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Published Aug 31, 2022 12:00 PM

HDMI splitters for dual monitors offer an easy way to mirror content across multiple screens. They copy digital signals and distribute them to multiple screens, ensuring high-quality mirroring. Splitters work with any device that supports an HDMI input and output, such as TVs, monitors, game consoles, AV receivers, soundbars, computers, and projectors.

If you frequently host sports viewing parties or love gaming with friends, you’ll want an HDMI splitter to send a single video signal to multiple TVs or monitors. This review covers everything you need to know about the best HDMI splitters for dual monitors to help you make an informed buying decision. 

Best HDMI splitters for dual monitors: Reviews & recommendations

Best overall: OREI HDMI 2 in 1 Splitter

Why it made the cut: It’s a compact HDMI splitter that supports high resolution and automatic video source scaling to match each screen’s resolution.

Specs 

  • Resolution: 4K at 60Hz
  • Transmission rate: 18Gbps
  • Number of outputs: 2
  • Weight: 4.4 ounces

Pros 

  • Supports 4K at 60Hz and deep color 4K at 30Hz
  • Comes with a USB power cable
  • Supports HDCP 1.4
  • Built-in scaler to match your TV’s resolution

Cons

  • Does not extract audio from speakers
  • Only accommodates 30 foot HDMI cable 

The compact OREI HDMI splitter allows you to connect 2 HDMI sources, like a PC and a monitor. It is compatible with HDMI 1.4, 1.3, and 1.2, the versions found on common devices like laptops, digital media players, projectors, and gaming consoles. It’s a fairly inexpensive HDMI cable splitter with one input and two outputs for dual screens, though keep in mind it does not extend your screen.

This is one of the best HDMI splitters for dual monitors and is powered via USB without the need for a power adapter. It supports 4K video resolution at 60Hz and deep color 4K at 30Hz. It also supports DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. The device doesn’t overheat with prolonged use, giving you peace of mind during long gaming sessions. Its heavy-duty metal housing promotes quick heat dissipation, so it runs cool and protects its internal components. But to enjoy the best picture quality, don’t use HDMI cables longer than 30 feet. 

Best budget: Gana HDMI 2 in 1 Switcher

Why it made the cut: This bidirectional HDMI splitter doubles as a switch, providing a cinema experience right at home. 

Specs 

  • Resolution: 4K at 60Hz
  • Transmission rate: 3.4Gbps
  • Number of outputs: 2
  • Weight: 2.08 ounces

Pros 

  • 2 LED indicators show which port is active
  • Supports 3.4Gbps data transmission
  • Compatible with most standard HDMI devices
  • An external power source isn’t needed

Cons

  • For the best picture quality, the HDMI cable should be less than 9.8 feet 
  • It doesn’t display on dual screens simultaneously 

If you’re looking to buy an HDMI splitter and a switch, get the Gana HDMI Switch. It offers the best of both worlds at a budget price. It can output one source to two displays or two sources to one display. But while it’s a good switch, ​​unfortunately, it’s not the best HDMI splitter. It only lets you mirror one input source across two screens alternately. It sounds odd, but it works for some setups. For example, you can link an HDMI device to two TVs in different rooms and divide your time between the two. 

The HDMI switcher for dual monitors is compatible with HDMI devices like gaming consoles and Bluray players. It supports 4k at 60Hz and 2K content at 30Hz for most audio formats. In addition, it doesn’t need an external power source. To use it, simply press the power button and shift to the input or output source. But for the best viewing experience, you need an HDMI cable that’s shorter than 9.8 feet.

Avedio links

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Why it made the cut: It works for most dual monitor setups and is ideal for users who need to mirror 4K video. 

Specs

  • Resolution: 4K at 30Hz
  • Transmission rate: Not provided
  • Number of outputs: 2
  • Weight: 4.3 ounces

Pros 

  • Compatible with HDCP 2.2 devices
  • Supports deep 36-bit color
  • Comes with a USB cable for power and a high-speed HDMI cable
  • Supports major audio formats such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD

Cons

  • Wall adapter for power not included 
  • Not compatible with 120Hz refresh rate in newer devices

This small travel-friendly splitter has a relatively small footprint and is inexpensive. It splits video and audio from one HDMI input signal to two HDMI displays simultaneously without loss or lag. It works well with televisions, top portable monitors, and laptops with one HDMI output.

Duplicate your laptop’s 4K screen on two monitors on your workstation or a gaming console. The splitter even supports audio formats like Dolby TrueHD. It’s also compatible with HDCP 2.2 devices and supports deep 36-bit color. The device has a wide resolution range—from 480i at 60Hz to 4k at 30Hz. If one of your monitors lacks 4K resolution, the output will be downgraded to 1080p.

However, it needs an external power source to work. It comes with a USB cable for power but does not come with a wall adapter, so you will need to supply your own.

Best for gaming: AAXY Ultra HD 2 in 1 Switch

Why it made the cut: It doubles as a switch and splitter, is one of the fastest switches, and creates an ultra-HD visual gaming experience.

Specs

  • Resolution: 8K at 60Hz
  • Transmission rate: 48Gbps
  • Number of outputs: 2
  • Weight: 5 ounces

Pros

  • Supports 8K resolution 
  • Aluminum alloy case allows for faster heat dissipation 
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Is both a switch and splitter

Cons

  • No remote control
  • LED lights are too bright

Speed is what determines whether you live or die in hardcore gaming. If you get an HDMI splitter with latency issues, you can say goodbye to winning games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. The AAXY 2.1 Switch is perfect if you love head-to-head gaming because it doesn’t compromise speed. And if you have a great vertical monitor setup, it works perfectly.

You’ll love its 48Gbps transmission rate, which supports resolutions up to 8K at 60Hz and 4K at 120Hz. It’s good enough for most gamers. On either mode, you get super clear images with no lag. It’s designed to work with next-generation consoles like PS5 but also works with many HDMI-enabled devices.

The HDMI splitter for gaming has a casing made from aerospace-grade aluminum and doesn’t overheat, even when gaming for hours. Its lightweight aluminum body also ensures minimal damage in case of a fall. But it lacks a remote, so you can only operate it manually. 

Best for Mac: Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station

Targus

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Why it made the cut: It’s an HDMI splitter and a USB-C hub that works with both Mac and Windows.

Specs

  • Resolution: 4K UHD at 60Hz
  • Transmission rate: 5Gbps per port
  • Number of outputs: 2
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces

Pros 

  • Compatible with both Windows and Mac
  • Dual SD card readers
  • 100W power delivery

Cons 

  • Only one USB port offers fast charging
  • Low transmission rate

There’s already a thin line between a USB-C hub and a docking station, but the Targus USB-C Docking Station makes the line almost nonexistent. It’s a docking station and a hybrid USB-C hub that will transform your laptop into a full-blown desktop setup. It works as a splitter for USB-C devices and features two HDMI ports that support 4K at 60Hz. With it, you can turn your laptop into a dual workstation.

Need to charge your phone or laptop as the dock works its magic? Go ahead. But be sure to connect it to the USB-A port with fast charging capability. Because unfortunately, only one of the device’s USB-A ports supports fast charging. It also has a low transmission rate compared to most of the HDMI splitters on our list. But on the upside, it adds lots of functionality to your laptop with its HDMI ports, USB-A ports, SD and Micro SD slots, and Ethernet port.

Things to consider before buying HDMI splitters for dual monitors

Before buying an HDMI splitter, consider your usage. Do you have a dual monitor setup at home or work? Do you want to mirror content across your home? Getting things done on one monitor can be hard, and you may want to display your content on multiple HDMI devices. Here’s what to look for in an HDMI hub for multiple monitors. 

Resolution and refresh rates 

Some splitters only support 1080p at 60Hz, and increasing their bandwidth may be as pricey as buying a larger one with extra ports. When shopping, pay attention to the splitter’s maximum resolution and refresh rates to ensure it will work with your monitors or TVs. If you want the HDMI cable splitter to display the same signal as the source device, make sure it supports the proper resolution. For instance, if your HDMI devices support 4K resolution, the splitter should also support 4K. 

HDMI outputs 

There are two common types of HDMI splitters, and they are classified according to their inputs and outputs. A “1×4” splitter has one input and four outputs, while a “1×2” splitter has one input and two outputs. A “4×2” switch is also a splitter; it has four inputs and two outputs. Know the number of devices you need the HDMI splitter to split the signal to before buying. Keep in mind that splitters that output to more devices are more expensive.

Passive or powered 

A passive HDMI splitter doesn’t require a separate power feed, while a powered splitter does. A passive splitter may be more appealing because it doesn’t use energy, but it’s not very effective and will cause latency. A powered splitter is better because energy is needed to separate various streams of HDMI.

HDMI version support 

Several HDMI versions have been developed since the initial release of the technology. So before buying an HDMI cable splitter, check the HDMI version it supports. For example, HDMI 1.4 supports Audio Return Channel (ARC), while HDMI 2.0 supports 4K resolution.

HDCP license

HDCP protects data as it’s transmitted between devices when they are connected via HDMI. It helps prevent theft of digital content (illicit recording). Once connected, a splitter with HDCP sends signals to connected devices to check the data it can support. Ensure the devices in your setup are compliant with HDCP.

FAQs

Q: How much do HDMI splitters for dual monitors cost?

HDMI splitters for dual monitors cost between $10 to $50. You can find plenty of options for as little as $15. The price usually depends on the features, the outputs, and the supported HDMI version.

Q: What brand of HDMI splitter is the best?

The best brand of HDMI splitter is Orei, the manufacturer of the OREI HDMI 2 in 1 Splitter. We arrived at this conclusion after many hours of research and reading numerous user reviews.

Q: Do I need an HDMI splitter or switch for dual monitors?

You need an HDMI splitter if you want to mirror a digital signal to two or more displays. An HDMI switch doesn’t allow you to have multiple displays active at once. Instead, it merely switches between different displays, letting you change the display you’d like to use on a specific device without moving an HDMI cable around.

Q: Do you lose quality with an HDMI splitter?

These days, most HDMI splitters support up to 4K output, so you won’t lose any quality. But a low-quality splitter or a non-powered one can reduce quality, partly due to refresh rate issues. It may also introduce lag, which can be frustrating, especially when gaming. Very long HDMI cables may also affect signal quality.

Q: Can I use an HDMI splitter to extend not duplicate my laptop screen across two monitors?

No, you can’t use an HDMI splitter to extend your laptop screen across two monitors. A splitter takes a single signal and splits it into two identical signals, it doesn’t extend it.

Final thoughts on HDMI splitters for dual monitors

With the best HDMI splitters for dual monitors, you can display digital signals on two or more screens with fewer wires and clutter. Unfortunately, most manufacturers don’t ship HDMI cables, so you may have to buy them separately. But ensure they aren’t too long as lengthy cables can cause deterioration in signal quality.

Methodology: How we picked the best HDMI splitters for dual monitors

To prepare this curated list of the best HDMI splitters for dual monitors, we compared splitters by popular manufacturers like Orei, Gana, and Avedio. We examined their design, compatibility with different HDMI devices, transmission rates, and resolution and refresh rates. Other factors that influenced our decisions were buyer reviews and the number of purchases.