The 10 Best Coax Splitters
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in December of 2018. A reliable coax splitter will help to distribute a single cable or satellite signal to multiple devices around your home, like TVs, computers, video game systems, and more. Depending on your needs, you can choose one with two ports or as many as 16, and some also offer features like surge protection and amplification. Here we list the best models, ranked for performance, durability, and price. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 01, 2021:
I know that there can be a lot of confusion about splitters, so I’ll try to quickly break down this product category, without going into too much detail. First of all, splitters can be amplified or non-amplified. Amplified splitters are typically called ‘amplifiers’ for simplicity. While this list focuses primarily on non-amplified splitters, we do have lists for the best antenna amplifiers, as well as the best cable amplifiers.
Both lists should include distribution amplifiers or ‘amplified splitters’ whose purpose is to more or less account for the signal loss which comes from splitting a signal in the first place – i.e. if you split a signal into two, then each signal has half the power of the original signal, though in the real world, it’s slightly less than half because of losses. However, the list of best antenna amplifiers will also include a special type of amplifier often referred to as a ‘preamplifier’ which is designed to remove a lot of the unwanted noise which comes through OTA signals. You can use both a preamplifier and distribution amplifier in an antenna setup.
Distribution amplifiers can also have passive or active return, with active-return splitters primarily being used to improve certain functions and aspects of cable TV, though it’s unlikely you’ll need an active-return model for most purposes. With the exception of the top 3 spots in this list, which are all distribution amplifiers, all of the models here are traditional (non-amplified) splitters.
May 17, 2019:
You’ll reap the benefits of a well-performing splitter for years, as these small, affordable devices will help you enjoy a cable or satellite signal with multiple devices around your home. The BAMF 2-Way is a reliable choice that made our list thanks to its high performance and impressive build. The two company owners, based in Oregon, have personally worked in the cable industry as technicians for decades. They say they were motivated to create their product when they noticed that many of the other selections in today’s market are poorly constructed and use old technology. Their two-way splitter works great with MoCA systems and also comes in three-, four-, and six-way options.
Since by nature a splitter will weaken your signal because it’s now being shared among two or more outputs, some models conveniently come with amplifiers to boost your signal and compensate for the loss they’re causing. They’ll cost more than a regular splitter, but as far as we’re concerned, they’re well worth the investment, given how much time the average household devotes to home entertainment. For a reliable choice, check out the PCT MA2-4P, which boosts your cable modem’s performance and effectively wards off pixilation. And, it’s backed by a generous five-year warranty, so you’ll have added peace of mind.
Be careful when deciding the number of output lines you’ll want in a splitter. They’re designed to distribute the signal evenly, regardless of whether a line is attached to them. As such, unused ports will weaken your signal unnecessarily. If you have unused, open ports, it’s recommended you purchase a small piece of hardware called a terminator to insert into them to stop the signal usage.