Inexpensive ethernet cable


Having read many posts, I’ve seen that many members are lucky owners of tremendous cables.

So I don’t know if someone has an answer to my issue.

There are 17 meters between my router and my switch. No way to move my router, it would disturb my 86 years old beloved mother.

So I’m looking for someting very scarce in the Hi-Fi : unexpensive but as good as possible ethernet cable.

I’ve spent hours googling but as I live in Europe, I’m first showed Euopean sites.

All I’ve found is the viablue EP-7 Silver

Could someone has a better solution ?

Thanx for your kind help and take care.


Check with a Supra dealer as they may be able to order one that long from the factory. They sell 15 and 20 meters as standard items. MCRU in the UK has the 20 meter in stock and sold through Ebay.


Amazon or your favorite cable (electrical) retailer. There is nothing special going that far. Cat 6 will go 100 meters for gigabit Ethernet. You don’t need an “audiophile” cable here. If you really do want to go “audiophile” run fiber and get convertors on each end. That’s going to be much better than spending way too much on some exotic copper topology. If you don’t want to go fiber and you still want an “audiophile cable” touching your streamer… use standard cat6 router<->switch then run a short patch from your switch to your streamer of whatever cable your money can buy. It’s really the last connections that makes most of the difference (if you believe there is any difference at all).

Here in the states I can get 75 foot cable for $15 delivered tomorrow. Few bucks more if I want it shielded.


Also, that cable is an absolute mess of a graphic. Based on that image their cable isn’t cat7 compliant. It wouldn’t even be cat5.

The category rating of a cable specifics signal tolerances to support 10/100/1000 and 10 gigabit over a distance. A lot of the reason ethernet cables can carry a signal at all is because of the way the conductors and the pairs of conductors are twisted. As you go up the category level these tolerances become tighter (including at all the termination points). This is the build of a proper cat7 cable

Notice where the shielding and how the twists occur.

Additionally, terminating cat7 cables with cat6 ends makes it not cat7 anymore. I’m sure the fine people at viablue make a nice product but their website is more marketing than I care to support which is why I’m pointing this stuff out.

Also, cables don’t cause jitter (especially Ethernet).


Hello, thanks. I guess it is not a picture but a drawing. My guess it that it is a cat6A.

It has been a very successful cable in Europe,can’t inderstand

But I think that ethernet cables can cause jitter when frame are rejected and when there is not switch used. But I’m not sure it is audible. I can bear witness that 35 years ago, rejected fame were a nightmare.

I’ve always wondered why numeric cables, even HDMI, makes so differences in sound.

If you could help me on how to installing fiber instead of ethernet cable, you’d do me a great favor.

It’s a relief being able not to think to be the only one worldwilde that highly prices ethernet cables are not a need.

I can give you the basics.

The most common PHY for ethernet fiber is called a Small Form Plugable (SFP). It will couple the light to the electrical. There are a few fiber standards but for your needs Multimode will be fine (MM). And, the most common connector for that is LC (I can’t remember what LC stands for right now, probably not Little Connector).

So… for convertors you’re looking for MM/LC to copper. Something like the TP-Link MC220L paired with a TL-SM311LM SFP (one of these pairs on each side). Then you need enough MM fiber with LC ends to cover the distance.

Router <-copper eth-> TP-Link <-fiber eth-> TP-Link <-copper eth-> Switch

Your other option is to buy a switch with a SFP port. Netgear and others have some nice options.

Be aware you can snap fiber as it is more delicate than copper. But it’s not exactly fragile. You can bend it around a no. 2 pencil without worry (although that bend radius will cause some attenuation). Just don’t do something with it that would cause it to bend back on itself.

EDIT: I gave the TP-Link as examples because they are easy to get and inexpensive. I do not have first hand experience with these models. There are lots of other models on the market.


Jitter is the difference in propagation delay between frames. However, in the case of an ethernet frame the application never sees this jitter. I’ll describe, while leaving out a lot of detail, the way Linux networking functions (generic;y, not talking about SR-IOV, affinity, or other configurable things).

The ethernet PHY watches the wire for stuff that belongs to it. This can be broadcast traffic, multicast traffic, or traffic specificly for its MAC address. When the PHY sees something of interest it moves those bits into network buffer memory and there is an interrupt that is a sort of “hey, data here, come get it” sent to Linux. Linux then identifies which application the traffic belongs to and moves that data to memory space where the application can process it. How the application is made aware there is data to process… there are various ways this works.

Anyway… that whole process of pulling bits off the wire and getting them to the application isn’t a perfect “clock” and has its own jitter. This is why everything is buffered. Even networked audio. You don’t play the first audio packet you receive… you buffer 50ms to many seconds of audio before you start playback. This, effectively, eliminates any network jitter that occurs from the playback routines.

If a frame is just gone, for whatever reason, then yes you lose a segment of audio and you’ll get a pop, static, something. But networks are so reliable these days it’s really rare to see packet loss on a home network. Switched networks are not plagued with shared wire “hub” problems from decades ago. Port contention yes (but there are ways around this as well)… but not the collisions and retries from back in the “hub” days.


Check this out:

The TP-Link media converter approach is a low cost option favored by many.

Good luck to you.


I agree with other posts, there is nothing special about ethernet cables other than that they should be properly constructed and tested, and for audio you should use CAT6a. I use AudioQuest Pearl, because it the best off the reel and can be terminated with AudioQuest plugs and tested by a good cable supplier.

I get mine from FutureShop in North London, they ship a lot overseas and give a range of options for postage or courier. 17m terminated will be about €90 plus delivery.

I also run parallel a fire optic cable. Here is a clear illustrated guide:

and an update article about how to optimise and SFP switch

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Blue Jeans Cable’s Belden CAT6.


I’ll second that.


I’ve bought 20 meters of chinese cat. 8 OFC STP flat cable.I’ll go from the router to the switch of my AV system, then there will be an other portion from the switch to my audio system (both are in the same room).Buy from Blue Jeans Cable might be expensive as I live in France :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
A question : I know what OFC means, what OCC means but what about solid bare copper ? I thought it was not recommended.
Thanks everybody for having spent time helping me (sur I’ll find other questions lol)

One can save money and get a slimmer and more flexible cable by going with 5 or 5e. 5e is likely more commonly available. There is no value to ‘audio’ or any other use case by going with 6 or 6a for home use. Just buy one that is at least built to the spec if not individually tested to meet spec like Blue Jeans.

and 7 and 8, are those even real specs (rhetorical), I know they are but no one I hang around with in enterprise networking uses or specifies either in their data center, distribution and access layer network designs.

I have purchased 10s of thousands of patch cables from Monoprice for installations using hundreds of 1000’ boxes of Belden bonded-pair 6. Rarely does a cheap Monoprice patch not work well. I have network monitors that alert whenever there are ‘issues’ and it’s nearly always because someone ran their chair over it or yanked the cable/keystone so hard a conductor came free.

My 9th grade English teacher would be ashamed if I didn’t correct this: the word is inexpensive not unexpensive.

P.S. If you like the sound of different Ethernet cables, have at it and enjoy.

vous serez pardonné si votre langue maternelle est le français, l’espagnol ou l’italien :wink:

You will be forgiven if your mother tongue is French, Spanish or Italian

Absolutely, I apologize if my correction was interpreted as critical. If I’m making a mistake in any language, including native, I appreciate knowing the correct word.


No worries whatsoever Brett. You are a great contributor to this forum and I highly respect you and always feel grateful to you for your contributions. The fact that this forum is able to gather all of us from all over the world under the banner of love of music and music reproduction is just amazing.


You will also be forgiven if your mother tongue is English. There is always something to learn for all of us.

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The wise man say there is always one wiser than he. - attributed to unknown

“There’s always a bigger fish.”

           --- Qui-Gon Jinn
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I corrected the title. I would give a long length of tremendous ethernet cable if I could have a 9th grade English level. I haven’t spoken English for over 30 years… Is it “tongue” or “language” and mother or mother’s ? This is just to improve my Frenglish (@Elk, can I change my pseudo from jack_nessuno to Frenglish ? I sure most members have guessed that Jack stands for Jack Beauregard and “Nessuno” means nobody in Italian. So my name is nobody :wink: When I was in 9th grade, I improved my English by reading book in simplified English. But it seems all are discontinued.
So your correction is welcome and deserves a big thank you. If someone could explain me why inexpessive and not unexpensive : fair/unfair easy/uneasy true/untrue but exact/inexact.
I might be forgotten : my mother’s native language is French. Some years ago, she could read latin and even old greek.
Back to my so called cat. 8 cable, it costed me between $35-40. If it works good but is of a lower cat, I won’t notice it, if it doesn’t work, I’'ll buy another one. It was worth trying as now, I have inexpensive engraved in my brain.
P.-S. I’d like to be able to make a comparison but I don’t believe in a last meter difference for ethernet. Furthermore, there is around 8 meters from the switch to the streamer. So it would be an 8 meters difference lol