Mesh network versus a simple Wi-Fi extender

In anyone’s experience, does implementing a pricier Mesh network yield any sonic advantages to just using a good Wi-Fi extender and running a good Ethernet cable from that?  From people who have very good streamer setups it seems like using a simple but good Wi-Fi extender from TP-Link etc. is more than fine.  Thoughts?


Having been in the IT infrastructure industry for far too many decades, I'll drop a nugget of data. WiFi is wonderful and solves many problems. However, be it commercial or residential, WiFi has limitations. Mesh vs Extenders have pros and cons, but will have similar limitations. The more wifi devices connected to your network the greater the challenge. So if you have wifi devices like lights, speakers, TVs, appliances, etc. connected, they are all competing for bandwidth. Add to the mix laptops, phones, etc, which can have multiple connections, your bandwidth can quickly degrade to say 3 Mb per device. This all flows into your ISP gateway router which in most places will be sufficient. There will always be a bottleneck there but not a huge factor for WiFi. The more wifi devices the greater collisions of packets and reduced bandwidth. You will see drops, latency, interruptions of data. I run copper connections to the devices I demand the highest quality of. If you opt for Mesh, as long as you have copper connecting it to the gateway, you will see less issues. Similar to an access point connected to an AP controller and then the core network devices in a commercial space.

In short, if you want to avoid music drops completely, and you have lots of WiFi devices in your home, go with a copper connection. If you don't want or can not pull cable, Go with Mesh. If you have a small number of WiFi devices, say less than 25 devices, that are not big uses of bandwidth (say gaming consoles, TVs, etc.) Mesh or extenders are going to provide adequate bandwidth.  

Lots of interesting discussions on speed. But music streaming uses very little bandwidth and good streamers buffer or cache the files… so all you need is a trickle. My streamers work flawlessly when I am have had trouble loading a web page to my iPad.


I use a wired Ethernet cable to an wifi extender. I recently switched to mesh. No difference in sound quality. On my system I get vinyl quality sound from my main streamer.

I use the Netgear Orbi 960 Series Quad-Band WiFi 6E Mesh System, 10.8Gbps, 10 Gig Port, 2-pack and it works great. Excellent coverage over multiple level home. Both the main router and satellite are hardwired to the Internet. Their setup App was easy to use.

Please see Netgear ORBI link below:

my case I get a 10-20 meter LAN cable for modem to Wi-Fi router and place the router to a center spot for every one can get the best Wi-Fi signal, lastly I upgrade iFi iPower-X power supply on the router for the audio quality and better Wi-Fi range.