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.

Thanks!

yoramguy1

Folks, so much good input!! Thank you all!  I will look into most of these suggestions.

One point to keep in mind:  Bypassing wifi altogether in my situation is not a practical solution.  I am pretty much stuck with wifi considering the amount of time, money and effort I am willing to invest in this.  I also heard of some issues and mixed results with powerline signal transmission, so, again, I am staying wireless.  I have had wireless streaming for years with no signal problems that I am aware of.  Of course I don't know what signal quality I'm missing, but my wife and I are quite musically discerning, we also listen to our Thorens/Shure turntable and our Sony ES SACD on the same system, and find our wifi streaming sound with the current streamer and DAC quite good, certainly on par with the CD player. 

The quest is for a good wifi router solution with obvious streaming and sound quality benefits in case the current Netgear ends up a brick.

 

Oh my God, so much technical stuff to deal with here.  And so much uncertainty as to whether it really makes a difference. What a mess.

I use a modem that's compatible with my cable TV system, netgear router, and an audio grade network switch, English electric eight. And some nice ethernet cable's and higher grade power cords.

What more can I freaking do. Keeping it simple is helpful as well.

OP, in response:

In general, I have been working on fine tuning my system since I bought it. 

It is my understanding that the switching wall warts put noise back in through our electrical system so getting rid of it was good.  The filters were inexpensive and yes, it sounds better.  I have interconnects shielded, better power cords also.  If you change just one of these things it might not sound much different but add it all up....

As far as a wired connection goes, it has to be better!  I think...  I am under the impression that WiFi has a limited band width and compression.  WiFi is more susceptible to signal loss.  In my case, stereo is in basement, internet upstairs.  I do not need an extender.  And yes, you can just keep adding, changing, tweeking, some of us like that, are OCD or never satisfied.  Good luck

Thank you, @daledeee1 !  Indeed, OCD and never satisfied can be potentially joy robbing so I am trying to avoid it.  For the time being it will be wifi - that's a hard constraint for now.  I may be trying 2 different wifi solutions, a "conventional" powerful router and a mesh system if my Netgear ends up a brick and see what works, or rather what doesn't.  Had my lowly Netgear R6400v2 not "locked up" I wouldn't have started this thread...

Most recently I have spent my energy and some funds on acoustic improvements to the listening space with HUGE bang for the buck, but that's for another thread...

P.S., to all the good folks here, please narrow/tweak your recommendations if possible to wireless solutions only. I have no easy way or desire to run a cable from my router to my streamer or use powerline - I understand this may be presenting a tradeoff but it is a hard limitation. I may have not stated this explicitly enough in my original post, and for that I apologize.

In system engineering this is called "optimization under constraints". :-)

Thanks!