You, like many people, may build your computer setup around a MacBook Pro. But is yours the “standard setup” for MacBook Pro users?
If you answered “there’s no such thing,” you’re right. That’s why we were surprised to see a reference to such a standard in reaction to a setup with a MacBook Pro, a new Studio Display, an excellent CalDigit dock and a raft of excellent audio gear that not everyone has or even knows about. But maybe they should.
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MacBook Pro and Studio Display play well with Schiit, Audient and Sennheiser audio gear
Redditor Leftover-Waffle (“LW”) showcased the clean, well-lighted place for work — to butcher a Hemingway phrase for no particular reason — in a post entitled, “I’ve made it! Studio Display finally secured.”
He runs a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro on a Twelve South BookArc Stand with a Studio Display that recently arrived after some delays, apparently. He described the monitor as “such a step up from 4K.”
It’s all set upon a handsome walnut desktop, courtesy of Ikea.
“It is the Ikea Karlby [desktop]. I thought it was going to be a complicated, but it turned out to be really easy!” Waffle replied to a question, saying he managed to assemble the furniture in less than two hours. “I just assembled the Alex drawers, an easy process, and then stuck four furniture pads for hardwood floors on the top of each and then set the tabletop on both. It doesn’t budge!”
‘Every MacBook Pro user’s standard setup’
One commenter had a surprising reaction to the setup, which includes an outstanding USB-C dock and formidable audio gear.
“Hmm…is that every MacBook Pro user’s standard setup?” asked a commenter. “Like CalDigit TS4 [18-port dock], Schiit Modi (DAC) + Vali2 (Amp w/ Tube) or similar, and Sennheiser HD 6** headphones? Cause I have exact the same devices!! Cheers!”
“Can’t go wrong!” Waffle replied.
Well, if that’s every MacBook Pro user’s standard setup, then MacBook Pro users are a lot more savvy about high-quality audio than most Setups indicate.
Plenty of people are into CalDigit docks, which have a great reputation, but setups sporting Schiit, Audient, Audio-Technica and Sennheiser audio gear aren’t exactly a dime a dozen.
High-quality audio gear
“Look like Schiit,” quipped a commenter, referring to a top-shelf audio brand that sounds like something else. “Sorry, I had to. Seriously, nice setup!”
“Can’t have a Schiit product in the frame and not make a pun,” Waffle replied.
We agree, having gone with a similar joke in a recent audio-centric Setups headline and then throughout the article, “Computer science student’s M1 rig is a pile of Schiit.”
Waffle uses a Schiit Modi 3E/Magni 3+ DAC/amplifer for overall sound quality through his headphones and an Audient iD4 audio interface, often used to ensure high-quality recording.
Like that gear, his headphones themselves are nothing to sneeze at. Sennheiser HD 6XX open-back headphones are the venerable company’s rebrand of its flagship HD650 headphones. Open-back headphones are known for having a more expansive soundstage than closed-back cans.
“I love spotting 6XX Senns in the wild!” enthused a commenter. “I have the 660S so we are Audiophile Sennheiser brothers.”
“Nice!” Waffled replied. “They are so amazing, especially after listening to AirPods for the majority of my life. I am actually looking at the 660s, I would like a bit more a neutral sound compared to the more colored one of the 6XXs.”
Trackpad, no mouse
Many setup go with either a mouse or a trackpad, though plenty use both. Waffle chooses just a Magic Trackpad alongside his Magic Keyboard.
“Interesting choice going for just the [Magic] Trackpad,” a commenter noted. “What are your thoughts on it? Have you ever felt the need/want to get a regular mouse?”
“I actually thought long and hard about using just a trackpad on the desktop, and I made the right call I believe!” Waffle replied. “I have been just a MacBook-on-the-desk user for a long time and always found I was just as productive with a trackpad. I am probably in the minority there though, I feel like most would be better off with a standard mouse.”
Other commenters came down on the side of trackpads only. One said, “I haven’t used a mouse with my Mac in over 10 years. Love the track pad.”
Find all the setup’s gear at the links below.
Shop these items now:
Computer and dock:
- Sennheiser HD 6XX open-back headphones
- Schiit Modi 3E/Magni 3+ DAC/amplifer
- Audient iD4 audio interface
- Audio-Technica AT2020 condenser microphone on mount
If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to email@example.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.