Router for Audio Streaming

I have been streaming Pandora, Spotify and Qobuz through a wifi network streamer from a Netgear AC1750 R6400v2 router with no sound quality complaints.

Recently a router firmware update failed (a known issue with these) and as a result it is no longer accessible for administration.  It still seems to perform ok and accepts new devices however the network settings are "frozen" and I am unable to view device IP addresses or traffic, neither via desktop browser nor via the Nighthawk app.

I will try a factory reset but have read that quite often this does not work in these situations, so I started investigating getting a new router to be able to pull the trigger quickly if needed.

I heard/read that routers can make a difference in sound quality, beyond just being able to keep up with streaming with no buffering.  I'm wondering what router experience and recommendations folks have here for reliable audio streaming with superior sound quality at a reasonable price.



That's worrying about your router's upgrade failure.  Netgear have been fine for me so far, aside from the avaricious nature of their support and service add-ons. 

I have a Netgear Orbi mesh system, and it’s very reliable. The router has an ethernet cable to the ISP-supplied fibre modem, and I have more bandwidth than my entire street could make use of. The Orbi uses a dedicated 5Ghz backhaul to an Orbi satellite in my lounge which is physically connected to my streamer. The satellite has an iFi iPower Elite powering it. I can’t tell if this makes a huge difference, but some things are simply required if only to eliminate a possible source of noise.

Some would argue for ditching the wifi backhaul and therefore remove a source of noise. But, in reality, if have to use it.

No dropouts at all. Quite often the Innuos app struggles to find the server - cause unknown.

I have a decent ethernet cable on order (SotM). And hope to trial a decent fiber bridge, and the EtherRegen (or replacement)

There are several methods to monitor the performance of your network interfaces for bit errors.


On Windows, you can use the built-in Performance Monitor tool and add a counter for receive errors related to your network interface. Make sure to uncheck the processor utilization counter so it doesn't overlay the counter you added.


On Linux and macOS systems, you can type 'netstat -s' at a command prompt. On Linux, the line I look for is 'bad segments received' in the TCP section. On macOS, the relevant line is '... discarded for bad checksum'. (Note you will need to be root in order to view non-zero TCP stats on a Mac.) You can also use the 'ifconfig' command to see if there were any Ethernet receive errors (RX errors) as well.


Identifying bit errors by ear isn't all that tricky - if you hear ticks / pops / bursts of static, or have dropouts then the digital data is getting corrupted. You can find an example here - What does a bad USB (or other digital audio) cable sound like?

Also wanted to add that high levels of jitter (or low clock accuracy) in the network router / switch will manifest as bit errors, so looking at receive errors / bad segments should cover that aspect as well.