Ethernet cables

Looking to upgrade my ethernet cables without breaking the bank.  Currently using WireWorld which are adequate but lack sparkle and weight.
Any suggestions?
Monoprice Cat8.....inexpensive and if you don't like them you're not out much.
+2 Supra Cat8. Very nice cable. I don’t believe it’s plenum rated which I’m guessing you’re only looking for cables between components and not inside walls or an attic. Can be purchased in bulk or with their ends which are very nice. Again very nice cable that just gets out of the way.
No Geoff. At least not controlled at the factory. Are you trying to control them ?
I have been using Supra Cat8 for months basing on good reviews. I recently switc back to the basic cables and found the sound much fuller and warmer. The bass, while not as deep it was punchier. For the Supra Cat8 users, do you guys have the same experience?
You know how when you had analogue TV the picture used to get better or worse depending on your aerial, cables, interference, noise, etc? But your digital TV either has a perfect picture or no picture at all?

Same with audio over Ethernet compared to analogue. It’s the way Ethernet works. If there is audio at the other end at all, it is a perfect reconstruction of the signal. Any noise is not part of the signal and is ignored.
All Ethernet cables “sound” the same if they pass a signal at all.
“All Ethernet cables “sound” the same if they pass a signal at all.”

Beware, I sense a measurement freak among us 😂
oooh aaahh,😱😱😱

we might be in trouble again then: you know, bits are bits after all....
What? I can‘t hear you...
Ethernet is buffered with error control...
All digital cables are the same...
What am I missing?

Let‘s pursue the OP for asking a heretical question!🤓🤓🤓
@antigrunge I find it so amusing that the people that are least informed think they are the smartest people in the room. You might try looking up ’Dunning-Kruger Effect’

Here’s a commentary from someone that actually designs digital audio equipment on some factors that affect the sound of digital audio. tl;dr: Bits are bits, BUT there are types of interference outside just looking at the integrity of the digital signal data.

Bob Stuart, Meridian Audio
"Of course digital bits-are-bits and with due care, each of the three interfaces (USB, Toslink, coaxial) can deliver the same data at approximately the same time. But the audio we hear is analog and real-world devices are subject to a variety of interferences including data-induced jitter, other process-induced jitter, (and) common- and differential-mode electromagnetic noise. In the ideal world, the data are clocked in by and buffered in the DAC (asynchronous mode) and then de-jittered before conversion. In my experience this can never be perfect, just made closer and closer to irrelevance."

Want more? Here’s some commentary from Gordon Rankin (introduced the digital audio world to asynchronous USB transfer):

As for myself, my hearing works just fine. So, a +5 on the Supra Cat 8 cable from me as well. And yes, I listened to it extensively versus an AmazonBasics Cat 6 cable. And also got my 15 y.o. son who doesn’t give a hoot about cables to give me his thoughts as well. Maybe his opinion is a +6 for the Supra cable.
FWIW, these were my listening notes of the Supra cable vs a AmazonBasics Cat 6 cable:

  • More presence, voices and instruments are more forward in presentation and more distinct. Sounds is tonality richer. Less grain to the sound. - Too Much Alike, Robert Plant & Patty Griffin on Digging Deep: SubterraneaEasier to follow bass lines. - Smoke on the Water, Deep Purple, Machine Head
  • Pace seems faster due to more clarity and better definition to the leading edge of notes. - Route 66,, Depeche Mode, Music for the Masses
  • More power behind crescendoes producing a greater sense of tension in the music. - Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Lisa Batiashvilli, Daniel Barenboim conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin
  • Typani have more fullness and definition. More finesse in how the interaction between instruments are conveyed.   Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, Op. 45, First Movement, London Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski
  • The complex, multi-layered rhythms are are more effortlessly conveyed & much more easily understood. It feels like it takes less mental effort to listen to this track when the Supra cable is in place. More fullness in how the voices at the beginning of the track are reproduced.  I hear this when listening to this recording on vinyl, but realized that following the rhythms in this track when streaming can sometimes be more difficult. Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes, Paul Simon, Graceland
  • Guitar sounds faster and more articulate. Layover, Michael Hedges, Breakfast in the Field.

Just an introspective observation of how I was involuntarily reacting to the Supra vs AmazonBasics cable:
I was listening to both on Sunday night and one interesting observation that I had was that I had a serious case of 'Let's hear that again' when the Supra cable was in my system and ending up listening to the same track 3 or 4 times. I was pretty tired when I was listening on Sunday night and the AmazonBasics cable didn't seem to have that same effect on me. In fact, I was literally falling asleep when the Amazon cable was in, but putting the Supra cable in would perk me up.

But I suggest you get a basic Ethernet cable and a nicer cable, perhaps the Supra Cat 8 cable which only costs $60-70. Listen to both. Ask your spouse or significant other if there is ANY difference at all between the cables. If not, keep the cheaper cable and you'll then know for sure that you either can't hear a difference and/or those of us advocating for more expensive Ethernet cables are just full of it.

Calvin - if you buy this Ethernet cable, which seems to modify the data, don’t use it as part of the network you use to make the payment online, will you!

Or is this cable so miraculous that it can tell the difference between the packets of data that carry your financial data from the packets that carry your audio data, and will let the former pass through unmodified, but will change the latter?
The digital data is not changed. It works better because it lets in less interference. Read what I wrote. Sound quality is impacted by "a variety of interferences including data-induced jitter, other process-induced jitter, (and) common- and differential-mode electromagnetic noise." While you’re at it, you might benefit from looking up ’Dunning-Kruger Effect’

I was trying a jib at the bits-are-bits crowd. I recommend an EMO-EN-70HD filter with a short Meicord Opal cable to the DAC and concur with everything you say
@antigrunge2 All good. I do find the comments of the bits-are-bits crowd to be amusing in their absolute conviction in their correctness due to their lack of knowledge. (kind of like the Flat Earther of audio). In all fairness, I don't expect everyone to hear a difference between cables, but if people are going to argue based on theory, let's at least have all the facts on the table.
Switching one Cat6 cable for another of the same rating or higher should have no difference at all if you don’t have a serious fault somewhere in your system. If your streamer/dac or whichever unpacker the cable is connected to can’t filter the tiny amount of interference you get over a short run in a gentle environment like a house you’ve got a serious problem in your system. The whole point of Ethernet and its protocols is to keep the data the same and to ignore the noise. The problem is not the cable. That recommended filter is a sticking plaster covering a problem you need to solve - basically, if the amount of interference you are experiencing is defeating your hardware, you need new hardware, not a new cable. 
The cable is NOT a filter. Read what I wrote:

" It works better because it lets in less interference."

I think you’re wasting your time by reasoning with @bluemoodriver. This is the guy who is led by science, engineering and objective evidence. I bet his audio system sounds perfect albeit devoid of emotions.

Lou Ottens once said, “I think people mainly hear what they want to hear”.
Haha, of course. I see there's no convincing to be done here.

When you say science, you must mean a Flat Earther type of science.
I found the biggest difference between CAT 6 and 6a,7/8, is the foil grounding between the pairs.
It never hurts to have electrical things grounded.
Actually, it never hurts many things to be grounded -especially in fact.
What I find amazing is that what Bob Stuart and Gordon Rankin say on the topic counts for nought in @bluemoodriver’s world. Stubbornly doctrinaire against better science, init?
Unfortunately a common trait among ‘scientists’ it seems...
Here s another one for you @bluemoodriver: why do you think the filter I was referencing was originally designed? To improve the accuracy of scientific medical instruments! Go figure! But that was obviously done in error because the lab had a fundamental flaw.....
These guys who say Ethernet cables do not make a difference:

1) Typically say nothing makes a difference. Of course other than room treatments and to a certain extent speakers, which of course everyone agrees

2) They have sorry a** systems, if any at all

Here you go, I said it. Harsh but true.

Having said this, using a good Ethernet cable will NOT make your $50 China DAC sound like a $10,000 DAC. Let’s be realistic about the impact of Ethernet cables
For those still on fence for Ethernet cables, give this a shot:

I almost never recommend anything China, but I do recommend Ghent. Great build quality at very affordable prices. Fast shipping from China too
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There aren’t many places left where “led by science, engineering and objective evidence” is a term of derision!

Now you have said that “guitars sound faster” I’m convinced. You are right. That’s all that’s needed - now the cable you selected and installed with an expectation that the sound will improve has reported by you to improve the sound by making the guitars sound faster, it proves that science, engineering and objective evidence is stupid. 
Silly me. 
With some notable exceptions like Doug S and Audio2design, too much of this forum is a dead end of the worst sort of audiophilia. The sort that causes our hobby to be derided and the people in it mocked. 
So carry on with suggesting science, engineering and objective evidence is a reason to be dismissive and rude.  Ignore your confirmation biases, your aged ears, the placebo, blind testing, and measurement. 
And then complain that young people don’t join you in your hobby.  You wonder why?

May I kindly suggest you stay away, then?
Two real authorities in digital product development make the scientific argument that more things matter than the Bits-are-Bits nonsense you are espousing and you still deride people capable of hearing that as charlatans. Enough is enough, my last comment on this obstructionist tosh.
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I use Supra Cat8 was a big lift here on Spotify and Streaming via Wifi... Hi rez and flacs...

Ive changed all my setup after. turned off enhancers and so on....

The old was a bended tortured Utp Cat4 freebee from an old Huawei Router.. 
Well, I recently was provided with a high enough speed internet to allow hi-rez music streaming. I am about to purchase a Bluesound streamer to be connected to router via ethernet cable. I purchased the Monoprice Cat8 cable as it was of higher quality than the most basic yet very inexpensive. I am new to streaming and have much to learn. I consider the Monoprice 'entry level'. Once I have become familiar with the Bluesound via ethernet as played in my system I then will consider options to improve sound, probably by improving the cable. The Supre8 seems like a good candidate.

@mesch That’s a sensible approach. That’s what I did with digital cables and power as well over the past year as I was open to WHETHER cables and power make a difference, but wanted to spend as little as possible for a given level of subjective sound quality. This is what I listened to in my own system (with cables loaned by friends so I had no out-of-pocket expense for listening to these other than the Jitterbug that I had already and Supra Cat 8 cable). My objective was to figure out how little I could spend and still get pretty decent sound.

  • USB cables: generic HP USB printer cable (straight out of a HP printer box, Belkin Gold, Pangea Premier SE, Shunyata Venom, Phasure Lush
  • Power cord (for Denafrips Ares II DAC): $17 Tripp-Lite Heavy Duty 14 gauge power cord, Shunyata Venom, Audience Forte F3, Synergistic Research UEF Black
  • Noise filters: Audioquest Jitterbug
  • Ethernet cables: AmazonBasics Cat 6, Supra Cat 8
  • Power: $75 car battery jumpstart pack to power a Qutest DAC & compared to the stock Qutest switch-mode power supply

First up was the generic HP USB printer cable, because ’bits-are-bits’ right? That cheap HP cable sounded absolutely horrible and opened my eyes to the impact of cables on a system. Perceptions were: Sound feels shut-in and veiled. Trailing edge of notes have an overhang. Treble is a bit harsh. Bass sounds tubby

Low priced products that were pretty good:
  • Tripp-Lite Heavy Duty 14 gauge power cord: This seemed to be quite good sounding with any differences from the Synergistic cable not immediately obvious unless I focus more on differences.
  • Belkin Gold: It doesn’t sound bad, but the more expensive USB cables clearly sounded better without having to go back and forth on cables at all. (other than the Pangea cable)
  • Jitterbug: This made a surprisingly noticeable improvement for a $60 product. FWIW, I just heard on The Hi-Fi Podcast that the Jitterbug tends to clean up high frequencies better and the EtherRegen does better for low frequencies.
  • $75 car battery jumpstart pack: Immediately noticeable benefits over the stock Qutest switch mode power supply are lower noise, better flow to music, smoother tones (less harshness), better flow. better pace. Using the battery pack provides the same character as with the standard power pack, but more refined.
Thinking back to all of these changes, turning off WiFi and using Ethernet made the biggest improvement. Switching from the AmazonBasics Cat 6 Ethernet cable to the Supra Cat 8 cable made the 2nd biggest improvement.
Basically it is the same advice I give to those putting together their 1st system. Put their money into the active components, purchase quality inexpensive cables, and tweek thereafter once one has become familiar with the system.  I sometimes take my own advice. :-)

+1. I really like starting with equipment that is inexpensive, because I don’t subscribe to the view that more expensive must be better & my hearing seems to bear that out. However, sometimes expensive equipment truly is better, but even then I want to hear the level of improvement from an inexpensive baseline to figure out the cost-benefit of spending more. At a certain point in audio spending, the difference becomes the difference between good and better rather than good vs not good. 'Good enough' is still tremendously enjoyable for me & why there is a lot of audio equipment that I would get before even considering upgrading from the already high bar of the Supra Cat 8 cable. Not to mention that I would rather use my limited time to listen to music than play with equipment.

I can definitely tell that the Supra Cat 8 cable is most definitely worth $65 ($50 more than a basic cable) and probably one of the best values I’ve found to improve sound quality. The Phasure Lush USB cable is more expensive at $200-250, but I’m willing to spend on that as well given the sonic benefits I’ve experienced. I do think that the marginal returns most likely decrease as prices go up even higher. A $1000+ cable would have to work some sort of miracle to justify my spending that much. Maybe down the road, but I still have to consider value when spending on a working person’s budget with kids about to go to college.
+2. Exactly my thoughts. Been there done that. Many years ago. Whether you continue to experiment with everything down the road, including with cables, it depends on how passionate you remain with the hobby 

mesch2,572 posts
03-17-2021 7:58amBasically it is the same advice I give to those putting together their 1st system. Put their money into the active components, purchase quality inexpensive cables, and tweek thereafter once one has become familiar with the system.  I sometimes take my own advice. :-)
If they are to spec, it will not make a difference.  Believe me, I am in the industry. Unless you are running more than about 200 ft, there will be no difference.  The signals on the cable are digital, they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with sparkle & weight.
I suggest the LINKUP CAT8. It made difference on my system after install on my system. Each cable is tested and its results is sent jointly with the package.

It sounds great. Previously I was skeptical about ethernet cables making difference on sound.



this bits are bits argument gets easily defeated by using your ears. Even short ethernet connections are subject to RFI/EMI as well as ground level incursions that have been measurably proven to mess with digital to analogue conversion in spite of your alledged digital expertise.
The anti-folks are just cheap. Acknowledging the effect of cables (digital in particular) would set off a round of cognitive dissonance.

"To achieve scientific perfection in audio, I would have to spend more money on digital cables."  Denial avoids the problem.

It is interesting that many science based deniers admit that this or that could make a difference with a digital cable, but that "better" more expensive cables don't. Not cognitive dissonance anymore, just flawed logic and science.
I should add that by adding a ridiculously expensive ethernet cable, I was able to hear a ridiculously pleasing sq improvement. My bias is keeping me happy with upgrades!
+1 @moguls !! Spot on. Happiness is all that matters, which naturally comes from experience and ownership, regardless of whether is perceived or measured by some #measurementmorons

For sure. The only science that definitively works is the trying of different cables to actually hear the effect on sound quality. Your ears are the only scientific measuring device you need.

I have ethernet cables made by three manufacturers. Monoprice Cat 5e, Cable Matters Cat 8, and Supra 8+. As you step up from MP to CM to Supra, the sound just gets better. Yes, the MP 5e is pretty good, but by the time you get to Supra 8+, it has become more realistic. I plan to try the ghentaudio Cat 8 in the future.
I have three Ghent Ethernet cables. And I have tried many other cables from many more mainstream manufacturers. IMO, for the price the Ghent Ethernet cables are an exceptional value. For about eighty buck all in shipped from China, I recommend anyone staying on the fences try one.

Here is his Belden one made with Metz connectors:
Hi @thyname

Have you compared the ET11 (the one you linked above) to the ET12? For some reason I have it in my mind the ET12 is the better of the Ghent cables but don't really remember why. What are your thoughts?
Hi @pokey77: only tried the ET11 (Belden) because of the Metz connectors, and because the ET12 is stiffer (as it is described in the website). I asked Ghent first time around and he could not differentiate between the two. So I went with what I thought would better serve me subjectively