BS Node 2i: WiFi or Ethernet..?


Greetings from snowy Chicago.

My rig:

Bluesound Node 2i
Chord Qutest (with Teddy Pardo LPS)
Belles Soloist 1 int am
Dynaudio Special 40s

I stream Tidal mostly and my router is in the same room as my Node in the basement and I have very strong wifi signal.
But, cant direct connect the Node to network w/o running a 15’ cable.

My question:

- Has anyone heard better SQ results by using ethernet connectivity with Node 2i compared to just using WiFi?
- Am curious if using a wireless "access point" then connecting it to Node 2i via ethernet would sound "better".

Any thoughts or experiences out there?
Thanks.

ianrmack
Wifi is for convenience not performance.  Given the choice, hard wiring will yield better bit transfer without any drop outs. However, if you have to drill holes and run great lengths of cable, just go wifi and do not give it a second thought as long as you do not experience drop outs. 
Post removed 
I live in Chicago (as stated) and WiFi is very stable and very fast with ZERO drop-outs.

My question is about SQ between wired and wifi...

I can use an access point easily for $30 then run ethernet from there to the Node 2i.

QUESTION: Does the Node 2i sound BETTER with WiFi or Ethernet?
The really question is why are you using a node the question will sound way better being fed via a usb vs spdif

You really should explore a better sounding server like a lumin u1 mini and running usb to your dac still will have the 15 foot cable or wireless extender issue

Dave and troy
Audio intellect nj
Lumin dealer
Ethernet. Every. time.......
@audiotroy

Nice hijack attempt, dude.
Let’s please stick with the topic and you may sell your wears elsewhere. Thanks.

BTW, there are 2-3 direct comparisons out there of the U1 mini and Node 2i and results are inconclusive. One guy MAYBE hears it on headphones but struggles otherwise.

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/comparing-lumin-u1-mini-to-bluesound-node-2i.1037564/

Thinks the differnce may come down to WiFi v Ethernet.

Hence my thread. Now, if you have something to contribute, please feel free. But the stock answer you provided is shallow at best.

"Hey, throw more money at your issue with a more expensive product and it will be better...!.."

YAWN.
wifi is fine if feed is stable, and you do not experience no dropouts

otherwise use ethernet


I’ve read that wired can add noise. Not sure.

Agree on threads not being diverted to sell product. Abuse of forum.
I went from wifi to CAT6 and experienced better SQ. Later I added CAT8 (conductors individually shielded) and could hear further improvement, music was more robust. My system is very revealing.

The most dramatic upgrade was adding an aftermarket power cord to the Node2i.

Yes, I added an Audioquest PC to the Node 2i.

Did I hear a difference...?...not sure. 

Just really wondering about placing a wireless access point device next to my Node 2i then running ethernet...

Anyone...?
I don't have Node 2i, but in general you only send data (in packets) over WiFi or Ethernet.  As long as data sent is the same - sound quality should be the same.  If anything, WiFi should be better, since Ethernet can inject electrical noise (in spite of galvanic isolation in Ethernet standard).
I had dropouts with WiFi, but it is perfect now, after switching to 5GHz.
Interesting how two people with the same Node 2i could have such different outcomes using aftermarket power cords. I tried using a Pangea Power Cable with Cardas Copper with my 2i and noted no improvement. First time trying Pangea, I returned it and am still using the stock power cord.

The Supra CAT 8 Ethernet cable was a clear winner over the stock cord.
@ianrmack ,
I, too, tried an Audioquest PC to the Node, and like you, didn’t hear much of a difference.
As far as connecting the Node. I used Wifi on the 5ghz band and never had an issue with dropouts, nor did I find the sound disappointing-Mind you, I never compared direct wiring vs. Wifi.
Ethernet cable is cheap-unless you want to go buy some Audioquest bulk wire (which I did), and 15 feet isn’t very long. So, if it isn’t too difficult to snake, I would give it a try.
BTW, your Qutest would probably sound better with a better power cable rather than the Node.
Bob
@gdnrbob

Paid like $75 for the AQ PC for Node. Check. Base covered.
I have my Node 2i on 5ghz, too, and signal is STRONG and I never get drop-outs.

Since my modem and router are in same room as Node, I could easily just run a test piece of wire over. Wonder how to reconfigure now...;-)

Re. my Qutest - have a Teddy Pardo linear power supply for it and THAT was a great upgrade. Have some other PCs around and will see.

In general, I am VERY pleased with the SQ I am getting.
Just looking to tweak a bit...if possible.
It's about noise and the designer of any given streamer. It varies.   

Wired ethernet -and- wireless connections introduce noise.   

Look up Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and Wireless Signal Strength.

Also, ref: https://darko.audio/2018/08/ethernet-or-wifi-which-is-better-for-high-end-audio-streaming/


Ian Mark the Steve Hoffman piece you sent was from soeone who doesn’t know much about  compiter Audio and a dac like the quest will sound far better running usb Mr Hoffman used aes which will not sound as good for more modern dacs designed for high res where usb will sound better
I’ve used my Bluesound Node 2i with both wifi and connected via ethernet and I’m hard pressed to notice much of any difference in quality.

My internet setup is the last generation Netscape Orbi and I compared by running ethernet from one of the satellites vs connecting via wifi which can come from satellites or the router depending on network traffic

Also, I'll echo what was said above - the biggest upgrade to the Node 2i was the power cable; 
I found my favorites to be a $10 Hosa cable from Amazon US to the $240 Acoustic Revive Absolute Power from Amazon Japan. Ultimately, I preferred the Acoustic Revive but the Hosa is better than some much more expensive cables I tried.
Ethernet wired connection will ALWAYS be better. It will always provide a more reliable medium.

If wifi works perfectly, there will be no difference. However, since wifi is almost always prone to distance and/or interference and connectivity issues, it will always be inferior to ethernet wired connectivity.
Honestly not sure whether or not Ethernet beats WiFi. I have a node 2 I only use for radio stations now and it’s hard wired. However, I don’t think there’s any way using a wireless access point could possibly be better than just using the wireless option on the Node. That is, you are still using WiFi  either way. If true Ethernet is better than WiFi you won’t realize it using a wireless access point. 
For what it’s worth. 
Matt
Post removed 
rnrmf1971 The Hosa cables I see on Amazon claim to be polarized but aren't.  (They are polarized at the C7 end but the wall plug has equal-sized lugs.)  Is yours actually polarized?  Do you have the link?  Thanks!
Ethernet. Check Blue Jeans cables for cat6 cables. Well priced, and actually tested, with throughput results. My Node sits 3ft from my hub, there is no question wired is better than WiFi...
Honestly not sure whether or not Ethernet beats WiFi. I have a node 2 I only use for radio stations now and it’s hard wired. However, I don’t think there’s any way using a wireless access point could possibly be better than just using the wireless option on the Node. That is, you are still using WiFi either way. If true Ethernet is better than WiFi you won’t realize it using a wireless access point. For what it’s worth.
i think there is a serious dose of reality/truth in the above post by @feldmen4

running an ethernet jack from an extender that in turn uses wireless to extend there - is that ethernet or wifi... let’s not kid ourselves

or you use a wall socket extender to get the ethernet jack there from your router using household ac lines... what additional crap are you loading into the ac lines going that route?
Hello,
I have found it’s about the quality of the product signal and the shielding of the cables used.  I have tested all of this. Bottom line it all makes a difference. I have an Eero WiFi mesh system that lets me put the WiFi signal close to the BSN 2i. Triplite has a CAT8 cable. This gives you better signal cable to the source. I tried the Nordost Purple Flair PC and it made a difference in the sound just like a PC does on the rest of the system.  Partly in the sound and the other due to the shielding in the PC. The stock cable has no shielding. It’s 15’ of cat5 - cat 8 cable. If you are in the Chicagoland area I go to https://holmaudio.com/
Please try to support your local Hifi store. If we don’t in the future there will be no place to audition gear. 
Using a wireless access point would be worse than straight WiFi connection, cause it adds extra powering circuits means extra interference and instability. Switch to 10 feet 8-cat Ethernet cable in my case was big improvement in SQ.
What’s a problem to run 15 feet shielded cable in your case!? Don’t think twice. Do it ASAP. 
If it’s not hard for you to run a cable, why don’t you just try it. If you prefer the results wired keep it, if you don’t, go back to wi-fi. Avoid repeaters if you can, add a network switch in between the router and node. Hardwired is more resistant to interference and all things being equal your system should sound better, but as I say try it and hear for yourself. This thread won’t give you the definitive answer, because every other post will give you the opposite answer to the previous post. 
I haven't noticed any difference in sound quality between wired and wireless with my node 2i. However, recently, I started experiencing a couple of annoying instances of my app "losing" my player. Some of the forums suggested that wired was more stable as far as the interface between the device and app, so I switched to wired. But since I couldn't run ethernet cable directly to the device, I used ethernet over powerline adapters. These have plenty of bandwidth to handle any audio format. One word of caution when using these devices: if you have two phase wiring in your house, don't place them on two different circuits that are on different phases, as the signal then has to travel out of your house to the utility's step-down transformer, reducing bandwidth. Try to keep them on the same circuit if possible, or at least on two circuits of the same phase (either both black wires or both red wires in your electrical panel). 
Based on my experience and in my setup I consider the ethernet connection is better. 

It is important to remark that I followed a hint from another forum and I confirmed that the great benefits occurred when the equipment to be connected has lan isolator transformer on its ethernet input providing galvanic isolation. Take a look if your router and equipments have that.

Looking to the Node 2i, it does not have an isolator transformer on its ethernet  input. In this case, I recomend the use of a medical lan isolator just before the ethernet input. In my setup I use a MI 1005 lan medical isolator with good results. You can find other types on the net.

Depending on your setup a good shielded ethernet cable will be important. As a hint, I found an  ethernet cable  at Amazon:  Linkup Cat8 that I consider meets the audiophile requirements with a good cost ratio.

Regards,  QJA
I use Ethernet for most of my connections (my house was prewired) not because of sound quality but to keep the Jewish laser satellites from stealing my music and then wiping my hard-drive soft...

On a serious note, if ever in doubt keep in mind an access point to ethernet is no more than a wifi receiver like the one in a Node 2i (or whatever a person may be using) with a wire hanging out. 

A good way to see whether it is adding speed or throughput (which is more important and not the same thing) is to test these wirelessly on a laptop near your equipment and then test again using an access point while remembering throughput is the most important aspect of any given means of DATA transport. 
I ran an Ethernet cable and I think it did improve the sound  a bit. 
The problem with the 15’ run is that you’re potentially introducing noise from your router, so treat that either way, but that impact will be more pronounced with a longer run.  Then, there’s the price.  I’ve toyed with Monoprice Entigrade as a cheap option, but you’re probably going to need to spend a few hundred for a decent 15’ run.  Another option could be to get two TP-Link media converters on the cheap and do a fiber-optic run.  Easy to hide the fiber cable, and use a quality 0.5m Ethernet run on each end.  
Hi, All - 

I am the OP and this is my conclusion:

I use Wifi and it sounds good, works reliably and I have no issues.
Will continue to do so happily.

Thanks.
You right !!! Anyway with entry level streamer you probably couldn’t feel any difference between connection types. 
billzame
You're correct - the Hosa cable has the same size blades.
The Node operates either way it's plugged in but I just made sure not to twist the cable when I plugged it in assuming it might make a difference.

On Amazon, it's this one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H6QUBA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Here is the Hosa page:
https://hosatech.com/products/power/power-cords/pwp-426/


I have a Node 2 as well as an NAD C658. I can detect no difference in SQ when using WiFi vs Ethernet.   

Like  sfgak1 I use ethernet via powerline adapters. A very simple solution vs running ethernet cables over extended distances. 
I have a Node 2 and a Node 2i in separate systems.  The sound quality in both systems is better with a wired ethernet connection.  

The Node 2i is in my AV system.  I recently started using a fiber ethernet converter to convert the ethernet to fiber which is then connected optically to a Uptone Audio EtherREGEN.  The Node 2i and an Ultra Roku are connected to the EtherREGEN.  A further improvement to the SQ of the Node 2i and sound and picture quality of the Roku.
Not that I mean to hijack the thread as the OP is looking for a relative benefit for going Ethernet as opposed to wifi. User experiences seem to vary from it making a difference to little or no improvement and my take on this may be related perhaps to the variables of wifi from one installation to another. Different streamers may work better with one or the other depending on their intrinsic relative implementation of wifi/ethernet

The third option, although only useful for digital files you have in house, is the built in USB input on the node 2i.

Now that SSD drives are quiet, have no movable parts, have large storage capacity and  are reasonable in cost, there is a third option for your local files.

In my system, I prefer the sound of a CD resolution or better file played from an SSD drive into the USB input of the Node 2i to the exact same file on an old school hard drive connected to my network. Has anyone else tried this? Is it the direct USB input or the nature of file retrieval from an SSD drive that is creating the more realistic and dynamic sound I am hearing.
@lowrider57 

I concur! Supra CAT8
Cullen Cable C7
I’m also running a Node 2i into a Qutest. I didn’t notice an audible difference between WiFi and Ethernet using Qobuz, but the little orange status light on the back of the Node when you have a cable plugged in bugged the hell out of me. Made my decision easy. 
feldmen4,

I did not quite understand your issue but if it is a distance problem, you can always use a learning bridge to extend your range and connectivity.

This device will do it for you perfectly.  I have 3 of these at home and ALL my connections are wired to the back of my home router and I have absolutely no connectivity or interference issues.

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Ethernet-Unmanaged-Internet-Splitter/dp/B00QR6XFHQ/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia...

alephresearch

Ethernet wire does not introduce or capture any noise to its destination.  All is taken care of by the checksumming and error correction codes.

There should be absolutely no problems.  I use more than 100 ft of ethernet cabling almost everywhere in my house coz they all first go up into the attic and then down, and I experience absolutely no issues.

As long as you do not exceed the maximum length requirements of a category 6/7/8 cable, there should be NO problem.

@cakyol - the OP had asked if hardwiring from a wireless access point would be better than just using WiFi straight to the Node 2i. My point was that in both of these set-ups the signal travelled through WiFi so expecting one to be better than the other was not logical. 
Like you, all of my connections are hardwired and one of my runs is fairly long - not as long as yours but about 30 ft all done with high quality Cat7 cable. I don’t experience any audible issues with this set up.

Matt