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What Is PoE And Why Do I Need It?

March 26, 2021

By Joel Guilbert, Dale Pro Audio
The term "PoE" has probably been popping up more and more. Though it might conjure up images of black crows and such, in reality it's much less scary.

PoE stands for Power Over Ethernet. It's a method of carrying power on some of the wires in an ethernet cable. There are 8 wires in an ethernet connection, and not all are used for data, so some of them can be used to carry power for devices plugged in via the network connection.

An example of this is how some (VOIP style) office phones can be plugged in and operate without a power supply, just the network connection.

The power that is available through the network cable comes from the network switch. There are a number of different formats, but if it says POE+, you’re pretty safe.

With the proliferation of Audio over IP devices, so come more of these that demand PoE. Unless it's specifically stated that it has a separate power supply, the majority of small Dante interfaces require PoE - such as the Audinate AVIO series, Neutrik NA2-IO-DLINE, or Glensound Beatrice B2.

The good news, if someone's switch doesn't support PoE, you can use a local "injector" to power the devices, such as this Tripp-Lite model.

Have any questions? We're always here to help!

Joel Guilbert is Dale Pro Audio's Technology Development Manager, and assists on technical support inquiries, system design and integration, and much more for our company. He can be reached at joel@daleproaudio.com.



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