Saturday Jan 28, 2023

We tested Austere’s $200 surge protector — and yes, it’s worth it – CNN Underscored


As a tech reviewer, I’m always introducing new plugs into the wall. And after surveying the two overflowing power strips in my especially crowded home theater area, I decided it was time to level up before I burned my house down.

Adding the Austere VII Series, a premium power strip and surge protector, helped me organize all my snaking wires while keeping an eye on power surges that could start a fire or wreak havoc on my priciest equipment and devices. It also fundamentally changed the way I thought about protecting my electronics.

Deena Ghazarian, founder and CEO of Austere, believes a surge protector can be as helpful to a consumer’s safety as a smoke detector. She also suggests scouring your equipment’s warranty to see what it will not apply to, like lightning strikes and power surges.

“Typically, consumers do not read manufacturer or extended warranties. And they spend thousands of dollars on home entertainment and fitness equipment and happily plug them into convenient wall outlets,” she says. “What most consumers do not understand is that with that virtually automatic action, they have voided their warranty.”

The Austere VII Series comes in a six-outlet or eight-outlet strip with additional USB-A and USB-C connections, and starts at an eye-watering $199.99. However, in addition to its abundant safety and warranty protections, it also offers something unexpected: a pleasing, minimalist design that blends seamlessly with most decor. And though that may seem like an odd attribute for a lowly surge protector, I was amazed at how much of a difference it made in my living room.

The Austere VII Series power strip and surge protector is worth buying for folks willing to invest in a safe and robust way to keep all of their gadgets plugged in.

What we loved

As apartment dwellers with limited space, our main room acts as an entertainment hub, living room and dining room. And in addition to a 55-inch Samsung QLED TV, our list of home theater products is long. Cable box, check! Then there’s the Apple TV, Samsung Q900T soundbar and subwoofer, Sonos speakers, Nintendo Switch and Philips Hue Bridge, just to name a few. And each time I would receive a new product, I’d have to search for yet another free outlet. If there were none left, I simply added another power strip. Sound familiar?

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