In theory, any High-Speed HDMI cable should deliver your UHD/4K content with sparkling efficiency. In reality, however, all HDMI cables are not created equal. If you tested a half dozen high-speed HDMI cables one after the other on a true HD system you’d probably find little, if any, the difference at first between the picture one produced and what any of the others produced. Things change however when that cable gets longer, when you plug and unplug the cables on a fairly regular basis, and when the cables begin to age. The best HDMI cables will stand up to the test of time, won’t break down due to repeated plugging/unplugging and will transmit just as well over 10 feet as they do over 3 feet. With those facts in mind, we present the best HDMI cables on the market today.
The Best HDMI Cables
The AmazonBasics high-speed HDMI cable is a no-nonsense cable that is durable, reliable, compatible with all UHD-ready devices and meets all current HDMI standards. It will handle up to 18 Gbit/s which is more than enough to render your 4K content with perfect clarity. If you plug and unplug your devices regularly you’ll be glad to know the AmazonBasics HDMI cable uses gold-plated connectors that won’t wear down over time. The build quality of the cable also ensures that those connectors or their housings won’t come loose or break off like they can with other cables. You can find more expensive HDMI cables out there but it would be difficult to justify them when you can get everything you need (plus a lifetime warranty) with this simple, effective high-speed HDMI cable. Be sure to also check out our list of the best USB C cables for more great items like this.
18 Gbit per second.
Perfect for HDTV or HDR.
Compatible with all major 4K-enabled devices.
- Weight2.88 ounces
Backward compatible with previous HDMI standards.
Compatible with all HDMI enabled devices.
Comes with standard AmazonBasics lifetime warranty.
None worth mentioning.
The SecurOMax 10’ HDMI cable will deliver your 4K or standard HD content from source to screen without skipping a beat. No loose connectors undermining performance or copper clad aluminum cables hiding inside. Just pure, smooth high speed content delivery with 24K gold plating where HDMI connector meets device and oxygen-free 100% 28AWG copper cables. Play your 4K 2160p, 1080p full HD, 3D or any other resolution-intensive content with confidence with the SecurOMax 10’ HDMI Cable. Perfect for those instances when source and TV are separated by non-standard distances.
HDMI 2.0 for 4K HDTV, Blu-ray and more.
28AWG copper wire.
Compatible with all HD, HDR devices.
Lifetime replacement guarantee.
Length 10 feet.
- Weight9 ounces
28AWG means greater configuration flexibility.
The gold-plated connectors ensure longer life.
Ideal for situations where the source and the TV are separated.
10 feet is a long HDMI cable for 28AWG.
The Atevon 18 Gbit/s HDMI 2.0 Cable is the perfect transmitter of all your 4K, HD, 3D and Blu-ray content. The Atevon High Speed Cable delivers crystal clear Dolby TrueHD sound, 32 channel audio and flawless 4K imagery via its braided 28AWG cord. You’ll enjoy pictures as sharp as nature and theater quality audio right in your living room with this 6 foot HDMI 2.0 cable. Inside are multiple strands of 28 gauge oxygen-free copper wire that can accommodate up to 18 Gbit/s. The zinc-alloy shell around the copper provides a high level of shielding from outside interference and the nylon sheathing is attractive and durable. Our handy guide to the best lightning cables features more great products like this.
HDMI 2.0 18 Gbit/s.
Perfect for all your UHD 4K content.
Triple shielding nullifies outside interference.
Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD.
- Weight4 ounces
24K gold-plated connectors ensure long life.
18 Gbit/s enables proper play for all your HD content.
The cable itself is handsome and durable.
Unconditional lifetime warranty.
Need to make sure it’s hooked up securely at all times.
Cable Matters High Speed HDMI Cables are not going to blow you away with their design. Frankly, they look a bit cheap. Thankfully, with HDMI cables all that matters is if they are well-built and truly ‘high speed’. And these cables meet both of those criteria. They’ll deliver beautiful 4K clarity (assuming of course that the other components of your system are also 4K compatible), 32 channel audio and are the perfect cable for tightly packed entertainment centers where you don’t want coils of needlessly long cable getting in the way. The 3’ length also means there’s no chance that distance is going to compromise performance.
Compatible with all HD and UHD content.
Blu-ray, 4K TV, XBox One, Play Station and more.
Perfect for high-def gaming and 3D content.
- BrandCable Matters
- Weight6.1 ounces
The color-coding is a handy thing to have.
High flexibility makes them ideal for tight spots.
Gold-plated HDMI connectors ensure long life.
A bit fragile. Handle with care.
Syncwire HDMI 2.0 cables are handsome, effective HDMI cables with gold-plated connectors and triple-braided copper shielding to ward off interference. The cable is flexible and durable (not necessarily qualities that always go together) and is compatible with all your HD and UHD devices including Blu-ray, XBox One, 3D, 4K cable TV and more. It will deliver flawless 48 bit color depth, 32 channel audio and is ideal for high-def, 3D gaming or enjoying your favorite 4K streaming content. The oxygen-free copper strands and the gold-plated connectors ensure long, effective life and the 3 year replacement guarantee makes the Syncwire HDMI cable a no-lose proposition. Love this product? Check out our review of the best AUX cables for our top picks.
Enables Dolby TrueHD 32 channel audio.
4K, 3D, Standard HD and HD streaming.
18 Gbit/s Syncwire enables simultaneous streams.
Triple braided copper shielding.
- Weight4.8 ounces
Ideal for streaming content from computer to TV monitor.
Built to withstand constant bending, plugging/unplugging.
24 hour customer service and 3 year replacement guarantee.
Well-built and affordable cables for your 4K content.
You’ll have to trust them on the 3,000 bends claim.
At 8 feet in length some might consider the iBirdie High Speed HDMI Cable to be too long to ensure ideal performance. But they’d be wrong. That’s because iBirdie has fashioned their 8 foot HDMI cable from robust 26AWG copper wires instead of the more common (and less reliable over long distances) 28AWG. As such you have greater flexibility when it comes to setting up your entertainment system because you don’t have to ensure all your source devices are within an arm’s length of the screen. Beyond that the cable is well-built, has a nice modern air about it and gold-plated connectors that will ensure longevity.
For UHD 4K video and 32 channel audio.
Compatible with full range of UHD devices.
More robust 26 gauge copper wires.
Great for UHD 3D gaming.
- Weight6.4 ounces
Good to have a long HDMI cable you can rely on.
Will accommodate all UHD, HD, 3D, high-def streaming and more.
32 channel audio is clear as a mountain stream.
Cost a little more than some other HDMI cables.
Monoprice High Speed HDMI Cables are sharp looking, flexible and effective. They’re a good match for entertainment centers that occupy tight spaces because they won’t leave lots of unused coiled-up cable lying around. They’ll deliver your 4K, UHD, HD, 3D, high-def streaming and the latest video games without incident and with perfect clarity. You’ll also enjoy theater quality audio with 32 channels of sound and the triple-shield 36AWG copper wires won’t pick up interference from other sources. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best microSD cards.
Ideal for all your 4K content.
Compatible with XBox, Blu-ray, PS4, 4K cable and more.
Supports 32 channel audio, ARC, CEC.
- Weight1.12 ounces
A good cable when space is at a premium.
Triple shielded cables stave off interference.
Comes with a full lifetime warranty.
36AWG not much good beyond 3 feet.
This Belkin UHD High Speed HDMI Cable is thin and flexible and ideal for standard entertainment center setups where all devices are in close proximity. The cable will accommodate up to 48 Gbit/s, provides clear, resistance-free transmission for all the latest 4K, HD and 3D content as well as high-def streaming and the newest XBox and Play Station games. The 28AWG copper cables are double shielded to prevent interference and are ready to plug and play right out of the package. Watch Apple TV, the latest 4K cable or stream UHD content from your laptop with the Belkin UHD High Speed HDMI Cable.
Compatible with a full range of UHD devices.
Supports HDR 10.
Transfer rates up to 48 Gbit/s.
2 meters (6.6 feet) in length.
- Weight3.68 ounces
Provides a nice snug connection every time.
Thinner construction makes them more flexible than some other cables.
Provides error free transfer of all you 4K content to the screen.
From a reliable manufacturer of electronic components.
The last item on our list of best HDMI cables is this outstanding product from iVanky. This HDMI 2.0 cable has tin-plated metal shielding that prevents interference from external devices, accommodates up to 18 Gbit/s of data, has gold-plated connectors that ensure a snug fit and long term viability and is compatible with all preceding HDMI devices and standards. While 30AWG wire is not going to cut it over long distances for the short 6.6 foot length of this cable it’s fine. The iVanky HDMI 2.0 cable will also provide an ideal vehicle for your 32 channel audio. If you’re looking for an affordable HDMI cable to transfer your 4K content from source to screen the iVanky HDMI 2.0 cable should be high on your list. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best external hard drives.
Robust support for Dolby TrueHD audio.
Compatible with all 4K UHD source devices.
Gold-plated connectors ensure long-term viability.
30AWG oxygen free copper wire.
- Weight0.8 ounces
Does a great job delivering every detail of your Dolby TrueHD audio.
The thinner (30AWG) copper wire means more flexibility.
PVC outer jacket and gold plated connectors ensure longevity.
Extremely affordable for such a well-built cable.
30AWG copper wire is more flexible but also more fragile.
HDMI Cable Buying Guide & FAQs
How We Chose Our Selection of HDMI Cables
Brand – While one particular brand of automobile may be far superior to another in every objective way that’s not necessarily that case when it comes to HDMI cables. The important things as we’ll see below are the length/gauge relationship and whether the cable is “high speed” or not.
Reviews – For some reason discussion about HDMI cables tends to veer toward the strident. Reviewers seem intent in many instances to make their case that this manufacturer or that is trying to rip you off via false claims. Why, HDMI cables attract such heated reviews is a bit of a mystery. But it doesn’t matter a whole lot since we make up our own minds anyway.
Quality – The science of HDMI cables is pretty straightforward so a cheap high speed HDMI cable will, at least at first, likely deliver a picture that is every bit as clear and crisp as a more expensive cable. Where quality tends to come into play is in cable length (thinner, cheaper cables aren’t going to deliver over longer distances) connector material (gold plated will typically hold up longer) and fabrication (the connectors on some cheap cables tend to fall apart if you look at them the wrong way). We take all aspects of quality into consideration when making our choices for best HDMI cables.
Features To Look For In HDMI Cables
While all high speed HDMI cables should, in theory, start off producing nearly identical results things can start to break down when cables get longer or are repeatedly plugged and unplugged. As such it pays to keep an eye on what goes into the making of a particular cable. Here are some of the things you’ll want to consider before purchasing an HDMI cable.
Cable Material – HDMI cables are composed of several strands of copper wire bundled together and wrapped in a casing. In this sense they’re all pretty much the same. What can impact performance is the gauge of those wires. 28AWG (American Wire Gauge) wires are pretty thin and while they’ll do a fine job delivering HD content from the Blu-ray player to the HDTV 2-6 feet away there’s likely to be signal degradation in a 10’ long HDMI cable made from 28AWG. If you need a longer cable you’ll want something that is 26 or even 24AWG (smaller number = thicker wire). A 24AWG cable will deliver a nice clear signal twice as far as a 28AWG wire will.
Length – For most people their Blu-ray or cable box is in close proximity to their HDTV. So they aren’t going to need an HDMI cable that’s more than a few feet long at most. However, as we have just seen above, if you need a long HDMI cable of say 8 to 10 feet you’re going to have to make sure that it’s 26 or even 24AWG because a thinner cable that may be fine for 2 or 3 feet isn’t going to deliver over a distance of 8 or 10 feet.
Connector material – The newest, fanciest HDMI cables have gold-plated connectors. These don’t necessarily produce a sharper picture right out of the box but they often do help prevent signal degradation that can occur after repeated plugging and unplugging of a device. So while you won’t necessarily see any difference in picture quality when you first start using your gold plated connectors, if you’re paying attention you may notice a year or two down the line that the picture quality is still as sharp as the first day you plugged the cables in.
Resolution – The original HDMI 1 cables were able to transmit 4.95 Gbit/s which was good enough for 720p, 1080i resolution. Today’s high speed HDMI cables can handle 48 Gbit/s and will deliver true 4K resolution provided all components of your delivery system are also HD components.
HDMI Cable FAQs
Q: Do I need a special HDMI for 4k?
A: If you are upgrading to a 4K TV it’s going to require that you rethink all the components of your delivery system as well. Because if any part of the source/cable/TV transmission chain is not 4K compliant there will be no 4K content on the screen. While you likely don’t need the absolute latest version of HDMI cables in order to play 4K content we would ask this: What’s the point of buying old technology just because it’s “good enough”? What happens when even higher resolution content comes down the pike? It’s best to simply pick up the best cables you can get now. That way you’re good to go today and next year and probably the year after that as well.
Q: Are more expensive HDMI cables really better?
A: While the old adage “you get what you pay for” applies with about 99% of all items HDMI cables might be one notable exception, at least from a performance standpoint. Performance wise you should never judge a cable strictly by its price but rather by its rating. And with HDMI cables there are really only 2 ratings. The original HDMI 1 cables were rated to handle 720p, 1080i content. By HDMI 1.3 bandwidth capability was more than doubled to 10 Gigabits per second and these got the designation “High Speed”. The newest HDMI cables are more efficient and so can handle lots more data. But if your cable is designated “High Speed” it should be compatible with 4K video regardless of what you paid for it. Where the price difference may come into play is durability. So your more expensive cable may last longer but it won’t deliver a better picture.
Q: Do Gold HDMI cables make a difference?
A: First of all when we mention gold we’re referencing HDMI connectors, not cables. That said, copper connectors do just as good a job as gold when it comes to conductivity. Where the two may converge and where gold likely provides a small advantage is in longevity. In time copper connectors will oxidize and that will decrease their conductivity, (same with aluminum), while gold will not. So any benefit you see from gold connectors will be a long-term, rather than an immediate, benefit.
Q: Will an HDMI cable improve picture quality?
A: If you are currently using old-fashioned component cables (those red, green and blue cables) you should, without a doubt, switch to HDMI if you want clearer pictures. Switching from RGB cables to HDMI is one of the simplest and most effective upgrades you can make that will have a positive effect on the quality of your picture. It shouldn’t cost more than about 10 or 15 bucks and the difference will be substantial.
Q: How can I improve picture quality on my TV?
A: Switching from component cables to HDMI is the easiest but not the only way to improve your picture quality. We touched on this point earlier but it bears repeating. If you’ve purchased a UHDTV and are using HDMI cables and still feel like you’re not getting a UHD picture it’s likely because some component of the delivery chain is not UHD. If you didn’t upgrade your cable package, for instance, no TV in the world is going to transform your SD content into UHD. If you’re still using standard DVDs you’re probably not going to see much difference on your new UHDTV. Try Blu-ray instead. At the end of the day you need a UHD source to see UHD images on your UHDTV.