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Will my Squeezebox Touch sound better hard wired rather than WiFi?


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I want the best sound quality from my Squeezebox. Will hard wiring the ethernet connection rather than using WiFi improve quality?

 

I do not know about the actual SQ but the streaming quality went up when I scanned for unused channels and then dropouts were eliminated when I went hard wired. I did not do sound comparisons as the dropouts were a bigger issue for me.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

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my transporter does, so wouldn't be surprised if the touch does as well.

 

as to why that should be so, i can only speculate.

 

and there are folks here and elsewhere who will tell you it can't be so.

 

i say try it and see, and let your ears be your guide.

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Probably a dumb question but are you using your SBT with an external DAC? If not, this will probably give you a much better SQ improvement than a change in network interface.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Already have a DAC hooked up to it (IfI iDSD Micro). You are right-that helped a lot

 

Figured that might be the case but I wanted to just make sure. Let us know if going wired helps the SQ.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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I want the best sound quality from my Squeezebox. Will hard wiring the ethernet connection rather than using WiFi improve quality?

 

This is just my experience recently with a few other streamers, not the SB, but it might relate. WiFi connection was 'worst' sounding. Not talking huge, but an increase in fatigue. Reason might be due to what John Swenson has been experimenting with and seems like the most logical explanation. The receiving chip might have to work harder re-asking for packets with WiFi causing additional electrical noise in the streamer.

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This is just my experience recently with a few other streamers, not the SB, but it might relate. WiFi connection was 'worst' sounding. Not talking huge, but an increase in fatigue. Reason might be due to what John Swenson has been experimenting with and seems like the most logical explanation. The receiving chip might have to work harder re-asking for packets with WiFi causing additional electrical noise in the streamer.

 

Any device that sounds worse on WiFi is vintage. For today's device running on modern operation system, getting data from wireless connection or ethernet connection make no difference as the transmission is handled by hardware (chip), it wont make any difference for the processor for different connection types, especially when we talk about the 'load' of the system. What you mentioned about the load is at least the story 5 years ago.

 

The current situation is WiFi sounds equal same or even better than ethernet because it wont need any physical connection. The router which connected to your streamer can be extremely noise and the long ethernet cable is also a good antenna to pick up all kinds of EMI and couple into your streamer.

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Yes it will sound better over wire than wifi. This is basic networking 101. The number one port always gets first preference of data. This is why they are numbered in the first place. The wifi is last after all hard wired ports. Wang may be correct in a perfect case scenario where there is only one thing connected and no other RF floating around your neighborhood. In my house there are a dozen wireless networks available from neighbors and businesses along with at least a dozen other devices on my network currently or in the past.

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Some other thoughts.... Take a look at your router's devices by going into the setup (often thru 192.168.1.1) and you will see every device ever connected to your wifi network in order. Which means last summer when the neighbor kid spent the night and was given access to your router for his portable game system.. he now has priority over your brand new PC. Yes even though he is no longer there and no longer connected, your router is still looking for it and consuming resources to do it. All of this interference influences the sound in some way or another.

 

Grab an old battery operated transistor radio and tune it to static placed near the audio system then have someone turn on a wireless device such as an ipad or run the microwave, you'll hear a change in the radio indicating this noise is present.

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I got the Audioquest Forest Ethernet cable on the weekend and hooked it up to the Touch. At first, I thought it was worse (wooly bass and muffled along with constricted dynamics) but it sounded better after I let it play for 2-3 days straight. I guess that burn-in matters here too. Now it sounds very slightly better overall in detail and staging to wireless. Best of all is that I no longer have any dropouts which I used to get occasionally.

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Any device that sounds worse on WiFi is vintage. For today's device running on modern operation system, getting data from wireless connection or ethernet connection make no difference as the transmission is handled by hardware (chip), it wont make any difference for the processor for different connection types, especially when we talk about the 'load' of the system. What you mentioned about the load is at least the story 5 years ago.

 

The current situation is WiFi sounds equal same or even better than ethernet because it wont need any physical connection. The router which connected to your streamer can be extremely noise and the long ethernet cable is also a good antenna to pick up all kinds of EMI and couple into your streamer.

 

I'm sorry but I would have to totally disagree here. Anyone who thinks WiFi sounds as good as wired is obviously selling a product that offers WiFi as its main means of connection or has hearing issues.

 

Assuming one has a system capable enough to resolve the differences between the two methods of connection there is simply no comparison!

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I got the Audioquest Forest Ethernet cable on the weekend and hooked it up to the Touch. At first, I thought it was worse (wooly bass and muffled along with constricted dynamics) but it sounded better after I let it play for 2-3 days straight. I guess that burn-in matters here too. Now it sounds very slightly better overall in detail and staging to wireless. Best of all is that I no longer have any dropouts which I used to get occasionally.

 

I don't notice any difference with my Squeezebox from wired or wifi but I agree wired is better because it has totally eliminated buffering issues is was having every so often over wifi.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tried windows8 bridge, so one Ethernet connection on my pc/server went to my router and the other to my SBT, this was a nice step in the right direction for my ears/music, as opposed to one cable from pc to router and then from router to SBT.

 

When I have a chance I will try a better quality ethernet card... just to see/hear

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