It can be argued that a surge protector is the backbone or nervous system of your home theater setup. It has the pivotal role of keeping your devices protected from sudden power fluctuations. Unfortunately, not all of them are effective.
To make sure your home theater system is protected and maintained, our experts have reviewed the best home theater surge protectors.
Reviews of the Best Home Theater Surge Protectors
1. Belkin 12 Advanced Power Strip Surge Protector
The Belkin 12 Advanced Power Strip Surge Protector offers many options depending on how many outlets you need. Belkin devices are reliable and the outlets are adequately spaced to accommodate the maximum number of ports on the surface.
The Belkin 12 carries out its task efficiently and successfully to protect your home equipment from random and sudden power spikes. The slim design is easy to slide under tables, put behind walls or sit flush on a flat surface without taking up much space.
The Belkin 12 has a 3940 joule energy rating with a 6000 volt max spike volts. It also comes with an extra long extension cord just to make your setup easier.
2. APC P11VNT3 Power Surge Protector
The APC P11VNT3 Power Surge Protector can not only protect your equipment from random household power surges, but it also safeguards against lightning strikes. The smart power surge protector has undergone stringent testing to make sure it meets APC’s standards.
There are 11 outlets, which is more than enough for most residences to get enough plugs and protection. The P11VNT3 from APC also has a rotating 8-foot long power cord that adds to the placement flexibility.
The power surge rating is 3020 joules and the APC smart equipment is also capable of data line protection, network line protection and more. Just look at the indicator lights to be sure you are protected.
3. APC Wall Outlet Surge Protector
The APC Wall Outlet Surge Protector is what your home theater equipment needs for surge protection. If you have a small setup and are limited on space or have a budget, this is the best option for you.
The APC surge protector is best mounted on the wall and the small profile keeps it well hidden. The surge protection from such a small device is still adequate enough to be classified as one of the best surge protectors.
You can have the option of picking one with USB ports for charging or just a power strip. Either one you choose won’t make a dent in your budget as this is also one of the most affordable and best surge protectors on the market.
Home Theater Surge Protector Buyer’s Guide
Other than the number of power outlets the best surge protectors provide, what else is there to look for? Is it worth it to spend a premium on a high end product, and how many fluctuations in the power supply can your outlets handle with the help of a surge protector?
These are all questions that contribute to the power conditioning of the best home theater surge protector that our experts will discuss below.
Design and Build
For equipment that is made to handle a high voltage and safeguard the rest of your home theater equipment, the build must be hard-wearing from robust materials. The amount of protection it offers will also affect the build.
Our experts will leave the number of outlets you would want in your surge protector for a later discussion. To find the best power strip surge protector for your home theater, consider the equipment you will be connecting to the device for surge protection.
Home theater equipment will need a pretty heavy duty power protector with enough outlets for protection. If you are looking for one to handle your ac power, lamp and lights, then a surge protector for that may not require tough materials.
You can also get peace of mind for your surge protectors if they are certified. For example, the APC P11VNT3 is a certified surge protector. This is to give you extra insurance that your surge protector can handle anything you plan on plugging into the power strip.
Next, look at where you plan on placing the outlet. If possible, our experts suggest mounting your surge protectors on the wall. This keeps it out of your way and leaves more space for your home theater or other equipment. Many surge protectors will have a wall mount kit or holes in the back to make it easy to hang on the wall.
Do you want or need USB ports? The USB ports are mainly used for the charging of devices such as portable speakers. Some devices can come with 2 USB charging ports.
However, keep in mind that having USB ports will also increase the price of your power strip protector. There are also different USB charging ports such as A or C, but our experts recommend USB-C charging ports for fast charging.
The power cord is also something to think about. The cord must be thick to handle your outlet power, but it must also be flexible enough to conform to slim spaces.
Rotating power cords are one of the smart features your power surge equipment can come with. A unit with rotating power cables is a great option that can change direction.
Other than the way the power cables face, you also need to account for the length of the cords. A great range is anywhere from a 6 foot to a 12 foot power cable option.
The best one for your home theater is dependent on your setup. How far your cable box or entertainment unit is away from the wall will influence the length of the cord.
For a home office, you can get away with a shorter power cable, but a 6 foot power cable will give you more freedom. Our experts recommend at least a 6-foot cord when it comes to large rooms or your home theater, but the longer it is, the better.
The best surge protectors will have a safety slide cover for each outlet to keep the devices children and pet-friendly. Having the safety cover is another smart feature that most people don’t consider.
How are the power outlets spaced on your power strips? Your home theater power strip outlet surge protector should have enough power outlets to maximize the space without limiting access.
Surge protectors that have different size outlets are also recommended by our experts because it gives the ability to connect devices of different sizes.
There are also power strip protectors that come with its own circuit breaker. The built-in circuit breaker, which can switch off when excess energy is detected.
Lastly, consider the interface and how user-friendly it is. For example, our experts love anything with indicator lights. An outlet surge protector with indicator lights will show you if your device is working, or if the outlet power handling is in a dangerous zone.
Also, look for an on/off switch or power button on your power strips. The presence of these buttons or switches will allow you to turn off your power outlets and USB ports at will.
Number of Outlets
Buy the right number of plugs for your needs. For a home theater, our experts recommend at least 8 ports. This leaves enough room for existing equipment and still leaves room for future upgrades.
Since you are investing in the best power outlet surge protector and these items don’t come at high prices, you can look into 12 outlet options.
12 outlet home theater surge protectors will be larger than a 6 outlet space saving option, so you need to account for the extra surface space. However, the 12 outlet power strip surge protectors will require extra room because the 12 outlet power plugs need to be evenly spaced.
Nothing is worse than having devices with a lot of plug outlets but your power cables end up being spaced too close together, which will result in difficult access.
You also don’t want to daisy chain your devices, especially since a power strip surge protector should also condense your setup. Anything from an 8 outlet to 12 should have enough finger space in between.
Daisy chaining means connecting surge protectors to each other. Individuals who don’t account for extra power outlets might end up daisy chaining their setup, which will also take up more space.
To ensure the versatility of your home theater power strip surge protector, think about the plug types you have and purchase the power outlets accordingly.
In general, 12 outlets on a surge protector will have more diversity in terms of plug type. For example, two of the 12 outlet power surge protector designs could be for larger power plug options.
If your best surge protectors are also designed to protect phone lines and your Wi-Fi modem for example, make sure you have enough of the different types of outlets.
8 outlet to 12 outlet designs could feature USB port surge protection and can also have a data line protection plug, SATV protection plug and more.
Take a look at your equipment and what type of power conditioning and protection you need to decide on 8 outlet or 12 outlet designs and what type of plug you require.
To ensure smooth operation, the power rating of your home theater power outlets surge protection is another important consideration.
The power rating, or the power strip absorption rating, is exactly as it sounds. This figure will identify how much power your home theater surge protection equipment can absorb before the outlets fail, and it is measured in joules .
In this case, the higher the joule rating, the better your power strip protector can offer you surge protection. Look for 1000 joules or more for extra safeguarding. The options we have on our list for surge protection offer 3000 joules or more, so they are great power outlets to start with.
There is also the clamping voltage to consider. This figure is measured in watts, and indicates when the smart surge protector will kick into gear.
In simpler terms, it indicates how much wattage the devices can process before the surge protector triggers and absorbs the extra energy.
Contrary to the power rating, you want the clamping voltage to be as low as possible. Look for 400 watts or lower in this case.
The price is usually not a concern for these power strip protectors because they are all priced affordably. Of course, there are a number of factors that can influence the price, including the number of outlets.
For example, an 8 outlet power strip protector will sometimes cost less than one with 12 plugs. However, don’t go for one with a lower number of outlets just to save on the cost.
Smart features will also affect the price. A power protector that comes with smart features like a built-in circuit breaker, and safety slide covers could also cost more.
One other thing that will influence the price of your power strip protectors is the type of plugs they have. The more diversity in plugs, the higher the price may be.
Also, check if your power strip surge protectors come with a warranty. APC is known for providing a lifetime warranty on their products. This speaks volumes about the quality of the power strip. Oftentimes, the price of the product will not increase because of the warranty.
How Surge Protectors Work
Our experts have broken down how power strip surge protectors work, just so you can understand if these devices are worth your investment, and if they can really protect your home theater setup.
First off, let’s talk about the purpose of surge protectors in greater detail. Its main role is to protect your equipment from random and sudden spikes in power. These spikes and fluctuations can occur when there is a lighting strike, and when the devices are old.
The power strip surge protector basically blocks excess electrical currents when they exceed the correct amount needed to power your devices.
The clamping voltage indicates how much electricity the power strip surge protectors will allow to pass before it kicks into action. The clamping volts can range from 300 to 500 volts or higher. The key is to know the voltage required to power your devices.
Most of our household appliances, home media devices and other home electrical equipment can handle sudden small spikes if they occur randomly. However, if the spikes are too high, it could damage your equipment.
A power strip surge protector that comes with DSL, satellite and phone connection plugs that will broaden the range of protection. No matter what your power strip surge protector safeguards you against, the operation is essentially the same.
Our experts recommend investing in surge protectors if you often have many devices and appliances hooked up. If you plan on maintaining your equipment at peak condition, surge protectors can also make sure your devices are safe from damage.
What happens when the protection fails? You will either be met with no power, some power or power that is still flowing. If all power stops, this means all connected devices will have electricity cut off instantly.
This does nip the issue in the bud, but there are some devices that don’t fare well to sudden shutoffs. However, our experts say it’s always better to have a sudden complete cutoff than to let power surge through.
There are some smart protectors that will only cut off power to one particular plug when surges happen. This means the only plug that experiences an unexpected spike will turn off and the rest of your appliances will continue running.
Then there is the option where the power will still flow continuously. In this type of protector, there will most likely be an indicator light. Surge power conditioners of this type will most likely come with LED indicators. They are pretty intuitive, with green meaning everything is fine and red alerting you that something is wrong.
With the last type of protector, you need to constantly be on your toes and monitor the lights when spikes happen.
This type will continue letting electricity course through, which will still end up damaging your devices. When you notice the indicator light turns red, you should take immediate action by turning off the affected device.
What's the best surge protector for home theater?
The best surge protector for home theater is the Belkin 12 Advanced Power Strip Surge Protector. Belkin manufactures sturdy and reliable products that are great for protecting against power fluctuations. Not only are they built well, they also have high joule, clamp volt ratings and slim designs.
How do I choose a surge protector for my home theater?
You can choose a surge protector by looking at the devices you intend to plug in, how many outlets you need, the length of the cord and power rating. Looking at these factors will help you choose the best surge protector for your home theater.
What brand of surge protector is best?
The Belkin brand surge protectors are the best. Other great options include APC and Austere. These brands will ensure reliability and offer a warranty or guarantee for the product, but what makes a great surge protector is the build.
Is 1200 joules a good surge protector?
Yes, 1200 joules is a good surge protector. Anywhere from 1000 to 2000 joules will suffice, but the higher the number of joules the better for a surge protector. If you can find one that comes with 3000 joules or more, you know you will be well-protected.
Our Top Pick For a Home Theater Surge Protector: Belkin 12 Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector
Our experts’ top choice for the best home theater surge protector is the Belkin 12 Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector. This power strip protector comes with 12 outlets to grant you enough space for almost any home theater setup. All the plugs are evenly spaced so you won’t have trouble plugging and unplugging your cords.
The joule energy rating of the Belkin protector, coupled with the impressive clamp volt, equals a very sturdy and robust protector. The slim design also makes it easy to slide the device into tighter spaces and fit into a variety of setups.