Buying cables? Going for gold could mean a rip-off

Guardian Technology 08 Jun 2019 07:30
Gold-plated HDMI cables might look impressive, but that doesn’t mean their performance will shine. Photograph: Melissa Mercante/Alamy

Cables are a necessary evil in our modern world. Whether it’s the power cord for your phone, the cables jammed in the back of your TV or the wires connecting you to the internet, they’re everywhere.

And when you need a new one the options are almost limitless, with some costing as much as hundreds of pounds. But do you need to spend all that for a cable? Absolutely not. So here’s a quick guide to cables to help you avoid the overpriced.

You don’t need gold plated HDMI or optical cables

It might look nice, but a gold connector on a digital cable makes very little difference.
It might look nice, but a gold connector on a digital cable makes very little difference. Photograph: Monster

Gold connectors and high-quality copper used to make a big difference in the analogue world, but here in the digital 21 century it’s like lipstick on a pig.

Shiny gold connectors might look nice, but they make no difference. Digital is binary - it either works or it doesn’t. You won’t get a better picture from a gold cable.

Speaking of ethernet, not all ethernet cables are born equal. While all the connectors are the same RJ45 jack, you commonly find cat5/5e or cat6 cables. The “cat” number indicates the quality of the materials and insulation within the cable, which affects its maximum transmission speed.

It’s 2019 - you probably don’t need a cable at all to charge your top-end phone. Wireless charging is becoming a standard among phones. The good news is that most devices, including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and many others, use the Qi wireless charging standard meaning any Qi-compatible pad should work with a wireless charging phone, headphones or other devices.

The brave new world of USB-C isn’t just about charging. Laptops, tablets and even some phones can now use USB-C to connect all sorts of things, from displays to flash drives.

Continue reading original article...


HuaweiAppleSamsungQualcommMelissa MercanteAlamy
You may also like