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.



Naturally trust your ears with your set up. Out here in this top secret location with the equipment in house once my $19 router was removed the sound improved. Anything that reduces noise helps. Digital is prone to noise. 

I just got the Eero MAX 7 fed y 2 Gig fibre from my local provider.

In the process of upgrading my switch and cat wires.

I have my whole EtherRegen rig for sale on Agon. I got the Jcat suite chasing the nuance. Some folks take cruises and some like audio hopscotch. I never have been on a cruise. I’ve never seen a purple cow…….

The Etherregen benefits more from the clock than the PSU in my experience. Both though have a meaningful impact



Thanks very much. I suspected an LPS would darken the background, at minimum. Did you explore the effectiveness of the PSU without the clock, and the clock without the PSU?


Sure there’s no need……But it did sound better with my rig. Better means blacker AKA less noise, clearer . YMMV




I just picked up an uptone audio etherregen. Uptone claims there is no need for an LPS with it. Can you elaborate on your experience with the after dark PSU and clock with your etherregen?

@yoramguy1 I recently had my ISP install the most recent router they have available for their customers: Calix. I was surprised to see and hear significant improvements in the video and audio performance on my television and the audio delivered from my Aurender streamer. I had no expectation that the router would affect system performance at all, let alone so significantly.

For reasons not worth going into here, the Calix does not work for me in my current home. So, having observed that their router made an obvious and easily detectable difference in the delivery of audio and video information, I decided to buy three different routers to determine which offered the best performance for me in my home and with my system: Eero 6 mesh, tp-link axe5400 mesh, and tp-link axe7800 gaming router. All three resolved the technical problem I had with the Calix, but their handling of audio and video differed significantly. Without belaboring the point with too much detail, the two mesh systems’ performance were approximately equal to that of the Calix. But, the TP link gaming router delivered significantly better audio and video services than any of the other three. At the $159 Black Friday price, it was one of the cheapest, yet effective tweaks I’ve made to my system in years. I highly recommend it.

Pulling the trigger on Syphony I/O Ethernet upgrade from Add-Powr today. Their power conditioners work great and has 30 day return policy. Will post a review ASAP:


Hi @yoramguy1,  Lots of ideas huh?  I installed the Eero Mesh Pro 6 Wireless Router system in my home about a year ago.  Simple and powerful wifi.  Three in my kit for my home.  One needs hardwired to router, the others can be or not.

Also, Auralic Streamers are known for their wifi reception and some say wifi on an Auralic is better than wired.  I use my Aries G2.1 wired, but it sets up with wifi.

I run two other wireless Roon endpoints in MBR and MBath and they work fine.

I have not upgraded my modem in years (Verizon Fios).  Good luck!

As easy as just upgrade the good power supply on the router will do. (iFi iPower-X)

99% of the home routers available today will be more than adequate for streaming music, as long as your carrier service is at least 10-15 mbits/sec.  Other than that, they will not make a difference.

Go with a slightly older router (11N or 11AC) instead of 11AX  or above.  The software stability is bound to be better since those versions are much simpler.

Also, for better penetration, use 2.4G instead of 5G.  You are more likely to get more interference but if you dedicate one band (basically do not use auto if you can) to streaming and push everything else working on 2.4G to the furthest away band, you will also minimize your interference.


@sns , thanks!  Re #3, for sure longer term listening helps to confirm whether you are satisfied or not with the change, however I found that only very quick back-to-back-to back-to back blind comparison can point out subtle differences.  Our memory just isn't good enough to retain sound subtleties.

I have friends who have experienced audio benefit getting a linear power supply on their wifi router. I’ve bought a dual 12v lps from Aliexpress for around $100 landed.

Run my modem and router with it.

Have read some who have two wifi routers. One for their audio streaming. Another for everything else in the house.

Took the advice of others, and used wifi into an extender. This work well; better than wifi on its own.

I’m thinking of upgrading my wifi router to a Fidelizer Airstream in the new year. 

@yoramguy1 No. 6 is certainly case with optimal streaming. I appreciate your perspectives on all  other points. I differ from No. 3 in that longer term listening is final arbiter for me.

P.S., as I had posted, I'm getting consistently > 350 mbps at my desktop via wifi, and have never had audio buffering, so no speed issues.

@mendef , if you follow the thread you will discover that the router question had been resolved. I have successfully factory-reset my trusty Netgear AC1750 R6400v2 and it works seamlessly in both wifi and ethernet hi-res audio (Qobuz 192kHz) streaming as before.

My experience with wifi vs. ethernet (in audio) is the same as yours.

If you don't need mesh wifi, you don't need to buy it. The router ought to be fine for a smaller area. I ran a cable out of the window for about 30' between my router and computer and honestly, when I'm wireless, it is just about as fast and reliable. 

Can do a Speedtest on your computer to compare.

Hi Guys,

More power to y'all.  I'm not preaching, honestly... Please keep doing what you're doing!!

My subtle sound quality perception may not be as refined as some of you, although folks say that I do have a very musical ear (nothing I did to earn it)...

My approach to audio is quite simple:

1.  It needs to sound really good to me.  I know when it does and when it doesn't, and why.

2.  It needs to make sense in the context of our discretionary funds and other hobbies and pastimes.

3.  If an improvement is not patently and immediately obvious to my ears, or the upfront technical rationale not convincing to my mind (e.g., how exactly digital bits get changed and how exactly it affects the sound), I conduct a controlled, fully blind evaluation, such as in this case.  This requires a trusted and audio-interested helper -- a spouse, a friend etc.  You'd be surprised by some of the results of true blind evaluations. I certainly was in a few instances.

4.  If I feel that I need improvement in a certain aspect of sound, I apply the Pareto approach:  What is the single element which is likely to provide the most improvement at a reasonable cost.  If that does not bring about all the desired improvement, what is the next one, etc.

5.  I don't pay for what I don't hear, however sexy the story or the equipment.

6.  I appreciate that in theory there may be 20 very subtle improvements coming from 20 different areas, of which each one alone I cannot detect, but when combined together vs. the starting point I would hear improvement.  I guess that would be my loss, as I am not hardcore enough to chase them all on the premise that maybe at the end I will reap the rewards...


Wifi does have the advantage of total galvanic isolation, but then we know fiber has that advantage as well. Beyond that no advantages, only disadvantages. Certainly there may be less air borne EMI/RFI in rural settings, but still have issue of self generated this within the wifi capable and using devices.


Getting entire network optimized is critical for getting rid of that last bit of digital signature in an otherwise optimized streaming setup. Correct timing, lowest possible jitter is an absolute necessity for analog or analog like sound quality from streams and/or cd rips.


in areas that aren’t densely populated @yoramguy1 is entitled to that view on a well implemented router connection. Wifi is subject to EMI/RFI And ground level noise which may well not be present in a rural setting

@yoramguy1 is still preaching that wi fi is as good as a hard connection that's pretty funny. I think you might want to give up. 

@carslbad - "I use a Pangea power cable on my Festool."

You should consider an all silver power cord.  I have noticed an amazing difference when you can utilize both battery activation of the silver power cable shield (like Audioquest’s DBS), as well as using a linear power supply for your router.

Outstanding routing. :)

I'll add for those with cable ISP (internet service provider), have ISP move modem to listening room, best solution for long ethernet cable runs. If can't move modem, do fiber media conversion close to modem, fiber better than ethernet for long runs.


Another liability of wifi is wifi capable devices actually running wifi are likely the greatest emitter in home of emi in form of rfi. I have Trifield meter and wifi along with transformers is huge emitter. These devices are being bathed/contaminated in huge amounts of rfi, very bad for noise, and noise is enemy of sound quality in high end streaming.


Even the modem itself may be a liability. The best modems are those with external power supplies, which should then be powered via LPS vs supplied SMPS wall wart power supply. Get rid of telephony, also contaminates  internet feed, no telephone connection on modem, get separate telephone modem from ISP. Finally, get Broadcomm chip modem, lower jitter vs Intel chip modems. This individual actually has measured jitter  in modems,


Finally, network devices like the Network Acoustics Muon reportedly greatly effective, my new streamer uses JCAT NET XE card, this powered with it's own dedicated LPS,  which performs same or similar function, well worth it!

I don't expect to ever hear any of the things you mention as a function of digital bits being somehow altered in such subtle ways.

I can only relate my own experience using wifi, various length and quality ethernet cables, fiber cable, coax cable. Best for me, longer coax vs long ethernet from cable box, quality short runs of ethernet cable, fiber post server. LPS on router also important, quality of ac feeding router also important. My system resolving enough to hear all these changes.


I cannot tell you at what minimal level of latency sound quality impacted. I can tell you my new custom streamer with enterprise level components hand picked for lowest latency sounds far more natural, analog like than previous streamers with higher level of latency. Latency affects timing, timing affects sound staging, imaging, flow. I can only state my streaming setup is really special in  regards these  aspects of sound. Now the equal of my vinyl setup in sense of ease, refinement, revelatory is the adjective I've been using since installation of new streamer. I'm sure JCAT Optimo ATX LPS, first and only full LPS for Windows motherboard also has role in providing this level of sound.


I'd suggest reading Ed Meitner' of EMM Labs take on jitter and it's affects on sound quality.

@sns :

1. As reported, we cannot detect any difference in sound between our wifi and our 50’ ethernet cable. We invite you to stop by and subject yourself to the same blind tests we ran and see if you can hear any difference. I will bet that you won’t hear any.

2. Latency in copper is about 5 nano sec/m, so with our cable it would be about 75 nano sec. If you treat that latency as 1/2 period, you get a frequency of about 6.7 MHz. Good luck hearing 75 nano secs or 6.7 MHz.

3. How does latency affect sound? So what if the sound is delayed 75 nano secs? What about the latency between the Qobuz or Spotify server and your router? What about the latencies (phase shifts) in the DAC, preamp and amp?

4. How does jitter sound like? What aspect of the sound does it affect and how?

@yoramguy1 Ethernet has lower latency vs wifi, low latency good for jitter. Weakness of your setup is long ethernet cable, not good for latency. I've found both length and quality of ethernet cable matters, to the point I relocated my router very close to my system.

Factual correction for the record (not that it affected the outcome):  The CAT 6 cable we used in the evaluation and I subsequently hardwired is 50' long, not 30' (got it mixed up with my bass guitar cable).

@ghdprentice , thanks!

I actually got sucked now (really for no good reason!) into "hardwiring" the ethernet cable through the crawl space.  Quite a PITA fishing it through 3 different places, but I figured I already have the cable, have the time, and have the poor judgment (and twisted urge?) to proceed with the challenge....

We may be hearing very slight improvement with our turntable, but definitely none with our Sony ES SACD player over wifi.

Like you, I resisted this, for 10 years in our case ever since we moved here.  Again, we have never had an issue or the need to do this.  Needless to say, I am not proceeding to invest in an audiophile grade switch...  :-)




Cool. That was great of you to spend the time to do that! Excellent data point. My partner has better hearing than I, although she cannot describe differences. She can very much hear minute differences.

Running cable in my house would be a big thing, which I have resisted… for about 20 years. So I have had to accept that my streaming sounding as good as my vinyl was indirect evidence of my Netgear Router / extender / streamer made up for direct cabling.


Hi guys,

Well, I broke down under the overwhelming peer pressure and succumbed to the ethernet gospel.  Did exactly as @nagel suggested -- got a high rated 30' CAT 6 cable off Amazon and ran it along the floor, from the router to the streamer.

My wife and I decided to evaluate it completely blind.

Our listening space is our living room, and the component rack is behind a wall in the study.
My wife has a very refined musical ear and sharper hearing than mine, and like me has been into music and good audio for decades, so she was the evaluator.
I proceeded to unplug and plug (or not...) the ethernet cable from/into the streamer and replay each track at least 3 times in quick succession with blind changes in between (and at times no changes for verification).  We did not touch the volume or any other controls throughout the evaluation. I had my router admin page open on my computer in the study to confirm each time after plugging in that the connection indeed switched from wifi back to wired.
My wife could not see what I was doing and I never told her.  She remained seated in the optimal listening spot in the living room.
I marked the track, setting (wired or wifi) and her feedback on a sheet in the study.
We repeated this for four hi-res Qobuz tracks which we know very well and which cover the important audio aspects - human voice, orchestra, harmonics, percussion, bass, sound stage, dynamic range, etc.

The outcome:  Nothing.  She could not tell any difference after any change with any track.  I 100% agreed with her assessment but we did not communicate during the evaluation and I recused myself since my experience was not blind.

Disclaimer:  We have very few devices sharing 2.4 GHz bandwidth with the streamer, we do not live in a high density area, and our internet download speed is consistently around 350 mbps or better, so our wifi traffic is not challenged. Hence, "your results may vary"... although I have serious doubts.

In closing, no one so far has been able to provide me with a clear logical explanation for a potential mechanism which alters bits in wifi in a manner which results in stuff like less rich tonality, narrower sound stage, reduced frequency response, increased noise floor and all the rest of it compared to Ethernet.  (I am not arguing about drops and buffering if your wifi is too crowded, but these are discrete events, not a continuous effect on sound quality.)

Many thanks to y'all for making this a very lively and informative thread!


Let us know what you try and how it works. Get the latest spec’d wifi and avoid mesh if possible. It’s just wireless feeding wireless so it would be worse. The client side will need to be upgraded if it doesn’t support the latest wifi. Keep in mind that you don’t need to have your wifi AP located where the router is. Buy another AP and locate it as close to your system as you can, You’ll need a wired connection or you’re back to using mesh. All things are possible if you want them badly enough. You might buy or borrow a long ethernet patch cable and run it along the floor just to see what you’re missing. +1 etherregen and +1 to teknorob23’s setup, but I can clearly hear things upstream. I don’t have clock for the ER yet but that is planned.

As to why it works, it must be noise and jitter and multiple types of each.

@jerryg123 , thank you. That's a pretty good article.  What I'm missing is an explanation exactly how the power supply and switching affects the audio stream sound quality in the digital stage (switch and streamer).  What is the mechanism.  The signal is still bits, so what happens to them, and what control or error checking, if any, is occurring in this stage.  Anyway thanks again.


Thanks, @yoramguy1 as I think this is a well-accepted power supply issue where different hardware benefits in an audio system.

With the 15v unit, I don’t even run it technically off the battery alone. I have it plugged in and the results are the same.

Oddly, the combo router/modem cost me far less buying the used Motorola. But the benefits are definitely tangible and noticeable in my system. Previously, another Motorola connected to a Richard Gray Power Company RGPC 600 RM Pro Power Conditioner caught my attention with some improvement when I tried connecting it.

But the router connected to an LPS-type battery is better in my system so I go that way first.

In my understanding, a digital signal (defined by a stream of binary bits) can be distorted in one of two ways ("failure modes"):  a) a "high bit" or "1" is read as a "low bit" or 0 or vice versa, and b) the timing of the bits is unsteady or fluctuating.

In order to prevent failure mode a) the bit stream includes checksum bits which are verified and in case of error the packet is either corrected or rejected which causes buffering or a drop, not a distortion (amplitude, phase, harmonic) of the sound.

The way to minimize failure mode b), which is also called jitter, is to use good clocks and power supplies.

With careful setup of my wifi network I am not experiencing failure mode a).

The reason for my original post was the potential to minimize failure mode b), the current extent of which I am not able to discern without hard comparison. I am open to practical and cost effective (not pie in the sky) suggestions that target potential jitter with an approach that I can understand.  The battery concept proposed by @romanesq makes some sense in this regard.

Please note that once we move to the DAC and analog stages it's a different story.


OP, inliers & outliers,

Garbage in….Garbage out.

Just as lamp cord for speaker connections is poor so is the entire Ethernet chain if not treated accordingly. Gussy that up and reap the rewards.

Here is a simple tweak: get some Black Ravioli footers under your router and a VPI brick on top. Use a $100 Chinese LPS. If you feel rich, get an Acoustic Revive Ethernet filter on top.

In remote areas where there aren‘t too many networks competing for bandwidth wireless can work very well without some of the vagaries of wired connections. In an urban setting, interference however tends to be too high.,What definitely doesn‘t work are mainsborne range extenders.for wifi.