Q: It is hard to figure out which surge protector is best to protect your equipment. I see wall plug surge protectors with joule ratings of 250 to 2,100, as well as big units that sit on the floor. These have a lot of capacity and features, but they also take up a lot of space and are hard to hide.
PowerUI sells a 2,100-joule unit for $9.99 including shipping, while Best Buy sells a Rocketfish 540-joule protector for $19.99. Which would you buy? For TVs that receive over-the-air broadcast signals from an antenna over coaxial cable, there is the additional question of lightning protection that I haven't delved into yet.
A: Getting quality surge protection is a good idea. For your cable and antenna connections, you can use an in-line coaxial surge protector, which simply screws between two coaxial cables and requires no power supply. Parts Express sells one for $6.75 at partsexpress.com and Amazon.com. Just search on either site for "in-line coaxial surge protector."
I think the most important factors are the dollar amount of coverage provided by the surge protector company and its history of paying claims. If 540 joules is enough for your purpose, I would go for the Rocketfish based on the reviews, ease of getting one at Best Buy and the widespread access to the company if you do have a claim. Belkin (belkin.com) is another company that sells a quality surge protector and has a good reputation for taking care of their customers.
My personal choice is the Series VII Power from Austere. It is as fine a surge protector as you can buy. It filters the incoming power from electromagnetic or radio frequency interference, has indicators to show that it is plugged in, grounded and has adequate surge protection capacity and has charging ports, including USB-C. I use these units with my three best (and most expensive) systems. Austere Power (austere.com) products come with a lifetime product guarantee and a seven-year guarantee to replace electronics damaged by a surge, regardless of the value. They sell for $199 (six-outlet) and $229 (eight-outlet). If you have a high-value system, they fall into the "expensive but worth it" category.
Sounds like a good deal
Q: I have been trying to buy a pair of the rechargeable Zvox Hearing Aids but can't find them for sale on the internet. How can I get a pair?
A: I contacted the manufacturer and was assured that they have an ample stock through their own website. The delay in placing your order might have paid off, because they also told me about a promotion with a $200 savings.
The coupon code HEAR200 saves $200 on either the Zvox VB20 or VB25 hearing aids. This is 50% off the $400-a-pair price of the VB20 aids, and it reduces the rechargeable VB25 aids from $500 to $300. The code is valid at zvox.com through April 15.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.