HDMI switches have become essential accessories even for the most modest of electronics users. With a plethora of gadgets needing to be connected to TVs and computer screens, the market for HDMI switches continues to grow. Today, there are a lot of HDMI switch brands around. Identifying the best products out of the lot requires meticulous investigation and in-depth knowledge of the technicalities surrounding them.
In coming up with this list, we considered several factors that come together to make a top-quality HDMI switch. Among them are the HDMI version, number of ports, compatibility, data transfer speed, cost, HPCD compliance, and others.
It is based on these factors that we eventually settled for the following high-performance HDMI switches as the best for 2023. Read on.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 favorite picks when it comes to the best HDMI switches for gaming in 2023!
Are HDMI Switches Worth It For Gaming?
Yes, HDMI switches are necessary components for your gaming tool kit. You’ll need an HDMI switch if you have many HDMI compatible devices but few HDMI ports in your home or office setup. An HDMI switch will make it hassle-free to switch from one console to another, for example.
If your intention is to play the same game on a couple of monitors or more, you can use an HDMI splitter to help display them. But if you seek an extension for your TV’s HDMI port, then use an HDMI switch so that there will no longer be any need for constant removal and swapping of cables.
Does HDMI Switch Affect FPS?
No, it won’t because FPS does not depend on how a monitor is connected. In analog connections, the monitor’s performance in terms of image quality can depreciate slightly. But HDMI is a digital and not an analog technology.
1. OREI HD-602 6×2 HDMI 1.4V Matrix Switch/Splitter – Best Overall
This fairly sized but sleek HDMI switch comes with 6 input and 2 output ports which should be enough to plug in those your gaming, movie, and computer devices. It is a plug-and-play device that requires no setup or special configuration. All you have to do to start gaming is connect both your input and output device(s).
Its built-in auto-adjusting amplifier guards against signal loss and also helps to improve the signal before transporting it to the outputs. This is one HDMI switch that supports a wide variety of audio options – TLPCM, Dolby-AC3, DTS7.1, DSD/Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD master audio, and other similar options.
The OREI HD-602 6×2 switch is constructed with a premium metal body and advanced engineering technology that help guard against degradation and ensure longevity. Its range of video resolutions are [email protected] with 24bit YCBCR 4:2:2, [email protected] with 8bit YCbCr 4:2:0.
It is an HDMI 2.0 device that is HPCD 2.2 compliant and CEC (pass-through) compatible. It has a bandwidth frequency of 2.25 Gbps (single link), support for 3D/2D, HD resolutions up to 1080p, and Ultra HD resolutions up to 4K/2K, as well as deep color support of up to 48 bits. It is backed by a 1-year warranty.
Why is the OREI 6×2 Switch/Splitter the best HDMI Switch for gaming in 2023?
There are quite a few reasons the OREI 6×2 Switch/Splitter emerged as the top pick. As noted above it is a product of advanced engineering coated with a solid metal housing that makes for long life.
With this switch, you do not have to fear performance quality lowering with time because it will give you an optimal gaming experience for a very long time. This is largely because of its outstanding audio and video quality. It enables you to use the switching function if you have only one display and the splitter function if you have only one input.
2. IOGEAR 8-Port HDMI Switch – Premium Pick
The GHS181 gear is a luxury HDMI switch that can connect 8 devices simultaneously. Devices it can connect include video game consoles, computers, media servers, DVR/Set-top boxes, Blu-ray/DVD players, and many others. With HDTV display resolutions that range from 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, gamers are in for a stunning visual experience. This high-end HDMI switch offers full 3D support in addition to an IR remote control.
It has a built-in serial port with RS-232 bi-directional control capabilities along with an intuitive front panel pushbutton. There’s also support for a 12-bit deep color mechanism as well as Dolby HD and DTS Master Audio.
This IOGEAR HDMI switch can distribute uncompressed audio formats, something hard to find HDMI switches. It also boasts a high-speed data transfer rate of up to 18Gbps. It comes with a no-slip locking power supply feature that ensures there’ll be no unwanted disconnects.
It is designed with IOGEAR’s Video DynaSyncÔäó technology that optimizes a monitor’s display resolution by reading and recalling a monitor’s parameters in order to ensure the absence of delays or changes in video resolution when switching or between computers. So gamers using this IOGEAR HDMI switch are not going to experience any display resolution problems.
They’ll also enjoy a 3-year warranty and lifetime free tech support. This environment-friendly product comes with some other extras such as a firmware upgrade cable, power adapter, rack mounting kit, among others.
3. Koopman 4 x 1 HDMI 2.0 Switch – Budget Pick
This is a 4 port HDMI switch with some quality gaming features. For instance, it offers support for HDMI-integrated devices, such as Nintendo, PS3/4/4 PRO, X-BOX One, DVD/Blu-ray DVD, PC/Notebook, MacBook, STB, Roku TV/Fire TV/ and other Apple and Sony Devices with HDMI ports. It has a data transfer rate of 18Gbps and guarantees a stable connection with no lags or loss of image and sound quality.
Being a 4 x 1 port device, you can connect up to four HDMI input devices to one HD display/TV/projector as well as one output device. Hence, it is a useful solution for gamers facing multiple HDMI device challenges. With it, you can easily switch between games and movies without any interruption.
Also, this plug-and-play product ensures that you’ll not need to stand up from your chair while playing your favorite games. This is because it automatically allows you to select input sources via an infrared remote controller.
The resolution quality is very high because of its Ultra HD 4K x [email protected] resolution. It is also compatible with lower resolutions like [email protected],/ Full HD 1080P/ Full 3D 1080P/ 720P, and others. It can also support HDR10, HDCP 2.2 and is backward compatible with HDCP 1.4, and 1.3. Audio formats supported by this Koopman 4×1 HDMI switch include DTS-HD, LPCM 7.1, PCM, DTS, Dolby Digital AC3, and more. It is backed by a 24-month money-back guarantee as well as a lifetime customer and technical support.
The Kinivo 550BN 4K HDMI switch comes with an IR wireless remote and four 6.6ft high-speed cables that can connect HDMI input devices such as gaming consoles, DVD players, streaming devices, and others via 5 ports. The remaining port is the output port. It is capable of 4K 60Hz, 4K 30Hz, and 1080p resolutions.
In terms of ergonomics, this Kinivo HDMI switch comes in a durable, high-quality housing that helps check corrosion and boosts signal strength via 100% all-copper conductors, triple cable shielding, and 24K golden all-metal jacket connectors.
It has universal compatibility with several devices (Xbox One, PS4, Roku, Apple TV, and Blu-Ray Player. Laptops with HDMI output to projectors, 4K UHD TV, A/V receivers, among others. Gamers and other users of the Kinivo 550 HDMI switch will enjoy a lifetime Warranty. Customer support is limited to those in the US.
The Zettaguard 5 x 1 HDMI switch is compatible with HDMI source components such as gaming consoles, DVD players, digital cable and satellite boxes, Blu-ray disc players, and digital media players. There’s also HPCD v2.2 compatibility that guards against the copying of digital and video content passing through connections.
It can connect as many as 5 HDMI source components and can easily switch between HDMI ports. It comes with an infrared remote control to help you find your desired picture quality as well as to select any of the source components.
This sleek and slim unit supports a high resolution of up to [email protected] and audio formats such as LPCM 7. 1Ch, TrueDolby, and DTS-HD Master Audio. It has a data transfer speed of 18Gbps and dimensions of 8.43 x 4.8 x 2.44 inches.
This is yet another 5 x 1 switch that has features that make for a pleasant gaming experience. It is coated with an aluminum body that helps in heat dissipation for longevity, optimal utilization of power, and safety.
Its 5 input ports ensure you can plug in both your gaming and other devices. Some of the devices include Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, PC, Apple fire TV, fire TV stick, Roku, and others. The connectors in each of the 5 ports are plated with 24K gold for faster signals as well as for corrosion and oxidation prevention.
The display resolution for this Univivi switch is [email protected] which is high enough for crystal clear images. When this unit is in one active input mode, the splitter automatically switches to the current active port. When it is in multi-active input mode, input sources can either be selected manually via built-in buttons or with the infrared remote controller from the comfort of your seat.
There’s also an LED light that indicates the currently active port. In all, the Univivi product will not only enable pleasant gaming sessions but will also provide fast and stable video signal transmission without any lags or flicking.
With a bandwidth of up to 18Gbps, the ROOFULL 5 port HDMI switch will optimize your gameplay by providing you stable and fast transmission signals and crisp clear images, with neither delay nor distortion.
This 4k machine can support up to five HDMI 2.0 devices (including PS3/4 Pro, Nintendo Wii, Blu-ray/DVD player, Xbox One/360, Chromecast, Apple TV, PC/laptop, and more.) to one UHD display device (UHD TV, monitor or projector)
A [email protected] resolution provides an enduring visual performance. It also provides audio support to spice up your favorite games in the form of DTS:X / Dolby Atmos / Dolby Digital / DTS-HD / Dolby-HD / LPCM 7.1 / Dolby-AC3 / DSD HD(HBR) / PCM.
This ROOFULL HDMI switch comes with an upgraded A/V solution for improved performance and an easier switching experience when you are playing games or watching TV. There is also HDCP 2.2/1.4 support for data security as well as backward compatibility with HDMI versions 1.4 and 1.3.
It comes with 3 switching methods – automatic switching, manual button pressing, and remote controlling. These 3 options are tailored to suit all your moods. For example, you can use your remote control if you do not want to leave your sitting position. This product offering includes an 18-month warranty and lifetime technical support
How to Choose the Best HDMI Switch?
Below are some variables to consider when trying to find the best HDMI switch to use.
Like every other industry in the technology sector, standards in the HDMI switch industry are in constant flux. One impact of change is the evolution of new HDMI versions as upgrades to the older ones. Needless to say that each new HDMI switch version comes with improved features and technological capabilities.
But note that a switch designed with a new HDMI version may not have some of the particular features you want while you may find such desired features in an older version. Therefore, it always comes down to what specifications you are actually looking for. If you have nothing in mind and just want to purchase a quality HDMI switch, then consider opting for a switch with the newest version.
Endeavor to choose an HDMI switch that will cater to your needs. For example, if you play various kinds of games, watch movies, like listening to audio music, often connect your laptop to a TV, etc, you’ll want to select a switch that has compatibility with all the devices you’ll be using. This should not be much of a problem since even the most basic of HDMI switches are compatible with several kinds of devices.
Data Transfer Rate
For an HDMI connection, the data transfer rate is simply the speed that it takes to transport input data to the output port. Since HDMI switches are not data processing gadgets, the rate at which they move input data to the output port is expected to be extremely fast. In most HDMI switches, the data transfer rate is between 3.2Gbps and 18Gbps. It is important to note that higher data transfer speeds bring about lower lags and vice versa.
Functionality here means whether the switch is manually or automatically operated. In the manual process, you have to click a button to switch to other input modes. In auto-switching, the mechanism is built in so you do not need any psychomotor action.
Automated operations and remote controlling tend to be more popular than the manual method, most likely due to convenience. However, both methods can be found on a lot of HDMI switches these days.
Compliance to HDCP
HDCP stands for High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection. It is a security compliance technology that was originally developed by engineers at Intel but has gradually been adopted in the tech world. It is meant to prevent unwanted third-party access to digital audio and video content traveling across connections.
A number of HDCP versions have emerged over the years since its introduction in the early 21st century. Versions 1.4 and 2.2 are the most widely applied. Nowadays, all of your devices and cables must be HDCP compliant to access 4K content.
Number of Ports
The most salient consideration here is the number of devices that will be competing for a spot in your proposed HDMI switch. If you own several gaming consoles and some other gadgets, for example, then it will be most logical to go for an HDMI switch with a minimum of 5 input ports. If this is not the case, then one with 3 ports will suffice.
Cost considerations arise because of limited budgets which is the reality for most people. So what are you willing to pay for a new HDMI switch? Remember that the more the number and sophistication of the switch’s features, the higher it will cost. If you are looking for something simple that will just provide basic service, then there’s no need for pricey high-end switches.
The picture quality is largely determined by the kind of resolution in the switch. The higher the resolution, the more qualitative the picture, and vice versa. A larger proportion of the videos you see on the internet are of 4k (1080p) resolution.
This is not quite the same for Gaming display resolution where 1440p is the highest for a majority of the games out there. If you want the sharpest image quality, then a 4k HDMI switch is the way.
Type of HDMI Connectors
Before you purchase HDMI cables, try to ensure their connectors are what you actually need. Connectors are mainly of 3 kinds – standard, micro, and mini. It is among these 3 that you are most likely to choose from because other types such as type B and Type E will not suit the purpose. For cables, the conventional standard type remains the most popular albeit you’ll also find micro and mini cables as well
For most use cases, HDMI cables of a few meters or thereabout will suffice. In some cases, these not-so-long cables may even be too long for the purpose and may need to be coiled together to shorten them. But there are situations where long cables will be most suitable. Long here mean cables that can extend as far as 10 meters and beyond.
If such is the case, try to settle for a cable that has an amplifier since the latter will help enhance and equalize the signal whenever necessary. Alternatively, you can also complement your long HDMI cable with an extender.
HDMI switches are necessary accessories in today’s digital world. The need for them is even more acute if you have a number of HDMI compatible appliances but little or no HDMI ports. Because of their many use cases, several HDMI switch brands are competing in a crowded market.
Hence, it can be a difficult task to precisely identify the best 7 HDMI switches for 2023 due to a large number of products out there. The aim of this article is to make things easier for you the reader in terms of not only identifying some of the top HDMI switches today but also providing useful information on how to go about searching for your ideal HDMI switch. Remember to shop according to your needs.