Home Theater Review

 

Audiophile Power Products and Home Theater AC Power Component Reviews

One of the most overlooked categories in all of audiophilia and home theater is providing your investment-grade AV gear clean, accurate AC power. Today's AC power products for home theater range from tricked out extension chords to full battery-based power regeneration units. AC power products can improve your system's performance for a wide variety of equipment ranging from HDTVs to front video projectors to power amps, source components and beyond. Read a full archive of reviews below from the best home theater and audiophile AC power companies and their top products.

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Home Theater Review's Best of 2012 Awards

Home Theater Review's Best of 2012 Awards

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
5 Stars
 

It's that time of year again. The Home Theater Review staff has looked over all of the year's impressive offerings - of which there were many - and narrowed it down to what they believe to be the best of 2012. Read More

 
Tributaries T200 Power Manager Reviewed

Tributaries T200 Power Manager Reviewed

By Brian Kahn

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

Known more for audiophile cables, Tributaries has a rapidly expanding lineup of top performing AC power products designed for the home theater enthusiasts and mid-level audiophile. The T-200 power manager reviewed here by Brian Kahn is. Read More

 
Transparent Cable PowerBank 2 Power Conditioner

Transparent Cable PowerBank 2 Power Conditioner

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Designed to condition your power in tight spaces like behind an LCD or plasma HDTV - the Transparent PowerBank 2 power conditioner gets a full work out from HomeTheaterReview.com's editor, Andrew Robinson. Read More

 
Transparent PowerWave 10 Power Conditioner

Transparent PowerWave 10 Power Conditioner

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
5 Stars
 

For the serious audiophile and or home theater enthusiast, the Transparent PowerWave 10 offers - you guessed it - 10 identical power outlets boasting clean, quiet power in a robust package that would compliment today's AV preamps, source components and more. Read More

 
Transparent PowerWave 8 Power Conditioner

Transparent PowerWave 8 Power Conditioner

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
5 Stars
 

For smaller AV and home theater systems comes the $995 Transparent PowerWave 8 Power Conditioner which has two fewer outlets than its bigger brother but the same consistent power output which is perfect for a mid-sized AV rack. Read More

 
PurePower 700 AC Power Regenerator and Battery Backup Reviewed

PurePower 700 AC Power Regenerator and Battery Backup Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Delivering on the promise of truly regenerated AC Power - the PurePower 700 is one of the top performing AC power products in the home theater and audiophile market today. Dr. Ken Taraszka takes an in-depth look here. Read More

 
UltraLink PGX-500 Ultra Power AC Line Conditioner Reviewed

UltraLink PGX-500 Ultra Power AC Line Conditioner Reviewed

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
3.5 Stars
 

This more entry level unit is designed to protect your lower to mid-level home theater from power surges and do some basic conditioning. Its also designed to give up its life when a surge hits it unlike other AC power products. Read More

 
Monster HTPS 7000 MKII PowerSource Reviewed

Monster HTPS 7000 MKII PowerSource Reviewed

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
3 Stars
 

Long before Beat by Dre' headphones and chrome plated Audi R8 cars - Monster Cable was one of the biggest proponents of clean AC power. Their beefy HTPS 7000 MKII PowerSource is one of the more solid units on the market. Read More

 
Monster AVS 2000 Home Theater Voltage Stabilizer Reviewed

Monster AVS 2000 Home Theater Voltage Stabilizer Reviewed

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
3.5 Stars
 

Belive it or not the AC voltage in your home theater and or audiophile system can dip and or surge with little to not notice thus causing all sorts of electrical problems and performance shortfalls for your high priced AV gear. Monster's solution is. Read More

 
Exact Power EP15a AV Power Regeneration Device

Exact Power EP15a AV Power Regeneration Device

By Jerry Del Colliano

Overall Rating
3.5 Stars
 

Now owned by the same company as Middle Atlantic Racks - Exact Power makes a fine power regeneration device for audiophile use. Much like the PurePower products, this product is designed for those that want the most pure of AC into their system. Read More

 

AC Power Product Wiki

1.0 AC Power Products for Home Theater
2.0 Products


2.1 Power Strips
2.2 What is an MOV?
2.3 Power Conditioners
2.4 Battery Back-up
2.5 Power Regeneration
2.6 Aftermarket Power chords

1.0 AC Power Products for Home Theater
When many consumers contemplate AC power for their home theater or stereo systems, they don't think past the number of outlets they need to plug in their equipment, or perhaps some cheapie power strip, yet AC power is one of the easiest and often most cost-effective ways to improve the performance and reliability of a home theater system.

2.0 Products
The variety of power products in the home theater marketplace is astonishing. They range from glorified power strips to power "conditioners" to battery backup devices to very robust surge protection devices and even to complete "off-the-grid" power regeneration systems. Prices range from well below $100 to well over $5,000, all bringing positive effects to your system.

2.1 Power Strips
Power strips, or "bus strips," are the lowest form of AV power product in the marketplace today. While some have modest fuses for protection, they serve little more purpose than to give the consumer more outlets to plug gear into the wall. The fuses often fail and many power strips still continue to function, despite having their only level of protection being gone.

2.2 What is an MOV?
An MOV is a device in an AC power product that is designed to create a short circuit when a voltage threshold is exceeded, shutting off a system in order to protect it.

2.3 Power Conditioners
AC power conditioners are more significant components that normally cost a few hundred dollars and are housed in one chassis. It is not uncommon to find them using fuses, as well as filters, for protection from surges and spikes in order to attempt to quiet noise in the AC power line. Power conditioners often suffer from the same fuse issue that bus strips do, as they will continue to work after the fuse has failed, providing little to no protection.

2.4 Battery Backup
A somewhat new phenomenon in the home theater space, battery backup systems range from very affordable to quite expensive. The advantage of battery backup is that, if a system is suffering from a drop or dip in voltage, it has backup power to allow the system to run for a short period of time. Perhaps more importantly, battery backup for home theater systems allows the end user to potentially shut down a system more gently than via a dramatic loss of power. Consider the temperature of the bulbs inside today's best digital projectors. The inability to fan-cool the bulb can cause over $1,000 in damage and/or shorten the life or weaken the performance of the bulb.

2.5 Power Regeneration for Home Theater
At the pinnacle of AC power technology for home theater are power regeneration devices. Made popular by PS Audio and expanded upon byproducts like Exact Power and Audiophile APS' Pure Power. These $1,000-plus solutions are very complex, computer-based systems that deal with upwards of five to ten different AC power maladies by taking the imperfect incoming AC power and basically using a digital amplifier to recreate the entire power signal, so that it is a perfect 120 volts and 60 Hz. These units also often come with battery backup, sophisticated filters for noise and much more. They are the ultimate way to both protect your expensive components and to feed them the purest AC power that they need to perform at their best.

2.6 Aftermarket AC Power Cables
There is an entire niche business built around selling aftermarket power cables to audiophile and videophile clients. While some swear by the performance improvements, it's hard to measure what they actually do. It's also hard to imagine why a manufacturer of a $10,000 power amplifier would skimp on a $15 part that could make the product more high-performance. Nevertheless, there are aftermarket power cables on the market priced from $100 to well over $2,000.