All the electrical appliances are prone to damage due to electrical fluctuations and power outages. That’s where the home theatre power managers come in handy. Also known as a power conditioners, these devices act as a filter for dirty power and allow effective functioning of the home theatre appliance.
Thus to ensure longevity and healthy functioning, you can invest in good quality and reliable home theatre power manager. In this article, you will learn about power managers, their purpose, their benefits and eight of the best power managers you can buy.
What is a Home Theatre Power Manager?
The power manager has a two-fold function where it protects the system against the power surge and enhances the system performance by evenly distributing the AC power and improving the quality of electricity by filtering out the dirty power. Moreover, it also eliminates the noise from your system.
A wide range of power managers is available based on price, complexity, and other common feature such as sequential system power ON/ OFF. While some only offer to prevent damage against voltage fluctuations, others offer additional features like over/ under voltage protection.
These power managers provide a much cleaner and better-organized system environment. It maintains the aesthetic appeal of your home as all the systems connect with a single device and the cables remain hidden behind the power manager.
Is a Home Theatre Power Manager really required?
Your home theatre circuitry uses some expensive components and equipment that might cost a fortune, but is it really worth to invest in it? We consider it is in the best interest of the users to purchase one, especially for most people who use them due to the poor quality of their electrical installations and others who might need it for performance improvements.
You may be wondering about the term dirty power and what it means. So, dirty power is an anomaly in the power quality. It includes frequency/ voltage fluctuations and power surges that could affect your system’s performance and cause malfunction or damage beyond repair.
Another reason for dirty power is white or normal mode noise. It is a low-level signal travelling with the original power signal that develops due to the connectivity of other equipment on the same line. Once the power manager filters out the noise, the performance of your system will improve spontaneously.
Your appliances are prone to dirty power if you observe the following in your system:
1. Sudden power surges
2. Variations in voltage
3. Variations in frequency
4. Presence of white noise in original power signals
How is Power Conditioning different from Surge Protection?
Both power conditioners and surge protectors have some characteristics in common, but they are two different devices. A surge protector consisting of semiconductor MOV and gas discharge arrestors protects against electrical overflows by diverting the excess energy, but it doesn’t disconnect your system from the actual supply. However, the device may explode due to extreme energy consumption, thus damaging your system in the process.
Meanwhile, the power conditioner uses the EVS technology (Extreme Voltage Shutdown) to physically disconnect your device during dirty power flow via a mechanical relay. It is also responsible for removing noise and providing cleaner energy to your home theatre.
In summary, power managers are more efficient and safer options for domestic purposes as they offer more protection and efficiency in the long run.
Things to consider while buying a Home Theatre Power Manager
Nowadays, the internet is surging with endless products, but not every product may meet your needs. To identify the your requirements, you need to consider a few things before purchasing a power manager. You can follow our custom curated purchase guide to pick the best power manager based on your requirements.
Budget is always the foremost concern for purchase but is also a two-fold factor. Firstly, you need to consider how cheap or expensive your home theatre is and basis its value, you better judge the amount you’d wish to spend.
Secondly, the more expensive the product, the more the outlet count, the better filtration capabilities and better protection you will get. Some cheaper alternatives costing around $50 and advertised as power managers are only surging protectors. And, many budget-friendly pieces costing $100-$150 have fewer outlets and considerably good performance. While an ideal power manager for domestic use could fit within a budget of $500-$1000 to protect your home theatre and isolate most of the noise.
A product’s quality estimate depends on its price. More costly equipment tends to have better quality. There are a few things to consider while validating a product’s quality. First, you should verify that the power conditioner has an ample count of outlets for your use. Also, you can consider a good noise filtration rate to assess the product’s quality. Size, outlet position and requirements are worth considering.
Number and Position of Outlets
It is always advisable to have more power outlets to support the addition of more devices in future. Usually, the power managers have an even outlet count, around six or twelve. There tend to be different appliances supporting different types of adapter plugs, and the position of these outlets also plays a vital role. Due to size variations, it may become difficult to put the plug in an outlet next to another with a plug already put in.
There are two different types of rating, namely, clamping voltage and energy absorption rating.
- Clamping Voltage: It refers to the voltage level at which the surge protector within a power manager switches on the Electronic Voltage Shutdown. The ideal voltage clamping levels for a power manager range between 120 – 400 V. This ensures that your house and devices are safe against the voltages surges.
- Energy Absorption Rating: This entity refers to the quantity of power that a power manager can absorb and manage/ filter. It defines the absorption rate for a power managers, and ideally, its rating should be at least 500 joules.
Underwriters Laboratories provide certification for home theatre power managers. They lend credibility to your power manager. However, some power managers without a valid UL certificate are equally reliable.
Product Size and Requirement
More outlets lead to bigger product sizes. You should consider the size beforehand to sustain an easy installation process. Based on the size, some power managers could be placed on the racks or under the TV set, while others may mount on the walls. Users can decide on the requirements and choose the most suitable product size to accommodate its placement in their homes.
Also Read: How to turn on phone without power button?
8 Best Home Theatre Power Managers in your budget
Here’s a list of the selection for the top-notch home theatre power managers based on price comparisons, noise filtrations, performance and additional features.
Panamax MX5102 Home Theatre with Battery Backup
Brand: Panamax | Price: $837.00
Panamax MX5102 home theatre power manager, an expensive and premium system, offers combined power management, surge protection (AVM) and battery backup features. It has ten rear panel outlets, of which 2 support a backup of 600 VA UPS that helps to retain the setup configuration. It minimises the risks of a hard-drive crash and provides uninterrupted supply to the AV systems.
Next, it supports the AVM technology for both over and under voltage situations, making it a great choice for users. Another impressive feature of the MX5102 is its Learning IR Control which allows to send a standby or shutdown command to your AV equipment. When power fails, the battery backup powers the cooling fan for pre-cooldown and the IR control generates a shut-off command for shutting off the bulb.
At last, the power manager uses Level 3 Power Cleaning and Linear Filtration to eliminate usual occurrences of electrical interference (loss of detail, buzz, hums and visual irritants) and maintains the optimal performance of your AV system.
Panamax MR4300 Power Manager
Brand: Panamax | Price: $389.95
Considered the best overall home theatre power manager, Panamax MR4300, has a sleek and modern design with 9 AC power outlets and a front LED display panel.
The Automatic Voltage Monitoring (AVM) technology ensures to cut off power in case of an under voltage or over voltage. Once the voltage levels are normal, the power flow resumes to the home theatre, and the red indicator on the LED display indicates this switch.
The power manager has two isolated high-current power banks and a linear filtration circuit. With filtration, the unwanted noise is cut off from the AC bandwidth signal and prevents cross-contamination. It’s slightly expensive, but it supports a variety of features.
Panamax MR4000 8-Outlet Home Theater Power Manager
Brand: Panamax | Price: $219.00
Panamax MR4000 in a sleek and modern design, united with a limited budget option, is desirable. The seven back panels and one front panel outlet power manager use the AVM technology and disconnect the home theatre using a 15A circuit-breaker to protect from electrical surges.
This cheaper and pocket-friendly option doesn’t have a LED display and USB port for charging, and unlike its superior MR4300, it only operates on level 2 noise filtration. Still, based on the considerable price difference and handsome warranty period, this product is a worthy purchase choice.
AudioQuest Niagara 5000 Power Manager
Brand: AudioQuest | Price: $5500.00
Niagara 5000 generates little noise with an AC ground noise dissipation system and filters out all the power line noise. It has a wide-bandwidth linear AC filter and passive/ active transient power correction circuit. Also, there is a power backup of up to 90A power.
Unlike other power managers, it corrects the high current outlets instead of only compressing them, but at the same time it is costly too. There are four high current power outlets and eight ultra linear outlets present at the back of the panel. With the built-in surge suppression, NIagara 5000 can suppress upto 6000V/ 3000A of surge.
Panamax M8-AV-PRO Hi-Definition 8 Outlet Surge Protector
Brand: Panamax | Price: $219.95
Portability is an added benefit, and Panamax M8-AV-Pro offers you that on a pocket-friendly budget with a lifetime warranty. Much like its other products, Panamax offers the same AVM technology along with auto-disconnection during a high electrical surge in this model.
But it gives all-around protection as it curbs the surges that travel through antenna lines, power cables, phone lines, and satellite cables. The premium quality filtration provides clean energy to your audio video equipment and elongates its lifespan. However, it does lack USB support for charging.
Furman PL-8C Home Theatre Power Manager
Brand: Furman | Price: $309.95
Just like Furman M-8X2, Furman PL-8C has eight back panel outlets, a front panel AC power outlet and an elegant design. It holds great value for its price with all the technologies it incorporates.
Firstly, it supports the EVS technology protecting the system from high voltages. Secondly, it uses SMP technology, one of its best features. SMP stands for Series Multistage Protection, a network of components that suppress the harmful impact of surges by converting and consuming the line voltage into heat.
With 15A current rating, the power manager eliminates AC line noise and avoids cross contamination of power through the Liner Noise Filtration Technology (LiFT) and isolated power banks.
Furman M-8X2 Merit Series 8 Outlet Power Conditioner and Surge Protector
Brand: Furman | Price: $129.95
M-8X2 is a budget-friendly and effective power conditioner available on the market. With its sleek design, you can place it in any corner of your house without occupying much space.
It has 9 AC power outlets with one placed in the front. These power outlets, combined with the 15A capacity of the power manager, are sufficient enough to power the entire home theatre studio. The spike and surge protection feature keeps your system safe and provides clean power flow.
Though the 6 feet cord length might be a drawback for some, it packs outstanding features like RFI/ EMI filtration that lower the noise caused due to AC power flow. And even though it doesn’t support USB and lacks a lifetime warranty, it still is a great choice available on a limited budget.
Panamax M5400-PM 11 Outlet Home Theatre Power Manager
Brand: Panamax | Price: $899.00
Panamax 5400 is one of the best quality power managers and stands out amongst the rest because it supports five isolated noise bank filters that prevent dirty power from hampering the home theatre system. It uses level 4 noise filtration to clear the noise throughout the AC bandwidth and eliminate any contamination between outlets to ensure the audio-video equipment quality.
Similar to other products, this version also uses AVM technology. It offers eleven AC power outlets with one in front and comes packed with a USB charging port that allows the charging of phones and smaller electronics. However, there is a downside to this perfect power manager as it falls in the expensive category and does not have a lifetime warranty.