What's Inside An "Audiophile" Ethernet Cable?

Tears of regret at all the money you've wasted, mostly. Also a certain quality of silver, but an audiophile ethernet cable remains snake oil of the highest degree.

Patch panel picture from Shutterstock

You know that saying about fools and their money being easily parted? Nowhere is it more true than in the high-end audiophile world. That's not to say that high-end audio gear can't sound quite nice, but once you hit a certain level, there's little doubt that you're paying badge value prices for gear with little to no discernible benefit.

Then there's the products that simply don't weigh up to any kind of reasonable evaluation, like "Audiophile" Ethernet cables.

Over at Ars Technica they're testing out the snake oil qualities of such things, but they've also taken the time to tear one apart to have a look at its innards. Apart from the slightly higher-end connectors at each end — labelled, so you don't tragically plug the ethernet cables in the wrong way around — and a quantity of silver wrapped around the copper wiring, as promised by the manufacturer.

Still, just in case you were wondering: Anything travelling over Ethernet is, by nature, digital. Spending extra on fancy cables might buy you a slightly more robust cable, but beyond that you're not going to get extra audio benefits.

Gallery: We tear apart a $340 audiophile Ethernet cable and look inside [Ars Technica]


    Anyone know of a way to stop Ethernet cables from falling out, when you've accidentally snapped off the spindly retaining clip?

      buy a new one
      or recrimp an end

      just buy a new one

      Re-crimp or get creative - http://superuser.com/questions/710215/the-locking-clip-tab-on-my-ethernet-cables-plug-is-broken-how-can-i-fix-it

      The real Lifehacker has a piece on fixing a broken ethernet plug with a zip tie. http://lifehacker.com/5414106/repair-a-broken-ethernet-plug-with-zip-ties

      This is in reply to @l-o-quince (sorry it got moved down here).

      All good electrical connectors are gold plated.
      The more you move/reconnect the connection the weaker it becomes, even gold.
      So the less movement the better, so:
      After the connection has clicked in you just brush or dob a bit between the click and receptacle.
      The nail polish holds it in and can't be seen by most people but and you can tell if it has been moved (a bit like a matchstick in a door).
      Can also be used to stop communication if you know what you are doing.
      That is another story.

      Last edited 24/07/15 8:27 pm

      A bit of blu-tac will work in some cases.
      A glue gun used in the correct place, but I don't like them.
      A bit of cut and mix epoxy will also work if you don't mind digging it out or cutting it later, or just add an extension patch cord and double female socket and tie the connection together with string.

      Last edited 24/07/15 8:24 pm

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now