For wi-fi streamers--a discovery to increase wi-fi strength

It was previously reported in a thread here that putting a piece of aluminum foil  behind a router can increase wi-fi signal strength, and I verified this with the Bluesound app for my Bluesound Node streamer.

Today, because I was having some internet speed problems, I experimented with the orientation of the base router of my mesh network, and found this made a significant difference in the wi-fi signal strength, going from "Good" to "Excellent."

Then for the first time I added a piece of aluminum foil behind the extension router unit nearest my streamer, and that further improved the wi-fi signal strength from -48 dBm to -43 dBm, the best reading I've ever gotten with this mesh network.

Given that an "Excellent" reading is considered by Bluesound to be necessary for streaming hi-res files, this is an important consideration for those doing wi-fi streaming.  And perhaps some members who have been disappointed with wi-fi streaming didn't have adequate wi-fi signal strength.  I suspect the audible differences (at least with the Node streamer) lie in problems with dropouts and buffering rather than sound quality, but I'm not certain of that or whether that would be the case for all streamers.


I recommend placing an WiFi extender next to your streamer and running an Ethernet cable to that. WiFi receivers in streamers tend not to be very good. I have used WiFi streamers of much higher quality than yours and switched to a wall wart WiFi extender and got much better results. In fact both of my systems work off of WiFi extenders and work flawlessly when I can’t get a page to change on my iPad.

although I could run a 10-ft. cable from the mesh extension to the Node

Bingo!!!  That’s absolutely something you should try. As @ghdprentice mentioned, and whose streaming setup costs more than my entire system, I’d take his advice very seriously.  BTW, here’s an Ethernet cable that’s highly regarded here and won’t break the bank, and you can easily return it via Amazon if it doesn’t provide a meaningful improvement…

How many potentially significant upgrades cost like 50 bucks in this nutty hobby?  Just sayin’ and FWIW…

Agree that the more you can take WiFi out the equation, the better. WiFi can be a tricky to setup and troubleshoot in general. I can understand not wanting to run a 45 or 50ft Ethernet if it can be seen and you don’t like the aesthetics of that, but if you can run a cable, Ethernet is rated to over 300ft from a networking perspective and a good cable will likely give you better and more reliable performance.

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Many years ago I dived into "network playing" (streaming) with a Bluesound Node. I quickly abandoned wifi as soix’s solution (mesh router) was an incomparably better connection. When I moved the Node outside I grabbed another mesh node on eBay for it. Out in the shed the Bluesound could hardly connect via wifi, much worse than my $100 phone.

Try a tin foil hat.