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Technology: Overview

The patented EtherSound protocol takes advantage of established technologies to easily and economically create real-time audio networks using standard Ethernet cabling and components. Available to audio manufacturers via various licensing programs, EtherSound technology adds networking and remote control capabilities to pro audio products and enables audio networks incorporating products from multiple vendors. Its industry leading performance meets the requirements of even the most demanding audio applications, such as live sound, broadcast, and recording.

EtherSound provides bi-directional, deterministic, very low-latency transmission of synchronized audio channels and control data over standard Ethernet.

64 channels of 24-bit/48 kHz PCM audio, plus embedded control and monitoring data, are transported via a single cable. Depending on the sampling frequency other channel counts are possible, i.e. 32 channels at 96 kHz. Thanks to built-in clock recovery, an ultra low jitter ensures premium audio quality.

Special care has been taken to ensure full Ethernet IEEE802.3x compliance. EtherSound networks support Layer 2 (physical) peripherals and use standard CAT5 or CAT6 cables, fiber optic links, switches, media converters, and other standard Ethernet components. EtherSound systems require dedicated bandwidth, but may run within a VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) as part of an existing network.

EtherSound is licensed to a growing number of pro audio manufacturers and enables digital audio distribution networks, incorporating products from multiple vendors.

The protocol was invented by Digigram and was first presented to the public in 2001. There are two primary versions of the technology, ES-100 Audio Transport and ES-Giga System Transport.

In early 2008, Digigram announced ES-100/spkr, a uni-directional variant of EtherSound ES-100. It enables manufacturers to implement EtherSound ES-100 in devices where a full featured ES-100 implementation is not required.