Perhaps you scored a deal on a television on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and are now connecting your home theater components to it, such as an audio-video receiver, cable or satellite box, Blu-ray player or video game console.
Chances are you’re using HDMI cables, which deliver the highest quality uncompressed audio and video signal between devices.
But as you visit different stores and online retailers, you realize some HDMI cables are $1 (or even less), while others are more than $200. Does it really make a difference to the human eye (and ear)?
The short answer? No, not really.
Most people can’t detect the difference between the bargain bin HDMI cable and the one that comes in a fancy box at a boutique electronics retailer.
Oh sure, there are a few things you might be paying for with expensive cables -- thicker shielding (to reduce electronic interference from, say, a power cord), better connectors (e.g. gold tips), longer length, faster speeds and of course, brand recognition -- but it’s difficult to justify the huge price discrepancy.
Consumer Reports agrees.
As you’ll read more in depth here, Consumer Reports writes “retailers might try to talk you into spending $50 or more for an HDMI cable to use with your new HDTV. Don’t bite.”
“Our advice has been to buy decent-quality cables with sturdy connectors (such as those used our experts use with their home TVs); a six-foot HDMI cable should cost $10 or less,” says this writer whose named isn’t published alongside the piece.
But your eyes and ears know best -- so be sure to ask if you can try out the cord at your local electronics store before taking it home, and whether you buy it at retail or online ask about the store's return or refund policy.