Supra Cat 8 Ethernet cable

HI All

I recently purchased a Supra Cat 8 ethernet cable to replace the stock cable to my bluesound node 2i after hearing rave reviews of the Supras.  However, the Supra sounded rather bright and clinical in my system. Plus side it has a lot of details,  sounds very clear and bass prodution was pretty good but just sounded very forward and bright over my stock ethernet cable.   Am using Klipsch 6000 f speakers,  an XTZ power amp and a Freya + preamp.

I have not run in the Supra fully yet, about 7 hours. Will it get better over time? Has anyone who has used Supra to your node 2i felt the same. Or do you have a different opinion? Appreciate your views. 


The main difference is that Cat 8, which is totally unnecessary for home audio, has a shield and metal connectors and potentially will transfer noise through its shielding. Cat 6 and 7 (MORE than enough) do not have that "feature" and will isolate one unit from another.

Many think that a little noise transferred over the grounding scheme can cause brightness, harshness, forwardness. It strikes me as a little odd that audiophiles rave about galvanic isolation for USB, where it costs a lot more, and then pay more for an Ethernet cable that defeats galvanic isolation. it’s almost like they think that whatever costs more must be better. I’m glad for you that at least you didn’t pay hundreds or thousands for it!

I suggest using a Cat 6 or 7 cable and not believing half of what you read on the Internet. Most of the review sites are just propagating nonsense, IMO. What qualifications do the reviewers really have? How good are their systems? Rooms? Ears? Who is holding them responsible? Why would they have less expectation bias (e.g.) than any other human being?

One old guy’s opinion.


@mike_in_nc  Thanks for the valuable advise. You make a lot of sense. Now I realise why my system sounds bright. Its quite a reality check cause I was reading most reviews and these  Supra Cat 8 cables were very well reviewed by most. But I didnt not come across the sheilding issue. Never knew ethernet cables could make such an impact on sound. I was intially  skeptical that I would experience any change  from upgraded  ethernet cables but was surprised how my system became rather bright. The ethernet cables do make a difference!  In my case, for the worse. Thankfully I didnt spend too much. Guess I learnt something.   Will look out for  a good cat 6 or 7 cable then.  Just bought a Gotham power chord for my node 2i. Hope that cheers me up!  Thank you for your very informative sharing. 

Supra are so so cables. Maybe consider a Furutech CAT 8 NCF or a WireWorld 8 CAT 8 Starlight. Both very reasonably priced, the Furutech being a tad warmer.

WireWorld 8 CAT 8 Platinum is excellent but very detailed and probably too bright for you.

Some thoughts and questions:

By what mechanism -- other than noise transfer -- could an Ethernet cable carrying packets make the eventual analog sound be warmer or brighter? Is this measurable? Detectable in a blind test? Persistent over time?

Would "a tad warmer" suit every recording? If not, wouldn’t it be more efficient to just buy a good equalizer that could be adjusted per recording?

How musically significant are differences among Ethernet cables, compared to other things one might do to improve sound with $275 or $600, like buy a bass trap or two, or acquire some very good Scotch, or spend a day finding the best position for one's speakers and the listening chair and then take the SO out for dinner?

Why should defeating the galvanic isolation of Cat 7 Ethernet be a good thing?


@mike_in_nc I find it difficult to assign a reason for sound signature with ethernet cables as well. In any case, can't say I've heard one. I can understand the cat 8 being inferior as it transfer noise via ground plane. On the other hand, cable itself more impervious to rfi, still can get in connectors.


In my ethernet cable experiments only heard differences in noise floor, I agree Supra only so, so. Settled on Audioquest Vodka, haven't bothered since.


By the way, many of us concerned with galvanic isolation of ethernet, a la fiber conversion or filters of various types.

The thing that I'm continually experiencing is that no matter if it's audio or video, it all makes a difference.

All digital cables have very low voltage vs say a loudspeaker cable 

250-300 hours to fully runin at least 150 hours to smooth out from my vast experiences.

Run the supra in for at least 100hrs. It’s a good cable, never sounded harsh or bright. I was using it for quiet some time until recently when I switched to Network Acoustics Eno streaming system which sounds more relaxed and refined. 

@lordmelton  Thanks for the options. As I am experimenting, dont wish  to invest too much as yet. Heard about the audioquest as well which apparently is good.  But it is expensive where I am located. Thinking of trying out some Blue Jeans ethernet cables perhaps. Seems cost effective and apparently some good feedback  so far.

@audioman58  Wow thats a long time for burn in. Am hoping for some smoothening with my Supras now with some burn in as I look for alternatives. 

@audphile1  Thanks for sharing. At least there is a ray of hope for me.  Good to hear it worked well in your system. Will run it in since I already bought it.

Been using it for a while. Better than stock cable that came with the computer. No brightness problems.

I would probably blame the speaker more than the cable but that's just me 🤔

Youhave to remember you are only using roughly 5 volts .

you can have your amplifier off ,just put your digital playing on repeat, or if streaming just put a bunch of music on and let play burnin willbe much quicker  this way .

Ethernet cabling has an effect on the performance of your system. Leakage currents and the radiation of the cable are the problems. When the shield is connected at both sides (in theory a good thing, when the shield is tied to the chassis and not the signal ground) like CAT 8 there is a possibility that leakage currents will start to flow between your components. The cure would be CAT 5/6,  some kind of galvanic isolation (medical network isolator/transformer), or using a floating shield. Floating shields have less shielding effectiveness, but have the advantage of not transporting current between components. The radiation can be controlled by putting ferrite clamps on the both endpoints of the cable. Or putting extra layers of (floating) shield around the cable covered in layers of heatshrink/teflon tape between them. (dual/triple/quad shielding). Quick and dirty fix.

@ram18 don’t get sucked into the cables game at this level.
Upgrade speakers and components instead for better ROI….just my opinion. 

There is a general theme being oft-repeated on the other audio forums I subscribe to. ( NOTE: I am not a network engineer professional, just another simple audio Joe…”.)

These are examples quoted directly from CAM that summarizes the two general important points.


(1) “ … A little tip, don’t ask for networking advice on a HiFi forum unless you want to be sold on the idea of overpriced and unnecessary equipment with no benefit. Any network engineer will tell you that a packet is a packet and if the received packet isn’t the same as the one sent it will be dropped. Gold plated audiophile grade marketing won’t change that…”

(2) “ … There are new online reviews coming up that are hands-on bakeoffs that weed the grain from the chaff….what matters is one thing: SHIELDING.



There are four caveats to consider for audio (note: there was little comment on video signal)

- The cable build with better upgraded shielding DID make an audio difference if you have the system with the resolution capabilities to discern the differences
- The cable connectors being kicked up to the $$$$ fancy ones did not make any difference
- Cable transmission loads - see below - category ratings
- If you are going to run them behind the walls, there is always the spectre of meeting fire code and choosing cables that meet code or run the risk of voiding your house insurance

The easiest way to tell Ethernet cables apart is to look at their category rating. The standards in use today start at category five (known colloquially as Cat 5), which was designed way back in 1999. Cables in this category can handle 100Mbits/sec connections, but they won’t support the full speed of a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) network. For that, you need Cat 5e, an enhanced version of Cat 5 that has better resistance to interference and crosstalk and can carry Gigabit traffic over a distance of up to 100m. These days, Cat 5e is the absolute minimum recommended buying, and even then, it’s worth paying the small extra for the step up to Cat 6.…”

“RE: For those of you that buy boutique Ethernet cables”

“ … Then you should understand there is a big difference between experts and users... Personally I take the experts word for it. When the expert says not only can you hear it but you can see it on an AP... I take his word for it lol... Sheesh you don’t even have to pay much for decent cables...Yes some cables are ridiculously priced but not all of them are…”


REVIEW:What causes audible differences in network cables

We round off our little investigation into network cables with a listening test and a clear conclusion. As promised we subjected the network plugs to a listening test and listened to three different configurations: shielding fixed on one side, shielding fixed on two sides and double shielded (and both sides connected). Do we hear differences? Well…. yes…!

Let’s clear up one myth: there is NO audible difference in network plugs. There is a difference in build quality, price and ease of installation. In short: it does make sense to invest in a good plug.

But let’s continue with the sound reproduction: as you know, we have installed everything from standard plugs to expensive Telegärtners. We tried all cables on the same switch (with an IFI power supply) and listened to the same system:
We did not notice any difference between the connectors. Sometimes we thought we heard something (think of a louder or sharper S-sound), but when we went back to the other connector, there was no difference. It is sometimes very complex to listen to this properly and to judge it honestly. But after hours of switching back and forth, we dare say that there is no difference in reproduction. In any case, we do not dare to take a bet in a blind test…

But where we do hear immediate differences – and continue to hear differences even when going back and forth – is the method of shielding.

We made three cables for this purpose: one cable with DeLock plugs and shielding fixed at one end. One cable with Delock plugs with the shielding fixed at both ends and finally the double shielded version with the nice sleeve. Also with the shielding on both sides (and Delock plugs).

What we observe almost immediately is that the version with the shielding fixed on both sides focuses better. The version with shielding on one side seems to play a bit larger, but that is not true: the effects in the song Perfect Life by Steven wilson are placed at the same spot in the room, but are more tightly framed with the cable where the shielding is fixed on both sides.

With voices, the same is true: it’s tighter in focus and also more stable between the speakers (if we move our heads back and forth, the voice stays in place better very odd).

Going to the double shielding we make another step. Again a bit more tightly focused, again a bit better framed. And with that a bit more calmness in the reproduction allowing details to surface a bit easier.

Clearly! For us it is clear where the differences come from: shielding, shielding, shielding.

And that is quite logical if you consider that a network cable is included in a digital chain. A chain that relies on clean energy to keep everything clocked tight. A chain that works with noise-levels of -140dB. A chain where small deviations are immediately audible in staging, focus and smoothness.

This also explains why fiber networks work so well as a first upgrade: you immediately shut out a lot of misery by creating a barrier through which electrical energy cannot pass. And thus no electrical noise (common mode in particular).

To conclude
Can you hear differences between network cables? Yes… definitely. Our samples have shown that. And about the real cables you can buy at the store… pay particular attention to what the manufacturer has done in terms of shielding. We would still leave the unshielded versions. Especially after this experience. But anyway: try it yourself at home!



For those who experienced good audio over Supra 8 cat 8, did you use it with your streamers? 

@audphile1 Sound advice indeed!  Am quite happy with my system but as the audiophile itch goes, looking for incremental changes, where possible;)

+1, @audphile1 …Let the Supra break-in for 100 hours before you make any more changes! 

Just leave your digital on repeat or load up music on Roon or whatever to play 

24-7 Keith Amp,preamp off only digital has to be on I do this with new cables for 10 days huge difference after say 150 hours then gets better still 100 hours further.

@ram18 ex-Supra Cat8 user here too; no brightness issues; shielded Cat6a from router to ethernet to fibre optic/fibre optic to ethernet converters. - Supra Cat8 to Node. Agree with others, let it play on loop for a good number of hours. 

No, I don't use a streamer, just a computer. My ear is sensitive to all kinds of digital wrongs so I would've heard it. I don't quite remember about breaking it in, it was alright from the beginning and I bought it new.

In my case, signal goes from computer to a not too bad Burson Dac via Wywires Silver USB cable. Wywires Silver power cord on the Dac. Grado RS1 headphones.


I am running the Supra Cat 8b cable with  my streamer left on playing a bunch of music with my amps off.  Will have it running a day or two. Hope this helps. Thanks for your suggestions.

I ran my Supra Cat 8 in for a fortnight. No noticeable brightness.

Replacing with TWL Freedom, and will use it to my TV for movies.

I choose Supra Cat8 for its build quality, at 50 bucks per meter, I thought it was a reasonable upgrade. At the time I was using a Node2i with a ARC dac, can’t say for certain if there was definitive improvement over the stock Cat5, at best there was a better sense of clarity? I did recently play with Monoprice Cat8 from Amazon Prime, which is a really well made cable (heavier gauge than Supra). I didn’t detect a difference between the Supra and Monoprice. admittedly, I suck at picking out micro nuances so ymmv.
Nevertheless at $30 for 25ft run it’s a no-brainer for anyone who wants to upgrade or compare against “audiophile” ethernet cables costing hundreds per foot.



I compared a regular Cat 5E ethernet cable, a Blue Jeans Cat 6A, and Certicables Cat 8 cables, all 3 meters.  The Cat 5E was the stock cheap cable provided by the cable company, the BJ 6A cost something like $10 and the C 8 was about $50 on either Amazon or eBay.  I thought there was a slight improvement with each step up in price, mostly what I would call "vividness" or immediacy.  The improvements weren't such that I am seeking out a $500 cable.  I stream Qobuz files through a Roon player onto my network and use a Bricasti M1SE DAC with a network player.  The analog signal is sent to a Benchmark HPA4 headphone amp and I use Kennerton Rognir Planar Magnetic headphones.

I relocated my modem and replaced the Amazon Cat ? cable with Supra Cat 8 with Telegarner ends along with a purchase of a switch .

I never much cared for streaming my music for any serious listening including listening to internet radio, ripped CDs and loaded music files sound quality were far superior to streaming.

AudioSensibility had a sale on this past spring on their Supra Lan cable and internet switch. They Cryo treat their wire and connectors at no extra expensive.

Its incredible to me the transformation of sound from what I had to what I’m listening to now and it’s easy to A-B between the original Lan cable and the new for anyone who denies or insist there would be any difference’s , lol how wrong they are .

The only thing you can do with fancy ethernet cables is cause problems. This is packet based communication...they do not have a tone or a sound.  They might theoretically cause (and thus another cable could solve) grounding issues. 

I have been running in my Supra 8 ethernet cable by playing my node2i overnight (with my amps off) for the past few days. Having done this, I did an A/B testing with my stock node 2i cat 5e ethernet cables.  The Supra was  much more detailed  with better bass tightness and thump. But it was still much edgy and brighter compared to the stock cable.  Some songs sounded harsh. The stock  ethernet cable while not as  detailed or with defined bass production like the Supra, was more musical, warm and involving to listen to. Non fatiguing at all.  I tend to immerse with the music laid back with the stock ethernet cable,  rather than being on the edge of my seat with the Supra, absorbing the details along with the brightness.

I have been reading about the Supras. Some say its better at the back end as in wall socket to router rather than  front end such as router to streamer.  Has that worked for anyone? My other step in experimentation is to get a Blue Jeans cat 5e or 6 ethernet cable .  If the Blue Jeans (BJC) doesnt work then I will stop the ethernet experimentation and just rely on my stock ethernet cable. Anyone has experiences with the BJC? Appreciate your thoughts.


@ram18 can you describe your set up feeding the streamer? Router, access points, switches etc.

Also, do you use Roon, your streaming service(s), how do you stream…Spotify or Tidal connect, Bluetooth, airplay or bluesound app and whether or not you have any DSP or upsampling enabled anywhere in the chain (Roon or Bluesound).

@audphile1  My supra ethernet is connected from my bluesound node 2i to a router switch which also has my TV lan and internet connections. The internet cable  comes from the wall to the router. The router  power socket is connected to a power strip and the power strip to my wall socket.  I dont have Roon or DSP. I stream via my bluesound. I stream from Tidal via my bluesound app on my phone. 

@ram18 ok. If the router/switch has a ground screw, try grounding it. It may or may not be an audible improvement but definitely worth a shot and will cost you far less than buying and trying more cables. Free advice, take it for what it’s worth. 

The Supra Cat8 cable saw various components come and go in my system but it was never a culprit of any problem. It was a notable upgrade in sound vs the standard yellow Ethernet cable.

IMO, you have 2 suspects when it comes to isolating the source of potential harshness in sound…your XTZ amplifier, which is a budget Class D amp, and your Klipsch speakers. Some Class D amps with an exception of a few in the thousands of $ price category (i.e Bel Canto Class D ref monos) can be a bit hot sounding in the treble although I admit I never heard XTZ, it is just a suspicion. Couple that with Klipsch and you may end up with the sound you’re describing. It’s possible that adding the Supra Cat8 had simply exposed some weak links in the chain.

Like I said earlier, don’t get hung up on cables at this level. Especially Ethernet.

If you like your klipsch speakers and want to keep them, a good solid state Class A/B or even a tube amp may be your ticket. There are many choices out there especially on a used market that will not break the bank. Anyway…just my thoughts. 

@audphile1 Thank you for your detailed explanation. Yes  Class D amps are traditionally  hot sounding. The XTZ however leans to a neutral delivery. Honestly its a great steal for the price. As for my Klipschs  refrence premiere speakers they are a tad bit bright not as bright as the ones of the past that Klipschs are known for. I have a tube Schiit Freya + preamp which tones down the brightness and helps give a smoother feel.  So far with my stock 5e ethernet cable, the combo somehow  sounds warmer. 


But you are right, maybe the Supras are revealing  the true effects of the system compared to my stock ethernet cable. Sorry for a noob question. How does one ground a router. Mine does not come with screws and it is just placed on my console. 



There usually is a ground screw on the Ethernet switch. What model is it? Or are you referring to a router as a switch?

Also, I forgot to mention room acoustics. Probably most important and most neglected as we tend to focus on easy changes such as cables. This should definitely be at the top of the list. 

@audphile1  Yes  sorry I was referring to my router.  I have 3 big absorption panels on the wall opp my system. Initially, I had a carpet on the floor but the sound became too deadened. So  I removed it. The sound becomes more alive without the carpet.

3 absorption panels opposite system? Meaning they’re where, behind the listening chair?

Research room acoustics. There are good videos on YouTube by New Record Day.
Also check out GIK Acoustics. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means but a common approach is to at least treat the first reflection points walls and floor being the easiest. As well as the wall behind your speakers. 
This may take your listening experience to the next level with all your current gear.

@ram18 I use the Supra Cat 8 cable with a Pro-ject streamer. It replaced a AmazonBasics Cat 6 cable and the improvement was immediately apparent to me.

The Supra cable (which I also use between my router and Node) is more than likely providing more detail ( brightness) than your other components can handle.  More detail with a midfi system is not always a good thing.

@calvinandhobbes Tks for sharing.

@marco1 Yes I feel the same. Gonna try Blue Jeans cat 6 next. And if it doesnt work, go back to stock which was quite good for starters.

I have a two story house, with my router in my office, next to my dedicated music room. The house is wired with CAT 5e ethernet cable.  My MSB Discrete DAC and music server are connected to the network. For the music to get to my DAC, it must go down to the modem and main switch for the house and then back up again to my DAC . . . I figure at least 200 feet of CAT 5e.  I had the brilliant thought that if I ran a Supra CAT 8 directly from my router to the DAC (about 40 ft.), it would not only be a much higher quality cable than the generic CAT 5e, but since it would be a run of about 40 ft directly from the router versus 200 ft of CAT 5e and through a switch, it would be a new day of listening pleasure. Imagine the new freedom from EMR and other sources of noise! Nope.  I couldn't hear any difference at all.  Maybe my hearing is not as good as it once was, but no improvement in soundstage, bass, treble, imaging, etc. Now maybe the Supra needs to be run for a period of time before magic starts, but it still makes zero sense to me that an ethernet cable changes with "break-in."  The other factor at play is that I have a GigaFoil  v4 box between the wall and the DAC.  Maybe that is cleaning things up so that the Supra and the short straight run to the DAC have less effect?  I will see after 100 hours of running some packets through it if anything changes, but right now my lofty expectations have not borne fruit.

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