Ethernet cable vs Wifi - what's better?

Fiftyfifty

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Hi,

I've used a good Cat6 cable and compared to streaming over wifi from my NAS to my Allo USBridge Signature. I don't hear any difference. At times, wifi sounds a shade better, but this may be influenced by other factors, including psychological.

Which is technically the better option, without considering convenience? Let us also assume that all equipment is within the range of a strong wifi mesh. What is your experience?

Thanks
 

jai1611

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Technically wired ethernet offers better latency and speed than wireless. Neither of this is important for music streaming.

What matters more for music is noise. Here its very implementation dependent. Wired carries noise from up the chain (router, switch). Wireless receivers can generate noise locally. The wired noise issue can supposedly be solved by using fiber or other measures. Wireless can be solved by proper internal implementation in the device.

In the end your approach of trying in your particular chain is the right one. In my case, wireless was better on both a pc (with an external USB wireless adapter) and a Bluesound Node 2i.
 

Nikhil

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Wi-Fi per se is not the real problem.

It's the hardware and associated power supplies that generate noise and cause issues.
Once you address these issues you can definitely have good sound with Wi-Fi as well.


.
 

rikhav

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Wi-Fi per se is not the real problem.

the hardware and associated power supplies that generate noise and cause issues. Once you address these issues you can definitely have good sound with Wi-Fi as well.


.
Wifi by itself it's galvanically isolated. Yes it has latency issues as jai pointed out in certain cases.
But will a better psu help in case of wifi too?
I mean like the difference we notice when upgrading from wall warts to linear supply
 

dazoy

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Hi,

I've used a good Cat6 cable and compared to streaming over wifi from my NAS to my Allo USBridge Signature. I don't hear any difference. At times, wifi sounds a shade better, but this may be influenced by other factors, including psychological.

Which is technically the better option, without considering convenience? Let us also assume that all equipment is within the range of a strong wifi mesh. What is your experience?

Thanks
You are right! Bits and bytes are bits and bytes, whether you send them through a cable or wifi. With buffer and newer protocols, its the same data that gets across either way...
 

Kannan

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By design ethernet ports are galvanically isolated and technically superior. Now with such high bandwidths for wifi, latency is hardly an issue with streaming audio files, even the high res ones.
I frankly don't hear any differences between the two as long as the wifi connection is stable. That said i prefer my self powered hard disk with music files hard wired via USB to the source than a NAS. With Digione Signature, the USB ports are isolated unlike the USBridge signature.
 

Nikhil

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Wifi by itself it's galvanically isolated. Yes it has latency issues as jai pointed out in certain cases.
But will a better psu help in case of wifi too?
I mean like the difference we notice when upgrading from wall warts to linear supply

I have always assumed this but have not tried it to be honest.
I switched to a wired network with Cat7 cable for my setup about 8 years ago.

I now completely isolate and reclock the signal with a Mutec.

Regards

.
 

firearm12

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Hi,

I've used a good Cat6 cable and compared to streaming over wifi from my NAS to my Allo USBridge Signature. I don't hear any difference. At times, wifi sounds a shade better, but this may be influenced by other factors, including psychological.

Which is technically the better option, without considering convenience? Let us also assume that all equipment is within the range of a strong wifi mesh. What is your experience?

Thanks

I prefer ethernet as its easy to setup and works out of the box without much configuration. Connect the cable and you are ready to go. It provides a solid base and also dont have latency issues like wifi can have.
 

RRR

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I have found Wifi to sound better than Ethernet on the Cambridge streamer...but that could also depend on the cable being used.
 

Fiftyfifty

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Latency is hardly an issue due to the availability of a good wifi mesh and buffering. But is there anything else that affects the quality or integrity of the transmitted packets? Is there anything in the quality of the router or its power supply that has the potential to introduce noise in the signal? Would it make sense to use a higher quality router or an lps for it? I'm using an online ups for the router - one of those cheap ones from computer stores.

Here's a diagram of my setup:
IMG_20210205_180120-01.jpeg
 
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firearm12

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How do you play music from nas, means how you access the files on nas. That affects more than transport medium i feel.
 

firearm12

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I meant to ask how do play the music files from nas using the usb signature. Do you use upnp or just accessing network shares from nas in volumio.
 

Fiftyfifty

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I meant to ask how do play the music files from nas using the usb signature. Do you use upnp or just accessing network shares from nas in volumio.
It's shown in the diagram. I access the NAS on my Macbook Air using Audirvana. I set the output device in Audirvana as the Allo playing through Volumio as a UNDP renderer. This feeds my Denafrips DAC
 

firearm12

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It's shown in the diagram. I access the NAS on my Macbook Air using Audirvana. I set the output device in Audirvana as the Allo playing through Volumio as a UNDP renderer. This feeds my Denafrips DAC
Upnp is not good enough. Try scanning nas network shares in volumio and play using volumio. You will definitely find an improvement. Best way is to store music on a harddrive directly connected to usbsignature.
 

AKT

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My two cents among the giants here. My system has Digione Signature as end point. Keeping all variables same, turning on wifi on the Pi board added noise to my setup.
This is not applicable to @Fiftyfifty setup though but could be considered if WiFi board on Google node adds perceptible noise. To tell you the truth, I hate Wifi as much as I hate Bluetooth.
 

Fiftyfifty

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Upnp is not good enough. Try scanning nas network shares in volumio and play using volumio. You will definitely find an improvement. Best way is to store music on a harddrive directly connected to usbsignature.
Thanks! I gave tried both methods. Playing through Audirvana definitely sounds better than playing directly through Volumio-NAS. Maybe Audirvana is a better player in terms of software and sound colour.
 

firearm12

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Thanks! I gave tried both methods. Playing through Audirvana definitely sounds better than playing directly through Volumio-NAS. Maybe Audirvana is a better player in terms of software and sound colour.
You are absolutely right. Audirvana is a colored player. but if it sounds better to you that is all that matters.
 
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