Using the best HDMI cables can help you get the most out of your audio-visual setup, yet not all HDMI cables are created equal.
As we move into a world where 4K displays are increasingly affordable and therefore a lot more common, and games consoles are pushing higher frame rates than ever, it can be easy to overlook the humble HDMI cable’s role in your current setup.
With HDMI 2.1 fast becoming the new standard, a cable that looks the same as the one you’ve been using for a decade or more can add a whole new set of features to your setup without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re hooking up your work laptop to a bigger screen for that all-important presentation, are looking to shield your setup against the elements, or are future-proofing for an 8K, 120Hz future, here’s our pick for the best HDMI cables of 2022.
And if you've not upgraded your AV gear yet then you may find it useful to read our best TVs and best home computers guide, or have a look at the best HDMI switchers if you want to keep your cables tidy by feeding them into just one HDMI port.
Best HDMI cables
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We've rounded up the best HDMI cables currently available to find the best one for your particular needs. While testing is still in progress for these products, we've evaluated them based on their specs and features to help demystify HDMI cables and the different functions they can perform.
Best HDMI cables
The Monoprice DynamicView Active HDMI cable, otherwise known as the Monoprice HDMI High Speed cable is an all round winner. This offers decent 4K quality streaming at 60Hz with HDR support thanks to the 18GB capacity meaning it'll handle the top end signals of most new TVs. It's also an active cable meaning it draws power from the device to boost signal over longer distances this is good for a massive 60 feet in its longest form.
The cable is built to a very high standard and comes with a lifetime warranty. Granted we'll probably have 8K TVs with actual content and need to upgrade cables in years to come but it's reassuring to know the build quality is high and this is made to last. From gaming, to TV to audio and monitor use, this cable can handle it all and with a fair price tag too.
The AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI cable is a great option for those looking to get the job done on a budget. Despite being super affordable this cable is still capable of 18GB meaning 4K image support as well as 60Hz refresh rates. This doesn't have an official HDMI certification but it is CL3 rated meaning it's made with low smoke materials to resist fire. The gold plated connectors ensure the best connectivity and long life too. That's a lot of features for the sub $10 price.
The Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ultra High Speed cable is a real modern winner. When it comes to gaming you want the fastest possible transmission of the most information along your HDMI cable. That's why you need the latest generation HDMI 2.1 standard which, in this case, offers a hefty 48GB or data meaning full 4K at 120Hz and even future-proofed 8K at 60Hz support. The braided cable makes this tough enough to be moved between consoles regularly without sustaining damage, plus you get a two year warranty. You also get Dolby Vision and HDR10 support making this great for top-end TVs, projectors and gaming monitors.
The Blue Jeans Cable company is US based and makes it cables on US soil in Kentucky, Indiana. It offers a selection with varying lengths and thicknesses but the Series-FE is ideal for simple needs. It's standard length is three feet and it's a bonded-pair meaning you get up to 18GB of data making it 4K capable. The PVC jacket and gold-plated connectors make this strong although the 30-day warranty isn't too reassuring.
The Snowkids 4K Flat HDMI 2.0 is a great option if you want a reasonably priced HDMI cable with full 4K and 3D support. This cable comes in a range of length options, with a maximum of five meters, and is flat so that it can easily fit through small gaps in your room. The cable also comes with a velcro strap so that it can be neatly wrapped up and stored away between uses.
Besides the 4K and 3D support, the cable's main feature is its incredible durability. During their testing process, Snowkids HDMI cable endured 10,000 break tests without a single break.
Due to its features and specs, the Snowkids 4K Flat HDMI 2.0 can be used on a wide range of devices, being especially suitable for gaming due to its high data transfer rate, and streaming movies and TV shows in 4K or 3D.
The 2m cable is ideal for 4K TV channels, digital signage, onboard video systems, home theaters and even medical imaging equipment.
The Zeskit Maya is a stunning cable, as HDMI cabling goes. This offers it all with a huge 48Gbps bandwidth meaning you can get 8K and 120Hz content piped down this slim cable. Thanks to a material braid, despite being slender, that cable is super robust which means it's not only tough to external cuts but is also built to withstand bending and torsion from within. The solid OHFC copper wiring makes for superb conduction while the zinc-alloy housing combine to make for very clear and high-quality signals. How it does all that while keeping the price so low is almost worrying.
The Vivify Arquus W73 is the world's first RGB-lit HDMI cable. If you are a gamer, or if you love all things RGB, then this could be a good choice for you. The RGB lighting can cycle automatically, or be set to one of the seven color options via the touch sensor. The cable is 2.7m in length, so it can easily reach monitors from behind a desk or table. This would fit in perfectly with a full RGB gaming setup and matches RGB keyboards, computer mice and cooling systems.
In addition to the stunning RGB effects, this cable also boasts some impressive specs. Weighing only 214g and having full 4K support, this remarkable cable can enable you to play your favorite video games in a resolution as you have never seen them before.
The price point is its main downfall, with the cheapest option being $89.99 on Amazon at the time of writing. If you are not interested in having RGB lighting on your HDMI cable, then a more affordable option might be best for you, but if you want a cable that lights up in beautiful colors while you play your favorite video games in 4K@60Hz then this would be our recommendation.
The Monster HDMI 4K cable is not the cheapest on this list but it's up there with the strongest and comes with a lifetime guarantee. That means, should anything go wrong with your cable, you can simply have it replaced – the company even upgrades you when tech advances and this becomes limiting to keep up with your device. You should be good for a while though as this has 4K support and thanks to a V-Grip the connection of the 24k gold ends is solid and the flexible cable is made to last too.
The iVanky HDMI 2.0 should really be called HDMI 2.0b as it's built to that more recent standard. That means it can handle 4K and HDR content to give the best possible image on your TV. So you can enjoy 48-bit deep color but it also applies to audio with support for Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel surround sound. The cable itself is shielded with braided housing to offer flexibility and resilience and there's even a Velcro strap to help keep things tidy.
The UGREEN Right-Angled HDMI Cable is a niche but potentially useful option if you want to protect your HDMI cable from bending and potentially getting damaged. Its right-angled design is a good choice if you want to place a screen against a wall or tight space that could put pressure on the cable or your HDMI port and cause it to break over time.
This cable is perfect for a wall-mounted TV, such as a wall-mounted LCD display, as the right-angle design will allow the TV to get as close to the wall as possible. Designed to be high quality and highly durable, the UGREEN Right-Angled HDMI comes with a strong PVC jacket, 30 AWG oxygen-free copper wire, and a 24K Gold-Played connector.
This right-angled HDMI comes with 4K support and universal compatibility with many popular devices such as Playstations, XBOX, and PC Monitors. It will also transfer data at a high speed, making it perfect for both gaming and watching movies/TV.
The right-angled design means that it won't be necessary or suitable for everyone, but if you have a tight space then it could be exactly what you need.
Buying advice for the best HDMI cables
How we evaluated
We spent hours researching product descriptions, manufacturer sites, HDMI.org, user reviews and anything else that you might run into on your search for an HDMI cable. Then we took our wealth of information and compiled need-to-know content for your purchase decision along with technical information not particularly helpful in your HDMI search. We only present you with the pertinent information so you can make a buying decision with confidence. We found that the best quality of an HDMI cable is its reliability. With the all-or-nothing nature of HDMI cables, the trustworthiness of the manufacturer and distributor is important. We chose the most reliable and trustworthy products to recommend so you can find the best fit for your needs at the best price.
Do you need a new HDMI cable?
If you recently invested in a shiny new 4K TV you may not need to buy new HDMI cables for 4K content. If you think you need new cables just because you’ve upgraded other aspects of your home entertainment system, we encourage you to try your cables first with the new tech. There’s a good chance that they work. If your data needs are a little more intensive or if you need brand-new cables for another reason, here’s a look at what to consider when buying a new HDMI.
Types of HDMI cables
There are several different classifications and certifications for HDMI cables. The main difference between cable types is how much data they are proven to handle. A standard HDMI 2.0 cable in 2020 can handle 4K content at 60Hz. Some high-speed HDMI 2.1 cables will carry 8K content up to 120Hz. Most people need a high-speed HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 cable to cover their needs, but there are definitely options available for every type of media connection.
Standard, high-speed, premium high-speed and ultra high speed cables can all also carry a dedicated HDMI Ethernet channel, which allows the cable to make network connections with compatible devices. This is rare, though, as most devices use other ways of connecting to networks.
What should you pay for an HDMI?
Any HDMI cable within a certain category is tested and performs at the exact same standard as every other HDMI cable in the same category. Any high-speed HDMI gives you the exact same quality as another high-speed HDMI cable. Our best advice when choosing an HDMI cable is to find the cheapest one that fits your needs. We found great high-speed HDMI cables available for less than $10 each. Thinner cables, active cables and cables with higher certifications cost much more.
HDMI cable build quality
Though cables that work will not deliver better sound or video than any other cable that works, some cables are built better than others. The build quality, we found, is the most important factor determining whether a cable will work and how long it will work. This is especially true for longer cables; a better build quality in longer cables can make a difference. We find it important to delineate here that not all expensive cables are built better than inexpensive ones. The HDMI cables we recommend are all from trusted brands that produce reliable cables. Basically, look for products with a lot of positive reviews and avoid products that cost substantially more than similar items for no apparent reason.
If you’re planning on running HDMI cables through your walls, it’s important that you check the fire-safety rating of your chosen cables. CL2 and CL3 ratings are usually recommended for in-wall use, but you should check with your insurance company or local building codes to be sure.
Active vs. Passive Cables
All of the HDMI cables we reviewed are passive cables, meaning they are bi-directional and act simply as a pipeline to transfer data between devices. Some HDMI cables are active cables, meaning they include extra tech to ensure high-speed quality over longer distances or with thinner cables. They are directional cables that boost signals and usually require some sort of power source. Active cables aren’t really necessary for shorter lengths unless your setup requires your HDMI to be more flexible than is typical.
Will my TV support HDMI 2.1?
Well, that depends on the TV. While many modern TVs still don't come with an HDMI 2.1 port as standard (newer LG OLED models are starting to include them, as do the latest range of Samsung QLEDs), it certainly will become more widespread in the next few years as 8K becomes increasingly popular. We suggest checking for an HDMI 2.1 slot if you're buying a new TV that you expect to have for the next 5+ years. If it's just a mid-priced model, and you're not worried about future-proofing, it certainly isn't a deal-breaker.