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HDMI cables are not all the same when it comes to how fast they can transmit a signal. But the good news is, just like with the older cables, you still won’t have to spend a lot to get up to speed. Here’s our breakdown of what to know about buying the best high-speed HDMI cables for you and your home or office.
High-Speed HDMI Cable Buying Guide
Consider the cable length, bandwidth and these other must-have features.
Data Transfer and Resolution: Back in the early days of HDMI, version 1.0 up to 1.4b, HDMI cables were limited in the amount of gigabits per second, about 4Gbps-8Gbps — even the ones labeled as “high speed” or “fiber.” While they could handle 720p and 1080p with ease, 4K is where they started to have trouble, and 8K just wasn’t happening at all. Nowadays though, with an ultra high-speed HDMI cable, everything is on the table. From 720p all the way up through 8K and 10K, these cables carry a signal clearly, even over long distances.
Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to how much data a cable is able to send. If it has enough capability to handle the signal, you’ll see a clear and crisp quality on the screen. If not, the image can cut out, or worse, not show up at all. Older cables that were produced during the 720p era were designed to handle around 1Gbps, while the newer 8K-friendly ones can take on almost 50.
Length: It may not seem like this matters much, but it does for a couple reasons: For signals being transmitted at super speeds, having a long cable can affect the quality of 4K HDR. This is where a fiber cable really shines, and may be worth the extra cash.
However, it’s still the early days of 8K. While it looks dazzling, and it’s definitely going to become the standard eventually, it’s still a few years out. That being said, if you want to experience it or make your setup future-proof, a high-speed HDMI cable is an affordable piece to add right now. Here are a few of the best options to purchase.
1. EZQuest Ultra HD High-Speed HDMI Cable
EZQuest’s multi-layered cable can handle 48Gbps, refresh rates up to 120Hz at 8K and even 10K at 10240×4320 resolution.
The high-purity, oxygen-free copper wiring inside is surrounded by mylar shielding, wrapped in aluminum and copper mesh, with a PVC shell, nylon braiding and 24K gold-plated ends. The result is a strong signal, without interference or interruptions, and the best one we tried. Everything is supported, including 3D video, eARC and HDCP.
2. Monoprice HDMI High-Speed Active Cable
If you’re sticking with 4K for the foreseeable future, Monoprice’s high-speed HDMI cable will do just fine. The company has been a reliable source for AV equipment for 20 years, and this delivers 4K at 60Hz even over 50-foot distances. Colors come through clearly, and UHD resolution is supported, as is 3D video, at 18Gbps.
3. Highwings Slim High-Speed HDMI Cable
At 48Gbps (compared to 18Gbps on the 4K cables), this cable is a step up from the V2.0 HDMI models, supporting 8K at 60Hz, while still being backwards compatible all the way to V1.1.
The aluminum shell and nylon braiding gives it an extra layer of durability, plus this supports eARC and HDR. It even works with PS5 as well as 8K Blu-Ray and everything else in your media setup.
4. Amazon Basics Fiber Optic HDMI Cable
This Amazon Basics cable gets the job done without unnecessary extras. This comes in lengths up to 300 feet, and carries a signal up to 18Gbps, with 4K UHD video supported at 60Hz/2160p.
The cable itself feels flexible and strong enough to run long distances (though fiber is delicate, so be careful), with gold plating and zinc alloy housing. It works with everything from gaming consoles to a Fire TV and even computers.