If you have upgraded to the latest generation gaming console, are buying a new 4K or 8K TV, or simply need an eARC-capable HDMI cable for your home theater setup, there are tons of options on the market. But if you are not sure which HDMI cable is suitable for you, we can help.
Although multiple HDMI spec updates have arrived since its debut in 2002, you only need to think about HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 right now. Of course, for most HD and full-HD sources, even older generation cables, like HDMI 1.3 and HDMI 1.4, will work just fine. Still, HDMI 2.0 cables are pretty cheap these days, and they have enough bandwidth to support any reasonable upgrades you make in the foreseeable future. So we suggest going for HDMI 2.0 instead of HDMI 1.3 or 1.4. Of course, if you can spare the extra dollar, getting HDMI 2.1 ensures you have more room to play with in the future.
Here’s a quick look at the capabilities of the two types of HDMI cables that we are recommending below.
- HDMI 2.1: 48Gbps bandwidth, supports 4K at 120Hz, 8K at 60Hz, 10K at 30Hz, Dynamic HDR for specifying HDR metadata, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel).
- HDMI 2.0: 18Gbps bandwidth, supports 1080p at 240Hz, 1440p at 144Hz, 4K at 60Hz, 24-bit color depth at 4K resolution, up to 32 audio channels, and ARC. HDR support added in HDMI 2.0a and Hybrid Log-Gamma in HDMI 2.0b.
You can read our explainer on various HDMI generations and connectors for more information.
Best HDMI 2.1 Cables
You need an HDMI 2.1 cable to connect your console or gaming PC to a TV for [email protected] gaming or even [email protected] gaming. HDMI 2.1 cables are also used to send audio back to your soundbar or speaker setup using eARC.
The Monoprice HDMI 2.1 cable is an excellent option. It doesn’t cost a lot, and you can buy it in three-feet, six-feet, 10-feet, and 15-feet sizes. The cable will work great for [email protected] gaming and eARC.
AmazonBasics stuff is often hit-or-miss, but this HDMI 2.1 cable from the Amazon brand is quite good. You can buy it in three, six, and 10 feet sizes and get three color options.
If you need an HDMI 2.1 cable with the connector bent at 270-degree, this is an excellent option from Cable Matters. It comes in 6.6 feet size and silver color. The cable will come in handy for use in narrow spaces.
Apart from its excellent 270-degree cable, Cable Matters also offers this 90-degree option. It’s available in a single 6.6 feet size and silver color option. The cable will be handy for wall mount TVs.
Anker makes some of the best mobile accessories, and this HDMI cable is no exception. It’s fully compatible with HDMI 2.1 spec and comes in a single 6.6 feet size.
This Ugreen cable is another good HDMI 2.1-compatible option on the market. You can buy it in four sizes — three feet, six feet, 10 feet, and 16 feet — but there is just one color option.
If you need a longer HDMI 2.1 cable, Cable Matters offer this fiber optical HDMI cable that ensures the signal reaches its destination without issues. It’s 32.8 feet or 10 meters in size.
If you don’t like any of the other brands, Spigen also sells an HDMI 2.1 cable. It isn’t as affordable as some of our other recommendations, but it comes with a 24-month warranty.
This StarTech.com HDMI 2.1 cable comes with a flexible TPE jacket for strain relief and longer life. It’s available in one-meter and two-meter sizes.
Best HDMI 2.0 Cables
HDMI 2.0 cables are excellent when you don’t need advanced gaming features and need the cable for lower bandwidth tasks, like watching movies. Unfortunately, HDR support was only added in the HDMI 2.0a update, so not every HDMI 2.0 cable will support it. So if you want HDR to work, you need to make sure that your HDMI 2.0 cable supports it or go for an HDMI 2.1 cable to avoid the hassle.
Ugreen makes great value-for-money accessories, and this HDMI 2.1 is an excellent example of that. It’s affordable and works as advertised. In addition, you can buy it in one, two, and three-meter sizes.
This is an excellent HDMI 2.0 cable from Belkin, and you can buy it in six feet and 12 feet sizes. One connector of the cable also comes with textured material for extra grip, making it easier to plug in or take out.
If you aren’t planning to spend too much on an HDMI cable, the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI cable is a good option. It is offered in five sizes, and you can get multiple cable packs for cheap. HDR support is also present.
This 270-degree angled HDMI 2.0 cable from Ugreen can help you avoid unnecessary cable bending in narrow spaces. It’s available in three, six, and 10 feet sizes.
Ugreen also offers a 90-degree angled HDMI 2.0 cable. It’s available in three, six, 10, and 15 feet sizes and is fully compatible with the HDMI 2.0 spec.
In addition to its excellent HDMI 2.1 cable, Cable Matters also offers this premium HDMI 2.0b cable. It supports HDR and HLG, both of which are not available in regular HDMI 2.0 cables.
These are the best HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 cables on the market. AmazonBasics and Ugreen offer some of the best bang-for-buck cables, and if you need an HDMI cable, you can go for any of their cables from our recommendations.
Which cable are you planning to buy? Let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, we have also picked the best USB cables on the market and the best monitors you can buy today.