WiFi or Ethernet for NAA?

I have a SOtM SMS 200 Network Audio Adapter which is ran from my Lenovo Laptop using Audirvana. This goes into my Matrix SPDIF 2 via USB and then PS Audio I2S into my GCD. Right now, the NAA is connected to my router using a Bluejeans 6a cable…and I enjoy the sound.

That being said, with ALL of the potential problems posed by ethernet connections and the subsequent products offered to solve such problem…I asked myself…why not just circumvent this problem and switch to WiFi?

My SOtM has a usb adapter on the back that can accept a WiFi dongle and I can do it on the cheap - probably $20. I might just give it a shot and see how the sq compares to my current ethernet cable solution.

Any thoughts? I’m SURE I’m over simplifying things, but nonetheless it makes sense to me. I have fast internet speed, the router is close, and this way I can forgo galvanic isolation, expensive ethernet cables, an expensive router, etc., etc. And by the way…those upgrades can soar, no surprise, into the thousands.

Finally, I should add I’ve a/b’d my Bluesound Node 2 using WiFi and direct Ethernet connection and never noticed any difference between the two. However, I’ll readily admit this is a relatively lower-cost all-in-one unit so that could be part of the issue there.

Why not just WiFi? Seems like I’d need a very compelling reason not to. Thoughts?


Kind of surprised no one replied to this, but I went ahead and bought the dongle, and needless to say, the upgrade is a no-brainer. Best $12 upgrade EVER.

EVERYTHING sounds better. Remarkably better, in fact. So much more subtly and inner detail to the music. Amazing what can happen bypassing the problems with potentially “dirty” ethernet connections.

So thankful I don’t need to go down the route of cleaning up my ethernet. Now, this admittedly may mean my ethernet is just that crummy and could be even better than the wifi I’m now using…but I tell you what, wow, it sounds THAT much better switing to wifi vs my ethernet directly into my router. Now no worries on the gigafoil, new switch, etc., etc.

Thanks to Tensor 9 for all the help setting up my Lynksys dongle to my SMS 200!

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WIFI rules for streaming, IMO. Ethernet isolation is an unnecessary exercise.


I like the concept, but in practice it comes down to which process generates more noise. Receiving the wi-fi signals and processing those into an ethernet output vs. converting an optical ethernet signal into copper output -this includes the noise injected by the respective power supplies. I suspect implementation may have more consequence than method.

I don’t doubt this largely has to do with implementation. Nonetheless, in my current setup WiFi sounds far superior to ethernet. Granted, I don’t have anything cleaning the ethernet up. I would be curious to hear converting to optical, but man that’s a gamble to take with the cost it would require and the improvement I just realized. Regardless, I’m blow away at how much more detail and nuance I’m hearing in my music by getting rid of the direct ethernet cable connection.

All I’m saying is that if someone has the option of implementing something similar and are wondering if it’s worth it I say absolutely. There is clearly more noise in my setup from ethernet. Plus, it’s a short cable run - less than 6 ft. from my router to my hifi setup.


I have an AURALiC Aries G2 on order. The G2 can connect to a network via Ethernet or WiFi. I am looking forward to trying both connections and seeing which one works/sounds better in my system (I am predicting that WiFi will sound better, as the Ethernet connection would be via a NETGEAR Orbi satellite, which relies on WiFi to begin with).

Definitely give is a shot - I would be curious to hear of your impressions. I am predicting WiFi might also sound better too depending on the reliability of your network and your available speed. I upsample Tidal PCM to DSD 128 using Audirvana so I’m putting my network through the ringer - so to speak - and I am able to stream perfectly fine without any connectivity issues that some speak of.

I look forward to hearing your impressions. Listening now…still blown away how much more I’m hearing! It’s on the level of just having added the Matrix, a dedicated linear PS, and the SOtM streamer…simply awesome. I love this hobby. What else am I missing that might get me to the next level…??? :slight_smile:

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Absolutely. Everything is a compromise.

bootzilla, I’m using an Aries G2. Tried it both ways, not much difference, but, WIFI is how I use it. It is the best sound I’ve had in my home, and, stable as can be. I run a WW Platinum starlight USB to my DSD. I also run my server on wifi. I think you will be happy!

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I believe Auralic recommend wi-fi over ethernet for their latest devices.

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Thanks, guys. I hope to receive the AURALiC Aries G2 during the week of November 25th. I will post impressions here.