This is how you maximize space and fill it with sound and light [Setups] | Cult of Mac

This is how you maximize space and fill it with sound and light [Setups]


This excellent use of space is brought to you by a standing desk, a mounted ultra-wide display and MacBook Pro, and inventive wall storage.
This excellent use of space is brought to you by a standing desk, a mounted ultra-wide display and MacBook Pro, and inventive wall storage.

Not everyone has a huge desk with ample room for their computer setup and loads of associated gear. But with a few smart moves, anyone can make the most of a small desk in a cramped space.

Today’s featured setup is a good example. It takes advantage of a standing desk, displays mounted on arms and ample wall-mounted storage to maximize limited space.

And the audio gear and lighting don’t disappoint, either.

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M1 MacBook Pro setup maximizes space in cramped quarters with a standing workstation and wall storage

Redditor BeatKnicker (“BN”) showcased the setup in a post entitled, “MacTop + 34-in ultrawide standing setup.” The whole thing is designed for standing or sitting, with an adjustable desk and and displays on movable arms.

BN runs a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro — not clear if it has the M1 Pro or the M1 Max chip in it — along with a Nintendo Switch for serious gaming.

Well-mounted displays and standing desk

The MacBook sits on a mount well off the desk, making it a nice secondary display to the primary external display — a mounted 34-inch Philips 4K curved ultra-wide display mounted on an arm. That’s a brand we don’t see often in Setups, at least as far as monitors are concerned, but it looks like a nice one.

The Philips 34E2CUAE features 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution, a 1ms response time for smooth gaming and flicker-free technology to ease eye strain. And a built-in USB-C hub makes for easy connectivity and power delivery to a laptop or other device.

And the arm frees up space and makes the big screen’s positioning highly adjustable.

“The best part of monitor arms (aside from the ability to make positioning adjustments on the fly) is freeing up the desk to actually be a desk,” said BN. “Totally worth the (minor) investment. These were [about] $80.”

A commenter asked if BN still uses the MacBook screen even with the ultra-side display, and whether his neck hurts “from moving it to the same size?”

“Still use the MB screen, yeah,” BN replied. “Mostly for Spotify, Telegram, WhatsApp etc. Namely stuff I don’t have to check often … so no neck probs.”

For input devices, BN uses a Magic Trackpad. There’s not a mouse to be seen. Along with the trackpad, he’s got Keychron’s Q1 custom mechanical keyboard with the maker’s own OEM Dye-Sub PBT Keycap Set in rainbow colors.

Keeping it neat with wall hooks and pegboard for storage

In addition to maximizing space with mounts for his laptop and external display, BN takes advantage of wall space. He’s got cables and other gear sitting on adhesive plastic wall hooks.

And he’s got several other items mounted on a pegboard to the right. That gets gear out of the way but keeps it handy, within arm’s reach.

And it doesn’t hurt to mount a large shelf on the wall above the displays, as BN did.

Excellent audio gear and lighting

Though we chose to focus on this setup’s great use of limited space in this article, we could have focused on the extensive array of audio gear. It’s a nice selection of good choices, if you’re look to fine-tune your audio arsenal.

BN enjoys tunes through Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm over-ear headphones or PreSonus Eris E3.5 studio monitors mounted on risers for optimal sound. A Blue Yeti USB microphone helps him record clearly.

And in order to capture sound well, in addition to the mic, BN runs a Scarlett 2i2 audio interface that he hooks up to his Novation LaunchKey Mini Mk III MIDI controller. That’s a mini keyboard with electronic drum sounds and much more.

The atmospheric lighting you see in the photograph comes courtesy of Philips Hue. There are multiple Philips Hue Play light bars, which are a popular choice to add white and RGB lighting to a space.

But the other Philips Hue light, a Bloom table lamp, is new to us. It sits on the desk, taking up very little space, yet it can show 16 million colors and sync with media, like movies and music, when combined with a hub or a sync-enabling accessory.

Dazzling wallpaper

And as for that dazzling desktop wallpaper: “It’s a piece called ‘Drop it’ by digital artist Planttdaddii (used with the artists’ permission),” BN said.

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Input devices:


Lighting and accessories

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to 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.


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