Mesh network versus a simple Wi-Fi extender

In anyone’s experience, does implementing a pricier Mesh network yield any sonic advantages to just using a good Wi-Fi extender and running a good Ethernet cable from that?  From people who have very good streamer setups it seems like using a simple but good Wi-Fi extender from TP-Link etc. is more than fine.  Thoughts?


Streamers only need a trickle of bandwidth. My streamers are on extenders and while I can’t get my page to refresh on my iPad in unusual times of bad performance from my provider my streamers work flawlessly. I haven’t looked but I am sure they work fine on a couple mbs or so. While my wifi provides up to 500 mbs ocationally and 250 most of the time. It goes down to 20 - 35 a surprising amount of the time. 

In my opinion having ethernet cables connecting WiFi access points is the gold standard.  The exact same data stream that your modem feeds your main router will be the exact same quality, speed that the router feeds your other bridged WiFi transmitters when tethered together via cat 5e or cat 6 ethernet cabling. If your router is getting 900 mbps, so will the next device in the ethernet chain. If your AppleTV is hooked via ethernet to that remote access point, it will be getting 900 mbps.  No degradation or slowing of data rates found in typical Wifi "boosters" or Wifi repeaters people place in different areas of their home.  That being said it may be near impossible in many cases to string that much cat 6 ethernet cabling unless you're willing to pay hefty amounts for someone to run it thru walls, attics, basements, etc.  Often needing drywall repair etc. Thankfully mesh wifi systems offer a good compromise in all but the most demanding situations. WiFi 6 (and later 7 and 8) will continually improve signal transfer quality and reliability.

@fuzztone  If the network is rock solid, the SQ probably will be fine. If not that is the first thing to improve.

 "probably" will be fine? So it is not all about the network then, or is it? Care to expand?

High quality streamers cashe and isolate, making up for deficiencies in bandwidth, latency and such. While admittedly I have been in IT most of my life, this comes from observation of my own streamers producing simply stunning, uninterrupted sound quality from cheap repeaters. Observation to me trumps theory. I recently took a EtherRegen out of my system that performed no useful function and with two high end Ethernet cables on it degraded the sound.

With very inexpensive streamers I believe the network reliability is important. But with contemporary high quality streamers, typically it is not that important.