The 10 Best Power Conditioners

Updated November 23, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Power Conditioners
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
If you want to protect sensitive and expensive electrical equipment from a potentially dirty power line, these power conditioners are the tools for the job. They can ensure that a stable and safe voltage is always delivered to home entertainment centers, sound studios and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best power conditioner on Amazon.

10. Pyle PDBC70

The Pyle PDBC70 has nine bright blue illuminated switches on its front panel, each of which is dedicated to the activation of a corresponding outlet. This way, you can manually control your start-up and shut-down sequences.
  • intuitive design
  • removable rubber feet
  • rack mount holes are poorly machined
Brand Pyle
Model PDBC70
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Tripp Lite LC1200

With a $25,000 ultimate lifetime insurance policy and a 2-year manufacturer's warranty, the Tripp Lite LC1200 should keep your anxiety levels low, even if it only provides you with four viable outlets for your computer or home entertainment units.
  • 1200-joule surge protection rating
  • corrects for brownouts
  • minimal noise filtration
Brand Tripp Lite
Model LC1200
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Furman M-8Dx Merit Series

With its bold, red digital voltmeter giving you a constant readout of your incoming voltage, the Furman M-8Dx Merit Series leaves little room for interpretation in your conditioning. Its rack-mountable design makes it ideal for home studios.
  • rfi and emi filtering
  • front facing outlet
  • line readings can't be calibrated
Brand Furman
Model M8DX
Weight 7.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Furman PL-8C

It's hard to say whether the Furman PL-8C will usurp the throne from the company's M-8X2, which has been their most popular unit to date among simple conditioners. But since this model is essentially an upgraded version of their classic, it ought to earn that place soon.
  • series multi-stage protection
  • extreme voltage shutdown
  • pricey for a unit with no feedback
Brand Furman
Model PL8C
Weight 11.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Furman PL-PLUS C

The segmented voltmeter on the front of the Furman PL-PLUS C gives you real time voltage feedback without the obtrusive numerical displays on some other units. It features nine outlets, as well as pull-out LED lamps to help you see your rig in the dark.
  • isolated outlet banks
  • linear filtering technology
  • no constant power source
Brand Furman
Weight 11.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Pyle PS900

The Pyle PS900 has a slightly busier front plate than most of its competition, mainly because the company has dedicated an LED to each of the outlets banked in the back of the unit, as well as switches allowing you to activate or deactivate each outlet with ease.
  • 2-stage emi filter
  • single cut switch for all channels
  • aesthetically cheap
Brand Pyle
Model PS900
Weight 17.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Panamax MR5100

With three isolated linear filtered outlet banks and two high current outlets, the Panamax MR5100 gives you options in assembling your array of conditioned devices, whether you need a boost of power or a little extra noise suppression.
  • 5 million dollar protection policy
  • usb port in front
  • hard to find power button by feel
Brand Panamax
Model MR5100
Weight 17.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Panamax M5400-PM

In order to better protect your gear, the Panamax M5400-PM will automatically shut off power heading to any of your devices in the event of a surge or brownout, as well as restore power to those devices as soon as voltage levels return to normal.
  • clear front display
  • level 4 plus power cleaning
  • well-written manual
Brand Panamax M5400-PM
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Furman M-8X2 Merit Series

Anyone who's set up their first home theater or built a music studio for their personal use has come across some iteration of the Furman M-8X2 Merit Series. It's simplicity, effectiveness, and low cost make it an appealing acquisition for any audiophile.
  • ac noise filtering
  • takes up a single rack space
  • protection ok indicator
Brand Furman
Model M8X2
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Furman Elite-20 PF i

Sitting at the top of the company's consumer lineup, the Furman Elite-20 PF i features 13 available outlets as well as three coaxial ins and outs that run under ultrasonic bi-filtering to isolate circuits carrying digital and video information from anything analog.
  • 20 amp capacity
  • high contrast orange outlets
  • retractable led lamps
Brand Furman Elite-20 PF i
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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

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.

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.

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.

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Last updated on November 23, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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