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The Best Home Theatre Power Managers

best power managers

A home theatre power manager will keep all your expensive audio-video (AV) equipment safe from damages caused by voltage fluctuations and “dirty” power in general. AV equipment like large-screen TVs, sub-woofers, and amplifiers are costly. Moreover, they are pretty delicate to be left unprotected from the harmful effects of unreliable power supply.

That thump you hear from your home theatre when you turn on the power button is an indication that all is not right with the power supply. Another indication is a sparking noise you’ll hear coming from the speaker. This means the power supply to these devices needs attention, and avoiding it may cause irreparable damage.

Our list of Best Home Theatre Power Managers is a great place to start looking for a device to offer you this protection. In addition to stabilizing the power, these devices provide protection when there is a continuous supply of extreme power. They entirely cut off the power supply to your AV devices until the power supply stabilizes to manageable limits.

What’s more, a good Home Theatre Power Manager will also protect AV devices from Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). So, you won’t experience any audio or visual disturbances while playing your favorite movies, allowing you to enjoy a high-quality and disturbance-free entertainment experience.

 

1. Panamax M5400-PM  – Versatile Home Theatre Power Manager

Panamax is a leading manufacturer of Power Managers (or Power Conditioners). The M5400-PM is of top-of-the-line device that provides multi-layered protection for more devices than just your AV equipment.

The M5400-PM has eleven power outlets, so you can connect all your essential and non-essential devices without having to juggle devices between outlets.

These outlets include four Always-on outlets, ideal for devices that you regularly use, like your TV, satellite receiver, and such. You also get four Switched voltage regulators that provide more efficient power management, making them ideal for more sensitive AV devices that need that added bit of protection.

The Panamax M5400-PM is versatile and offers protection for more devices than just electrical appliances. You can route incoming lines to satellite receivers, phone lines, and even Ethernet lines via the Power Manager to prevent any contaminated power from leaking into and damaging sensitive devices.

The device protects you from power surges by stabilizing the supply so that it doesn’t harm your expensive AV equipment. It also has an extreme voltage cut-off mechanism that cuts power to the device as soon as it senses the voltage beyond the manageable range.

The ten outlets on the rear panel are arranged in five banks of two outlets each. The design of the Panamax M5400-PM isolates the noise of one bank and prevents interference with adjacent banks. This power manager also offers filtration of electromagnetic and radio frequency interference (EMI and RFI) to give you a distortion-free image and high-quality audio.

The Panamax M5400-PM also has one outlet on the front panel for easy access, and you also get a USB and LAN port to connect mobile chargers and gaming consoles. It has a multi-information display that gives you the status of the five banks. Further, the digital voltmeter displays the incoming and outgoing voltage and warns when the voltage crosses a safety threshold.

Our Take

The Panamax M5400-PM is a versatile power manager that protects many devices, including telephones and LAN networks. It is undoubtedly the best home theatre power manager on the market if you don’t mind paying the premium price.

PROS
  • Protection against power surges from non-powered sources like Ethernet, phone, and satellite links.
  • Eleven outlets enable you to connect all your AV devices.
  • EMI and RFI filtration provide a distortion-free entertainment experience.
  • The Automatic Over and Under Voltage (AVM) protection cuts off power during extreme and prolonged voltage spikes.
  • The multi-information display gives you the status of the incoming and outgoing power.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • It only turns off partially, so it keeps consuming power.
  • No rack illumination LEDs.

2. Furman ELITE15 PF I – Best Linear Home Theatre Power Manager

The Furman ELITE15 PF I is an excellent Home Theatre Power Manager when you need a linear device that steps down the incoming high-voltage line. In addition to the linear regulation of power, the Furman ELITE15 also offers switched regulation for more power-sensitive devices.

Furman offers the ELITE15 PF I with 13 outlets that provide comprehensive protection for all your AV devices. These include 12 linearly filtered outlets on the rear panel with a combination of ultrasonic filtering and high-current outlets. And you also get one linearly regulated outlet on the front panel for quick access when you need it.

What’s more, you’ll be able to connect even the most power-hungry audio amplifiers using the 45amps outlets that provide the additional power, allowing you to set up the perfect entertainment unit.

Like the Panamax M5400-PM, the Furman ELITE15 PF I also offer protection for incoming satellite lines and Ethernet lines. But the ELITE15 doesn’t provide protection for USB and phone lines. It’s not a deal breaker, as the devices more than make up for it with additional outlets.

Of course, you get protection from power surges, overcurrent, and other incoming contaminated power. Furman ensures that the unit cuts off power to the AV devices when it senses exceptionally high voltage that will damage them.

The outlets on the rear panel are arranged in three banks of four outlets, each with labels for the recommended devices. The only problem is that with so many outlets in the rear panel, you may need help accommodating all the plugs in such close quarters.

The front panel features a dimmer button for the LED indicator and a power switch that will shut down the entire device. Like any voltage stabilizer, the ELITE 15 PF I also consumes power in standby mode; Furman makes it convenient to save energy and a few bucks on your energy bill.

Our Take

The Furman ELITE15 PF I is perfect if you are looking for a power conditioner that offers linear regulation and versatility. It provides plenty of outlets and protects incoming satellite and Ethernet links for a safer solution to protect all your AV equipment.

PROS
  • It offers linear and switching regulators to provide a comprehensive clean power solution.
  • The 13 power outlets will enable you to connect all your AV devices.
  • EMI and RFI filtration provide a distortion-free entertainment experience.
  • It cuts off power during extreme and prolonged voltage spikes.
  • Retractable LED lamps for rack illumination.
CONS
  • No protection for USB charging.
  • Expensive
  • No Always On outlets

3. PylePro PDU PCO885 – Home Theatre Power Manager with 20 Outlets

You’ll love the PylePro PDU PCO885 power manager if you have a fully equipped entertainment center, complete with multiple gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and whatnot. And though it’s not the best-looking device, it offers all the essential features of a power manager at a reasonable price.

The PCO885 has 20 power outlets, 16 on the rear panel for devices you want to be connected permanently, and four on the front panel for quick access when needed.

PylePro offers protection from five fundamental power-related problems, including overloading, overcurrent, and overvoltage. Additionally, it protects you from short circuits and overheating, which is excellent, considering you’ll want to use most of the 20 outlets on the devices.

The PCO885 also provides EMI and RFI filtration so that you get distortion-free usage that isn’t affected by the considerably heavy load. Specifically, you’ll get a clearer sound quality that remains unaffected by electromagnetic crackling and sharper images with any radio-frequency interferences.

The device’s design is pretty compact compared to similar devices from competing manufacturers. It includes a rack-mountable frame that allows you to better manage the numerous cables you have to connect and optimize space in your entertainment cabinet.

Apart from the four outlets on the front panel, you also get two USB charging ports, a digital voltmeter, and a dedicated power switch for the entire unit. So, you’ll miss the Always On outlets, and the all-or-nothing power switch isn’t the most energy-efficient power-distribution solution.

Our Take

The PylePro PCO885 offers protection to up to 20 devices at a time and is one of the most cost-effective power managers on the list. It isn’t the most attractive-looking device on our list, but it offers protection against all essential power-related issues.

PROS
  • The 20-outlet power manager is ideal for a fully loaded entertainment center.
  • EMI and RFI filtration provide a distortion-free entertainment experience.
  • USB charging ports for all your portable devices.
  • The rack-mountable design enables you to save space.
CONS
  • No Always Onoutlets for commonly used devices.
  • The all-or-nothing power switch isn’t the most energy-efficient solution.

4. Soundavo PMX-3300 Power Conditioner – Home Theatre Power Manager with Retractable Light

The Soundavo PMX-3300 has a retractable LED light that comes very handy once you mount this power manager on a rack. The LED lamp has a pull-out design that provides you with enough light to handle all the electrical equipment with the risk of electrocution.

The PMX-3300 has eight power outlets that Soundavo classifies into three zones to prioritize the power distribution to each entertainment unit. Soundavo classifies the zones into Digital, Analog, and High-Current outlet that labels all three on the rear panel for easy recall. You also get two unswitched outlets on the front panel for quick and easy access.

While the PMX-3300 from Soundavo offers protection from unstable power, it doesn’t cut off power during extreme voltages. However, it does have a circuit breaker which will essentially do the same thing, except you’ll have to replace a fuse to get the device going again. This device also offers EMI and RFI noise filtration, so you won’t experience any distortion while enjoying your favorite form of entertainment.

Lastly, the front panel has a power switch that controls the power to the entire unit. It prioritizes and reverse-prioritizes the power supply to each zone depending on whether you are switching on the device or switching it off. You also get a voltmeter and a dimmer switch for the retractable LED light.

Our Take

The Soundavo PMX-3300 has a retractable LED lamp that illuminates the rack and provides you with enough light so that you don’t accidentally touch a bare electrical surface. Further, it prioritizes power distribution across three zones to protect your most sensitive AV devices.

PROS
  • A brightness-controlled LED lamp ensures better visibility while operating the device.
  • EMI and RFI filtration provide a distortion-free entertainment experience.
  • Two power outlets on the front panel provide easy access to secure outlets.
  • The three-zone power distribution protects sensitive AV devices.
  • Digital voltmeter with diagnostic lights.
CONS
  • No Always On ports for commonly used devices.
  • No USB charging ports for portable devices.

5. Panamax MX5102 – Best Home Theatre Power Manager with Battery Backup

 

The Panamax MX5102 offers a unique advantage of a battery backup in addition to protection from an unreliable power source. So, you can connect your gaming consoles or DVR devices to eliminate the risk of corrupting their hard drives.

The MX5102 from Panamax has ten outlets in all, including four switched and two switched with high-current. You also get two Always On and two battery-backup outlets connected to a 600VA internal UPS. Like its M5400 sibling, the MX5102 also protects Ethernet, telephone, and satellite link lines to provide comprehensive protection to your entertainment center. The outlets are divided into four banks, with all the outlets located on the rear panel.

The device offers protection by providing EMI and RFI filtration, and it includes Automatic Voltage Monitoring (AVM) to cut off power when voltage levels are dangerously high.

The front panel has a power button, an LED indicator for each bank’s status, a digital voltmeter, and a control to toggle the display. The MX5102 doesn’t offer USB charging ports, and neither does it provide a single outlet on the front panel for easy access.

Our Take

The MX5102 from Panamax is perfect if you are using AV devices that use internal memory. The 600VA UPS takes over and keeps these devices safe so that you can power them down without causing damage.

PROS
  • The 10-outlet design enables you to connect all your AV devices.
  • You can use Always On outlets to connect commonly used devices with supplying power to the other connected devices.
  • Battery backup power critical devices so that you don’t lose data.
  • Digital voltmeter with diagnostic lights.
CONS
  • No USB charging ports for portable devices.
  • Expensive

6. Panamax MR4300 – Best Home Theatre Power Manager with Automatic Voltage Monitor (AVM)

A Power Manager with AVM detects extreme voltages and cuts off the power supply. It senses when the voltage reaches a permissible level and restores the power, keeping your AV devices from getting irreparably damaged.

The MR4300 offers AVM in all its nine outlets. The outlets are distributed in two banks, one with liner filtration and one for high-current devices to amplifiers. Unfortunately, none of the nine outlets are Always On outlets. Like most Panamax Power Conditioners, the MR4300 also protects incoming Ethernet, telephone, and satellite lines.

It filters out electromagnetic and radio frequency interference so that you can enjoy consuming your favorite entertainment content without disruptions.

The MR4300 goes one better than its M5400PM and MX5102 sibling and provides retractable LED lamps with brightness control. The lamps are on the front panel, as are the digital voltmeter, a power outlet, and a USB port to quickly charge your portable devices.

Our Take

The MR4300 has AVM and protects your AV device from numerous power-related threats. It’s an excellent mid-range device that offers essential features for your convenience and the protection of your entertainment setup.

PROS
  • EMI and RFI filtration provide a distortion-free entertainment experience.
  • Power outlet on the front panel for convenient access.
  • Two brightness-controlled LED lamp ensures better visibility while operating the device.
  • USB charging ports for all your portable devices.
CONS
  • No Always On outlets for commonly used devices.
  • The all-or-nothing power switch isn’t the most energy-efficient solution.

7. Furman M-8x2 Merit Series – Best Rack-Mountable Home Theatre Power Manager

The Furman M-8×2 is a no-fuss rack-mountable home theatre power manager that offers the most basic set of functionality. Thus, it is ideal for entertainment cabinets where you can conceal it from sight.

The M-8×2 has eight power outlets that protect your AV device from a full range of “dirty” power-related problems. And you’ll also get the EMI and RFI filtration which ensures that you get a distortion-free entertainment experience.

While a bit too basic, a couple of noteworthy things are the inclusion of a circuit breaker and the spacing between the seven outlets on the rear panel.

The circuit breaker ensures that your device will remain 100% safe in case of an extreme power surge. Sure, it’ll blow out the fuse, and you’ll have to run down to an electrical supplies store to get a replacement, but that’s better than damaging your valuable AV gear. And the generous space between the rear outlets ensures that you have room to accommodate bulky power brick that manufacturers often integrate with the plug.

The front panel also has one outlet for quick access, and you get a dedicated power button to control the supply to all the devices.

Our Take

The Furman M-8×2 is an inexpensive power manager that you can conveniently mount on a rack to optimize any space. It’s perfect if you need a functional device that doesn’t offer aesthetics.

PROS
  • Price
  • EMI and RFI filtration provide a distortion-free entertainment experience.
  • Power outlet on the front panel for convenient access.
  • Rack-mountable design enables you to save space.
CONS
  • No USB charging ports.
  • No digital voltmeter or status LED for diagnosing the problem.

8. Pyle PCO800 – Cheapest Home Theatre Power Manager

The Pyle PCO800 is the most pocket-friendly Power Manager on the market that offers essential protection from power sags and surges. But as with economical options, you won’t get much else in terms of convenience.

The PCO800 has eight power outlets on the rear panel, along with a circuit breaker to protect your gear during extreme power surges. Essentially, it is a power strip that offers a triple-mode varistor with spike protection, meaning it will step down the power during surges. And when it can’t handle the load, the circuit breaker with blow out the fuse to protect your AV devices.

The device’s design is basic, and you get a dedicated power switch on the front panel. Pyle does away with a voltmeter and USB charging ports to keep costs low. However, you do get EMI and RFI filtration for a distortion-free viewing and listening experience.

Our Take

The Pyle PCO800 is perfect for anyone on a tight budget who wants to keep their valuable AV devices safe during unstable power supplies. It offers the most basic level of protection for up to eight of your electronic devices.

PROS
  • The circuit breaker keeps your AV devices safe from extremely high voltage.
  • Rack-mountable design enables you to optimize space.
  • Price
  • EMI and RFI filtration provide a distortion-free entertainment experience.
CONS
  • No voltmeter or diagnostic LEDs.
  • No USB charging ports
  • No power outlet on the front panel for quick access.

Best Home Theatre Power Managers – Our Buying Guide

It is advisable to keep the following parameter in mind when you decide to buy a Power Manager for your Home Theatre

Number of Outlets

The number of ports governs the number of AV devices you can connect with the Power Manager. Hence, the most sensible thing to do is to select a Power Manager that offers the most significant number of outlets. It is also advisable to choose a Power Manager that has outlets on its front panel as these outlets provide convenient and quick access.

Protection for Ports

Apart from power outlets, the best home theatre power managers provide surge protection on incoming satellite, Ethernet, USB, and telephone lines. However, these Power Managers tend to be expensive, but they provide unmatched and comprehensive protection for all your AV devices.

EMI and RFI Filtration

Electronic devices, such as AV devices, create Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference that distort sound or video. Hence, it would be best to look for a Power Manager that offers EMI and RFI filtration. Fortunately, most Power Managers on the market and all the Power Managers on our list have this feature.

Extreme Voltage Shutdown

This feature is sold under various brand names. Essentially, a Power Manager that features an Extreme Voltage Shutdown will cut off power to your AV device if the incoming power line breaches a bottom or top-level threshold. More importantly, it will also detect when the incoming line has stabilized, and then it will restore power to the AV device.

Cost

There is a wide range of Power Managers to suit any budget. The general rule is that the more features you want, the higher the price you’ll need to pay. However, you can get a versatile mid-range Power Manager within a few hundred dollars that will serve most Home Theatre setups.

Best Home Theatre Power Managers – Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Dirty Power”?

You can classify any power supply as “Dirty Power” if it has an unstable voltage, current, polarity, or any other damage causing variation. Dirty Power in any abnormal, inconsistent, and unreliable power supply.

What is EMI and RFI Filtration? And why is it important?

All electrical appliances emit electromagnetic and radio frequency impulses. In an environment densely populated with several electrical devices, these impulses cause interference that can disrupt the normal operations of the nearby electronic devices. Your electronic device will work better without external disturbances by filtering these impulses.

What is the difference between a Power Manager (Power Conditioner) and a Power Strip?

While a Power Strip only adds additional power outlets, a Power Manager adds outlets and protects the connected devices from major and minor power surges.

What is a Linear Regulator? How is it different from Switching Regulator?

A liner regulator only steps down from a high input voltage to give a low-voltage output. A switching regulator is more versatile as it has a lower and upper threshold, which will adjust the voltage accordingly when they are about to be breached.

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