Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi streaming

My question is simple…

If you have a very strong WiFi signal to your streamer and there are no signs of buffering are you giving up any sound quality?

I have a BluSound streamer to my Gustard DAC and stream Qobuz/Tidal 90% of time with no issues.  Would a hard lined Ethernet do anything to improve sound quality?  Hope my question is of value and makes sense.   


The general consensus

When it comes to the debate on WiFi vs ethernet for streaming, ethernet is arguably a better option for streaming the majority of the time. It provides you with a dedicated connection rather than using a WiFi router that multiple other devices can connect to and interfere with.







I tried WiFi streaming when I had the Matrix Audio i3 Mini Pro. That thing had so many connectivity options. I was surprised at how good the WiFi sounded. That is until it would fail and then it was a catastrophic failure and I had to do a DAC reboot or something along those lines.

I stuck with Ethernet streaming on that device and that never failed.


Depending on the streamer’s or DAC’s WiFi and Ethernet isolation, it is generally better to use WiFi unless you can connect a switch from a long Ethernet line and then connect a very good quality Ethernet cable for the last meter or two. Having a decent switch connected to that line ensures timing and packet integrity, and a good quality Ethernet cable maintains it. The switch could be a decent Cisco one - it does not have to be an EtherRegen or fancy $1K+ switch / reclocker, though the ones I’ve tried do work very well, and I own the SR UEF Switch myself, from which I replaced the EtherRegen. 

As for my setup, I actually use WiFi from my router to a Netgear Orbi satellite, then run a 1M DH Labs Reunion cable into the SR Ethernet Switch UEF. From there I run multiples of the same cable to each of my audio components that have an Ethernet input. 

I appreciate the responses and think I’m now convinced that if you have a great WiFi you do not need Ethernet.  I never had issues.  I think I’m sure my WiFi does

 lose any sound quality. It’s High speed and 25 feet away.  
thank  you 

@bobbyloans Given you are using a Bluesound node, I would say that you are correct that should not worry about it. While the Node is an incredible value for the price and I have owned multiple in the past, its built-in streamer does not produce the fidelity of dedicated higher-end streamers, and as such there’s no real sonic benefit of using wifi over ethernet or vice versa unless you are experiencing interference with one or the other. 

I can add another voice to this. IME, strong WiFi, if reliable, is a good platform for streaming. In fact, I even stream Qobuz through WiFi at the gym. It’s not perfect, but it’s rare there is an interruption.

At home, using an Auralic Aries G1 streamer, I’ve compared WiFi and Ethernet and found no difference in sound quality, no difference in reliability.

I use a wifi extender next to each of my system and connect via Ethernet cable to my streamer. I have outstanding sound in this way. See my system under my user ID.


I had did not have the solid connection or fidelity when I used to own an Aurlic Aries G2… but my two Aurender streamers work incredibly well this way. I know quite a few folks with +$100K or $200K systems that operate this way with outstanding results. I cannot say I layer in Ethernet cable and compared. On the other hand I have the best system (for my tastes) I have heard. Could it be better? Of course… would dedicated Ethernet improve it? I cannot say no.



I use a Netgear. But I would buy the same brand as your router. You can see mine in the photos of my main system. 



I used a Netgear extender for a while and it was adequate. However, when I replaced my AT&T router to Google Nest, I placed a point near my system and ran ethernet from it to my Node. Since then never a problem with buffering or audio dropouts.