Why Network Switches Matter in HiFi Audio Systems

In a hifi system, every link in the chain makes a difference. In the last 20 years, digital sources have all but taken over the audio world. During this digital revolution, the network infrastructure that supports components like DACs, streamers, NAS drives, etc. has become exceedingly important. A huge part of this foundation is an audio-optimized network switch – a device that may seem inconsequential at first, put actually plays a pivotal role in enhancing digital playback…

Data Transmission Stability

Audio network switches must ensure the stable and reliable transmission of data within a hifi audio system. Uninterrupted data flow is essential for maintaining signal integrity, preventing jitter, and minimizing delays. Nordost’s QNET Network Switch is designed with a high speed, multi-layered, impedance-controlled layout, which optimizes signal routes, provides a stable environment for data transfer, and minimizes reflections, interference and crosstalk. 

Noise Reduction

Audio systems are sensitive to electrical noise, so standard switches, with their inferior craftsmanship, often introduce unwanted interference. With Nordost, you don’t have to worry. Every aspect of the QNET, from part to placement, was made to perfect the transmission and receival of high-speed audio signals, while achieving extremely low noise operation. In addition to the many design features that contribute to noise reduction in the QNET, Nordost’s network switch takes it to the next level, providing five, physically separated, independently powered ports, each accommodating an 8P8C (RJ45) connector. The physical separation preserves the purity of the audio signal and enhances the listening experience. 

Precision Timing 

Timing accuracy is critical in audio reproduction. Network switches help synchronize data packets, reducing timing errors, and ensuring that audio signals are transmitted with precision. Nordost’s QNET utilizes an extremely low-noise, stable oscillator for the main clock which is mounted to the motherboard (unlike most switches, which opt for a sister board mount) to prioritize timing considerations which, in turn, contribute to improved audio clarity. 

Enhanced Streaming Performance

As hifi systems increasingly rely on streaming services for audio content, the performance of the network switch is becoming even more crucial. A high-quality audio switch, like the QNET, helps to optimize streaming performance, reducing buffering times and enhancing streaming quality. 

In the pursuit of the perfect performance, network switches play a crucial role in ensuring the stability, purity, and precision of audio data transmission. Nordost’s QNET was created to be an audio-specific solution, offering advanced features that contribute to an elevated listening experience in a digitally driven system. It is the perfect choice for music lovers seeking audio excellence. 

Nordost Stands and Kones give your components the support they deserve!

You’ve done the research. You’ve found the equipment to match the system of your dreams. You’ve put in the hours of thoughtful, room-specific set up. You’ve even invested in the foundation of your system, paying attention to the cables and power products that make you components sing. You are SO CLOSE to perfection you can almost taste [or pointedly, hear] it. What’s missing? Support!  

Nordost Sort Kones are the secret weapon in the battle against damaging vibration. These directly coupled, mechanically tuned resonance control devices effectively wick electrical components of harmful internal vibrations, correcting timing errors and distortions that may be occurring within your devices. Once engaged, Sort Kones provide a “blacker” background to your system, imparting stronger focus, more transparency, and greater dynamic range.  

Sort Kones are a comprehensive tool — they can be used with virtually all components. However, when developing our own components, Nordost has taken the chance to offer an extra level of customization…

Enter, Nordost’s QRT Stand Mount and QNET Stand. The QRT Stand Mount serves as a crucial foundation for optimizing the performance of the QSOURCE and QBASE, while the QNET Stand serves the same purpose for the QNET. These stands provide a stable, level, isolated platform, custom fitted for Nordost Sort Kones, that is especially needed in high-end systems that rely on cables which are heavy with the weight of technology and sonic potential!  

The QRT Stand Mount and QNET Stand are integral design elements of their QRT counterparts, seamlessly pairing with Sort Kones, and completing Nordost’s vision for optimal performance with a holistic approach to audio support.  

Don’t let your components stand alone any longer!  

Nordost Playlist – February 2024

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 February.

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

  1. Turn the Lights Back On – Billy Joel – Turn the Lights Back On 
  2. L’appuntamento – Ornella Vanoni – Del Mio Meglio 
  3. Shoes – Audiotree Line Version – Matt Andersen, Audiotree – Matt Andersen on Audiotree Live (Session #2) 
  4. A Love International – Khruangbin – A Love International 
  5. Let ‘Em In – 2014 Remaster – Wings – Wings At The Speed of Sound
  6. Good Morning Little School Girl – Muddy Waters – Folk Singer (Expanded Edition) 
  7. Higher – Chris Stapleton – Higher 
  8. Go Insane – Live 1997; 2002 Remaster – Fleetwood Mac – The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac
  9. Gdzieś We Śnie – Skaivi – Gdzieś We Śnie
  10. Good People – Mumford & Sons, Pharrell Williams – Good People