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Network Acoustics' muon pro Streaming System

12-27-2023 | By Dave Clark | Issue 131

Network Acoustics is probably best known for their ENO Ethernet Filter (HERE), but they also offer a line of Ethernet and digital cables as well as an assortment of other products to make your network streaming all that much better. And as you will see, a whole lot better.

Case in point, their statement muon pro line (the muon pro line features the muon pro streaming and muon2 USB cables that complement each other, especially when used as a system—that is how it was reviewed here: muon pro, muno2 USB, and the muon pro streaming cable).

Rob had approached us over a year ago about him sending us the muon pro system, and that he had many customers who found it to work well with the Ansuz D2, but at the time we were like, nah, this is good, and like, do we really want to review something that might not work? Plus another review... ?

And a number of months go by (like most of the year) and we get an email from Rob, "Sending you the muon pro system and the muon² USB cable, let us know what you think. No pressure, not asking for a review. Have fun." Or something like that. I don't know. Rob is a cool guy.

From the Network Acoustics site regarding the muon pro:

  • 8-core architecture designed to work at speeds up to 1 GB/s
  • Reference standard RFI/EMI Filter: Proprietary filter system.
  • Hand-wired entirely using 99.99% high purity UP-OCC conductors.
  • Input: Neutrik PCB-mounted RJ45 connector.
  • Output Connector: Telegaertner RJ45 CAT8.1 connector with gold plated contacts.
  • Cable Length: 50 cm
  • Construction: Hand-assembled & individually tested in the UK.
  • Enclosure Dimensions: 190 x 78 x 50 mm
  • Weight: 300 g
  • 12 months manufacturer's warranty.
  • Free express world-wide shipping.
  • 30-Day "Try at Home" Money-Back Guarantee.

So, what's inside? I mean, what is going on to do what it does? Rob prefers to remain silent on that to protect their design, which is understandable. What I can say is that at 300g, the muon weighs very little, so whatever it is, it is not a mass of heavier items—simpler is better?  

As to the muon pro streaming cable (Ethernet) all I can offer is that by feeling the outer sleeve it appears that the time and effort has been taken to separate the twisted pairs. I cannot discern if it is more than two pairs, or what. Same with the USB. But the look and appearance reflect time and attention to detail, and I just know they are doing things to address noise. Well-made and easy to work with.

The muon2 USB

  • New proprietary conductors.
  • Proprietary high rejection RFI filtering technology.
  • Bespoke dielectric specifically designed and optimized for each of the Data, Earth and 5v lines.
  • Physically segregated cable architecture.
  • Shielded connectors with gold plated contacts.
  • Standard / recommended length 1.5 meters.
  • Available with USB-A & USB-B Connectors only.
  • Free express worldwide shipping.
  • 12 months manufacturer's warranty.
  • 30-day no-quibble money back guarantee.

From the site, "Featuring a host of new and proprietary innovations, including new conductors, high rejection RFI Filtering, and dielectrics formulated specific purposes of the Data, Earth and 5v lines."

Okay so the muon pro cables' intent it to reduce noise and to quote form their site, "Developed around our latest proprietary noise filtering technology, the muon Ethernet Filter is a passive system designed to filter out problematic electrical and radio frequency noise, that would otherwise be delivered with the data (via the ethernet cable) into your sensitive audio equipment. This noise, if not filtered out, causes degradation in sound quality."

Now, I am all over reducing noise as far as possible—that is as far as it is currently possible, who knows what the future might hold—having tried, used, implemented, whatever—whatever was or is out on the audio market.

These "devices" range from those intended for anything and everything—make that a "noise"—on or in the AC, digital/Ethernet, audio signal… whatever.

And reducing or lowering this "noise" allows more of the music to come through. To be heard. An audible change in detail, resolution, air, ambience, decay, musical cues, space, flow, etc. All that with less edge, glare, grit, hardness… all the stuff that makes listening tiring or fatiguing. Everything and anything in the music that makes the music engaging is simply more evident. You can hear more of the music, and it is what you hear is audibly "different." A clearly better different. Like you are hearing your music as it was supposed to be heard. No crap getting in the way.

Alright, so the muon pro, like the ENO, is all about addressing noise and whatnot in the Ethernet signal that eventually ends up in the analog side of things. But that is what the Ansuz D2 Power Switch (HERE) does as well, and does so very well. So, does it help or make a difference when used with the Ansuz?

Well, here is my thinking. Why shouldn't it, as the D2 Power Switch is not the best they offer. I mean while it is not the entry, it is clearly surpassed by two other models— the D2 has been replaced by the D3 this past year. As you move up their Power Switch product ladder, the noise filtering technology is increased in the numbers being applied to their technology, with the goal to reduce noise to levels that are hopefully moot to the audio signal.

Meaning that as good as the D2 is, the muon pro is likely to take things further. Either by being complimentary or augmentative in what the D2 is doing. Note, the muon's longer Ethernet cable went from the Switch to the muon, with the muon's short attached cable going into the Aries G2.2. I mention this as earlier versions were the reverse. Rob commented that the muon is not directional, but if you prefer one direction over the other, knock yourself out. The muon pro is light enough that it can hang off a component/rack when attached to whatever, but even so we attached small feet to the bottom and placed a small brass weight to hold it in place. I slept slightly better.

Proof is in the listening. And listening we did.

Alright so even after a good amount of time (less than 100 hours with the recommendation being at least 120 hours) with a signal to break-in the muon, we found it to be overly smooth and so relaxed that our music had lost any drive or sense of excitement. Hmmm. Well, let it go longer. So, we pulled a signal from the D2 Switch through the muon pro out to the G2.2 (HERE) and from there out through the muon² USB cable to the PS Audio DirectStream DAC MK2 (HERE) for several weeks playing music 5-8 hours a day. The USB cable, which along with the muon pro streaming cable, had received 48+ hours on the audiodharma Cable Cooker for several weeks prior to this period. But what the heck... give them more with a real-time signal.

We let it play and play and then… what the?! Voices were so life-like, images emerged from a voluminous space filler with air and decay. Like it was almost real. Like… wait what was that? I don't remember that before. Listen to the voices, to the bass…. the BASS! It is so engaging, so tactile, so deep, so everything bass should be. Startlingly so, and at any volume. Keep thinking... did I change the sub settings on the speakers? No, it is the same... but oh man! What a difference!

Much as we did with the D2, we were hearing our music as if it had been remastered—but for the better. Again.

Clean, articulate, life-like presence, engagement… all improved. Ease with eerily natural spatial cues. Space, air… palpability times 10. So improved. So wonderful. 

As good as it could get or as good as it gets? Certainly, better than we had heard prior to the muon system. But it took time. Am thinking more than the 120 hours… easily. Actually it seemed to get better each day. As we listen to our music (tracks) randomly we are hearing them as never before. It seems to get better and better... every day with every track.

Going to say it again. Sweet and smooth, but with no, I mean NO loss of resolution, excitement, whatever. Lush, warm... but not colored. As a matter of fact, and for us, this has always been the telling point that if you are getting the noise lowered to a great degree, turn the volume down and then listen. If everything is there but just lower in volume it is because the noise is gone—it is quieter and so you can hear more, regardless of the volume. You can hear more music when nothing is in the way of the music. Volume is meaningless in terms of being able to hear whatever. I mean, a lower volume has never sounded better. Nothing is lost. For sure crank it when the time is right, when you need that adrenaline to kick in. And when you do, oh man does the music scale. Dynamics and slam. But we frequently play the system at a lower volume because people are here or whatever and we LOSE NOTHING. It is so engaging.

Soundstage, not something we necessarily focus on, is stellar. Separation left and right… "wait, what was that? Over to the far right. Did you hear that? Crazy." "I don't remember that!"

Stunned. Literally stunned with what we are hearing. Of course, one never listens to just this or that, but the system. So is it the Aries G2.2 and the PS Audio DirectStream DAC MK2 settling in? Is it the muon pro system doing what it does so well in conjunction with the Ansuz D2? No doubt… for sure, but by now the G2.2 and DS DAC MK2 have had so many hours it is hard to say how much they are having in all of this. They definitely made things way better, but this is whole different cut of fish with the muon pro system. But still. Music through our system has never sounded... this wonderfully good. 

The muon pro system with the Ansuz D2 is a wonderful combo. Its addition has elevated our system, allowing it to portray or reproduce our music in such a way that we can't wait to play something. But not everyone is going to go for that much of a commitment—the D2 and cabling ($9000) and muon pro system (see below). Start with the muon pro, or at least the ENO, combined with an affordable switch, then as things allow, add in a better switch. You won't be disappointed. I get it... not really all that inexpensive, but there is a 30 day money back guarantee and free shipping. So, like, what have you got to loose? Well, yeah, the cost of the system if you find you just have to have it, so there is that.

Let me end with this. If you have done little to nothing to address noise that rides in your system on either the AC or the signal—whether analog or digital—that eventually will pollute the music, you have no idea how good your music can sound. While I don't dispute that you have put together a great system and are happy, heck perhaps you think this is as good as it gets—we did—but the reality is, you are just scratching the surface. It can be so much better. No, it can be a whole lot better!

A side note... I don't tend to list the music we play when listening or reviewing simply because it becomes more of "what do you want to hear"... and it goes from there. Our tastes range from noise to alternative to post-punk to reggae to rock to industrial to ambient to shoegaze to slow core to hardcore to punk to electronic to... well, pretty much anything but classical, jazz, country, and female vocals.

A sampling of artists we tend to play would include, but not be limited to, Massive Attack, the Notwist, Mogwai, Cavern of Anti-matter, Gary Numan, the Cure, Joy Division, the Telescopes, Burial, Low, New Order, Iggy Pop, Bowie, Tortoise, Eno, Bauhaus, Laswell, Gang of Four, Miser, Glen Branca, NiN, Devo, Talking Heads, Lambchop, Pole, Calexico, Morphine,  the Evens, Godflesh, Flanger, Unwound, Duster, Swans, Section 25, the Clash, Allesandro Cortini, Bohren and der Club of Gore, PiL, UI, Calla, Ministry, Yello, Japan, William Basinski, MBV, Bowie, National, the Soft Moon, Ben Frost, and so on. Some 4200 albums with 60,000 tracks.

Network Acoustics


muon pro streaming system

£1,829.17 – £2,995.83 (EX-VAT)

muon² USB Cable

£1,162.50 (EX-VAT)

For more on what we use to reduce the damage "noise" wreaks on our music, try these:

Telos GNR 5.1 Plus+ Active Grounding Box HERE

Ansuz PowerSwitch A2, Digitalz A2 Ethernet Cable, and the Mainsz X2 AC Cord HERE

Network Acoustics' ENO HERE

Entreq Grounding Boxes HERE