Updated August 02, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Power Conditioners

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If you want to protect sensitive and expensive electrical equipment from spikes and surges or a potentially dirty power line, these conditioners are the tools for the job. They can ensure that a stable and safe voltage is always delivered to the components in home entertainment centers, recording studios, and more, and we've ranked them here by their signal fidelity, versatility, and ease of use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best power conditioner on Amazon.

10. Pyle PS900

9. Tripp Lite LC1200 AVR

8. Furman Merit M-8Dx

7. APC H15BLK H-Type

6. Furman Elite-20 PF I

5. Furman P-8 PRO C

4. Panamax MR5100 Surge

3. Furman F1500-UPS Home Theater

2. Panamax M5400-PM

1. Furman Regulator P-2400 AR

Editor's Notes

July 31, 2019:

While the means for conditioning power are well-established and relatively independent from much of the thrust in modern electronics, there are still undeniable advances — particularly in interfaces — that caused us to say goodbye to a few of the older models from our previous list, including a well-regarded Furman option. The displays on each of our top four selections are great examples of the progress the category has made toward becoming more user-friendly as building out a home theater has gotten less expensive and more popular. You'll notice a bit of a trend favoring models with more outlets as you move from number ten to number one, but that is often overrated by some models that may offer fewer outlets, but cleaner power or better interfaces. That's why you see the Furman P-8 Pro at number five, even as it has fewer outlets than both models at numbers six and seven on our list.

The Power Conditioner: What It Is, What It Isn’t

The power conditioner serves as a buffer, counteracting these deviations by cleaning the contaminated power in your system.

If you look hard enough, you’ll find conspiracy theorists dedicated to just about any topic you can imagine. Power conditioning is no different — plenty of folks out there swear that power conditioners amount to no more than glorified power strips. These deniers are the same people who claim that the only tool you need to guarantee optimal power quality is a cheap surge protector.

If that really was the case, why would such ample demand for power conditioners exist in the first place? Simply put, a power conditioner solves problems that arise from dirty power (if you’re wondering what that means, we’ll get to that in a moment). This device acts as an intermediary between your audio gear, which requires an electrical load, and the supply source that provides that power.

In this role, the power conditioner works to control any improper occurrences that could potentially be detrimental to your equipment and the quality of your sound or video. When high-current equipment and appliances are connected to a system, electromagnetic interference and other deviations can negatively impact performance. The power conditioner serves as a buffer, counteracting these deviations by cleaning the contaminated power in your system.

Specifically, these devices accept the current coming in, filter out the electromagnetic interference, smooth out any additional fluctuations, then pass the clean electricity on to your gear. The more power appliances you have hooked up to your system, the greater the risk for surplus noise, electrical spikes, contaminated components, and general wear and tear to your equipment. A quality power conditioner will protect that equipment from these hazards and more, including potentially catastrophic events like lightning strikes.

This is a benefit to anyone who frequently uses high-performance audio and video equipment, such as commercial music venues, professional studios, and even those with residential systems.

Why Do I Want “Clean” Power?

Do you want top performance from your computers, speakers, instruments, kitchen appliances, home theatre system, sound studio, or signal processing gear? If so, then you’re going to want a clean power supply.

If you don’t already, it may be wise to start monitoring your home electronic energy use. Common issues that cause drops in performance include blackouts, variations in frequency, consistent high or low voltage, transient blasts of high voltage, and power surges. Power conditioners provide reliable protection from these occurrences.

Do you want top performance from your computers, speakers, instruments, kitchen appliances, home theatre system, sound studio, or signal processing gear?

As a music enthusiast, you want the highest quality sound from your audio equipment. The same goes for a movie enthusiast and the picture on her television, or a coder and his computer screen. Professionals want their equipment to work for them, not the other way around. Power conditioners will produce anywhere from a subtle to a noticeable difference in sound and image quality, depending on how much interference it’s working to correct.

Since you’re unable to visually see it, you’re probably unaware of the impact power fluctuations can have on your equipment. The deterioration can happen gradually, and you may not notice the reduction in quality until it’s too late. A power conditioner helps maintain your gear, elongating the life of the components in your system to which you’ve probably invested a substantial amount of money.

From an organizational standpoint, power conditioners can simplify your life and your space. As a central hub for all your power supplies, these tools will help you logically arrange that tangled mess of wires and cables, which makes adding new appliances and removing old gear that much easier.

Although standard models don’t take up much room to begin with, if you have rack space, a rack mount power conditioner will allow you to further maximize the space available. This will help keep all of the components of your rack running smoothly.

Those deniers we mentioned previously — the ones who erroneously believe a surge protector or power strip will suffice for their power cleaning needs — will be dealing with damaged equipment while you’re still enjoying peak performance. Those devices will successfully filter some fluctuations, but they’re not able to fully clean contaminated power.

The Evolution Of Power Conditioners

It’s kind of wild to think about, but the iPhone has only been around since 2007. It wasn’t that long ago that we were still watching VHS tapes. I’m not waxing poetic about the past; I’m simply pointing out that today’s technology advances at a rocket’s pace, creating an urgent need for tools like power conditioners.

Many come with built-in LED lights and retractable lamps that make them easier to manage in low-light areas.

Modern audio and video sources are far more vibrant and complex than they were even a couple decades ago. As mediums like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs grew in popularity, performance expectations began to rise, as well. Fast-forward to today, and we live in an era where virtually everyone can enjoy audio and video quality that was once reserved for industry professionals and only the wealthiest of consumers.

To keep up with growing demand for quality, clean power has become a necessity for those who utilize an abundance of equipment. Even if your home’s electrical system was upgraded within the past decade, do you have absolute confidence that everything is fully up to code? If something within the system is off, it’s better to burn out your power conditioner than to cause irreparable damage to all of your expensive equipment.

In terms of design, a dependable modern power conditioner should feature internal filter banks that isolate the individual power outlets on the device. This helps to prevent interference among components, as the power requirements of a home entertainment system will be different than that of, say, a single laptop computer.

A voltmeter that provides real-time voltage feedback via a display screen is a useful feature that more units now offer, as well. Many come with built-in LED lights and retractable lamps that make them easier to manage in low-light areas. Some will even automatically shut off power to all connected components if they detect a surge or a brownout, only to restore all power once electricity has returned to normal levels.

Statistics and Editorial Log

0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
32
Rendering Hours
31,076
Users
19
Updates

Granular Revision Frequency


Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on August 02, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.