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.



Hey, FuzzTone!  Thanks for the quick and helpful reply!

How beneficial is the mesh feature if the house is not very large? (currently not using mesh).

Rationally speaking, routers and switches have no effect on sound quality; they just help move bits from point A to B. Think about it - Qobuz, Tidal and other streaming services aren't using special 'audiophile' routers / switches to deliver audio. As long as you're getting the data intact, you're good to go.


Have you looked into nmrpflash?


There's also an 'unbricking' guide that's related to dd-wrt, but it may give you some ideas - link.

And thank you, @yage !  And thank you also for the links!  No, I have not looked into unbricking etc...  Fascinating stuff but not sure I'm up to diving into it. On the other hand, if the router is a brick the worst is buying a new one, which obviously I'm mentally getting prepared for...

My understanding of digital signal transmission and processing is very limited but I read/heard about bit error issues and clock accuracy issues.  I guess how the data is sent is one thing (and do we know exactly what equipment they use?) and how it is being received and processed is another, isn't it?

Thanks again!  My current plan is to order a new router from Amazon Prime (as to which one I'm soliciting opinions here).  Once it arrived, try a hard-reset of the Netgear.  If successful, send the new one back.  if not, set up the new one and take the Netgear to the electronics recycling pile.

I would recommend the Add-Powr Symphony I/O, for more info check their website.

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.

Thank you, @yage !  I ran the 'netstat -s' command and I see a bunch of lines in the TCP section but no '... discarded for bad checksum'.  What segment of time does this command cover?

For whatever it's worth, in the UTP section I get:

    396308 datagrams received
        0 with incomplete header
        0 with bad data length field
        0 with bad checksum
        1 with no checksum
        330384 checksummed in software
            246184 datagrams (53642392 bytes) over IPv4
            84200 datagrams (18592713 bytes) over IPv6
        351 dropped due to no socket
        80576 broadcast/multicast datagrams undelivered
        0 time multicast source filter matched
        36642 dropped due to full socket buffers
        0 not for hashed pcb
        278739 delivered
    130000 datagrams output
        138955 checksummed in software
            107355 datagrams (38385652 bytes) over IPv4
            31600 datagrams (6833860 bytes) over IPv6

Have no clue what all this means....


To @soix :

Magna Mano Ultra LMS streamer
Sony SCD-XA5400ES CD/SACD player
Thorens TD 166 MkII turntable w/ Shure V15VxMR and JICO stylus

Parallel stereo systems playing together in same room from common source:

System A:
Bryston BP-25 preamp
Bryston 4B SST amp
JBL L150A speakers

System B:
NAD C165BEE preamp (and overall source selector)
NAD C272 amp
Magneplanar MG1.6/QR speakers

Pretty kooky, huh?

I would first order a new one from Amazon or Best Buy before I tried a factory reset.

Good, compare, keep or return new one.

Bad, new one at your fingertips!


It appears those are network stats for UDP (user datagram protocol). It's another protocol that's used in conjunction with IP, usually for applications that don't require reliable data transmission. The TCP section should be the first displayed. You can try the command 'netstat -s | less'. The vertical line before less is the pipe character (hold shift and press the backslash key). You can now scroll through the output with arrow or pgup / pgdn keys. Here's an example of output for the TCP section when I run netstat -s as root on my Mac (output truncated for length):

        6094285 packets received
                5166105 packets (3033536317 byte) received in-sequence
                3831 completely duplicate packets (2903268 bytes)
                103 old duplicate packets
                0 received packet dropped due to low memory
                32 packets with some dup. data (11212 bytes duped)
                589 packets received after close
                47 bad resets
                0 discarded for bad checksum

Here's the columns of output of netstat -i for my wi-fi adapter showing Ethernet stats:

Ipkts       Ierrs    Opkts       Oerrs  
6697785     0        6257972     0

Ierrs shows how many errors the wi-fi adapter encountered out of the number under Ipkts received.


@yage , thanks!  Here is the tcp dump:

    0 packet sent
        0 data packet (0 byte)
        0 data packet (0 byte) retransmitted
        0 resend initiated by MTU discovery
        0 ack-only packet (0 delayed)
        0 URG only packet
        0 window probe packet
        0 window update packet
        0 control packet
        0 data packet sent after flow control
        0 challenge ACK sent due to unexpected SYN
        0 challenge ACK sent due to unexpected RST
        0 checksummed in software
            0 segment (0 byte) over IPv4
            0 segment (0 byte) over IPv6
    0 packet received
        0 ack (for 0 byte)
        0 duplicate ack
        0 ack for unsent data
        0 packet (0 byte) received in-sequence
        0 completely duplicate packet (0 byte)
        0 old duplicate packet
        0 received packet dropped due to low memory
        0 packet with some dup. data (0 byte duped)
        0 out-of-order packet (0 byte)
        0 packet (0 byte) of data after window
        0 window probe
        0 window update packet
        0 packet recovered after loss
        0 packet received after close
        0 bad reset
        0 discarded for bad checksum
        0 checksummed in software
            0 segment (0 byte) over IPv4
            0 segment (0 byte) over IPv6
        0 discarded for bad header offset field
        0 discarded because packet too short
    0 connection request
    0 connection accept
    0 bad connection attempt
    0 listen queue overflow
    0 connection established (including accepts)
    0 connection closed (including 0 drop)
        0 connection updated cached RTT on close
        0 connection updated cached RTT variance on close
        0 connection updated cached ssthresh on close
        0 connection initialized RTT from route cache
        0 connection initialized RTT variance from route cache
        0 connection initialized ssthresh from route cache
    0 embryonic connection dropped
    0 segment updated rtt (of 0 attempt)
    0 retransmit timeout
        0 connection dropped by rexmit timeout
        0 connection dropped after retransmitting FIN
        0 unnecessary packet retransmissions
    0 persist timeout
        0 connection dropped by persist timeout
    0 keepalive timeout
        0 keepalive probe sent
        0 connection dropped by keepalive
        0 connection dropped by keepalive offload
    0 correct ACK header prediction
    0 correct data packet header prediction
    0 SACK recovery episode
    0 segment rexmit in SACK recovery episodes
    0 byte rexmit in SACK recovery episodes
    0 SACK option (SACK blocks) received
    0 SACK option (SACK blocks) sent
    0 SACK scoreboard overflow
    0 limited transmit done
    0 early retransmit done
    0 time cumulative ack advanced along with SACK
    0 probe timeout
        0 time retransmit timeout triggered after probe
        0 time probe packets were sent for an interface
        0 time couldn't send probe packets for an interface
        0 time fast recovery after tail loss
        0 time recovered last packet
        0 SACK based rescue retransmit
    0 client connection attempted to negotiate ECN
        0 client connection successfully negotiated ECN
        0 time graceful fallback to Non-ECN connection
        0 time lost ECN negotiating SYN, followed by retransmission
        0 server connection attempted to negotiate ECN
        0 server connection successfully negotiated ECN
        0 time lost ECN negotiating SYN-ACK, followed by retransmission
        0 time received congestion experienced (CE) notification
        0 time CWR was sent in response to ECE
        0 time sent ECE notification
        0 connection received CE atleast once
        0 connection received ECE atleast once
        0 connection using ECN have seen packet loss but no CE
        0 connection using ECN have seen packet loss and CE
        0 connection using ECN received CE but no packet loss
        0 connection fell back to non-ECN due to SYN-loss
        0 connection fell back to non-ECN due to reordering
        0 connection fell back to non-ECN due to excessive CE-markings
        0 connection fell back caused by connection drop due to RST
        0 connection fell back due to drop after multiple retransmits
        0 connection fell back due to RST after SYN
    0 time packet reordering was detected on a connection
        0 time transmitted packets were reordered
        0 time fast recovery was delayed to handle reordering
        0 time retransmission was avoided by delaying recovery
        0 retransmission not needed
    0 retransmission due to tail loss
    0 time DSACK option was sent
        0 time DSACK option was received
        0 time DSACK was disabled on a connection
        0 time recovered from bad retransmission using DSACK
        0 time ignored DSACK due to ack loss
        0 time ignored old DSACK options
    0 time PMTU Blackhole detection, size reverted
    0 connection were dropped after long sleep
    0 connection had stretch ack algorithm disabled
    0 time a TFO-cookie has been announced
    0 SYN with data and a valid TFO-cookie have been received
    0 SYN with TFO-cookie-request received
    0 time an invalid TFO-cookie has been received
    0 time we requested a TFO-cookie
        0 time the peer announced a TFO-cookie
    0 time we combined SYN with data and a TFO-cookie
        0 time our SYN with data has been acknowledged
    0 time a connection-attempt with TFO fell back to regular TCP
    0 time a TFO-connection blackhole'd
    0 time a TFO-cookie we sent was wrong
    0 time did not received a TFO-cookie we asked for
    0 time TFO got disabled due to heuristicsn
    0 time TFO got blackholed in the sending direction
    0 time maximum segment size was changed to default
    0 time maximum segment size was changed to medium
    0 time maximum segment size was changed to low
    0 timer drift less or equal to 1 ms
    0 timer drift less or equal to 10 ms
    0 timer drift less or equal to 20 ms
    0 timer drift less or equal to 50 ms
    0 timer drift less or equal to 100 ms
    0 timer drift less or equal to 200 ms
    0 timer drift less or equal to 500 ms
    0 timer drift less or equal to 1000 ms
    0 timer drift greater than to 1000 ms

All zeroes.  Is that good or bad?? 😳

You are far better off with a combo modem,router this is much faster having a 3.1 modem vs the obsolete 3.0 ,it is much faster without question my speed doubled ,

and wifi signal Excellent , with coupon at Amazon under$250  could not be happier.

Motorola MG8702 | DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem + Wi-Fi Router (High Speed Combo) with Intelligent Power Boost | AC3200 Wi-Fi Speed | Approved for Comcast Xfinity, Cox, and Charter Spectrum

Audio streaming does not need much speed, a few hundred kilobits per second at most. The router can send tens or hundreds of megabits around the network. So you really need a lot of devices going at once before you have worries about an audio stream keeping up.

An old TP-Link Archer A8 serves my system just fine. Last I looked, under $100 in the U.S.



All zeroes is because you're not executing the command as root. You need to log in as an Administrator first. Then at the terminal execute 'sudo su' and type in the password. Finally execute netstat. That should get you the actual stats.


No need to post any more data dumps - just look at the line for discarded for bad checksum ('netstat -s -p tcp | grep checksum') and check your Ethernet stats (netstat -i).

I’d try a Wi-Fi extender like the TP-Link AC2600 MU-MIMO and run an Ethernet cable into your streamer from the extender rather than using Wi-Fi and see if that works.  If that doesn’t work, get a better router and stop having to deal with this crap and still use the extender cause you’ll still be better off than Wi-Fi.  Either way, you’re better off. 

The biggest improvement you can make - once you get some router working - is the UpTone Audio EtherRegen switch.  It requires an ethernet cable connection to your router.  It will give you one "clean" port out to your streamer/player.  It gets rid of all the garbage generated in your router and its power supply.

If you got anything above entry level stuff, you'll hear the difference in soundstage and clarity.


+ 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!

I us d to run multiple routers in bridge and wireless bridge mode throughout the house. I was getting 300-400Mbps wifi speeds at best and up to less than 1/2 those speeds in rooms without a router. I swapped the routers out for a tp-link decco wifi 6e mesh network. Instantly got almost 900Mb download speeds with much better coverage in all rooms. Also I’m using wifi 6e for the wireless backhaul.

I can’t tell you why an extender and Ethernet cable can help sonically yet as I’ve still got to get mine hooked up, but many experienced people here with very good setups say they sound better than Wi-Fi so I’m all in and it’s not all that expensive to do so why not?  But I’ve also had hookup issues with my streamer with Wi-Fi that apparently an extender/wired or direct-to-router connection solves, and if it sounds superior so much the better.  


It’s best to trust your own ears.

I think the UpTone Audio EtherRegen has a 30 day trial period.

If you can’t hear an improvement, you send it back and save $600!

By going with a combo of high quality and a 3.1 it’s much faster , and 1 less Ethernet cables instead of 3 only 2 ,since my cables are not cheap $2k for 2 

land yes sonicly a high quality Ethernet cable  youcan hear the difference for sure ,

land a good quality Ethernet hum like the uptone audio Ether regen.

question did you check you modem ? Most likely it isa older Obsolete 3.0  model

the 3.1 type is up to 10 x faster potentially.

@soix , thanks.  I guess in that case using a mesh network like a TP-Link Decco, as several folks are recommending, and connecting the streamer via cable to one of the nodes would be even better, no?

I think so. Look, if it doesn’t work just get another streamer and you’re done. I don’t like to fuss with this stuff and just wanna get to the simplest/best option, and this is what I’d do. I don’t think I’m using a mesh network cause I’ll just be using one tp-link AC2600 and don’t need any more nodes. Sad to say I don’t even know if it’s mesh, but it had good specs/ratings so that’s what I’m using but others might have better recommendations. BTW, the Ethernet cable makes a difference and I got a 1m Wireworld Starlight 8 for about $200 that seemed like a good compromise for performance/value.  Don’t cheap out on the Ethernet cable would ne my recommendation.  Sounds silly, but in streaming it’s clear that every piece matters a lot.  FWIW.

I use a ubiquity enterprise router where service comes into house then into the wall and then out feeding feeding into an EtherREGEN with an afterdark PSU and clock.

Once I replaced a cheap router and filtered the signal it made considerable difference. It required a shift in my thinking to recognize that the signal path via Ethernet is an integral critical component. 


Here’s what I’m using with Cat 8 cables, also bought on Amazon.  It’s been solid as a rock!

NETGEAR Nighthawk WiFi 6E Router (RAXE300) | AXE7800 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Speed (Up to 7.8Gbps) | New 6GHz Band | 8-Streams Cover up to 2,500 sq. ft, 40 Devices

NETGEAR Powerline adapter Kit, 2000 Mbps Wall-plug, 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports with Passthrough + Extra Outlet (PLP2000-100PAS)

@yoramguy1  I got frustrated with Netgear products a couple of years ago and moved all of my network equipment to Synology. I had experience with them from my NAS. It has been a flawless experience the interface and performance has been exactly on point. I run one router and two mesh access points with no issues in sound quality while streaming, nor with video.  Cost for the products is very reasonable as well.  Check them out when considering products. 

I wouldnt worry too much about the router as its being fed noise from all over your network. I would concentrate on isolating your streamer/hifi from the network, first with a dedicated switch ideally with an uprated quiet PSU. This will act as buffer reclocking and transmitting a fresh signal, removing a large amount of the high frequency interference from the ethernet signal, from there run the best ethernet cable you can afford to the streamer. You can also add a passive filter in here which would clean up the signal before you reach streamer.

Router > Standard ethernet cable > Switch with quiet psu > your best ethernet cable > Passive ethernet filter > Streamer 

You can upgrade the router too, but anything happening before the switch is likely to have far more subtle effect on SQ.  I would add a simple switch D-link DGS105 with an ifi ipower PSU, both can be bought and returned from amazon for $70 and this should give you a noticeable improvement on its own, or atleast is very good risk-free way of experimenting and see if you like the results.

@yoramguy1, I use a $100 Calix Aspire CAT6 router that was provided by our cable company, and it does its job without any fuss. My point being that you don’t need a fancy router to stream music and watch football at the same time. What you do need to do as @teknorob23 suggested is to isolate your streamer from the network. And to that end I have two moderately priced network switches with their own iFi power supplies in cascade, or in sequence back to back as it were, a decent Ethernet cable between the two switches, and then a passive ENO Streaming filter before the signal ones to my music server. 

  To say that I was skeptical about even trying this type of setup would be a humongous understatement. But taking things slow and going step by step eventually convinced my brain that what it was hearing sounded much better than the music did before. 

@retiredfarmer I actually have a 1400 and a 1010 router. They are the best routers I own, puts my Bosch and my Porter Cables to shame. And you can use an upgraded power cord with them. 

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". :-)