The best HDMI switches make managing and switching between multiple HDMI input devices easier. Computers and televisions are usually limited in HDMI ports, which can be a pain if you have multiple devices to use. With an HDMI switch, you can plug in multiple input devices simultaneously and simply select the device that you need at any given time.
Let’s take a look at some of the best-ever HDMI switches offering plug-and-play functions.
What Is an HDMI Switch?
To fully understand what an HDMI switch is, it’s necessary to know what HDMI is. It is a video and audio interface, and its acronym stands for the high-definition multimedia interface. HDMI ports transmit video and audio data from an HDMI-compatible source to a display monitor like a computer or a high-definition TV screen.
Most computers and televisions only have one or two HDMI ports. On the other hand, you have a handful of HDMI input devices, including DVD players, video projectors, smartphones, gaming consoles, and so on. A problem then arises: how can you accommodate multiple devices when you have limited HDMI ports? The solution then is to use an HDMI switch.
An HDMI switch is a device with multiple HDMI ports that connect to a single HDMI port on an output device to extend its functionality. In other words, you can fit more input devices with the help of a switch than without. For example, if you are a gamer, you can plug in multiple gaming consoles (e.g., Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox One) into a single HDMI switch.
If you ever need to switch between consoles, you can simply click on a remote or a switch button. In many ways, an HDMI switch is a lot like a power extension cord with switches, except it plugs into an HDMI port instead of an electric socket.
HDMI switches typically offer the ability to switch control between devices connected to them. Most let you toggle control between devices through remote control or a dedicated switch. Some also offer automatic switching, which automatically detects the device you are using. These eliminate the need to plug and unplug devices from the display constantly.
12 Best HDMI Switches for Gaming and Entertainment
Limited porting on standard television can curtail the entertainment value of games and movies, especially if you have to switch between devices often. Suppose you are an entertainment enthusiast or gamer with many devices to try out. In that case, an HDMI switch can make the transition process between devices more accessible.
Here are some of the best HDMI switches to help you manage multiple input devices:
The Kinivo 550BN is a capable and affordable device and one of the best HDMI switches. The device comes with five trapezium-shaped HDMI ports, four of which connect to input devices. It also comes with four HDMI cables that are two meters in length each. Each cable is covered in a PVC jacket, with an extra padded tip near the connector to protect it from physical damage.
The device can accommodate up to four input devices, with the remaining port serving as the output port. This unit can bring you 4K and 1080p resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate. Refresh rate is simply the count of individual images or frames to flash into a screen per second. The concept is very similar to frame rates.
The device doesn’t come with remote control, but it does have a dedicated button for switching between devices. You also get a single nylon-braided cable that is about three feet long. The nylon braid is meant to protect the cable against physical damage due to extra-rugged conditions.
The Kinivo HDMI switch retails between USD 85 to 100. Included in the package is a two-year warranty for the product, not to mention free customer support.
The Roofull 2.0 is a simple and highly affordable solution to your connectivity woes and one of the best HDMI switches. The device has a rectangular-shaped metal case in the color black, with slanted holes at the side for ventilation and a panel of light indicators at the front. Meanwhile, the porting panel contains six HDMI slots at the back, five of which are for input devices. The device also comes with its own remote control but no HDMI cables.
The Roofull switch can accommodate up to five input devices, which can be anything from your DVD player to Chromecast. It also offers support for specific brands of gaming consoles, namely PS3 and Xbox. The device supports both 4K and 1080p at a bandwidth of 18Gbps. It also comes with a dedicated switch to let you toggle control between input devices.
Naturally, you can use the switch to toggle between devices. In fact, it offers three ways to do it. You can press the button on the remote control, manually press a separate button on the device, or rely on the automatic switching function. The device comes with a set of cables to cover all input ports, which is great.
Pricing for the Roofull 2.0 HDMI switch starts at USD 35, but it can cost as high as USD 60. A purchase will get you an 18-month warranty in addition to a lifetime of professional support.
Another smartly priced option, the Koopman 4K HDR, is ideal for people who don’t like complex setups and unnecessary functions. It’s also one of the best HDMI switches in the market. Based on looks, this device takes on the appearance of a small DVD player, with rounded edges and a thick plastic casing.
The Koopman 4K has five inputs and one output and supports Ultra-HD and 4K at 60Hz. Anything below 4K, including 10180p and 720p, are also supported. The device also complies with a selection of standards, including HDCP 2.2, which prevents the copying of output data into input devices. You also have a large base of gaming devices to pair up with your television or computer.
The device comes with a basic remote, but it doesn’t offer HDMI cables for your input devices. At the front of the device is a panel of light indicators, with five green lights and a single red light. The green lights indicate which input ports are occupied, while the red light is a power indicator.
You can easily switch between devices by using the remote control or by pressing the dedicated button on the device. The device also features an automatic switching function.
The Koopman 4K HDMI switch is one of the cheaper options on this list, with a price range between USD 20 and 30. The package also comes with a 24-month warranty plus a lifetime of customer support.
The OREI HD-602 is a little bit larger than most switches on this list and is about the same length as a Sony DVD player. It has a matte-type metal case that should keep dust and water off of its internal components. Design-wise, there’s not much to see except for the OREI company logo printed on top.
When it comes to the availability of ports, you are hard-pressed to find a device with more ports than this one. The unit has six input ports, two HDMI output ports, a single stereo port, and a DCV-5 type port plug.
Take note that one of the two output ports is ARC-type. ARC is both an input and output for audio input. Normally an HDMI port only functions as an input for audio, such as when you plug your DVD player into your television. But with ARC, you can redirect your audio signals from the television to a second output device, such as a speaker.
The unit supports at least an Ultra-HD resolution and anything below that when it comes to video quality. It also supports 2D and 3D visual effects. Any console that can connect to an HDMI connector can connect to the device as well. The device also comes with a remote, but not extra cables for input devices.
Pricing for the OREI HD-602 HDMI falls between USD 100 and 150, making it easily one of the more expensive options on this list. Nevertheless, the price range seems justified considering the number of ports as well as the build quality of the device. The company offers a 30-day return policy for the package in addition to a one-year warranty.
The TOTU HDMI switch 4K is another reasonably-priced offering and one of the best HDMI switches in the market. The device follows the typical rectangular form factor, with a small panel with light indicators on the front and ports at the back. It comes with a grey-colored, matte-type metal casing that promises to be both waterproof and dust-proof.
The device can support a maximum of four input devices and a single output device. It offers a resolution of 4K at a 60Hz refresh rate. Naturally, it will also support resolutions lower than the maximum, including 1080p and 720p. 2D and 3D formats are also supported. Having said this, you can pair any HDMI-ready gaming console such as PS3 or Xbox with this unit.
The TOTU 4K comes with its own remote that’s very straightforward to use. If you don’t like that route, you can simply click on the dedicated button on the device shift control over devices. The only thing that’s missing is HDMI cables, which you have to provide for yourself.
The TOTU 4K HDMI switch can be considered as a mid-range option, with a price that starts at USD 30. Included in the package is a one-year warranty for the product as well as free customer support.
The Proster HDMI switch is another affordable and straightforward option for people on a budget. The device follows the typical form factor for an HDMI switch, with its box-like appearance and dark black-colored metal case.
One of the unique aspects of this unit’s design relates to the placement of ports. Most devices keep their ports at the rear end, but this one keeps its ports on the sides, specifically the left flank. The output ports are located on the other side, on the right flank of the device.
The device can accommodate up to three input devices, with a single output port to connect to a television or computer. Its maximum resolution is pegged at 4K with a 30Hz refresh rate.
Another noteworthy feature is the HDMI Pass-Through. This feature allows audio signals to pass through the television through to a home theater system where they will be played. Video signals, on the other hand, pass through normally and are played through the television. It’s a lot like having speakers play your music from your phone or computer.
The unit comes with its own remote, which allows you to select the exact port you want to activate. The device itself features a switch button to let you toggle between devices. The package comes with all HDMI cables that you could need to connect input and output devices.
The Proster HDMI switch may have a simple design. You can get your own device for anywhere between USD 20 to 40.
The Leefante Bi-Directional Switch has a functional, portable, and affordable design, making it easily one of the best HDMI switches. The square-shaped device is only about the size of an AC adapter, only slightly broader. Its small frame can only accommodate up to two devices at a time, which should be more than enough for most people.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this device is that it functions both as a switch and a splitter. For those wondering, a splitter is the exact opposite of a switch. It essentially duplicates input from a single source device and replicated it onto two outputs.
Also check out this list of the best splitters on the market
With Leefante, you can either plug in two input devices and connect them to a single output display in the way of a switch or connect a single input device and then toggle between two output displays in the way of a splitter.
The device offers a maximum resolution of 4K at a 60Hz refresh rate, delivered at bandwidth speeds of up to 10.2 Gbps. The device can also be used to pair mouse and keyboard setups with a computer, which is great for using your computer as the output.
The device doesn’t support automatic switching, but there is a dedicated button for toggling control between devices. The device also comes with cables for connecting devices to the input port as well as the output port.
The cost of the Leefante Bi-Directional switch falls within the USD 12 to 20 price range, making it one of the cheapest options in the market. Although the device doesn’t seem to include a warranty, it does include full customer support.
The SGEYR switch is a great option for those who are only after the basics. The device itself looks very standard, with its rectangular shape and metal casing. The porting panel, located at the back of the device, contains four input ports in addition to a single output port.
When it comes to the clarity of images and video that you can get, the device can deliver up to 4K resolution at a frame rate of 60hz. Naturally, it is also backward compatible with devices that offer 1080p, 720p, or HDR resolution. The same rules apply to games, and they should offer a lag-free and crystal clear gaming experience.
The SGEYR switch comes with a remote and a switch button on the device itself. The remote contains buttons representing the port numbers, so you can quickly switch between devices. The switch button, on the other hand, operates on a toggle basis. Also included in the package are a remote and a set of HDMI cables.
The SGEYR HDMI switch belongs to the entry-level side of the pricing scale, and its price point starts at USD 20. Part of what you pay for is a 12-month warranty with full customer support.
The Univivi 4K HDMI switch looks very sleek and lightweight with its elongated body and pad-like appearance. The black-and-white color scheme of the device, in addition to its curved edges give its appearance a stylish flair. But all things considered, the device has a rather standard appearance.
However, don’t be deceived by its appearance because this device features elaborate porting. It has a total of seven input ports and a single output port. The ports are neatly arranged at the rear end of the device, while you also have a panel of light indicators at the front.
The number of ports is already more than most people need daily and can be considered an achievement. On top of that, you can expect to get input quality at 4K with a 60Hz refresh rate. It also offers support for HDCP 2.2, HDR, Dolby Vision, as well as various depths of deep color configurations.
The device comes equipped with an auto-switching function so it can automatically detect and switch to the most recent signal. You can also use the wireless remote or the dedicated switch on the device to toggle between input devices.
The Univivi 4K is quite expensive for an HDMI switch, but the price is warranted considering its elaborate porting plus solid design. You can get your own device for anywhere between USD 65 to 85.
The Smartooo 23051 offers some of the best high-end features we’ve seen, which makes it easily one of the best HDMI switches. Design-wise, there is nothing spectacular about this device. It follows the standard form-factor for switches, with its rectangular shape and low-profile design. The device is only available in the neutral color black, which is the default design choice for most entertainment devices.
The unit connects to the television via a single HDMI output port and can support up to five input devices. At best, it can deliver a resolution of 4K at a 60Hz refresh rate. Not only that, but it also works with a series of HDR formats, including Samsung’s HDR and HDR-1000, LG Super Ultra’s HDR 10, and Sony’s HDR Extended Dynamic Range Pro. The device is also compatible with the HDCP2.2 standard, which prevents copying of output from the source into a secondary device.
The Smartooo 23051 comes with an IR remote, which allows you to switch between the inputs without moving from your seat. Each input has a dedicated LED that shows which input is active at the moment. The device is also outfitted with a switch that you can use to manually toggle control between devices. Unfortunately, there are no HDMI cables included in the package.
Pricing for the Smartooo 23501 HDMI switch starts at USD 35. The package entitles you to a 90-day return policy in addition to a lifetime warranty.
The Zettaguard HDMI switch is a sleek-looking device that is both easy to use and well-designed. The device exterior is composed of a combination of plastic and metal, which makes for a sturdy and waterproof design. The black-and-white color theme of the device should allow it to blend into any entertainment system.
The device can accommodate up to four input devices that can route through a single output device. As for video and audio quality, it can transmit a maximum resolution of 4K or 2K at a 60Hz refresh rate. You also get a picture-in-picture feature that allows you to transition between displays with a simple push of a button. Not to mention, it offers support for other standards, including LPCM 7.1CH, Dolby True, DTS-HD Master Audio, and so on.
The unit comes with remote control with buttons representing each of the input ports as well as an option to switch to picture-in-picture mode. If you don’t like the remote route, you can simply click on the select button on the device to switch between inputs.
The Zettaguard HDMI switch offers a lot of functionality for an affordable price, which makes it one of the best HDMI switches. You can own a unit for a price between USD 35 to USD 45. The device doesn’t appear to have any warranty, but it does offer friendly technical support.
The IOGEAR GCS1794 Multimedia KVMP is a simple yet reliable HDMI switch that can support resolutions of up to 4K. The device has a minimalistic design, with a matte-grey metal case that reminds us of the transformers component on PC chargers.
The unit comes with four input ports, which should be enough to cover the devices you could need at a time. The device comes with automatic switching, which automatically detects what device you are using. Unfortunately, the device doesn’t come with a remote, but it does have a dedicated switch on the unit itself.
The IOGEAR GCS1794 promises to optimize your visual experience with resolutions of up to 1080p. The device also supports Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio. But the most noteworthy function is DataSync, which can remember the parameters of the monitor that it’s connected to (EDID). This eliminates delays and changes to video resolution while switching between devices.
The device can connect to mouse and keyboard pairs and can instantly pair these devices automatically with any new computer connected to the system. The device is also outfitted with 2.0 peripheral sharing ports. These will allow you to share a single USB device between two computers.
The IOGEAR GCS1794 KVMP HDMI switch is on the more expensive side of the pricing scale, but its features warrant its high price. The device can set you back anywhere between USD 140 to 160. It can be a small price to pay for one of the best HDMI switches.
Final Thoughts on the Best HDMI Switches
Based on what we’ve found, the best HDMI switches are those that come from reputable brands. For sure, you will encounter a lot of unbranded products in the market, but the problem with these products is that there is no assurance of quality. If you are after a durable, long-term solution for your HDMI connectivity problems, then unbranded options with unproven capabilities aren’t going to cut. But then again, this is not to insinuate that you should go for very expensive options.
There are still plenty of options that offer excellent quality for affordable prices. Nevertheless, keep in mind a few things, including the number of ports that you’ll need as well as the switching method that you prefer to see on your device. Afterward, it’s only a matter of selecting the right match for your needs.