I have glanced through some topics on this forum and noted that there may be members here who have explored this topic a lot more than I have. I hope this thread can serve as a collective info share for others in the same boat as myself too.
I was a skeptic of ethenet infrastructure tweaks for a long time. However, my rig appears to be resolving enough to note sonic degradation or upgrades depending on different ethernet hardware I have tried. I stand corrected on my skepticism.
I currently have my audio optimized PC connected directly to my modem. The modem I have is a Netgear Nighthawk CAX80.
1) I connected the PC to different ethernet switches under the 200 dollar price point and they caused some sonic degradation. 2) I got rid of every switch i have tried now and am connecting the PC directly to the Nighthawk. This sounded better.
3) I upgraded the PC’s 10 dollar ethernet cable to a Audioquest Forest ethernet cable (90 dollars) and it appeared to be a sonic upgrade.
4) I introduced the DXE engineering isoplus ethernet filter (50 dollars) and it was a sonic upgrade.
This is where I am at. What else could I possibly try? I have no desire to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars on some “audiophile” ethernet switch. I have no measurements or technical explanation for any of the above mentioned sonic upgrade or degradation that was perceived. I am just trying to keep an open mind based on these perceived sonic differences.