Do controllers pollute your Network?

Our digital rig implies a DAC, a streamer, a server, a router maybe a switch and a filter. We know how this network is usually very noisy. Manufacturers and audio designers are struggling to get rid of this issue. As audiophiles we are constantly trying to clean as much as possible the digital path because sound quality can be really different.

Now I’m focusing just on the controller in this scenario.
I’m referring to a device we all need to play the music, whatever Roon or proprietary App like Lumin or Sense we are using.

Being the controller an iPad or iPhone or whatever you use… how this device should require more attention in order to avoid pollution?

  1. Electrical pollution, it is not an audio device but it is constantly connected to our delicate system, and another worst thing is that there is also a switch mode power supply around to keep it charged.
  2. Signal pollution, we necessarily need an internet connection, to select and play tracks and/or to navigate our beloved forum while we are listening to music. Some people prefer wired connection (like me) and others prefer WiFi.

In any case after having spent time and money to preserve our audio gear from noisy garbage (components themselves are injecting noise, servers for instance)… I think that we need to learn more about how controllers should be handled.

I keep my iPad wired (no wifi) and connected via ethernet directly to the router, with a Pink Faun LAN isolator inserted. It is plugged to a different non dedicated line, in a Furutech e-TP609 NCF power distributor.

What do you use and why?

Are we ready for an audiophile controller, specifically designed (or modified) for that purpose?

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Interesting thinking. I use a dedicated iPad as the controller for Lumin app, and it is not used for any other purpose. I use Wi-Fi because I thought that was the best way to block noise.

Have you tried to put a Lan isolator on ethernet cable between iPad and the router? If you had, did it make any difference?

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Thanks for asking, I’ve just updated the text above because YES I use the Pink Faun LAN isolator in between.

I still haven’t gone down a serious comparison rabbit hole. Donald, I strongly encourage you to go this way, the entire audio community will appreciate your effort though. When the going gets tough, Donald starts playing!

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Haha, do I want to find out if a quality Ethernet cable from iPad to satellite would make a difference? If it does I will become extremely unpopular here😆

Wi-fi is free and my streaming SQ is indistinguishable from CD playback so I’m good. :man_dancing:t2:

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Don’t be lazy!

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It’s in my back burner for tryout when I become bored again. This will not happen until I upgrade my streamer first😆

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Digging too deep IMHO.


I use apple bluetooth magic mouse and Roon app in my bacch4mac driving a plasma TV via WWPS7 HDMI connected via Inakustik Referenz Ethernet to Roon app in my SGC i5 acting as Roon Server, Curiously when using my iPhone or iPad Roon apps connected to home WiFi yes I will occasionally hear noise directly related to control of Roon Database. Maybe 1 in 100 times. But never do using Bluetooth through apple magic mouse. So my hypothesis is WiFi control is noisier. I have WiFi turned off on bacch4mac but not on router.

I am guessing it is less noisy because Bluetooth uses frequency hopping over 100s of frequencies and has less range lower power of 30 feet where wifi is one to six frequency juggling lots of devices over 200 ft and at higher power

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Mmmm… interesting observation. Thanks for sharing.

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Just to stay away from other dangerous threads about expensive cables for a while, my friend!

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The controller is not in the signal path . At least it shouldn’t be. I use a dedicated iPad to run the Sense app. for my Innuous ZENith mkIII.
The music flows from the ZENith local drive->cache->DSMKII etc. the Sense app/ipad is the “head” of the ZENith computer so to speak.

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Good observation. Even if the controller is necessarily connected to internet, so I’m wondering if in some way this could affect also the music streamed through the network via router/switch/server/streamer. Playing from Qobuz for instance.

My Orbi satellite has no USB port, so I don’t have a way to connect the iPad to it. Thank goodness I have no way to compare the difference. I’m surprised I was thinking about trying it in my dream. You have a strong influence on me, my friend😆

Why USB? I mean, the connection should be via ethernet.

I have and Orbi 860 router/ satellite and iPad configuration too. The iPad, running the Sense app, connects to the network, ultimately the ZENith, wirelessly. My USB protocol comes into play when the ZENith outputs to the DSMKII.

You should be able to use your iPad connected to your Orbi configuration too; regardless of the underlying network/streaming configuration. Please correct me if i misspoke. Wouldn’t be the first time nor the last. :crazy_face:

iPad (controller) has only USB connection. Then to connect to Orbi satellite I need to connect it to my laptop first, then run ethernet from it to the satellite. There is no way this route will sound better.

Am I missing something?

Yes, I’m connecting wirelessly too, and SQ sounds great in my setup.

My controller, the iPad, is connected to my LAN, ipso facto the internet. It allows me to stream radio stations, subscription based streams if i choose to.

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I’m using this adaptor to connect the iPad to the router:

On iPad disabled wifi, bluetooth, and in flight mode.

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That makes sense. I don’t know, the adapter could be a culprit. Maybe there’s a $500 audiophile one, just kidding :laughing:

Got to leave for golf again. Have fun!