QED’s new Reference Ethernet cable has the bandwidth and headroom to deal with the highest of high-resolution audio – and beyond

British audio specialist QED introduces its Reference Ethernet cable, designed to provide the most accurate, most stable connection possible between networked devices. Perfect for connecting a high-resolution digital audio streamer to a local network, the Reference Ethernet has more than enough bandwidth to deal with the data rates required by 32 bit/384 kHz and DSD512 audio files. Painstakingly engineered, Reference Ethernet is a Class I Category 8.1 cable and can support 40G Ethernet – and so has the headroom to cope with even the most data-intensive applications.

Key features at a glance

  • Specifically designed for high-resolution audio up to 32 bit/384 kHz or DSD512 quality
  • Complies with Class I Category 8.1 standard
  • Supports 40G Ethernet
  • Ferrite insulation, low-loss dielectric and gold-plated Telegärtner plugs combine to deliver
    ultra-low jitter
  • 99.999% OFC, 24 AWG conductors with customised twist rates for lower inter-pair cross-talk
  • Arrives in stylish White Pearl finish

Specified to perform

QED has been designing and engineering class-leading and award-winning analogue and digital cables for almost 50 years – and the Reference Ethernet is the latest demonstration of the company’s expertise.

In order to keep signal noise and cross-talk to an absolute minimum, Reference Ethernet uses 99.999 % oxygen-free copper twisted-pairs – with a dissimilar twist rate for each pair – to maximise noise-rejection characteristics.

For minimal ‘insertion loss’ – which is the reduction of signal strength at the end of the cable compared to that at the start – Reference Ethernet uses an aluminium mylar wrap, within a foil wrap, within a ferrite-impregnated jacket. As a result, the cable comfortably exceeds the CAT 8 insertion loss standard. This over-specified arrangement also means Reference Ethernet easily outperforms the CAT 8 standard for ‘attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio’ which is an indicator of the margin by which it avoids introducing any errors into the data stream.

Reference Ethernet also performs way beyond the CAT 8 requirements where ‘return loss’ is concerned. Any impedance mismatch between the cable and the equipment it’s connected to can cause the signal to be reflected back and forth. Thanks to its precision-engineered, gold-plated  Telegärtner plugs with 360-degree shielded die-cast zinc bodies, reflections are minimised and all of the signal is delivered to the load. 

This uncompromised specification and state-of-the-art engineering results in a cable with a maximum data rate of 40 Gb/s. This is well in excess of what is required to handle even the most demanding data streams, and means Reference Ethernet is easily able to cope with the highest of today’s high-resolution digital audio files and is future-proofed to handle whatever comes next.

The cable is finished in a stylish pearl white PVC jacket to compliment any hi-fi set-up.

The QED Reference Ethernet is available now from (UK) and Independent retailers in the UK and from (US) and Independent retailers from next month, priced:

1M – £149 / €189 / $199

2M – £159 / €199 / $209

3M – £179 / €229 / $229

5M – £199 / €249 / $249

Technical specification

Cable OD (mm): 9 mm

Plugs: Telegärtner Profinet CAT 8

Construction: F/FTP

Conductor size: 24 AWG

Characteristic Impedance: 100 ohm

Patch Cable Category: Class I CAT 8.1

Maximum bit-rate: 40 Gb/s

To buy the QED Reference Ethernet cable and discover other QED products please visit


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