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.



+ 1 @soix

Makes a great point. I was streaming wifi with good reception from an rpi based Mercury streamer. Tried a fairly cheap TP link extender (set to client during setup) with Ethernet cable and noticed a serious improvement. And the wifi on the rpi4 is pretty outstanding as it is. Not planning on going back to wifi anytime soon. 

My cable modem was old according to tech support..  My router was 5 years old. I went to the cable office.  They gave me a brand new router/modem combo and it came with a linear power supply.  So I also got rid of the wall wart that came with the router.  At the same time I added a DX Engineering EFI/RF filters, one on each end of the ethernet cable to the streamer.  These two changes helped sound staging and clarity. 

I replaced my Orbi satellite power supply (connected to my streamer) with an IFI iPower elite PS, and it did improve the sound. It improved the sound more than a “audiophile” Ethernet cable in my system. 


Go hard wired to your streamer.  I hooked mine up wireless while I worked out how to run a wire.  I ended up letting it go much longer than I should have and when I finally did hook up a wire it was one of thsoe "wow" events.  If you have any doubt, buy a wire whatever length you need from amazon for less than $20 and run it across the floor for a test session.  You will never go back to wireless.


Folks, thanks a bunch for all the great input:

@yage :  Ooops, thanks.  Not sure how to go about it but will try.

@soix and @riccitone :  Interesting!  But how/why does an extender help? It itself is getting the signal on wifi. I've had good signal strength and never any buffering with the Netgear until the firmware issue.  I intend to either fix it or replace it with a better one, so would there be any gain from an extender?

@audioman58 :  How/why a combined modem+router would be better than separate devices in terms of sound quality, or is it just to save money (not bad in itself)?

@dougthebiker & @daledeee1 vs. @yage :  Interesting!  So... looks like two of you are stating that sound quality (e.g., staging and clarify) can be influenced in the digital stage (other than outright failures), while I believe @yage has stated that it cannot other than outright failures .  Can y'all please explain?

Thanks again!