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USB-C laptops (M1 Macbook Air), USB-C hubs, and DACs

GoMrPickles

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I recently purchased a Macbook Air (2020 M1). It comes with two USB-C ports and not much else. Looking over threads here and reviews on Amazon, it seems like everyone should be wary of which USB-C hub to buy, but it isn't clear which one to *actually* buy.

Does anyone here have a laptop/USB-C hub/DAC/Amp/headphone combo? With only two USB-C ports, it's easy to run into limitations:
* I use an external monitor, 4k/60Hz, which takes up one USB-C slot. (My monitor isn't able to charge my laptop via this connection.)
* The power adapter takes up the other.
* Crap I'm out of ports.

Does anyone run a 4k/60Hz external monitor off of the same hub as the DAC? How's the audio/video? Are there hubs that specifically work well with this laptop?

I am looking at hubs like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087QZVQJX/

TIA.
 
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TheWalkman

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I recently purchased a Macbook Air (2020 M1). It comes with two USB-C ports and not much else. Looking over threads here and reviews on Amazon, it seems like everyone should be wary of which USB-C hub to buy, but it isn't clear which one to *actually* buy.

Does anyone here have a laptop/USB-C hub/DAC/Amp/headphone combo? With only two USB-C ports, it's easy to run into limitations:
* I use an external monitor, 4k/60Hz, which takes up one USB-C slot.
* The power adapter takes up the other.
* Crap I'm out of ports.

Does anyone run a 4k/60Hz external monitor off of the same hub as the DAC? How's the audio/video? Are there hubs that specifically work well with this laptop?

I am looking at hubs like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087QZVQJX/

TIA.
I bought a CalDigit hub several years back for a MacBook Air and as a guy who has used Macs professionally since 1984, the product had the feel of a beta from day one.

They failed to keep the firmware updated and my hub became a $150 boat anchor with the release of Catalina.

EOL-ing a peripheral dock is BS in my book.

They’ll never see another penny from me.

I replaced the CalDigit brick with a VAVA 12 in 1 and it has worked fine.
 
OP
G

GoMrPickles

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My solution was to buy a bluetooth (rather than USB dongle) mouse and keyboard. My monitor can do 4k/60Hz via USB-C to DislayPort; the audio is acceptable via Apple's multi-AV USB-C adapter (the other connection is power).

Next issue is that MacOS apparently doesn't do hi-res, so... lovely. I had assumed that was a solved problem since Ubuntu 16.04 (now five years old!) happily switch sampling rate to match whatever content it was playing... or, if you played two things at once (music and youtube), it just kept the sample rate of whatever was playing first. It's a shame there's no way to slap that onto MacOS.
 

staticV3

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MacOS can play >16bit/44.1kHz (=hi-res) content natively, if you select the appropriate sample rate and bit depth in the MIDI control center.
It won't, however, switch sample rate for you.
 

elvisizer

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Those are thunderbolt ports so you want a thunderbolt dock. That anker usb c hub will work but it’s not ideal and is slower than thunderbolt.
Get a caldigit ts3 plus if you’re still going to get one.
Don’t listen to @TheWalkman they are the best docks out there.
 

JamesYeomans

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I have two Plugable T3 docks. Used them for over a year with various Windows 10 laptops. Never any issues. Worth a look in addition to Caldigit :)
 

TheWalkman

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Those are thunderbolt ports so you want a thunderbolt dock. That anker usb c hub will work but it’s not ideal and is slower than thunderbolt.
Get a caldigit ts3 plus if you’re still going to get one.
Don’t listen to @TheWalkman they are the best docks out there.
Elvis, if you’re such a fan of CalDigit, I have one I’ll sell you cheap. (Per my post: don’t expect it to work. Other than that, it makes an excellent paperweight.)
 
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