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Best accessories for Mac Studio: Docks, monitors, and more

Best accessories for Mac Studio: Docks, monitors, and more

Apple recently launched the Mac Studio, its latest desktop computer powered by the brand-new Apple M1 Ultra chipset. This is an incredibly powerful machine for its compact size, even giving the Mac Pro a run for its money. While you get a lot in return for the $1,999 starting price, and it looks like one of the best Macs you can buy, there are still ways you can make the Mac Studio work better for you. Particularly because that price doesn’t include any accessories for the Mac Studio.

As such, we’ve rounded up a wide range of accessories that can help you complete your Mac Studio setup. Whether it’s monitors, keyboard, or mice, there’s a lot to choose from here. Let’s get into it.

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Monitors for the Mac Studio

The Mac Studio is a desktop computer in a box, meaning it doesn’t come with a monitor. Unless you already have your own, you’re going to need to spring for a screen, and thankfully, there’s no shortage of options. We have a dedicated roundup of the best monitors for the Mac Studio, but there are also some great options below:

    Perfect pair

    The Studio Display is Apple's companion for the Mac Studio, offering a high-end visual experience with 5K resolution, anti-reflective glass, and an optional nano-texture coating. It also has a 12MP webcam with support for Center Stage so it keeps you in the frame.

    Great value for 4K

    If you're looking for a sharp monitor at an affordable price, the ASUS PA279CV might just be your solution. It features 4K resolution, color accuracy rated at Delta E < 2, 100% of sRGB and Rec. 709, and it connects with a single USB Type-C cable.

    On the cheap

    If you spent all your money on the Mac Studio and can do with an affordable monitor, this one from Acer might just work. It has Full HD reslution and a 75Hz refresh rate, but it only connects via HDMI, so you can only use one out of the box.

    Great for creative professionals

    If you want a great monitor for photo and video editing, this BenQ panel may be for you. It has a sharp Quad HD resolution, it covers 99% of Adobe RGB, and it has a 16-bit 3D LUT for extra color accuracy and precision, It also includes a hood to block external light.

    More space to work

    Ultrawide monitors are very popular among multitaskers, and this is a great choice. It comes in a sharp 3440 x 1440 resolution, meaning it has a 21:9 aspect ratio that's great for using multiple apps at once. It also connects via USB Type-C so it's easy to set up.

    Cream of the crop

    If you want the best of the best monitors at any cost, the Apple Pro Display XDR may be for you. The mini-LED panel can reach up to 1600 nits of peak brightness, full-array local dimming, supersharp 6K resolution, and P3 wide color gamut support.

Mice and keyboards

The price of the Mac Studio also doesn’t include a mouse and keyboard, so those are two accessories you might want to grab, too, especially if you don’t have any around. Of course, the easiest ones to recommend are Apple’s official accessories, but there are other options out there, too. Here’s what we found:

    The official keyboard

    Apple's official keyboard is great because it offers a feature you can't really get elsewhere: Touch ID. This is the easiest way to unlock your Mac Studio, plus this is a premium-looking keyboard, even including a number pad.

    Great for typing

    Logitech makes some fantastic peripherals, and the MX Keys is an interesting keyboard. The keys have a nearly typical shape, but the rounded dishes make it easier to press the right keys while typing, plus they're more comfortable.

    Sleek mechanical keyboard

    You usually wouldn't see a Razer keyboard recommended for a Mac, but the Pro Type Ultra has a clean design that fits perfectly with the Mac Studio. It has an aluminum build, quiet mechanical switches, and a white backlight for a super clean look.

    Clean ergonomic keyboard

    If you want a more comfortable typing experience and ensure you have correct posture, the Macally Mergokey is a great choice. It has all the keys you'd expect, a nice curved wrist rest, and a cool dual-tone design that looks great. There are wireless and wired versions.

    Compact keyboard and mouse

    Want something that won't take a lot of space. This pair of Logitech accessories lets you complete your Mac Studio setup with a compact keyboard and mouse that are perfectly matched. Plus, the rounded design makes for a very unique look.

    The official one

    Apple's Magic Mouse gets some flack for its poorly-placed charging port, but the sleek design and the fact that it pairs perfectly with the Mac Studio give it a pass. The battery should last for about a month before you need to charge it, so it shouldn't be a problem.

    Top-tier mouse

    Logitech's MX Master series is one of the most renowned computer mice out there, and for good reason. With a MagSpeed metal scroll wheel, programmable buttons, and an ergonomic design, this is a fantastic premium mouse for almost any user.

    For trackpad fans

    If you prefer controlling your mouse with a trackpad, Apple's Magic Trackpad offers one of the best experiences you can get anywhere. It supports multi-touch and Force Touch gestures, and the large surface helps it be more comfortable.

    Affordable and modern

    The Microsoft Bluetooth Ergnonomic Mouse features a comfortable and modern design that goes well with the Mac Studio. It comes in four different colors, it has two side buttons, plus it's relatively cheap.

Mac Studio docks and adapters

Despite its compact size, the Mac Studio does come with a solid supply of ports overall. You get plenty of Thunderbolt ports, 10Gbps Ethernet, and HDMI. However, it only has two USB Type-A ports, so you might want to add some more. If that’s the case, one of the best accessories you can get is a dock or USB-C adapter for your Mac Studio. Here are some great options if you’re interested in one.

    Best value

    Plugable makes some of the best docks you can buy, and this is no exception. It has a vertical design that makes it great for saving space on your desk, and plenty of ports including two HDMI and two DisplayPort connections, lots of USB ports, Ethernet, and more.

    Great choice

    The Kensington SD5600T is another great dock if you need to add a lot of ports to your setup, and it comes in a sleek package. It includes six USB Type-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI and DisplayPort ports, and Ethernet. You can use it vertically or horizontally.

    Solidly built and versatile

    If you want a dock that feels as premium as your Mac Studio, this one from CalDigit is it has a full metal build that looks solid and sleek. It gives you plenty of connectivity, too, with five USB-A ports, USB-C, Ethernet, Thunderbolt daisy-chaining, and even S/PDIF optical audio, which is a fairly rare feature..

    Premium versatile dock

    The Belkin Connect Pro is a high-end Thunderbolt 4 dock that comes with multiple USB ports, two HDMI outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt daisy-chaining, and more. It's expensive, but very versatile.

    Lots of ports for cheap

    This USB docking station from Baseus is much cheaper than a Thunderbolt dock, but it's still very capable. It has plenty of USB Type-A and Type-C ports, SD card readers, Ethernet, and three HDMI ports. Keep in mind the display output will be mirrored on macOS, though.

    More ports for cheap

    If you want a more compact docking solution, the Anker PowerExpand USB-C hub is a great option. It fits 11 ports, including three USB Type-A ports, USB-C, Ethernet, and SD card readers, plus display outputs.

Headphones and earbuds

The Mac Studio has built-in speakers for basic use, but if you want a more immersive audio experience, a good pair of headphones or earbuds is an essential accessory. Of course, many monitors also have their own speakers that might be good, but it’s not the same thing as having headphones. Here are some great options:

    Top-tier sound

    Sony's headphones and earbuds are extremely popular premium products, and the WH-1000XM4 are no exception. They have 40mm drivers for fantastic audio, and Sony's active noise cancelling (ANC) technology is one of the most renowned out there.

    Premium experience

    If you have money to spare, the AirPods Max offer one of the best audio experiences you can get on macOS. Combining a sleek premium design, spatial audio with head tracking, and ANC, these are fantastic headphones for Mac users. They come in four colors.

    For the audiophiles

    The Mac Studio comes with a headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones, so these headphones let you make use of that. The Sennheiser HD 600 are popular open-back headphones that offer crisp and natural-sounding audio.

    Affordable ANC

    If you want active noise cancellation on the cheap, the Soundcore Life Q30 are a great option. They have three noise cancellation modes, plus they support Hi-Res Audio and they last up to 40 hours on a charge with ANC on.

    A perfect pair

    Apple AirPods popularized true wireless earbuds, and the AirPods Pro are the best ones yet. They have great audio quality and ANC, they're comfortable, and since they're made by Apple, they work seamlessly with the Mac Studio.

    Premium alternative

    If you want premium wireless earbuds, Jabra is one of the more popular names out there. The Elite 85t offer advanced ANC, a semi-open design, and they have large 12mm drivers for excellent sound in a small package.

Mac Studio webcams

While some monitors, like Apple’s Studio Display, have a great camera built-in, there’s a good chance you’ll be needing one if you have a different monitor. Webcams have become invaluable accessories in the age of remote work, and these are some of the best options for the Mac Studio:

    The top pick

    The Logitech StreamCam is kind of the ideal camera for the Mac Studio. It connects via the USB Type-C ports, and it's one of the few webcams with software designed for Mac. Plus, it supports 1080p 60fps video and you can easily use it in portrait or landscape orientation.

    The best resolution

    The Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam might be the best webcam overall right now. It has the downside of not having dedicated Mac software, but it has a Sony STARVIS sensor for great low-light performance and image quality overall. It connects with USB Type-A.

    Best for streamers

    If you're planning to stream online, the Razer Kiyo is a great webcam with a built-in ring light that's ideal when you're in dark rooms. Razer's Synapse software only works on Windows, but you can save the webcam settings to the webcam and use it on the Mac Studio.

External storage

The Mac Studio is available with up to 8TB of internal storage, and it’s true that that’s already more than most people need. But upgrading to the 8TB model also costs $2,400 so maybe you want to save some money by going with a lower configuration and relying on external storage. No need to worry, there are some great solutions out there if you want fast external storage you can take anywhere.

    Super-fast storage

    Thunderbolt is a great way to get the most speed possible out of an accessory. This Sabrent SSD offers transfer speeds up to a whopping 2,700MB/s, so you don't have to sit around waiting for things to move over.

    Durable storage

    The rugged design of this LaCie SSD gives it dust, water, drop, and shock resistance so you can take it anywhere. But it still has speeds up to 2,400MB/s in a compact form factor so it's easy to take with you if you need to share files.

    Great value

    If you just want a solid SSD and the ability to choose your favorite color, the Samsung T7 is great. It comes in up to 2TB of capacity and three colors to choose from, plus it's not too expensive and it has speeds up to 1,050MB/s.

    Rugged SSD

    The SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD is another great option if you need storage that can take a beating. It doesn't support Thunderbolt, but with USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, it still has speeds up to 2,000MB/s, so it's not lacking in performance.

    Tons of space

    Typical HDD storage can be very slow by today's standards, but if you want massive amounts of storage without spending thousands of dollars, it's the way to go. This WD drive comes with up to 36TB of storage to backup data you may not use as often.

    Ultra-portable storage

    Need to take your files in your pocket and share them easily with others? The Kingston microDuo 3C flash drive has a USB Type-C and a Type-A port so it works with any PC (and most phones), plus you can get up to 128GB of capacity.

And those are what we’d consider the best and most essential accessories you can get for the Mac Studio. For everything it does right, there are certainly ways you can make it better – or in some cases, usable. Remember, the official price doesn’t include a monitor, mouse, or keyboard, so you may need to buy all of those.

If that’s not stopping you, you can buy the Mac Studio below. If you’re new to the world of Macs, you might want to check out everything you need to know about macOS Monterey, plus the best apps for Apple Silicon Macs like the Mac Studio. These apps are optimized for the Apple M1 Max and M1 Ultra processors, so they’ll run at full native performance.

    The new Mac Studio comes with up to an Apple M1 Ultra chipset, 128GB of unified memory, and 8TB of storage. No accessories are included in the box, though.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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