Hi-Fi+ Reviews the QNET Network Switch

We are excited to share our first review featuring our newly released QNET Network Switch. The results are in, and they confirm what we already knew: according to Hi-Fi+, “Nordost’s QNET is very much made of ‘The Right Stuff’”!

At the High End Show in Munich this past May, editor of Hi-Fi+, Alan Sircom, sat down for a QNET demo and was so blown away by its effects that he couldn’t help but write up a full review! Alan was able to try both the QNET alone, and with the QSOURCE as an upgrade, and was very impressed by both results, saying, “…the QNET on its own is a strong product in and of itself. I’d argue that even without the power supply, it is already in the top percentile audio-grade network switches. But as soon as you move from the plug-top power to the QSOURCE, there’s a jump to be had.” Alan praises the QNET for making his music more ‘believable’…more than any other network switch he has come upon, and states that it even caused him to rethink the order in which he recommends people upgrade their home network! 

“Thanks to Nordost QNET, network audio just took a leap forward in listenability.” – Alan Sircom, Hi-Fi+ 

You can now see Alan’s QNET article on the Reviews Page of the Nordost website. 

Or, read it in its entirety here: Nordost QNET Network Switch

Power Cord Reviews

We’ve received some fantastic reviews and awards over the years for our products. When we get new reviews, we do our best to make sure that everyone knows. We spread the word through social media, blogs, emails, and tell anyone willing to listen! However, once the press starts piling up, and new products start to get their time in the spotlight, these amazing reviews can tend to be forgotten.

While you always have access to these great reviews, thanks to the Reviews Page on the Nordost website, we want to make sure that if you are considering an upgrade, or just want to learn more about a specific product, you can do so easily. So… let’s start with power cords! 

This blog puts together some of our favorite power cord reviews, so that you can see all of these informative articles at once! 

Purple Flare: 

DAR Reviews the Nordost Purple Flare Power Cord

Cutting to the chase: the Nordost cable sounds better. It shines a light into music’s murkier corners exposing greater subtleties, most notably lengthening the tail of each piano note’s natural decay And yet, paradoxically, the additional intensity brought by the Nordost wire also sounded more relaxed. Joining the dots between amped up fervour and greater repose…” – Darko Audio  

Blue Heaven: 

Hi-Fi Choice Reviews the Blue Heaven Power Cord

The overall performance is clear and refined with a very low noise floor. The Blue Heaven is certainly a very good value-for-money, high-quality power cable option.” – Hi-Fi Choice  

NOVO Reviews the Blue Heaven Power Cord

“With the Nordost Blue Heaven power cord connected to the amplifier, I was immediately rewarded with a lower noise floor and an improved sonic experience…There’s no question that as far as cables go, power cables play a fundamental role in the performance of an audio system. Even an affordable cable like the Nordost Blue Heaven power cord can make a significant contribution to improving your music listening experience.” – NOVO

Red Dawn: 

Hi-Fi Choice Reviews the Red Dawn Power Cord

“This is certainly a high-quality power cable worthy of any top-end system.” – Hi-Fi Choice

Heimdall 2: 

Hi-Fi Choice Reviews the Heimdall 2 Power Cord

“With the Heimdall 2 in my valve preamp power supply … All the instrument images are perfect and the double- bass, which is taut and full, balances perfectly with the piano and drums.” – Hi-Fi Choice

Frey 2: 

Audiophilia Reviews Frey 2 Speaker Cables, Interconnects and Power Cords

“The Nordost cables get out of the way of the music and the environment in which it was recorded. The focus is in the quality playback and not the cables elbowing for top billing. As such, they have outstanding synergy.” – Audiophilia

Tyr 2:  

SoundStage! Ultra Reviews Tyr 2 Speaker Cables, Interconnects, and Power Cords

“There’s no question in my mind that the Norse 2 Tyr 2s sound superb. Inserting them in an already great-sounding system previously lashed up with their little brother Freys, I clearly heard consistent gains in all categories of sound.” – SoundStage! Ultra

 Valhalla 2: 

The Absolute Sound Reviews Valhalla 2 Interconnects, Speaker Cables, and Power Cords

“While the cumulative effect of having an all Nordost cable system is always the most pronounced, the effect of merely replacing one single power cable to your amplifier—for example—is something to be experienced.” – The Absolute Sound

Hifi Critic Reviews Valhalla 2 Interconnects, Speaker Cables, and Power Cords

“V2 power cabling saw timing and swing improved dramatically, bringing greater drive and dynamic realism. Stereo focus also improved, with layers now more secure and solid, and the whole system seemed to breathe more deeply, with heightened shading and colour.” – HiFi Critic

Odin 2

The Audio Beat Reviews Odin 2 Interconnects, Speaker Cables and Power Cords

“The Odin 2 power cord replaced a Valhalla 2, which I had ample experience with; the difference — again, with just one power cord — was, in my own words, ‘Astounding.'” – The Audio Beat

Questions and Answers: Power Cords

Since power cords are commonly known as the most important cables in an audio system, it’s no surprise that that we often get questions about them! We thought it would be helpful to put our “most asked” questions about power cords here so that you can find all of your answers in one place. Have any more power cord-related queries? Let us know! 

Q: How do power cords affect your sound system? 

A: Depending on how the specific power cords are constructed and what technologies they use, there can be several different sonic effects attributed to upgrades. However, in general, the biggest sonic differences tend to be registered as a change in dynamics (which sometimes disguises itself as a volume change), and in a distinction in imaging and soundstage. 

Q: Can power cords really make a difference after the miles that electricity travels in wires to get to my house?

A: While they are not audio-grade, the cables used to transfer electricity through the grid and to your home are actually a significant gauge. The “choke point” usually occurs in your home. Not only that, but it’s very important to try to minimize the effects of artifacts, EMI, and RFI that are introduced to electricity on its journey to your home and continue to be introduced from your home appliances.  

Q: Why should I upgrade the power cords supplied with components at purchase?

A: Manufacturers typically add in the power cords supplied with their components at the last minute. Oftentimes, this power cord is merely supplied as a means to an end, for as little cost as possible, so that the manufacturer can make the intended price-point of their product. As a result, little thought or effort goes into how it may affect the component. For proof of this, next time you are at a hifi show, pay attention to the cables being used in each manufacturer’s room. You will notice that when they want to make their product sound as good as possible, manufacturers opt out of using the power cords they themselves provide at point of purchase.

Q: In what order should you upgrade your power cords? 

A: The most important power cord in your system is the power cord feeding your distribution bar. This should be the first power cord you upgrade. Beyond that, while no two systems are the same (and there may be many variations), we suggest upgrading the rest of your system in the following order: pre-amp, power amp, DAC, phono stage, transports (based on usage).

Q:  I’d like to upgrade my cables. Ideally, I would like to stick to the same series of power cords throughout my entire system, but for budget reasons the upgrade will be a slow process. Can I wire my system with power cords from different ranges within the Nordost range? 

A: We completely understand why it might be hard to stick with your “ideal” cable throughout the system, so prioritizing does make sense. One of the reasons why we design our cables the way we do is so that they can easily be upgraded and mixed throughout your system without any drawbacks. All Nordost cables have the same design philosophy, so while products improve due to added conductors, gauges, and technologies as they progress up the lines, they all have the same sonic signature. This allows you to choose your cables according to your own personal needs and budget, and upgrade piece by piece as needed and when able. 

Q: What is the minimum recommended length for power cords?  

A: The minimum recommended length is 2 meters. 

Q: Is it worth upgrading the power cord that feeds a streamer in your home entertainment system? 

A: When we aren’t enjoying our music, many of us are spending a lot of our time streaming television and movies. For those of you that use an Apple TV media streamer, or any other streaming device powered by a figure 8 power cord, there is an easy, inexpensive upgrade that is sure to take your streaming to the next level! Nordost’s entry level Purple Flare Figure 8 Power Cord is the perfect solution for your Apple TV. The Purple Flare Power Cord is a high-speed, low-loss power cord that will allow your streamer to produce a picture worthy of your home entertainment system. 

For more information on upgrading your streamer with the Purple Flare Power Cord, read this review.

Q: Is it worth upgrading the power cord that feeds your subwoofer?

A: If the amplifier in your subwoofer isn’t as good as the amplifiers in your primary loudspeakers, it’s imperative to optimize its situation, in order to allow your subwoofer to succeed. This can easily be done by upgrading the power cord feeding the subwoofer. A really good power cord is essential to ensure that the built-in amplifier performs at its absolute best. With quality AC feeding your subwoofer, you will finally be able to enjoy those powerful, low frequency notes in your music, and not be stuck experiencing them as just a rumble.

Nordost Playlist – August 2022

Nordost products are designed to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. All of us here are passionate about great music, and want to share our passion with you. Each one of us has our own style… We listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone.

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this August.

You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ

  1. Everybody’s Gotta Live—Love—Reel To Reel
  2. If Only I Could—Blues Company—X-ray Blues  
  3. We Bad We Know—ZOI, Byfox—We Bad We Know
  4. Love and Happiness—Marc Broussard—S.O.S.: Save Our Soul
  5. Keith Don’t Go (2 Meter Session)—Nils Lofgren—Jan Douwe Kroeske presents: 2 Meter Sessions
  6. As Easy As Rolling Off A Log—James Taylor—American Standard
  7. I See A Darkness—Johnny Cash—American III: Solitary Man
  8. Black Hole Sun—Chris Cornell—Songbook
  9. Give Me Back My Man—The B-52’s—Wild Planet
  10. Chicago—Sufjan Stevens—Illinois