Best HDMI Switch: Reviews Of Our Top Picks For 2020
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Table of Contents
So you have a gaming console, an Apple TV, a computer, a Blu-ray player and a cable box, and they all want to connect to your TV over HDMI. At some point, you’re bound to get sick of switching between cables every time you want to use the TV for a different purpose. Luckily, a HDMI switch (or switcher) can solve the nuisance of constantly swapping and fumbling about with cables.
A HDMI switch is a box that has multiple HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output. So instead of looking for a new TV with more HDMI inputs, you can get the same outcome with a great HDMI switcher. That way, you can seamlessly swap between devices depending on what you want to use at the moment.
However, as usual, the market is teeming with a variety of HDMI switchers. So how can you tell the good from the bad? That’s where we come in. We scoured the web and found the best HDMI switches that will provide excellent performance and last you a long time. Out of our list of top recommendations, you can find something that fits your needs and budget perfectly.
Without further ado, here are the best HDMI switchers on the market in 2020!
Best HDMI Switches
Don’t have time? Here’s a quick overview of our favorite HDMI switches:
Overall Best: Kinivo 550BN
Features: 5 HDMI input ports; 1080, 4K, 3D, and lots more resolution choices; auto-switch plus IR remote for swapping between sources; 2-year warranty.
Most Budget-Friendly: Gana HDMI Switch by 1st Choice
Features: 3 HDMI input ports; budget friendly price; doesn’t use power cable, draws power from connected devices.
Best Splurge: IOGEAR 4K 8-Port HDMI Switch
Features: 8 HDMI input ports; true 4K resolution; auto-switch; IR remote; universal remote compatible; 3-year warranty.
Best Overall: Kinivo 550BN
Our top pick is the Kinivo 550BN HDMI switch for its combination of excellent performance and an affordable price tag. This HDMI switch can support up to five devices and connect them to your TV/monitor. The Kinivo offers various resolution features and auto-switching. Overall, it is great value for your money.
The Kinivo 550BN offers a lot of versatility. To begin with, it has 5 HDMI ports that it then connects to a single output display – your TV. Additionally, it supports high-quality resolution options, including 1080p up to 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, and even 3D content.
This HDMI switch is quite easy to use. In terms of switching between devices, you can set it to automatic switching, which the switches it automatically between devices based on which device is turned on and actively sending an image. So basically, you’ll never have to get off that couch (except maybe to get a beer from the kitchen).
If the auto switch doesn’t work for some reason (we’ll get into that in the cons section), or you prefer to switch it manually, you can do so from an IR remote. Again, no getting off couches necessary.
The Kinivo 550BN is also quite durable. The design ensures efficient operation thanks to the aluminum body which prevents heat retention. To top that off, the switch comes with a 2-year warranty and a lifetime of customer support.
The auto switch function is sometimes problematic with Apple and Sony products, so you may need to switch to them manually using the remote.
Most Budget-Friendly: Gana HDMI Switch by 1st Choice
Our budget-friendly pick is the Gana HDMI switch by 1st Choice. This HDMI switch offers three HDMI ports and excellent durability for an unbelievably low price. The Gana is also quite straightforward and easy to use.
The Gana HDMI switch is quite easy to use. In fact, this is one of the most simple, straightforward options on the market. The Gana doesn’t use any additional power source, so it only needs to be connected to your TV and other devices for it to work. It obtains power from the connected devices! Additionally, the output cable that connects to the TV is built into the switch. Lastly, switching between sources is done with the single press of a button placed on the top of the unit.
The Gana comes with three HDMI ports that you can use. It’s designed to have all switches on one end, and the output cable on the other end, for easy and ergonomic placement.
Despite the low price, this HDMI switch is quite durable. The switch box doesn’t use any moving parts that could suffer from wear and tear over time. Additionally, the input and output connectors are gold plated, so they are corrosion resistant and have good transmission performance at the same time. The Gana’s plastic casing will provide sufficient shock protection.
Last but not least, 1st Choice offers great customer support. They’ve been eager to replace faulty devices and to contact customers that have faced problems.
Best Splurge: IOGEAR 4K 8-Port HDMI Switch
The IOGEAR 4K 8-Port HDMI Switch is by far the most luxurious option on our list. It can support up to 8 HDMI source devices, has multiple resolution options including support for true 4K resolution, and offers a lot of flexibility of use. If you have multiple devices and need a high-quality HDMI switch, you’ll love the IOGEAR. Not to mention it has one of the best warranties we’ve seen on the market.
The IOGEAR is our favorite splurge HDMI switch for a reason – it’s expensive, but it’s super feature-packed. The 8 HDMI ports support true 4K resolutions to 4096 x 2160 at 60Hz. Additionally, it distributes uncompressed audio formats, which is a tough thing to find in an HDMI switch. Plus, the IOGEAR supports high-speed data transfer rates of up to 18Gbps.
This HDMI switch is quite versatile and offers quite a bit of flexibility in handling. You can set it to auto-switch, use a push-button or an IR remote. It also has RS-232 support, so it’s compatible with touch panels and universal remotes, allowing it to fit perfectly into a smart home setting.
The IOGEAR offers the option of cascading up to three levels. What this means is that technically, you could connect more of these devices to each of their HDMI ports, and ultimately end up with a total of 512 ports, but we’re not sure why anyone would want to do that. In any case, if you have more than 8 devices that require HDMI ports, you can get an additional IOGEAR and connect it to another one of the TV’s inputs.
Last but not least, the IOGEAR is very sturdy and durable. There’s a no-slip locking power supply mechanism that will prevent undesired disconnects. The sturdy design is backed by an incredible 3-year warranty and a lifetime of free tech support.
Last but not least, everything you need to use this device comes in the box – even extension cables, power adapters, and a rack mounting kit.
The IOGEAR is by far the priciest option on our list.
Our overall top choice is the Kinivo 550BN for its beautiful balance of price and value. The Kinivo comes with 5 HDMI input ports, which is enough for most households’ source devices. Additionally, it supports multiple types of resolution, from 1080, to 4K, even to 3D. Additionally, the Kinivo offers flexibility in use and comes with a nice 2-year warranty.
The Gana HDMI Switch by 1st Choice is our favorite budget-friendly option. While it has 3 HDMI input ports, which is less than our other recommendations, it’s an excellent choice for a home with up to three devices. Not only does the Gana come at a very affordable price, but it’s also quite durable. It has a stress-proof plastic casing and no digital parts to break. The straightforward design makes it easy to use, although you will have to manually switch channels from the box.
Our favorite splurge HDMI switch is the IOGEAR 4K 8-Port HDMI Switch. This option is ideal for a smart home, as it’s compatible with universal remotes and touchpads. It comes with 8 HDMI ports and offers true 4K resolution. It’s also quite sturdy and durable, and comes with a 3-year warranty. It is quite pricey though!
How To Choose the Best HDMI Switch
Now you know the best HDMI switches, but which one is the right choice for you? Here are some of the main factors you should consider while choosing.
How Many HDMI Ports Will You Need?
How many devices in your home will you need to hook up to the HDMI switch? If you have multiple gaming consoles, a cable box, and a PC that you like to connect, and a satellite box on top of all that, then you should opt for an HDMI switch that has at least 5 HDMI ports.
On the other hand, if you don’t have that many source devices, you could just go for a simple 3-port HDMI switch option that will do the job and cost less.
What’s Your Budget?
Consider how much you’re able or willing to spend on your new HDMI switch. All our recommendations offer decent performance – even the most affordable ones. Still, mid-range and pricey options mean more features, like auto-switching features, support for higher resolutions and so on.
What Additional Features Do You Want?
As we mentioned, the price of an HDMI switch will also vary based on its features.
Before settling on a choice, consider whether you’d like something straightforward or something that will work well with a smart home. You’ll find that some options work with a button on the body of the device, with a special remote, or are universal remote-compatible.
Additionally, think over how many resolution options you’d like (will 4K cut it, or do you also want 3D?), what sort of source swapping settings you’d prefer, and so on.
You should also opt for a switch with a decent warranty. Contact the seller to get details on the warranty if it’s unclear on the product’s page.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Hopefully, our review and buying guide of the best HDMI switches was useful in your search. With the right HDMI switch, you will be able to simplify and declutter your entertainment center!
In case you need it, here’s a reminder of our top picks:
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Last updated on September 22, 2020. Pricing Information and Product Images obtained from Amazon Product Advertising API.
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