We round off our little investigation into network cables with a listening test and a clear conclusion. As promised we subjected the network plugs to a listening test and listened to three different configurations: shielding fixed on one side, shielding fixed on two sides and double shielded (and both sides connected). Do we hear differences? Well…. yes…!
Let’s clear up one myth: there is NO audible difference in network plugs. There is a difference in build quality, price and ease of installation. In short: it does make sense to invest in a good plug.
But let’s continue with the sound reproduction: as you know, we have installed everything from standard plugs to expensive Telegärtners. We tried all cables on the same switch (with an IFI power supply) and listened to the same system:
- Driade Model 3S
- Pass Labs XP12
- Bryston 4B SST3
- Metrum Acoustics Ambre
- Metrum Acoustics Pavane (DAC3)
- Mutec MC3+ reclocker
- Dirade reference cabling
- Driade Flow speaker cables
- Audioquest power cables
We did not notice any difference between the connectors. Sometimes we thought we heard something (think of a louder or sharper S-sound), but when we went back to the other connector, there was no difference. It is sometimes very complex to listen to this properly and to judge it honestly. But after hours of switching back and forth, we dare say that there is no difference in reproduction. In any case, we do not dare to take a bet in a blind test…