HDMI cables have become increasingly common over the past decade, and are now the standard for transferring digital video and audio data, especially when it comes to the home theater. HDMI cables, however, have also become a whole lot cheaper. Gone are the days when you had to pay $50 for a basic HDMI cable. These days, you can get great HDMI cords for under $10.
But how much does an HDMI cord cost? Well, it really depends.
How much does an HDMI cable cost?
For most people, HDMI 2.0 cords will do the job perfectly fine, and there is a range of different kinds of HDMI 2.0 and older cables available. Basically, these boil down to these types: standard speed HDMI cables, high-speed HDMI cables, and ultra-high-speed HDMI cables. Most HDMI cables come with Ethernet capabilities too. You probably don’t need to worry about that though – and it won’t add to the price.
Generally speaking, it’s worth avoiding standard-speed HDMI cords altogether, considering the price between standard-speed and high-speed cables is negligible, and standard-speed cables are pretty limited. As mentioned, you also don’t need to worry about Ethernet – there aren’t many products that actually use that functionality, and that’s unlikely to change in the near future.
In a pre-HDMI 2.1 world, you can find Certified Premium cables for a premium price or non-certified cables at a better price. Premium Certified HDMI 2.0 cables come with HDMI’s stamp of approval. Although they often perform to the same standards as a non-certified cable, they are often necessary for official installations such as in an enterprise or government office. When it comes to non-certified cables, a three-pack of HDMI 2.0 cables can be bought for around $12, which means you’re getting them at an average of $4 per cable.
The length of the cord will also affect the price, though thankfully not to a huge degree. The prices mentioned above are for 3-foot cables, which will be fine for some uses, but some will need longer cables. For a three-pack of 6-foot cables, expect to pay around $14. At 10 feet, you’ll pay around $15. And, at 15 feet, you can get three cables for $19.
How much does an HDMI 2.1 cord cost?
If you do want to take advantage of the new HDMI 2.1 standard, however, you’ll need new cables – and cables that support the new standard can be a little more expensive. This is where the ultra-high-speed cables come in. Thankfully, they’re not overly expensive – just a few extra bucks. You can generally find cables that support HDMI 2.1 for around $15, though again, it will depend on the length of cable.
How much does an active HDMI cord cost?
There are other kinds of HDMI cables too, and they may be the way to go if you need a much longer HDMI cable. For example, active HDMI cables have a chip built into them that allows them to work over much longer distances without losing any quality. Some active cables even utilize optical conductors, pushing distances up to 30m! If you need a cable that will run more than 20 feet or so, it’s worth buying one of these active optical cables – though keep in mind when installing that active cables have a designated source and display end. These longer active HDMI cables are perfect for things like a home theater, the conference room at the office, and so on.
Of course, given the fancy tech under the hood, active HDMI cables can get a little more expensive. And again, the length of the HDMI cable will impact how expensive it is. Generally, you can get a 15-foot active HDMI cord for around $17 a 25-foot cord for $23, a 35-foot cord for $26, and a massive 50-foot cord for $33. That’s not bad considering how versatile such a long cable will be.
That said, if you do have the cash to spend and want to ensure the highest quality of the signal at ultra-long distances, then it may be worth considering one of the aforementioned cables that utilize optical conductors. These cables are rated for in-wall installation, including near air ducts, so they’ll continue to work for years as part of the infrastructure of the building. That’s perfect for schools, offices, government buildings, and so on. Given the tech, however, these cables can get a little more expensive. For a 33-foot active Fiber Optic HDMI cable, you should expect to pay around $130, while a 65-foot cable will run around $175, and a 98-foot cable will come at $200. That may sound like a lot – but given the huge amounts of tech that have gone into developing these cables, and how versatile they’ll end up being, it’s well worth the cash if you’re putting in a home theater or conference room.
HDMI cables are expected to continue getting cheaper over time, but as with any product, you get what you pay for. Make sure to buy high-quality cables from a reputable source such as Cable Matters, as they’ll last longer than cheap cables will.