When Wirecutter has reviewed categories that Anker has an entry for, the brand regularly at least gets a runner-up slot, if not the top choice. While it doesn’t hurt to check around for the specific product you need if you want the absolute best, if you’re buying Anker there’s a higher than average chance you’re getting a product that works well.
Like Anker, Monoprice sells more than just cables. The company sells home theater equipment, smart home accessories, networking gear and a lot more. It’s also been around and selling off-brand accessories since 2002, giving it a strong leg up on some of the competition. Some of their gear is high quality at a low price, from these subwoofers to these banana plugs, both of which earned top marks from Wirecutter. They also found that Monoprice’s HDMI cables were just as good as AmazonBasics, but slightly cheaper.
Mr. Morrison, author of the site’s guide to cheap HDMI cables, lauded the cable selection. “Monoprice has been around for many years and nearly every cable in my theater is from them,” he said.
However, Monoprice has been around long enough and has a big enough product library that there are bound to be some stinkers. When Wirecutter reviewed earbuds under $50, several Monoprice headphones came up short. Wirecutter staff editor Nick Guy also suggests paying close attention to what you’re buying from Monoprice.
“Stock levels can be inconsistent, to start. It’s not uncommon to see a product listed as out of stock with a return date several weeks in the future,” he said. “Monoprice also has a habit of quietly swapping out commodity accessories like cables with newer models. While that new model still might be a good buy, it may not be the same model that was listed last week.”
For basic products like cables, adapters and chargers, Monoprice’s products are generally reliable, but you might want to comparison shop a bit to make sure you’re getting the best deal. If you’re going to move up to bigger, more important home theater, networking, or smart home accessories, Monoprice can be good, but we still recommend checking out additional reviews first.
What to Buy is a new series in collaboration with Wirecutter, the New York Times Company that reviews products. Want buying advice from the experts, or need help picking out the right thing for the right job? Email Smarter Living editor Alan Henry, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll look into it for you!