Powerline adapter

Anyone use a powerline adapter? With what results and advice on brands or set up? My incoming bb socket and router are miles away from my Rossini in a different room with no practical way to change layout or wiring so a powerline adapter maybe the best possibility. Thanks in advance.

Only thing I’d check out is whether or not the receptacles you plan on using are all on the same circuit. If not, you may well find using the powerline approach not a workable solution.

Yes all on the same circuit. Wondering more about impact on SQ.

Guessing it will be less than using direct wiring but that rarely happens since a network switch comes into play (and I believe PowerLine devices have some form of switching in them anyway) and likely worst would be using WiFi. Have you Googled the internet to see if anyone’s done any testing along these lines?

I have used Devolo powerline adaptors with both Naim ND555 and dCS Vivaldi. Worked really well.

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In case it’s of help, I use a series of Eero boxes to bounce 1s and 0s around our place. A final wired Eero is then hooked up to a GigaFoil v4 and into the back of the Rossini.

Works brilliantly.

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The biggest problem with using Ethernet over Powerline adapters is that you are squirting data over an uncontrolled medium - very much like WiFi. In fact they work very similarly to WiFi - kind of “WiFi down a pipe”.

In an ideal world they can work absolutely fine for most uses but if they DON’T work for you (or worse, work but unreliably or sporadically) then you really have no form of proper support to turn round and say “Well make it work then…”.

I remember in my previous life elsewhere having a conversation with a customer who was totally convinced that we had recently implemented a timer in the software of his music server that meant that it glitched when playing high-resolution audio in the evenings (but it would still play internet radio) right at the point where he wanted to do so because that was when he had the room to himself as his wife would go to bed…

The thing was we hadn’t issued a firmware update for quite some time.

It turned out that he was using Ethernet over Mains devices to connect his music server up to his HiFi and most of the time it would work fine but they’d recently had a new kitchen fitted and his wife would pop the dishwasher on on her way to bed at 9pm and as soon as the dishwasher went on the throughput on the Ethernet over Powerline units would tank.

So, myself, I avoid them like the plague and I would never recommend that anyone uses them in an installation that they are responsible for maintaining but as long as you do understand that they cannot be guaranteed to work (and work consistently), that they never come anywhere close to their stated speed and that they work by injecting “noise” onto the mains supply which you may or may not feel affects the performance of your system then they can be a “get out of jail free” card - however I really would recommend running a proper network cable if at all possible …

Ultimately, if wireless / mesh or Ethernet over Powerline solutions really are that good then why does industry / commercial still use wired for everything essential.


Understood Phil - but as stated running a network cable is just not practical in my home (as probably the case for many others) so I need to find an alternative hence why I asked the question in the first place.

I hear what Phil says and Naim are similarly opposed to their use but in my experience in a number of houses and both the UK and the USA I have found they worked very well. I always had the head powerline unit connected directly to the internet modem/router and used it exclusively for the hifi with a network switch between the powerline serving the streamer a naim uniticore as a ripper/music store and a Nucleus+. All the electronics run from a balanced mains distribution block. Maybe I got lucky but the Devolo was effectively plug and play and SQ just fine. I incurred my better halfs wrath by running a 100ft cat cable through several rooms just to compare. Like you hard wiring simply wasn’t feasible in my situation.

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I have a long run of CAT5e and an Ethernet over power line setup. Ethernet over power line is cheap to implement and may work well. The only way to know is to try it. I find it to be a better solution than wifi most of the time.

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MILES?! You have a large house! :slight_smile:

Powerline adapters should work fine. Any well known brand should be good. I would not use the super high speed ones, they might polute the power with higher frequency harmonics.

You could also consider a fiber if that’s an option. They are super thin and can go a long way. I use a fiber to my Rossini (via an SFP-RJ45 adapter powered by a linear power supply). Two reasons for this: One is to avoid electrical noise reaching my Rossini, another is to avoid power spikes in the networking equipment from damaging the Rossini.

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If you are concerned about using a power line option the alternative is a Mesh network. It took me a bit of time to get my Netgear Orbi mesh going but since then it has been rock solid.

My two channel room is connected via optical ‘till the last few feet in front of my Upsampler. Pretty standard.

I do have two other Satellites around the house which are part of the Mesh network. I can connect devices that like to see a Ethernet cable to those satellites and in general no issues. One note, after some recent Roon update a SonoS Connect unit is the only Zone that disappears as a Roon Option.

I can recommend a Mesh network as an alternative to Powerline.


Like Ben and Jim, I’ve gone with using mesh (TP-Link Deco x60). The one near the audio system has a Cat6 wired to a switch (in my case the Uptone EtherREGEN). The other connections to the switch include the Roon Nucleus (with a pair of USB wired WD 8TB drives) and another connection going to the dCS Upsampler. The only reason for the mesh to switch is to support WiFi for accessing the Roon library from an iPad. Works nicely. I’d considered fiber but had some issues in the past with some transceivers and even ill-manufactured cabling. However, this technology has improved over the past few years, so that may prove a better alternative if you’re concerned with any kinds of noise being introduced into the network.


Just to be clear - any form of network or network extender should work correctly if it has been properly implemented by the manufacturer, however, the problem is that often they don’t work correctly or reliably or they have issues caused by running over an uncontrolled medium (such as the mains wiring or using RF) and that is when issues can arise.

A lot of issues can be caused by network kit that is simply unreliable - here in the UK one of the biggest ISPs used their own router/modems that worked fine up to a point but when “we” (or rather the people I was with at the time) did some digging and testing a few years ago then once they started getting “busy” with UDP traffic would simply start dropping data (I suspect that the presumption was that as it was UDP it wasn’t that important, and if it was then the source and destination devices would handle it between them) and we found that once they’d got into that state even if the traffic through them was reduced they wouldn’t properly recover until they were power cycled - what we did also find though was that they had implemented the control of the LAN ports on the back of the unit in software rather than using dedicated hardware and so using a proper switch uplinked to the router rather than using the software switch in the router would often take enough load off the unit that it didn’t get busy enough managing traffic to get into that state but again that was a workaround and not a solution.

Similarly a couple of years ago I was involved in a project that included some testing of various consumer mesh network solutions against more “prosumer / commercial” grade products from Meraki / Unifi / Ruckus and again the consumer focussed stuff would, on the whole, fall short of reaching its stated capabilities while the more prosumer or commercial grade kit - whilst having less attention grabbing specs and needing more effort to install - would generally and consistently outperform the lower end kit in terms of both throughput and reliability.

On the whole the “workaround” solutions do “work” for most people that use them - the issues are that for some people they don’t and in those cases there is very little that can be done, the manufacturers will generally in that case tell the customer to return the extenders (or whatever) to wherever they bought them for a full refund which generally is cool with the customer as in the immediate term they’re not left out of pocket (even though they are no further forward with their problem) but is actually far better for the device manufacturer as they don’t have to provide any real support on their product to get it to work under an environment that they can’t control.

All I’m trying to say is just be aware of the possible downsides and pitfalls of using these various workarounds if you are going to use them, if they work for you when you put them in then great, if they’re still working for you in a couple of years time then that’s even better but if they don’t work for you or they work unreliably for you then remember that they are kludges and workarounds for “doing it right” and you may simply have to do so to get it to work correctly and reliably.

There is no black art to getting networks to work reliably but as I’ve said many times in conversations and training sessions “You can’t tweak yourself into having a reliable network but you can very easily tweak yourself into an unreliable one”…


OK here’s the update. So I invested in a TPLink TL-PA8010P KIT to experiment with powerline extender for around £50. From a network point of view it works fine. No drop outs, reliable 50Mbs connection, streams Qobuz just as I want. From a SQ point of view, it is definitely inferior to spinning a sliver disc in my Rossini. Hard to estimate but maybe 75% as good but with a slight loss of “radiance” and dynamics. How much of that is down to Qobuz, how much to my bb provider (TalkTalk in UK), and how much due to powerline extender, cables, etc, etc. No idea. But it works fine folks. So I’m using Qobuz to audition new music and then will by the CD of what I like best. Yes I still love those silver discs. A dealer recommended for better SQ I should try a mobile data plan with dedicated mobile router for the Rossini. This is a more expensive option and I would be interested to hear from others that have tried this route before investing. If you’re lucky enough to have an ethernet or fibre wired home, then great. But that is still a rarity here in UK. Thoughts??

Speaking as someone with a lot of background knowledge on these things… some words of advice. Homeplug/powerline devices don’t like mains noise. It’s typically local noise that’s the problem. For example, what a lot of people do is plug the homeplug into one side of a double mains socket and then the PSU for their router into the next mains socket. This is NOT good. Especially 'cause those horrible plug-top power supplies throw out high frequency noise right in the bands used by the homeplug transmission. Best practice is use homeplug devices with a mains pass-through socket because the pass-through socket has mains filtering built in. Plug the homeplug unit directly into the wall socket. Then arrange so that EVERYTHING nearby is powered via the pass-through socket - nothing in the wall socket next to it. Typically that means homeplug into the wall. Then a mains extension block into the pass-through socket. Then everything else mains powered into the extension block. Along the same lines, don’t fit those wall mains sockets with built in USB charger - horrible, noisy things. Also, the homeplug devices with built in wifi are not great. The problem is the built in wifi circuit creates noise which upsets the homeplug side. Better to go for a non-wifi homeplug device and plug a separate wifi access point into it (with it’s power supply into the mains pass-through socket).


Personally I wouldn’t go this route myself … it’s a creative solution though I’ll grant you.


Thanks Steve - very helpful practical advice that I will try. As an additional question, have you ever come across an ethernet filter - https://acousticrevive.jp/portfolio-item/rli-1gb-triplec/. Any thoughts on it?

These sort of things seem to be popular in the medical and radio ham world… I assume they’re a simple choke setup:


and this is quite interesting


tbh they look quite good and anything that reduces airborne RF and cleans up the ethernet wave form must be a good idea. There are several alternative products like this available. My advice is stay away from the products mentioned on the various hifi sites… always seems an excuse to triple the cost. A policy of shielded lan cable and sockets everywhere (with earth at one end) would perhaps, also, be a good idea though the twist on the lan cable pairs should stop differential noise.

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I use a powerline adaptor for a “offsite” backup of my NAS (it’s in a workshop maybe 100m from the house). It is overall reliable but I do need every week or two to bring the remote device back into the house to remind it of its job…
In digital terms, I suspect it either works or it doesn’t, so any SQ difficulties are most likely related to the same (analogue) noise from washing machines, fridges or whatever which would cause the dropouts. Simplest solution is to try a cheap network switch (Zyxel GS108B is £30ish and uses same board as EE, SIlent Angel and Nuprime) just before your streamer which should eliminate most of the noise picked up over the mains. If you are already in audiophile switch land then it’s as good as it is going to get.
Apologies if I’ve missed something!