English Electric’s NEW 8Switch Audiophile Ethernet Switch

Chord Company brand English Electric officially launches its first-ever product: the 8Switch 

13th May 2020, Wiltshire, Great Britain: English Electric (a Chord Company brand) has officially launched its first-ever product, the 8Switch data switch. The announcement follows English Electric’s international debut at the UK’s biggest audio event, The Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2020, in February. With 8Switch stock now in dealerships nationwide, full details of the new device (£450) have now been released, along with a dedicated English Electric website:

About the 8Switch

The 8Switch is a high-quality eight-port GbE Ethernet switch designed to deliver high-quality sound from music streamed over a network. Cosseted by a high-quality machined aluminium enclosure, which offers excellent protection from both acoustic and electrical noise, the 8Switch comprises eight audio-grade 100/1000 Base-T gigabit Ethernet ports, with high and low electrical noise isolation, reducing troublesome data issues when streaming music over a network. 

A discreet LED display on the front panel includes power, alarm and the link status/speed for each of the eight ports. Resonance-damping feet are also featured to help decouple the 8Switch from unwanted mechanical vibration. Each 8Switch is also supplied with a Chord Company C-Stream digital streaming cable (0.75m) worth £40.

With data switches requiring high-speed power supplies, negating the use of linear power devices due to their speed limitations, English Electric’s engineers set about improving the power signal by using an extremely high-quality wall supply. The advanced medical-grade power adaptor permits an optimum-quality network signal, driven by high-accuracy clock technology and has been designed to reduce electrical noise from AC sources, and prevent mains quality issues from affecting network signals. The 8Switch also boasts high power efficiency, a no-load power consumption of < 0.075 W, plus protection from short circuit, overload and over-voltage.

8Switch core technologies

The 8Switch is driven by a customised TCXO (Temperature Compensation Crystal Oscillator) with accuracy rated at 0.1ppm: far higher than normal crystals and higher than a normal TCXO, allowing the 8Switch to generate higher-accuracy network signals, which in turn, help provide more stable music-data transmission.

The power supply and clock-generation circuits each have two electrical noise-isolation circuits which ensure stable network signals; an EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) absorber helps to reduce noise further from the digital circuit. Compared to a standard IT network switch, music lovers can expect increased performance and a lower jitter measurement, up to 90 per cent less! 

Price and availability

The English Electric 8Switch is available now priced at £450 (includes a Chord Company C-Stream digital streaming cable (0.75m) worth £40.)

UK stockists

UK dealers now have stock and can fulfil online and telephone orders via post, with rest of world following shortly. 

UK dealers: A Fanthorpe; Analogue Seduction; Audience; Audio Affair; Audio T (Oxford); Audio Venue; Brian & Trevors; Canterbury Hi-Fi; Ceritech Audio; Cymbiosis; Deutsch & Deutsch; Future Shop; Hi Fi Lounge; Hi-Fi Corner (Falkirk); Hi-Fi Stereo; Ian Hammond/Martins Hi-Fi; Igloo Audio; In Phase International (Nottingham Hi-Fi); KJ West One; Martins Hi-Fi; Nintronics; Oxford Audio; Rayleigh Hi-Fi (Rayleigh);Sevenoaks Sound & Vision(Reading); Sonority Design; Soundcraft; The Audio Room/Ultimate Home Ent. Ltd and Tom Tom Audio.

About English Electric

Synonymous with world-renowned British engineering, the reborn English Electric brings a new range of exceptional value hi-fi equipment for the discerning music lover.

Building upon a noble heritage of aviation and locomotive design, myriad large-scale electro-mechanical equipment and power generation, this classic British brand is once again continuing its path of design innovation, this time in the audio sector, with an exciting range of high-performance electronics and accessories. 

The reborn English Electric (a Chord Company brand) is backed by a large engineering team which has been designing, building and engineering high-quality audio devices in Great Britain since 1986.

The English Electric Company further information

From north British (Preston) industrial roots in 1897, The English Electric Company – as it became known in 1918 – grew into a multi-faceted manufacturer of electrical equipment and machinery, specialising in motors, transformers, railway locomotives and traction equipment, expanding many years later into consumer electronics, nuclear reactors, computers and aviation.

The re-ignition of a historic brand with such a rich and diverse heritage is not to be tackled lightly; the ‘EE’ marque evokes what many consider to be a bygone era of world-leading great British engineering and many of its products (such as the Vampire and Lightning jet aircraft and Deltic railway locomotives) attract an enthusiastic and emotionally engaged following, transcending their primary function.

As a fellow great British manufacturer, Chord Company is respected globally for its award-winning A/V cables and is perfectly placed to apply its successful blend of innovative proprietary technologies, design expertise and exemplary customer service to the rejuvenation of this classic British name, whilst preserving its noble lineage.

Jay Luong

Mr. Audio Bacon himself. An open-minded electrical engineer and software developer by trade. I have an obsession with the enjoyment of all things media - specifically in the realm of music and film. So much heart and soul (and money) go into the creation of this artistry. My aim is to find out which products get me closer to what the musicians and directors intended.

View Comments

    • all the network switches are amazing. i tryed one with in 1
      min. i noticed the detail Then
      i backed it up with another the
      Duel Goat i call it. it is amazing like i said Don't forget to use a nice cable

    • Hi,

      I´m so tired of this digital "experts". Why don´t you wash your ears, buy a good hifi-set up and LISTEN.
      This great switch has even reached Sweden and I`am testing it in my stereo. Itś really great!! And worth 5600SEK...!
      Good work Jay, and thank you!!
      I´m leaving this sight now but won´t go back since I guess it will affect my bloodpressure...


  • This is such crap - it's a switch, that's all. There's literally NO SUCH THING as an "audio grade" ethernet switch, its ethernet, its digital, and it can carry any bitrate lossless you put through it. The gold on it is just tomdupe idiots into buying it, just like hdmi monster cables. This is deplorable.

  • I'm afraid I missed everything after "high speed power supply" as I was laughing too hard.

  • Okay now this is ridiculous. The ethernet signals are digital, thus they're pretty much immune to interference. It's either working or not. If you get the signal through with near-gigabit speeds, its fine.
    It makes no semse from the jitter side either. The packets sent through there are buffered in the auduo source, this is not.a toshlink cable that streams digital audio in real-time.
    I'm an audiophile, I'm not shaming at all, but damn some audiophiliacs really.need to wake up. Also, if you have good internet subscription pretty much any track will go through the network in seconds, no matter what equipment you use, as long as it's a gigabit one.
    What's next? Audiophile internet providers with dedicated vpn-s to tidal and qobuz? How about audiophile washing machines that are stated to cause less interference. Or maybe we could invent audiophile clothing that doesn't build up any static charge. 450 bucks for a home switch is completely bullshit, it's near the price of industrial ones.

  • It is a normal switch with a normal wall wart, encased in some shitty Al case. Big deak.
    The only creative, inventive part is the bullshit used by the thieves who made up this nonsense, and ably perpetrated by the aufio bacon scammer who wrote this crap unashamed ly to boost readership for personal gain.
    More audiophool bullshit.

  • You confuse "worth" with "priced". P.T. Barnum's dictum, there's a sucker born every minute, is proved yet again.

  • PSA for non-network engineers: this is over priced and unnecessary. the components in the switch may do what they claim, but it is completely unnecessary. when audio is streamed over a network, it is typically buffered on the device playing the audio.
    this happens via a TCP stream of data. TCP is a protocol for transmitting data. each bit of data is verified as received. if data is not received, or corrupted in transit, it is resent by the source. having a $500 switch to increase your DIGITAL audio quality does not increase your audio quality. a $50 switch will work exactly the same.
    the switch is merely what allows the devices to communicate on a network. the TCP transmission is negotiated by the server and client and pass through the switch.
    be skeptical about anything that claims to give you better digital audio.
    i could keep explaining this, but please, do some research and look elsewhere.

  • This is a joke right? IP networks are digital and if you seriously think the "quality" of the ip packets effect your audio signal, you must have the most awful dac implementation on the planet.

    This is just an excuse to slap some cheapish components together and sell them to people who don't know any better at a ridiculous markup.

    And if the engineers that worked on this thing actually believe what they claim, they need their heads examined.

  • Bullshit ripoff. Any functional switch will provide the same "audio quality". It's not audio until it hits a DAC. Until then, it is a digital file, just like a jpeg or an email and every digital network handles them all the same.

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