So you've just bought a new smart TV, games console, or 4K Blu-ray player, and now you're on the hunt for the best HDMI cables money can buy. Thankfully, though, getting a suitable HDMI cable is very simple, and can be very cheap – only going up in price for cables with a specific design or unusual length.
It's easy to be lulled into thinking that a fancy HDMI cable will do more than the others, but in reality, all you need is a cheap HDMI cable that can pass a 4K/60Hz signal reliably. In the case of a HDMI 2.1 compatible device, you just need a cable that can pass a 4K/120Hz (or 8K/60Hz) signal instead. It's as simple as that.
Skim down and we've looked at the four best HDMI cables for most situations, but read on if you'd prefer to understand a little bit more about what you're looking for first.
Do I need a new HDMI cable?
If your existing device shipped with a specific HDMI cable, it's unlikely that you technically need a new one unless the existing one isn't working correctly or can't stretch to where you need it to go.
For instance, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 all come with a HDMI 2.1 cable in the box, because that's the route to the best picture you can get (providing your TV supports HDMI 2.1, that is), as the new 2.1 standard is needed to achieve 4K gameplay at 120fps, or 8K gameplay at 60fps. The Xbox Series S ships with an HDMI 2.0 cable instead, though it has an HDMI 2.1 port.
For anyone with an HD TV, or a 4K TV with a 60Hz panel, any HDMI cable should do the job.
It's worth checking the speed of the cable too. The majority of HDMI cables on sale support 4K but there are a few out there that are designed for older HD TVs. HDMI 2.0 only needs 18Gbps bandwidth, but HDMI 2.1 should support 48Gbps. All the HDMI cables listed here provide at least the 18Gbps standard, with the fourth entry supporting 48Gbps / HDMI 2.1.
- HDMI 2.1: how important is the new cable standard?
How long should an HDMI cable be?
That entirely depends on your setup. Measure between the devices you plan on connecting then go for a length slightly longer than that. Bear in mind that if you need a particularly long cable, this is where it's worth double checking the quality of the cable and paying a little more.
Also, consider buying right-angled HDMI cables if you have an awkwardly-placed connection to make, as well as prioritize braided cables for added support.
Ideally suited for all your 4K TV needs, this Amazon Basics Premium-Certified Braided HDMI is cheap and cheerful. It's possible to buy a non-premium-certified equivalent but with this, you know you've got the best of the bunch.
A braided cable design means it's reasonably rugged too so if your cable has to sit at an awkward angle or gets pulled around a lot, it'll withstand any damage for longer than a regular cable. Add a few of these to your 4K TV setup and you won't be disappointed.
If you want to go even cheaper than the AmazonBasics cable then his Monoprice HDMI cable will do the job admirably. It's still premium certified so you know that it's been tested by HDMI Authorised Test Centres to confirm it supports everything you need. There's no braided cable here so you'll have to be a little more careful in handling it, though.
If you have your TV wall-mounted, it's a smart move to use a right-angled HDMI cable for the neatest fit behind your setup. This UGREEN cable is ideal for the purpose being simple to apply and still offering the full HDMI data transfer rate you require for your 4K TV. It's not a cable you can switch around easily thanks to the 90-degree angle connector, but for those users with a specific setup, you'll be delighted with the ease of use here.
If you've just bought a shiny new 8K TV and you need some extra cables, then this Monoprice 8K HDMI cable will more than satisfy you. It supports up to 48Gbps and 8K at 60Hz (as well as 4K at 120Hz) so you're good to go with the extra high-quality pictures you're seeking out. It's not braided, which is a shame, but odds are you'll be keen to protect everything to do with your new investment anyhow, so you should be fine.
If you want to route your HDMI cable under the carpet or simply have very limited room behind your TV, then a flat cable design like this Snowkids Flat HDMI Cable will suit you well. It actually looks quite stylish, so it's a shame its purpose is to be hidden away, but the braided cable here means it can withstand lots of flexing and moving around, and you'll be rewarded with a solid 4K picture at all times. If you prefer the tidiest cable set up possible, you'll be delighted with the results from this cable.