After our time in lockdown, many of us have become a lot more comfortable with spending more of our time at home.
Bringing outside experiences into the house helped to make everything feel more normal, after all.
And as Americans are spending more time in their homes, it’s no surprise that there has been a rise in the popularity of home theaters.
Many of us love movies, but prefer to watch them in comfortable (and safe) surroundings. However, we don’t want to sacrifice quality and immersion if we don’t have to!
Home theaters are able to achieve just that– and can be very expensive as a result. Therefore, a device such as a home theater power manager that can protect our electronics and provide us with the best quality from them would appear to be a no-brainer.
In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about home theater power managers, as well as give you a few of our top recommendations!
What Is Home Theater?
A home theater is an entertainment system designed to reproduce the feel of being in a movie theater experience- right in the comfort of your own home.
A good system can transport the user into the world of the movie with total immersion, courtesy of top-notch visual quality and stellar surround sound.
This typically involves both high-quality visual and audio equipment. However, I also suggest super comfy recliners and a popcorn machine if you want to go all out!
Some electrical aspects of the home theater may include:
- Large screen high-quality screen or projector
- In-wall speakers
- Ultra HD Blu-ray player
- Streaming apps
- Amplifiers for each channel with a controller or preamp
- Up to four subwoofers
- Home theater power manager
Are Home Theaters Worth It?
This entirely depends on the person.
Some people enjoy the whole experience of going out to the movies, including the day-old popcorn, sticky floor, and having a shared experience in a large room full of strangers.
(When I put it that way- it doesn’t sound all that appealing, does it…?)
For these people, a home theater would not be worth it because they will likely still prefer going to the movies.
Another important consideration is actually having the space in your house for a home theater installation! Think of what that room would be used for otherwise, and decide which option is more of a priority.
The next consideration is cost, as a good setup could easily run you a few thousand dollars.
Here are some types of people that would likely consider a home theater worth the cost:
- Prefers staying in vs going out
- Watches a lot of movies
- Wants to watch movies in full comfort: a comfy couch, in PJs, etc
- Enjoys niche movies that don’t usually make it to theaters
- Does not live close to a theater
- Has mobility or transportation issues
- Has phobias or anxiety about being around strangers or being outside the house
- Has both the disposable income to afford it, and the space in their house
What Is A Home Theater Power Manager?
Pretty much exactly as it sounds, a home theater power manager manages the electrical power that runs the home theater.
This protects all parts of the home theater system from electrical disturbances.
It works by balancing out the input of electricity, smoothing out any spikes and dips, controlling electrical noise- and even boosting audio performance!
It can also help to protect your components during lightning strikes or power outages.
Do You Need A Home Theater Power Manager?
Having a power manager is likely a good idea if you have gone through the expense and trouble of setting up your home theater. It will not only protect your equipment, but also boost its performance as well.
It’s particularly important to have one if you live in an area that sometimes gets lightning strikes or power outages, even if they are rare.
A common phenomenon today is something called ‘dirty power‘.
To explain very simply, there are anomalies in the quality of power, which can then affect the performance of equipment (and even damage them).
Another issue with dirty power is a low-level signal that can be heard through your speaker. A decent home theater power manager will be able to filter this out.
On the flip side, some argue against the use of a power manager.
This is because while they agree it can filter out some disturbances, it can also filter out some qualities of the audio that should be present.
Most people that argue this point have a fine-tuned ear, and are particularly concerned about music quality.
If this is a concern, two solutions exist.
One is to use a power regenerator, which is a separate device that will fix this issue. However, keep in mind that they’re costly! Another solution is to install a separate line for the audio only.
Surge Protection vs Power Manager
A power manager is much more complex than a surge protector and offers many more features. However, even in terms of simply protecting your equipment, they do a better job.
Surge protectors may seem a good option for protecting your electronics, but they are quite limited.
They do protect your devices from power surges, but if a very high voltage event occurs (such as a lightning strike) the surge protector may not be able to handle it and can explode and destroy your equipment beyond repair.
A power manager has something called an extreme voltage shutdown. This will physically disconnect your equipment very quickly, and will even protect the power manager itself from the event.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Theater Power Manager
The power cord is essential to the power manager. It should be long so that it can filter out dirty power, but it also needs to be sturdy while staying lightweight.
Power Manager Size
Consider how many outlets you need for all your equipment, and then consider getting a power manager with a couple more than that. This will be useful if you eventually add something to your system.
There is a large variety in size, often dependent on the number of outlets needed. Some can fit under your TV, while larger ones will need to be mounted on the wall.
Consider your space and the installation process before purchasing.
Surge Protection Rate
Also known as the clamping voltage, this is the level at which the extreme voltage shutdown will be switched on. Ideal levels tend to be between 120-400V.
The energy absorption rating will tell you the energy level the power manager can efficiently handle. A rating of at least 500 joules will be sufficient for most home theaters.
Underwriter Laboratory’s certification adds credibility to the device, as it has had to meet specific standards.
The Best Home Theater Power Managers
For a premium device, you can’t beat the Panamax MR4300, which has set the standard in the industry.
It comes with a guarantee that offers protection for all your connected devices of up to 5 million dollars- which just shows the company’s confidence that this device will be able to protect your equipment from any electrical issues.
It’s won multiple industry awards, and has sold millions of units worldwide.
The device is small, lightweight, and sleek for what it offers. Its surge protection contains several layers to ensure your device is entirely safe during power surges.
Finally, the noise filtration has three levels to provide the best sound quality possible.
This 8 outlet power manager offers the industry’s best protection at a lower price tag.
This affordable alternative to the MR4300 may not have the same advanced features, but it is still sure to do the job.
It comes with the same protections for all your devices as its more expensive counterpart, so you can be confident your equipment is in good hands.
Pyle 19 Outlet 1U 19″
With an astounding 19 outlets, this is an excellent option for people with extensive home theater systems.
Due to the spacing on the mounted outlets and the flexible rear outlets, you will get full use of all 19 plugs regardless of the size and shape of the inputs.
The power cord is extra long at 15 feet, allowing you to reach areas of your rooms without direct power sources.
G5BLK 9-Outlet G-Type
This is an excellent option for protecting your devices with the ability to absorb an astonishing 3400 joules of energy.
The 15 amp circuit breaker will ensure that your devices stay protected even in the worst case scenario.
All this with a minimalist design, 8 of the nine outlets at the rear, and easy to install as well!
Furman M-8×2 Merit X Series M-8×2
Furman is a popular name in this industry with a solid reputation.
While still a high-end device, this is a more affordable item compared to some of the others on this list.
The noise filtering is top of the line, reducing any interference from power inputs. It’ll deliver you a clean sound without any crackles or pops that come along with dirty power.
Are Home Theater Power Managers Worth It?
Considering the cost of an entire home theater system, a power manager is worth it for protecting your investment and getting the most out of your equipment.
How Long Will a Power Manager Last Me?
A high end power manager will typically come with a three to five year warranty. However, it is typical for these devices to last ten years or more.
Is A Power Manager The Same As A Surge Protector?
No, a surge protector only does one small aspect of what a power manager does. It can protect from power outages and surges, but does not protect against extreme surges like lightning. A power manager also offers many other benefits.
Does a Power Manager Improve Sound?
There are two lines of thought about this.
Some will argue that it does improve the sound by filtering out line noise and balancing the power to the speakers. Others who are very particular about music will say it takes away certain qualities of sound that give the music life.
Now that it’s so much easier to get access to relatively new, high-quality movies, more and more people are looking to bring the movie theater experience into their homes.
There is a lot to consider when setting up a home theater, but a home theater power manager is not a step in the process that should be missed!
It’s essential to protect your devices, and to make sure that you get the best possible performance from the equipment you’ve invested so much in.
Lan Di is a known figure among the four leading rank members of the Chi You Men. With his cold, calculating demeanor and piercing gaze, he strikes fear into the hearts of those who cross his path.
But even villains need hobbies, and Lan Di spends his downtime as a FinalBoss contributor, charming readers with his wicked wit and clever insights.