Product Review: Audio/Video Cables from

Audio/Video Cables from Monoprice
Sound Buys Product Review by Don Lindich

Would you rather spend $4.79 or $79.99 on effectively the same product? If saving the $75 interests you, read on. There’s a very good chance I am going to save you that $75, or even much more.

Anyone buying electronics in a big-box store has been faced with a high pressure sales pitch to buy expensive connection cables along with their new TV or DVD player. The salesman hands you a pretty-looking cable in a blister pack that promises,”Superior color and clarity… smooth, detailed sound reproduction…pinpoint imaging, greater dynamic range.” Beginning his pitch, he says “The cables that come in the box are flimsy and the TV picture and sound quality won’t be their best. These cables will make everything look and sound better.” Let’s stop there before he pours on the pressure. Within this statement there is one truth and one huge, bald faced lie.

The truth is that the cables that come with the components are flimsy and should probably be replaced with something more durable and substantial, in the interest of long-term reliability.

The big, bald faced lie is that everything is going to look and sound better.

When cable and wire companies started making their outlandish promises, skeptical audiophiles with a background in engineering put expensive wires to the test. In the many years of scientifically-controlled blind testing since then, there has not been a single instance where any human could reliably distinguish between an ordinary wire and a hideously expensive one. Despite this, the lie is perpetuated by the industry in the interest of the enormous profits that are made. Most electronics manufacturers who know better won’t comment on the subject because they don’t want to anger their retailers, or because they are selling their own line of cables. Audio/video publications don’t want to lose the ad revenue from the cable and wire companies, so they either perpetuate the lie or simply say the subject is “controversial” and let it go at that, rather than calling it as it is.


Monoprice audio, video, and HDMI cables offer top quality at world-beating prices.

Which brings us to the hero of this story: Monoprice, a California-based company doing business online at Monoprice sells a vast line of cables and connectors at extremely low prices, and I am happy to report that these products are all top-quality and audiophile-tested, audiophile approved. A well-respected home theater website gave them a “Best of 2006” award and audio/video buffs on web forums have been singing their praises, so I decided to try Monoprice’s HDMI, audio, and video cables, and they far exceeded my expectations. No francy frills or packaging,just top-quality, beautifully finished cables that do the job they are intended to do.


Monoprice HDMI Cable with gold-plated connectors. Monoprice has a great variety of high-quality HDMI cables available, starting at under $4.00!

Now, for the $75 I am going to save you. Let’s say you need a six foot HDMI cable to connect your new DVD player to your new HDTV, and the DVD players don’t usually include one so you are forced to buy one. The least expensive Monster Cable HDMI cable at Best Buy is $79.99. Monoprice has a gold-plated, six foot HDMI cable for only $4.79. (Monster also has a four foot HDMI cable for $149.99 if you want to say you saved over $145 and got a 50% longer cable to boot!)

Lots of people are buying HDTVs these days and pairing them with upconverting DVD players and HDTV cable boxes. That means two cables- meaning you would save around $150 and $290, respectively. Using an HDMI-equipped surround-sound receiver would mean three cables, racking up savings of $225 and $435. (Doesn’t $450 to simply hook up your sound system seem like a bit much? Wouldn’t $15 make more sense?)


I bought these RCA stereo cables from Monoprice to connect my preamp/processor to my front amplifier. Only $3.98 for a 12 foot length! Connectors and cable quality are top-notch.

Need a premium-quality optical digital audio cable? Monoprice’s six foot is $6.48, Monster’s four-foot is $37.99. Need a six foot component video cable? Monoprice is $1.89, Monster is $39.99. Similar savings are found across the gamut of cables and connectors. In all, it’s a godsend for consumers everywhere and very relieving for this columnist, who has long been offended by the shameless grab for cash embodied in the premium cable scam.

Besides audio and video cables, Monoprice has a wide variety of electronic switches, connectors, and other accessories available, and they sell video cables for the Nintendo Wii, as well. For more Monster-slaying great deals, go to

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