Because an open blog format follows his reviews, former contributor Michael Lavorgna who now heads AudioStream must contend with direct but anonymous poster responses to his writings. Few of those reviews have stirred up the snakes in the grass as much as his various comments on USB and Ethernet cables. As a result, he sees himself reiterating time and again, in separate features, that listening is sufficient validation for those who pursue hifi as a hedonist hobby - which is to say, for purely personal amusement. I prefer singing that song without endless justifications as to why. The time spent justifying and arguing that position, I'd rather create more meaningful content in.


That said, it's because of ongoing abuse—just think costly hi-rez files exposed for being nothing but upsampled Redbook via the MusicScope software for one example—that many readers have grown cynical. Certain hifi sectors would seem to create imaginary diseases only to peddle subsequent imaginary cures. That type reader wants measurement* assurance that devices for new applications never considered critical before have scientific reality and value, hence proper raison d'être other than fleecing the gullible. And it's only reviewers who partake from the endlessly revolving buffet of hardware loaners. It's easy enough for them to say "just listen" when a punter in most cases must buy before he can.


As always, consider this review my 'punter by proxy' attempt to listen on your behalf. But first, the obligatory look under the hood. Whilst this device is directionally labeled—not only is there a marker on the circuit board, it's also on each side of the opaque casing, with additional 'router' and 'device' writing—the innards look perfectly symmetrical and centred on that HanRun HR602498 isolation transformer from Guandong. Bracketing it we see two tiny 12V/5uA SMD diodes and 12 capacitors of various sizes and ratings.

* The only noise-reduction measurements I've seen for this type device can be found on the Acoustic Revive website.


Included with any iSO-CAT6 is this short black CAT6 link. May had sent me two isolators, one for the desktop, one for the she-woman rig. She'd also snuck in a 2-meter stretch of SOtM's CAT6 wire to challenge my BlueJeans Cable-sourced Belden CAT6a between router and HP Z230 work station on my desk.


That completes our what and why.


Well, not quite. Given that this is LANfi, there's always a router and computer involved. As a standard ISDN job which our local Swisscom IT provider rents us, the router is decidely un-hifi...


... and so is the business end of my work computer from Hewlett Packard's hard-wearing pro division. Here SOtM's hooked-up box was the only audiophile ingredient.


Above glass meanwhile played it perfectly hifi legit with Gato Audio's Danish DIA-250 powering Boenicke Swiss W5se, with an equally swish soundkaos isobaric 2x8" subwoofer below deck. Tickling ivories not ovaries just then was Vassili Tsabropolous with 2013's You album streaming via my Qobuz subscription in full-screen mode.