How to hook up a USB audio device to your Mac

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mackie-blackjack
Mackie's Blackjack works equally well with iOS and Mac.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you want to listen to music on your Mac, you either suffer its built-in speakers, or you plug a speaker into the headphone jack. But what if you want to get sound into you Mac? Or you have some fancy speakers hooked up to a fancy mixer, and the little headphone output doesn’t cut it, quality-wise? Then you should switch to USB. And don’t worry — you won’t have to install drivers, or any of the other crap that makes PC use so painful. In fact, using a USB audio interface is as easy as plugging in a pair of headphones, only better.

Chocolate Hub 2 should ship with every MacBook

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Chocolate Hub
Chocolate Hub 2 gives you back all the ports you need.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple doesn’t think you need traditional USB ports and SD card readers anymore, but for the vast majority of MacBook users, that’s false. That’s why every model should ship with the excellent Chocolate Hub 2.

This pocket-sized device gives you back all the connections you frequently rely on, including USB and HDMI. It also has a built-in Qi charging pad for juicing up your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X on the move.

Streamline your calendar, charging, coding skills, and more [Week’s best deals]

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This week's best deals include tools for keeping all your passwords safe, all your devices charged, and lots more.
This week's best deals include tools for keeping all your passwords safe, all your devices charged, and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

To celebrate the start of a new week, we do what we do every week: gather up some of the best deals on gear, gadgets, and more. This round, we’ve got a comprehensive course in iOS 11 coding, and a ‘Hiffecient’ USB charging hub. We’ve also got a tool for streamlining online form-filling, and an upgrade for your Mac’s calendar. Everything is discounted by more than 40 percent. Read on for more details:

Teach your kids healthy digital habits [Week’s Best Deals]

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This week's best new deals include an app for keeping kids on the straight and narrow online, and lots more.
This week's best new deals include an app for keeping kids on the straight and narrow online, and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Fall is about to drop, and with the new season comes a bunch of great new deals at the Cult of Mac Store. This week, we’ve got a sleek 6-port USB-C hub and a lifetime subscription to Sticky Password. Additionally, we’ve got an amazing glowing guitar instruction tool, and an app for teaching kids more healthy online habits. Everything’s on sale at big discounts, read on for more details:

Streamline how you type, build websites, and more [Week’s Best Deals]

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This week's best deals include a keystroke-saving tool, a sleek charging hub, and lots more.
This week's best deals include a keystroke-saving tool, a sleek charging hub, and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Another week, another raft of great new deals at the Cult of Mac Store. This go around, we’ve got a typing assistant that can save you serious time at the keyboard. There’s also a code-free tool for building websites, a sleek set of Bluetooth headphones, and a desktop USB hub. Additionally, everything is discounted by 30 percent or more. Read on for more details:

How to use a USB hub to hook up multiple devices to your iPad

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iPad usb hub
It's a mess, but it all works perfectly.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know how the Lightning cable that plugs into your iDevice has a USB plug on the other end? That’s because the Lightning port is a kind of fancy USB port itself. You already know that you can in plug a keyboard, or an audio interface, or a camera, using Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter. But did you know that you can plug in all of those at once? That’s right — by using a powered USB hub, you can hook up as many accessories as you like to your iPad at once. If you ever use your iPad to work at your desk, with a keyboard, then you can use this tip to build your own iPad docking station.

Seize power with this roundup of charging accessories [Deals]

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Whatever your power needs, this roundup of outlets, surge protectors and USB chargers will solve them.
Whatever your power needs, this roundup of outlets, surge protectors and USB chargers will solve them.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Life in the digital age means keeping a bunch of devices charged. Between our homes, workplaces, cars, and travel destinations, that can become a complicated task. We’ve rounded up a set of charging accessories to handle any personal power shortage. We’ve got a 6-port modular surge protector, a smart power strip with USB outlets, a car charger with four ports, and a super thin, massively powerful portable battery. Read on for more details:

Wirelessly diagnose your car, and more [Deals]

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iPhone cables, mounts, chargers, and a wireless diagnosis tool. These are the auto accessories you're looking for.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’ve got a car, you’ve got a hundred ways to integrate your mobile devices with it. We’ve gathered some great deals on essential tech to take on the road with you. Below you’ll find a futuristic phone mount, a 3-port USB hub, a metal-braided Lightning cable, and a tool for wirelessly checking on your car’s health. Everything Is discounted by 25 percent or more, read on for more details: