2 Cheap, Great HDMI Cables of 2023
Photo: Sarah Kobos
If your current HDMI cables are working fine, keep them. But if you’ve recently upgraded to a 4K TV or source and your HDMI cable no longer passes audio or video signals reliably, we recommend the Monoprice 4K Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable. This cable is certified to deliver 4K high dynamic range (HDR) video at 60 Hz, which is all that most people need to watch movies and TV shows. For PC and console gamers who require even more bandwidth, we have cable recommendations for that, too.
The Monoprice 4K Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable is a great cable for connecting a 4K TV to most HD and Ultra HD sources (such as a cable or satellite box, a Blu-ray player, a media streamer, or an older game console). As the name suggests, this cable is certified by HDMI Licensing Administrator to pass 4K HDR signals, with a bandwidth up to 18 gigabits per second. In our tests, the Monoprice 4K cable passed even higher bandwidths than that, even though it’s not certified to do so. It is available with free shipping and a lifetime warranty, in lengths from 3 to 30 feet. Monoprice’s Certified Premium cables are also available in a slimmer style, in sizes from 1 to 8 feet. So whether you need a short, skinny cable or a longer length to make your installation work, Monoprice likely has an inexpensive option that will do the job.
Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
Most people don’t need Ultra High Speed HDMI cables, but if you own the latest gaming consoles or you plan to buy an 8K TV, we recommend this Monoprice 8K cable.
Although our top pick will suffice for most people, hardcore gamers and 8K TV owners may need an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable, which is capable of transmitting higher resolutions and frame rates at a bandwidth up to 48 Gbps. You don’t need that much bandwidth just to pass 4K HDR movies and TV shows between a TV and source device. But the Sony PlayStation 5, the Microsoft Xbox Series X, and high-end gaming PCs are capable of outputting 4K video at 120 frames per second (or 4K 120 Hz), which requires more bandwidth. If you have one of these devices—as well as one of the few TVs that can accept this higher-bandwidth signal—you need an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable. Likewise, if you’ve purchased (or plan to purchase) an 8K TV and want to make sure your cables are ready for future 8K sources, you might want to go ahead and upgrade your cables.
Fortunately, Ultra High Speed HDMI cables don’t cost that much more than regular HDMI cables. In our testing, the 6-foot Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable worked perfectly, and Monoprice offers free shipping and a lifetime warranty. It’s also available in lengths of 1.5, 3, and 8 feet. There were no performance differences between the Monoprice and the other Ultra High Speed HDMI cables we tested (nor should there be), so any of them would be a fine choice.
Everything we recommend
Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
Most people don’t need Ultra High Speed HDMI cables, but if you own the latest gaming consoles or you plan to buy an 8K TV, we recommend this Monoprice 8K cable.
- Why you should trust us
- Who this is for
- How we picked and tested
- Our pick: Monoprice 4K Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable
- Upgrade pick: Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
- Other HDMI cables we like
- Running in-wall cables
- The competition
- Additional science and testing
Why you should trust us
In addition to being the editor at large for Wirecutter, I’ve reviewed and written about HDMI extensively for CNET, Forbes, and several other outlets. I’ve also interviewed multiple cable manufacturers and representatives of HDMI Licensing Administrator, the organization in charge of the HDMI specification.
Senior staff writer Chris Heinonen, who has reviewed TVs and home theater equipment since 2008 and is an ISF Level II–certified calibrator, performed additional cable testing.
Who this is for
If your entertainment system is still rocking basic HD sources such as a cable or satellite box, a Blu-ray player, or a streaming media player, and your current HDMI cables are working fine, you don’t need to buy new cables. There’s no performance boost to be had.
But if you have bought new 4K gear or are planning on buying new 4K gear, you might need new cables. Depending on when you bought your cables, and how well made they are, they might work with 4K video and maybe even high dynamic range (HDR) video. Or they might not. The only way to find out is to test them: Set your 4K source—say, an Apple TV or a PlayStation game console—to output 4K HDR to your TV. If you don’t get an image, you probably need new cables.
Passing a 4K HDR video signal between a TV and a source requires more data than passing 720p or 1080p HD video. To do so reliably, you need at least a High Speed HDMI cable. The “High Speed” designation means that the cable is rated to deliver at least 18 Gbps of bandwidth; that’s ample bandwidth for movies and TV shows, which generally appear at a frame rate of 24, 30, or 60 frames per second. An “Ultra High Speed” designation means that the HDMI cable is rated to pass an even higher bandwidth of 48 Gbps, which is currently necessary only for certain gaming sources that can output a 120 fps frame rate.
The longer the cable, or the less well made it is, the less likely it will work with higher resolutions, even if it worked with 1080p. Though this is not a perfect analogy, think of the problem as trying to force too much water through a pipe that’s too small: A “1080p” amount of water works fine, but the “2160p” amount of water required for 4K can’t fit through the pipe and allow the TV to display the image.
You may also see the words “HDMI 2.0” or “HDMI 2.1” on a cable’s packaging and marketing materials. This label does not refer to a type of cable. Instead, it relates to specific features and capabilities in HDMI-equipped TVs and sources. Despite the nominal numerical change, HDMI 2.1 represents a huge increase in features and capability over HDMI 2.0, including resolution capacity up to 10K, higher potential frame rates, eARC, and gaming-friendly features such as automatic low-latency mode and adaptive frame rate. You can read more about HDMI 2.1 in our blog post about 8K TV.
Learn about HDMI 2.1
To take advantage of HDMI 2.1 features, you need TVs and sources that support them. Many of the latest TVs support some HDMI 2.1 features but not necessarily all of them. Few support the higher bandwidth necessary for gaming (see our recommendations of the best TVs for video games). With the exception of the two newest gaming consoles or a high-end PC, there are no sources right now that output the higher resolutions and frame rates that require Ultra High Speed HDMI cables.
A High Speed HDMI cable can pass a lot of HDMI 2.1 features (if both the TV and source support them), but only an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable is guaranteed to pass the higher resolutions and frame rates possible with HDMI 2.1.
How we picked and tested
HDMI cables either work or they don’t. It’s not possible, due to how they function, for different HDMI cables with the same speed rating to deliver varying picture or sound quality. (See the Additional science and testing section for more on this subject.) A well-built cable is likely to deliver AV signals more reliably than a poorly built cable, especially over longer runs, but more expensive HDMI cables do not offer any AV performance advantage over cheap cables of the same type. All that is to say, a $100 HDMI cable that successfully passes 4K signals produces results that look and sound the same as what you get from a $10 HDMI cable that successfully passes 4K signals.
With that in mind, we knew that we could greatly simplify our criteria for what models to call in and test. We looked for cables that were rated as High Speed or Ultra High Speed, were easy to get, came from reputable companies, and preferably had lifetime warranties.
In addition to hooking up the cables to TVs and source devices, we connected them to signal analyzers. Photo: Chris Heinonen
For our initial testing of High Speed cables in 2015, we brought in 3- and 15-foot cables, testing them on equipment including a Denon AVR-S930H receiver and a JVC DLA-RS440 4K projector with an Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player as the 4K HDR source. In 2018 Chris Heinonen expanded our testing further, using a Murideo Six-G generator and Six-A analyzer to double-check that all the cables could handle the 18 Gbps required for 4K HDR video. (They all could.)
More expensive HDMI cables do not offer any AV performance advantage over cheap cables.
To test Ultra High Speed cables for our most recent update, we used an Xbox Series X game console running at 4K 120 Hz (with variable refresh rate enabled) and a GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card operating at the same resolution and refresh rate. We used TVs from LG, Samsung, and Vizio that had Ultra High Speed HDMI inputs, and we played games for a while using each cable. All the cables we tested that were rated for 48 Gbps worked perfectly in our tests—and the 18 Gbps Monoprice 4K cable also worked fine in this setup. The cables we used in these tests were around 6 feet in length.
We didn’t test any cables longer than 15 feet for this guide, but we do have some recommendations based on personal experience in the “Our pick” section.
Our pick: Monoprice 4K Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable
Photo: Sarah Kobos
The inexpensive Monoprice 4K Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable performed perfectly in our testing, and it’s certified to handle resolutions up to 4K at 60 Hz, the most common resolution and refresh rate for modern TVs and sources. The cost includes shipping, and the cable has a lifetime warranty—so if something goes wrong, you can get it replaced. If you need very long or short cables to make your setup work, this cable comes in lengths ranging from 3 to 30 feet. For a little extra money, Monoprice offers a thinner version, as well.
The “Certified Premium” label means that these cables are guaranteed to work with 4K HDR video. Or as HDMI Licensing Administrator describes it, “The [Certified Premium] program is designed to give end users confidence when purchasing new HDMI cables for their 4K/UltraHD products that may include features such as 4K@60Hz, BT.2020 and HDR.” Certification doesn’t mean that the cables work better than non-certified cables, just that they’ve gone through an additional testing stage so their maker can market them as Certified Premium and therefore imply that they work. We tested them anyway, and they passed.
The Monoprice 4K Certified Premium cable is a bit thick and doesn’t bend easily. Depending on your setup, a thinner, easier-to-bend cable might be preferable. In that case, the Monoprice 4K Slim Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable is available in lengths of 1 to 8 feet. It is slightly more expensive, but it’s also a lot thinner and easier to manage in tight spaces.
We didn’t test particularly long cables for this guide, but Monoprice makes several series built to handle long distances. I have 40- and 50-foot versions of Monoprice’s DynamicView Active High Speed HDMI Cables in my lab, and they handle 4K HDR video just fine. Monoprice also sells HDMI-to-optical cables that run over 300 feet, and Monoprice claims these cables can handle 18 Gbps. The company has even more expensive versions that can handle 48 Gbps, too, but such extreme lengths are beyond the scope of this guide.
If you want to skip long wires altogether, check out our guide to the best wireless HDMI video transmitter. Keep in mind, though, that currently no wireless HDMI transmitter can pass an HDR signal and only a few can handle 4K, so we don’t recommend them for anyone who wants to watch 4K HDR video.
Upgrade pick: Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
Photo: Sarah Kobos
Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
Most people don’t need Ultra High Speed HDMI cables, but if you own the latest gaming consoles or you plan to buy an 8K TV, we recommend this Monoprice 8K cable.
All of the Ultra High Speed cables we tested performed as expected, but we chose the Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable for its lifetime warranty and free shipping. Plus, Monoprice has been making inexpensive but high-quality HDMI cables for a long time, and we are confident in recommending them. That said, you likely don’t need this cable unless you own an 8K TV and want to future-proof your system or you’re a gamer who owns a console or PC that can output higher-bandwidth signals to a TV that supports those signals.
“Ultra High Speed” is the newest classification of HDMI cable. Such cables are designed to handle bit rates to 48 Gbps, up from the 18 Gbps of High Speed HDMI cables like our top pick. The only devices that currently take advantage of this extra bandwidth are Sony’s PlayStation 5, Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, and PC video cards that can display 4K at 120 frames per second. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles both come with an Ultra High Speed cable in the box, and those cables worked fine in our test setup—but if you need one of a different length or have a compatible AV receiver or other device between your source and your TV, you might need additional cables.
Keep in mind that you also need a TV capable of taking advantage of this higher frame rate. Most TVs, even those a few years old that claim a “120 Hz” rate, can’t. See our guide to the best TV for video games for more.
Best TVs for video games
However, we were a little surprised to find that our top pick, the Monoprice 4K Certified Premium High Speed HDMI Cable, also performed flawlessly in these tests. The 3-, 6-, and 8-foot cables worked at 4K 120 Hz—without any sync issues or sparkles—with all of our sources and TVs. So if you already have one or more of those HDMI cables, you might not need to replace them even if you upgrade your gaming console and TV. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell if they’ll work just by looking at the cables themselves; you’ll need to test them on your own gear. If the TV says it’s getting a 4K 120 Hz signal, you’re good to go.
But if you do need new cables, the Monoprice 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable is available in lengths from 1.5 to 8 feet and has a lifetime warranty, which is a big reason we made it our upgrade pick.
Other HDMI cables we like
The AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable was originally our top recommendation in this guide, primarily because it was slightly cheaper than the Monoprice 4K cable and came with free shipping for Prime subscribers. Now that Monoprice offers free shipping for everyone, the prices are more comparable. This AmazonBasics cable isn’t Certified Premium, but it performed perfectly well in our tests. A newer, Certified Premium version (which we have not tested) is slightly more expensive than the Monoprice pick and is available in lengths from 3 to 15 feet.
The Anker Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable was a little more flexible than the other Ultra High Speed cables we tested, and it was the only one to carry the HDMI certification logo on its packaging, which might account for its slightly higher price over the Monoprice 8K cable. We saw no difference in performance between the two, but the Anker cable has a shorter, 18-month warranty, and during our testing period we saw more stock and availability issues on this model. If you feel more comfortable using only certified cables, this one is up to the task.
The Cable Matters Premium Braided 48Gbps Ultra HD 8K HDMI Cable was the lowest-priced Ultra High Speed cable we tested, and it performed just as reliably as the Monoprice and Anker cables. But the warranty is vague; we had to email Cable Matters to get the warranty info and were told that this cable has a “limited lifetime warranty” with no further explanation offered. In addition, the cable is available only in silver, not black, so it drew more attention to itself in our gear rack—but that really comes down to personal preference.
Running in-wall cables
Before you run HDMI (or any wires) through your walls:
- Check the wire
- Check local building codes
Make sure to thoroughly check how well your cable works with your gear before you run it through your walls. This may sound obvious, but you might be shocked (and saddened) by how many emails I get from people who didn’t do this.
Also check your local building codes in case you need to run conduit. One option is Monoprice’s Commercial Series cable, which is CL2 rated to run in the wall, supports a speed of 18 Gbps, and comes in lengths up to 50 feet.
You can find countless HDMI cables that range in price from “a lot” to “are you kidding me.”
Going through each brand and cable isn’t necessary, as there are only two claims these cables make to justify their prices, and both are easily refuted.
1. Better picture and/or sound quality: As we discussed earlier, this isn’t possible. The only way a cable could make your content look or sound better is if it actually changed the data flowing across it. Not only is that impossible, but if any of the data going across somehow got changed, the only two possible results at the TV end would be sparkles (an effect, quite noticeable, due to a pixel dropping out) or the entire image dropping out. The image can’t look sharper (or softer), brighter (or dimmer), or more colorful (or muted). This would mean huge aspects of the image have changed, and HDMI cables just don’t work like that. It would be like saying a better Ethernet cable changes what your emails say. Same idea.
The only exception to this otherwise absolute fact is if two cables are rated differently. A cable whose label claims it can do only 18 Gbps probably can’t send the amount of data that a cable rated for 48 Gbps can. The 48 Gbps cable is just a larger “pipe,” so to speak. Or to put it all another way, a 1-inch pipe carries the same amount of water as any other 1-inch pipe—but if your water heater has only a ½-inch nozzle, a bigger pipe running to it won’t make any difference. But two cables that can both transmit 48 Gbps will produce results that look the same.
There are people all over the internet who claim to have seen huge improvements after switching to expensive HDMI cables. Objectively, this isn’t possible.
Over longer runs, the signal can degrade, but that doesn’t mean the image itself degrades. There is no linear correlation between signal quality and picture quality. This isn’t analog. That isn’t how HDMI cables work. The image will look perfect, regardless of the signal strength, up to the point where dropouts or sparkles happen. After that, there’s nothing. Before that, it’s perfect.
There are people all over the internet who claim to have seen huge improvements after switching to expensive HDMI cables. Objectively, this isn’t possible. There are any number of possibilities regarding what’s going on (different settings, confirmation bias, HDMI cable company employees).
2. Better made: The other common boast is that more expensive HDMI cables are better made, a claim that implies they’ll last longer. Whether that’s true is actually pretty irrelevant. Monoprice, for example, has a lifetime warranty on its cables, so even if one breaks, you can get a new one.
Even if that weren’t true, and let’s say for some reason the $8 HDMI cable you buy lasts only two years (it will likely last longer) and you need to replace it, you’ve spent $16 total. How is a $100 HDMI cable that lasts four years a better deal?
Additional science and testing
No one has researched and written more about HDMI cables than I have. Since 2011, my “Why all HDMI cables are the same” series of articles at CNET have had millions of pageviews and have been heavily scrutinized. If you want additional objective testing, here are a few great sources worth reading.
Audioholics did a massive article years ago testing long HDMI cables. Some advice there is a touch dated, but the core of the science is still sound: “I have to come away saying that most cables under 4-5 meters will pass just about anything in today’s arsenal of 1080p.” Or if you prefer a shorter, more succinct version, look to the slightly more recent “The Truth vs Hype about Expensive HDMI Cables” and its analysis: “So, does a $10 HDMI cable make your system look or sound different from a $100 or $1,000 cable? The short answer is ‘Absolutely not. ’”
Expert Reviews’s “Expensive HDMI cables make no difference and here’s why” is a great article with some awesomely extensive objective testing.
Eurogamer did a similar test, comparing the actual output frames: “[T]he conclusion is that you can run any HDMI cable – no matter how cheap – and get identical results.” The writer continues, “[T]he important thing to point out is that there is no real parallel with the world of analogue cables.”
Here’s a reference in Popular Mechanics in “Brand-Name HDMI Cables: Are They Worth It?”: “The fact is, HDMI is digital, meaning you either get the feed or you don’t. High prices and gimmicks like gold-plating don’t affect 1s and 0s. Our advice: Purchase your wiring online for cheap, and use the saved money to upgrade to a larger flat screen.”
PCMag tested 12 cables of different lengths using a Murideo Six-G signal generator and found that most of them, including several Monoprice models, had no issues with 4K/60 HDR.
And although this is another article of mine, it shows all the hands-on testing I did leading up to the first CNET article. “The fact is, below 50 feet, performance is going to be a LOT more uniform. In other words, you’ll have more cables that will work on everything. As such, it’s even more likely that a cheap cable will perform the same as their more expensive counterparts. At short distances (under 10 feet), like we’ve always said, there’s not going to be any difference.”
Buying Guide, HDMI Licensing Administrator
Geoffrey Morrison, Why all HDMI cables are the same, CNET, October 11, 2012
Geoffrey Morrison, Still more reasons why all HDMI cables are the same, CNET, October 29, 2012
Nathan Spendelow and Katharine Byrne, Expensive HDMI cables make no difference and here’s why, Expert Reviews, January 13, 2020
Clint DeBoer, Long HDMI Cables Bench Tests, Audioholics, July 8, 2008
Marshall Guthrie, The Truth vs Hype about Expensive HDMI Cables, Audioholics, December 23, 2013
Richard Leadbetter, Digital Foundry vs. HDMI video, Eurogamer, January 30, 2012
Seth Porges, Brand-Name HDMI Cables: Are They Worth It?, Popular Mechanics, January 1, 2008
Will Greenwald, Slaying the Cable Monster: What You Need to Know About HDMI Cables, PCMag, January 27, 2021
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The Best HDMI Cables For 2023
We have rounded up some of the best HDMI cables on the market right now
By Hannah Cowton
Senior Staff Writer, Tech Advisor JUN 29, 2023 12:23 pm BST
With prices of HDMI cables varying enormously, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether it’s worth spending more or just opting for the cheapest option out there.
Truth is, there are different HDMI standards with different features, specs, and variables. This means it can be worth spending more to get a more capable cable.
However, for most devices – TVs, games consoles, set-top boxes, and even some sound systems – there’s no need to buy an 8K HDMI cable. A cheaper HDMI 2.0 cable that supports 4K up to 60fps is all most people need.
Of course, if you have a PS5 or Xbox Series X (or an Ultra-HD Blu-ray player) and a TV that’s capable of 120Hz (twice the usual 60Hz), then you’ll want to go for a HDMI 2.1 cable. These are also called 8K cables and can handle transfer speeds of 48Gbps – much more than the 18Gbps of standard ‘High Speed’ HDMI 2.0 cables.
We’ve picked out some of the best cables from brands we trust in the US and UK.
Amazon Basics HDMI Cable – Best overall
Our top recommendation is also one of the cheapest options around – it’s nice when that works out, isn’t it?
The Amazon Basics range has become a firm favourite of ours across just about every product category it covers, and HDMI cables are no exception. Available in lengths from 0.9m up to 7.6m, and boasting all the necessary tech specs along with a solid (if plain) design, this is hard to beat.
Even better – if the cable isn’t cheap enough for you, you can save money by buying them in bundles of two or three – ideal for updating your whole setup, or just grabbing some spares.
Anker 8K HDMI Cable – Best for speed
If speed is what you’re looking for, then this ultra-fast cable from Anker should fit the bill.
With a bandwidth of 48Gbps, this HDMI cable can provide 8K at 60Hz, and 4K at 120Hz, making it an excellent option for gamers with next-gen consoles. It’s certified by the HDMI Forum, which means you get support for all the other HDMI 2.1 features such as VRR, QFT, ALLM, QMS and eARC.
The cable itself looks suitably premium with carbon steel connectors and a durable double-braided nylon finish which can withstand over 10,000 bends. Anker also offers an 18-month warranty.
Cable Matters 3-pack of HDMI Cables – Best multipack
If you’ve got multiple devices to connect via HDMI, then a bundle can offer better value. This pack from Cable Matters comes in three different colours, so you can easily tell them apart.
Outward appearances aside, they also have HDMI 2.1 standard, so they can support 8K, 4K and 1080p picture quality, and have compatibility with eARC ports for soundbars – if you want that Dolby Atmos quality.
They come in 1m, 2m and 3m lengths.
Belkin High Speed HDMI Cable – Best value
If you’re more inclined to trust your cabling to a big brand, Belkin makes a number of reliable tech accessories, so an HDMI cable isn’t much of a stretch for them.
The cable supports 4K, though Belkin also offers an ultra high speed version that costs a lot more. As we said above, we wouldn’t really recommend spending the extra money for that, but the option’s there if you’re committed to future-proofing.
The US model is slightly different, but it should get you the same results.
UGreen 90-Degree HDMI Cable – Best for tight spaces
And now for something completely (well, a little) different. This HDMI cable from UGreen has one right-angled plug, perfect for connecting up appliances in odd spots or with limited clearance from your wall or TV cabinet.
Watch out for older 10.2Gbps versions of this cable and ensure you’re getting the 18Gbps one. The 10.2Gbps version will handle any HD content very comfortably, and 4K up to 30fps, but might struggle with higher frame rate 4K or any 4K HDR.
Monster HDMI Cable with built-in LED light – Best for cable management
The Spotlight cable from Monster is designed for those of us stuck with a mess of multiple HDMI cables round the back of the TV and consequently struggle to tell them apart.
Each end of the cable includes a small LED, which illuminates when you plug it in to a working port, so at a glance you can tell which what’s plugged in where – ideal for troubleshooting problems or de-tangling messy setups.
Beyond that slight gimmick, this is otherwise a well built HDMI 2.0 cable, with speeds up to 18Gbps and measuring 6ft in length. Monster also sells cables with green, blue and red lights to suit your preferences.
True HQ 20m HDMI Cable – Best for long distances
Some devices require longer cables, and this one from UK brand True HQ can reach up to a whopping 20m.
The length of the cable does mean that speeds are slightly lower than some rivals at 18Gbps. However, it is still capable of supporting 4K content a 60Hz – check your devices to see if you need higher speeds.
True HQ also provides a very generous 5-year extended warranty for your piece of mind. Sadly, this cable isn’t available in the US.
Amazon Basics braided gold HDMI Cable – Best for aesthetics
If you’re looking for a cable that strays away from bog-standard black, then this gold number from Amazon Basics may fit the bill. Amazon also offers it in red, silver and white.
It comes with gold-plater metal connectors, and copper wires. This is a good choice for devices that don’t require top speeds, as it supports 4K content at 60Hz.
UGreen USB-C to HDMI Cable – Best for PC and monitor connections
This cable from UGreen is useful for working from home, as the USB-C end allows you to connect extra monitors, smartphones and tablets together for a multi-screen set-up.
It comes with a braided nylon cable, which can allegedly withstand over 10,000 plug-ins and 10,000 bends. It can also provide 4K content at 60Hz, and 1440p at 120Hz.
UGreen also offers a HDMI cable with a microHDMI end, as well as a HDMI extender if you’re struggling to reach your device.
What design should I look for in a HDMI cable?
In terms of design, the main thing you should look for is that the cable head is slim – some TVs pack their HDMI sockets in pretty tightly, so avoid snazzy looking cables that might just block your other ports. You might also need a cable with a 90° connector at one end if there’s limited room behind your TV, for example.
What resolution and refresh rate should my HDMI cable support?
Video standards are continuing to change rapidly, with the recent rise of 4K and HDR already beginning to give way to 8K and beyond. Plus, refresh rates for games consoles are also beginning to go beyond the standard 60Hz, which requires yet more data to be transferred per second.
If you’re still using the HDMI cable that came with the TV you bought eight years ago, it might not work at all with a 4K video source like an Xbox Series X or an Ultra-HD Blu-ray player, and if it does work, it might introduce errors in the picture. The same is true (more so) for HDR.
Luckily, this is easy to test – just connect everything up with your cable and check if your TV gets a signal, recognises it as 4K and/or HDR, and displays it without any obvious problems. If it does, you’re good to go. If not, you’ll have to buy a new one.
What is HDMI 2.1?
Although we’ve talked about the standards, it’s worth knowing the version numbers actually apply to devices – TVs and video sources – and not the cables themselves. What really matters is the cable’s speed capacity – look out for anything rated for 18Gbps to keep up with 4K HDR, which should be just about any cable sold as ‘high speed’.
HDMI 2.1 cables support 48Gbps ‘ultra high speed’ which is intended to support 8K video (and up to 10K), but it’ll be a couple of years at least before there are widespread compatible devices.
However, there are features such as variable refresh rate and eARC as well as 4K video at 120Hz which also require an HDMI 2.1 cable. The PS5, Xbox Series X and certain LG 4K OLED TVs support HDMI 2.1, but you’ll only benefit from getting a cable that supports the latest standard if you have both a console and TV that support those features.
- Is my TV compatible with the PS5 and Xbox Series X?
So unless you specifically need one, don’t pay extra for a 48Gbps cable right now.
You can read more about what HDMI is and what the ports are in our HDMI explainer article. And if you don’t even have enough HDMI ports on your TV, there is a way to add more.
Author: Hannah Cowton, Senior Staff Writer
Hannah Cowton is a Senior Staff Writer at Tech Advisor and Macworld, working across entertainment, consumer technology and lifestyle. Her interests and specialities lie in streaming services, film and television reviews and rumours, gaming, wearables and smart home products. She’s also the creator of The London Geek, a geek culture and lifestyle blog.
High Speed HDMI Cables
With the introduction of new 8K and 4K UHD high frame rate monitors and TVs, as well as modern game consoles and PC graphics cards, new ultra high speed HDMI 2.1 cables from various vendors have become available in the last year. These cables provide enough bandwidth (up to 48Gbps) to support new high-definition gaming experiences.
2022 High Speed HDMI Cables
Interestingly, various HDMI coordinating bodies have a program to certify these products. In doing so, they help the end user to ensure that the cable purchased has been tested for Ultra High Speed functionality.
This ensures that it will transfer digital signals at higher speeds between source devices. Such devices include cutting-edge gaming consoles, select PC graphics cards, the latest and greatest HDMI 2.1-enabled AV receivers, and many premium 8K and 4K TVs available in 2022.
The bad news is that there may be counterfeit 8K cables on the market that won’t support some of any of the claimed new features. Therefore, it is important to look for the “Ultra High Speed 8K HDMI” certification label before purchasing a cable to avoid misunderstanding. Also, when purchasing an HDMI cable assembly, it’s a good idea to make sure the packaging or promotional materials specifically list support for exactly the features you need.
Top 9 HDMI Cables0015
For now, the best cables to choose from will be labeled “Ultra High Speed HDMI”. It’s also worth remembering that certified Ultra High Speed HDMI 2.1 cables aren’t just for 8K TVs. They will work with a signal of any resolution and with any frame rate available today. All cables are backwards compatible with all HDMI standards (new to old) and since the signals are digital they should pass with the same good results.
If you don’t consider yourself a gamer, don’t have a cool video card and don’t plan to stream 8K video at the highest FPS, then for most cases you can use the so-called “Premium High Speed HDMI (2.0)” cable. Usually these cables are not as expensive and are more readily available. But there may come a time when you upgrade your electronic components.
HDMI Gaming Cables
When choosing an HDMI cable, special care must be taken with cables longer than 3 meters, unless they are specifically designed and designed to support longer lines (eg optical or active cable). Cables that are too long are a common source of problems when the image does not transfer properly from the source device.
In addition, in most cases, HDMI adapters and extenders (made in China) can be problematic in long cable runs. In general, when it comes to HDMI cables, the golden rule is that the shorter the better. This ensures that the signal strength is not degraded, and ultra-high speed HDMI cables provide better protection against external electromagnetic fields.
HDMI 2.1 In-Wall Cables
If there is a need to run the cable through the wall, for example to mount a TV on the wall, then special cables made from fire retardant certified materials will be required to comply with building codes and prevent potential consequences due to fire or electric shock. When running an HDMI cable in a wall, choose one that has a fire rating of CL2 or CL3.
Where extra long cables are required, a dedicated HDMI Ultra High Speed Optical Cable or HDMI Active Cable can be used. These builds use a small chip to boost the signal slightly to deliver the signal over longer distances. These options will cost more.
Differences of HDMI cables from counterfeit
The main differences between series and brands of ultra-high speed HDMI cables are length, design, appearance, contact types, wiring types and sheath design. All this determines the flexibility and protection against damage and signal failures.
Various cables also give an indication of how reliable the point of contact is, thereby ensuring that the connection is not accidentally disconnected when replacing components or moving devices. As always, the prices for these cables will vary by build, materials, and brand. The more complex the installation, the higher the quality of the cables must be to ensure functionality, safety and durability.
In order for the customer to prefer genuine certified Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables, look for the Super High Speed HDMI Cable Certification Label with a QR code and a hologram.
This data can be scanned to verify certification. Here is a list of some ultra-high speed HDMI 8K cables that don’t pose a problem. Keep in mind that specific routing requirements will determine which cable is right for your application.
Which HDMI cable to choose
AudioQuest offers an HDMI Pearl 48 cable designed for Xbox with 48Gbps high frame rate support. All HDMI 2.1 features are supported, including 4K @ 120 FPS (3840 × 2160) games, VRR up to 120 FPS @ 144Hz, ALLM and QFT. The price for the Pearl 48 series with a cable length of 1.5 m is $50. All AudioQuest 48 and Pearl 48 series HDMI cables support resolutions up to 10K, refresh rates up to 8K @ 60Hz, 4K @ 120Hz, and offer superior audio/video quality when streaming in 2K or 4K.
Austere offers a premium line of 8K Ultra-High-Speed HDMI 2.1 cables starting at 1.5m for $99. The Austere 8K Ultra-High-Speed HDMI 2.1 has been certified by the HDMI Forum for HDMI 2.1 connectivity at 48Gbps. Austere cables are designed to support all 8K UHD specifications and can support resolutions and refresh rates of 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz and up to 10K resolution.
To validate the certification, the cable comes with a label that can be scanned using the HDMI cable certification application. Ultra high speed HDMI cables will work with 8K video and video games on the latest HDMI 2.1 interface, supporting TVs and monitors, AV receivers, gaming consoles and gaming PCs. Austere 8K HDMI supports enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), the latest 3D surround sound formats, and advanced gaming features including VRR.
C2G by Legrand
C2G by Legrand offers more advanced enthusiasts and professional home theater installers who need longer cables their Performance Series Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables with Ethernet. These cables support 48Gbps bandwidth and all the latest HDMI 2.1 features including uncompressed 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz, dynamic HDR and eARC.
Cables designed for wall installation (CMG / FT4 series). They allow installers to safely route cables inside walls while providing a clean look. For high density environments, they are compact molded. Built-in finger grips on connectors allow for easy insertion and removal of connectors.
Cable-grabbing connector housings provide twice as much port retention for a secure connection between devices. Gold-plated connector pins provide increased electrical conductivity and durability. Legrand offers five lengths from 0.6 m to 3.6 m. The cables come with a “lifetime warranty”.
Cable Matters offers an active optical HDMI cable designed for next generation gaming and multimedia over long distances. The Active Fiber HDMI Cable is one of the longest certified Ultra High Speed HDMI cables on the market with full support for 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz resolutions. Specified: Based on Ultra High Speed HDMI 2.1 at 48 Gbps.
The HDMI fiber optic cable uses active optical modules developed by Silicon Line to provide long distance connectivity without external power. This cable is available in 5m for $65 to 10m for $100 and more.
Monoprice 8K is one of the best certified ultra high speed HDMI cables available in various lengths. The company’s products are also covered by a lifetime warranty. One of the best Monoprice series is Monoprice 8K Certified Ultra High Speed HDMI Braided Cable.
HDMI signal tested for 8K @ 60Hz and 4K @ 120Hz at 48Gbps bandwidth. It is believed that a high-strength braided cable is resistant to mechanical damage, cuts, kinks, and wear. This cable complies with fire safety class CL2. The brand offers ultra-high-speed HDMI braided cables in four lengths from 1m to 4. 5m, starting at $13.
Zeskit are high quality Ultra High Speed HDMI 48Gbps cable solutions with multiple quality levels. One of the best options is Maya braid. For most standard applications, the Zeskit Maya from 0.45m to 3m will suffice. They are available at prices starting at $15. For longer cable runs and cables in the wall. Zeskit offers the Maya CL3 line in lengths from 4m to 7m at prices starting at $30.
https://ultrahd.su/video/vybor-kabelya-hdmi-2022.htmlHigh speed HDMI cables
ov and TVs 8K and 4K UHD at high frame rates, as well as modern game consoles and PC graphics cards, new ultra-high-speed HDMI 2.1 cables from various vendors have become available over the past year. These cables provide sufficient bandwidth (up to 48 Gbps) for…VoVVoV
Comparative test of seven HDMI cables Audioquest!
test in pdf format
The Dutch magazine “HIFI. NL” (20 APRIL 2022) published an overview of seven HDMI cables from Audioquest . Author Michael Hamers received an invitation to AudioQuest Benelux, where he was able to test almost the entire range of HDMI cables. He took apart the models in detail, in order of price increase, and praised the picture and sound they provide.
I don’t like to use complicated terms on a subject like cables. Because it’s hard as hell to convey what a cable does in a system, and also how it’s completely dependent on the rest of the audio or video system. And in this review, we still have to figure it out in more detail, because. this is not a comparison of cables from different brands. The thing is, the HDMI cables in this test sound the same in a tonal sense if you compare them to each other. But with every step up the stairs, they just sound better.
“The cables that many people use to connect, for example, their Apple TV and TV or Playstation with a computer display, took part in this test. For many people, the most normal thing is to use the simplest cable that comes with the kit. If you need a longer cable, go to your local electronics store and look for the cheapest option because it’s just an HDMI cable. Are you familiar with this approach? As for me, it really was so a few years ago. Until I specifically addressed this issue and got the opportunity to try out some cables.
“The thing is, an HDMI cable doesn’t just transmit zeros and ones. It is the fruit of sophisticated technology that, with the right use of materials and good shielding, can really elevate your picture and sound quality to a higher level. Sometimes even much higher. But many people don’t really know that even an HDMI cable can either improve or degrade an AV or audio system. And to experience it all for myself, I got an invitation to the AudioQuest Benelux office in Roosendaal, where I could play with almost all of the current range of HDMI cables – for both AV and Hi-Fi applications. ”
“On that particular day, my test was in two parts. This morning I was testing picture and sound on a recent LG 85-inch 4K TV. I ran audio through the TV’s built-in speakers and used an Apple TV 4K as the source. In the afternoon, I moved to a large listening room on the other side of the AQ complex, where I did a listening test of HDMI cables as part of a system at a price that, despite rising home prices, you can buy a beautiful and well-maintained home in certain regions”.
All cables in the test system were from the highest series in the AudioQuest range. For example, from the Dragon series – for transmitting an analog signal and power. And from the Diamond series for data transmission. Of course, the power was cleaned of any debris by the famous Niagara 7000 air conditioner. As a source, I had an Auralic Aries G2.1 streamer, which, replacing the HDMI cables in stages for this test, was connected to an Auralic Vega G2. 1 streaming DAC. It had a fixed balanced output and was connected to an Audio Research 6SE preamplifier. For the final power boost, a set of Audio Research 160m monoblocks was ready. Finally, a beautiful black set of Wilson Audio Sasha DAW speakers was connected to them. Well, if I don’t hear the difference between HDMI cables here…then I won’t hear it anywhere else, I thought.
“In terms of picture quality, I used Netflix as my streaming service. I chose the nature documentary “Our Planet” and in particular the episode “Frozen Worlds” – “Frozen Worlds”. This beautiful movie was filmed entirely in 4K and has a good streaming quality on Netflix with Dolby Vision image processing. The image has not been heavily edited due to the nature of the content. Therefore, the film is an ideal material for such a comparative test. I also specifically chose the Frozen Worlds episode because with the bright white snow and dense blue skies you can really appreciate the contrasts. ”
“For the audio, I put together a little playlist that I used to compare cables. I didn’t listen to every song in its entirety, but I knew the tracks well and could focus on the playback rather than the music. These were Riverboat by Sam Fribush, Okalite by Martin Nonstatic, Death Row by Chris Stapleton and Dam in China by Armand Amar. All this can be found on TIDAL and Qobuz.”
Presentation of results
“In both situations, I started with a cable that you can find, for example, on supermarket shelves. It’s really cheap. With this cable as a guide, I then took steps up the AudioQuest ladder. True, I skipped the BlueBerry 18 in my comparison test because it’s the only 18 Gb/s cable. The rest are suitable for 48 Gb/s data transfer and thus are fully prepared for the future with support for image resolutions up to 10K. Also, I decided not to include the Forest 48 in my comparisons because the test was already quite extensive. ”
“By the way, the results are now exactly as I estimated them in advance: consistently getting better with each step. By that I mean the excellent consistency in value for money that AudioQuest has been using for many years. If you pay more, you get more. And all this in the right proportion. Certainly this approach deserves a compliment. Prices are for a 0.6 meter cable. Cables up to and including Cinnamon 48 are available in lengths up to 5 meters.
Price € 3,890
speed of 48 Gbps. For lengths over 5m, AudioQuest guarantees 18Gbps data transfer. Pearl 48 solid conductors, oriented in the direction indicated by the arrows on the plugs, are made of long grain copper (LGC). Starting with the Pearl 48, all AudioQuest HDMI cables over 7.5 meters are equipped with an active chip for optimal source-to-display synchronization.”
“In the picture quality test, the Pearl 48 HDMI showed a clear improvement over the cheapest unlabeled cable. The increased depth and increased contrast were clearly visible. Sharpness also seemed to increase a bit. The colors of the penguins’ beaks also turned out a little better. Overall, there was a good increase in image quality.”
“In the listening room, the difference with the unmarked cable was even more noticeable, as far as I could tell. The soundscape has increased significantly in depth and width. The first drum hit on Sam Freebush’s “Riverboat” turned out to be good material, which I used for the rest of the test to gauge the very first impression. With the Pearl 48, this hit was nice and tight, and it had more punch. The electronic sounds of Martin Nonstatics Okalite showed a noticeable increase in micro-detail. This track has a fantastic layer that suddenly sounded a lot less confusing and more defined than with an unbranded cable. Chris Stapleton stood taller on the virtual stage, a little further back and better centered. And the timpani and drums sounded more textured on Dam in China, and their layering is much denser here as well. ”
Price ₽ 11 190
%, and the drain wire inside the cable is 0.5 silver plated % compared to tinned copper in lower ranked cables. Each pair of conductors is additionally equipped with an ultra-thin metal protective layer (noise dissipation system).”
“In the image quality test, the Cinnamon 48 showed a very clear improvement over the Pearl 48. The increased depth and contrast enhancement were clearly visible, and more detail appeared in the mountains behind the polar bears. Sharpness has also taken a big step forward – the sparks of swirling snowflakes and air bubbles under the water have been shown more sharply. In addition, the sharpness of movements while panning pictures has increased. The colors of the penguins’ beaks are now also slightly brighter and slightly less grey. All in all, this is a big step forward in image quality.”
“In the listening room, the difference was the same. The soundscape again slightly increased in depth and width. The first drum hit on Sam Freebush’s Riverboat was a little harder and had a little more texture. With Martin Nonstatics Okalite electronic sounds, I heard a few more small details in the high-pitched clicks and flashes, as well as in the static effects. The layer also seemed to be slightly better defined and slightly lower in the sound image. Chris Stapleton’s trademark voice still sounded rough, but the electronics no longer included it. The hissing sounds were a little more rounded. The timpani and drums on the Dam track in China have been given a little more texture, and the layering is much harsher here too. The chorus at the beginning of the track circulated widely in the listening room. Wider than before.”
Price €20 190
-silver plating around solid long crystal copper (LGC) conductors, and a 1.25% silver plated drain conductor. To improve protection against electromagnetic interference, each pair of cores is equipped with a screen consisting of two layers of thin metal foil with a carbon layer between them.
“In the image quality test, the Carbon 48 again showed a slight but clearly noticeable improvement over the Cinnamon 48. The increased depth and increase in contrast were also noticeable here again, and in addition to the fact that the snow seemed to be starting to go harder, the puddle of water on the snow-covered peak of the mountain was somehow more transparent. Sharpness has also now taken another step forward, albeit a lesser one. The glitter of swirling snowflakes and air bubbles under the water was even sharper here. In addition, the clarity of movement while panning pictures has increased. In terms of color reproduction, I hardly noticed any further improvement. In general, the calmness in the look was especially intensified.
“It’s almost a repeat, but in the listening room the difference was similar, although a bit more than in the picture. The soundscape expanded in depth and breadth again, and the floor seemed to drop a little while the ceiling appeared a little higher. The first drum hit on Sam Freebush’s Riverboat was a little harder and had a little more power. In Nonstatics Okalite, I heard a few more small details in the high-pitched clicks and flashes, and felt a bit more pressure. In Chris Stapleton’s Death Row, I noticed an improvement in the texture of the bass strings, and there was also a bit more pressure in the middle of the range. The timpani and drums on the Dam in China track were slightly more textured, and I found the soundscape to be much wider and taller. The chorus at the beginning of the track seemed to grow a few ladies on either side.”
Price €39 390
“The AudioQuest Vodka 48 is identical to the Carbon 48 except for the silver finish. The silver plating of the core pairs is between 5% and 10% in the case of the Vodka 48. In addition, the drain wire is now 5% silver plated.”
“In the image quality test, the difference for the Vodka 48 was less and less visible, but here again a slight improvement in contrast is achieved. In terms of sharpness and color, I didn’t notice much of a difference anymore. However, the sharpness of panning motions has been slightly increased, again providing a more relaxed viewing experience.”
“During the session in the listening room, the difference between each previous and next cable appeared to be more consistent, and the additional cost of the cable is clearly audible here. The AudioQuest Vodka 48 is priced twice as much as the Carbon 48 and you can really hear it. This does not mean that he suddenly began to play twice as good as before. Do not misunderstand me. However, the jump in the amount of silver used (and with it the price) is clearly audible. The sound gets a little louder. The sound image grows in all directions. The wall seems further away, the ceiling is higher, and some sounds and instruments are right in front of my nose, while in fact I am just as far from the speakers as I was 15 minutes ago.”
“It is slowly becoming clear that for sound reproduction, when you use a cable that many people say should only carry zeros and ones, the difference in core quality and shielding makes a huge difference. It’s all about timing and jitter. Most of the zeros and ones do come in. But do they come at the right time? Is there anything missing from time to time that the render processor needs to make up for? And does it ship with more latency than the source sends over the cable? That’s the point.”
Price ₽ 73 090
In addition, the drain conductor is now 10% silver plated, again double that of the Vodka 48. However, the main difference from the Vodka 48 is the shielding. It now consists of a combination of graphene and carbon in a sandwich for even better protection against noise and interference.”
“The difference in image quality test with Vodka 48 is negligible. A little more rest for the eyes and, thanks to better protection, a little calmer than before. But now it is very difficult to see the differences. Since you yourself will want to see the differences with a more expensive and better cable, I still won’t risk using superlatives again. Perhaps on a calibrated, high-quality 4K or 8K laser projector, the differences will be more noticeable.”
“With the listening room session, the difference is a little more consistent, as with the previous cable, and you can also hear the added cost and upscaling of the material here. It’s not a big jump anymore, and besides, it’s not a blind test. So I do not rule out a little psychoacoustics. However, the sound is now a step louder and, above all, a little more transparent, and there is more calmness in playback. The sound also seems a bit more detached from the Wilson Audio Sasha DAW, where Stapleton’s vocals mostly benefit from more prominent textures and transparency. For the sake of testing, I constantly listen at the same volume, but I would like to turn it up a little. What a wonderful high-end audio system this is.”
FireBird 48 72v DBS
0% directional oriented, polished silver conductors – Perfect Surface Silver (PSS). It features the same advanced noise reduction system as the Thunderbird 48 with the same 10% silver plated drain conductor. But it also features a 72V DBS bias system that “targets” the molecules in the dielectric so there is even less loss in the cable itself.”
“The best cable doesn’t miss anything, or better yet, doesn’t damage the signal in the slightest, you can’t hear it, and that’s what DBS AudioQuest does. Okay, honestly? I no longer see improvement in picture or sound quality on my LG TV. Despite 100% solid silver conductors. The maximum with this particular TV and with this particular source and source material has been achieved.”
“It’s a completely different story with a high-end audio system. It was there that a tenfold increase in the amount of silver in the conductors was very clearly audible. It’s not that I’m going to deal with well-known statements like “it plays a completely different setup”, because that would be complete nonsense. However, this is true, because it seems that the rendering of the layer has been continuously slowing down all this time. Of course, all this was already at a very high level, but the sound image clearly benefits from the amount of silver in this cable. The three-dimensionality of the sound stage is also increased. Besides, it all flows a little easier. The speakers are completely absorbed by the room and a nice extra dose of micro-detail is added. This cable is miraculous.”
Dragon 48 72v DBS
Price ₽ 247 490
“And now the top model from the HDMI AudioQuest line; Dragon 48 72v DBS. It is identical in all respects to the FireBird 48 except for the 100% silver plated drain conductor. As for the conductors, this cable is 100% silver. This makes it very valuable.”
“I can say the same about the image. In any case, I don’t see any difference compared to the FireBird 48. However, Frederic and I sometimes wanted to check the amount by replacing the precious Dragon 48 with an unmarked cable. Of course, the image suddenly became fragile, colorless and lacking in detail. I would have expected this after image enhancement. But what surprised me the most was that the sound that was playing through the TV’s built-in speakers suddenly deteriorated greatly. David Attenborough’s voice completely disappeared behind a thick curtain, and the music completely died down. As if the same symphony orchestra had no desire to play their unpolished brass instruments at all.”
“Really great and something I didn’t expect at all. So at first I didn’t notice the improvement in quality, but when I came back again, it all became even more noticeable.”
“While listening, the very first drum hit on Sam Freebush’s Riverboat was amazing. I thought it couldn’t be better, because what can this 100% silver plated interference drain do? In the end, the pair lived identical to the FireBird 48. But now everything immediately fell into place. Timing, impact, pressure and place in the room. This is indeed the notorious dot over i. and where I thought there was no hardness and sharpness in micro-details, now it is completely absent in Okalite. And the drums and timpani on Dam in China are in space. The further dynamics of this track, where it goes from very hard to very soft and refined, is a special impression on this setup. So the whole system benefits from this single connection between the streamer and the DAC. There has never been anything better than that particular day in Roosendaal.”
“I don’t like to use complicated terms on a topic like cables. Because it’s hard as hell to convey what a cable does in a system, and also how it’s completely dependent on the rest of the audio or video system. And in this review, we still have to figure it out in more detail, because. this is not a comparison of cables from different brands. The thing is, the HDMI cables in this test sound the same in a tonal sense if you compare them to each other. But with every step up the stairs, they just sound better.
I can’t advise non-believers to do anything but just try.