USB expansion recommendations for MacBook Pro

I’m getting ready to replace my 2019 iMac with a 2023 MacBook Pro and was wondering how to accommodate all the USB connections I’ve got now. Some are data-only (my PolyBrute, 2 other keyboards, and a mixer), one is data and power (Midi keyboard). And of course my illuminated Xmas snowman. Most are running off a 7 Port USB 3.0 Hub. Logic Pro X is my DAW.

I am no USB expert so I’m asking you: if you have a recent MacBook Pro, what modern USB hub or expander can you recommend for hardware instruments? Also, are you typically running USB-B to A/C/thunderbolt/whatever cables? I can give you more details if you need them. A good, but confusing problem. Thanks!

Congrats, you’ll love the new MacBook. For expansion (I have an M1 MacBook), I use an Aukey hub, which has three USB-A ports (in addition to HDMI for my external monitor and a USB-C input for the power cable). I’ve also got a regular USB-A to quadruple USB-A hub because I now need a more USB midi inputs for all my control surfaces! So I plug that into one of the USB inputs on the Aukey, and now I have six USB-A inputs available. My keyboards and controllers all plug into USB-C ports on the hubs. I have a Presonus Quantum 2626 8-channel mic preamp that plugs directly into a second thunderport port on the laptop.

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Hello !

That’s a nice question indeed, USB hubs are now part of our setup and we all know that there are some really bad candidates in the pool.

At Arturia, we use a majority of Belkin USB-C hub like this one.

I test a lot of things, including FW updates on this hub and it works like a charm. I also use the HDMI feature without any problem.

I think the general rule should be, don’t search for a cheap hub and go for a brand that you know is good.
The hub really should be considered as one of the component of your studio, and cheap ones are really bad.

Since there are more and more topics linked to this post, I wanted to add that the Belkin Hub I recommend is not externally powered. This works if you have only devices that does not need too much power, or are themself externally powered.
If you plan to have multiple devices that needs USB power, I would probably recommend the D-Link DUB-1340, TP-Link UH720 or similar hubs that are powered and made by good known brands.

Cheers ! :slight_smile:


Thanks—I’ll look for that one

Should the hub have its own power supply, especially when connecting a Minilab 3, another keyboard, and a Maschine Mikro MK3?

It is indeed way better to have powered hubs. That’s not necessary for MiniLab3, but if you add multiple devices on the same hub, it could need it’s own alimentation.
So I usually recommend to get external powered hub if you have more than your MiniLab on it.