The Best Cheap HDMI 2.1 Cables of 2019

All "high speed" HDMI cables support 4K video, according to

That means any HDMI cable made after May 2009 is capable of transmitting 4K video at 30Hz. These cables also support one of HDMI's most convenient features: Audio Return Channel. A TV using an HDMI “ARC” connection can send audio bidirectionally (to and from) an audio device like a soundbar.

The upshot is that cables marketed as "4K HDMI" aren't necessary for most people.

That said, HDMI 2.1 cables (the latest version) can make a difference if:

Older HDMI cables don't have the bandwidth to support the higher refresh rates that video games (and some fast-moving sports) demand. For example, an Xbox One S is capable of outputting 4K resolution at 60Hz, but an HDMI 1.4 cable maxes-out at 30Hz.

HDMI 2.1 is capable of transmitting 4K video at 60Hz in a high-dynamic-range (HDR) format like Dolby Vision. These cables also support 8K video at 50Hz. In other words, HDMI 2.1’s specifications exceed the capabilities of today's TVs, gaming consoles and streaming players.

HDMI 2.1 cables also support Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), which is the only way to use ARC with the latest surround-sound formats like Atmos and DTS:X.

This article focuses on "ultra high speed" HDMI 2.1 cables that are capable of 48Gbps data transfer rates. Plus, these cables are backwards-compatible, which means they’ll work with older equipment.

Here are the best-reviewed HDMI 2.1 cables that have sold for less than $20:

Good Price: $11 | Great Deal: $9

Several Amazon customers say this cable prevented their Apple 4K TV (or PS4 Pro) from freezing, flickering or turning-on-and-off randomly. One disappointed reviewer wrote that the cable did not support 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 sampling with 10-bit color depth.

Good Price: $11 | Great Deal: $9

This cable pairs well with Apple 4K TV and prevents the picture from blacking out, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers wish these cables came in longer lengths.

John DeFeo