Home GADGETS Dubious $4,349 audiophile network switch runs at slow 100 Mbps for ‘lower...

Dubious $4,349 audiophile network switch runs at slow 100 Mbps for ‘lower operating noise’ — Innuos Phoenix switch ignores reality

A new three-port network switch designed for audiophiles has become available to purchase. Priced at an astronomical $4,349, the Innuos PhoenixNET comes with a multitude of eyebrow-raising audio quality claims about signal purity, low noise, better instrument separation, and enhanced realism. However, adding insult to our already injured intelligence, this premium-priced switch offers paltry 100 Mbps performance, as it the company claims that older / slower technology “results in lower operating noise floor compared to Gigabit.”

On the PhoenixNET product page, Innuos says that this network switch has been “designed from the ground up for network audio.” In contrast with a typical switch, it says, the PhoenixNET “can improve sound quality when used with nearly any audio component.” Remember, we are talking about digital audio 0s and 1s traveling via Ethernet. Still, Innuos insists that its switch can deliver “musical details that stand out, a blacker background, better instrument separation and realism.”

(Image credit: Innuos)

Innuos indicates the audiophile PhoenixNET design resulted from its focus on four network switch technology areas: minimizing network switch noise, increasing clocking precision and stability, providing pristine power to components, and minimizing component vibration. To fulfill these objectives it has chosen to do things like limit the switch electronics to 100 Mbps, for the aforementioned audio fidelity improvements.

Innuos PhoenixNET switch

(Image credit: Innuos)

Elsewhere in the switch’s audiophile makeover, Innuos seems to have brainstormed potential audio-influencing problem points. It looked closely at power delivery and regulation, as well as ensured good quality shielding, soldering, and components were used. It even credits using “anti-vibration feet tuned to the resonant frequency of the chassis” with improving the device’s sound quality.

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