Stereophile review of Silent Angel Bonn NX Network Switch

Just up on the Stereophile site:

No lab report from JA unfortunately (although if you are interested in measurements please check out the Alpha Audio articles below). It is worth a read, whether you are convinced network switches (working as they do in the purely digital domain) can or can’t affect sound quality. And, spoiler alert, whichever camp you are in this review is unlikely to change your position.

Bottom line is pretty much summed up in the following sentence:

Alpha Audio articles (second article behind paywall, the other two free):


We have been over network switches here extensively, including the Alpha Audio article that is behind the paywall, and including the comments of Alpha Audio themselves, here:

Stereophile mentions some changes in the perception of listening through the Silent Angel Bonn NX, the same that I mentionned in my thread above:

Listening to music with the Bonn NX, I immediately heard, or thought I heard, an intensification. Most of you know what I mean—everything seemed more vivid, even the silences (“blacker background” and all that).

It had to do with the structure of the soundstage especially with large-scale music such as symphonies: They had better separation between instrumental sections. By “better separation,” I mean that the spaces between sections (first violins, violas, double basses) became blacker (or let’s say darker gray) and deeper.

It sounds better: darker background, better stage dimensions, more sparkling…


As @Ermos says, we’ve been over this before. And the statement above is incorrect; a network switch may have been designed to work “in the purely digital domain” but this is not where it actually works for audio purposes. It is precisely this purely digital original purpose which can improve sound quality (if installed in the right place just before the streamer) by reducing/mitigating/killing any RFI accumulated to that point and stopping it reaching your DAC via your streamer. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Haha, we have indeed (at this point we’ve been over most things before, many times) although to the best of my knowledge this is the first time Stereophile has published a review of a product like this. That is significant as in my view as it serves to legitimize a category that some are still questioning the legitimacy of, and is the reason I posted it here.

I also noticed a favourable review of your Superswitch in hifi+. Congratulations! I know you are too modest to post it here so let me do that for you:

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Off the top of my head the forum rules here are similar to those on the Naim forum. Those with commercial interests need to identify themselves, and are not allowed to post things serving their commercial interests.
I would suggest it is not appropriate (or allowed) to post that review. You may want to edit your post - before someone else does :wink:

I disagree Gregg. Nigel has clearly stated his affiliation and has not afaik posted anything in breach of forum rules. I have no commercial affiliations to declare and afaik haven’t done so either.

My point here is not that switches make a difference, as @ermos pointed out some of us have known that for years. However switch reviews in the mainstream audio press, Stereophile and Hifi+ are new, and imo show an acceptance of the category into the audio mainstream. I wish they had done as thorough a job as Alpha Audio, really diving in to the why and backing it up with measurements, but hopefully they will do in the future.


@struts001 Thank you. That review was in HiFi+ probably 9 months ago now; there were a couple of things in it I would disagree with which are not entirely product-specific eg the assertion that cascading switches works, but it was very welcome overall. They’ve awarded us a couple of gongs since.

Check out Roy Gregory’s website gy8 for a very recent review too.

@glevethan You’re right and so is @struts001. My affiliation/status is clear but I am not here to promote my products, I just fight the corner of switches-for-audio in general! I’m a dCS fanboy first and foremost.

Right, must get on with my packing for Munich… where I hope to see Phil H again. I’ll mainly be in Atrium 4.1 with my kit in support of Vienna Acoustics and CH Precision.

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