To a lot of people, a cable is a cable. If it fits then it has to be the right one, right? Unfortunately with modern computing and displays that’s not generally the case. HDMI has swooped in and standardized the vast majority of TV and monitor connections, but not without causing some confusion along the way. If you’re after the right HDMI cable for the right application then it’s important to know the four most common specifications you’re going to encounter:
|Specification Name||Bandwidth||Highest Supported Resolutions|
|Standard HDMI||4.95 Gbps||1080i, 720p|
|High Speed HDMI||10.2 Gbps||1080p at 60 Hz, 4K at 30 Hz|
|Premium High Speed HDMI||18 Gbps||4K at 60 Hz|
|Ultra High Speed HDMI||48 Gbps||4K at 120 Hz, 8K at 60 Hz|
Which is a lot of stuff to remember, so let’s make it easy: if you’re hooking up a new PS5 or Xbox Series X and want the maximum available output then go for an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable, specifically one that says it’s designed for HDMI 2.1 and/or supports 48 Gbps bandwidth. If you’re just wanting to hook up a standard 1080p monitor then High Speed HDMI is plenty. Take a look below to see which cables will fit your specific application. As a note: we’ll list the bandwidth of each cable in the heading so you can more easily narrow down which one is right for you.
Anker has been a big player in the portable battery and power adapter scene for a while now, and their products almost always perform well and last a long time. This HDMI cable from them is Ultra High Speed certified by the HDMI Forum and capable for 8K at 60 Hz or 4K at 120 Hz. So it should be plenty for your fancy new 8K monitor or the latest game consoles running on an HDMI 2.1 compatible television. As a bonus this cable is jacketed with double braided nylon to keep it tangle free, and Anker claims that it can be “plugged and unplugged 10,000 times.” While that’s a pretty major claim, Anker does back it up with an 18 month warranty, should the cable wear out before its time.
Sometimes you just need a regular old HDMI cable because you’re just trying to get a 1080p source connected to a regular 1080p television. If you don’t need 4K or any of the Ultra High Speed HDMI bells and whistles offered by that specification (perhaps for an older computer or game console) then a standard Amazon Basics cable will get you by just fine. They’re almost always in stock and come in a variety of multi-packs and lengths as well.
Amazon is king in the online retailer space, and for good reason: they offer just about everything and rarely run out of stock on their own brands. Much like the Amazon Basics cable we listed previously, this one will give you performance and reliability at a decent price and in a multitude of cable lengths. Although unlike the one we listed previously this one will provide 4K 120 Hz performance for you PS5 and Xbox Series X owners out there along with a nice nylon cable jacket. Sometimes it pays to go with a brand that has a proven record and easy customer support in case things go wrong.
Monoprice is legendary in the cable market. They’ve been offering affordable, high-quality products across a massive selection for years now. Their 8K Ultra High Speed rated cable offers full HDMI 2.1 compatibility, comes with a braided nylon jacket, and comes in a few different sizes. In fact, Monoprice offers HDMI cables of just about every specification, size, and material under the sun. So even if this exact cable isn’t the one you need, they probably have one that is.
It might sound like a very weird, specific use case to a lot of people but if you’re after a 90 degree angle HDMI cable then this one from URGREEN will be very exciting. Too often cables are jammed against walls and entertainment centers or fitted with wobbly, cheap 90 degree angle adapters. This 4K capable HDMI 2.0 cable from URGREEN circumvents those headaches and comes in a decent selection of lengths. So if your TV is mounted flush against the wall then URGREEN has you covered.
Omnihill 50 Feet HDMI Cable (18 Gbps)
Sometimes you just need a lot of HDMI cable and adapters and extensions simply won’t do. In fact, wherever possible, it’s good to try to use as few adapters and such as you can. This 50 foot cable will work for your long-distance applications and give you 1080p 60 Hz or 4k 60 Hz compatibility. So go ahead, mount that TV on your back porch!
This HDMI 2.0 cable from Atevon is capable of up to 4K 60 Hz, and comes in a few colors and lengths. But the real reason to choose this cable is the construction. Yes, it looks very fashionable with its gold-plated connectors and nylon jacket. But more importantly the connectors and connector housing is constructed with a metal zinc alloy that should withstand the rigors of being constantly plugged and unplugged much more than your standard HDMI cable with a plastic connector. While it’s always best to practice safe and careful handling when plugging or unplugging an HDMI cable, sometimes we just need to be able to handle things more frequently without a fear of them breaking down. So if you’re a traveling gamer or maybe you just move your consoles around to different televisions frequently then this cable will have you covered.
It’s important to remember that a gaming HDMI cable isn’t really a thing. A cable, as long as it meets the specifications and bandwidth requirements of what you’re plugging it into, will perform well for gaming regardless of whether or not it’s listed as a gaming cable. It’s also worth noting that a lot of cable manufacturers use lots and lots of buzzwords and different marketing terms, and it can be seem really busy and confusing. What you should always be looking for is the bandwidth of a certain cable. If it lists the correct bandwidth for your application then 99% of the time, you’re good to go. Things like nylon cable braiding and gold-plated connectors look and feel nice, but they aren’t going to affect the performance of your devices.
For more hardware recommendations check out 2021’s 5 Best RGB Mousepads | The Best LED Mousepads and 2021’s 5 Best Low Profile Graphics Cards at Pro Game Guides.