Have you ever asked yourself: Should I purchase that $180 HDMI cable from Best Buy, or the cheap $10 cable from Monoprice.com? Well, if you are cheap like me it’s easy; I’d go with the cheaper cable! Best Buy has a ridiculously high markup (up to 90%) on their cables, and wiring. Monster brand cables are typically no better than a premium cable you can buy from Monoprice.com, Amazon.com, Etc.. If you compare the specs on both cables they are nearly identical, but the one at Monoprice is a fraction of the cost of the Best Buy cable. If you plan on buying a projector then places like ProjectorPeople.com, and VisualApex.com have great package deals that include cables. I have dealt with both of those retailers in the past, and both are superb. They have great customer service, fast shipping, and quality products. If you just need a couple of cables, or some speaker wire, then Monoprice is your best bet. They ship fast, and have very good customer service as well.
I have used $150 Monster HDMI cables (I did not pay anywhere near that amount for them), and $5 HDMI cables from Monoprice. I was not able to distinguish any difference in video, or audio quality between the two cables. If you want something pretty, then there are cables out there that will fit the bill without spending Monster Cable money. For example you can get this braided HDMI cable at Amazon.com for less than $9, or this one on Ebay. You will not actually see a $170 difference in quality between the two cables linked at the beginning of this blog…ever. They both have similar quality, just very different price ranges. When I purchase something I always take price vs. performance into careful consideration, and you will definitely not get the extra performance out of a cable priced that high.
If you have the money to throw around and have a $100,000 home theater setup, then I might see why you would be drawn to an expensive cable. Some of them are very aesthetically pleasing, and might perform slightly better. For the average consumer like me, and possibly yourself, it’s just not worth the premium. Stores like Best Buy want nothing more than to con you into an overpriced cable, and why not? From their perspective it’s a good tactic. They make a higher profit margin on cables, more than anything else in the store.
My final word is skip Brick & Mortar stores altogether when it comes to any sort of cables, or wiring. They usually have no clue what they are talking about, and definitely do not have your best interests in mind. Stick to reputable websites like the ones I have mentioned, and NEVER pay more than you have to.
I will be back on Monday, and hopefully have a Comic-Con blog up by midweek. You will have a lot of fantastic pictures to look at, if things go as planned. See you next week!
- Ebenezer Stooge
Some visual examples:
This is what a $180 Best Buy cable looks like:
A $10 premium flat cable from Monoprice.com:
A $10 braided ethernet HDMI cable from Amazon.com: