinthrift Interesting and thanks for sharing and just reinforces the other positive feedback on the value/performance of DH Labs cables.  BTW, how do you like the BAACH system?  Do you just use the Mac version?