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Anker USB 3.0 7-Port

USB 3.0 Hub For Audio

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Best USB Hub For Audio

Anker USB 3.0 7-Port

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: November 4, 2015

If I was in the market for a new one, I'd get the Anker® Unibody USB 3.0 7-Port Hub. It is USB 3.0, backwards compatible to USB 2.0 (which is important), and even has a USB 1.2 port. It can be used with the included power adapter, but can also be powered by the USB hub when needed for portability. Even with all those features, it's reasonably priced.


Table Of Contents

  • What Makes A Great USB Hub For Audio Production?
  • The Best USB Hub
  • How We Picked
  • Best Portable USB Hubs
  • Other Picks

What Makes A Great USB Hub For Audio Production?

Finding quality USB hubs can be a tricky endeavor. On Amazon, you’ll find a dizzying array of choices. To make matters worse, many manufacturers are vague about their hub capabilities, which can cause problems and cost you valuable time you could be using to work on your music.

Well be looking at USB hubs that are powered, which means our pick will have an AC adapter to power various items, which could include anything from MIDI Controllers, instruments, external hard drives, and flash drives.

Music gear manufacturer Alesis says on their website:

“If you use a USB hub to connect your device, use a hub that has its own AC power adapter. If necessary, upgrade to a premium USB cable. If you are in an area that has a high level of radio or electrical interference, and you experience noise or hum when using USB audio, upgrade your USB cable to a premium cable with extra shielding and a ferrite bead (a cylindrical bump on one end of the cable), which can filter out some external noise.”

A7513141_ND03One of the biggest growth areas for reliable USB hubs is DJs. According to David Schulman at DJ Tech Tools, their requirements are very similar:

“What Makes A Quality Studio Hub: If your computer features USB 3.0, getting the most up-to-date hardware will save you money down the road. Make sure your prospective hub also includes the necessary AC adaptor to power it – and that all of the ports are fully powered (some cheap hubs only power certain ports). Also note: Buy PCIe for desktops – a PCIe card will solve both power and data transfer issues but needs a PCIe motherboard slot to work. This is really important if hard drives are sharing a hub. Check all the ports – some hubs will offer combinations of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. Double check you’re getting what you want before buying Spend now to save later – The newest USB 3.0 hubs will run you a bit more money (around $60) but you’ll save having to buy a new hub in a year or two.”

The current standard for USB is called ‘USB 3.0’. However, you or other musicians might have USB 2.0, or even USB 1.2 devices. For this reason, the USB hub should also be backwards compatible with at least USB 2.0.

How many USB ports do you need? Well, we want to strike a balance between having enough USB ports to accomodate all our devices, yet not have so many USB ports that we’d never use them. So, for studio and home studio use we’ll be looking for something between 5-10 USB ports. If you need more or less USB ports, just move up or down the scale from there. Many of the models we recommend below have the same configuration with several different options for numbers of ports.

For instance, one of our favorites, the Anker has everything from 4-port, 7-port, even 13-port options. The reviews don’t lie – pick any one of these Anker USB Hubs and you’ll be just fine.

Which brings us to our pick:

The Best USB Hub

The Anker® USB 3.0 7-Port Hub is the one we’d get. 7 ports is plenty, the AC adapter produces enough power to handle several devices requiring power. It is also backwards compatible all the way back to USB 1.2. The 7-port

In addition to the included power adapter, the Anker can also be powered by your computer’s onboard USB bus power. This means you don’t need the power adapter if you’re just plugging in flash drives, maybe a keyboard and mouse, and eve some smaller MIDI or audio controllers which may not need a lot of power.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, should you need more ports Anker also makes a 10-port and 13-port option. They also make a 5-port option, so pretty much all you need to do is figure out how many ports you need and then choose appropriately.

How We Picked (aka: my mistakes are your gain)

Again, from DJ Tech Tools:

One of the challenges with finding the right hub lies in the fact that there are so many options. USB has gone through many upgrades and changes since it first became available and many hubs can be deceiving in how up-to-date their hardware is.

Agreed. As a computer programmer for over a decade, with a home recording studio – to say I have had experience with USB hubs is a massive understatement. I’ve been burned many times, purchasing USB hubs without reading the fine print, only to find out when I set it up it doesn’t have as many USB 3.0 ports as I thought, or super slow transfer speeds, and generally cheaply made hubs that ended up not lasting long at all.

So, user reviews are important. All our recommended hubs have hundreds of reviews attesting to their reliability.

Conclusion

Shopping for USB hubs can be a confusing experience, so going with the ones we’ve recommended here will get you in the ballpark. Just move up or down depending on how many ports you need and you’ll save a lot of time you would have spent messing with an unreliable USB hub.

Instead, use that time to get some more music recorded!

Happy playing!


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Best USB Hub For Audio

Anker USB 3.0 7-Port

Best USB Hub For Audio

Important Specs

Dimensions 5 x 1.2 x 0.8 inches
Weight 2.6 ounces
Power Adapter 5V / 3A, w built-in 5ft cable
Accessories 1.3ft USB 3.0 cable
Extras Built-in surge protection
Warranty 18 mos.
more specs

Synopsis:

If I was in the market for a new one, I'd get the Anker® Unibody USB 3.0 7-Port Hub. It is USB 3.0, backwards compatible to USB 2.0 (which is important), and even has a USB 1.2 port. It can be used with the included power adapter, but can also be powered by the USB hub when needed for portability. Even with all those features, it's reasonably priced.

Manhattan 28-port USB Hub

The Overkill

Manhattan 28-port USB Hub

You don't want this USB hub. I posted it here because - WHAT?! - it's ginormous! It does have a few USB 3.0 ports on the sides. But the majority of the USB ports are 2.0. Pass on this.

HooToo HT-UH010 7-Port USB Hub

Great, with extras

HooToo HT-UH010 7-Port USB Hub

Compact, reliable, and plenty of ports make this a great choice. There's some extra ports specially for charging iPads, which isn't a necessity for audio production, but may be something you could use. If so, get this one.

- M

Sources

  1. Staff, Alesis.com, 20081101
    Tips and tricks for music and computers
  2. Jeremy, Audio Bus, 20140701
    The best usb hub
  3. djjc.techgrooves, Native Instruments, 20140322
    Best usb hub
  4. DJ Vintage, Digital DJ Tips, 20140206
    MacBook Pro powered usb hub help?
  5. unrelatednotes, Gearslutz.com, 20140514
    USB Hubs
  6. David Schulman, DJ Tech Tools, 20130902
    USB Hubs for Studio and Mobile DJs
Originally published: January 16th, 2015

Important Specs

Dimensions 5 x 1.2 x 0.8 inches
Weight 2.6 ounces
Power Adapter 5V / 3A, w built-in 5ft cable
Accessories 1.3ft USB 3.0 cable
Extras Built-in surge protection
Warranty 18 mos.
more specs



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