Our buying guide will walk you through the best fiber optic HDMI cables you can buy today to enhance your audiovisual experience.
High-Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI is currently the industry-standard for audiovisual interfaces. Its ubiquitous presence on AV equipment (e.g., televisions, sound systems, game consoles, streaming media players) creates a high demand for HDMI cables.
Conventional HDMI cables have a copper core with multiple layers of shielding on top, and a few even have gold-plated connectors. However, a cheaper HDMI cable often comes with weak shielding, making them susceptible to EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) from a nearby power outlet.
Poor electrical grounding causes the HDMI signals to drop out frequently. The image and audio quality also take a significant hit over longer distances due to signal degradation.
On the other hand, fiber optic HDMI cables rely on light pulses to transmit signals. Since light travels faster than electricity and is immune to EMI, fiber optic HDMI cables offer significantly less signal loss than their copper counterparts. Plus, it can cover greater distances without any noticeable drop in quality.
If you currently deal with the drawbacks of a copper-based lead for video/audio output, we recommend buying a fiber optic HDMI cable instead. Such cables are designed to deliver Ultra High Definition image quality at a minimal signal loss over long distances.
- 1 Our Picks for Best Fiber Optic HDMI Cables
- 2 How does a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable Work?
- 3 Fiber Optic Cables vs Standard HDMI Cables
- 4 Does a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable Benefit Gaming?
- 5 Wrapping Up
Our Picks for Best Fiber Optic HDMI Cables
Not all fiber optic HDMI cables are built the same, and it’s easy to get confused by meaningless acronyms. Thus, we have handpicked some of the best fiber optic HDMI cables on Amazon UK to help you out. Be sure to check out each one of them below.
1. MOSHOU 8K Fiber Optic HDMI 2.1 Cable
The MOSHOU 8K Fiber Optic HDMI cable is rated to deliver 48 Gbps throughout, putting it well within the HDMI 2.1 standard. However, the cable is available up to 30 meters in length, which is difficult to achieve with passive copper-based HDMI leads.
It means it can transmit 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz video signals right alongside lossless audio codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It also supports all HDMI 2.1 features, such as eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), QFT (Quick Frame Transport), etc. It also works with HDR10 and Dolby Vision displays.
This fiber optic HDMI cable has a 4.8mm outer diameter, so you can easily route it through tight spaces behind your equipment and furniture. The 24K gold-plated connectors on both ends ensure a stable signal transmission. Furthermore, the aluminum casing around the connector provides the cable durability on weaker points.
According to the brand, every cable goes through stringent validation tests to make sure they deliver the best possible quality. MOSHOU also offers 18 months of warranty on their HDMI 2.1 fiber optic cables.
2. FeizLink 4K HDMI 2.0 High-Speed Fiber Optic Cable
The FeizLink 4K High-Speed Fiber Optic cable is priced moderately. It’s an HDMI 2.0 cable, so its maximum bandwidth speed is limited to 18 Gbps. However, it can carry up to 4K@60Hz video signals with 4:2:2, 4:2:0, and 4:4:4 chroma subsampling, and uncompressed audio streams.
The lead also supports ARC, CEC (Consumer Equipment Control), and HEC (HDMI Ethernet Channel) protocols. Plus, HDR10 and Dolby Vision work out of the box with the cable.
This fiber optic HDMI cable from FeizLink has a 4.8mm diameter and 10mm bending radius. It’s lighter and sleeker than a copper-based lead, making cable management a lot easier. The gold-plated plug provides strong HDMI signal reception, and the zinc-alloy casing is resistant to corrosion. The outer TPU jacket also makes the cable resistant to permanent bends or kinks.
The FeizLink HDMI 2.0 fiber optic cable is available in different lengths, starting from 1 meter all the way to 25 meters. All of them are backed by a 5-year manufacturer warranty, giving you the most out of your investment. The cable’s build quality is exceptional at its class, so you will unlikely run into issues in the long term.
3. ATZEBE Fiber Optic HDMI 2.0 Cable
The ATZEBE Fiber Optic HDMI 2.0 Cable is specced similar to the previous one from FeizLink. It has a max signal transmission speed of 18 Gbps, meaning it supports 4K@60Hz video output with 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0 chroma subsampling.
Additional HDMI 2.0 features are also enabled over this cable, including ARC, HEC, CEC, EDID, etc. If your TV or monitor supports HDR or Dolby Vision, you can use the ATZEBE fiber optic HDMI cable without worrying about compatibility.
The pure fiberglass core inside the cable is immune to external noise, so you won’t have to deal with flickering or signal dropouts. The plugs on both cable ends are gold-plated, ensuring a reliable connection between your display and media device. Furthermore, the sturdy aluminum shell over the connector inhibits oxidation, and it protects the cable ends from breaking down over time.
According to the specifications, the following fiber optic cable is about 60% thinner than a copper HDMI cable, making it suitable for installation through electrical conduits. You can bend the lead easily without damaging its internals.
The ATZEBE fiber optic HDMI 2.0 cable is available for purchase in six sizes: 2m, 5m, 10m, 15m, 25m, and 30m. While it isn’t as cheap as a copper-based HDMI cable, the optical signal transmission provides the best picture and audio quality; even at relatively long distances. You also get 18 months of warranty with the product.
4. ROFAVEZCO Fiber Optic HDMI Cable
The ROFAVEZCO Fiber Optic HDMI cable is the most affordable option in the bunch. It meets the HDMI 2.0a specifications, allowing HDMI 2.0-compliant devices to take full advantage of the 18 Gbps throughput. The cable is also backward-compatible with older HDMI versions.
Since it’s an HDMI 2.0 fiber optic cable, you can get a 4K@60Hz video (w/ HDR and Dolby Vision) and lossless high-fidelity audio output without quality degradation over longer distances. It’s also compatible with ARC, Ethernet, CEC, and HDCP protocols.
The 4-core optical fiber inside guarantees high-speed, stable signal transmission. The copper wires surrounding it give the cable robust structural integrity. Like the previous fiber optic HDMI cables, this one from ROFAVEZCO also has gold-plated plugs, and the metal casing provides a firm connection between your AV devices.
The following HDMI cable doesn’t have many reviews, but the same cable is sold under different names and has hundreds of positive user ratings. Plus, ROFAVEZCO sells this particular fiber optic HDMI lead at a lower price than other options, making it an easy purchase among most consumers with a limited budget.
You can get it in either 10 meters or 15 meters in length. However, bear in mind that there’s no mention of a warranty period on the product page.
How does a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable Work?
The principle behind these slim and light fiber optic cables is fascinating. A photoelectric signal converter on one end of the cable converts the electronic HDMI signals to pulses of light. They travel at a very high-speed through the cable across fiber optic strands thinner than human hair. A dedicated decoder on the output end converts the light pulses back to electronic signals, which are then received by the display.
Besides video and audio transmission, fiber optic HDMI cables also carry display information (EDID) and copyright protection (HDCP) data, just like copper-based HDMI cables. However, the light pulses don’t degrade in long-distance transmission and are immune to interference, unlike the electrical HDMI signals that run through copper.
In the end, you get the inherent functionalities of a conventional HDMI lead combined with the benefits of fiber optics technology.
Fiber Optic Cables vs Standard HDMI Cables
When compared against standard HDMI cables, fiber optic HDMI offers a significant uplift in maximum cable length. Conventional HDMI leads suffer from signal quality degradation when transmitting 4K@60Hz video signals over 3 meters of distance between the source and receiver.
In contrast, fiber optic HDMI cables are built to transmit the same data stream over 300 meters! However, most manufacturers limit the cable length between 5 to 100 meters to deliver the best possible signal quality without an external signal amplifier.
The only major drawback of fiber optic HDMI cables is the higher price. They are also uni-directional, meaning that you must connect the source and receiver to the corresponding ends of the cable. On top of that, fiber optic is much more fragile in nature and can get easily damaged when bent to its limits.
Does a Fiber Optic HDMI Cable Benefit Gaming?
Unless your computer or game console isn’t in the same room as your TV, there aren’t really any benefits to using a fiber optic HDMI cable over a standard one. If you are wondering about latency, that shouldn’t be a problem since the light pulses travel at a very high speed.
The only advantage of using a fiber optic HDMI cable for gaming is that you don’t encounter flickering or black screens when transmitting 4K (and beyond) video signals at relatively high refresh rates over 3 meters of distance.
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In this guide, we have explored the best fiber optic HDMI cables and given an in-depth analysis of each option. We have also answered some of the questions you might have regarding the fiber optic HDMI cables’ functionality and benefits over regular ones.
It’s worth noting that the fiber optic HDMI cables showcased in this buying guide don’t require an external power supply. However, if you plan to buy a really long fiber optic HDMI cable, be sure to verify whether it comes with a dedicated power adapter or not. Otherwise, it won’t be able to transmit HDMI signals from the source end to the receiver end.