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The best HDMI cables (plus what they are and how they work)

With so many electronics today, we need the right HDMI cables to do the job. ZDNET's best HDMI cables not only connect your favorite devices but also simplify your life with easy connectivity.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on

Whether you're connecting your TV or setting up a gaming console, there is no shortage of HDMI cables to buy. Cords and cables are a dime a dozen, but not all of them provide the support and performance you need. 

We scoured the market to find the best HDMI cables for your home and work devices, ensuring that the price matches performance. Before you hook up your next electronic device, consider these best HDMI cables to do the job. 

Also: Check out these best gaming consoles for your new HDMI cable

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Fantastic picture
  • Fast shipping
Cons
  • Some connectivity issues
  • Users complain about durability
More Details

Tech Specs: Cable Type: HDMI, Ethernet | Length: 3 ft, 6ft, 10 ft, 15 ft, 25 ft | Type: Male to Male

The AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable offers dual HDMI and ethernet connections to support both 3D and 4K video, making it our pick for the best HDMI cable overall. This male-to-male cable measures six feet long and comes with a lifetime warranty for greater peace of mind. It is compatible with a series of devices like laptops, personal computers, and gaming consoles, as well as any projectors you may have in your home or office. It can handle bandwidths up to 18Gbps and is meant for indoor use.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 8K resolution
  • HDMI 2.1
  • Super-fast speeds
Cons
  • On the pricier side
  • Not certified
More Details

Tech Specs: Cable Type: HDMI | Length: 0.7 ft. 3.3 ft, 6.6 ft | Type: Male to Male  

The Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ultra High Speed is our pick for the best gaming HDMI cable, because it works with various devices. Compatible devices include favorites like PlayStation and Xbox, as well as your laptop and television for your favorite games and movies at lightning speed. There are 48 Gbps compared to the 18 Gbps normally associated with an HDMI cable, offering faster speeds without interruption.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent compatibility
  • Durable
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Thicker cable
  • No 8K
More Details

Tech Specs: Cable Type: Micro HDMI, HDMI | Length: 3 ft, 6 ft, 10 ft, 15 ft  | Type: Male to Male

The BlueRigger Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable is a micro HDMI cable that comes in a variety of lengths. Choose anywhere from 3 to 15 feet, depending on how you plan to use the cable. It works with several different devices, like projectors, computer monitors, laptops, TVs, tablets, and even your camcorder. It supports 4K with 18 Gbps high speed for an ultra-HD picture that comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Certified
  • HDMI 2.1 compatibility
  • Color-coded cords
Cons
  • Limited length
  • Mediocre durability
More Details

Tech Specs: Cable Type: HDMI | Length: 3.3 ft, 6.6 ft, 9.8 ft | Support: 8K

If you are looking for an extra-long cable, we love the Cable Matters HDMI 2.1 cable. As the best HDMI cable for length, you can buy a cord almost ten feet long, far exceeding the length of most HDMI cables. This cable supports up to 8K displays with 48 Gbps bandwidth for incredible performance. A lifetime warranty is also included. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Ultra-fast
  • Wide compatibility
  • Braided jacket
Cons
  • Lacks lifetime warranty
  • Stiff design
More Details

Tech Specs: Cable Type: HDMI | Length: 1.5 ft, 3 ft, 5ft, 6.5 ft, 10 ft | Type: Male to Male

The Zeskit Maya Ultra High Speed is also a long HDMI 2.1 cord, ranging up to 10 feet with a male-to-male connection. However, where it really shines is in its speed, offering ultra high speed at 48 Gbps for faster performance. It is a bit limited in its connections, but it will still work with both your TV and Xbox.

What is the best HDMI cable?

The AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable is one of the most versatile and high-performing HDMI cables, making it our pick for the best HDMI cable overall. To see how it stacks up, here is an overview of the best HDMI cables you can buy today.

Best HDMI Cable

Price

Length

AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable

$7.68

3 ft, 6ft, 10 ft, 15 ft, 25 ft

Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ultra High Speed

$24.99

0.7 ft. 3.3 ft, 6.6 ft 

BlueRigger Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable

$7.99

3 ft, 6 ft, 10 ft, 15 ft

Cable Matters HDMI 2.1 

$10.49

3.3 ft, 6.6 ft, 9.8 ft 

Zeskit Maya Ultra High Speed

$11.99

1.5 ft, 3 ft, 5ft, 6.5 ft, 10 ft 

Which is the best HDMI cable for you?

We can help you find the best HDMI cable for your needs with these suggestions.

Choose this best HDMI cable...

If you want...

AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable

A budget-friendly HDMI cable with easy delivery

Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ultra High Speed

The top high-end option

BlueRigger Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable

An HDMI cable for your portable device

Cable Matters HDMI 2.1

An extra-long HDMI cable

Zeskit Maya Ultra High Speed

8K technology 

How did we choose these best HDMI cables?

When searching for these best HDMI cables, we used several factors to shape our decision, including these.  

  • Refresh rate: Look for a higher refresh rate if you plan on regular gaming. 
  • Resolution: HDMI cables can range from 4K support to 1080p compatibility, so be sure to check the right resolution for your intended use. 
  • Price: Cost is always an important consideration, so we keep budget in mind when searching for the best HDMI cables.

What is an HDMI cable and how do they work?

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are a type of audio-video cable used to connect devices such as TVs, laptops, gaming consoles, and streaming devices. They have a small connector on each end -- with 19 pins on one side and a corresponding 19 pins on the other side. These pins align and connect to transmit the audio and video signals from the source device to the display device. HDMI cables also support additional features such as 3D and 4K resolution, and some even support the latest technology like eARC, HDMI 2.1, and HDR. HDMI cables are a widely used and convenient way to connect devices,

Do I need an HDMI 2.1 cable?

HDMI 2.1 is typically not necessary for general use, but it's often necessary for specific PlayStation and Xbox gaming. An HDMI 2.0 cable is more than sufficient for video streaming and gaming, thanks to 4K 60 Hz support.  

Should I buy a more expensive HDMI cable?

An HDMI cable is a pretty straightforward tool, and they're available from many different manufacturers. That said, we recommend buying one from a reputable retailer like Amazon, Walmart, or Best Buy. 

How much do the best HDMI cables cost?

The best HDMI cables range in cost from less than $8 up to $25, making an affordable addition to your home entertainment or gaming center.

Are there alternative HDMI cables worth considering?

In searching for the best HDMI cables, we found many different options that could fit the bill. These are some of the options that almost made our list of the best HDMI cables.

Now you just need a device! Check out your picks for the best computers, the best laptops, and the best wireless surround sound system!

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