Do Audiophile Network Switches Make a Difference?
Mar 6, 2021 at 9:08 AM Post #16 of 144

bfreedma

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For what it’s worth, I have used the etheregen and about dozen other “audiophile” and “generic” switches varying in cost from £20 to £5,000. They all alter the sound of my system, some for better and others not so much. A switch is pretty vital part of improving the performance of streaming based system. It eliminates some of the noise picked up and emitted by the router, which without the switch, would otherwise piggy the data stream transmitted via the network cable acting as an aerial, directly into your highly sensitive streamer and on into the digital to analogue conversion. The switch will also emit noise of its own picked up via its power supply, so a quiet psu will improve things further.

From our listening tests a £20 d-link dgs105 with an ifi ipower was as effective as the etheregen, and in fact sounded more open with wider stage. The good news for skeptics is you can buy this pair from Amazon for less than $70, try it, if you hear a difference then it’s worth trying out a good cable and or a filter running between your switch and streamer. Of course if it doesn’t improve things just return it and move on.

I know I’m a member of the trade, but I don’t make or sell switches, but as i say I have listened to lot in my system and others. The switch isn’t the cure but it’s an important foundation in any streaming system. :)

I‘ve asked you in other sections to validate these claims and you haven’t responded. Since you’re now making these in Sound Science, feel free to post that now.

The reality is, there is no possibility within the 802 standard that a switch is identifying packets containing audio data and consistently applying changes within the packet that act in a predictable and repeatable manner. Ethernet is also galvanically isolated, so the claims of transmission of non data noise across ports is also not technically possible.

If “picking up noise emitted by a router on a cable” was an issue, we would have massive evidence in high density data centers And would use “special” cables there. But we don’t, because it simply isn’t an issue - this is an entirely fabricated problem intended to allow charlatans to ”solve” nonexistent problems with expensive but useless hardware and cables.

For anyone with a decent background in Ethernet/802, these claims are absurd. There is no other way to state it.
 
Mar 6, 2021 at 4:59 PM Post #17 of 144

teknorob23

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I‘ve asked you in other sections to validate these claims and you haven’t responded. Since you’re now making these in Sound Science, feel free to post that now.

The reality is, there is no possibility within the 802 standard that a switch is identifying packets containing audio data and consistently applying changes within the packet that act in a predictable and repeatable manner. Ethernet is also galvanically isolated, so the claims of transmission of non data noise across ports is also not technically possible.

If “picking up noise emitted by a router on a cable” was an issue, we would have massive evidence in high density data centers And would use “special” cables there. But we don’t, because it simply isn’t an issue - this is an entirely fabricated problem intended to allow charlatans to ”solve” nonexistent problems with expensive but useless hardware and cables.

For anyone with a decent background in Ethernet/802, these claims are absurd. There is no other way to state it.

The author of the thread asked if anyone had experience of this switch and i do so I shared my experience. Have you listened to and compared any switches. Or are your comments just based on what you “know”?

Rfi noise is very unlikely effect the IT applications you mention, but it does effect audio equipment especially in streaming set ups when it comes to the digital to analogue conversion. This is a far more eloquent explanation than I can give you...



As i say it would be great to hear what you’ve tried/compared/ listened to
 
Mar 6, 2021 at 5:11 PM Post #18 of 144

bigshot

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The author of the thread asked if anyone had experience of this switch and i do so I shared my experience. Have you listened to and compared any switches. Or are your comments just based on what you “know”?

Welcome to the Sound Science forum. We work differently here than the rest of Head-Fi. Here we get to ask for evidence to back up subjective impressions, and we can question things that don't follow logic, physics or the design of technology. A person doesn't need to feel every fire in the world to know that fire is hot. We have verified reports of people burning themselves, and we understand the basics of the way fire works. No one has to hear this particular piece of gear to question it, and no one has to hear every piece of gear in the world to say that a claim is highly dubious.

There are people in this forum who are engineers who understand the science behind this. If you have information to back up this claim, you can feel free to present it. Then we can have a discussion on it. This video doesn't answer the questions though. The person who made this video appears to not want to discuss the science behind his claims, because there is a very interesting comment right at the top by R Muller that was posted a month ago, and R Muller's questions still haven't been addressed by the video reviewer- even though he has replied to every other comment on his video. That comment might be a good place to start when it comes to a discussion of whether network switches have a "sound". If The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel chooses not to reply to H Muller's points, maybe you would like to.

Would you like me to post R Muller's comment here so you can reply to it?
 
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Mar 6, 2021 at 5:47 PM Post #19 of 144

teknorob23

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Welcome to the Sound Science forum. We work differently here than the rest of Head-Fi. Here we get to ask for evidence to back up subjective impressions, and we can question things that don't follow logic. A person doesn't need to feel every fire in the world to know that fire is hot. We have verified reports of people burning themselves, and we understand the basics of the way fire works. No one has to hear this particular piece of gear to question it, and no one has to hear every piece of gear in the world to say that a claim is highly dubious.

There are people in this forum who are engineers who understand the science behind this. If you have information to back up this claim, you can feel free to present it. Then we can have a discussion on it. This video doesn't answer the questions though. The person who made this video appears to not want to discuss the science behind his claims, because there is a very interesting comment right at the top by R Muller that was posted a month ago, and R Muller's questions still haven't been addressed by the video reviewer- even though he has replied to every other comment on his video. That comment might be a good place to start when it comes to a discussion of whether network switches have a "sound". If The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel chooses not to reply to H Muller's points, maybe you would like to.

Would you like me to post R Muller's comment here so you can reply to it?

R muller still seems reluctant to do any new ground work/ listening, but I get it if listening to stuff is not your bag down here. I make no apologies for being purely interested in whether products/devices make my hifi work better and enable me to hear more of my music. All my testing is listening based and over time I’ve learned and continue to learn which parameters are technically critical. I’m not here to convert anyone and i accept I’m probably in the wrong place, but if anyone does fancy having a listen I’ll happily lend out a couple of switches which to my ears sound very different from one another. Hear for yourself and then decide if I’m talking rubbish :)
 
Mar 6, 2021 at 6:08 PM Post #20 of 144

bigshot

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Do you have a controlled listening test that shows audible differences? We’re open to that. We just don’t pay attention to subjective listening. You’ve got to make an effort to deal with bias and perceptual error.

Prove it exists first, then we can talk about why.

I make no apologies for being purely interested in whether products/devices make my hifi work better and enable me to hear more of my music.

What if it does nothing that is remotely audible, and you just think it sounds better because of expectation bias and perceptual error? Would it be OK then? Because if so, I have no disagreement with you. You are free to get your pleasure from wherever you want, even if it's pure fantasy.
 
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Mar 6, 2021 at 10:27 PM Post #21 of 144

bfreedma

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The author of the thread asked if anyone had experience of this switch and i do so I shared my experience. Have you listened to and compared any switches. Or are your comments just based on what you “know”?

Rfi noise is very unlikely effect the IT applications you mention, but it does effect audio equipment especially in streaming set ups when it comes to the digital to analogue conversion. This is a far more eloquent explanation than I can give you...



As i say it would be great to hear what you’ve tried/compared/ listened to


Using Hans as supporting evidence? Again, bluntly, he repeatedly ignores how Ethernet operates and relies solely on subjective sighted listening. Nothing to help make any case for you there.

Why, when asked for evidence supporting your claims do you fall back on asking me what I’ve listened to? How is that a substitute for even the most basic documentation that there is an issue, let alone a demonstration that you’re solving one?

Around and around we go, fabricating problems that don’t exist to enable the marketing products that “solve” them. Audio reproduction follows the same operational/functional model as any other datastream - it isn’t special and requires no magic black boxes.
 
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Mar 7, 2021 at 9:33 AM Post #22 of 144

Leporello

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R muller still seems reluctant to do any new ground work/ listening, but I get it if listening to stuff is not your bag down here. I make no apologies for being purely interested in whether products/devices make my hifi work better and enable me to hear more of my music. All my testing is listening based and over time I’ve learned and continue to learn which parameters are technically critical.
And that is just fine. But if you want to use your observations to convince other members of this forum then something else is needed. It is not about listening vs not listening, but you probably already knew this.
 
Mar 7, 2021 at 10:01 AM Post #23 of 144

castleofargh

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I know close to nothing about switches, but IMO, given the videos I've seen of Hans on other digital questions, it's probably a good idea to learn from someone else.
 
Mar 8, 2021 at 10:57 AM Post #26 of 144

Deolum

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Completely new patterns in this thread.






Not
 
Mar 8, 2021 at 7:47 PM Post #29 of 144

Northern

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The author of the thread asked if anyone had experience of this switch and i do so I shared my experience. Have you listened to and compared any switches. Or are your comments just based on what you “know”?

Rfi noise is very unlikely effect the IT applications you mention, but it does effect audio equipment especially in streaming set ups when it comes to the digital to analogue conversion. This is a far more eloquent explanation than I can give you...



As i say it would be great to hear what you’ve tried/compared/ listened to

I was more asking for an educated opinion from a scientific point of view. The general consensus among network professionals seems to be that products like this are at best a waste of money.
 
Apr 6, 2021 at 9:21 PM Post #30 of 144

Junglebook3

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I was a networking engineer instructor in a past life - I know how switches, routers and other networking gear works - quite well. I work in cloud networking software engineering in my current occupation, and "audiophile switches" are fraud.

There are multiple mechanisms employed by (layer 2) switches, and then additional mechanisms employed by your network interface card, routers, the TCP/IP stack on both ends of the stream, and the application itself (Spotify, etc), on both client and server side, to ensure that you're not getting faulty bits. Faulty bits are detected and retransmitted. Packet loss is mitigated by streaming apps buffering the data ahead so you don't experience "skips".

Consumer switches are a solved problem and have been for a while - they got cheap AND good, years ago. As Amir pointed out in his video - consumer switches operate years without even a single frame altered or dropped, and even if that happened, as I explained in the previous paragraph there's dozens of mechanisms in place at different layers of the stack to mitigate L2 errors of any kind.

Audiophile switches are fraud.
 

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