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(Pocket-lint) - Having a few HDMI cables in your setup is essential if you have plenty of devices you want to connect. 

Set-top boxes, 4K Blu-ray players and consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will come with HDMI cables right out of the box in order to for you to link them to your TV or monitor, though it never hurts to have a couple of spare options for linking up your laptop, projector or audio receiver, too. 

The important thing to keep in mind with HDMI cables is that there's little variance in quality and features - the key things you need to know are the cable's length and the resolution quality it's capable of achieving.

Most on the list below are able to handle 4K resolution, and perhaps even 8K, but some max out at the likes of 1080p. Cable length also has the potential to measure anywhere between 1 - 100ft, but most people only need one that can stretch to around 6 - 10ft. 

To help you explore some HDMI cables within these parameters, we've detailed some of the top picks below. Let's dive in.


What is the best HDMI cable to buy today? Currently, our top selection is from Amazon Basics. However, we would also recommend checking out cables from Capshi, PowerBear, Huanuo and iVanky.


Our Top Pick: Best HDMI cable

AmazonBest HDMI cables 2021: Transfer your audio and video the easy way with these 4K options photo 3

Amazon Basics 4K HDMI Cable

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For

  • Great price
  • Good length

Against

  • Might not last years

As we've already mentioned, HDMI cables are relatively basic propositions - so, it's only fitting that Amazon Basics has a place on this list. 

You can pick up the lead in all kinds of sizes, but this 6ft option is a good, standard one to have spare if you're looking to connect something to your TV.

It's also able to achieve all the standard HDMI specs - such as 4K video at 60Hz - and comes in at a very affordable rate.

HDMI cables we also recommend

Here are four other impressive HDMI cable options to consider.

CapshiBest HDMI cables 2021: Transfer your audio and video the easy way with these 4K options photo 5

Capshi 4K HDMI Cable

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For

  • Well priced
  • Good quality

Against

  • No 120Hz

Another alternative to consider is Capshi's 6.6ft HDMI cable, offered in a braided design and able to meet the highest standards of audio and video transfer. 

Also available in sizes ranging from 1 - 50ft, the lead supports HDMI 2.1 and below, UHD 4K resolutions and below, 48-bit colour, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio and ARC return.

Given that the lifespan of the cable is increased by that braided nylon design, it's perhaps the most durable option on this list.

Capshi suggests that it can withstand around 6,000 bends, which is great for those who want to move their lead around the home and fit it into tight corners. 

PowerBearBest HDMI cables 2021: Transfer your audio and video the easy way with these 4K options photo 4

PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable

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For

  • Good quality
  • Can be bundled

Against

  • Slightly more expensive

If you want the option of picking up more than one cable, consider PowerBear's 10ft HDMI cable.

While this listing is just for a singular lead, you do have the option of packing a pair or three together, as well as choosing from a range of different sizes.

As with others on this list, they also meet the standard HDMI threshold, achieving 4K video at 60Hz. As a nice bonus, they also support ARC ports and Dolby TrueHD 7.1.

HuanuoBest HDMI cables 2021: Transfer your audio and video the easy way with these 4K options photo 6

Huanuo HDMI Cable 3 Pack

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For

  • Solid value bundle
  • Colour coding

Against

  • Only 1080p

For those who want to pick up multiple HDMI cables and don't necessarily care too much about the details, Huanuo's three-pack offers exceptional value. 

Able to support 1080p resolutions and ARC return, the pack comes with three distinguishing ends to help you identify them - in blue, red and orange.

Keep in mind that you won't be able to achieve the absolute peak of HDMI transfer - such as 8K resolution, or even 4K - with these cables, but they are ideal for those who just require the basics.

iVankyBest HDMI cables 2021: Transfer your audio and video the easy way with these 4K options photo 7

iVanky 4K HDMI Cable

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For

  • Nice braided cable
  • Huge size range

Against

  • No 120Hz support

iVanky offers up another alternative to HDMI hunters who want plenty of options. With this pick, you can choose from sizes between 0.5 - 50ft, with the braided nylon also available in either grey or red. 

Naturally, given the slight increase in price, the lead is also able to meet much higher demands.

HDMI 2.0b and below, UHD 4K resolution and below, 48-bit colour, ARC return and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 are all catered for with this durable cable.

Other products we considered

The Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours testing and researching hundreds of products before recommending our best picks for you. We consider a range of factors when it comes to putting together our best guides including physically testing the products ourselves, consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. Many of the devices we consider don’t make our final best guides.

These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5:

How to choose an HDMI cable

Picking the right HDMI cable could save you a lot of angst in the long run - here are some useful guiding questions to ask yourself about it.

What do you need to connect?

The biggest variable when you're planning to buy a cable is around what you need it for. Are you hooking up a games console to a TV? Or, are you using it to connect a laptop to a projector, a tablet to a display or your computer to its monitor? These will define what technical specs you need to be seeking out, alongside letting you know what to look for on the compatibility side.

Do you need 4K?

A key question that the information yielded by the above question will expose is whether you need 1080p or 4K resolutions. If you're just using a cable to power a small display, 1080p might be fine, but we think it's smarter to invest in a cable that will power 4K without issues, to future-proof your purchase.

Is refresh rate important?

Even a 4K cable might not be enough, though. If you want to power a high refresh rate display at frame rates over 60, you will need to splash out a little more to pick up a cable that can support either variable refresh rate (VRR) or 120Hz refresh rates. This will ensure you get the smooth gameplay or video playback you're craving.

How long do you need your cable?

Another key question that should count in your planning process is around the literal length of your cable. The best cable quality in the world doesn't matter if it's only a foot long, so be sure to check carefully that the cable you're ordering will actually reach between the two devices you're hoping to connect. Again, we think it's most sensible to get a bigger cable than you need, since there's no harm in some slack.

More about this story

Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.

Cables are absolutely integral parts of any home entertainment setup - if you use the wrong one, you'll suffer from sub-standard experiences and potentially encounter issues that mean your console or connection simply doesn't work.

Hence we're on the lookout for cables that guarantee performance and are compatible with features like 120Hz output and 4K resolutions to make sure that you get the best possible performance when you use them to connect your devices.

We aren’t interested in pointless number crunching or extraneous details - we just want to provide an easy to understand review that gives you an idea of what it's going to be like to use. And don’t for a second think that the products aren't tested fully because the reviews are concise.

We’ve been covering tech since 2003, and, in many cases, have not only reviewed the product in question, but the previous generations, too - right back to the first model on the market. There is also plenty of models we've considered that didn't make the cut in each of our buyer's guides.

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 12 April 2021.