Remember that tangled web of cords that used to connect device audio and video to displays? Fortunately, the HDMI cables got rid of the the clutter and are now an essential piece of equipment, whether your setup is basic or rivals a professional theater. Most HDMI cables can work with computers, televisions, game systems, Blu-ray players, and other devices.

However, you’ll need a cable with the right specs for your devices and media. The best HDMI cables have the technology for the bandwidth and volume of information transferred by your devices, whether that’s 720p or 8K. The right cable will reduce latency and take advantage of device technology and the internet speeds for which you’ve paid.

Best Overall: PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable
Best for Gaming: Anker 8K@60Hz HDMI Cable
Best 8K: Zeskit Maya Certified Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
Best Long Cable: Postta HDMI Cable
Best Budget: AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable

How We Chose the Best HDMI Cables

Methodology

In researching HDMI cables on the market, we considered a range of factors:

HDMI Technology: HDMI 2.0 and 2.1 are the numbers most people need to keep an eye on, especially if you recently updated your TV or monitor. Most people don’t need HDMI 2.1 unless you stay at the front of the latest tech.

Backward Compatibility: Many people have a mix of devices, ranging from the old to the very, very new. Backwards-compatible cables work with devices of all (most) ages.

Bandwidth/Speed: This is the most important consideration. We looked for cables that could handle 18Gbps or higher.

Length Options: Setups vary, and models that come in many lengths get bonus points from us.

Related: The Best Budget Gaming Monitors of 2022

The Best HDMI Cables: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable

Why It Made The Cut: The PowerBear is the best HDMI cable overall because it offers 18Gbps of bandwith, excellent performance for 4K devices, and a highly-durable braided exterior.

Specs:
— Length: 10ft
— Gbps: 18
— Protective Material Design: Braided
— Price: $7.64

Pros:
— Backward compatible with HDMI 1.3, 1.4, 2.0, and 2.0a
— Flexible, durable braided exterior
— CL3 rated

Cons:
— Connector weak point
— Increased latency in lengths over 10 feet

The PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable comes with a braided protective covering and impressive performance in the ten-foot length and under cables. In addition, it’s CL3 rated for in-ceiling or wall installations, too.

Compatible with 4K video at 60Hz and earlier technologies, the PowerBear provides excellent viewing for some of the most common devices, such as 4K televisions, game systems, and Blu-ray players. The triple-layer braided cover is flexible for setups that require going around furniture or other items.

However, in the lengths over ten feet, there can be some latency issues, especially with 4K devices and media. A small number of these cables also have connector problems in setups where the cable is frequently unplugged.

Best HDMI Cable for Gaming: Anker 8K@60Hz HDMI Cable

Why It Made The Cut: This Anker cable is the best HDMI cable for gaming because it can take top speeds for 8K technology while making easy work of 4K graphics-heavy gaming.

Specs:
— Length: 6.6 feet
— Gbps: 48
— Protective Material Design: Braided
— Price: $24.99

Pros:
— Supports 8K at 60Hz and HDMI 2.1
— Certified by third party as an ultra-high speed HDMI cable
— Includes variable refresh rate and quick media switching to reduce latency

Cons:
— Pricey for an HDMI cable

Gamers, this is your HDMI cable. The Anker HDMI cable has the latest 8K technology so that anything inferior, including UHD 4K, works beautifully. It also features variable refresh rate and quick media switching technology to reduce (or eliminate) latency, frame tearing, and jittery images. This cable is also specifically designed to work with the latest Xbox-, PS-, and HDMI 2.1-capable devices. A braided protective covering increases the durability and adds some flexibility for easier setup.

This cable is also third-party certified. HDMI cables don’t have to be certified, but a third independent party certification means that it’s been put to the test and lives up to the manufacturer’s claims.

There’s not a lot of bad things to say about this cable other than it’s expensive for an HDMI cable.

Best 8K HDMI Cable: Zeskit Maya Certified Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable

Why It Made The Cut: Solid copper conductors, a braided exterior, and a uni-body connector make the Zeskit incredibly powerful and durable for heavy 8K use.

Specs:
— Length: 6.5 feet
— Gbps: 48
— Protective Material Design: Braided
— Price: $19.99

Pros:
— Single-piece connector increases durability and conduction
— OFHC copper interior
— Third-party testing

Cons:
— Limited lengths available

The Zeskit HDMI cable, the best 8k HDMI cable is made with premium materials, like the highly conductive OFHC copper used to transfer signals. Rather than combining several copper strands, this model has a solid conductor wire that improves conductivity and reduces latency. The Zeskit works with 8K devices and provides 48Gbps and is compatible with Apple TV 4K, Fire TV, Roku, PlayStation, Blu-ray, and more.

It’s also a third-party-certified Ultra High Speed HDMI cable, meaning it’s been tested and found to meet the advertised specs. A braided protective covering also provides added durability and setup flexibility. With support for variable refresh rate and quick media switching, it works well for TVs and intense games on the latest game systems.

However, as an 8K cable, it comes in limited lengths to prevent signal degradation.

Best Long Cable: Postta HDMI Cable

Why It Made The Cut: The Postta HDMI cable contains a built-in signal booster and gold-plated connectors to reduce latency in long lengths.

Specs:
— Length: 75 feet
— Gbps: 18
— Protective Material Design: PVC
— Price: $51.99

Pros:
— CL3 rated
— Built-in (directional) signal booster
— Durable PVC protective covering

Cons:
— Fragile connectors
— Directional (one way)

The Possta HDMI cable provides 75 feet of reach and works with PlayStation 3 and 4, XBox 360, and Blu-Ray players. A built-in signal booster, located in the center of the cable, prevents signal degradation. It’s also CL3 rated for in-wall installations.  A PVC covering offers durable protection, even when installed in a wall.

However, before installation, be sure to test the setup. As a directional cable, the correct connector must be in the source with the other end in the display. On the downside, the Possta has somewhat fragile connectors. Their gold plating improves conductivity, but if they’re unplugged often, they can come loose.

Best Budget: AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable

Why It Made The Cut: Save a few dollars with the Amazon HDMI cable and still get 8K and 48Gbps, as long as the length from the source to the display is within ten feet.

Specs:
— Length: 6 feet
— Gbps: 48
— Protective Material Design: PVC
— Price: $7.79

Pros:
— Provides 8K at 60Hz
— Low price and free Prime shipping
— Compatible with previous technology

Cons:
— Stiff
— Limited lengths available

This Amazon HDMI cable supports 8K at 60Hz and 4K at 120Hz, making it a great choice for the latest televisions or gaming systems. It’s still compatible with previous technologies, so even if you’re not on the cusp of the latest technology, it will work.

There aren’t any flashy design features like gold-plated connectors or a braided covering. However, it meets the claimed specs and speeds. If you’re a Amazon Prime member, you can also get free shipping. The not-so-great part is that the cable is stiff, making it tough to use in setups with furniture or other obstacles. It also comes in limited lengths, with ten feet being the longest.

Things to Consider Before Buying an HDMI Cable

Bandwidth/Speed

Your speed or bandwidth makes all the difference in media viewing. The HDMI cable has to be as fast as the equipment and media sources used. For example, a 4K HDMI cable cannot transfer enough data for an 8K television or monitor. In this case, you’d need an 8K HDMI cable capable of 48Gbps to prevent latency and provide the 8K experience.

HDMI cable speeds are measured as gigabits per second (Gbps). However, HDMI cables are put into four broad categories by speed, making it easier to determine which type you need:

  • Standard HDMI: These cables support HD video in 720p and 1080i (and sometimes 1080p but don’t count on it) resolutions. Standard HDMI cables work with standard Blu-ray players, game consoles, streaming media players, and DVD players. But if you own or will be buying a 4K UHD TV or similar device in the near future, a standard HDMI cable won’t cut it.
  • High-Speed HDMI: A high-speed HDMI cable works with content up to 4K at 30Hz. That includes 1080p HD, 3D video, and deep color. It can also handle static HDR. However, if you have or want Dolby Vision HDR, this type of cable can’t handle the data, so you’ll need one with more speed.
  • Premium Speed HDMI: Premium speed HDMI cables work for 4K UHD and everything slower. It supports 4K resolutions up to 60Hz and all HDR.
  • Ultra High-Speed HDMI: For everyone who’s already jumped on the 8K bandwagon, this is your cable. This cable will last for years to come since most tech companies are barely tiptoeing into 8K territory.

Cable Length

In an ideal setup, you’d have the shortest possible cable to prevent signal degradation. However, that’s not usually how it works in the real world because of furniture design and outlet availability. Signals start to degrade after about 25 feet, depending on the cable quality. Extras like a built-in signal booster can help with setups where you need a longer cable.

As a general rule of thumb, get an HDMI cable that’s long enough for your setup with a little extra length in case you move the equipment later on. It’s especially important to get a long enough cable if it is installed in the ceiling or wall, where it’s difficult to access later on.

Installation

HDMI cables that are run through the ceiling or wall must have a rating of CL2 or CL3. These cables can come into contact with construction materials like nails and screws without sustaining damage to the protective covering. Accidental contact with these materials can wear through an unapproved HDMI cable’s protective layer and pose a fire hazard.

FAQs

Q: Does it matter which HDMI cable I use?
It does matter which HDMI cable you use. You need a cable that can handle the speeds of your equipment and media. For example, a standard cable connected to a 4K TV will produce a degraded signal, losing the quality that your equipment and media offer. The cable needs to match the speed and technology of the setup.

Q: Are braided HDMI cables better?
Braided HDMI cables are better in certain situations. A braided covering offers more flexibility, allowing the cable to bend around furniture or get rolled for storage. But for a setup where the cable will stay in place, a standard cable will work.

Q: What is the difference between 2.0 and 2.1 HDMI cables?
HDMI 2.0 cables have an 18Gbps maximum capacity, while HDMI 2.1 cables can handle 48Gbps. The latter transfers more information, meaning better resolutions and frame rates for devices with the technology to match.

Q: How do I choose an HDMI cable?
Choose an HDMI cable that’s rated for the kind of equipment and media you use. If you have a 4K UHD TV, you’ll need a premium-speed HDMI cable, for example. You also have to consider the length. Shorter lengths prevent signal degradation. Try to stay under 25 feet. If you have to go farther than 25 feet, look for a cable with a signal booster to keep resolution and frame rates up.

Q: What is the fastest HDMI cable?
Ultra-high speed HDMI cables designed for 8K devices are the fastest cables currently on the market. There aren’t many TVs, monitors, or game consoles that take advantage of this technology yet. However, if you’re prepping for the future, an 8K HDMI cable will take you there.

Q: How much does an HDMI cable cost?
Cost depends on the cable speed and length. A six-foot, standard HDMI cable may cost less than $10, while a 12-foot ultra-high speed HDMI cable may cost $30 or more.

Related: Get it all done with the best laptops of 2022.

Final Thoughts on the Best HDMI Cables

The PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable provides excellent quality and speeds for 4K technology, which is what most of us have. Unless you’re sporting a new 8K monitor or TV, it has more than enough capacity for smooth viewing and most gaming. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable works for 8K technology, as long as your setup is a short distance without many curves.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.
 


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