I’m not sure whether there are any consumer grade applications for these power conditioners (excluding surge protectors), but I can certainly relate to its appeal based on my own journey with this hobby.
Before I had spent much time on this site, I had purchased an iFi Pro iCAN Signature for my headphone setup, along with several other of iFi’s offerings. It had certainly gotten raves over at Head-Fi, along with the salient (corporate-funded) audiophile websites around. I was really happy with it and still am. But once I became invested in their brand, I did a deeper dive into their accessories and gave in to an iFi Power Station ($599), a power strip that purports to have active noise cancellation circuitry and a number of likely redundant stages of passive filtering for each of its eight power outlets—promising an array of sonic improvements.
The thing reeks of heft and quality. And having this statement piece anchoring my gear provided me with a sense of fortitude and authenticity as an “Audiophile”, before I had even considered whether noise was an issue for me. We had purchased our home brand new, and I knew its build quality included a fastidious investment in robust electrical wiring.
That didn’t occur to me or factor into my purchase decision at the time at all—I was relatively new to this hobby, and in my inexperience I didn’t trust my ear to detect noise, nor had I sufficiently digested the principles evident on this site’s reviews. Given how much I had invested in my setup already, I was obsessed with FOMO, susceptible to any claims offering to make my already formidable investment sound even “better”—cables, connectors, power supplies, and conditioners such as this one. It was an obsessive, exhausting quest without any definable endpoint.
Then after some time on this site, someone here took me to task on an expensive digital cable, and I felt crummy enough trying to defend it that I chose to bow to their reason and return it for a serviceable one at a fraction of the price. Admittedly it bugged me for awhile. But after spending a year or so immersing myself in the spectrum of opinions here, I gradually got deprogrammed from the elitist platitudes on Head-Fi and leaned into my own reason-based training as a scientist in another field. And not only has this saved me a ton of money, it’s freed me up to enjoy my music instead of listening for elusory imperfections in my system.
The term “audiophile” has been appropriated by so many bad actors that it has not only become pretentious, but arguably meaningless. For those who haven’t done the work to confidently earn it, buying it has become a facile choice. And when music is exploited for status-seeking tastes, this is how predators such as PS Audio can successfully turn outlandish profits, producing little black boxes that offer fantastical promises that cannot be refuted.