I just reviewed the Innuos NetworkSwitch, and I was amazed that it made any difference in my system, much less that it made such a wonderful, more musical sound. Adding Audience’s Hidden Treasure CAT7 cable while I was writing my recent Innuos NetworkSwitch review provided another surprise. That wonderful musical sound became even more pronounced.
All you have to do is hold the HT CAT7 in your hands to know that this is a superbly made Ethernet cable. In the product’s press release, Audience said:
Audio over Ethernet applications require high data transfer speeds and superior noise rejection. Audience’s Hidden Treasure Cat7 cable facilitates a 10 gigabit per second transmission rate, ensuring reliable, uninterrupted streaming with no data loss or dropped connections. The cable features four twisted pairs of 23 AWG solid copper wiring and an outer wire shield for maximum rejection of EMI (electromagnetic interference), RF (radio frequency interference), system noise and crosstalk.
The Hidden Treasure Cat7 cable utilizes a superior-quality RJ45 connector, which provides an extremely secure, heavy-duty locking connection to ensure maximum signal transfer. The cable features a braided outer jacket that is flexible and extremely durable.Audience-av
John McDonald noted that “as networked audio continues to evolve, equipment designers, audiophiles and astute listeners are finding that, just as with analog, there are subtleties of networked digital audio implementation that definitely affect sound quality,” noted John McDonald, president of Audience. “By removing noise and jitter to provide better data transfer, the results can be clearly heard in a more natural sonic presentation with better resolution and clarity and the ability to hear more deeply into the music.”
Set Up and Break In
I used a one-meter Audience HT CAT7 between my Innuos PhoenixNET and my Innuos Statement server. The connection was much tighter than any Ethernet cable I have ever used. However, the cable is very limber and easy to work with.
Yes, all cables need to break-in. When I first hooked up the HT CAT7, it added an overly velvety smoothness to the sound. There was also a pronounced mid-bass bump. Both of these disappeared in a few hours, and the sound continued to improve over the next couple of days.
Listening to Music
Overall, the sound of the HT CAT7 was what you would expect from a cable that reduces noise. It allows you to hear a cleaner reproduction of the music.
If I were to pick one word to describe the sound of my system with the HT CAT7 cable that word would be more. My listening experience was more fun. There was more music to be heard, and recorded music sounded more alive. There was also a more realistic soundstage, and there was more realism in the scale of the instruments on the soundstage.
If you use an ethernet cable anywhere in your system, I can’t recommend this one highly enough!
MSRP: $700 / 0.5-mete