To add to @kevin1 's answer, think of it this way:
The two detections (Sense vs. Smart Plug) are very different in how they work
- Sense by itself detects devices based on their ‘transitions’ (on/off). If a device is always on (e.g., Radon pump/extractor in basement), Sense will NOT be able to detect it.
- The Smart-Plugs in contrast, monitor continuously the power drawn by whatever device is connected to them. Such Smart-Plugs do not work based on ‘transitions’.
I’m not sure about the inner workings of Sense (we need a mod to confirm), but I would guess Sense takes the difference between its main CT sensors and whatever the Smart-Plugs are reporting, to calculate/estimate the ‘net’ remaining consumption (some of it goes into the ‘others’ bubble’). If such calculation is done in real time, then in principle the smart plugs could ‘reduce’ the noise as you mentioned. For such calculation to be possible, the smart-plug data needs to be sampled at the same high rate as the native ADCs on the Sense box (4 MBPS?). My suspicion is that the smart-plugs sample at a lower rate than the Sense box itself.
Can one of the mods confirm the sampling rate on the Smart Plugs? Is such information available at all?