English Electric EE1 Review

The English Electric company have introduced a new line of products specifically to help improve your audio and HiFi experience by eliminating noise from entering your system via your network, the latest product that I have here for review is the EE1 which is a high performance network noise isolator, they also offer an EE 8Switch and 16Switch which can all be used to improve your performance and remove unwanted noise which can make or break your systems overall performance. English Electric is part of the Chord Company which is renowned for their superb cables and impeccable R&D which is second to none when it comes to quality and design.

I was first introduced to the potential of noise entering into my HiFi system via my network when I had the pleasure of reviewing the brilliant Melco Audio S100 data switch which was then partnered with Melco's streaming products, it was a kind of revelation for me as the benefits that the data switch had were clearly heard with a lower noise floor allowing better clarity to my music and overall an improved soundstage, instruments and their fidelity were more coherent than without the switch in place, these options were costly but had great benefit to my music and listening pleasure. 

The EE1 is a very small and compact piece of kit and has two ethernet ports which has arrows to show which way to connect into your network and can be used in a few configurations to benefit your system, the first and one that I am using it in, is connected from my network switch to my Bluesound Node streamer, this is the most basic and easiest of configs although you can use multiples where by you have one connected between the router and switch and then streamer and switch this can benefit by stopping noise at both ends of chain. You could potentially also use either an 8Switch or 16Switch so that greater improvements in the noise reduction can be made with these units in place.

The EE1 is a self powered unit and works by eliminating and turning noise into heat as the units are designed with galvanic isolation allowing your data to flow to your equipment with the data integrity intact, it will block HF and LF noise and if like me you have many parts to your system the standard ethernet cables are not shielded and therefore are easily perceptible to picking up noise from the surrounding cables they are next to, using a C-Stream ethernet cable which is the starting point is also a good option and depending on your budget you can upgrade these to some of their higher end cables if you want to at a later stage.

For listening purposes I am using the Chord Electronics system which consists of the Hugo TT2 DAC and M Scaler and the latest power amplifier BerTTi which is a stunning combination offering a truly higher resolution for my music which are partnered with the equally stunning AVID HiFi EVO Four speakers, Bluesound Node 2i for the streaming of my music stored on my NAS drives and also music streamed from Tidal and Spotify. This is all wired with Chord cables and the EE1 sits between my switch and streamer with the C-Stream cable connected to the Bluesound Node.

I have been listening to Norah Jones latest album Visions which I have in high resolution 24bit 96kHz, this is another superb album with some great tracks from this American Jazz artist. Track 8 Awake is easily my favourite on this album with some great percussion and vocals, listening to this track without the EE1 in place there is plenty of drive and dynamics but when the EE1 is introduced suddenly there is more snap to the percussion and vocals have a cleaner and crisper more defined sound. I then repeated my tests but this time with the EE1 placed between the router and the switch to see if this improved the sound that I was hearing, listening to the same track it lost the snap and the vocals sounded dull in comparison to the first setup, not massively but certainly the bite that my system had originally, it is clear that the EE1 benefited from my first introduction between the switch and streamer, it could possibly be improved with 2 EE1s in place and also a better shielded Ethernet cable as the C-Stream cable was not long enough to use from EE1 to the switch/router. Track 12 That’s Life reafirms the benefits of the EE1 in my system with a beautfully articulate sound that has plenty of drive and snap to the percussion with wonderful vocals from Norah Jones and removing it makes the track less enjoyable with a flatter sound losing some of the musicality from the track. 

I now switch to streaming from Tidal and an album from 2012 and the Mickey Hart Band Mysterium Trememdum, Mickey Hart Band was formed from the former and legendary Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart, this is a wonderful mixture of electronics fused with rock music, the AVID HiFi EVO Four speakers that I currently have are truly amazing and have incredible bass reproduction for a standmount speaker thanks to the advanced technology and design allowing for the bass to be heard with so many wonderful textures to the bass, it’s not just the bass but the mids and treble are also exemplary in presentation so any small benefits to my system can easily be heard. Track 1 Heartbeat of the Sun is a beautifully produced ambient sounding track with sounds that swirl around the huge soundstage that is being produced, listening with the EE1 in place the haunting vocals emerge from the centre of the soundstage with the ambient sounds all around the room, listening to it without the EE1 in situ the track loses some of the energy and snap in the percussion which all detracts from the enjoyment of the music, this is again evident in track 3 Cut the Deck. I try rhe EE1 placed between the router and switch but it just does not have the same results so no real improvement to the sounds which leads me to the conclusion that noise is entering into my system from where the switch to the Bluesound Node is, this is where I am getting the real benefit of the EE1 being in my system with so many different power and other cables located here.

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

It’s clear that the EE1 placed in my system benefits with improved noise reduction and therefore better sound and also from the tests that I have done when placed strategically between the switch and streamer, when you consider that the EE1 is a tenth of the price of the S100 data switch that I reviewed this is an absolute no brainer and bargain and certainly worth investing in to improve your systems musical ability, multiples could be purchased to potentially give even greater improvements to your system and the sound that you hear. It proves it is an effective and worthy investment.

The Speaker Shack awards the EE1 with a 5 stars Highly Recommended award !

Price: £250 

Web - https://englishelectric.uk/

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