A laptop is a great choice for a music production computer these days, but as you start to build out your music production setup, you can end up with a lot of different devices that need to be plugged into your laptop.
And with a lot of laptops these days only having a few ports, connecting all that equipment will be almost impossible without some sort of USB-C hub. So in this article, I’ve put together a list of some of the best USB-C hubs for music production.
So whether you’re just getting started with music production, or you’re building out a huge professional studio setup, if you’re looking for a USB-C hub to connect all your gear, you’re in the right place.
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How To Choose A USB-C Hub For Music Production
Obviously, there are several factors to consider when choosing a USB-C hub.
There’s the price, port selection, data transfer capacity, but the important one I really want to get into before we take a look at the different USB-C hubs is whether or not you need a powered hub.
If you have several different devices like a USB microphone, MIDI keyboard, etc that are powered via USB (meaning they don’t have their own power cable and get all their power from the computer), a regular unpowered USB-C hub might struggle to power them all at once.
So if you do have a few devices like this, you’ll probably need to spend a bit more on a powered USB-C hub that connects to a USB-C port on your computer for data, but also has a dedicated power cable plugged into an outlet so that it can power all those devices.
If you only have maybe two devices like this, or most of your devices have their own power cable so they don’t need power from the computer, you should be fine with an unpowered hub which is good because they are usually much cheaper.
But if you have a more elaborate setup with multiple devices that all need to draw power from one USB-C hub, you are really going to want to spend the extra money and buy a powered one.
Best USB-C Hubs For Music Production
So now that we’ve covered what sort of USB-C hub you should be looking for, let’s take a look at the different ones I recommend.
Below, you’ll find a comparison table comparing each hub, and after that, I’ll go into more detail about each of them.
|Image||Name||Ports||Powered?||Why It's Good||Power Delivery||Check Price|
Aorz 7 in 1 USB-C Hub
3 USB A 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, SD and Micro SD card readers, and 1 USB-C input.
Up To 100W
Deegotech 8 in 1 USB-C Hub
3 USB A 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, SD and Micro SD card readers, 1 USB-C input, and an audio jack.
Most Affordable Hub With An Audio Jack
Up To 60W
UtechSmart 6 In 1 USB-C Hub
3 USB A 3.0 Ports, 1 HDMI Port, 1 USB-C Input, And an Ethernet Port.
Best Hub With Ethernet
Up To 100W
LIONWEI 8 Port Powered USB-C Hub
6 USB A 3.0 Ports And SD And Micro SD Card Readers.
Most Affordable Powered Option
Anker Powered USB-C Hub
4 USB A 3.0 Ports, 1 HDMI Port, And An AC Power Input.
Best Affordable Powered Option
Up To 30W
Baseus 17 in 1 Docking Station
3 USB A 3.0 Ports, 2 USB A 2.0 Ports, 2 USB-C 3.0 Ports, 1 USB-C Power Delivery Port, 3 HDMI Ports, 1 Ethernet Port, 1 Audio Jack, And SD And Micro SD Card Slots.
Best Overall Docking Solution
Up To 100W
OWC 14 Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock
5 USB A 3.0 Ports, 1 USB-C 3.1 Port, 1 Thunderbolt 3 Port, 1 Displayport, 1 Ethernet Port, An Audio Port, SD And Micro SD Card Slots, And Even A S/PDIF Optical Audio Port.
Ultimate USB-C Hub For Music Production
Up To 85W
It has 3 USB A 3.0 ports, so you will be able to connect three different USB accessories like USB microphones, MIDI keyboards, Audio interfaces, etc to the hub and have nice fast data transfer speeds on all of them thanks to the USB 3.0 speeds.
But, it’s certainly worth keeping in mind that this is not a powered hub, so if you try to plug three power-hungry devices into the hub all at once, you will probably run into some issues.
The hub also has an HDMI port which is great if you want to connect your laptop to an external monitor, and it also has slots for an SD card and a micro SD card which can always be handy at times.
And while this hub is not a powered hub, it can actually still charge your laptop up to 100W. So if your laptop supports charging via USB-C, you can plug the laptop’s charger into the USB-C port on the hub and then 100W of power will be delivered to your laptop through the hub.
This is really handy because it means you only ever need to unplug and plug one cable into your laptop. And while some laptops are capable of charging at higher speeds than 100W, this is more than enough for most laptops and will even be enough to slowly charge the largest of laptops.
There’s nothing much more to say about this fairly simple USB-C hub, but it’s very reliable and offers all the features you’d expect for a great price, so unless you specifically need a feature that it doesn’t have, the AorZ USB-C hub will be the perfect choice.
Want To Buy The AorZ USB-C Hub?
It also has power passthrough so it can charge your compatible laptop by connecting the laptop’s charger to the hub, but on this one, it’s only 60W instead of 100W.
60W charging will still be perfectly fine for most laptops, but if your laptop is super power hungry, the charging will be extremely slow and the battery percentage might even go down when doing intensive tasks.
So at this point, you might be wondering why I even bothered to add this hub to the list, and that’s for one good reason. The Deegotech USB-C hub has a headphone jack.
It’s not a huge deal, but if you have a set of headphones or speakers that plug into a 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ll be able to plug them into the hub instead of your laptop which just makes everything that little bit neater and easier.
If you don’t care at all about having a headphone jack, then you should probably get the AorZ hub above as it’s basically the same thing for a slightly lower price.
But, if you liked the look of the AorZ hub and you could make use of a headphone jack, I would recommend getting this Deegotech hub instead for only a few dollars extra.
Want To Buy Deegotech USB-C Hub?
But, this one has an ethernet port which would allow you to connect 1000Mbps wired internet to your laptop.
If you don’t have an ethernet connection near your workspace that you could connect to, or if you are perfectly happy with using wifi for internet access, this obviously won’t be a big deal to you and if that’s the case you should probably just get one of the cheaper ones above.
But, if you’re interested in connecting your laptop to an ethernet connection, this is really great as most laptops these days don’t even have a built in ethernet port.
Apart from ethernet, it also has 3 USB A 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and 100W power passthrough so you can charge your compatible laptop by plugging the laptop’s charger into the hub.
So even without the ethernet port, it’s still a great hub, but the ethernet port is really the only thing that sets it apart from the slightly cheaper two options above.
Want To Buy The UtechSmart USB-C Hub?
Best Powered USB-C Hubs
So now that we’ve seen some of the more affordable unpowered hubs, if you’ve decided you’re going to need a powered USB-C hub, let’s take a look at some of the best powered options out there.
This isn’t the most featureful hub, but it does have 6 powered USB A 3.0 ports and it’s considerably cheaper than any other powered USB-C hub around.
It doesn’t have HDMI or ethernet, and despite being a powered hub, it actually can’t charge your laptop at all, so to be fair, it’s more like a powered USB A hub with a USB-C connector.
But if you have a lot of power hungry USB devices that you need to connect to your hub, and you don’t care about those missing features, then this option will be perfect for you.
It’s powered, it has heaps of USB A ports, it can connect to your computer via either USB-C or USB A, and it’s significantly more affordable than most powered hubs.
And as an added bonus, it also has buttons to turn each port on and off individually as needed. And, as another added bonus, you also get SD and Micro SD card slots which can always come in handy.
Want To Buy The LIONWEI 8 Port Powered USB-C Hub?
But it’s still fairly affordable as far as powered USB-C hubs go, and unlike the LIONWEI, it’s actually a propper USB-C hub equipped with HDMI and power passthrough.
It only has 4 USB A 3.0 ports, but that’s still plenty of ports for most setups, and because it’s a powered hub you can pretty much plug whatever you want into them.
It has an HDMI port which is great if you want to connect your laptop to an external display, and it is also capable of charging your laptop at 30W.
And because this is a powered hub, it’s able to charge your laptop from its own power source so you don’t have to connect your laptop’s charger to the hub like you have to do with a lot of hubs.
Unfortunately, 30W is not going to quite be enough for most laptops. With charging at this speed, a lot of laptops will charge very slowly, but for a lot of more powerful laptops it will only be enough to charge them while sleeping, during use the battery might eventually go flat, but at least the laptop will be able to go a lot longer before completely running out of power.
This isn’t a huge issue, because if you do have a more powerful laptop and you need faster charging you can still connect your laptop’s charger at the same time, but it is slightly less convenient.
So overall, if you’re looking for an affordable powered USB-C hub that still has some USB-C hub features, the Anker Powered USB-C hub will be the one for you.
Want To Buy The Anker Powered USB-C Hub?
It is significantly more expensive than all the other ones I’ve talked about so far, but it has heaps of ports and loads of different features that make it worth the price.
It has 3 USB A 3.0 ports on the front and 2 USB A 2.0 ports on the back so there’s no shortage of USB A ports. And because it’s a powered hub you can have different devices running through all the ports simultaneously without running into any power related issues.
It also has 2 USB-C 3.0 ports on the front that can be used for connecting any other kind of USB-C device you want like a USB-C portable SSD.
And on the front, in addition to the USB A and C ports, it also has a headphone port which is great if you have a pair of wired headphones or speakers that plug in via a 3.5mm headphone jack, and SD and Micro SD card slots which can always come in handy.
And on the back, in addition to the two USB A 2.0 ports, it also has 3 HDMI ports which means you can use this hub to connect up to 3 external displays if your laptop supports it.
And you’ll also find an ethernet port which is great if you want to connect your laptop to wired internet.
The Baseus hub also supports 100W power passthrough to your compatible laptop which is really nice and 100W is easily enough power to keep any laptop charged. But you do need to connect the laptop’s charger to the hub for this to work unlike with the Anker Hub.
It also comes with a nice little stand that allows you to neatly stand it up on your desk. You don’t have to use the stand if you want to have the hub lying down or something like that, but it’s nice that the stand is there if you want it.
So while this hub isn’t exactly cheap. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth the price as it really has all the features you could ever want in a USB-C hub and it would allow you to create an awesome music production setup that can connect to your laptop with just one cable.
Want To Buy The Baseus 17 in 1 Docking Station?
But, if you don’t mind the high price tag, this just might be the ultimate USB-C hub for music production.
It has 5 USB A 3.0 ports (4 on the back, 1 on the front) which gives you plenty of scope to plug in all kinds of different accessories. And because it’s a powered hub, you can pretty much plug anything you want into all 5 of the ports and use it all simultaneously without running into any power related issues.
So we’re already off to a great start, but on the front, you also have a USB-C 3.1 port which is great for connecting any other USB-C device you want, a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting a set of headphones or speakers, and SD and Micro SD card slots which are always handy to have.
Then, on the back, in addition to the 4 USB A ports I mentioned earlier, there’s also a mini display port that can be used for connecting an external display to your laptop, and a Thunderbolt 3 port that can be used for connecting any thunderbolt device including an additional display, and an ethernet port which is great if you want to connect to wired internet.
And in addition to all this, there’s one last port on the back I haven’t mentioned, and that is the S/PDIF port which you certainly don’t see on a USB-C hub very often.
The OWC dock is also capable of 85W charging to your compatible laptop, which is really convenient. And 85W is more than enough to charge up most laptops and even enough to slowly charge the most powerful laptops out there.
And, it does all that charging from its own power source meaning you don’t even have to connect your laptop’s charger to the hub like you do with most hubs. This means you can use your laptop’s charger for something else or perhaps just keep it aside for when you’re traveling.
One thing you should definitely keep in mind about this hub is that it only works with laptops that have a thunderbolt 3 port. All the other hubs on this list will at least mostly work with a regular USB-C port, but due to all the features this one has, it won’t work at all if you don’t have a thunderbolt port.
So if your laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port, this is absolutely not a problem at all, but if your laptop only has a basic USB-C port, this isn’t the one for you.
So I’m sure after reading all this, you can probably tell that the OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock truly is the ultimate USB-C hub for music production, and while it is quite pricey, if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth the money.
Want To Buy The OWC 14 Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock?
Bouns: A More Affordable Powered Option
So the other 7 options are great, and they’re all just one device that you can buy and that’s all there is to it. But, as you probably noticed, the powered USB-C hubs are usually quite expensive.
So if you need a Powered USB-C hub in order to power all your gear, but you don’t want to pay the high prices, you’ll be happy to learn that there is actually a cheaper option.
You can get a powered USB A hub like this one on Amazon for under $20. And then, to connect it to the USB-C port on your laptop, all you need is either this cheap USB A to USB-C adapter if you only need USB A ports. Or a cheap, simple USB-C hub like this one if you need more functionality.
And now, for considerably less money, you have a hub that can connect to your computer via USB-C and has powered USB A ports!
I would probably still recommend buying a dedicated powered USB-C hub like the ones above, but if those are a little out of your price range, this method can work really nicely.
Which One Will Work With Your Laptop
So now that you know all about the best USB-C hubs for music production, before you go and buy one, there are a few things you should know about whether or not your chosen USB-C hub will be compatible with your laptop.
Obviously, to use any USB-C hub with your laptop, the laptop will need to have a USB-C port, but I’m sure you already knew that. But, even if your computer does have a USB-C port, some of these hubs still have some features that might not work with your laptop.
While all USB-C hubs can plug into a USB-C port, most of the hubs on this list are actually meant to plug into a Thunderbolt 3 port which confusingly is the same shape and size as a USB-C port, but Thunderbolt ports are capable of carrying much larger amounts of data more quickly.
So if your laptop has a thunderbolt 3 port, you will be able to take full advantage of any of these hubs.
But if your laptop only has a regular USB-C port, most of the hubs on this list will still work, but you might not be able to take full advantage of all the features on some of the fancier hubs.
Most of the hubs on this list are capable of power delivery which means the hub can actually charge your laptop without you having to connect the charger to your laptop separately.
This is really handy, but if your laptop’s USB-C port doesn’t support PD (Power Delivery), no USB-C hub will be able to do this. So before you get too excited about it, make sure you check the specifications of your laptop to see whether it does support power delivery via the USB-C port.
The Charging Cable
In addition to your laptop needing to have a compatible USB-C port for power delivery to work, another power related thing to consider is your laptop’s charging cable.
In order for most of these hubs to be able to charge your laptop, you actually have to plug the laptop’s charging cable into an empty USB-C port on the USB-C hub. And obviously for that to be possible, your laptop’s charger will need to be a USB-C charging cable.
Some laptops these days that have USB-C ports come with USB-C charging cables. But some laptops, even if they are capable of charging via USB-C, still come with a different style of charging cable which won’t be able to plug into the hub, and thus, the hub won’t be able to charge your laptop.
So if your laptop’s charger is a USB-C cable, you’ll be good to go, but if your laptop has a different kind of charger and you want to use a hub that requires you to plug the charger into it, in order for charging to be possible, you’ll need to get a separate USB-C charger like this one.
Another feature a lot of these hubs have is display output. Which means you can connect a monitor to the hub.
Most USB-C ports are capable of display output these days, but if this is a feature you were hoping to use, you might just want to double check that your laptop is capable of display output via USB-C.
In addition to your laptop needing to be capable of outputting to a display via USB-C, if you choose a hub that is capable of connecting multiple displays, you’ll only be able to use multiple displays if your laptop is capable of powering that many displays.
So that’s yet another thing you’ll need to check in your laptop’s specifications.
And also, if you are using Mac OS, you will be able to connect to one external display and have the external display showing something different to the internal display. But if you try to connect two different external displays, the external displays will only be able to mirror each other.
And there you have it! With 7 great different USB-C hubs for music production (8 if you count the bonus one), hopefully you’ve now found the perfect one for your needs.