Why Expensive HDMI Cables Are Unnecessary

We all crave the best of the best when it comes to tech, but unfortunately, many industry lies have been fabricated in order to sell and make money, and one of these is outrageously expensive HDMI cables.

I’ve seen some HDMI cables go for up to $13,000 and let me just say – no one needs to spend that much on HDMI cables, let alone hundreds.

Cables are probably the last item that should cost thousands of dollars, and I’m here to tell you why.

HDMI cables are transmitters, not processors

The first thing you need to know about HDMI cables and understand why some aren’t worth more than others is that they all perform the same function – to transmit an electrical signal from your device to your TV.

There is no processing or intelligence built into the cables to make the colors and picture quality better, but simply just wires and pins that connect to carry a picture and audio signal to your TV.

The real faults lie in long vs. short runs, not the cable

You may be confused about what long or short runs are, but I’ll explain it in its simplest terms, so you get the idea. People use HDMI cables for different purposes, and some people may need longer cables (more than 5m) than shorter ones.

Longer run purposes need better-built cables to avoid errors. Short cables work practically all the time and encounter fewer errors because the signal doesn’t need to travel very far, so the only way the cable wouldn’t work is if the cable itself is faulty.

With longer cables, the variables of the transmitter and receiver combo in the source and display, and the receiver if you’re using one, can mean that the cable won’t be able to handle all the data being transmitted.

Long cables can also run into interference problems or just be built poorly, which means that the only difference is in if the cable will work over short or long distances, not in its image quality.

There is only cable quality difference, not picture difference

As I mentioned, there’s really no difference in the kind of picture quality you can get from a more expensive HDMI cable compared to a less expensive one.

The only real difference is in how the cable is made.

Manufacturing quality makes the difference in how the HDMI cable performs in terms of whether the signal will be transmitted or not over long distances.

As with anything, if the cable is better made, then it will also last longer. If you don’t need a super-long cable, though, you have nothing to worry about.

Short HDMI cables made for Blu-ray players and cable/satellite boxes will work with just about any HDMI cable, even ones that cost $10.

If you need longer HDMI cables, then you’d use what are called active cables, which can be more expensive.

Other than that, you don’t need to worry about if your HDMI cable will be good enough or not; all HDMI cables are inherently the same, and you don’t need to buy more expensive ones in hopes of a “better” picture quality, and should only be spending that kind of money if you absolutely need long HDMI cables.

Are Audiophile Grade Cables Really Worth It?

Recording music, listening to music, mixing music, etc., all require cables.

If you do anything with music, you know this, and you know that you’re going to have to invest in some cables to listen to the audio you’re creating or enjoying.

When you visit a store like Best Buy or Walmart, you’ll come across several options for audio cables that all range in price.

We’ve been conditioned to think that expensive means better quality, but is that necessarily always true?

When it comes to cables, one type you often hear as being the best are audiophile cables. These are cables that are typically more expensive and are claimed to produce a better higher-quality sound.

Or so they say.

Today we’re going to debunk whether audiophile cables are really worth the price and if you should purchase them over any other cheaper cables.

The first thing you need to be aware of when purchasing audio cables, and before being subjected to false perceptions, is that our music is practically completely digital.

We are continuing to move away from analog into digital, if not completely changed already, so audio cables won’t make much of a difference.

The only reason they would is if you were trying to reciprocate an analog sound. Digital sound produces 0s and 1s, which are encoded information, that will either get there or they won’t.

If you’re just buying speaker cables then really the only thing you need to look for is the length of the cable. Longer cables will make your system sound worse, so make sure they’re as short as possible.

Some cables can cost up to $7,000, like the ANJOU cables by Pear Audio, and they have all kinds of features to them that make up for the price tag.

Supposedly higher grade cables contain things like exotic materials, such as palladium, that are more conductive, added deisgn features like built-in electornic filters, among other things, to get you the best sound.

However, these things are really only noticeable if you have an expensive system to match.

If you’re playing the audio on a system that costs less than your cables, you’re likely not to hear much of a difference, but if you’ve got a pretty nice set up with high-grade equipment, then you may be able to notice a difference in what cables you’re using.

Unless you’re, for lack of a better word, a snob for audio, you probably won’t need to purchase or notice a difference in using audiophile cables.

So, to put everything in simpler terms, audiophile cables are only worth it if you’re already investing heavily in the rest of your audio equipment; if not, then it’s not worth the purchase.

You can get good audio cables within any budget, the only thing you should look for in your cables is that they have good conductivity, shielding, and connectors.

To get the best conductivity, check to make sure your cables are oxygen-free, multi-stranded copper cables, or OMFC, and the thicker, the better.

Your cables should also have at least two shielding layers under the insulation, which can be foiled shield or braided shield.

Gold-plated connectors are best for cables because the metal has low electrical resistance and will transmit the signal from the wire to your speaker with little degradation.