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.



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". :-)


I use a Netgear ACxxxx… around $300 and a cheap Net gear wall wart extender… into which I plug my Aurender W20SE. From this I get performance at the same level as my $45K turntable and Phonostage. 

My belief is that ultimately your streamer is most responsible for the output you get. If you get a budget streamer, then fiddling with the router and connections can help.


I am aware of several +$150K systems operating on $59 extenders that provide world class sound. So, my recommendation is to put effort and money into the streamer and leave fiddling to folks that enjoy fiddling with networks. I spent 40 years in IT… I’m tired of trying to make networks work correctly. Let the streamer cashe and isolate.