New Taiko Audio Extreme Router

Taiko Audio writes: "The Taiko Audio Router fits in the same beautiful 22 x 22 x 5 cm / 9 x 9 x 2 inch milled-from-solid- copper chassis as the Taiko Audio Extreme Switch. Apart from the rear-panel connections, it will look identical and will have the same finish options, but it may become a little bit less heavy due to the Router PCB being around 20% larger. This proprietary PCB can actually also serve as a full motherboard which can support CPUs with up to 16 cores."

"While the Taiko Audio Extreme Switch has one-in, one-out connectivity, the Router offers 5 configurable ports, of which one will be the input, with 4 remaining outputs.

The Router has one SFP port that can accept a DAC cable and four RJ45 ports. We prefer DAC for ultimate neutrality, transparency and imaging precision. RJ45 is a close second above Glass. Some people prefer a degree of “smoothing” which makes a case for using RJ45 that can sound more pleasurable and reduce harder edges caused elsewhere in the system compared to DAC.

The way that a router handles traffic and/or distribution appears to dominate SQ and this is the reason we embarked on designing a router. The router is powered by any normal DC power supply. It may also be powered by our new to be released Taiko Audio BPS (to be detailed in a separate document). This BPS can power the Extreme in addition to the Router but if the Router is not placed close to the audio system, it will need its own power supply.There is huge potential for our Router functionality to evolve over time. We do have backup from a company specializing in router design for this and they will also provide support and updates.


Power input: 7-12V DC. 12V is the maximum input voltage and this is also the optimal voltage.

Switch current draw at 12V is 100mA , Router current draw at 12V is 500mA. A wireless AP can be up to 2A @ 12V. The current draw depends on the supplied voltage, at 12V, 2A is plenty.

Connector dimensions: 2.5 inner / 5.5 outer / 11.3mm length (this is the same connector as for the Extreme Switch)

A standard wall-wart power supply is included, but the Router will sound better with a higher end power supply.

Dimensions (WxDxH): 22 x 22 x 5 cm / 9 x 9 x 2 inch Weight: 15 Kg / 33 lbs


The pricing for the Router is not yet set but it looks like it will end up slightly below the switch/network card combo package price at around 6K. A currently significant unknown part of that is support cost, which is greatly impacted by how "plug & play" it is. There is some positive news in that area as the way it does currently perform best here can actually be supplied as a "plug & play" package, which we're working on right now.


Initially, the Taiko Audio Router will be available only to Extreme owners

Update 25-04-2023

We already have 100 Router PCBs and have started machining the cases for them. The routers could potentially ship after Munich, from June the 5th.

We will start a presale on Monday the 1st, we will have an initial batch of 100 pieces with 2 finish options, polished chrome or matte black.

The Concept

The switch + network card package turns a very noisy RJ45 interface into a very quiet SFP interface. This combination also offloads some network processing from the server to the switch reducing internal processing noise. This alone improves Roon playback performance to above what the XDMS Alpha testers are currently experiencing. XDMS benefits as well and remains the current Taiko SQ SOTA.

The router allows full control over the data stream being delivered to the Switch/Extreme. It can define all networking parameters and controls the actual amount and flow of data present on the network. It also allows controlling a wi-fi Access Point to control wireless networking parameters. Whether or not you replace your internet modem is actually not that important, it will achieve what we want to do regardless. However less is more, it supports a lot and if it can replace your ISP provided device, why not. It has 5 network ports and can therefor create 5 separated networks.

In a Nutshell

The Switch / network card combo reduces noise by offloading (moving) processing from the Extreme music server to the Switch.

The Router reduces noise by controlling the actual DATA on the network leading to another significant lowering of noise.


  • A hypervisor will be running on the Router so it can run multiple operating systems as Virtual Machines.
  • One of those virtual machines can run Ubiquity software to manage a whole network of Ubiquity Access Points / Products if so desired (or possibly other brands, we use Ubiquity ourselves)
  • Another virtual machine can run streaming preprocessing to improve online streaming performance for Roon
  • Yet another virtual machine could run a future part of XDMS (our upcoming new server and playback system for the Extreme, currently in Alpha state)
  • Serve as a NAS (for music storage)
  • Route an iPad output through the Router to the Extreme. Amongst others, this would enable splitting YouTube into separate audio and video streams and then streaming YouTube audio directly to the Extreme music server.
  • All 5 ports can be configured as separate networks
  • The Router can be used to replace your ISP supported router if your ISP supports replacing your router, to that end, and because this is high-end, it runs the highest possible security level, guaranteed safer as your ISP modem/router, a 5 year support maintenance contract with several update options will be included, which can, and will need to be extended to stay safe in such a scenario, after (the cost for this contract is EURO 50 a year), it can also be used to create a separate network in series with your ISP or whatever other router.
  • Support for setting a static IP Address for the Extreme. Implementation methods, requirement for Support, and effect on SQ
The most support-intensive option would be to use our upcoming Router to replace your current Router serving your entire network where you create separate networks for your audio system and your other home network devices. This was the original goal, and still is an option, however it is not the best performing option from a sound quality POV.

Current intended configuration

We get the best result by far by using the Router to create an exclusive audio network consisting of 5 devices:

1) Router
2) Wi-fi Access Point (AP)
3) Switch
4) Server
5) Remote control device (Ipad or Android tablet)

This way, you'll have 2 Wi-Fi networks, one for your Hi-Fi, one for the rest of the house. You can either switch your remote-control device between the two when you are listening to music, or get a second remote control device for audio only.

Intended Config, explained

In the "OLD situation" all networked devices in your home are connected to the same network, and all of them tend to create continuous activity. If you want the blackest of black backgrounds, the absolute minimum in image blurring / greying, then you need to minimize activity and devices on your network. In the "NEW situation" we add a second router and Wi-Fi Access Point to create an entirely new network. Your home network becomes the "internet" for this second network. This setup has 2 benefits:

1) It is unaffected by the activity generated by all of our home networked devices. 2) We have a high degree of control over the activity which is left on this network.For this configuration, we’d supply a complete Plug & Play preconfigured package, AP included.

The best description that we can come up with what this setup "adds" stability. It creates a silent / black background in which images are projected with absolute stability, floating in air. There's also a significant increase in detailing, texture retrieval and soundstage, which is larger, airier and more enveloping at the same time, but the stability of it all is what stands out most, and this is somewhat of an eye opener as adding more devices to the Router degrade this stability, creating a somewhat diffusing effect and diminishing image positional precision.

The amount of "traffic" created on your home network does not affect this stability. We tested high data rate downloads, 4K video streaming etc, and this is virtually undetectable whereas it does noticeably impact things without the Router in place.

Another interesting discovery is remote control device to server connection speed/latency has an effect, faster is better here, a faster Ipad, or a less cluttered Ipad with less apps which create background activity installed, sounds better. And this goes for both local file and streaming playback.
Motivation for designing both a switch and a router

Why did we end up designing both a switch and a router?

Based on a post by Emile on WBF 03-12-2022, worded to be easy to understand

After years of trying and experimenting we have not found a single solution leading to full immunization to the influence of networking on sound quality. This network is an active component in your home. A perhaps shocking discovery is that your home network can even influence your analog playback chain. Every component of your network exerts a degree of influence, ranging from very minor to major. What this means is that when you introduce any type of streaming digital source into your system (and even when you don't) and you care about sound quality, you should absolutely look at the large picture, including every single component and piece of wire, not identical to but similar to how you look at for example your power utility setup, where the utility breaker box, fuses and all bits of wire make a difference.

A router is like the airport / main distribution center of your network, it performs customs clearance on international packages, checks for illegal content, and sorts and transports all packages to where they should arrive in a timely and organized fashion. It should have plenty of capacity to ensure everything runs smooth and in a timely fashion, and good management- and quality control departments.

A switch is like your local post office / distribution center, it needs a well-maintained road system and a fleet of delivery trucks with good suspension so packages arrive undamaged at their final destination even when encountering a few bumps in the road and last but not least well-mannered delivery guys.

In audiophile language, using the earlier mentioned power utility setup analogy, your house mains utility distribution box would be the router, your in-wall wiring would be the ethernet cable running from the router, your local system power strip or power conditioner would be the switch, and your power cord would be your ethernet cable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their respective degrees of influence on sound quality are very similar. The router being the mains utility distribution box in this example can furthermore be enhanced with things like power regeneration, cleaning, stabilization etc.

Battling Networking Noise in layman’s terms

We are taking 180-degree angle approach to networking noise relative to the more common methods that are currently used. Think of the following analogy:

1) Being stuck in a silent room with a leaking water tap into a bucket of water.

2) Those same drops of water falling into an ocean with you on the beach enjoying the sound of waves.

Our approach is to not drown out irregular noise by hiding it in a wideband high noise floor but rather to make the offending noise itself inaudible allowing you to relax in that silent room and enjoy the sound of silence.

In a normal home setup with an X number of devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, desktop computers, notebooks, smartphones, tablets, smart lighting, smart household appliances, etc., adding more devices with a relatively small increase in total network activity is not that noticeable.

However, when you create a new network for audio, using a dedicated router, with a bare minimum of devices, with overall very low activity, and the activity which is there is controlled on the router and connected devices, any additional device creating additional and uncontrolled network activity suddenly does become noticeable.

In our current testing setup (which is the setup on the diagram above), we use both an iPhone and an iPad to control the Extreme. If we have both devices connected to the dedicated audio Wi-Fi Access Point at the same time, it’s instantly noticeable. So, we only connect one of the two to the Audio Wi-Fi and switch the other to the “Home” Wi-Fi when listening to music.

2.4gHz versus 5gHz revisited

Once upon a time in our old workshop in Hengelo we achieved better sound after disabling 5G and exclusively using 2.4G wireless networking. Spacing the single 2.4G access point as far away from the listening room as possible improved the sound even further. As we had bad Wi-Fi coverage because of that anyway we didn't connect our phones to Wi-Fi which sounded even better.

When we moved to our new facilities in Oldenzaal, we had a much larger area to cover, added more machines, needed better coverage and ended up installing a Ubiquity router, switches, multiple Wi- Fi 6 access points, people working here installing wireless internet radios, etcetera. Before we knew it we had over 30 wireless devices active at all time. With the system up and running, when most of the dust of moving had settled, Emile decided to revisit the 2.4G matter which had proven to be so successful in Hengelo. Imagine our surprise as this now worked the other way around.

Emile invested more time, reconfiguring the router and access points, playing with it at night with all the non-relevant devices powered off, and big surprise, the best result was obtained using 5G and just having a lot of active devices on the network. “Best” in this case refers to a reduction of nasty glare & edginess, but these improvements came at the cost of lower overall levels of transparency AND reduced dynamics.

We realized that the only way to effectively combat this tradeoff and actually solve the problem, getting rid of the "glare" while simultaneously retaining or even improving transparency and dynamics, is to have full control over the Router and Switch software. As is now known, our new Extreme Switch already solves a significant part of it.

This is an important thing to keep in mind. A lot of network tweaks which "improve" the sound do so by making the sound more relaxing and easier to listen too, like releasing tension, and that can be perceived as a much better sound, no doubt. However, and this is something you may not notice right away or perhaps even at all, along with this also comes a reduction in dynamics, both micro and macro, often a smoothing effect in high frequencies, reduced dynamics, and ultimately reducing/smothering musical life.Q&A

Is the Router made from a solid copper billet?

Indeed, it is. We are slowly but surely moving towards 100% in house manufacturing to get rid of external supplier dependencies as those have become increasingly “troublesome”. We don’t want our own anodizing facility hence the choice to move away from Aluminum as a base material. Copper is a material which we can finish ourselves (over time), we have years of experience working with it by now, and as a bonus, the material has an arguably “higher-end” look and feel.

Do these cases provide full Faraday shield insulation?

They come as close as you can get for an electronic appliance.

Should the Taiko Switch and Router be used in series? Or just one vs the other?

In some cases, the Taiko Router can replace the regular main router, in other cases, it can be placed behind the regular router and used “in series”.

I have the service provider fiber going into the Fiber modem, then a RJ45 cable to the router/switch. Does the new router accept the service provider fiber directly? Or will I still need a fiber modem before the Taiko router?

The Taiko Router could accept the service provider fiber directly. Subsequently, you could create a separated audio and rest-of-home network. Alternatively, it could also be placed behind the fiber modem.

For those of us that use an Edge router with our ATT (AT&T) setup, will the Taiko router replace or be an addition to the network chain?

The Taiko Router can be used both ways.

Does the router also have to be near the Switch, like the case for Switch to Extreme?

No, it can be placed anywhere.

Would the router normally be placed near the system? Surely very few people have their main router near enough to the extreme to be powered by the BPS.

It would be much more beneficial to power the switch from the BPS than the router. We’re assuming the switch being placed close to the Extreme and the router at a distance, likely where your internet enters your home.

Does the Taiko router also work as a modem?

Depending on your definition of modem, yes, but your service provider needs to permit and support using your own router.

Does the Taiko router have WiFi?

It’s not a wireless router but it can run Ubiquity management software to control an Ubiquity wireless access point which we’ll likely recommend to go with it. Most people are unlikely to replace their router but use this to create a new isolated network for Audio.

Can we use the router instead of the switch? In other words, does the router do everything the switch does, and more?

They serve different purposes.

Are you going to do some testing with the major ISPs in each region to see which work with your router?

Unfortunately, this is not realistically executable. But it’s not an uncommon practice, for instance, see the information following this link: with-your-own (first hit on googling “how to replace your internet router”).

Since my ISP's Router also works for TV services, I need to place the Taiko Router after my ISP's Router. In this case, would we make a LAN-to-LAN connection with the Taiko Router's DHCP services disabled, or a LAN-to-WAN connection creating a second network for audio only?

Creating a second network for audio only would give you the maximum uplift in Sound Quality. This yields much quieter backgrounds, undisturbed by network traffic generated by other persons in the household.

Can you rank the various Taiko products by order of magnitude of improvement of the sound quality?

The Taiko Audio Extreme Switch is the star of the "show". In order of impact as things are today:

1) Switch
3) Router
4) Network card + Interconnect

But it's a tight race between 1) and 2).

Is there any sonic advantage to have the router and the switch in separate boxes? If not, could you possibly offer a one-box router-switch so we eliminate one cable and possibly one external power supply?

Unfortunately, yes there is an advantage to having separate boxes. If you want just one box, we recommend picking the switch.

Although we can have separate networks assigned within Taiko router, will it still be better to have a separate ISP Fiber and modem to fully isolate traffic?

This can actually turn out negative. For obtaining a degree of separation, you could place the modem, router, and switches on a separate mains system. But if you're splitting a single phase with a common neutral it's not going to matter that much.

Which of RJ45 or Fiber would work best with the Taiko router?

RJ45 is preferred but both work well.

What are the rated speeds of the router’s RJ45 ports?


Will the Taiko Router support creating a V-LAN upon installation?

Yes, this is indeed supported.

Within a voltage range, what is the best voltage?

The largest variation in that would be caused by a linear Power Supply. For a LPS, a higher voltage might be better as most are noisier at higher currents (and lower voltages).

If 12V is optimal for the Switch (which is its minimum recommended voltage), would 7V also be best for the Router, given that’s it’s lowest recommended voltage?

The issue here is the LPS. Both the Switch and Router are very power conversion efficient (~99%). That means that if the power consumption would be 12 watts (just as an easy example), the current draw would be 1A as voltage*current=power. If you use a 7V supply the current would go up to 1.7A (12W divided by 7V = 1.7A). Typically higher current = higher noise in a linear regulator, but there's more to it then that. A LPS is not a very power efficient supply. As a commercial manufacturer you would not typically use a different transformer for each different output voltage. Perhaps you'd use a 15V AC secondary transformer which supplies about 21V DC after rectification (+/- 10% to account for wall voltage variations) for 15V and 12V out after regulation, in a LPS the excess voltage is discarded, transformed into heat, increasing the current draw from your powergrid, and the current spikes for recharging the capacitor bank which is also a type of noise, the more inefficient it is (the more power is transformed to heat) the worse this gets. So it just depends on the LPS design which voltage will perform best. As 12V is a very common voltage you could assume those to be relative efficient designs, but in the above example with a 15V AC transformer secondary the 15V LPS could perform "better". Now if a manufacturer uses the same transformer for a 5V , 7V and 9V supply, the 9V would be most efficient. Therefor it's impossible to give you an exact recommendation without knowing the design specifics of the LPS as the Switch and Router really don't care much which voltage is supplied as long as it's in range.

Is it true that some audiophile cables do not work with the Taiko NIC and Switch?

Cables that are restricted to 100Mbit (as opposed to Gigabit) can indeed cause certain issues. Although reducing the network speed to 100Mbit is a strategy employed by some "Audiophile" switches with a school of thought that lower speed translates to lower noise we simply do not agree with this. Further to this many unexplained Roon problems, like sudden stops during playback are caused by 100Mbit network speeds and solved by moving up to 1Gb, with a vast decrease in error messages in Roon's logs. For XDMS the negative impact on SQ by running at 100Mbit is very obvious. Therefor we do not support 100Mbit networks, but we do support diagnosing and curing the cause of running a 100Mbit network.

100Mbit versus Gigabit Switches – what’s better?

if you look at it from a design / component perspective, 1Gb switches are much more modern / advanced / further developed, and can actually end up consuming less power overall than antiquated 100Mbit switch chips. Our switch only uses 1.3 watts with DAC cables? We did not have much success with 10Gb though, that just uses way more power, runs much hotter and is very difficult to get to sound right.

RJ45 or DAC?

We prefer DAC for ultimate neutrality, transparency and imaging precision. RJ45 is a close second above Glass. Some people prefer a degree of “smoothing” which makes a case for using RJ45 that can sound more pleasurable and reduce harder edges caused elsewhere in the system compared to DAC.

Is the customized QoS rule of the router important?

Yes, virtually all settings matter.

I will replace my current switch (before the Extreme) with the Taiko switch. Should I also remove the subnet (Edge Router x) before that?

Yes, the Taiko router should be able to do everything the Edge Router x does. However, there are some ISP devices that will prohibit direct one-on-one replacement. In that case, you can add the Taiko Router after the ISP Router.

Will the router and switch also be made available for non-Extreme users?

Never say never, but initially, the Taiko Audio Router will be available only to Extreme owners. With some adjustments it's possible for non-Extreme owners to use but it will not give the full benefit, which includes a software / firmware interaction. As it stands, it was quite a challenge to secure enough parts to be able to supply one to each current Extreme owner and have a few spares for future ones.

For now, can we keep existing house router/wifi access points and use the Taiko router in series and create an audio-exclusive connection to the hifi system for best sound?


At one point, it was said dedicated internet to the ISP was not necessary. Has that changed?

It has not. In our opinion, that will not add much if anything at all, when set up like this.

With the Taiko router in place, is there still a benefit to isolating the audio Wi-Fi AP with fiber optic?

Not in the cases that we have tried it.

Copper or Fiber Networks? I have two separate internet services in my home, one is fiber, going to the Audio Network, and one is copper, going the home network, so they are completely isolated. In this case, which option should be better:

a) Program (if possible) the Taiko router in order to use it directly with the fiber input

b) Keep the current fiber modem and router, and place the Taiko router in series

In this case, it doesn’t matter much. Although we do significantly prefer rj45 into the router though so we would probably end up recommending b) for that reason.

Extra Wifi Access Point needed? in a configuration: Modem-Router (ISP) - Taiko Router- Taiko Switch, if the Modem-Router (ISP) already has Wifi access, is it still necessary to add a Wifi access point connected to the Taiko Router?

For maximum sound quality yes, as that will ensure there will be only one active wireless device (remote control) on your audio network, with the lowest possible remote control to server latency.

Will it be possible add two sets of rules to the Router? The first set of rules : complete isolation. The second set of rules : allows access to the HiFi network from the Home network. The goal being to backup the music files and the Roon library from the Extreme to a NAS located in the home network and to access the Extreme's Roon server from a machine on the home network to allow managing Roon settings and library from a desktop machine.

We will have to add VNC and filesharing port forwarding rules, but keep in mind less is more for SQ. We are contemplating implementing VNC and file share access port forwarding by default. The Extreme could be assigned a permanent IP address, always the same, on all routers. That adds the benefit of decreasing support load for us. Your VNC / file share access IP address from your home network would then become the IP address assigned to the Taiko router by your home network router.

If I play local files from a NAS, the NAS will connect to Taiko router. Will it compromise sound quality?

Yes, a better solution would be to connect an USB drive to the Router which can serve as a NAS.

Currently, I have dedicated for audio ISP service (fiber) with modem and Router. Home is on totally separate Service with its own modem and router. Could I use just one ISP service, one modem and one router when using Taiko router and the SQ will be same as on totally separated chains?

The Sound Quality should be roughly the same indeed.

I use a separate computer (MacBook Pro) to copy CDs to the Extreme SSD and then copy to an NAS for backup. I do not use the NAS for playback. Is SQ still affected by having the MacBook Pro and NAS connected to the Taiko router?

Yes, as they will then increase network activity on the “audio” network. Every powered-on device connected to a network creates network activity. Most mobile devices, like iPhones, iPads or Android devices even create network activity in “standby / screen switched off” mode. If you power off your MacBook Pro during music playback it should not generate network activity, but your NAS will for sure.

At what minimum distance should the WiFi AP be placed?

We don’t think the “airborne” part of Wi-Fi impacts anything. It’s more the power side of it which can cause some “discomfort”.

Is it going to be your recommendation that the router connect to the switch via a DAC cable?

For ultimate “neutrality”, yes, but it works great with rj45 as well.

What about WAP?

The router will not provide WAP.