Nothing is more important than protecting your expensive home theatre gadgets and devices from unexpected power surges or electrical interference. That’s why Rocketfish created their 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector Strip, which I just happened to get to test out. Here’s my review.
Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector Out of the Box
The Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector looks and feels very solid. Right away, you can tell this ain’t no ordinary power bar. Constructed of a matte black plastic, it nonetheless has a really good weight to it. As the name implies, you’ll find seven outlets on this baby, which is more than enough to supply power to all your expensive home theatre devices. The bar itself also sports two nice USB ports so you can charge up your smartphone, or whatever you want, right while enjoying some high-def movies on your system. The Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector also has coax cable in and out ports, so it protects your coaxial cables from power surges and spikes to keep your TV and DVD player safe. The bar also has a long, nylon-covered cord, which also seems really sturdy and well put-together.
Along with the power bar/surge protector, the Rocketfish box also includes two cord extensions just in case your device’s power cord needs a little extra to reach one of the bar’s seven outlets.
And finally, once you get the surge protector and extension cables out of the slim rectangular box, you will also discover a really convenient separate USB charging hub with an additional four ports for your device charging pleasure. This USB hub can be plugged into the power bar it self, or you can plug it in to any wall socket.
Why Do You Need a Surge Protector Anyway?
It always boggles my mind that people will pay thousands of dollars for a big 4K HD television, plus an Apple TV, Android box, gaming consoles, and DVR, and then go buy some cheap power bar that offers minimal surge protection. That, to me, is plain crazy and just inviting catastrophe.
Let me give you an example. A few years back, a friend of mine was sitting at home, minding his own business watching some TV on a stormy night. Apparently, and according to his story, lightning struck about a block away from his home, and he lost two televisions, a cable box and something else I can’t remember that was probably really wickedly expensive. Boom! All gone in a literal flash. Fried beyond repair. Apparently, the TV and devices were all either plugged into a (in his own words) “cheap-ass” power bar with no surge protection, or into the wall outlets themselves. So, without proper power surge protection, you are really running the risk of damaging your home theatre components beyond repair.
Beware Dirty Power
And, aside from the gut punch from physical damage to your beautiful and pricey home theatre system due to unexpected power surges or electrical spikes, your unprotected gear is susceptible to more gradual wear and tear, thanks to “dirty power.” Dirty power comes from electricity’s long trek through our power grid to your home theatre system. Today’s TV and stereo equipment needs steady, clean power to perform its best. Plus, often things like Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) can cause tons of problems when it gets into your system. You may find yourself rebooting your devices more often, or you may even notice drops in performance. RFI come from radio waves generated by radio stations, cell phone towers, etc. Your home’s own electrical circuitry can act as a simple antenna that sends these signals through power cords and into your expensive devices and home theatre components. You sometimes hear this through your audio as clicks, static and pops. EMI, on the other hand, comes from home appliances such as refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, etc. This type of interference can add a noticeable hum to your audio, as well.
Using the Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector
Okay, so now that we’ve established why you need something like the Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector; now let’s see how it performed. The surge protector worked as expected, powering my stuff, and charging devices via the USB hub. The on/off for the bar is on top, which is a design choice I prefer over having some switch on the ends or side that I can never find the first time I look. There is also a very convenient “Light” switch right below the power bar’s power switch. This touch-sensitive switch lets you light up the outlets on command, which is especially useful when you need to plug or unplug something in a darkened room.
Spec-wise, the Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector offers advanced two-stage power filtration to keep its 4080 joules power supply clean.
I did go outside and pray to Thor, Norse God of thunder and lightning (and occasional Marvel superhero) for some lightning or something to truly test out the power surge capabilities, but alas it was not meant to be. And also, I don’t think Thor pays all that much attention to Best Buy bloggers, anyway.
The Final Word on Rocketfish and surge protection
If Thor had answered my plea and sent a bolt of lightning down from the blue, I actually feel pretty confident that the sturdy, solid and serious-looking Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector would protect my stuff. And, if for some reason something did happen to my precious home theatre components, or television, Rocketfish offers its surge protector users a limited $800,000 warranty on connected equipment. It is hard not to recommend a product when the company that makes it is willing to put their money where their corporate mouth is, if you get my meaning.
So, it is a good idea to not tempt fate (or Thor) when it comes to your home theatre system and setup, or any of your electronics, for that matter. And, don’t think a dollar store power bar is going to offer anything close to the heavy-duty power surge protection you’ll get from the Rocketfish 7-Outlet/6-USB Surge Protector, so think of the little extra cash you’ll have to spend for high quality as an insurance policy for your home theatre.