Most updated Gigabit Ethernet networks depend on the cabling infrastructure’s specific standards. This is to ensure that the reliability and consistency of every network performance are achieved. These standards include specifications for physical connection to devices. Thus, making an end to end engineered technology.
Not following these standard specifications can lead to decreased performance and data loss. Hence, it is crucial to use the appropriate cable for a certain application. Not to mention, using a high-quality cable that meets your specifications.
Audio over ethernet applications is no exception to this rule. Old cabling systems can cause packets to drop and for connections to lag. Say, for example, Youtube streaming and file transferring. These processes have increased transfer and buffer times. For audio, user may experience either audio losses or dropouts. It can also be a combination of these two..
So, what should be the ideal ethernet cable for audio purposes? Let’s find out as we continue.
The majority of audio over Ethernet applications use Gigabit Ethernet connections in high channels. Gigabit’s transmission rate needs a specific network system that can handle it. This includes Gigabit-compatible hardware and an ethernet cable that has enough rate to work with Gigabit speeds.
Two of the most commonly used ethernet cables in the market are Cat5e and Cat6 cables. Both support Gigabit speeds at 100 meters lengths maximum. The Cat6 cable’s higher specification is made to support speeds of up to 10Gbps. It is also backward compatible, meaning it works like a Cat5e cable and standards.
The major differences between these two cables are the number of twisted-pair wires per inch and the wire gauge conductors. A Cat6 cable using higher twisted pair wires and heavier wire gauge diminishes crosstalk and attenuation. This results in clearer and more stable audio network speeds.
Unshielded vs. Shielded Cable
Ethernet cables are labeled as STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) cable. This is a special type of ethernet cable made with extra electrical shielding together with the cable’s length. These cables also have specially designed plugs that are linked electrically. The plugs also hold the cable shielding to the connected device per end.
There are other certain cases that may call for shielded Ethernet cable to prevent radio-frequency or electromagnetic interference. However, these cases are generally observed in harsh industrial manufacturing places. Most especially around large motors and heavy machinery. As a matter of fact, if you utilize shielded cables that are not properly implemented, they can cause issues with audio applications.
Shielded cable is more pricey, fragile, hard to work with, and removed. So it has more technical implementation specifications. UTP or regular unshielded cable is more preferable in most cases. Being said that, make sure to always check for certain manufacturer requirements of every device you are attaching with. It may be designed or intended for shielded cable use instead of unshielded ones.
When you are confused about Cat7 vs. Cat8 cables, it is safer to seek assistance from your cable manufacturer or provider. Professionals will help you if you’re not sure which type is best for your audio application performances.
Improvising your own Ethernet cables is indeed one way to save money. It also enables you to design cables that match with your exact specifications for an audio system. In case you opt to create your own, it is vital that you’re aware of any possible error. Hence, it is best to consult with professionals.
Making your own Ethernet cables can be a great way to save money. It allows you to create cables that fit your needs and specifications exactly. If you choose to make your own Ethernet cables, it’s important to be aware of some possible pitfalls. You need to follow some important general guidelines too.
In addition, almost all RJ45 connectors are made for use in shielded or unshielded cable type. Using connectors that are built for a single cable type with extra cable in a different type, can yield undependable outcomes.
There are a lot of available RJ45 connectors made to be used for both shielded and unshielded cables. So, you need to pay extra attention if the plugs are compatible with your specified audio applications.
Hopefully, these details will give you a bit of an idea about what ethernet cable to use for your audio system needs. Having some basic technical knowledge about ethernet cabling for audio can go a long way. Most especially towards unforeseeable troubleshooting issues as well as boosting your chances of preventing any problems that may occur.
So, when it comes to the cabling infrastructure for your entire audio application network, be very meticulous. You can always ask for assistance from your cable manufacturer or cable professionals in this matter.