Many people have, at one time or another, owned or tried one of many “budget” import voltage converters. Actually, we’ve evaluated several. While we’re not going to drop names (no need to–most are equivalently disappointing), suffice it to say that many come in with very low scores. Yes, they do convert power (more or less), so they will pass the first test of functionality. Beyond that, we have found that:
- None we have found have any safety ratings. Why is this important? The wall power receptacle is a source of dangerously high energy. This energy must be handled responsibly. It is so critically important that there are a myriad of testing agencies to assure that things being plugged into the wall power receptacle operate and fail safely. Failures could include overheating, sparks, fire, or even shock hazards. You put yourself at risk when you use a device with no safety ratings.
- None we have found produce clean waveforms. Some of these waveforms don’t even resemble the sine wave present at the wall receptacle! Why does this matter? Let’s give this a closer look.
First, every electronic and electrical device is designed assuming that a sine wave is present at the power terminals. Devices are not designed to be powered by square or quasi-square waves.
Second, as you might guess, electronic devices are not designed to be used with power converters that produce a continuous stream of ugly spikes, transients, and similar. These abberations can cause short and long-term failures to our beloved electronic gear.
Third, in some applications such as audio, these impurities in the waveform will make their way through the device you’re powering and out the speakers or headphones. Who wants to listen to buzzes, pops, clicks, or distortion?
If a manufacturer of a voltage or frequency converter is not responsible enough to worry about safety standards and your personal safety, why should we assume that they are worried about the safety and well-being of your beloved electronic devices? Something to consider next time you plug in.
Ultimately, the choice is up to the consumer. We offer a high-quality alternative to those poor quality budget devices, and the information to make a good choice. There is a price to be paid for quality. We turn over every stone to find economic ways to deliver clean power. There is a limit, of course, since it is always cheaper to cut corners everywhere, including safety ratings.