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Empirical Audio Interchange Ethernet Renderer Network Audio Interface

Using Interchange creates a much simpler path than USB for achieving outstanding sound quality.  It is our alternative to USB that is easier for customers to use and requires less expense and effort.  There are no drivers to install on PC, Mac or Linux. If you need a really long cable, then a long Ethernet cable from your Router to a Switch can solve this without impacting sound quality.

The Interchange connects directly to your Router or Switch using wired Ethernet cable.  Ethernet is the wired form of WIFI.  Most Routers have 4 to 6 Ethernet ports on them.  The Interchange has only one input, Ethernet. The outputs of the Interchange are identical to the Off-Ramp USB converter, including S/PDIF coax on BNC connector, AES/EBU on XLR connector, Single-ended I2S on RJ-45 connector and Differential I2S on HDMI connector.

The Interchange is driven directly from your Router or Switch, so there is no direct connection to your computer or server.  This has the big advantage over USB that the computer hardware where the music is spooled from does not affect the sound quality. The connection from the computer or other device to the network can be with wired Ethernet or WIFI.  The playback apps residing on the computer do still affect sound quality, so we have some recommendations for those and how to configure them for optimum performance.

Software compatible with the Interchange:

  • Linn Kinsky
  • Linn Kazoo
  • Minimserver
  • BubbleUPnP
  • Lumin
  • Twonky
  • Jriver

Like the Off-Ramp 6, the Interchange uses our latest version Turboclock module for internal clocking.  The Ethernet interface is also modular, so future upgrades are possible.

The Interchange uses a transport technology known as DLNA or UPnP.  This the the most common Local Area Network interface for audio and is supported by many mass-produced devices such as receivers, DVD/Blu-Ray players and Sonos.  The player software automatically finds the device on the LAN and allows you to select it.  It is NOT Roon compatible.

The power supply for the Interchange is our fast-reacting Hynes-based Dynamo LPS.  We decided to provide the Interchange with a Dynamo because it performs best and also minimizes radiated emissions.  It allows for earth-grounding of the chassis because the Dynamo uses a grounded power cord (Standard IEC).

The Interchange is capable of native DSD playback over I2S, but this has not been tested yet.  The interface may vary depending on the I2S implementation on the DAC.

"I have been using the Interchange for a couple of weeks.  This is the best digital front-end I have had in my system.  My previous server, the Aurender N10 was wonderful, but not as smooth and natural as the Interchange.  I am using Minimserver and BubbleUPnP as the media/proxy server and Lumin IOS app as the controller.  The Interchange is connected using I2S to the Overdrive SX DAC.  If you are looking for a great digital music experience, give the Interchange a try"

joerossdrs, March 2018

Performance

The Interchange design has benefitted from the jitter breakthroughs of our other products.  Empirical Audio designs are unique in the industry.  We have developed proprietary techniques and circuits over the last 20 years that minimize jitter more effectively than other manufacturers.  Every device from other manufacturers that we put on our bench  has much higher jitter than we are able to achieve, usually by a factor of ten to a hundred.  Unlike other manufacturers, we measure the jitter directly, not through a DAC.  The Interchange achieves 10psec of jitter while playing a music track (as directly measured) at the end of a 4-foot coax cable in this jitter distribution plot:

Interchange Jitter

The music from an Interchange is more focused and clear than anything you have experienced.  The low jitter level enables a deep view into the music and extends well outside of the speakers.  If your room is acoustically-treated, this will be an audio treat for sure.  The interface that we use the most is the S/PDIF coax, but if your DAC allows for I2S, definitely try this.

 Optimizations

The Interchange performance will be improved by:

  • Using an audiophile quality Router or Switch, such as AQVOX or SOtM
  • Using high-performance Ethernet cables, such as Wireworld or SOtM
  • Using an Ethernet cable isolator like the EMO EN-70e
  • Powering the Router or Switch from a fast-reacting LPS such as the Sbooster
  • Using playback app: Linn Kinsky/Minimserver combination with BubbleUPnP as a proxy server (ask for instructions)
  • WIFI adapter is available if you do not have wired Ethernet close to your system
  • Always use the highest quality BNC-terminated Coax cable you can afford, in at least 1.25m length.  We highly recommend our Reference BNC cable, which is a giant-killer.  If you use I2S, make sure you have a good silver cable
  • It is wise to power the Interchange from the same AC outlet or AC circuit as the DAC that it feeds.  This minimizes ground-loop noise.
  • See Computer Audio Info/Recommended Systems for more detail

Specifications

Dimensions
  1. Each of the two included chassis is 4.5"W X 2.5"H X6.5"L
  2. The DC power umbilical is ~12 inches long
  3. The chassis can be placed side-by-side or stacked
Inputs
  1. Ethernet
  2. +9VDC power provided by Substation LPS
Outputs (all outputs are active)
  1. OTL S/PDIF coaxial – 75 ohm Canare BNC jack - Optionally can be transformer-isolated for ground-loop issues
  2. AES/EBU – XLR male
  3. I2S on RJ-45, Empirical Audio standard (3.3V) terminated by a cable and 110 ohm terminators at the destination device or the included terminator
  4. I2S on HDMI - LVDS format, pin compatible with PSAudio and Wired for Sound DACs.
Compatibility

The Interchange is compatible with all playback applications capable of DLNA/UPnP network music data transfer. 

Trial Period and Warranty

The Interchange has 30 day money-back audition, less shipping cost, so it is low-risk to try one.  1 year warranty, parts and labor.

The Interchange is $2999.00 plus shipping.

Order your Interchange

Call Empirical Audio today to discuss your needs.
(541) 595-1001 - 10:00am to 6:00pm Pacific Time