Are audiophile outlets overated or offer much if anything?

I recently had many of my wall outlets replaced  (so that a portable heater wouldn't be too much for the cheapies the builder put in) with low-grade hospital ones that couldn't have cost much more the $10 or so. They weighed twice as much & clearly had better parts. On a whim, I also had the outlet my audio was plugged into replaced as well. Fall on the floor difference in quality.  Clarity &  bass (that had much more impact) were immediately evident & harshness was not particularly accentuated either.  My speakers are Focal Diva Utopia Be's (1st generation) with good electronics.  They do double duty as either for TV or strictly audio use (I find putting a duvet over the screen helps acoustically for audio listening).  Even TV sound has huge gains in intelligibility/clarity (routed through my PVR with good audiophile cable).  To whatever degree a centre channel might've once been desirable - it isn't now.

How much more do the fancy audiophile outlets (Cardas/PS Audio & competitors etc) offer?

I recently had many of my wall outlets replaced ...  Clarity & bass (that had much more impact) were immediately evident ...  Even TV sound has huge gains ...How much more do the fancy audiophile outlets (Cardas/PS Audio & competitors etc) offer?
Opinions here will vary from claiming you are deluded into thinking you hear differences to audiophile outlets make all the difference in the world. Your best approach is to buy with a money-back guarantee and listen for yourself.
I really can't say I heard a difference when I changed my outlets. Relatively speaking the cost was small so I felt it was an easy decision. 
Considering you had no expectations of hearing an improvement and did, trust your ears. There is something to it. Some here have extensive experience with outlets and soon enough, they'll chime in.

All the best,
I can believe you heard a difference. A cheapie off the shelf outlet vs. a hospital grade outlet should offer a better connection to any appliance.
After that, buying the pricier outlets is more of a crap shoot. IMHO
Thank you for posting this topic. Hospital grade outlets are certainly better than standard house outlets. I have spent a lot of time evaluating many but not all audio-grade outlets. I believe you will hear a further improvement in your system with one of these outlets.

Cleeds brings up one good approach which is to buy an outlet with a money back policy. Another approach is to buy a used outlet here on Audiogon - currently listed is  a Furutech GTX-R. This is a very good outlet. Buying with a money back policy I would buy a Synergistic Research Black outlet if my maximum budget is $150.00. I do prefer the Black over the GTX-R, but both will sound good. The best "deal" is to buy a Synergistic Research Blue outlet for $285.00 and get a free Blue fuse. Put the fuse in your DAC, Pre amp, or amp. If you do not like them return them both  for a refund. This deal expires at Synergistic Research sellers December 31.

How good is the Synergistic Research Blue outlet? After putting one in my Mother's system, she took a listen and gave me a very nice kiss on the cheek. She is a very astute audiophile!

David Pritchard
Good outlets grip the cable with gusto, and that in itself is comforting and makes sense. 
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