Power conditioners are devices that protect your music gear which needs an electrical load, from any outlying behavior that can affect the performance of your equipment and the audio quality. Every city, state, and country delivers electricity in different qualities even though they try to maintain the same standards, more or less. The primary way in which this device will help you is by providing consistent power through a voltage regulating feature. Other important abilities of a power conditioner are noise suppressing and transient protection against power surges. You might also be interested in our articles about the best electric guitars and the best synthesizers.
Because the market has quite a considerable large selection at your disposal, getting the best power conditioner out there is not very simple. There are some features you can look out for to get a firmer grasp on the whole idea of what makes a power conditioner worth its price.
1. Input Voltage Display
This is a useful feature to have for seeing how your input voltage fluctuates and to make you feel like it’s working. Another purpose is to show a digital readout to others, like to your clients for example and this will give off a positive impression.
2. Front outlet
This is a very practical thing to look for in a power conditioner. You can power lots of things quickly without having to go behind the rack. For extra convenience try to get a model with one or two front outlets.
3. Extendable lights
Some power conditioners feature lamps which can be turned on and help you with reading labels and whatnot, especially in low light situations. Considering that some closets have the overhead lighting blocked by many racks of equipment, this is another good thing to look for.
4. Power switch on front
The last essential function to consider is a main switch on the front for turning all the outlets on and off at once. As it can get very tedious to find individual switches if you have a lot of stuff, this option can save some energy through a practical solution, just flip one switch and that’s all.
Now that you have a general idea of what to look for in a power conditioner, the next step is to check the market. To make your selection process more quick and efficient, this article features the top picks for power conditioners in terms of cost-effectiveness. Only the best products, those with the most features for the price and the most reliable performance have made it on this list. By choosing one of these, you are pretty much guaranteed to get your money’s worth.
One of the best power conditioners in the current market environment is the Furman M-8X2 which comes with eight switched outlets in its rear panel and can power up and keep all your equipment protected. It can take a load of 15-amps maximum and has a lot of solid features that many musicians are sure to appreciate. Priced so competitively for what it offers, this unit is easily the top pick on this list.
The M-8X2 defends your gear from common spikes and surges that appear at gigs and practice spots. It has a powerful RFI/EMI filtration feature that will offer a quieter tone without crackles or other noises including the local radio station coming from your amp. This RFI/EMI filtration can lower the noise floor to make sure that your sensitive digital equipment doesn’t act strange or starts smoking from everyday spikes and surges.
The 15 amp capacity is pretty solid and with nine total outlets, you’ve got enough power at your disposal for a big home studio. Something interesting regarding the 8 rear outlets is how Furman spaced them to accommodate bulky wall warts and adapters with more ease. Also found on the rear panel is a circuit breaker which trips when the total load of the conditioner goes over the 15A limit. To reset it, you just have to push a button.
The M-Series conditioners are designed for the ultimate protection through an ingenious combination of high voltage varistor surge with transient suppressors. The suppression circuit acts really fast to respond to transient voltages and keeps them within safe levels.
An important feature is the master switch that controls all the rear outlets and glows when you turn the power on. More convenience is added thanks to an outlet situated on the front panel for quick access to power. Constructed with a black painted steel chassis, this power conditioner can fit nicely anywhere and is made to last. It’s perfect for many applications including DJ equipment or home recording.
A relatively low-cost AC power solution, the Furman M-8X2 can protect your gear efficiently without feeling like you’re breaking the bank. It can fit conveniently along any rackmount system to provide a safe and stable voltage and to ensure that your instruments function with an optimum level of performance.
- AC noise filtering
- 9 Total outlets
- 15 amp rating with circuit breaker
- Spike & surge protection
- Front Panel Indicator
Everyone wants their musical equipment to last as much as possible and to always function properly in any conditions. To be able to achieve these ideals, it’s important to consider a reliable power conditioner like the Pyle PCO850. It offers spike and surge protection, has AC noise filters built-in and comes with a 15 amp rating complete with circuit breaker, all of this for an unbeatable price.
For those with smaller budgets, the Pyle seems to be a very good solution. The list of features is pretty impressive considering the cost of this device. The conditioner provides a total of 9 outlets, with 8 found on the rear of the unit and one on the front. A master switch for all of them can also be found on the front panel for quick access.
The construction is decent, nothing that really stands out but the steel chassis coupled with the aluminum front panel looks pretty sturdy. It comes in full black color with a smooth finish that’s capable of matching many environments. The outlets are firmly gripping the plug so this is a good thing as you won’t need to worry about accidentally getting something unplugged.
In terms of performance, it looks like it can do what other similar but more expensive ones can. It has a built-in noise filter that eliminates unwanted radio frequency and electromagnetic interferences. The 15A rating should be able to power up enough gear and the circuit breaker adds an extra level of protection in case you go over this limit. A push to reset button is included.
Pyle didn’t integrate a display for monitoring the voltage but there’s a ”Protection Ok” indicator to get some peace of mind. The protection abilities of this power conditioner are good, it will keep most surges from affecting your equipment and it will maintain the hertz at 60 which are normal levels. This will prevent your gear from getting damaged over time and it’s an essential aspect of any professional audio systems.
The Pyle PCO850 is a great rack-mountable power strip surge protector that should definitely be considered by any aspiring musician. It delivers quite a punch in terms of performance and design while keeping a much fairer price so for these reasons, it’s a solid recommendation overall.
- Spike and Surge Protection
- Energy Dissipation: 150 Joules
- 1U Rack Mountable
- 8 Rear and 1 Front outlets
- AC Noise Filter
- Aluminum Front Panel and Steel Chassis
The Merit series from Furman offers top-notch protection for your musical equipment and one of the most appreciated models from this line is the M-8DX, a power conditioner that packs a serious punch in terms of features. Ideal for any rack system, this one comes with a clearly visible 3-digit LED voltmeter and a balanced price.
To protect delicate electronic gear you need a highly capable power conditioner. It uses a potent combination of high voltage varistor surge and transient suppressors for keeping the voltage to the safest levels. Certain dimmers, fluorescent lights, and radio transmitters among many other sources can contaminate the AC line and create interfering noise. To solve this problem, Furman devised an advanced RFI/EMI filter that gets rid of these troublesome leaks from your sensitive audio circuits.
This power conditioner offers 8 outlets as well as one front-panel outlet for your convenience. The design of the unit stands out mostly due to the bright red digital LED voltmeter which shows your incoming line voltage with good accuracy. Two pull-out light tubes can be found to help you illuminate the rack and Furman integrated a dimmer control to adjust the light to a more comfortable level.
The way it has been designed permits easier access to the rear outlets thanks to generous spacing. Even the bulkiest of adapters and wall warts should fit firmly and get the much-needed spike and surge protection from this power conditioner.
The extra features like the lights and meter are nice but they don’t really make this piece of gear a flashy one. Its primary purpose is still to safeguard your equipment. It seems to have managed to achieve this objective and can handle multiple units from your rack without any problems. Taking that annoying hum out of the amp seems to be another issue that this performant power conditioner takes care of.
Having a LED display to see how much power gets through is a nice feature and it works as expected. Taking into account all the other functions, it’s safe to say that the Furman M-8DX is a strong recommendation. Those looking for a decently featured power conditioner at a fair price should take advantage of this model’s great potential.
- Digital Voltmeter display
- AC Noise Filtering
- Spike & Surge Protection
- 9 total outlets with Wall Wart spacing
- Thick metal chassis
Best Power Conditioner Audiophile
Coming from Furman’s latest generation of 15 amp power conditioners and featuring SMP+ which is an exclusive technology for increased reliable protection of your gear, the PL-PLUS C is a very attractive choice for those with bigger budgets. Among its most interesting features, we can also count the Extreme Voltage Shutdown (EVS) and the Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT).
Virtually eliminating service calls completely, the SMP+ surge suppression is definitely one of the main highlights of the PL-PLUS C. Because conventional surge suppression circuits are not that reliable when they get exposed to multiple transient voltage spikes, it comes with an ingenious feature that absorbs damaging transient voltages in a safe manner. Usually, your system would require dismantling and a reparation of the surge suppressor but this power conditioner allows you to enjoy more time practicing with your gear without worrying about these issues.
Some non-linear designs are really antiquated and can actually do more harm than good for the performance of your audio and video systems. Normal AC filters are not really designed for real-life conditions and Furman took a different approach and created LiFT, a new filtering technology which guarantees optimal performance permitting no leakage to the ground.
One of the most impressive features that can be found on the PL-PLUS C is the Extreme Voltage Shutdown that delivers unmatched clamping voltage. Compared to other designs, it comes with an unprecedented level of protection. It makes use of a special over-voltage circuitry which represents a strong line of defense against accidental connections to 208 or 240VAC that can happen pretty often. The way it works is by shutting off the incoming power until the overvoltage is corrected.
A very appreciated aspect for a power conditioner is the ability to see your cables more clearly. That can be achieved through LED rack lights like those on the PL-PLUS C. They produce almost no heat and have an extremely long lifespan compared to light bulbs that burn out fast. The user can adjust the level of illumination using a dimmer control and for rear rack illumination, this unit provides a rear mounted BNC jack where you can plug any standard gooseneck lamp.
All in all, the Furman PL-PLUS C won’t disappoint any sound professional that wishes to get the best out of their gear without suffering from damaging transient voltages or base level noise interferences. If this breaks your budget, it’s still recommended to save some more for it over cheaper options as it can make a real difference in the long run.
- SMP technology
- Isolated outlet banks
- Segmented LED voltmeter
- Surge and spike protection
- 15 Amp rating
- 9 total outlets
- Dual Retractable LED Lights
Any high-end AV system depends on reliable power to function correctly and it’s a well-known fact that poor power is going to impact the sound and video quality. A power conditioner is an ideal solution to prepare for power issues and safeguard all your electronics. The APC J35B is a good example and it comes with battery backup offering advanced features for a higher price.
If you want to buy a good power conditioner for home use, this is probably the best option right now. It provides complete protection from all power dangers and is ideal for a wide range of audio and electronic systems including TVs, DVRs, game consoles, computers and much more.
Thanks to its battery backup, the J35B minimizes the impact of power outages and can keep things like your cable/satellite boxes still running when the power is out. It also prevents stored games and other important files from loss. To keep voltage levels safe and stable, it features Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) which acts as a barrier for your sensitive power supplies and enables the best performance and sound/video quality.
Because electromagnetic and radio frequency interference is a pesky source of AV degradation, this power conditioner has a filter that keeps the power clean. It has many protective features for dangerous power transients especially those traveling over data lines. An LCD display is included to convey helpful information concerning the power conditions and can help when you need to adjust certain parameters. In case of alarming conditions, the screen lights up red to act as a warning.
APC designed it with efficiency in mind and when it comes to power consumption this device will help you save some money as it provides Master/Controlled outlets. There are 8 outlets in total integrated into a sleek and compact design that fits nicely along your furniture.
This is such a feature-packed power conditioner that shouldn’t miss from any home where there’s heavy usage of various audio and video electronic systems. It offers all the protection you could possible need against surges and power transients and the battery backup is a nice addition. At this price, this is definitely a very solid investment.
- 894 Joules
- 1500VA output capacity
- Surge & spike protection
- Stepped Approximation to Sine Wave
- Isolated noise filter banks
- LCD Display
For those looking for a more compact power conditioner, the Furman AC-215A looks like the ideal choice. It can provide clean and safe power for a wide range of electronic devices without taking up too much space. There are lots of features to get excited about including the LiFT technology, EVS, and SMP.
As it only weighs three pounds and measuring just 1.75 by 5 by 8.5 inches (H x W x D), this unit works very well in smaller spaces. The low-profile design makes the AC-215A a perfect fit for a more discrete location like attaching it to the back of a flat screen for example. On the front panel, you won’t find any display but there are LED indicators which give you a clue about the power quality and the activity status of the power conditioner.
Furman only provides two outlets for this model but they make use of the most advanced technologies from the leading manufacturer in this industry. Take SMP for example which is a powerful feature for ensuring that all components are protected and removing the need for the power conditioner to sacrifice itself when the affecting surge is severe.
Another helpful function is the Extreme Voltage Shutdown which automatically takes action to disconnect power to connected devices when it detects an over-voltage of 137 volts or higher. In this way, you can avoid costly replacements. When certain irregularities in the voltage are endangering for your equipment, it will safely power them down and automatically reconnects when the power gets back to acceptable levels of safety.
The last interesting feature that’s worth mentioning is the Linear Filtering Technology or LiFT for short. This will ensure that you’ll only receive clean, filtered power with noise levels kept to a minimum so you can obtain the best sound and image quality from your electronic devices.
Designed to tackle many power purification applications, the compact Furman AC-215A comes with many strong abilities for its cost. It has just two outlets but they should give you some peace of mind when plugging your important devices thanks to the great protection technologies for any harmful power issues. A decent buy, all things considered.
- SMP Technology
- Linear AC power filtering
- Auto-Reset EVS circuitry
- Compact chassis design
- 10 amp rating featuring circuit breaker
Best Home Theater Power Conditioner
The PS900 is another decent option from Pyle if you are in need of a capable Audio/Video power conditioner. It’s loaded with useful features including filters, a micro-controller, LED displays and an output cut switch for all 9 channels. At this price point, it’s hard to find a stronger candidate that can rival it.
Besides being a power conditioner, this is also a processor sequencer and its built-in micro-controller offers optimum performance to be able to get the most precise electrical timing. There’s a built-in two stage EMI filter on the rear panel which supplies filtered power for each output. The 8-channel output features universal and American standard power jacks and you can find them on the rear panel.
The LED displays lots of useful information including the AC voltage and temperature. It shows wiring and ground status. The PS900 can monitor these values in real time so you can always check them when needed. On the front panel, you can also find a constant power jack output un-switched and a sequence switch LED.
The unit is quite bulky but seems to be very solidly built and is highly recommended for many applications including for creating a home theater power center. The sequencer works nicely for powering up and down your gear saving time during setup.
For everyone with the idea of enhancing their studio/home theater build, the Pyle PS900 can filter all that annoying noise out and maintain a stable voltage for every piece of equipment. Enjoying the best audio/video performance is now possible and the good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to get so many reliable features. This unit is priced quite reasonably, considerably less than similarly-featured power conditioners.
- 2-Stage High Insert Dissipation
- Ambient Temperature & Step Time Display
- Built-in 2 Stage EMI Filter
- Output Cut Switch for All Nine Channels
- Noise/Interference Elimination
It’s essential to get the purest AC power and the best protection available for your electronic devices and you might find yourself realizing that traditional surge strips aren’t designed to be very safe and reliable in the long run. The overworked and outdated power grid often delivers AC power of low quality so outfitting your studio with a power conditioner is crucial. The Furman PST-8 looks like an elegant solution to dramatically reduce AC noise and contamination that can affect your gear.
Furman has been at the forefront of the development process for AC power products capable to handle the needs of more demanding audio and video professionals. It incorporates the Linear Filtering Technology combined with a high current TVZ-MOV to ensure that only the cleanest filtered AC power reaches your TVs, computers, and any other electronic devices.
On a daily basis, you can experience quite a lot of surges and spikes so the SMP circuit is an excellent way to protect your delicate equipment and that’s because it won’t require a self-sacrifice of the power conditioner. Furman’s technology is built to keep the voltage from getting directed to the circuit ground to further guarantee the best level of safety for your gear.
Another great aspect about this device is the automatic extreme-voltage shutdown. They are, statistically speaking the most common and damaging AC event. A special integrated circuit will turn the unit off immediately if it reaches 137 volts or more and this will act as a reliable safeguard to the connected devices. This is the kind of protection that’s difficult to find elsewhere. Considering that the PST-8 also does a great job when it comes to transient voltage suppression, this model represents a valuable option on the market for power conditioners right now.
The aluminum chassis gives a certain premium feel to this unit which completes the overall positive image of this product. If you have an extensive home recording studio or a similar project which makes use of a good amount of electronic equipment, investing in a highly capable power conditioner like the Furman PST-8 is an absolute must.
- Advanced Linear Filtering
- Series Multi-Stage Protection Plus
- Zero ground contamination circuitry
- Cable satellite and Telco connectors
- Aluminum Chassis