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Difference Between an HDMI Cable and HDMI ARC Cable

You may have noticed that one of your HDMI ports has the words “ARC” next to it. While it may look exactly the same as the other HDMI inputs, you may be asking yourself if you need a special HDMI cable for HDMI ARC, you’re not the only one.

There is no such thing as an HDMI ARC cable. Any HDMI cable will work universally for HDMI and HDMI ARC/eARC ports. Only a few very outdated HDMI cables could potentially struggle with some of the higher quality audio formats with eARC, but this is unlikely to happen.

Cable manufacturers are always adding new buzzwords to their marketing materials. One of which may be “ARC” support. As we just mentioned, this means nothing. But there are quite a few things to consider when looking at different HDMI cables.

What Matters Most While Choosing an HDMI Cable

There are a few things that do matter the most when it comes down to choosing an HDMI cable. It’s a relatively inexpensive purchase to make, but what you need to consider is the resolution of the television, length of the cable, and HDMI Types (Standard, Mini, Micro).

First off, it’s very important to consider the resolution of the device you are using. If it’s a TV, there are televisions that support up to 8K at 60 Hz. In return, you want to make sure that the HDMI cable lists that it can support up to the display’s resolution.

There are very few devices on the market with such a high resolution but when considering an HDMI cable that supports the highest resolution, the price difference is not that drastic.

The length of the HDMI cable will matter most when you have your TV mounted and you are running the cable behind the wall or up the wall. Either way, be sure to consider where you are putting the soundbar and where the TV will be in relation to the soundbar. 

This also goes for being too long. If they’re going to both be sitting in the entertainment center, there is no need to buy a cable that is extremely long. You’ll end up with a mess to try and manage with cable ties and it still won’t look that great.

Finally, be sure to purchase the correct type of HDMI cable. There are three types, Standard, Mini, and Micro. The most popular one is going to be a Standard HDMI cable.

HDMI vs Mini HDMI vs Micro HDMI

How to Choose the Right HDMI Cable

After taking the recommendations above, the best choice would be to get an 8K HDMI Cable. Over time, we will see progression in Television technology, and for nearly the same price, you can be one step ahead of the game. 

Having an HDMI Cable that can handle above the standard resolution of either 1080p or 4K will ensure whatever you are streaming and whatever you are streaming on will work flawlessly (we also have an article on comparing regular and 4k HDMI cables).

Altogether, just know that there is not a different cable for HDMI ARC/eARC and there likely will never be. When you pick your cable, just find one that supports the display you are connecting to and there will be no concerns.