Ethernet Switch- what's the point?

I run an Ethernet cable between my router (standard issue from Verizon) and my streaming transport. I note that some use an ethernet switch between between the router and streamer. Assuming I got that right, what is the point- what does a good switch do? I've been into audio since the 70's but when its comes to streaming, I'm definitely a newbie- 

Thanks all!


The type of switch usually talked about with regard to streaming is one that allows the musical bits through but not the electronic noise that comes along through your wifi system (cable into your home and wifi router).  Some switches offer galvanic isolation, others turn the electronic signal into light transmitted by Toslink cable.  The diehards use several of each kind of switch to get best results.

I'm sure someone who knows much more than me will chime in, but that's my basic understanding of what's going on.

Not really needed, but it can be a convenience feature. I have the Roon streamer, TV, Roku, etc. all 50’ away from my router, so the switch lets me run 1 cable (in-wall in this case) and hook up all my devices.

You'll never be able to convince me that an audiophile switch is worth it, but I do use an Ethernet isolator to reduce the chances of surges and induced noise.


I have a similar situation to you.

I assume you insert the Ethernet isolator after the  Ethernet switch in the cat 6 cable going to your streamer.

What isolator do you recommend, and should it be inserted nearer the switch, or nearer the router?

Hi @oldears - In my case due to the 50' run I'm more concerned with surge issues than noise.  The longer the Ethernet cable the more noise/chance of an EM induced surge pulse.  I put the isolator right before my home theater switch.

If I had more money I'd put one right before the streamer as well.

I do also run iFi power supplies for my streamer and DAC.