To extend Ethernet to remote location, are Powerline extenders or Mesh systems better?

I am trying to get Ethernet into a listening room that is not prewired, and it is not practical to run the hard cable through the old house into that room. I am planning to use a new music streamer that requires Ethernet connection (no wifi).

For hifi purposes, for passing the music signal, not just for computer equipment, are ethernet over powerline units better, or are wifi mesh router systems (which bring an ethernet port into a room using wireless transfer between the mesh devices) better?

For Ethernet over powerlines, I am worried about contaminating the power lines feeding the stereo preamplifier/amplifier, I don’t know if hifi power conditioners will filter out that super high frequency noise well enough.

For wifi mesh, it seems that the wireless handling of the music signal to feed the remote Ethernet port might somehow degrade the sound and introduce other problems that a connected wireline would avoid.

I am not a person that understands these technologies deeply, so I would value perspectives from others here who are users and who may be technically more qualified to understand this stuff.


Easy. Get an extender. The cost around $60, the wall wart kind that has a single Ethernet port. They work amazingly well. Easy to set up. If you don’t have mesh, I wouldn’t recommend adding. It works fine for some people and is a nightmare for some. Don’t use anything that passes the signal through the power lines.


If you want to go the next step you can put an Ethernet regenerator after the extender. But start with just the extender. Both my systems run off these… click on my ID to see them.

Dr. Google

As noted power line is dependent on your wiring quality, a variable.

I got my mesh 5 years ago from Costco, 90 days trial period.

But extenders usually work. Out back in my shed an extender was weak so I replaced it with a node from my mesh system. Perfect.



Assuming your current Wifi doesn't reach then TP Link Mesh is the way to go. :)

There are free wifi analyzers for PC/Mac/Android and iPhone devices.  Get whichever one you are happy with and it will let you check the strength of your Wifi signal as well as pick a signal that has the least congestion from neighbors.





Thanks for the quick responses, I appreciate it.

to ghdprentice - I looked at your system to see the specific extender model as you said but I could not find it, sorry if I somehow missed it.

TP Link makes so many types of extenders, so when I googled TP Link extenders many different ones pop up, some with antennas some without. All seem to plug into the AC socket to work, so it is kind of unclear to me which works in what way. I apologize for my ignorance and confusion.

I do have good strong wifi in my house and in the listening room in question. Just can’t run the hardwire ethernet into it due to the brick walls.

Mesh is superior, extenders pick up all sorts of ground level and RMI/EFI noise that you subsequently have a hard time getting rid off.

Another vote on a quality mesh wifi network. One key is to be sure the mesh device in the listening room has Ethernet out. Some do and some don’t. For example older google wifi pucks do but the new Nest ones do not. Avoid extenders (they just generally stink) and certainly any power line method. 

I used a Netgear (WNCE3001) to convert a wireless signal to ethernet for my Bluesound Node.

Worked like a charm.


The Decos have integrated power warts. They don’t work without ’em.


I suppose that to get a suitable music stream fed into my new Ethernet only network bridge device, a simple extender will do the trick. I think that device just sucks in the existing wifi signal broadcast by the main wifi router, and feeds it into an Ethernet plug. So basically, this is fundamentally using wifi to transfer the signal.

The mesh systems seem to set up an alternate, more powerful broadcast-and-receive setup using wifi also. Not sure if that’s on different frequencies than the basic repeater gadget above which simply sucks in the existing wifi signal. Yes I see that some of these mesh units give you an Ethernet jack at location B and some don’t.

As I understand it, the Ethernet over Powerline arrangement is totally different. It is a wired connection only (never goes through the air) but these EOP devices specially encode and then decode the signal so it rides on top of the 110 AC lines in the walls. So fuse boxes and other barriers can present obstacles for this ride-on-top signal to get from the transmitter to the receiver unit. I wonder whether this encoding/decoding process degrades the music being sent, AND whether running those signals on top of the AC power also dirties that power feeding the hifi gear which may be sensitive to it. So this introduces that new problem.

Seems like all CAN work but not sure which would deliver the best sound quality and least errors and most bandwidth.  And if the EOP dirties up the power to make the rest of the system sound bad.

Orbi mesh system with a main and 3 nodes here for about 3 years now.  Although I run fiber directly from the main to my main system, I run an outdoor/garage system by a short wire connected to one of the mesh nodes and Apple TV for HT from a different node.  Strong wi-fi throughout the house and even outside.  There are probably newer/better mesh systems out there now but this has worked perfectly for me.

Mesh systems are much better than extenders.

TP Link makes good ones as does Google.

I have 3 Google mesh access points and they work great in my plaster & lath walled house... where extenders always fell short. I have the ethernet-out port wired to a gigabyte switch so a 4k TV and music streamer can have wired connections. No, I haven’t tried both at same time...but throughput is 90-100 mps so it would probably work.

I should add that until a month ago, I had gigabyte ethernet hard wired to that switch. The mesh system is working great, to my surprise and relief. 

Post removed 

Mesh or powerline. My wiring is pretty new and being on the same circuit as the router, the powerline worked the best for me. I found the powerline much easier to set up then the mesh I had. Extenders for me were always a headache. TP Link is what I have used with the most success and least amount of trouble.

+1 for TP-Link. Have (2) on Lumin streamers at opposite ends of the house and they sound as good as my other hardwired streamer. 

+1 for TP Link. Get the top end model, not costly and works flawlessly with extender 20' (as the wire runs) from the streamer that it feeds.

All extenders, either WiFi based or ‘over the mains’ based will put unwanted noise out along with the Ethernet signal via their RJ45 socket.

If you using either of these devices then simple steps can be taken to remove as much unwanted noise as possible.

1. Use a ‘decoupling switch’ - any switch is better than no switch. A simple 4 port D-Link or TP Link switch will do, with an iFi iPower PSU. Plug a RJ45 cable from the extender into the switch, and then another RJ45 cable from the switch to the streamer. This will reduce noise quite a bit and will give a lift in sound quality, makes it more natural sounding.

2. Use a good passive Ethernet Filter on the leg between the switch and the streamer. This will further reduce noise giving even better, bigger, more enjoyable sound.


I'd read that mesh was better than an extender. But space is limited, so have gone for a TP-Link 650 wifi extender.

Yet to set it up, but taking ethernet out to a switch (just buying that now) to my streamer.

Will have a listen to this. If there is noise, the switch I'm getting has optical, which I've read is a way to eliminate noise. 

I used extenders for quite a while, but as more and more devices and apps started using the wifi it eventually couldn't service everything, and my streamers were struggling on and off  Put a mesh system in and haven't looked back.

@jerrybj  using optical will eliminate noise from the source, the problem is though, it sounds bad, thin, edgy, image is in a letterbox between the speakers. The reason for that is the very process of converting light back into electricity (at the receiving end) generates more noise and jitter. Keeping it all electrical and passively filtering out the noise is much better than using optical. I’ve done extensive listening tests on this to draw this conclusion.


You should have no worries.  Ethernet over power lines work very good.

These work perfectly well, as long as both units are on the SAME circuit.  They will still work otherwise but their speed and noise immunity will be less.


If you can implement a wired extender or I prefer adding a wired bridged router, then these will work much better than a wireless extender. You might have a weak signal to the wireless extender and then from then on, you will have a Wei signal.

I would run a wire your room, a qualified technician can run a wire to your audio room, then you will have the best connection

all these options, buy via best buy, amazon, ...

decide, order, works, or return it!

order two types, keep the best, return the other.

I tried using power line extenders.  It turns out that they are sensitive to transition zones in your fuse box.  In order to get from my router to my listening room there is a two zone drop and then additional drops for other areas of the house.  The adapters failed after a few months.  I bit the bullet and ethernet wired the house and everything has worked great since.  I have also heard good things about the WiFi mesh

I’ve never had success with any type of extender, and I live in a relatively new house with clean wiring. They have been flaky and unreliable. I now use an Orbi mesh router with three satellites. I know I got it right because I no longer think about it; it just works. “Flawless Basics” as we used to say at work. Hardwired would be optimal, but it’s a pain and there’s no driver given that the Orbi system does the trick.

I run the Roon core hardwired off a switch in my office and plug the Lumin into a port on the back of the Orbi satellite in my living room. 

I use a Netgear Powerline 2000 adapter to connect my DCS Dac and find it to be quite good. No problems over the last year and a half.



optical will eliminate noise from the source, the problem is though, it sounds bad, thin, edgy, image is in a letterbox between the speakers

Maybe this is system-dependent since it is not evident in my system. I have both Ethernet and optical 45-foot runs from my main router to my server/streamer so I can directly compare the two. My comparisons over the past year have indicated the sound is virtually identical between optical and Ethernet, and both sound fine - I certainly couldn’t pick out which method is being used in a blind test. My optical is implemented using two TP-Link convertors. I use a switch but no other specialty boxes with Ethernet. I have also not heard about other people experiencing thin/edgy sound when using an optical set-up similar to mine or other optical options such as the Sonore opticalRendu.

Too bad you committed to an extender... A mesh network is much better for many reasons, not the least of which is throughput: An extender will typically HALF your throughput b/c you're going from one "network" to another. With mesh it's all one network. I got a mesh node and put it in my stereo cabinet in the living room. (The main node is upstairs.) The problem was it generated so much RFI my MC pre-preamp was unusable for LP listening!


So I compromised. I put the mesh node across the room and ran some Cat8 from it to my Node2i. Sounds great! And as could turn off the LEDs on the node, it's practically hidden in the bookcase even though it's in the open. The added benefit is better wifi coverage downstairs for the telly and anything else.


Happy listening...

Doesn’t Roon insist on a wired connection between the box that it is running on and the endpoint? But you can use wifi to control Roon. I think.

I used to use TP link  extenders, but it all was a bit flakey. Some drops. And they used to die at regular intervals.


I am having success with Devolo Magic 2 wireline devices. Seems stable. Roon is happy. Sounds better to me than running the Roon NUC straight into my DAC.





+1 mesh.   A high performance wifi 6 system on 2.4/5G band will work as good as wired if setup properly.   Chose 2.4 if in a low density area like a house or 5 in a higher density area.  
Ethernet over power lines is fine too but has more ways to fail than wifi mesh imo.   It will not affect  your power used for hifi gear.  It’s modulated between 1.5 and 80  mhz.   None of that will ever go through any power supply.   A power supply is an extreme low pass filter :-).  Hifi or not.  

I've been using the top of the line TP -Link powerline adapter for a few years now , it's noise free and flat out stable and reliable, it also sounds fantastic.

I did not choose the wifi route.  Currently using a CAT 6 from the router to the streamer.  Can I bypass the router and install a coax to ethernet switch?  What are some things to look for or some good brands? 

I had a Cat5 hardwired extender-router until the unit failed and I had this rigged totally with a plain Cat5 cable running from the main router, out one widow, outside then back into the masonry house .... I got a powerline extender and use the wifi from the outlet wart to connect my 2012 Macbook Pro > stream Tidal> wired USB to DAC etc and it sounds great and exactly the same as the Cat5 wired extender to Wifi>Macbook Pro> USB to DAC.... every few months I have to reset the node in my listening room or even less, both nodes. I never have to pair them again even after a power loss....

I have a headache after reading all the contradictory assertions here.  @richtruss you seem to have done the most rigorous comparisons between the various options.  If I’m reading you right, either WiFi or powerline options are compromised and you can only mitigate their compromises after the fact.  No?  I assume you’d say same for Mesh?  Sounds like you’re advocating hardwired from router if at all possible — yes?  If not possible, what’s your best recommendation?  Thanks!

I use powerline extender with UpTone Audio EtherREGEN, works great!  The only problem with the powerline extender is they do add noise to my phono preamp, and I simply unplug them when playing LPs….

@musicfan2349 Can you go into more

detail on how the mesh point affected

your MC preamp/playback. I have one 

near my turntable. 


I use the Eero mesh. This is the 2.4/5G versions. I have heard the 6g might have issues. I even bought the wall holders which is really cool. I am bot a fan of putting more DC powered stuff on my power lines. I want to keep thinks clean as I can. If you have no choice then you will have to put the LAN over the power lines. I also like the mesh system because I can add a (puck) where I need it. The Eero has two out puts. To me it is so clean because it starts out wireless then gets converted to wired. I hope this helps. sounds bad, thin, edgy, image is in a letterbox between the speakers

That doesn't sound promising. Hopefully the switch I've bought will begin reducing the noise. Then considering a SOtM Cat6 Isolation Filter, or Acoustic Revive LAN isolator RLI-1GB-TRIPLE-C.

I actually use both in the sense that I use a TP powerline for the ethernet connection to my DAC(main floor) but use comcast mesh for roon to connect to my core (computer in upstairs room). Router is in basement.  It drops occasionally (connection to roon core)  but sounds great. Big house so had to deal with distance issues. Wi fi for my setup for the DAC seemed to not work as well.  If you are willing to make the effort you could buy both and do an AB to see which sounds better, then return the device you didn't want to use.

@soix Yes to all you ask. My recommendation is in my post, either will work, you just need to clean it up afterwards using a buffer switch and passive Ethernet Filter.

Disclaimer. I make the ENO Ethernet Filter.

As background.... I'm using a Netgear range extender to feed my Streamer (and 2Tb HDD) unit and that has worked well for years. There's not much else working off the range extender so it has plenty of bandwidth for the streamer.

As far as audio quality.....I recently read that it is important to use a well shielded Ethernet cable from the extender to the streamer to reduce noise from the nearby electronics. That led me to upgrade the Ethernet cable to a nicely shielded DH Labs Silver Sonic - Reunion Cat8.

Before I put in the new ethernet cable both streaming and locally stored music (all .wav) both sounded nice and about the same, but now the Reunion has made the streaming a more lively experience - especially on the higher bitrate streams (192k+) streams. 


Good luck with however you solve this!



I used to have my ROON Core behind a Powerline network. I also had my living room system’s DAC streamed via this same PowerLine. I even have this PowerLine in my garage with a bunch of heavy-duty computer servers.

When the new George Harrision remaster of ALL THINGS MUST PASS in high res came out, I was getting some distortion at a particular part of a track, when George was whistling. I could ALWAYS reproduce the problem at the exact time in the music. So, this was very helpful for me to figure out the cause.

It turned out to be my ROON Core being on the PowerLine network side of my home network. I guess the Powerline’s bandwidth could not keep up to speed with the whistling bits. So, I moved the ROON Core machine to my non-Powerline part of my network and the problem was solved.

I now forgot if my living room system has this issue still, since it is on the PowerLine as a ROON-READY endpoint. I do not think so, which is interesting. I confirm this with another post.

PowerLine works for me when the ROON Core is in the non-PowerLine part of my network.





@yyzsantabarbara wow... i have heard that same sort of distortion at times in my system, a sort of ’brownout' on the upper(usually) frequencies.... i am sure it is caused by the main internet connection or my ethernet network...


I found out that Nordost has this QBase power supply system that powers 4 QPoints and two other selectable pieces like a Roon Core and maybe your DC powered tt. I realized at that point that some of these Roon products are DC based power with basic switch mode power supplies or wall warts. If you are not doing the Q Nordost products then maybe get an SBooster linear power supply for you Roon. The SBooster is nice. When you power it down it can take a minute for the green light to turn off. This means there is a constant power to the Roon unit or your favorite DAC or piece of gear. Computers do not like interruption in power. This SBooster could really solve a lot of Roon issues. Plus you should get better sound. You do have to order the correct power output when you order one. These are sold all over. If you are in the Chicagoland area this store is a dealer.

So if you want to take out some of the Roon headaches and improve the sound for around $400 this seams like a no brainer. 
I hope this helps.