Health care exec cures cable outbreak threatening healthy work and play station [Setups]

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Dr. Edward Wang's setup features an ultra-wide monitor.
Edward Wang's setup features an ultra-wide monitor. (Note the eye-strain-reducing BenQ Screen Bar lighting atop the monitor.)
Photo: Edward Wang

Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Edward Wang, Ph.D., is an executive director with Quest Diagnostics. He took some serious time and effort making his setup a clean and powerful tool for health care work and audiovisual play. Once he diagnosed and treated a cable-management malady stemming from several separate pieces of computer and audio equipment, his setup delighted him.

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Cable management malady

“Cable management was a great difficulty,” Wang told Cult of Mac. “As the desk does not face the wall, I had to spend a good deal of time planning cable routing and hiding all the cables underneath the desktop and within the desk frame. There was lots of trial and error, but the end result was pleasing.”

Cable management in action. It's trickier when your rig doesn't back up to a wall.
Cable management in action. It’s trickier when your rig doesn’t back up to a wall.
Photo: Edward Wang

A lot of screen time calls for a lot of screen

Wang said his work calls for peering at a screen quite a bit. So it’s a good thing he pairs his 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini with a stupendous, 49-inch Acer Super Ultrawide monitor.

“Having the Super Ultrawide screen ensures consistent productivity. Much of my work involves reading medical literature, doing medical searches, and extensive team and project management that utilize Microsoft Powerpoint, Excel and Outlook,” he said.

The ultra-wide screen and special lighting choices help with eye strain.
The ultra-wide screen and special lighting choices help with eye strain.
Photo: Edward Wang

Proper lighting, noise cancellation and music

But a big, wide screen is not the only remedy Wang prescribed for the aches and pains of workstation toil.

“The BenQ Screen Bar provides excellent backlighting and ameliorates eye strains from screen glare,” he said of the lighting bar rigged to the top of the monitor. “And the Sennheiser MM550 headphones provide excellent noise cancellation and voice clarity when I am on conference calls.”

When Wang reads extensively or focuses intently on specific projects, he likes to have classical music playing in the background on his Audioengine HD3 speakers.

The speakers connect to a Musical Fidelity M1DAC (digital audio converter) using Kimber Kable Hero RCA cables to improve sound quality via upsampling to 192kHz. The M1DAC connects to a CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock using an optical cable.

A Musical Fidelity M1DAC sits on the left side of the setup.
A Musical Fidelity M1DAC sits on the left side of the setup. A CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock rest on the shelf to the right.
Photo: Edward Wang

Functional, productive, pleasing — and accessible

“This setup provides a very clean workstation that is functional, productive and pleasing,” Wang pointed out. “All essential hardware [is] easily accessible.”

For example, he said, his Nomad Pro Wireless Charging Base Station is within reach and can power up his iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch all at the same time.

The CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock provides numerous ports for additional hardware connectivity, such as headphones, microphones, card readers and more.

Wang’s Logitech MX Keys wireless illuminated keyboard and ergonomic MX Vertical Mouse both connect to the MacBook Pro or Mac mini via the CalDigit dock.

Wang's Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated Keyboard sits on a Grovemade Wool Felt Desk Pad.
Wang’s Logitech MX Keys wireless illuminated keyboard sits on a wool desk pad by Grovemade.
Photo: Edward Wang

Tasteful wood grains

To complete the desk setup, Wang chose a walnut wood desk shelf, a wooden headphone stand and a wool felt desk pad — all from  Grovemade — for their good looks and quality craftsmanship.

“For mood lighting, the Flyte Nikola levitating LED light was a great choice to complement the walnut finish of my acacia wood desktop,” Wang added.

A Flyte Nikola Levitating LED Light? Well, that's cool.
A Flyte Nikola Levitating LED Light? Well, that’s cool.
Photo: Edward Wang

Results are worth the time spent

Wang noted his setup came together over time, as he accumulated all the components gradually. He spent many hours researching options for screen lighting, desk lamps, mouse pads, writing instruments and more to find complementary elements.

He said the biggest challenge, other than managing cables, was finding the right pieces, such as a desktop and cabinets. It’s not always easy choosing real wood versus compressed wood and deciding on the most appropriate measurements. In the end, Wang didn’t settle on a typical Ikea desktop. Instead, was thrilled to find 6-foot-wide, dark-oil-stained acacia wood butcher desktop at Home Depot. He also found two matching cabinets.

After a day of work, this Acer wide screen is perfect for kicking back with a movie.
After a day of work, this Acer wide screen is perfect for kicking back with a movie.
Photo: Edward Wang

Summing up, looking forward

Wang said his next project will be to find audiophile-quality headphones and a headphone amplifier to complete his setup.

For the moment, though, he’s quite happy with what he has.

“This is a great productivity setup and entertainment workstation. I can relax to high-fidelity music while working,” he said. “After work, I can put on a movie and entertain on the 49-inch Acer Super Ultrawide screen.”

Shop these items now:

Computer equipment:

MacBook Pro 13-inch

Mac mini

Acer 49-inch Super Ultrawide monitor

Logitech MX Vertical Mouse

Logitech MX Keys wireless keyboard

CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 dock

Nomad Pro Wireless Charging Base Station

Audio equipment:

Audioengine HD3 Wireless Speaker

Musical Fidelity M1DAC

Sennheiser MM550 Bluetooth Headphones

Amazon Echo Dot

Furniture, lighting and accessories:

Flyte Nikola Levitating LED Light

BenQ ScreenBar Plus with Dial Lamp

Wali Single Monitor Gas Spring Desk Mount

Grovemade Wood Desk Shelf, Wood Headphone Stand, Titanium Pen and Wool Felt Desk Pad

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.