The AudioQuest Pearl is one of the finest HDMI leads we have tested. You can get many different grades of cable from audio quest, which use progressively higher-quality materials and cost progressively more as you upgrade. However, as with many of the best HDMI cables (opens in new tab), you don't need to spend a load of money to get a perfect quality signal for your TV or computer. So, for most people, the cheapest model in the AudioQuest line-up, the Pearl series, is more than enough. While it isn't quite as accomplished as the Onyx High Speed HDMI, which is probably the best for long-running, thanks to its durability, the AudioQuest Pearl is great for anyone looking to connect cables over a distance of more than two meters, as this plays to its strengths.
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. If you need a cable shorter than 15 feet, we recommend the Monoprice Select (opens in new tab) or AmazonBasics HDMI (opens in new tab) cables instead. It's unlikely you'd need a longer HDMI for something like a home computer (opens in new tab) set-up, but you may need it for a TV.
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.
The Pearl provides support for 3D and 4K resolution, which is standard in most modern HDMIs. 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 supports uncompressed sound formats, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. This is ideal for all the best TVs (opens in new tab) right now.
In order to get a braided cable, you'll have to step up to one of AudioQuest's even more expensive HDMI leads, and this can start to hurt your wallet. Braiding can significantly extend a cable's expected lifespan, and also prevents the cable from tangling when you store it, so decide whether or not this is important for you. If it's a fixed connection, and you're not planning to run it through too many tight spaces, the regular Pearl is fine.
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 ten 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.
Should you buy the AudioQuest Pearl HDMI?
The AudioQuest Pearl is an impressive HDMI cable from first glance, and it performs well in the long-run too. The cable's great build quality makes it a solid option for long-distance connections, and you can expect the Pearl to last for years before failing. It is more expensive than some competitors, and it isn't as tough as a braided HDMI, but for medium and long-distance connections, it's tough to beat.