If you're into streaming as your main way of listening to music, something that should concern you is the network infrastructure and signal path. A poor quality cable, network switch or connectors can add a lot of noise, and given how low voltage these signals are, a small bit of noise translates to a large drop in performance at the other end.
We've had the Waversa gear in our showroom for a couple years now. At first, when we started selling it, we thought it was a bit of a niche product, where only certain people could really benefit from it. These days, the range that Waversa offer and the performance benefit they bring, which, in dollar to performance terms, is a range that we think that everyone who streams music at any level should consider.
So here's two of our favourite products in the Waversa range that we think you need to look at seriously.
WLAN Reference and WLAN-EXT1
A deceptively simple product, but one that makes a HUGE difference to your network streamer. This product comes in three variants, the WLAN-EXT1 (RRP$1495), the WLAN-Reference ($6,495) and the newer WLAN-Reference+ ($16,495). The concept with all three are the same - simply connect it inline with your ethernet cable from your router to your network streamer, and it'll suck all the noise out of the signal.
The other unexpected benefit was the speed of interacting with the streamers. No matter how we interacted with the steamer, be it the native app, Roon, Airplay - with the WLAN-Reference in line it was two or three times faster to queue songs, load and connect to it.
We were sceptical at first also - it seems too simple to make an improvement. After the listening test, it's hard to not hear the improvement. Something you definitely need to try.
Another deceptively simple product is the WSmartHub 3.0 (RRP$3,495). This is a network switch, so you'd feed it with an ethernet cable from your router and connect your network streamer to the WSmartHub 3.0. You can also connect your streamer or computer to it via USB and use the onboard DAC.
The benefits of using this are the batteries. The WSmartHub 3.0 uses special batteries to power the ethernet ports, thereby removing them from the electrical ground circuit and removing noise. You can connect up to three other streamer devices via ethernet and two via USB.
Again, a pretty amazing, simple, and affordable unit. Something you need to try!