Barnsly Sound Org. announced the release of the Nordost QNET Ethernet switch for audiophiles. The manufacturer notes that now the most demanding of them use remote digital signal sources, that is, the data for playback comes over the network. However, according to Nordost, “standard home network switches designed to connect computers, televisions and other home appliances,” when incorporated into high-end music systems, “introduce a variety of interference into the sound of perfectly matched and musically tuned systems.”
According to the manufacturer, the QNET network switch is a completely different matter. It is specially designed completely from the ground up to deliver high quality sound. QNET uses “high-speed, resistance-controlled multilayer circuitry that optimizes signal paths and minimizes reflections, interference and crosstalk.” Also mentioned is “an extremely low noise and stable oscillator for the main clock, providing minimal jitter and phase noise.” The switch has six separate power supplies “that provide uninterrupted power to all internal components.”
The switch is housed in a “rugged and reliable aluminum case” that serves as a heat sink and shield, and also “minimizes crosstalk” between ports. As for the ports themselves, three of them conform to the 1000BASE-T (1 Gbps) specification, and two ports conform to the 100BASE-TX (100 Mbps) specification. It is these two ports that the manufacturer recommends to use for connecting main audio servers / players or external sources, since “only at this speed is internal noise cancellation possible.”
The switch comes with an AC adapter, but “for best results” it is recommended that you use a Nordost QSOURCE line source for power and Nordost Ethernet cables for connecting to other components.
The dimensions of the device are 165 x 34.25 mm. The first shipment of switches is expected this spring. The source does not quote the price.