AudioQuest has produced an Ethernet cable which is destined to be a lure for the audiophile. The AudioQuest Diamond RJ/E Ethernet cable promises "superior digital audio." On the product page blurb, the company claims that this cable uses the highest quality materials, as well as techno-babble enhancements like “critical signal-pair geometry, Dielectric Bias-System, [and] Noise-Dissipation System.” Apparently, these technologies stop your ones and zeros from being damaged. Oh, and it is priced from $1,295.
With its lofty price tag and product name containing ‘diamond’, it is somewhat deflating to study the specifications and see there are no actual diamonds within the product. The aforementioned Noise-Dissipation System (DNS) is said to be carbon-based, though. AudioQuest explains that the Ethernet cable uses metal and carbon-loaded synthetics to shield and protect your wiring from RFI.
While diamonds were obviously beyond budget, AudioQuest uses “Solid Perfect-Surface Silver Conductors” for utmost clarity and dynamic contrast. In its elaborated claims, it says that these PSS conductors will “completely eliminate strand interaction,” with the effect of minimizing distortion. Audiophiles listen up, the silver connectors are also useful for outputting “clearer, more dynamic and involving sound,” too.
AudioQuest’s Dielectric Bias System (DBS) is also worth closer inspection for signs of cod science. This battery powered feature is claimed to prevent signal slowdown, which would be "a real problem for very time-sensitive multi-octave audio," passing through your Ethernet cable. Just in case your ears don’t alert you the very moment the DBS battery goes flat, AudioQuest has installed a test button and LED for battery checking purposes.
Last but not least, it is great to see that AudioQuest has directional arrows on its cables, to help with proper installation orientation. “For best results have the arrow pointing in the direction of the flow of music,” from router to network player, says the cable maker.
The AudioQuest RJ/E Diamond Ethernet cable is priced at $1,295 for a 0.75 meter length, or $1,995 for a 1.5 meter length. Shipping is free from the source linked, and buyers are offered a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
While that's a ton of money for an Ethernet cable, there are people out there who will stop at nothing to achieve their dream audiophile PC build, even if that means dropping a lot of money on rather short Ethernet cables. Perhaps it will be used alongside products like the $500 Audiophile SATA SSD cable we highlighted last week, the Audiophile SSD, or the Audiophile Ethernet Switch.
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I question the sanity of anyone willing to buy this.Reply
150% more expensive than the Audophile Rocks SATA cable, and it doesn't even have crystal spinkles on top?Reply
edit: Then again... it's called "Diamond", so... I'll take three.
I wish I were in such a situation that 1250 dollars for an ethernet cable was no problem...Reply
Ethernet frames have cyclic redundancy checks built into them which detect corrupt data, so how is this at all needed? 🤡Reply
Headline correction "Lure Gulible (or idiots)". Your choice of words. Not sure what clown would spend that much on a cable.Reply
When will people learn.. The only reason a cable might seem to improve audio is if the cable you had prior was bad. Aka poor quality materials, bad shielding, worn connector, etc..
On the bright side, they're never going to sell one.Reply
Obvious. The 1's and 0's need proper cushioning upon transfer.Reply
In a word...NUTS!!Reply
As hardcore audiophile and occasional musician, I am often loured into reading articles like this to see what is up. I often have to fall back on reason using my engineering skills and checking the intersection of marketing hype with true expectations, and the hype very very rarely makes correct sense. Often the marketing boils down to marketing claims that can be held up in court.Reply
Yes, court. :) The major technical claim here sounds like they are claiming that there would be reduced Ethernet packet loss.
Just recently, I had a Windows system drive image that copied badly and had to re-copy it. Even the tried and true Ethernet CRC checks occasionally fail and you get data corruption. In my rather large SOHO network, I have gotten errors like 1 in 10^18 bits (better that a HDD), and worse on WiFi. So when sending critical file copies, I use tools like Goodsync and Teracopy to verify the final written data, and they both do catch errors. Teracopy is great, but Goodsync has gotten too expensive for the average user and they went to a subscription model (boo).
The causes of a bad network transfer are many, so don't think of it as simple: bad cables, bad data switches, dirty RJ45 connectors, WiFi errors, local power glitches and outages occurring (think: UPS transfers), solar flares, cosmic rays, local lightning strikes, and other transient activities.
So these guys with their cable are technically correct. I would trust that they can prove that they reduce bad data packets from getting through. Without their products on a continuous audio feed, you probably can get once every month a data glitch that results in an audio fart. Someone with OCD will find that annoying and want to buy their cable to fix it. If it makes the buyer happy, I am all for our capitalistic economy.
Note that in the music world, there are tons of existing products that are "over the top" now such as using Teflon capacitors, ultra low THD amps, never using Class D amps, and horror of horrors, never listening to MP3 files (ah, even high bit rate MP3s). The last one really makes me laugh because of all of the blind studies that show nobody on the planet can hear the difference in 320kbps MP3s. There are literally hundreds of proper scientific studies that show nobody can hear a difference between a 320kbps MP3 and CD.
And another note: 300 years ago diamonds where considered a useless, colorless rock that nobody wants. Especially since they tend to have no color. So 300 years later and clever marketing strategies, we pay incredible amounts for diamond jewelry. And it is expected, too. Not a lot different from the pet rock product a few decades ago. :)
CRC doesn't recover errors, it just tells the ethernet MAC that the frame is bad and should be discarded, then the upper layer protocol needs to figure out that the packet got lost and re-send that data. As long as you don't have packet loss due to CRC errors, then no amount of blowing smoke up your ass with fancy/fancier cables will make ethernet audio any better or worse than it already is.pointa2b said:Ethernet frames have cyclic redundancy checks built into them which detect corrupt data, so how is this at all needed? 🤡