Review: Monster UHD 8K COBALT HDMI 2.1 Cable

For the longest time, Monster Cables have always been the cables available at retail locations that you could purchase at a premium price along with your brand new television. The market has changed over the years and more viable options have become available at a cheaper price. Technology is also advancing and while potential buyers of next-generation consoles struggle to find stock, what’s around the corner is the lack of knowing you don’t have the display to take full advantage of the hardware. Monster is now offering a new HDMI 2.1 Cable for users to not only get the most out of their consoles or video cards, but also provide support of up to 10K resolution.

The PlayStation 5 does include a HDMI 2.1 cable, but it’s rather thin and prone to damage. Monster has always included the proper protection on its cables to ensure no damage will come from outside issues. This cable is about 4x as thick as the standard HDMI 2.1 cable included with the PlayStation 5. The ends of the Monster UHD COBALT cable are gold plated and the cables include heavy duty triple-layer shielding to make sure durability is there. The cables are also EMI tested to ensure minimal interference from wireless signals.

The Monster UHD 8K COBALT allows for maximum bandwidth of the HDMI 2.1 protocol. Users can expect 48 Gbps on the transfer rate, as this allows users to maximize the new hardware released. The cable that was sent for review was tested on a GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3080, and what’s initially noticeable is the flexibility of the cable itself. While the cable features the triple-layered shielding, all the internals are enshrouded in a duraflex jacket. Normally, thicker cables have an issue with maneuverability, but this was surprising. Having this full bandwidth means that users can achieve a 4K resolution at a 120hz refresh rate with full 4:4:4 Chroma and HDR. The cable is further future-proofed with providing an 8K resolution at a 30hz and can maximize up to a 10K resolution. The previous HDMI 2.0 platform allowed for 4K at 60hz with the potential of using HDR and only including 4:2:2 Chroma.

The 10K resolution option also includes lossless digital audio to allow for the full experience. This cable is also compatible with the eARC platform as it promises 32 audio channels and compatibility with HD audio formats including DTS Master, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Atmos. The cable includes backwards compatibility to use on older devices, but there are more viable options for these older devices. The main driving point of the Monster UHD 8K COBALT is to provide the best experience for this newer hardware going forward. When testing this cable, I was able to access all of the graphical features with no issues. The picture and sound quality met expectations. While I was hoping this cable would solve an issue I had with my display flickering, it didn’t. This mainly points to an issue with my display and not the cable. I tested this against an Amazon-branded HDMI 2.1 cable and didn’t notice any major differences. The one glaring difference was the price tag as that cable only cost about $10. What was lacking from the Amazon-branded cable was the durability and protection.

While Monster cables used to sit at a premium price, the UHD 8K COBALT is actually more affordable. It’s currently available from Amazon in a couple of different variations. The 4FT cable retail for $34.99 and the 6FT cable is $39.99. There is also an 8FT cable for $44.99 and a 12FT cable for $49.99. Target also has the cable available in some stores for pick up, so if purchasing alongside a display, there may be an option to grab it while you’re there.

Closing Comments:

Purchasing additional cables has always been considered a luxury as many devices typically will include the cable you need. Video cards, however, usually do not include a HDMI cable so this matches up great with the purchase of a new card. Monster undoubtedly delivers on all the tech specs with the UHD 8K Cobalt HDMI 2.1 cable when it comes to 4K resolution at 120hz and 4:4:4 Chroma. There’s no video or audio loss here and it makes the most of the signal while providing durability with its build. As for the 8K and 10K options, I didn’t have a way to test this and those two options are years away from being widely available. This does ensure that you will have a foot in the door when that day comes, though. It still comes down to what you are willing to pay for your cable solutions when something cheaper can accomplish the same thing, but durability may come into question years down the road.