Sometimes the smallest conveniences come with an outsized sense of satisfaction, and that’s the case with an HDMI switch. They’re something that few people absolutely need, but they find the right balance between convenience and pricing, and they help more capably automate the process of handling a home theater system. Even the best HDMI switch is cheap enough for most people to justify it as a compulsive buy.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to models. Different switches come with different advantages and serve different purposes, and we’re here to help you untangle that. We offer a rating each for 10 of the best HDMI switches available in 2020 as well as a handy shopping guide.
- 10 Best HDMI Switches
- 1. Techole 4K HDMI Splitter Switch
- 2. J-Tech Digital 4K@30HZ 4-Port HDMI Switch
- 3. GANA 3 Port 4K HDMI Switch
- 4. Zettaguard 4 Port 4 x 1 HDMI Switch
- 5. Kinivo 301BN 4K IR Wireless Remote HDMI Switch
- 6. SGEYR 5×1 HDMI Switcher
- 7. UGREEN HDMI Switch 3 Port HDMI Switcher
- 8. Univivi HDMI 2.0 Switch
- 9. iArkPower 3 Port HDMI Switch
- 10. Fospower 4 x 2 HDMI Matrix Switch
- Best HDMI Switch Buyer’s Guide
10 Best HDMI Switches
1. Techole 4K HDMI Splitter Switch
Techole's model fills a pretty unique niche in that it can serve as both a splitter and a switch, so you can get quality 4K footage from your HDMI enabled devices whether you're looking to hook up your XBox to two separate TVs or hook up a couple of source devices to a single display. That may not matter much to the casual consumer, but it's great for multimedia geeks who like to frequently change up their configuration. The switching button itself comes with an LED indicator that lets you know which devices is currently active, and it's constructed from solid aluminum for a sturdier product.
2. J-Tech Digital 4K@30HZ 4-Port HDMI Switch
If your home is filled with consoles or other devices that use an HDMI cord, this HDMI switch from J-Tech can really help you out. It contains inputs for connecting four different devices to the same display, and it even includes an IR controller so you can seamlessly switch between different gadgets without having to get up from the couch. There's also an on/off toggle for the auto functionality that allows the switch to automatically connect to the last device used. But the coolest feature here is a picture in picture mode you can use to preview multiple devices.
3. GANA 3 Port 4K HDMI Switch
GANA offers a phenomenal price for an HDMI switch that supports three devices at once. That's enough to connect every major current gen console to a single display, and you can get that privilege for less than ten bucks. And given the price, it's an incredibly well built HDMI switch. The connected HDMI cable has a decent length of 1.8 meters, so you won't have to jump through logistical hoops to get everything lined up, and both the outputs and inputs are protected by gold plating to reduce the risk of corrosion or rusting even over extended periods of time.
4. Zettaguard 4 Port 4 x 1 HDMI Switch
Zettaguard has produced an HDMI hub that checks all the best boxes for higher end features. The presence of four inputs here makes this best suited for people with a ton of different devices, but the small conveniences this hub offers can make it worth your time if you just have a single XBox and one other device. A wireless controller allows users to change inputs without having to get up, while the presence of picture in picture gives you the means to preview what's on your other devices as well. This is a truly plug and play device you can have up and running in a matter of minutes.
5. Kinivo 301BN 4K IR Wireless Remote HDMI Switch
The Kinivo is a compact hub that's also very sturdy, and it can help organize the cables in your entertainment room without taking up much space at all. While we're reviewing the model with three inputs, you can also get a version with five. This model supports both automatic switching and manual switching with the included IR controller, and a toggle allows you to turn automatic functionality on and off if that's your preference. This is a best choice if you're working with limited space but still demand a hub that can connect all of your source devices in one place.
6. SGEYR 5×1 HDMI Switcher
SGEYR's HDMI switcher is one of the best deals in the business. That's because - despite being available for less than $30 - it sports one of the best builds available for an HDMI switch. The HDMI connectors are plated in solid gold for better conductivity and lower risk of corrosion, and the slim metal frame is compact and breathable while still retaining a sturdiness that many users will appreciate. It also makes use of an IR controller that's very well designed, making use of responsive and easily labeled buttons that let your easily turn the switch on and off of swap between inputs.
7. UGREEN HDMI Switch 3 Port HDMI Switcher
This HDMI switch is fast. Combine that with the high speed transmissions and a price of right around $16, and you're left with one of the best models available.Each port comes with its own LED indicator, and the IR controller is slim, stylish, and constrained to a simple four buttons. No drivers are needed, and this model can use standalone power but can also be powered by the devices it's connected to. But if you can't find the controller, a button is included on the hub itself that allows you to change sources manually at the base.
8. Univivi HDMI 2.0 Switch
Installing this hub from Univivi is as simple as plugging it in and using the IR controller included. You can count on it to work well with practically any HDMI enabled device available today, and it comes supported by some of the best customer service in the business. You get the full array of manual, remote, and automatic features that can be toggled on and off, and all of the connectors are plated in 24K gold to prevent corrosion and ensure higher transmission of 4K resolution video. If you want the best on a budget, the Univivi is a great choice.
9. iArkPower 3 Port HDMI Switch
The iArkPower 3 has one of the smaller amounts of ports on our list, but if you're in a home with a small amount of source devices (or a TV with a large number of HDMI outputs), the quality here is some of the best around. This HDMI hub has a dedicated power cord for stronger connectivity and even includes an RCA output for connections to retro consoles and other older devices. Auto switching is supported, but you'll also have access to an IR controller for manually switching between your devices.
10. Fospower 4 x 2 HDMI Matrix Switch
If you have multiple source devices and multiple monitors, the best HDMI hub for you may be this Fospower matrix switch. It supports four devices and two monitors or TVs, so you can easily switch between multiple screens without any difficulty. It's especially the best choice for serious gamers. This hub supports 4K at a respectable 30 Hz, and it's compatible with the top of the line Dolby high definition audio formats as well. Additionally, it comes with an optical input for maximum sound performance. An independent power cord ensures a higher level of stability than you'd find with hubs that draw their power from the devices they're connected to.
Best HDMI Switch Buyer’s Guide
Are you a little confused by the specs we’ve listed? Don’t worry about it. Finding the best HDMI switch for your needs requires understanding the importance of those specs, but they’re all pretty easy to understand. Below, we’ll get into the specifics on the important specs and then wrap things up with answers to the questions we hear most frequently.
HDMI cables transfer both high definition audio and video, and we’ve focused on both for our compatibility specs. Figuring out what video transmissions your HDMI switch is compatible with is easy. An HDMI switch that supports 4K resolution will also support 3D and any lower resolutions. A 1080p switch will only support a resolution of up to Full HD resolution. We generally believe investing in switches that support 4K is best as that’s rapidly becoming the new standard.
Refresh rate is a commonly used factor when determining the efficiency for gaming but is less used when watching movies or TV. The refresh rate refers to how many times a screen will refresh over the course of a second. 30 Hz is the standard for most of the devices we’ve given a rating to, but 60 Hz is the best rating. It likely won’t be an issue if you’re just watching TV but is something you should look for when engaging in high end competitive gaming.
It’s important to note that while the words are often used interchangeably, there’s a difference between an HDMI switcher or switch and an HDMI splitter. The former allows you to connect multiple media devices to the same screen, while the latter is used to connect a single device to multiple screens. For our guide, we’ve focused almost exclusively on HDMI switches.
The traditional convention for ports is aXb where a is the number of media sources and b is the number of screens. There are HDMI switcher models that can be reversed and serve as both a splitter and a switch, and some essentially work as both an HDMI switch and splitter by offering multiple ports on each side of the device. Consider both the amount of HDMI ports on your TV and the number of devices you have when seeking out the best HDMI switcher for your home.
An HDMI hub can either be powered by plugging the HDMI switch into the wall or by the power source of the devices it’s connected to. If you’re working with limited outlets, the best choice for an HDMI switch will probably be one that doesn’t have its own power source, but we think the best choice for most HDMI users is one with an independent source because they provide more consistent performance.
There are three different ways you can control an HDMI switch, with some being more convenient than others. We’re going to break them down below so you’re best equipped to find the model that’s right for you.
- More basic models tend to make use of a simple button on the HDMI switcher itself. Most offer an LED indicator that lets you know which device is currently connected, and while it’s the best option for reliability, it can be a hassle to have to cross the room to swap out your connected devices.
- An IR controller is far more convenient than a button because it allows users to switch between inputs from the comfort of their couch or chair. Many controllers also offer additional features like picture in picture for previewing other source devices hooked up. It’s the best option in terms of sheer convenience.
- Some switches will automatically switch to whatever device was turned on last, but that can be an inconvenience if you like having more active control of what you want as your active input. Fortunately, the best models allow you to toggle automatic switching on and off, but it can still be a huge convenience to have.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an HDMI Switch?
An HDMI switch is essentially a way to take the output from multiple separate video sources and connect them to a single display. That’s especially useful for anyone who has multiple gaming consoles or other multimedia devices and just a single TV.
Do I Need a 4K HDMI Switch?
If your TV and device is capable of 4K transmissions, you should absolutely get a switch that supports 4K transmission. Even if you don’t, it may be worth getting for when you eventually upgrade your gear. 4K is becoming the new standard, and spending just a few dollars more will prevent you from having to buy a replacement further down the road.
Do I Need a Powered HDMI Switch?
A powered HDMI switch isn’t essential, but it is convenient. They’re more reliable and generally easier to use. And the price discrepancy between powered and non-powered models is minimal enough that it’s going to be worth it to most users.
How Do I Switch Between HDMI Inputs?
That depends completely on the type of switch you’re using. Some come with a button for manually swapping between different devices, while others automate the process. A few even come with their own remote controls. We get into more details in the guides above, but you can also check the user manual for your switch if you need to know more.
The pricing discrepancies between even the best HDMI switcher or splitter isn’t going to be that great, and that’s why doing your due diligence when seeking out the best model is especially important. The difference between the amount of inputs for supports and sources, power sources, and resolution can be more important than they seem at a glance. We’ve been diligent about trying to make all the important specs available at a glance and provide you with a detailed walkthrough of all the information you need to know about. We’re confident you’ll find the best HDMI switch or splitter for you on our list.