You can get eight different models of HDMI cable from AudioQuest that use progressively higher-quality materials. As you can imagine, each of those models also gets progressively more expensive. For most people, the cheapest model, the Pearl series, is more than enough. This is the best HDMI cable for long runs on our lineup.
The AudioQuest Pearl is CL3 safety certified for in-wall installation. This is excellent for long runs and the main reason for paying a premium for an HDMI cable. The cable is also RoHS certified, which verifies that it does not contain hazardous substances like lead. Not only does RoHS certification ensure you aren't bringing dangerous products into your home, it also helps prevent hazardous substances from harming the environment.
This isn't the most affordable HDMI cable on the market, but it's not the most expensive either. What you get is a well-designed cable that's overkill for short distances but can be great for long runs.
The Pearl has gold-plated terminals. Most cables use gold-plated connectors because gold has a high conductivity property and better resistance to corrosion than silver and copper. Corrosion reduces the metals' conductivity, which can be a real problem in cables over time.
HDMI Licensing LLC has certified the Pearl as High-Speed with Ethernet, which means it meets the minimum bandwidth requirement of 10.2 Gbps and provides support for at least a 1080p screen resolution. The Pearl provides support for 3D and 4K resolution. The cable's Ethernet component provides an internet connection to devices that are equipped with HDMI with Ethernet technology.
The cable supports standard 8-bit RGB (red, green and blue) and the 16-bit deep color modes. It also supports advanced color spaces, including sYCC601 and Adobe YCC601. It works with compressed digital audio, such as Dolby Digital and DTS (Digital Theater System), and also support uncompressed sound formats, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
In order to get a braided cable, you'll have to step up to one of AudioQuest's even more expensive HDMI cables. This is unfortunate, because braiding can significantly extend a cables expected lifespan. It also prevents the cable from tangling when you store it.
AudioQuest provides the High-Speed Pearl with Ethernet in eight different lengths, from 0.6 meters (1 foot 11 inches) to 10 meters (32 feet 9 inches). You can get even longer versions, up to 20 meters (65 feet), but they don't perform as well. Beyond 10 meters, the cables are reduced to Standard Speed certification.
AudioQuest provides a five-year warranty for the Pearl. This is a generous amount of time, but it pales in comparison to the lifetime warranties that some other manufacturers provide. Still, five years is enough time to notice any factory defects and get a replacement. Should you need to contact AudioQuest's support team, you can do so through email, live chat or phone. You can also read the FAQs if you want quick answers.
The AudioQuest Pearl is an impressive HDMI cable from first glance. It definitely doesn't look like every other HDMI cable on the market. Happily, the Pearl has more than just good looks. The cable's great build quality makes it a solid option for long-distance connections. You can expect the Pearl to last for a long time.