Streamer Shootout: ifi Zen Stream vs Bluesound Node vs Chord 2go/2yu

Thanks for the shout-out and the plug, I appreciate it and am glad our iSilencer+ worked for you!

2 Likes

Thanks! Just trying to help everyone out with my experiences :slight_smile:

Great question. So, I didn’t connect any streamers via ethernet - BUT - I did have an interesting unintended experiment with my NUC server. While the ifi Zen stream can be hooked up via ethernet, mine is too far from my router to practically do that, so it’s all wifi. Given that, it doesn’t really matter where my NUC server is, given that it’s going to the router first, and then to the Zen Stream, so who cares if I connect the server to the router wirelessly or via ethernet, right? right??? (insert Anakin Sywalker meme)

I didn’t in my wildest dreams think there would be a sonic difference, so just for better connectivity, I hooked up my NUC server in the other room directly to my router (still wireless to Zen Stream). I kicked off a listening session, and I immediately thought “wait, something is off”. It took me a while to think of what had changed, because this was not an intentional or anticipated experiment, but I finally remembered that my server was now hard-wired to the router. I wondered if that could really be it, so I left the NUC server place (next to the router, in the other room), but switched back to wifi. Poof. The sound I knew and loved was back.

In this particular instance, even though the most direct connection to my rack didn’t change connectivity, there was a noticeable difference in how I connected my NUC server to my router. I thought WiFi was pretty clearly better. That certainly doesn’t mean it will be so in all circumstances, and I didn’t even experiment with the connection to my rack, but it goes to show you stuff like this matters.

1 Like

Yes, and the biggest improvement of the Zen Stream wired is reliability.

If you already don’t have any issues, that’s great too. No need to plug it in then!