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Owning multiple gaming consoles is now becoming more common than ever, but you can’t have a separate display for each one. After all, even the best displays only support no more than two or three connections at a given time. That’s where an HDMI switch will come in handy.
HDMI switches give users more HDMI input ports that all connect to your display. You can then choose to switch between the different inputs through the switch with absolute ease. Some HDMI switches even come with advanced features, such as picture in picture (PIP) mode.
5 Best HDMI Switches Reviewed
If you ever need to quickly switch between your consoles, computer, and other output devices, you’ll want to buy a high-quality HDMI switch. All HDMI switches fundamentally work the same, and they’re quite basic devices so there’s not much where you can go wrong in buying one.
However, it’s important to recognize what your priorities are. The number of ports is important, as is the maximum resolution and the supported refresh rate at the resolution. Furthermore, you want to look at whether the switch has automatic switching in it (if you require it). And if you’re sitting far away from your display and output systems, you’ll want one that has a remote.
Regardless of what kind of switch you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered with this list. Below are 5 of the best HDMI switches available right now based on our experience.
The Kinivo 501BN is our favorite switch for its practical design, application, and smart automatic switching ability.
The Kinivo 501N HDMI switch comes with a huge series of input ports to accommodate all the HDMI compatible devices lying in your home. You get a total of 5 input ports for the HDMI devices, which is higher than what most HDMI switches offer.
Additionally, there is also automatic and manual switching available with this device. As soon as you power on one of the several display devices connected to this switch, the HDMI switch connection will automatically flip to that device to display it on your main output. Although this option is useful, it can cause inconvenience at times, which is why Kinivo lets you manually switch between the inputs thanks to the simplistic yet effective button layout at the front of the device.
Furthermore, as with all high-quality HDMI switches, the Kinivo 501BN comes with an included IR remote. This remote gives users the options to switch between inputs without getting off the couch. It has a compact design and is clearly labeled which makes it intuitive to use for anyone, with each button clearly marked with the input number that it corresponds to.
The unit itself is designed with simplicity and practicality in mind. The simple black and white color scheme is modern and effective. Each input has an LED indicator light at the front to show which input is currently active. Additionally, you get the power and switch buttons up front as well.
The Kinivo 501BN can support resolutions of up to 4K at 30Hz and 1080p at 60Hz. We do wish it would bump up the refresh rate of the 4K display to 60Hz like some of its competitors though. That’s the only one major drawback we see in this Kinivo HDMI switcher.
If you’re looking for a simple yet effective HDMI switch that can do the job by switching between two displays of your choice, there’s nothing better in the market than the Goronya Bi-Directional HDMI switcher that costs less than $7.
The Goronya Bi-Directional switch is designed to be used by anyone looking for a feature-packed switch to using for just HDMI components at an affordable price. Don’t let the simplistic look and the affordable pricing of this HDMI switch deceive you. This think offers far more than meets the eye.
For instance, this tiny box comes with 4K resolution support. Yes, it’s limited to just 30Hz refresh rate, but it’s still there. Additionally, you get advanced useful features like 3D and HDCP pass through. The switch obviously supports the most frequently used and native resolution of 1080p as well.
The bi-directional switch has a small footprint and a simple design. We wish it would skimp on the labels for a cleaner look, but it’s still easy to hide away behind any device without ever troubling you. Two LEDs are dedicated to showing the status of your HDMI input device, with a single push-push button to switch between the two HDMI inputs for your output. It’s important to note that the Goronya Bi-Directional switch only utilizes manual switching, so it might not be the solution for you if you’re looking to use it with your home entertainment system in the distance in your large living room.
It does, however, work exceptional for desktop applications. Simply reaching the unit to push the button while it rests on your desk is as easy as it sounds. Furthermore, Goronya does itself plenty of favors with its plug and play installation, requiring little to no time setting up the switch.
Best for Gaming
AV Access 3x1
The AV Access 3×1 comes with advanced features like built-in surge protection that adds longevity to the device. This product has been made with gamers in mind, providing little to no latency to achieve instantaneous results and response. It features 4K support at 60Hz and much more for gamers to use.
If you’re a gaming Twitch streamer or just have more HDMI devices than ports and want a switch to access all of them easily, the AV Access 3×1 is a great option with its advanced features.
The AV Access 3×1 HDMI switch is a complete package, and it offers everything gamers would need in a great product that doesn’t cost as much as our top pick. Before getting into the details of all that it offers inside, it’s important to talk about the design.
The switch has a matte black finish with a very distinct red-colored AV logo on it. The design is edgy and clearly speaks to the gamer. However, there are no sharp angles or any UFO styled design philosophy at work here. The AV Access still looks much like a switch, and we actually appreciate that.
Now, on to the technicalities. As suggested by the name, the AV Access is a switch with three input ports and a single output port. You can thus connect 3 HDMI display sources to a single HDMI display panel. We love that it supports the 4K resolution at 60Hz, which switches twice as expensive at itself can’t even do.
Furthermore, there is also support for HDCP 2.2 pass through as well as 3D technology. HDCP 2.2 is the latest version of high-bandwidth digital content protection, so you can stream using this HDMI switch without having to worry about it being unplayable, making it ideal for streaming on Twitch or YouTube.
In addition to this, AV Access 3×1 takes extra precautions with built-in surge protection. This makes it one of the most durable models available on the market right now. To further streamline the user’s gaming experience, this switch has zero latency technology to ensure there is no delay in the input of your controller and output on the display.
Finally, the AV Access also comes with an IR remote, so you don’t have to get up and switch manually using the small physical button on it itself.
One complaint we do have with the AV Access is that the switching isn’t instant. It usually takes around two seconds to switch from one input to another. Another thing is that the LED indicators on the AV Access are quite small and often hard to see. Regardless, if you don’t mind these flaws and prefer its other advanced features, we definitely recommend this HDMI switcher over many others, particularly for gaming.
For advanced users, look for a high functioning HDMI switch, the ZettaGuard should be considered. This switch has a modern and slim design, but it’s longer than most other switches. You have the option of plugging in up to 4 HDMI devices and switch them seamlessly by connecting the device to a single output display.
The Zettaguard 4×1 supports 4K and 2K resolution through its HDMI connections. The supported refresh rate is at 60Hz, so this HDMI switch can support clear and crisp ultra high-resolution content. Additionally, 3D features are also supported, so you won’t be missing out if you’re looking to run 3D blue-ray films on your 3D television.
One of the distinct features of the Zettaguard that sets it apart from other HDMI switchers is its PIP or picture in picture mode. The picture in picture functionality allows for a unique implementation of HDMI switches, allowing you to play two separate inputs from two different devices on a single display output device simultaneously.
One of the pictures in this kind of setup will be smaller than the other, opening up as a “window” inside the main picture. This is the hallmark feature of the Zettaguard and one of the biggest reasons to buy, as its enterprise applications are endless.
Zettaguard also uses a special venting system to ensure it remains cool even when it’s doing heavy processing such as 4K PIP. Unique vents on the side of the unit ensure this device stays cool even during extended use.
Like our top pick, the Zettaguard also has automatic switching. Once a device is turned on, the switch will automatically output that device to your display. Furthermore, you can always use the well designed IR blaster included with this device to switch remotely, and there is a manual switching option available on the device chassis as well.
This weirdly named HDMI switch from Smartooo is compact, but don’t let it fool you. It has one of the best set of features out there. It does demand a higher price than other HDMI switchers, but that’s mainly because of its advanced display features that few other HDMI switches have.
For example, this is one of the few switches that support 10bit HDR. The switch can output displays of up to 4K at 60Hz (4:4:4) without breaking a sweat, so long as you have high quality 18Gbps HDMI cables to use with it.
From an audio perspective, the Smartooo 23031 isn’t lacking tither. It supports the most common high-quality audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, DTS, Dolby True HD, and more. HDR formats ranging from Samsung SUHD HDR, LG, Sony, and many more are compatible, making it one of the most widely compatible HDMI switches out there for high dynamic range.
We also love the fact that Smartooo gives a 90-day money back guarantee and offers a lifetime warranty for their device. This shows how much they trust the performance of this product.
The device itself is simple and discretely designed, featuring up to three HDMI input ports and a single HDMI output port. It’s narrow and long, making it ideal if you want to hide it in the clutter of your home entertainment system. You also get a small yet high-quality IR remote with this switch with buttons clearly labeled for remote switching.