A power conditioner refers to an electrical device that gives clean AC power to various electric equipment that have sensitive parts or are vulnerable to power fluctuations. The usual power conditioner that is used for home or office will have 10 or more outlets or sockets. Power conditioners usually also provide surge protection as well as a noise filtering capability. There are also some higher end power conditioners that have built in plugs for the Ethernet, cable and phone lines in order to further condition the signals or currents that pass through these connections.
Most people are usually more familiar with surge protectors, devices that guard against spikes in electrical currents that have a tendency to negatively affect electric equipment. But while a surge protector will defend equipment against power spikes, a power conditioner will actually clean up the electrical signal and thus remove the interference that usually courses through the line. A cleaner electrical current will ensure faster and reliable input of power for electrical equipment. It also translates to better network connections, improved modem throughput, clearer cable TV feeds and improved picture quality for cable feeds. Some people even swear by the improvement in sound quality for their hi-fi audio systems.
A well designed power conditioner will have internal filter banks that isolate the individual power outlets on the device. This serves to remove any kind of interference or cross-talk between the various components attached to the power conditioner. For home theater system usage, the noise suppression rating is listed in the power conditioner itself. The rating is marked in decibels.