An HDMI cable is a must have item in every modern home. If you’re looking to connect your TV to any modern device, you will need one of these High Definition Multimedia Interface cables.
These have basically replaced the multi-colored ones of the olden days. HDMI cables not only achieve that with a single cable, but they’re also much faster. And hence, they’re becoming more ubiquitous everyday.
But it’s not easy picking one of these cables. You’ll find tonnes of options in the market, each with various numbers, versions and other names. This can make the whole thing feel a bit confusing. But fret not, for we have put this article together to help you with that!
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best HDMI cables in the market today.
So, without further ado, lets get going!
|Cable Name||Bandwidth||Check Price|
|SlimHDMI||4K compatible||Check Price|
|Belkin Ultra High Speed HDMI||48 Gbps||Check Price|
|Onyx HDMI||18 Gbps||Check Price|
|Rhinocables Flat HDMI||27 Gbps||Check Price|
|Monster HDMI 1000HD||17.8 Gbps||Check Price|
|Monoprice Select High-Speed HDMI||10.7 Gbps||Check Price|
|AmazonBasics HL-007306||18 Gbps||Check Price|
|AudioQuest Pearl||18 Gbps||Check Price|
Table of Contents:
- Belkin Ultra High Speed – For HDMI 2.1
- SlimHDMI – For Slim Terminals
- Onyx 4K – For Gold-plated Terminals & Super Strong
- Rhinocables Flat – For Flat Cabling
- AmazonBasics HL-007306 – For An Inexpensive Option With Lifetime Warranty
- Monster 1000HD – For Signal Boosting With Lifetime Guarantee
- Monoprice Select High-Speed – For Cable Management
- AudioQuest Pearl – For Long-Distance Connections
- How To Select An HDMI Cable
- Closing Thoughts
Belkin Ultra High Speed – For HDMI 2.1
Belkin‘s Ultra High Speed is the first cable to be featured on this list. And it is also without thought one of the best performing ones. This was one of the first ever to released for HDMI 2.1. 2.1 is the latest generation of HDMI technology that has been designed to support 10K resolutions.
But considering how we’re just beginning to see the emergence of 8K, this might be considered as a bit of an overkill. Specifically, if you don’t have the budget for it. But if you’re someone that always has to have the latest technology, you might want to have a Belkin’s Ultra lying around.
Bandwidth wise, this supports speeds up to 48Gbps. And considering its specs, it is still pretty affordable compared to the other high end cables available in the market.
Bandwidth: 48 Gbps
- Features high specs
- Belkin is a good brand name that you can trust
- Price isn’t particularly high considering what you’re getting in return
- There’s only a 2m option available at the moment.
SlimHDMI – For Slim Terminals
SlimHDMI, as the name suggests, is pretty slim! And its not that it itself is thin. That would definitely affect performance and durability. It’s that SlimHDMI has one of the slimmest terminals among the other HDMI alternatives available. And that definitely has its advantages. Think of every scenario where the port was too tightly placed behind your TV or your monitor. SlimHDMI will fit right in!
In terms of performance, SlimHDMI isn’t anything particularly spectacular. But it does support 4K. Furthermore, it’s cut-down design means that it isn’t exactly the most durable option available. But in most scenarios, it gets the job done. And if you’re looking for a cable that isn’t too chunky, SlimHDMI is the choice to go with.
Bandwidth: 4K compatible
- Very slim terminals that can fit into tightly positioned ports
- Is very affordable
- May have an issue concerning durability
Onyx 4K – For Gold-plated Terminals & Super Strong
The Onyx 4K is a special cable that supports 4K. But one of the most distinguishing features about this cable has to be its gold plated terminals. Although there is little to no technical advantage to having a gold-plating, the 24 carat coating does give this cable a stunning visual appeal.
But the Onyx 4K cable isn’t just another pretty boy. It is incredibly strong and durable, perhaps one of the most durable options available in the market, thanks to a cabling that’s thicker than average. Furthermore, it also features an extra mesh sheath that protects against the legs of tables or chairs or against nipping pets.
Onyx’s 4K cable has an HDMI Premium certification, which means that it has been tested and proven. Sure, there are cheaper options available but in terms of looks and strength, this is the cable to go with.
Bandwidth: 18 Gbps
- Stunning gold-plated terminals
- Sturdy and durable design
- Has a Premium certification
- Not the cheapest option available
Rhinocables Flat – For Flat Cabling
Rhinocables‘s Flat is one of the toughest on our list. The nylon braiding makes it strong and durable. And the chrome-plated terminals adds to the visual appeal.
It itself, as suggested by the name, is flat. And this has to be the distinguishing feature about this cable. A flat cable is particularly useful when you’re looking to run it over the walls or under a rug. While a regular round option would result in obtrusive bulges or even tears, at just a few millimeters thick, it just fits the scenario better.
Rhinocables claims that it can support bandwidths of up to 27 Gbps. While it doesn’t have an official premium HDMI certification, the bandwidth is more than enough to support formats such as 4K and HDR.
Bandwidth: 27 Gbps
- Has a flat cable
- Tough and durable build
- Has chrome-plated terminals for added visual appeal
- Doesn’t have an official performance certification
AmazonBasics HL-007306 – For An Inexpensive Option With Lifetime Warranty
The HL-007306 is a High-Speed cable from AmazonBasics. This is a great option if you’re looking for something that is both inexpensive and reliable. Depending on what length you’re looking for, these cables are available for as little as 7 dollars. And you can choose varying lengths, between 3 feet to 50, although performances tend to decline with longer cables.
The design of this cable can feel a bit bulky. It does however feature gold-plated connectors and a PVC jacket that is quite strong and durable. The HL-007306 is a high-speed cable with Ethernet that supports a bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps. This means it can support formats such as 4K video at 60 Hz, 48 bit/px color depth, 3D, Audio Return Channel and 2160p resolution. Also these cables are backwards compatible with all of the older versions of HDMI.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features about this cable is the lifetime warranty. AmazonBasics promises to replace your items if there are any manufacturer defects.
Bandwidth: 18 Gbps
- Has an affordable price
- Offers a lifetime warranty from Amazon
- The design can feel a bit bulky
Monster 1000HD – For Signal Boosting With Lifetime Guarantee
Monster’s 1000HD is another great addition to this list. It is one of the most expensive one listed here, but it makes up for that in terms of performances.
The 1000HD comes with a nitrogen gas-injection feature that greatly helps with signal boosting. Monster packs this feature even into cables as short as 4 feet. Sure, at that length, its performance can be matched by any cheaper ones with the same HDMI certification. But just like with headphones, it’s always wiser to buy one expensive device that will last you longer than buying several iterations of cheaper alternatives.
Monster offers an interesting lifetime guarantee on these. It promises to replace it with a newer cable if a newer technology surpasses the performance capacity of this in the future.
Bandwidth: 17.8 Gbps
- The company offers a replacement guarantee for life
- The design is futuristic and stunning
- Is more expensive than other options
Monoprice Select High-Speed – For Cable Management
The Monoprice Select not only meets every standard of a high-speed, but it is also quite affordable.
The Monoprice has been certified by HDMI as a high-speed cable. It supports a whole lot of media formats, including the likes of 4K, surround sound, 1080p, 3D and Audio Return Channel, among many more.
To construct, Monoprice has used ferrite cores and gold plated connectors at each end. This insures minimal signal interference by electromagnetic or radio frequency noise. One of the best things about these are the multiple color-choices. And no, we don’t mean just in terms of aesthetic appeal. Different colored and can vastly improve cable management. One slight issue could be that these are only VW-1 fire safety rated. That means they are not recommended for in-wall use.
To summarize, the Monoprice Select High-Speed HDMI cable is an affordable and reliable choice.
Bandwidth: 10.7 Gbps
- Has a very affordable price.
- Doesn’t compromise and works just as well as other more expensive cables
- Is available in multiple colors.
- In case of issues, it can be difficult to return
- Some users have reported their cables wearing out after a while
AudioQuest Pearl – For Long-Distance Connections
The Pearl series from AudioQuest is on our list. AudioQuest offers a whole range of expensive of premium quality. The Pearl series is the company’s most affordable line. But for most everyday household scenarios, this gets the job done.
AudioQuest’s Pearl is a high-speed cable with Ethernet. It supports most formats like 4K, Audio Return Channel, 1080p and 3D. And its build quality is premium. It contains long-grain, copper conductors, gold-plated connectors and polyethylene insulation. You simply won’t have to worry about defects when it comes to AudioQuest. And it comes with a 5-year warranty, so in case there is a defect, AudioQuest will replace it with a new one.
This comes with a CL3 fire safety rating. This means that it is safe to use in-walls. Also, another interesting feature about this is that it performs great even over long distances. Most off them lose signal performance over a distance longer than a few meters. But thanks to the Pearl’s premium build quality, it holds its performance at lengths of up to 10 meters. AudioQuest’s Pearl even has an standard speed HDMI certification for lengths exceeding 10 meters.
To summarize, the Pearl HDMI by AudioQuest is a great cable with a superb build quality that is perfect for long-distance connections.
Bandwidth: 18 Gbps
- Performance doesn’t deteriorate over long ranges
- Has a aesthetic look and a premium design
- Not as affordable as the other options
- For the price range, it isn’t particularly better than the others in terms of performances
How To Select An HDMI Cable
There are a few things you might have to consider before selecting an HDMI cable. They have been around for quite some time now. The High-definition Multimedia Interface has perhaps become the most ubiquitous, and even default standard for audio and video. Most modern displays and gadgets come with an HDMI port. One of the best thing about this is the ease with which they can be connected.
One thing to consider when purchasing one is that an expensive one isn’t always necessarily the best. You may get tempted to splash some cash when you hear buzzwords like ‘gold-plated’ or ‘nylon-braided’. But rest assured, underneath all that, the functionality is pretty much the same. As long as you stick to a reputable brand, a cheap one will do the job just as well as a more expensive variant.
So how exactly do you select an HDMI cable. Here are a few pointers:
Knowing If You Need New Cables
Perhaps the first thing you need to make sure is that you are using a new cable. Video standards are changing rapidly. Most modern devices output videos in 4k or HDR. And as of 2019, we are beginning to see the advent of 8K! So if you want to connect your TV to a modern device such as the Xbox One X, and you use old one, you will most likely get an error. And even if you don’t get an error, you are likely to get distortions in the images.
However, this problem shouldn’t be particularly difficult to recognize. If your TV accepts the input source as 4K or HDR, your cable is good. If you get an error or a distortion, you will need to purchase a new one.
So what’s with those version numbers?
When out shopping, you are most likely to notice the version numbers of the different cables. HDMI 1.4, 2.0 or 2.1. You are unlikely to see any with a version number older than 1.4.
The most ubiquitous version as of right now is the 2.0. This standard was introduced in Sep 2013. The most recent version is the 2.1, released in Nov 2017. HDMI 2.1 support the highest bandwidth, with speeds of up to 48 Gbps. And yes, they are more expensive than 2.0.
One thing you need to consider here is that the 2.1 standard is specifically intended to support the emerging 8K standard. And it could support up to 10K in the future. However for now, if you’re just looking to hook up a 4K or HDR source, the 2.0 standard should work just fine. Check for anything with a bandwidth of at least 18Gbps and you’re good to go.
The design and durability of the cables
Two important factors to consider before purchasing a cable are its design and durability. By design we don’t just mean the aesthetic appeal. One of the most important important things to check is the size and shape of the head. Make sure it is slim and most TVs and other devices have their HDMI sockets positioned quite tightly.
Durability is another factor to consider. If all your cable is going to do is sit connected behind the TV, any decent one can be expected to last a good while. But if you’re looking for a more portable option, you should consider with flexible heads that won’t tear or split from constant use. Also make sure the cable is braided and tough.
How long of a cable do you really need?
Another thing to consider could be the length. Yes, it might be tempting to get a longer one just because you think you might need it in the future. But you should know that beyond a certain length the speed and performance will drop. Hence, it is wise to get just the length you need. It is highly unlikely that you’ll be needing anything longer than a few feet to connect your TV to a satellite box, game console, Blu-ray player, media streamer or whatever else it is you’re looking to connect via HDMI. Most of this things are kept in close proximity with the TV, so you should be good with a 1m (3ft) cable.
Of course every scenario is different, and some of you might actually need longer cables. In these scenarios there are other factors to consider, for instance, build quality and the material used. But just as a rule of thumb, if you can do with a shorter cable, get a shorter one. And if you need a long one (say something over 3m or 15ft), get one from a reliable and tested brand name.
As far as the connecting materials are considered, there are currently three main technologies available:
They come with a small chip built-into the cable. What this chip does is it draws a little extra power from the terminal and uses it to boost the signal, hence preserving signal quality over longer distances. Although a passive connection may work just as well for some devices, for others it might not. Active HDMI are of course more expensive, so decide wisely.
HDMI-over-optical is another technology that works superbly over long distances. It works exactly like any optical fiber. Not only is it capable of delivering greater bandwidths than traditional ones, it can do so over long distances with virtually no diminishing of the signals. You could easily find cables of this type as long as 100m (330 ft). And if you do indeed need something that long, this is indeed the option to go with. Prices have dropped over the years and HDMI-over-optical aren’t as expensive as they used to be.
Wireless HDMI connections do exist, but they’re not recommended over long distances. The obvious advantage of course is the absence of cables. This can sometimes look ugly and be difficult to manage. But the disadvantage is that a wireless connection is highly prone to signal interference. Not only do they cost more than physical cables, they won’t perform nearly as well. So, do your research before considering a wireless connection.
We just covered a lot of factors that need consideration before you select an HDMI cable. So let us summarize everything we discussed above.
First and foremost, remember that expensive ones aren’t always necessarily the best, specially if they don’t perform any better or aren’t any more durable than a cheaper option. Just so long as you stick to a reliable brand name, you should be good.
Regarding the age, don’t get anything older than 8 years. If you’ve got a cable that’s a couple of years old, it should last you for a good few years. Also, don’t get into the HDMI 2.1 bandwagon, unless you actually want to or need to. It’s highly unlikely that’s you’ll need one, considering the bandwidth offered by these are simply overkill if all you’re looking for is a 4K connection. Anything around 18 Gbps should be good for that.
If you’re anticipate moving around a lot with your cable, you might want to consider one that has a more tough design and is hence more durable. If it’s going to stay at one place, a regular cable should work just as well. Also, mind the size of the terminals to see if they’ll fit the ports. Specially important to consider if you have devices with tightly placed ports.
So that was our article on the best HDMI cables you could buy in 2019. We reviewed a total of 8 HDMI cables and we ended the article with some of the things to consider before purchasing one of them.
We hope this article helped you reach a decision!