The Best HDMI Switch (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

best-hdmi-switch-review-guideYou’ve got an Xbox. You’ve got a PS4. You’ve got a Blu-ray player. You’ve got a TV with an HDMI input port. The only problem is that you can’t plug 3 HDMI cables into a single port. You’ve got a problem. Fortunately, there is a device available that is capable of fixing your problem. The device we’re speaking of is an HDMI switch.

Capable of giving HD capabilities to several devices at the same time with the use of just one HDMI port on your television, HDMI switches make it simple to switch over to different devices. Want to switch from gaming to watching a movie in no time without the loss of video quality? An HDMI switch is exactly what you need.

Compare: The 10 Top HDMI Switches of 2016

What is an HDMI Switch?

HDMI switches are electronic tools which give HD capabilities to several different devices at the same time with the use of just one television HDMI output port. Equipped with anywhere between 2 and 10 HDMI input ports, they allow you to connect everything from your gaming console, to your Blu-ray player, to your cable box, giving all of those devices HD capabilities in the process.

HDMI switches work by switching their capabilities over to the device which is being used at present moment. For instance, if you’re gaming, the HD capabilities will be provided to your gaming system. But right once you turn your gaming system off and turn on your Blu-ray player, you Blu-ray player will be given the HD capabilities.

What are the Benefits of an HDMI Switch

The primary benefit of a HDMI switch is that you can connect several different devices to one HDMI output port on your TV. This allows you to switch between your gaming console, Blu-ray player, and cable box without any loss in HD video quality.

Without an HDMI switch, you would have to disconnect and plug in the HDMI cable from and to every different device you want to use. This is not only annoying, but very time-consuming as well.

Who are the Contenders for Best HDMI Switch?

FarSail 4K x 2K 4 Port HDMI Switch Hub – Equipped with four HDMI input ports, this FarSail HDMI switch allows you to connect with four different devices at one time, giving HD capabilities to essentially your entire lineup of entertainment systems. With both automatic and manual switching capabilities, it comes with a wireless remote which allows you to switch systems from the couch. Supporting display resolutions up to 4k*2k@120Hz and 1080p 3D@60Hz, it works seamlessly with just about any TV you can think of.

SOWTECH Digital 1X2 HDMI Switch – Supporting visual resolutions up to 1080P and 3D, this Sowtech HDMI switch is compatible with almost any TV on the market today. Sporting two HDMI input ports, it can provide HD capabilities to two devices at one time, allowing you to connect, perhaps, a gaming console and a cable box. Equipped with both automatic and manual switching capabilities, it is as easy to use as any HDMI switch you’re going to find.

Badalink Premium Quality 3 Port HDMI Switcher – Designed to provide both automatic and manual switching capabilities, this Badalink HDMI switch is exceedingly user-intuitive. Equipped with 3 HDMI input ports, it is capable of providing HD capabilities to game consoles, cables boxes, Blu-ray players, and more. Supporting visual resolutions up to HD 3D 1080P, it will accommodate just about any TV you can find.

Considerations for Choosing the Right HDMI Switch

On a purely physical, visual level, all HDMI switches appear to be about the same. They are metal and plastic boxes which possess HDMI input ports and a bevy of different switches and buttons. However, just because every HDMI switch appears to be the same, it doesn’t mean that every HDMI switch is the same. There are a number of aspects which separate bad, good, great, and excellent HDMI switches. To choose the best HDMI switch available, you must take these aspects into consideration. They range from the HDMI switch’s total connectivity, to its switching capabilities, to its video and audio compatibility, to how easy it is to install and use.

• Connectivity
Connectivity refers to the amount of HDMI cables which are able to be plugged into the HDMI switch. HDMI switches possess anywhere from two HDMI input ports, to six, to sometimes even more. The more HDMI input ports a switch possesses, the more devices it can work with at a single time.

• Switching Capabilities
While most HDMI switches on the market today are capable of automatic switching whenever a specific device is being used, there are still some around which can only be switched manually. If you want to be able to turn your device on and get instant HD, you’re going to want to get a HDMI switch with automatic switching capabilities.

• Video/Audio Compatibility
Though it would be nice if they were, the fact of the matter is that not all HDMI switches are compatible with all types of video and audio. Before making a purchase, it’s important to read up on the switch to ensure that it will accommodate your specific devices.

• Ease of Use
While most HDMI switches are fairly simple to use, there are some which can be a little complicated to install and operate adequately. Ideally, after the switch is installed, it should be able to automatically pick up on whatever device you’re currently using.

Related: The Best KVM Switch (Guide)

Connectivity

FarSail 4K x 2K 4 Port HDMI Switch Hub

Equipped with four HDMI input ports, this FarSail HDMI switch allows you to connect to four different devices at one time, including cable boxes, game consoles, and Blu-ray players. Included with this WiFi switch is a WiFi remote control which allows you to switch between devices remotely.

Badalink Premium Quality 3 Port HDMI Switcher

Falling just below the FarSail HDMI switch in our top 3 in terms of connectivity, this Badalink HDMI switch is capable of connecting to three different devices at once. It works with devices such as gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, projectors, and more.

SOWTECH Digital 1X2 HDMI Switch

In terms of connectivity, this Sowtech HDMI switch is not quite on par with either the FarSail or Badalink HDMI switches in our top 3. It possesses just two HDMI output ports, and one HDMI input port, allowing you to connect to just two devices at one time.

Switching Capabilities

FarSail 4K x 2K 4 Port HDMI Switch Hub

Though it is equipped with a “switch” button for manual switching between devices, this FarSail HDMI switch will automatically switch to whichever device you’re using at the current time. Switches occur seamlessly with no lag, ensuring that you can start using your device as soon as it turns on.

SOWTECH Digital 1X2 HDMI Switch

As far as switching capabilities go, this Sowtech HDMI switch is just about the same as the FarSail HDMI switch in our top 3. It possesses both automatic and manual switching capabilities, allowing you to switch over between cable boxes, gaming consoles, projectors, and more with very little lag.

Badalink Premium Quality 3 Port HDMI Switcher

Like the FarSail and Sowtech HDMI switches in our top 3, this Badalink HDMI switch possesses both manual and automatic switching capabilities. Each time it switches to a different device, there will be a tiny, but ultimately harmless lag that doesn’t do anything to take away from your viewing experience.

Video/Audio Capabilities

FarSail 4K x 2K 4 Port HDMI Switch Hub

As far as video and audio capabilities go, this FarSail HDMI switch is exceedingly advanced. Capable of supporting 3D video up to a 297 MHZ TMDS clock, it can also support display resolutions up to 4k*2k@120Hz and 1080p 3D@60Hz. As far as sound goes, it can support digital audio formats such as DTS-HD and Dolby-true-HD.

SOWTECH Digital 1X2 HDMI Switch

Capable of supporting video resolutions of 480P, 576P, 720P, 1080i, and 1080P, this Sowtech HDMI switch is also capable of supporting 3D transfer. As far as audio compatibility goes, it accommodates LPCM, Dolby-AC3, and DTS7.1, to name a few.

Badalink Premium Quality 3 Port HDMI Switcher

Capable of supporting resolutions of 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, this Badalink HDMI switch also supports full HD 3D 1010P for television. As far as audio goes, it supports LPCM, Dolby AC3, DTS7.1, and Direct Stream Digital.

Ease of Use

FarSail 4K x 2K 4 Port HDMI Switch Hub

With a remote control and a manual “switch” button, this FarSail HDMI switch is very ease to use. It can be installed quickly and conveniently used by simply being plugged into the television on one side, and then plugged into external devices on the other side.

SOWTECH Digital 1X2 HDMI Switch

As long as you’ve got some HDMI cables and some devices to plug them into, this Sowtech HDMI switch is ridiculously easy to use. You simply plug the HDMI cables into both the input and output ports, and then plug them all into your various devices.

Badalink Premium Quality 3 Port HDMI Switcher

Like the Sowtech and FarSail HDMI switches in our top 3, this Badalink HDMI switch is beyond easy to use. You simply plug an HDMI cord into its output port, connect HDMI cords into its input ports, and connect all of these cords to their various devices.

Also read: The Best Digital HDTV Antenna (Guide)

Conclusion: Our HDMI Switch Reviews

Best Cheap: Badalink Premium Quality 3 Port HDMI Switcher

badalink-premium-quality-3-port-hdmi-switcherThough it’s available for a bargain price, this Badalink HDMI switch works just as well as most high-end HDMI switches on the market. Equipped with 3 HDMI input ports, it allows you to connect with everything from gaming consoles, to Blu-ray players, to cable boxes, and more. Supporting visual resolutions up to HD 3D 1080P, it works exceedingly well with almost every TV on the market today. If you’re looking for a high-quality HDMI switch at an affordable price, you need to give this one a look.

Pros:

  • Equipped with 3 HDMI input ports
  • Possesses both automatic and manual switching capabilities
  • Compatible with just about any TV you can find

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with instructions

Best for the Money: SOWTECH Digital 1X2 HDMI Switch

sowtech-digital-1x2-hdmi-splitterWhile it may not be the absolute best HDMI switch on the market today, this Sowtech HDMI switch is pretty close; and for a reasonable price at that. Capable of supporting up to 3D data transfer, it works with almost any TV you can throw at it. With both automatic and manual switching capabilities, it intuitively provides HD capabilities to whichever device you’re using at the present time. Equipped with only 2 HDMI input ports, it may not possess superb connectivity, but for what it does connect to, it provides excellent functionality. Looking for a great HDMI switch at a reasonable price? Consider this one by Sowtech.

Pros:

  • Supports everything up to 3D data transfer
  • Very strong, consistent signal
  • Possess both automatic and manual switching capabilities

Cons:

  • Only possesses two HDMI input ports

Best Overall: FarSail 4K x 2K 4 Port HDMI Switch Hub

farsail-4k-x-2k-automatic-hdmi-switchWhile it’s certainly up for debate, in our opinion, this FarSail HDMI switch is the best HDMI switch currently on the market. Equipped with four HDMI input ports, it allows you to connect with everything from gaming consoles, to cable boxes, to Blu-ray players, and more. Supporting visual resolutions up to 4k*2k@120Hz and 1080p 3D@60Hz, it provides absolutely top-notch data transfer. Looking for the best HDMI switch around? You can’t go wrong with this one by FarSail.

Pros:

  • Ridiculously strong and consistent signal
  • Possesses 4 HDMI input ports
  • Supports up to 1080P 3D data transfer

Cons:

  • Some have difficulties getting it to work properly

In Conclusion

If you’ve got a TV with only one HDMI output port, but several different devices to plug into it, there’s nothing that can make your life easier than an HDMI switch. An HDMI switch will allow you to simply and conveniently switch to whichever device you want to use, ensuring that you don’t have to plug in an HDMI cable every time you want to use it.

Expansive, high-functioning switches like the FarSail 4K x 2K 4 Port HDMI Switch Hub allow you to give HD capabilities to a number of different devices while losing nothing in the way of signal strength. Tired of taking out and plugging in your HDMI cable every time you want to use a different device? Invest in a high-quality HDMI switch.