Uninterruptible power supplies aren’t necessarily essential in audio recording/mixing/mastering studios. However, in the cases where power to the studio equipment (primarily the computer), they will afford the professional (and amateur) time to save projects and power down equipment properly to avoid lost data and damage to expensive equipment.
A UPS can be purchased at any step of building a studio. It’s a great tool to have for any endeavour that features important information on a computer. That being said, there are really only 3 top brands worth mentioning in this space.
I’ve based the top 3 brands on company reputation, variety of UPS options, the performance of those options, and how easy the UPSs are to find. Additionally, the brand must also still be in existence today.
The top 3 best UPS brands for audio studios are:
Let’s get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 3 best UPS brands for audio studios. I’ll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable line-interactive UPS, standby UPS and online UPS, as well as a link to their official website.
Tripp Lite was founded by a single man, an inventor named Graham Trippe, in 1922 in Chicago. It all started with the successful design and commercialization of precision-focused automobile headlights. This, which nowadays seems like a detail, created a revolution at the time. Moreover, it was widely used during World War II with great results.
By the 1950s, sealed beam headlights became standard for cars, and thus, Tripp-Lite shifted the focus of their work to creating DC-to-AC inverters that could be used in ambulances and recreational vehicles. By the 1970s, the company became the best-known manufacturer of portable converters on the planet.
With the appearance of desktop computers and solutions, Tripp-Lite came up with the Isobar, an isolation solution that became the go-to option for most homes in the USA. By the 1990s, with the breakthrough of the internet, the need for uninterrupted operations became critical.
Tripp-Lite understood this need and, taking advantage of the leverage of decades of relentless dedication to innovation on the topic, came up with some of the most cutting-edge solutions for servers and delicate equipment that couldn’t afford to be down.
Tripp-Lite was a privileged witness to a century of deep changes and presented innovative solutions for many technological needs. Nowadays, the multiplicity of solutions offered by Tripp-Lite addresses the needs of a wide array of industries ranging from healthcare to some of the best music studios in the world. The company was acquired by Eaton and is now a part of their family of brands.
If you are serious about the power of your gear and need not only to protect it but also to keep it going no matter what, you can trust one of the oldest, most reliable companies in the world with that responsibility.
Notable line-interactive UPS: Tripp-Lite SMART1500LCDT (link to check the price on Amazon)
This UPS unit can keep your equipment running and save those important files in case of a blackout for up to 90 minutes in simple configurations and 10 minutes of half-load time. Plus, you have ten outlets to plug in your mainframe and your peripherals. 5 outlets provide full protection and UPS power backup, while the other 5 provide only surge protection.
Although the AVR (Automatic Voltage Correction) corrects brownouts and overvoltage in real-time, it does so without utilizing battery power; hence, you’ll always be prepared for a blackout. Finally, user-swappable batteries and DSL/TEL/Ethernet protection round up an amazing product to keep your gear safe and running no matter what.
Notable standby UPS: Tripp-Lite 850VA (link to check the price on Amazon)
This UPS can feed up to 6 outlets and provide critical time to save all files in case of a total blackout. Moreover, with VAR technology, everything you plug into this unit is also covered in case of a brownout or overvoltage. Plus, this unit protects your gear from EMI and RFI, which might cause unwanted noises or cumulative damage to your hardware.
Another great feature of this UPS is its touch screen that allows you to review critical information at all times. Also, the dedicated software (iOS, Windows, and Linux versions available) and the USB port allow for automatic backup in case of a prolonged blackout. Finally, the auto-power-on after a blackout gets the unit back up and running even if the battery is depleted.
Notable online UPS: Tripp-Lite SU3000RTXL2U (link to check the price on Amazon)
This unit is great for those who have much of their equipment rack-mounted in the studio. It only takes 2 rack units and, besides acting as a zero-delay-time UPS, it also transforms AC power to DC and then back to filtered, stable, reliable AC to feed all equipment plugged to any of its six outlets.
Plus, it comes with hot-swappable internal batteries, with the option of getting some external battery packs for it as well. Finally, the 2-year extendable warranty and the USB port with the Tripp-Lite software are the icings on the cake for this outstanding UPS unit.
Tripp-Lite was founded in 1922 by Graham Trippe in Chicago, Illinois, USA, where the company headquarters is still located today.
Official website: tripplite.com
CyberPower products are renowned and found around the world, sold by select agents and resellers. It all started with only three people, and now the company employs over 3,000 people in a plethora of different locations across the globe.
From day one, CyberPower established a strong working ethos that opened the door for the most precise, high-demanding industry in the world: the health industry.
The company soon branched out to other niches and eventually started building UPS machines and other power-protection products for small homes and offices. Still, the same commitment to bullet-proof reliability and the best dependability in the market remained intact.
This powerful bond to the company’s values and a family atmosphere (including early Fridays and kids in the office) brought together some of the most talented engineers in the country. This allowed CyberPower to have a completely in-house approach to designing, building prototypes and implementing testing uncanny in the market. Thus, as a result, only the best products see the light of day after exhaustive testing making them completely bulletproof.
CyberPower was born from the dream of being its customers’ best ally in terms of power, and according to their explosive growth and sustained performance in the market, they have achieved that goal.
Yet, this group of relentless innovators is always bringing new elements to the mix, and we can only imagine what their next step will be. Trusting them with the power going to your most precious gear is not only a safe but also a wise choice.
Notable line-interactive UPS: CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD (link to check the price on Amazon)
This slim, elegant-looking UPS is a great addition for any studio needing to protect precious gear. Firstly, the unit can have up to 12 devices plugged into it. Each device goes through the unit’s AVR technology, ensuring no peaks or drops affect any equipment or recording. Plus, 6 of those 12 outlets will also have the ability to maintain your critical equipment going in case of a blackout. The runtime on the battery is of 10 minutes at half power and 2.5 minutes at full power.
Other great features of this outstanding UPS are the ultra-quiet design which is much needed in a recording studio, the full-colour LCD with all the needed info, and the 3-year warranty with up to $500,000 of connected equipment guarantee.
This is one serious, great-looking UPS you need to check out before buying.
Notable standby UPS: CyberPower CP825LCD (link to check the price on Amazon)
This unit could be considered a scaled-down version of the previous one. It features 8 outlets with surge protection; half of them also allow for battery operation in case of a blackout. During that time, the unit provides 13.5 minutes in half power and 1.2 minutes in full power. That should be enough to save important files and safely shut down all critical equipment.
The unit also houses an LCD screen showing vital info and comes with a 3-year warranty with a $225,000 connected equipment guarantee.
Notable online UPS: CyberPower OL10KRT (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)
This last remarkable unit from CyberPower is drastically different from the rest in the sense that it comes with the brand’s RMCARD205 pre-installed, which allows for remote management and to link the unit with the app and be aware of its status at all times. It is also a much bulkier unit that takes up to 6U of rack space to get the job done.
It is designed to be an eco-friendly unit, and while in ECO mode, it delivers up to 97% of energy efficiency. Also, it can go from depleted to 90%-charged in five hours. In the case of a blackout, the runtime is 10 minutes in half power and 3.6 minutes in full power.
Finally, it carries a 3-year and $300,000 connected-gear warranty.
CyberPower Systems Inc. was founded in 1997 in Saint Paul, Minnesota and is currently headquartered in Shakopee, Minnesota, USA.
Official website: cyberpowersystems.com
APC started in a garage in 1981. The founders are three MIT power engineers who, at the time, were completely dedicated to the research and production of equipment to channel and store solar power. After some years of successful research, they decided to branch out to the UPS market and opened a small facility in Rhode Island in 1986 to manufacture their first product: the 450AT+.
By 1990, the company had already released their groundbreaking PowerChute as the first smart UPS to work as a network power protection solution. The 1990s were especially prolific for the company, which managed to release another 155 products to a market that was starving for solutions to take care of newly generated gaps and problems.
In 1998, APC surpassed the $1 billion annual revenue milestone and was positioned as the go-to, most innovative, and dependable solution for all things power in the corporate and industrial niches.
In 1999, their utterly famous PowerShield was released as a solution for the increasing number of home broadband connections with critical acclaim and huge numbers in sales. The next big step in this company’s meteoric ascent was the release of the InfraStruXure, which won over 100 worldwide awards only in 2004.
On Valentine’s Day 2007, APC was acquired by Schneider Electric and continues to be a synonym of excellence, innovation, and reliability in all industries and homes requiring UPS protection. APC is a legend in the making, and if you’re serious about protecting your gear, a great choice too.
Notable line-interactive UPS: APC BR1500G (link to check the price on Amazon)
This unit houses 10 NEMA 5-15R outlets. 5 of them provide only surge protection, while the other 5 also feature battery backup. This backup can last up to 3 minutes and 50 seconds at a full 865W of power. The batteries, though, are hot-swappable, and you can also attach optional batteries to enhance the backup time. Plus, the customizable voltage sensitivity allows you to fine-tune this unit to the quality of voltage you are receiving.
Another great feature is its Green Mode which utilizes patent-pending technology to bypass unused electrical components in good conditions and drastically enhance operating efficiency while maximizing protection and battery performance.
Finally, its tower design and LCD screen make it easy to install and read the measurements at all times.
Notable standby UPS: APC BE750G (link to check the price on Amazon)
This unit could be considered a horizontal, scaled-down version of the previous unit that could hold equipment on during a blackout for 2 minutes and 29 seconds at full power (450 watts). The same 5 surge-protected outlets and 5 surge + battery outlets are present here.
This unit features a USB port that allows the user to connect it to the computer and access additional power protection and management features through a PC. Finally, it offers users a self-test feature visible through the colour LCD screen so you can know all the time when you are protected.
Notable online UPS: APC SRT2200RMXLA (link to check the price on Amazon)
This unit is different from the previous two in many ways. For starters, it is a rack unit taking 2U of rack space. Secondly, it features 6 NEMA 5-20R and 1 NEMA L5-20R outlets, and all of them feature battery backup.
This UPS is very powerful. It can keep up to 1,800 watts of power going for 3 minutes, 16 seconds in the case of a blackout. Finally, it is a smart unit that can be controlled via a network connection, and it’s fully compatible with the company’s InfraStruXure Manager and PowerChute software.
The American Power Conversion Corporation was founded in 1981 by Neil Rasmussen, Emanuel Landsman and Ervin Lyon on Rhode Island. The company was acquired by Schneider Electric in 2007. Today, the company headquarters is located in West Kingston, Rhode Island, USA.
Official website: apc.com
Parent company: Schneider Electric
APC is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
• Top 7 Best Power Conditioner Brands For Audio (Live/Studio)