However, switching backwards and forwards between ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ power I had difficulty in deciding which I actually preferred, as the ‘unclean’ power gave the sound the impression of slightly more detail, with Regina Spektor kooky vocals taking on more sibilance and breathiness and background details such as the rustling of clothes or the sliding of fingers on the fretboard of a Spanish guitar becoming more apparent. With this in mind, if you can persuade your retailer to lend you a unit to try out before you commit to buying it, it’s well worth it – after all, you may not like what you hear.
Don’t expect the unit to affect your home movie experience quite as dramatically, however. Watching DVDs and TV through a standard Sky Digital reception I found it hard to tell any difference whatsoever between clean and dirty power.
It may well be that if you have real problems with AC noise and interference that the unit will make a difference, but again you may want to trial one before committing to buying it.
Ultimately the decision whether or not to buy Belkin’s Pure AV will depend on how seriously you take your hi-fi. If you’re not too bothered about small differences in sound quality, are quite happy with your system as it is, and think that £217 is an awful lot of money to pay for surge protection, however good it may look, it’s probably not for you.
On the other hand if you’re the sort of person who will quite happily spend over £100 on a set of interconnects, who fiddles constantly with the position of your speakers to achieve optimum bass reproduction and constantly bemoans the state of modern recordings then it’s worth considering. It not only makes a more noticeable difference in sound quality than many more expensive upgrades, but it is cheaper than a lot of boutique hi-fi company-manufactured devices of its ilk. Just make sure you try it out before you buy.
Score in detail