I first learned about the ENO Ethernet filter a couple of months ago, and I was able to try one out this week. This device was developed by Network Acoustics in the UK to filter out Ethernet-borne noise while leaving the Ethernet signal intact. The ENO filter is available using either silver (Ag) or copper (Cu) wire in its construction as well as in the Ethernet streaming cables available for connecting the filter to a network switch on one end and to a streamer or DAC with Ethernet input on the other end.
I first read positive comments about the ENO filter on several threads on Audiogon and a few other audio forums, which led me to also read reviews from the-ear and Positive Feedback. In fact, the ENO was recognized as a “Best of 2020” selection by the-ear. Given that Network Acoustics offers a 30-day trial on the ENO, I decided to give it a try and yesterday received the Ag version of both the Ag filter and the 1m Ag streaming cable.
Network Acoustics says that the Ag filter needs about 100 hours of use to settle in, but it’s already had a positive effect on my streaming system right out of the box. Specifically, I have a 50 ft run of BJC Cat 6a going from my router to a basic Netgear switch with an inexpensive iFi iPower power supply. The Ag Ethernet streaming cable is connected from the switch to the Ag ENO filter and then from the filter (using the short Ag cable built into the output of the ENO) to an Innuos Zen Mk3 server/streamer. The Zen is connected by a DH Labs Mirage USB cable to the USB input on the DS DAC.
The ENO’s sound may change with additional break-in, but my streaming system is already sounding smoother, quieter, and sweeter with the ENO filter and cable connected. I am especially pleased that removing some of the noise from the system has still preserved the high-frequency sparkle that helps music come alive. Bass is solid and 3-D, and the filter seems great at removing harshness from digital sound. The removal of noise seems to allow instruments and voices to be presented clearly and separately in space without the blurring and mushing together that can reduce the naturalness and expansiveness of a soundstage.
I don’t know if the ENO filter can have a similar effect on all streaming systems, but I’m glad I’ve tried it in mine and that it has improved how real and natural sounding my music streaming has become. If anyone is seeking ways to improve their streaming system by reducing Ethernet-borne noise, the ENO filter and cables are definitely worth a careful look.