The Sound Devices 970 Audio Recorder and the Video Devices rack mount video recorders, PIX 270i and PIX 260i, utilize the Dante audio over IP protocol to allow the transport of high quality, multi-channel, low latency audio over standard Ethernet networks. While all Ethernet switches will pass Dante traffic, Audinate provides a few guidelines on how to choose the appropriate network switch.

No Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) or “Green Ethernet”

It is critical to ensure that the switch being used does not utilize Energy Efficient Ethernet or “Green Ethernet”. This is a power management technology designed to reduce power consumption in many products. Unfortunately, not all switches with EEE negotiate power settings correctly and this can result in performance issues when used with Dante devices.

Audinate recommends that:

1. If you use managed switches, ensure that they allow EEE to be disabled. Make sure that EEE is disabled on all ports used for real-time Dante traffic.

2. If you use unmanaged switches, do not use Ethernet switches that support the EEE function, because you cannot disable EEE operation in these switches.

Switch Speed

When designing your Dante network, it is recommended that you select gigabit Ethernet switches. This is especially important when working in scenarios where more than 32 tracks of Dante audio are being transported.

Users have had success using the following network switches in a Dante environment.

**Please note: Sound Devices has not conducted tests with these switches and is not endorsing their use. This is simply a list of switches that other Dante users have had success with. Users should thoroughly test any switch prior to using it in a production environment.

  • Cisco:  SG300 series, SG200 series, Catalyst 3750 series, Catalyst 3560 Series
  • Netgear: ProSafe GS116E, G105, GS724T, GS716T
  • Dell: PowerConnect 2708, PowerConnect 5324
  • HP ProCurve: Various models including ProCurve 3500 series, ProCurve 2600 series

While managed and unmanaged gigabit Ethernet switches which do not have EEE enabled should sufficiently support the transfer of Dante traffic, keep in mind that any other traffic on the network may impact Dante performance. This is especially true in environments with higher channel counts. In scenarios where Dante and non-Dante devices will be in use at the same time, switches that support Quality of Service (QOS) configuration may be desired to ensure that Dante traffic takes precedence over all other traffic.