As one works down this list to cross off each item in sequence of importance to handle grosser distortion first, smaller stuff has a chance to finally matter. Eventually we're down to polishing with ever finer-grit compounds. It's a perfectly sensible method to arrive at gleaming performance. Starting at the bottom of the list working our way up instead would simply be idiocy. We don't worry about chrome polish with a flat tyre or empty tank. First things always come first. When that's all about paying the rent and putting food on the table, a hifi doesn't even factor. So it's important to maintain proper relativity. Now we're ready to listen?

Lhy Audio SW-8 network switch preconditions incoming network data; Singxer SU6 bridge post-conditions all data outputting via USB. It's a tidy 27" iMac-based 3-piece server/streamer solution for less than €3.5K total.

Not quite. UHF noise filtering, even broadband, is no infinitely steep brick wall. It's no impenetrable vault door that locks with zero gap. It's why Ansuz of Denmark are very candid about their Tesla coils benefiting from massive paralleling. Most their kit comes in three performance levels always around the same core circuit. What changes is the amount of noise filtering built in. Having A/B/C'd three Aavik D/A converters whose only difference was their built-in filtering, I can vouch for the audibility of 'more'. In today's case I'll use one inline filter, not a chain gang. If the same reality of only partial effectiveness applies to SOtM's approach as it does to Ansuz or LessLoss for another example, we'd expect this to be just a start. It'd explain why SOtM promote three of their network switches in series whose incoming and outgoing CAT7 cables all insert iSO filters. My takeaway from that fact is that none of them work at even remotely 100%. Some noise gets through so more units slaved filter more. A journey of a thousand yards always starts with the first step. I'd just take the one baby step. What kind of performance increase could that realistically net? After thinking it over—and suspiciously eyeing two extra connector junctions plus more cable—I set my expectations low to keep it real.

Delivery included a ~20cm long Ethernet link with plainer connectors than the Telegärtner shown in the opening photo; and brief operating instructions which describe the isolator part as a "10GBase-T compatible isolation transformer". The semi-transparent casing sports the expected branding in the middle and directionality arrows for router-to-device flow. The device is 10cm long and 3x3cm across. With the cable itself quite stiff, one needs some clearance behind one's computer/streamer to accommodate SOtM's cabled assembly.

Use mouse-over loupe enlarger; or right-click to open in new tab for full size. This passive circuit looks perfectly symmetrical centered on the 4-piece isolation barrier in the middle.

The instructions also mention "ultra high-end audio grade sound tuning" which presumably points at the various capacitors; and about the three cable options shown earlier that the black version is most resolved and dynamic, the dark grey mild and comfortable and the grey between those two. What I received looked black over yellow/orange so different again.