HDMI cables are the established standard for connecting modern AV components. They provide a reliable connection that carries both digital video and audio. Whenever a new video standard is introduced, HDMI specifications are sure to follow. HDMI 2.1 is the current state-of-the-art HDMI specification than encompasses 8K as well as high frame rate 4K, dynamic HDR, eARC and more.

While you specifically need a HDMI 2.1 capable display and source to leverage what the standard offers, when it comes to the actual cables there is no such thing as a "HDMI 2.1 cable". Instead, what you've got is cables that either can or cannot pass the full bandwidth needed for whatever HDMI standard is in use. The bandwidth capacity of an HDMI cable is determined by a combination of factors that include cable type (passive vs. active, copper vs. optical) and the cable length, with shorter HDMI cables typically handling higher bandwidth without issue.

HDMI Cable Types: Passive vs. Active

Passive HDMI is what most consumers have encountered. Passive HDMI cables are made from copper and their bandwidth drops the longer they get. In a 4K or 8K system, this means that a 3-foot or 6-foot cable might work perfectly, but a 25-foot cable from the same brand might have a harder time of it. Due to these factors, it is often the case that short HDMI cables do not need to be "upgraded" in order to handle higher resolutions and frame rates. Nevertheless, you'll find some cables are certified to meet a particular performance standard. If you want to take the guesswork out of choosing an HDMI cable, certification helps.

Active HDMI cables are useful for longer runs, like you'd encounter in a home theater. They are available in both copper and fiber-optic varieties. With active HDMI cables, you do have to ensure the cable is rated to handle the resolution/bandwidth required for the application. You can achieve far longer runs with active HDMI than with passive (1000 feet is achievable) and the fiber-optic variety has the added benefit of being very thin.

What to look for when shopping HDMI cables

  • Ensure the cable supports the maximum bandwidth you need
  • For 4K, look at "High Speed" HDMI cables
  • For 8K, shop "Ultra High Speed" HDMI cables
  • For longer runs (but even as short as 10 feet) consider active/optical HDMI
  • Look for an in-wall rating if that's part of your installation
  • Keep the length of passive/copper HDMI cables as short as possible
  • Look for cables certified to handle the bandwidth you need

1. Amazon Basics High-Speed 4K HDMI Cable


For many applications, Amazon Basics works great, so all you have to do is pick your length and order.

Product features:
  • The Amazon Basics High-Speed 4K HDMI Cable supports Ethernet, 3D, 4K video and Audio Return Channel.
  • This HDMI cable is rated for high-speed connectivity for excellent playback and performance, and is durably built with 26AWG.
  • Rated CL3 rated for in-wall installation and features 26AWG pure copper conductors, triple-shielding and gold-plated full metal jacket connectors that prevent interference and boost performance.
  • Comes in multiple lengths between 3 feet and 100 feet.
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2. Monoprice HDMI High Speed Cable


Monoprice specializes in delivering great value for your money and that's true for that vast variety of cables the company sells.

Product features:
  • The Monoprice HDMI High Speed Cable is capable of 18Gbps bandwidth and ensured to support all features in the latest HDMI specifications.
  • The Monoprice HDMI High Speed Cable is tested and certified by HDMI Authorized Test Centers and is great for all your 4K and High Speed HDMI display needs.
  • This cable also supports the simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to a single display screen.
  • Comes in multiple lengths between 1.5 feet and 15 feet.


3. Belkin 48Gbps HDMI Cable


Ensure 8K compatibility with these Belkin HDMI cables that are able to handle transfer speeds up to 48 Gb per second. that means it can handle 8K/60 Hz as well as 4K/120 Hz content.

Product features:
  • Works with 4K/120 Hz and 8K/60 Hz signals
  • Supports all HDR formats
  • Thin and flexible

4. Bluerigger 4K HDMI

Nice HDMI cables at near-unbeatable prices. This is the go-to brand for AVS Forum editor Mark Henninger, who states that he's never had an issue with a Bluerigger HDMI cable. Available in lengths from 3 feet to 25 feet (but if you go past 25 feet, you'll want to look at fiber optic HDMI solutions anyhow).

Over 11,000 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5-star rating and an "Amazon's Choice" designation support the notion that these cables are a great choice.

Product features:
  • Supports 4K/60p & 18 Gbps bitrate
  • Rugged nylon-braided sheath
  • Shielded
  • Lifetime warranty


5. Blue Jeans Cable Series-FE Bonded-Pair HDMI

These certified high-speed HDMI cables come in various lengths and are "drawn, extruded, shielded, cabled and jacketed in Kentucky and Indiana". Blue Jeans Cable says this HDMI offering is certified to deliver High SPeed HDMI performance (i.e. 4K) for "the longest length of any 28 AWG HDMI cable on the market".

This cable has a PVC jacket and is in-wall rated. You can cound on BJC for a great product at a fair price.


Blue Jeans Cable has earned its reputation for making quality, no-nonsense premium cables.

Product features:

28 AWG copper
In-wall rated
Certified up to 15 feet for 4K, 25 feet for 1080p
Available in many lengths
Manufactured in USA


6. Zeskit 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
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A cable certified for 48Gbps is optimal for the best HDMI performance, especially for HDMI 2.1. If you want the added peace of mind that comes with HDMI.org certification, the Zeskit 8K Ultra HD High Speed HDMI Cable is presently one of the few available. Even better, Zeskit sells its HDMI cables in 5 different lengths: 1.5 feet, 3 feet, 5 feet, 6.5 feet, and 10 feet. The nice thing is none of them are very pricey. Dynamic HDR, eARC, Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, VRR, Dolby Vision, and more are supported by the Zeskit. The company provides a two-year warranty on its cables, which is likely to be sufficient in the case of an issue.

Product features:
  • 48Gbps bandwidth for latest features HDR, HDCP 2.2 & 2.3, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision
  • 8K60, 4K120 & up to 10K resolution, Dynamic HDR, eARC, ALLM, QFT, QMS, VRR
  • Backward compatible with earlier versions of HDMI and can be used with any HDMI devices.


7. AudioQuest Pearl 48 Gbps HDMI Cable

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If you are looking to spend a little extra on your HDMI cable, the AudioQuest Pearl 48 8K-10K 48Gbps HDMI cable blends materials and design to deliver an exceptional entertainment experience. Pearl 48 is precisely engineered for increased sound quality and exceptional overall performance, featuring robust Long-Grain Copper conductors and AudioQuest's Level-1 Noise Dissipation. To improve performance even further, all 19 conductors, which include A/V and eARC signals, Ground-Reference drains, and control and power conductors, are precisely managed for the most effective radio-frequency noise dissipation.

Product features:
  • AudioQuest Pearl 48 HDMI cables use Direction-Controlled conductors to minimize RF noise.
  • Can transfer up to professional 10K Ultra HD video.

8. Bullet Train 10K 48 Gb/s HDMI Cable

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Just bought a new projector and looking for a cable that is built to always work? Bullet Train's 6.6' 10K 48 Gb/s HDMI Cable is designed for operational settings where stability is essential. This connection offers perfect image quality with minimal delay regardless of the signal by supporting 48 Gb/s data speeds. This cable has ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) certified for color accuracy, which is a respected name in image quality and calibration.

Product features:
  • Supports resolutions from 4K to 10K
  • Supports up to 120 fps/Hz
  • 7.1 audio, Dolby Audio, and DTS Audio support
  • HDCP 2.3 compliant



What Is The Purpose Of HDMI Technology?

HDMI technology is used to transmit multichannel audio and high definition video data between two digital devices in a single cable. You will be able to find HDMI technology in all the latest electronic equipment including AV receivers, AV processors, Blu Ray players, and video game consoles (just to mention a few).

How Does It Work?

An HDMI cable utilizes the Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) technology. It also takes care of the fact that the data doesn’t get compromised as no conversion takes place, images and videos look exactly like they should without the quality getting affected.

Last edited by @Erik Wesley on January 31, 2023.