Sunday, November 22, 2020

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) Home Wi-Fi 6 Wireless System.

More and more of our devices, even appliances and household devices, like lights, are connecting to the internet. So it’s not just your computer, smartphones or gaming consoles, for example, that need to connect to the internet. Smart homes are growing in popularity, and with it the number of household devices that connect online. So the introduction of the new and improved wi-fi 6 format came in perfect timing.

 

The new wi-fi 6 format basically improves on the previous wi-fi 5 format. It allows more devices to connect, more devices to connect at the same time, and improves bandwidth. So in the world of 4K streaming, this is very important. Especially if you want to be able to stream multiple 4K sources at the same time. The more household members you have, especially teenagers, this is even more critical. And if you have a large home, getting a good strong signal can be hard. When given the opportunity to review the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), we naturally jumped at the opportunity. After all, we have multiple teenagers, multiple 4K gaming systems, multiple 4K smart TV’s, all in a 3 story 4500 square foot house. If anyone is going to have Wi-Fi complaints, they are in my household. It was time for us to check out the new Wi-Fi 6.

Features and specs:

 

Network Standard: IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax, IPv4, IPv6

Coverage:  Very large homes

Data Rate: 

802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps

802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps

802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps

802.11n : up to 300 Mbps

802.11ac (5GHZ-1)up to 867 Mbps

802.11ac (5GHZ-2)up to 3466 Mbps

802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHZ-1)up to 1201 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHZ-2)up to 4804 Mbps

Antenna:  Internal antenna x 6

Transmit/Receive:  2.4 GHz 2 x 2, 5 GHz-1 2 x 2, 5 GHz-2 4 x 4

Processor:  1.5 GHz quad-core processor

Memory:  256 MB Flash

512 MB RAM:  Wi-Fi Technology

OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access):  Beamforming: standard-based and universal

1024-QAM high data rate:  20/40/80/160 MHz bandwidth

Operating Frequency:  2.4G Hz, 5 GHz-1, 5 GHz-2

Encryption:  WPA3-Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Personal, WPA-Enterprise , WPA2-Enterprise , WPS support

Firewall & Access Control

Firewall: SPI intrusion detection, DoS protection

Access controlParental control, Network service filter, URL filter, Port filter

Management

UPnP, IGMP v1/v2/v3, DNS Proxy, DHCP, NTP Client, DDNS, Port Trigger, Port Forwarding, DMZ, System Event Log

VPN Support:  IPSec Pass-Through, PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through, PPTP server, OpenVPN server, PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client

WAN Connection Type

Internet connection type : Automatic IP, Static IP, PPPoE(MPPE supported), PPTP, L2TP

Ports: RJ45 for 2.5G BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 3, USB 3.1 Gen 1 x 1

Features:  Range Boost, Router app, MU-MIMO, Smart Connect, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro

Parental Control:

Guest Network : 2.4 GHz x 3, 5 GHz-1 x 3, 5 GHz-2 x 3

VPN server : PPTP Server, OpenVPN Server, IPSec server

VPN client : PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client

NAT Pass-Through :PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through, IPSec Pass-Through, RTSP Pass-Through, H.323 Pass-Through, SIP Pass-Through, PPPoE relay

Mac OS Backup

Enhanced media server (AiPlayer app compatible)

- Image : Jpeg

- Audio : mp3, wma, wav, pcm, mp4, lpcm, ogg

- Video : asf, avi, divx, mpeg, mpg, ts, vob, wmv, mkv, mov

AiCloud personal cloud service

3G/4G data sharing

Printer Server

- Multifunctional printer support (Windows only)

- LPR protocol support

Download Master

- Support bt, nzb, http, ed2k

- Support encryption, DHT, PEX and magnet link

- Upload and download bandwidth control

- Download scheduling

AiDisk file server

- Samba and FTP server with account management

IPTV support

Roaming Assist

OFDMA

Beamforming

Button

WPS Button, Reset Button, Power Switch

Power Supply: AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz), DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.75 A current

OS Support:  Windows® 10, Windows® 8, , Windows® 7, Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.7, Mac OS X 10.8

Dimensions: 160 x 75 x 161.5 mm

Weight: 716 g

Package Content: ZenWiFi AX, RJ-45 Cable, Power Adapter, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card




The Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), came in a great looking color printed box with images and specs of the router system. Opening the box revealed a well protected router system held in place by custom molding. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic. Quality of materials used, as well as the fit and finish was very good. And the heft test, it felt like a well made product. Also included is the owner’s manual, power cords and network cables for both the main router and the slave.

 

I love the design of the ZenWiFi AX system which consists of a pair of Asus AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 routers, and provide coverage for up to 5500 sq ft and bandwidth of up to 6600 Mbps. It also provides all of the features you have come to expect, such as top notch security as well as parental controls. The AiProtection has free lifetime support, protects against internet based attacks and blocks access to malicious websites. Even if a device connected to the network is already infected, it keeps my personal data on the device from being compromised.

 

With the parental controls, you can manage your kids’ devices, and manage the devices individually. That way each device security settings can be where you want them to be. The internet Activity Dashboard lets you view each kids’ internet activity, and the kind on content they are viewing. You can even apply scheduled block times as well as apply content filters.

 

The ZenWiFi AX is also engineered for high performance, thanks to the quad-core CPU. The specially designed antenna and circuit board with its vertical housing yields better airflow for more reliability. The AiMesh Technology also makes it very easy to expand the system as needed. It’s fully scalable, being able to add additional compatible routers as needed.

 

Setting up the system proved to be very simple. And the included manual was actually well written and easy to follow. It all started with downloading the ASUS router app, and following the instructions on the app, setting up your main router. Once set up on the main router was completed it was time to set up the 2nd router or extender mode. And the LED lights on each device clearly shows you the status, with this initial set up, both routers need to be within a few feet of each other. But once the link and set up is complete, you can set the extender node where it needs to be. And once set in its new location, the LED will again tell you the strength of the connection between it and the main router. That way you know if the connection is good, or it you need to change locations. I set the main router next to the modem in the basement. The extender node went in the loft all the way up on the 2nd floor. I was very impressed to see that the 2 had a strong connection. This to me spoke volumes to the robustness of the devices. Now that it’s set-up, it’s time to test its performance.

 

The first test for the strength of signal was the strength of signal between the great distance between the main router in the basement, and the node all the way up in the loft, on the 2nd floor. The fact that the signal strength between the two was strong, said a lot of the system capabilities in providing a strong signal over a great distance. Next I pulled out my smartphone and did a speed test, on all 3 floors. Our level of internet service provides 100 Mb/s download. I was equally impressed, that no matter my location, I got between 98 Mb/s-102Mb/s. Rated at up to 5500 sq ft, my 4500 sq ft home was well provided for in Wi-Fi coverage. Our 4K gaming systems, as well as our 4K smart TV’s, all performed very well. As with any Wi-Fi system, there can be the occasional hiccup. There were a couple times when I heard a teenager of mine ask what’s wrong with the Wi-Fi. But it was short lived and back to normal.

 

With today’s electronic devices and the number that connect to the internet, it’s almost a must to have a strong robust Wi-Fi network, with high speed and large bandwidth. The Wi-Fi 6 is designed just for that purpose. And the ASUS ZenWiFi 6 can give, along with some excellent features. With a price of $449.99, it’s not cheap. But you do get what you pay for. And for a strong Wi-Fi system that does what it should is worth every penny. Based on their design, features, quality and performance, the ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.asus.com.





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Thursday, November 19, 2020

2020 Annual Holiday Gadget Gift Guide

Well, it’s that time of year again. And while Black Friday as we traditionally knew it has been cancelled with a lot of sales going away, due to Covid, it has been replaced with extended sales that have started earlier. So that means it’s time for our annual Holiday Gadget Gift Guide. We try to include a variety of different products. But due to the Pandemic, we have focused on home products. Some reviews have already been completed, and for those full reviews, click on the link to the review.  For the other reviews, check back for the review on the review date listed below.

A lot has changed due to COVID. Many are now working remote from home that weren’t before. And many kids are also doing school remotely from home. This may have put a big strain on your homes wireless internet system. You may need more speed. ASUS can help with their ZenWiFI AX (XT8). Check back on our site for their review, scheduled for week ending 11/22.

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper, they have taken their award-winning Tesla Driver, and put it in a wireless model. They designed to be super comfy for hours long listening sessions. Their MIY app is also included. Find a link to the full review here: http://www.stereowiseplus.com/2020/11/beyerdynamic-amiron-wireless-copper.html.

While more of us are spending more time at home, there’s still a lot of driving happening. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, so it could be smart to have a dash cam. And if you suffer from lead foot syndrome like I do, it could also be smart to get a radar detector. Now you could save on dash clutter and get both in one product, thanks to Cobra with their Road Scout. Check out their review here http://www.stereowiseplus.com/2020/05/cobra-elite-road-scout-2-in-1-radar.html.


I know I’m not the only one who has done a lot of binge watching lately. And not only do I want to get the best performance out of my home theater gear, I also want to keep it protected. Helios has a great product for that with their Helios Smart Power Surge Protector Line Conditioner AS-P-603W. Check out their review here: http://www.stereowiseplus.com/2020/10/helios-as-p-603w-smart-power-surge-and.html.

While no one wants to catch COVID, there also comes a time when you have to get out of the house. More people have turned to camping, and other outdoor activities. But don’t forget to take your tunes with you. Thanks to JBL and their Pulse 4, you can do just that. Check out their review here: http://www.stereowiseplus.com/2020/10/jbl-pulse-4-wireless-bluetooth.html.

I love my music, and that includes in the can. Kenwood gives some of the biggest bang for the buck. And if you want all of the features, including GPS and a hi-resolution display, it has to be their top-of-the-line DNX-997XR, from their Excelon Reference line. Check back for their review here, scheduled for the week ending 12/06/2020.

If you want the best case for your smartphone that provides the best protection, you may already know to turn to OtterBox. But you may not know about some of their other products. One of those is their wireless charging system. It’s the OtterSpot Wireless Charging System. Check back here for their review scheduled 11/29/20.


If you’re like me, being quarantined and stuck at home may have given you a good look at your home theater gear. A home theater receiver can do a good job powering most speakers. But if you want the best sound out of your home theater speakers, you need a separate amp. One of the best bangs for the buck is Outlaw Audio, with their Model 7000X. Check out their review here: http://www.stereowiseplus.com/2020/08/outlaw-audio-model-7000x-7-channel-home.html.

There are a lot of options when it comes to speakers for your home theater system. But if you demand high end sound quality, one of the best companies out there with a long history of quality products is RBH Sound. And one of their best in-wall speakers is from their Signature Reference Series for CCR, their SI-663R. Check out their review here: http://www.stereowiseplus.com/2020/08/rbh-sound-si-663r-reference-series-in.html.

Another great option for in-wall home theater speakers, again from RBH sound is their SI-760R. You may have a large room and use their SI-663R for the fronts, the SI-760R is perfect for the side and rear surrounds. But you may have a smaller room, or the SI-663R isn’t in your budget, the SI-760R is also a great choice for fronts or surrounds or both. Check out their review here 12/13/20.

In planning out your home theater system, you can’t forget the height channel. RBH Sound has you covered here as well. The same quality and sound can be found in their SI-615. That review is scheduled for the week ending 12/20/2020.

4K TV’s have significantly come down in price since they first came out. Pricing has also come down on 4K front projectors. If you really want a big picture, front projection is the way to go. One of the biggest bang for the buck is the ViewSonic X10-4KE. Check out their review here: http://www.stereowiseplus.com/2020/09/viewsonic-x10-4ke-4k-led-front.html.



Every year, we try to give you some good options for gift ideas, and reviews on those products. No matter your budget, if it’s tight or if its price is no option, we have you covered. From the economical Otter Box wireless charging system, to the ultra high end built-in home theater system, there’s something for everyone. It’s been a crazy year, and if you think like us, you may also be happy to see this year end. But in the meantime, from our family to yours, Happy Holidays.



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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper Premium Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Beyerdynamic is a great manufacturer and provides some excellent headphones. Up for review is their Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. They employed their highly awarded Tesla driver, and is made in Germany. It also incorporates their sound customization software. MSRP is $699.

Features and specs:

Circumaural headphones with optimum sound quality (Qualcomm® aptX™ HD und AAC - plus aptX™ LL)

Elegant copper elements: decorative rings made of solid copper

MOSAYC sound personalization thanks to beyerdynamic MIY app

Touchpad control and more than 30 hours battery life

Made in Germany

Operating principle: Closed

Transmission Type: Wireless via Bluetooth®

Remote: Without Remote

Nominal impedance headphones: 32 ohms

weight headphones without cable : 400 g

battery runtime: More than 30 hours

Headphone frequency response: 5-40,000 Hz

Nominal sound pressure level: 100 dB

Supported Bluetooth profiles: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP

Codecs: aptX™, aptX™ LL, aptX™ HD, AAC, SBC

 

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper came in a nice color printed box with photos of the headphones, along with it’s features. Opening the box revealed a hard zipper case. Opening the zipper case revealed a well protected headphone. Materials used in the construction was metal, plastic, cloth and foam. The headband and earpads have foam covered with a soft microfiber. The back of the earcups are plastic with copper styling. Quality of materials used as well as the fit and finish is excellent. Also included was the audio and charging cable, and owner’s manual.

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper have a stellar design. The copper highlights are stylish. The soft Alcantara headband and soft earpads are extremely comfortable, for long listening periods. Controls on the headphones are minimal. All of the controls are found on the right earcup, for charging port, audio cable port, LED button, microphone, as well as the touch pad for gesture control.

The last part of the design is one that I really love! It’s the MIY app. We all don’t hear the same, and as we get older, we tend to lose part of our hearing. The MIY app through our smartphone, guides us through setting up a unique personal sound profile. It does this by basically taking us through a hearing test. It can then adjust the sound output based on your hearing profile. Then the app is a true game changer! Now, let’s see how they sound.

Mulan: Reflections – excellent resolution of the plucking of the strings, and hearing the bow across the strings. Strings were also as smooth as honey. Bass had very good depth and played with authority. Flute was also very smooth with lots of air. Piano sounded extremely natural. Vocals had layers of resolution with excellent harmonics, timbre and texture and dynamics.

Earth, Wind, & Fire: September- shaker and cow bell were crisp and clean with excellent resolution and depth. Guitar was nice and raw. Cymbals were extremely dynamic and crisp and clean. Trumpets were silky smooth without being brassy. Vocals were extremely natural with silky smooth harmonics and excellent resolution of the texture and timbre. Soundstage was wide and deep. Imaging also spot on.

Journey: Don’t Stop Believing – Piano sounded extremely natural. Guitar was nice and raw. Cymbals were crisp and clean. Kick drum had very good depth and played with a ton of authority. Percussion was extremely dynamic. Vocals were extremely natural sounding and were silky smooth with excellent resolution of the timbre and texture, with excellent harmonics. Soundstage was large both wide and deep.

Lady Gaga: Starstruck – The snaps were extremely crisp, clean and dynamic. Bass was extremely deep with a ton of low-end extension. It also played really clean while playing with a ton of authority, so much that it got my ear lobes vibrating. Vocals were also extremely natural sounding with a ton of resolution.

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper was a premium design with made in Germany quality.  And the sound personalization software takes its top of the line sound to the next level, just the way you need it, customized to your hearing.  The Bluetooth performance was a little disappointing.  It definitely did not like going between floors with multiple hiccups, and while it reached 200ft outside, it also had some hiccups doing so.

When it comes to headphones, there are a lot of different options and price points to choose from.  You tend to get what you pay for.  And that often tends to include build quality at lower price points.  Based on its design, features, quality, and performance, the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper have earned our Editor’s Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their websites at www.beyerdynamic.com. 




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Saturday, October 31, 2020

JBL Pulse 4 Wireless Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker Review

If you enjoy your music, and also like the outdoors, you may also like to take your tunes with you. JBL has several products that would work for you. Up for review today is the JBL Pulse 4. It’s a waterproof wireless speaker that will also put on a light show to your music.  So whether its out to the lake, or a camping trip where you get rained on, there’s no concern.


Features and specs:

Product Description

Sound you can see

Kick start your party with JBL signature sound and a dazzling LED light show all in 360 degrees. Our bold, IPX7 waterproof design shines bright and will keep the tunes flowing for up to 12 hours on a single charge. Tap the JBL Connect App to change the sound-responsive colors and patterns and connect with other JBL PartyBoost compatible speakers to make your party epic.

General Specifications

Maximum music playing time (hrs):  12

Output power (W):  20

Dimensions

Dimensions (cm):  9.6 x 9.6 x 20.7

Dimensions (in):  3.78 x 3.78 x 8.15

Weight (kgs):  1.26

Weight (lbs):  2.78

Control and Connection Specifications

Bluetooth version:  4.2

Battery

Battery capacity (mAh):  7,260

Charging time (hrs):  3.5

Features

3.5 mm audio cable Input:  No

Auto-power off:  Yes

Bluetooth:  Yes

Lightshow:  Yes

Powerbank:  No

Speakerphone:  No

Voice Assistant integration:  No

Waterproof:  Yes

 

The JBL Pulse 4 came in a nice looking color printed box, with photos and specs of the speaker. Opening the box revealed a well protected speaker held in place by custom molded foam. The speaker was mostly made of plastic and what appeared to be silicone around the edges. Quality of materials used in the construction, as well as the fit and finish was very good. Also included was the owner’s manual and charging cable.

 

I really like the design on the JBL Pulse 4. On the top is an upward firing speaker. On the bottom is a down firing passive radiator. You get 360 degree sound, with good low-end extension for its size. It’s a waterproof design. So the clear smoked plastic on the outside seals the inner components and light show. Towards the bottom is the charge port. At the top are all of the buttons for power, Bluetooth, lights sync, as well as the play and volume control.

 

The JBL Pulse 4 has some excellent features. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, meaning it can handle being submerged for 30 minutes at 1 meter. So no matter if you get caught in a rainstorm on your camping trip, or if it falls into the shallow end of the pool, you’ll be covered. The light show that you get to your music is great. And being able to link multiple of these speakers together is also a really cool feature! Now let’s see how it performs.

 

Timmy Trumpet: Savage Freaks: This little pulse 4 seriously jams! Vocals were crisp and clean with nice timbre and texture. The horns were nice and smooth without being too brassy, with very good harmonics. And the cymbals were crisp and clean. But what impressed me the most was the bass output. It played with better than expected low-end extension. And it played with so much authority my table was resonating! Even when pushed hard, the bass was well controlled with little distortion, and the highs were just a tad bright.

 

Disturbed: Sound of Silence: The vocals were pleasantly raw with very good resolution of the timbre, and very natural sounding. Piano sounded very natural, with nice warmth of the strings, of their harmonics. Guitar was crisp and clean. Drums had good dynamics and low end extensions playing with authority.

 

Michael Jackson: Don’t Stop till You Get Enough: Vocals were very natural sounding with smooth texture. Drums were really dynamic with tight impactful bass. Strings were also smooth with nice resolution of the bows. And I was impressed with the depth of the woodiness of the wood blocks that came through. There were a lot of instruments in this track, and the JBL Pulse 4 resolved them all very well without much perceived compression!

 


I enjoy spending time outdoors. And when I am outdoors, I like bringing my tunes with me. So it’s nice having a product like the JBL Pulse 4 that you don’t need to worry about it getting caught in the rain. I know I would get all that with the Pulse 4. But I was not expecting the sound quality that I heard. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the JBL Pulse 4 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. And not only was the light show a cool addition to the music, it also functions as a great visual for volume level that went up and down as you adjusted the volume. So it was easy to see where you were on the volume level. Based on the $249 MSRP, they are very fairly priced. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.JBL.com.




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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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