Something about " reclock " & "dejitter ", which I couldn't comprehend...

D

Deleted member 926328

Guest
Hi y'all,

Firstly, sorry to bring out this old question again, but recently I just received this inquiry from my friend who is also on his way to digital streaming though, as we were discuss whether a network switch would help or not like everyone else, he sorta struck me with this, " Based on some researches, I found that most hi-end or high quality digital audio devices would reclock and dejitter signals on the arrival anyway, so what's the possible benefit of doing that in a network switch prior to arrival? "

I was speechless lol, because I didn't know about this, and I bough a network switch myself actually, so I seriously would like to prove my point to him!

If you guys have some insightful opinions regarding this question, please do share, I'm dying to learn...

Best,
 

KBD

Well-known Member
I'm confused as to what function you think the ethernet switch is providing, but I am almost sure it's not doing what you think it is.
 

larkone

Member
Your mixing up a digital audio signal with ethernet TCP/IP data packets - both entirely different things. And no a network switch cannot affect the 'sound quality' of TCP/IP data packets because it is data at that stage and cannot be reclocked or de-jittered. It becomes a digital audio signal (1,0s) once the packets have all arrived, put into the right order and unpacked. Then you can mess around with re-clocking and de-jittering of the digital audio signal to your hearts content. However it is now considered to be a non-problem with most modern quality audio kit

Some reading on the matter
 

gava

Well-known Member
Having a network switch comes in handy when you need different pieces of equipment to send signals to each other locally. Using wired connections can be a significantly more stable and reliable way to communicate than over a wifi network, depending on your environment. So having a switch and using ethernet cables to connect your equipment together can give you a better experience.

However, some snake-oil salesmen rely on the fact that the word "jitter" can be used in different contexts to mean different things. When applied to TCP/IP network packets you can think of it as the packets not arriving in a perfectly timed steady stream, but instead getting some variability in the frequency of arrival times.

You can think of this type of jitter as analogous to "you wait ages for a bus to come and then 3 arrive at once", and it can happen for analogous reasons, "congestion" in the network path, etc.

However the network equipment in your devices will re-assemble the data from the packets (even if they arrive at uneven intervals) and then pass that data on to the system that needs the data. At that point it has had any network jitter dealt with. TCP/IP is specifically designed to be resilient to variable speeds and delays in network transmission.

When applied to digital audio playback jitter has a different but related meaning. It refers to delays /unevenness in the digital data stream as it is processed into an analog signal by your DAC. When trying to recreate an analog waveform it is important that there is not too much jitter as then you end up with too many samples crowded together and others too spaced apart - you don't get a clean waveform out the other end. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with your network.

Digital audio jitter can be introduced at the recording stage (problems with the recording & mastering) or the playback stage (problems with your hifi), but it cannot be introduced by your network.

I hope you didn't go and buy a ridiculously expensive "audiophile" network switch. They rely on people getting confused and thinking that network jitter could have some impact on audio jitter, which it cannot. They are just a confidence trick designed to extort money from audiophiles.
 
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