Sunday, October 11, 2020

Helios AS-P-603W Smart Power Surge and Line Conditioner

You spend your hard earned money on your home theater equipment. So you should protect it. A common concern that can damage your equipment are power surges. But it isn’t just power surges. There are also EMI/RFI noise to the power, which is typically called dirty power. There is also AC line noise. Up for review today is the Helios AS-P-603W Smart Power Surge and Line Conditioner.  Not only will it protect your equipment, it can increase their performance as well.

 

Features and specs:

4 digital “smart” outlets controlled via mobile app or remote control

4 switched outlets

1 front always-on outlet

2,160 joules of power surge protection

120V / 15A rating

Overload protection

2 pairs of coaxial connectors

65dB EMI/RFI noise filtration

LED display with voltage

Remote 12V DC trigger

8ft power cord

Metal housing

UL approved

Uses Tuya Smart App

3 year limited warranty





The Helios AS-P-603 Smart Power Conditioner came in a great looking color printed box with images and specs of the power conditioner. Opening up the box revealed a well protected product held in place by custom molded foam. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal, with some plastic. Quality of materials used was excellent, as was the fit and finish. It had good heft in-hand, and felt like a well made product. Also included was the owner’s manual, wi-fi antenna, power cord, and rack mount kit.

 

There are a lot of potential causes of problems to your power that your equipment is getting. It could be the transmission line supplying the power to your home. It could also be due to any of the electrical devices in your home. There are a multitude of potential causes of surges and EMI/RFI noise to the electricity that your home theater equipment is getting. And it doesn’t need to be just old wiring in an old house. These problems can happen in newer homes as well.

 

The easiest and cheapest fix is for power surges. Sure a cheap $10 surge protector should do it’s job, but you typically get what you pay for. Do you really want to trust a $2000 or even a $300 receiver to a cheap $10 surge protector? Surges can definitely damage equipment, as well as the sound of a large voltage spike can potentially damage your speakers. And the noise from dirty power can also effect the sound quality of your system.

 

The Helios power conditioner also offers newer technology, thanks to the free mobile app. The Helios is a “Smart” product, and offers 4 ‘smart’ outlets that are controlled by the app. Thanks to the app, you can remotely turn on and off equipment, as well as create schedules to turn on and off equipment, form the 4 ‘smart’ outlets. This creates some great usability and functionality.

 

I really like the design on the Helios smart conditioner. It features 9 protected AC outlets. 4 on the back are regular outlets, the other 4 on the back are the ‘smart’ outlets that are controlled by the app. Also included on the back are four coaxial connectors, a remote DC trigger, and the antenna connector for the wi-fi. On the front is an additional always on outlet, two USB ports (one USB A and one USB C) Lastly, the front panel also includes LED for currant voltage and amps, as well as protection status. And the included rack mounts is a nice touch. Now lets see how it performs.

 


Connecting the Helios smart conditioner was very simple. And downloading the app to control the smart outlets was also simple. The owner’s manual, unlike some, was actually easy to follow, step by step. So even if you’re not much for using apps, it’s pretty straight forward. I also liked the LED display so I could see the current voltage and amps in real time.  Unfortunately, downloading the app is not an option.  The Helios smart conditioner comes with the 4 smart outlets not functional.  So while you do not HAVE to install the app…..you could just use it without downloading the app and without using the smart features.  But without installing the app, the 4 smart outlets will not be turned on.  You would only be able to use 4 of the back outlets and the 1 on the front.  The app was very easy to install, and the owner’s manual as well as the onscreen instructions of the app were very clear and easy to follow. Once the app is installed and the Helios smart conditioner was added, you can name which devices are plugged into each of the 4 smart outlets, and pushing the outlet icon lights up the icon turning the outlet on.  And in this screen you can also update any schedules for the outlets.

 

Performance of the Helios smart conditioner was also in spades. While I have not had any recent surges, I still have the peace of mind knowing that I have a high-quality surge protector. And as for any hint of EMI/RFI noise, there is none. And the noise floor is extremely low, only audible from a few inches away from the speaker. So not only does the Helios smart conditioner provide the peace of mind knowing that any equipment is protected, it also helps with the stellar sound quality of the system.

 

No matter the size of investment you have in your home theater system, it is still an investment none the less. It’s an investment that you will want to protect. The Helios smart conditioner does so in spades, and at a good value with an MSRP of only $249. Based on it’s design, features, quality and performance, the Helios smart conditioner has earned our Highly Recommended award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.metraonline.com.  Reference gear includes Onkyo RX-Z920, Outlaw Audio 7000X, Emotiva BasX A-500, RBH Sound SA-500DSP, RBH Sound SI-663R, SI-760R, SI-615, SI-1212, Sony UBP-X700.



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