Truth about Monster HDMI Cables

I’m sure most of you have gone to Best Buy or some other retail outlet and have seen Monster Cables. They are the cables that have super fancy packaging and brag about how superior they are. I’m going to save you a lot of money and explain why most of the things that Monster says about their cables are not lies, but not full truths either.

Monster Cable Box

Monster Black Platinum HDMI Cable 9 ft:
Specs taken from Monsterproducts.com

27Gbps Ultimate-high speed rated
Cable For Life performance guarantee
For those who demand the best in high definition home theater – now and in the future
Ultimate 1080p, ultra HD 4k at 60fsp
Delivers up to 7.1 lossless digital surround sound for the ultimate movie, music, and game experience

So let’s break this down:
27Gbps Ultimate-High Speed – Let’s break this down a little bit, most HDMI Cables are rated as high speed (category 2) or standard speed (category 1) by the HDMI Organization (http://www.hdmi.org/). The HDMI Organization is the group that defines the standards for HDMI. High Speed is rated for 1080p and 4k signals. That being said though, even a standard speed cable could handle 1080p, it’s just not rated for it. Normal speeds for an HDMI Cable are 3.4 Gbps (10.2 Gbps total, there are 3 lines / channels in one HDMI Cable). I’m not sure exactly how Monster gets to 27 Gbps, my guess is that they add more channels to the cable itself but that doesnt really matter. What matters is that the claim that the cable can do 27 Gbps is not proven and Monster will probably not be able to give you a straight answer about how they got to the number. The “faster” a cable is will not make your picture look any better or your sound, sound any better.

Cable for Life – The only reason I could ever see having a lifetime warranty on a cable is if that cable was really expensive… which, Monster Cables are. A 9 foot Black Platinum Monster Cable goes for $99.99 at Best Buy.

Future Proof! Ultra 1080p and 4k! – Seeing how currently 4k TVs are just starting to gain momentum, I don’t think that you need to future proof your cables at this point. but oh wait, normal Category 2 (High Speed) HDMI Cables can display 4k. Also, the term “Ultimate” in front of 1080p is just dumb. 1080p is 1080p anyway you slice it, a cable isn’t going to make someones 1080p movie look any better.

Delivers up to 7.1 Lossless Surround Sound – Any HDMI Cable can do 7.1 surround sound and deliver it… that’s what the cable was built to do, carry signals.

Let’s take a quick look at a competing HDMI Cable from Monoprice.com

Monoprice HDMI Cable
(Monoprice Website)
This cable is a 10 foot HDMI Cable.

Without writing it all out here, the cable does EVERYTHING the Monster Cables claims. So you would think the price would be the same right? Wrong! The Monoprice HDMI Cable goes for: $5.15.

Most of what Monster relies on is fancy packaging and wording to make their cables stand out and thus are able to charge a whole lot more for a product that is essentially the same as a cheaper version. Just one last thought, the Monster Cables (and some other brands) claim that they can do 120hz and 240hz. Even that is a lie because the cable themselves can’t create those kinds of signals, the TV does, the wire simply transfers the data. So the $5 wire can also do 120hz just as well as the Monster Cable can.

Feel free to leave any questions if you want more clarification on this topic!

18 comments on “Truth about Monster HDMI Cables

  1. So when we refer to Gbps speed we are talking about delivery from the internet or from a 4k device like a player the actual cable has nothing to do with it is that correct ? is it just a manafacture
    r may make a better quality item that will last longer would you agree ?

    So why are they all talking about Speed like 18 Gbps higher or lower ?

    • Hi Rupert!

      We are talking about the transfer speed to and from the devices, not the internet. My argument is that cables made by Monster will advertise and tell you that a certain wire can go “fast” but at that speed, it’s not going to improve the picture quality. It’s really just a marketing ploy. I have a Monster Cable and a cable I got off Amazon for $5 and I can see no improvement between the two at all.

      I hope that answers your questions!

  2. My Pioneer VSX-90 manual states “When the 4K/60p settting is changed to 4:4:4, the video image may not be output normally unless the HDMI cable supports 4K/60p 4:4:4 24 bit (18Gbps transmission).”

    So in my opinion I should purchase cables that at least guarantee that speed, regardless who makes them, or is that incorrect?

    • Wow I just saw this comment 🙁 Sorry for the delay on response!

      I would do what the manual states but keep in mind, a cheaper cable is the way to go. You don’t need a Monster Branded Cable that you are going to pay a huge amount of money for. Just make sure that whatever cable you buy meets the specs that you are looking for.

      • Hello Bill, Thanks for the replay. So initially I went with cheap cables that stated they would support 4K, but I would have random sound and video black outs on my Samsung 4K player. I thought it was the player since I tinkered with all the possible settings and it persisted, had it replaced but the issues persisted. I also would have to restart 4K movies on my DVD player and Xbox one s to get it to play, so I ended up going all out and buy the most expensive Monster cables and haven’t had any issues since. I am sure though that there is something in between the cheapest and most expensive cables that would work as well.

        • That’s interesting. I own a Monster Cable and then cables I bought off Amazon for $10. I have never seen any kind of behavior like you are stating. I also work at a Help Desk at a University and never had any issues with the cheaper HDMI Cables. Maybe it was your specific cable (not sure what kind you bought). But at the end of the day it works so that’s that matters 🙂

          • HDMI Cable 3ft – HDMI 2.0 Ready (4K @ 60Hz, 18Gbps) – Braided Cord (28AWG) – High Speed (Category 2) with Ethernet & Audio Return – Video 4K 2160p, HD 1080p, 3D – Xbox PlayStation PS3 PS4 PC Apple TV off Amazon, three cables for $10 each, didn’t specify the brand though. Those where the ones that didn’t work.

    • Yes, the Monster cable is a great cable rated to carry 4K/60p 4:4:4, >18Gbps transmission. This is TRUE. A standard NON-certified cable will not carry that nor will it carry HDR (High Dynamic Range) if it is too old. Even an old Expensive Monster cable rated a 6GBPS wont carry that spec.

      BUT you can purchase a cable that will do this for $5-$20 off the internet, and DO NOT need to spend on the Monster Cable. Keep in mind, there is small signal degrade and loss after 15 feet with either cable.

      Of course, if youre producing that kind of signal you must have an Ultra HD Blu-ray player with HDR and Disc.

      Also keep in mind that the devices carry the spec HDMI 1.4a or 2.0(a), not necessarily the cable. If you have a brand new 2017 or 2018 TV, and a Ultra HD Bluray Player both with HDMI 2.0a, but run the signal through a 2012 receiver rated at HDMI 1.4a, even with new Black Platinum 27Gbps cables the HDR and 4k/60p 4:4:4 will not be output or passed through.

  3. Im not sure that 1080p is 1080p is accurate. That’s like saying 40 watts per channel is 40 watts per channel. We all know 40 watts from a a head unit is not the same as 40 watts from an amplifier. Most of us know that a 4K display on a Samsung Quantum Dot or LG OLED looks better than a Westinghouse 4K.

    Something tells me there is a difference in 2.0/2.0a cables, perhaps not so much as to justify the silly prices of the higher end cables, but why buy a 2000.00 TV, and use a $5.00 HDMI cable?. Kinda makes you wonder if people are just sticking 2.0 on cables or if the cables are performing at the low end of the acceptable spectrum.

    • Hi Wallace! Again, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner!

      1080p is 1080p from a technical standpoint. The view on a certain TV might be better due to other factors (Brightness, LED vs OLED, etc…) My point is, the HDMI Cable you use to connect to the TV isn’t going to make the picture look any better. Monster puts a bunch of fancy words and flashy writing to make you think that buying their cable is going to improve the fidelity of the picture which is just not true or if it is, you wouldn’t be able to tell without some hardcore measuring tools.

  4. I can say that some of this makes sense..
    Being real… I have tried many cables high priced, low priced. And some cheap ones work ok. Depending also on the tv.
    So here’s the thing.
    I have an average plasma TV. My Xbox one hdmi works great on it, my bell hdmi works great on it and a 5 dollar one works great on it, as does my monster hdmi.
    So I upgraded my TV and we’ll the bell and Xbox cables work “ok” and the cheaper one absolutely sucks of it. The monster of essential work by leaps and bounds better.
    The cable you are talking about in this article, I own it. I paid 50 for it, yay amazon.
    It’s amazing!!!
    My Xbox to my 4k tv amazing.
    Oh and 1080p is 1080p. It is. BUT if you have lacome luster cords and or tv , it won’t be as sharp as it could be. It’s simple!
    Anyways that is all for now.
    Cheers

  5. OK, everyone here is correct because we all here are sharing our experiences with regards to these cables. Please keep in mind my story. The Monster 27GB cable is the best performing cable I have ever bought. I have literally a box of older HDMI 1 – 2.0 cables. Some from the direct TV guys 18GBs ethernet hdmi, the monochrome version, and other assorted cables. When hooked up to my expensive high performace gaming computer rig that I created for the purpose of a racing simulation rig, the ONLY cable that gives me ALL of the HDR colors in windows 10 is the monster cable. Unless your using HDR, EVERY other cable is the same. BUT! I tested a good variety of my cables in this mode because some have different lengths between 3′ and 10′ min/max length, and the truly color popping HDR visuals are without a doubt more clear and visable than any other cable. This is attached to a 2016 Series 6 Samsung 49″ curved display. Also, lifetime no questions asked warranty? You pay for what you get. If you think putting a ferrari part into a pinto will make it more ferrari-ish, well it’s hybrid. If you have top of the line digital equiptment, any installer knows the cabling is where most problems reside, and Monster brand delivers, since audiophile days in the 90s. I had them in serious competition car seups and so does everyone else.. I was skeptical too about it until I needed HDR delivered over 4k resolution at 60hz/60 fps. If you have Ultra Blueray/HDR don’t hesitate picking up anything over 18GBps rated cables as they “might” not cut the mustard. Think about how much you watch TV/display and is it worth it, or not? I had a windows error on my sim rig and I thought it was my cable too, but the light on the end of the cable even SHOWS you how much data is passing through the cable. Best $50 I ever spent on this 4k setup because if not, I was really missing alot of color, pop, and lumen.

  6. I did not come in here to inform you guys about cables but my story is true, I am actually in here looking display port to HDMI with similar high bandwidth over the 18GBps limit, so I can hook up the display at 4k and also have 4k VR glasses on so I can see/people can see the display of the VR. That’s how much I need those cables, and wish they were available.. even splitters dont go over 18Gbps.. so obviously I don’t want the visual loss..

  7. Sometimes you need extra test equipment. Before I retirEd I worked service for a tec. Company and we had a store that would go offline all the time. When the electrical wires were installed we were told our cable was way to costly. So he went elsewhere he saved a lot of money. Except our cable was +/- 5% his was +/- 10%. It worked fine until the store did upgrade. Cable sniffer saw it right away human eyes said it was same cable.

  8. If you only need a short run cable then the ‘cheap’ cable is probably going to do it but you neglect to mention signal loss over length of cable.

    I have a 5m cable in my wall which was giving me ‘snow’ and ‘blackouts’ every few seconds.

    I have just ordered a monster cable which I am hoping will resolve this issue.

    Cheap cable may be a similar picture quality to a more expensive cable but you CANNOT ignore the speed at which a cable transmits. This is the important factor. Also the faster it transmits, the more likely you are going to run it before you get such problems occurring.

    All in my opinion of course.

    • Andy,

      Remember though, the cable itself does not have anything to do with the speed that data is transmitted. If the cable is rated at X, then it will handle X as long as the devices transmitting the data are doing it. Same concept applies to CAT-5 cables for ethernet connections.

      I would be interested to see if it was just the cable itself having gone bad. If you have a known working cable you should try that and see if the problems persist.

  9. This is the highest quality cable I have found online so far: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07G89XR5R

    Gbps is simply a measure of the speed which the cable will allow information to be passed though it every second.

    Every pixel on your screen requires data to tell it which colour to turn into….

    While small resolution screens had a small amount of pixels, larger resolution screens have a larger number of pixels… and this larger number of pixels requires a larger amount of data to be passed down the HDMI cable to tell each and every one of the individual pixels which colour to turn into.

    Old screens could only display a small number of shades of colour so this only required 6-8 bits of information to encode each bit of data for each pixel…. but newer screens are able to display a much larger range of colours… this larger range of colours is called HDR, and HDR requires even more data for each and every pixel to display properly.

    Most new TV’s now have HDR10, which is 10bits of data encoded into every pixel… but as technology move on we will see HDR12, (12 bits of data per pixel) and HDR16, (16 bits per pixel). The higher the number of bits per pixel required, the larger the range of colours the screen will be able to display, and so the better the image! As a slight aside, some TV manufacturers have taken to calling their HDR10 screen HDR1000 or HDR1500 etc…. this is unfortunately an attempt by salesmen to try and create confusion among buyers which is what salespeople all around the world love to do, because if a buyer is confused they are easier to sell to at higher prices!

    OK, so we’ve covered higher data rates, (Gbps) being required for higher resolutions and also HDR colours… now we need to talk about increased frames per second.

    Most TV’s operate at 24 frames per second which means that each second, every single pixel needs to change colour 24 times in order to create 24 different images on the screen! Most computer screens operate at 60 frames per second, so it is easy to see that a computer screen has 2.5x the number of frames per second, and so the HDMI cable has to transmit 2.5x the amount of data per second to achieve this!

    Increasing the number of frames per second like this increases the quality of moving pictures as it reduces a phenomena called motion blur. This is why people who really like playing high speed computer games buy screens which display at 120 frames per second, because the motion blur is reduced even further which makes game play more enjoyable… but you can quickly see that 120 frames per second is 2x 60 frames per second, so this requires 2x the amount of data again!

    Once again, enter the salesperson whose job is to try and confuse you! All TV manufacturers refer to “frames per second” as “Hz”… so 60 frames per second is 60Hz and 120 frames per second is 120Hz. This is easy enough to understand, but unfortunately this is not the only number that is quoted in “Hz” by TV sales people!….

    When buying a TV you will not see that TV’s are quotes as being 400Hz or 800 Hz or 1600 Hz…. This does not mean that they can operate at 400, 800 or 1600 frames per second!! These higher “Hz” numbers refer to what the speed of the onboard computers which are now found on most new TV’s. Let me now quickly explain one of the jobs an onboard computer does….

    A typical DVD resolution is 720×480. If you connect a DVD player to a 4K TV then what happens is each frame of information is sent down the HDMI cable to the TV at a resolution of 720×480…. but then when it reaches the TV the TV has to enlarge this image to fit on it’s much larger resolution screen… and this is what the onboard computer does… and it needs these larger number of “computer Hz” to do this!

    So we have now talked about how newer TV’s have more pixels, (higher resolutions) and more colours, (HDR) and more frames per second, (Hz) and how all of these things require more data per second to achieve!

    So now lets talk about HDMI cable speeds….

    In general you have:
    “Standard Speed” which refers to 5Gbps, (this plays HD content)
    “High Speed” which refers to 10.2Gbps, (This plays 4K HDR content at 30Hz)
    “Premium High Speed” which refers to 18Gbps, (This plays 4K HDR content at 60Hz)
    “Ultra High Speed” which refers to 48Gbps, (This will be used for 8K and 10K resolutions in the future)

    So if you have a 4K HDR TV you should really be buying a HDMI cable that can transmit a minimum of 18Gbps… because there is already 4K HDR content available at 60Hz, and large TV companies are looking to make this much more mainstream within the next year!

    One note of caution…. be VERY careful when buying HDMI cables, because a lot of sellers are selling 10.2Gbps speed cables ,(30AWG) but advertising them as 18Gbps speed cables, (28AWG). These sellers are getting away with this because true 4K HDR content at 60Hz has been difficult to come by until recently so these unfortunate buyers have been conned, and they have not yet realised that the cable does not perform to this higher standard because they’ve only been using it to transmit under 10.2Gbps, which from above you can see will work perfectly with displaying 4K HDR content, but only at 30Hz… not the 60Hz they paid for!

    And that’s about all you need to know 🙂

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