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Do You Need a Power Conditioner for a Home Theater?

Whether you’re building a home theater or have had yours set up for years, longevity is of utmost importance to you, because you want your investment to last for as long as possible. So what can you do to keep your home theater in great working condition for years to come? You may have heard about how a power conditioner can be a great solution to increase the longevity of home entertainment equipment!

So do you need a power conditioner for a home theater? Yes, a power conditioner is a vital piece of equipment that filters out the “dirty” power and keeps your expensive equipment safer and functioning more efficiently. It helps to ensure that your equipment lasts for as long as possible.

In our post, 10 Ways to Protect Home Theater Equipment, we explained that power, by nature, is dirty. When your power runs throughout your equipment in your home theater, small dips and spikes in electricity can cause damage to your equipment. A power conditioner filters these out, and in turn, better protects your equipment. Additionally, a power conditioner typically also filters out AC line noise. Check out this YouTube demonstration by Panamax on how power conditioners work.

So if you have expensive equipment in your home theater, as many of us do, a power conditioner is a great investment for you! Whether you want a budget-friendly or high-end power conditioner, you’ll be able to find one that meets your needs. In addition, many power conditioners come with great additional protection features, like surge protection to help your home theater equipment’s longevity in every way possible. No matter what your budget is, you’ll find that a power conditioner is a great investment for your home theater equipment, helping it last for many more years.

The Top Reasons that Home Theaters Need a Power Conditioner

Power Conditioner

If you’re still not convinced that you need a power conditioner for your home theater, here are some reasons why it’s a great investment for many home theaters or home entertainment systems.

Equipment can be Very Expensive – Protect Your Investment

When it comes to home theaters, most are built with a lot of expensive equipment, even if there are some components that are on the lower end. Whether it’s an expensive receiver, subwoofer(s), front speakers, or all of the above, you want to do everything you can to protect your equipment from damage.

Maybe you’ve only taken precautions against physical, visible damage to your home theater equipment, but what about the damage you can’t see? Internally, your equipment goes through a lot. Are you doing everything you can to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently? The best option for you to keep your equipment up-to-speed internally is through the use of a power conditioner.

The Amount of Use

If you have a home theater in your living room, the chances are that it gets a good amount of use. Whether you’re watching movies with your kids and family regularly or you’re a die-hard sports fan that loves to watch your games, then your home theater definitely gets used a fair amount. This will bring on a lot of internal wear and tear on the smaller components within the equipment. Normally, lots of wear and tear can shorten the lifetime of your equipment, so you’ll want to do everything you can to extend that lifetime. One surefire way to add years onto your equipment’s life, in the midst of lots of everyday use, is through the use of a power conditioner.

Longevity is Key! Your Equipment Should Last for a Long Time

It’s not every day that you buy new home theater equipment. It takes lots of time, energy, research, and testing to decide what is right for you. And it’s likely that you took a couple of years saving up money to buy the individual components. The last thing you’d hope for is to have to replace your expensive receiver or subwoofer within a few years! You wouldn’t want to replace any of your components with less than what you have, and it may not be in your budget to purchase the same caliber equipment, if something were to happen.

The good news is that, with a small investment in a power conditioner, you’ll be able to trust that your equipment will be highly protected from internal damage, and you won’t have to worry about making room in your budget for an emergency replacement anytime soon. Additionally, many power conditioner and surge protector manufacturers will actually back their product with money, even though it’s a good practice to replace them every 2 years anyway as we explained in our tutorial! Depending on the product and manufacturer, if something were to happen to a piece of equipment, it’s possible that the company would cover the damages and replace the equipment.

How to Choose the Right Power Conditioner for You

Budget – When deciding which power conditioner is right for you, you’ll need to figure out your budget. You can find a great power conditioner for many home theaters for under $100 such as the Furman M-8X2. This unit is a great budget power conditioner with 8 outlets and built-in surge protection! Or if you want to splurge, you can find one for a couple or few hundred dollars for really high-end equipment such as the Panamax MR4300. This unit is specifically built for home theater systems. It includes both power conditioning, surge protection, and even comes with a lifetime connected equipment protection policy!

Of course, there are a few differences between the high-end and budget-friendly models, such as the number of outlets and the level and quality of the power filtration. One similar feature you’ll find across all models of power conditioners is surge protection, which is a great add-on to the protection of power conditioning.

Your needs – It’s important to also know what the power needs of your home theater are. How big is your home theater? What type of equipment are you using? You’ll need to know the power capabilities of all of your home theater equipment, so that you can match your power conditioner with your current system. The power conditioner you choose has to be able to handle the amount of power that you’re sending through it from your equipment. For example, you’ll need to know if it has to the right amount of high current plugs for equipment like your subwoofer and receiver.

Where to go – There are a lot of places you can turn to, when you’re ready to browse and buy a power conditioner for your home theater. Amazon is one destination that many home theater gurus turn to, because you can easily look at hundreds of reviews to see what the best products are and what the downfalls are of each. In addition, you can go to any tech destination, such as Best Buy and other tech stores in your local area. It might be helpful to talk to one of the professionals in-store and physically see the different options to choose from.

When to Talk to an Expert

Not sure if you need to consult an expert for your power conditioner purchase or if you should just browse online and make a selection? If you’re unsure of any of the specs of your home theater equipment and how much power your home theater system uses, you’ll definitely want to seek the advice of a home theater or tech expert. Additionally, if you’re unsure of which brand of power conditioner is best for you or what capabilities you need in your power conditioner, it’s a great idea to speak to a tech professional.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by going to a tech store, because they specifically hire people that can help with this. In fact, you’ll probably learn more than you even thought possible about which choice is the best for your specific home theater.

Related Questions

Is a UPS a power conditioner? A UPS is an uninterrupted power supply. It provides backup power in the event of a power outage. Most UPSs will have built-in power conditioning and surge protection. However, this isn’t standard on all uninterrupted power supplies, so check the specs before you purchase.

What are some brands to keep an eye out for? When it comes to power conditioners, there are a few brands that stand out above the rest, like Panamax, Furman, APC, Pyle, Bryston, and PS Audio. Monster is a popular entry-level brand, but the quality is typically rated less than the aforementioned brands, which have power conditioner models for all budgets and needs.

Is there any reason that my home theater doesn’t need a power conditioner? Although a power conditioner is a great investment for most home theaters, it is not 100% necessary if you have an overall low-end home theater system. Power conditioners are most useful for high-end equipment in home theaters, so if you have any expensive equipment in your home theater, it is important to purchase a power conditioner. If not, then you won’t need to purchase a power conditioner for your home theater. Just know that it’s likely that your equipment will degrade a faster rate and is more suseptible to