Plugging 3.5mm audio jack into Anker hub instead of MBP? (Anker DAC vs MBP DAC)


I’m considering buying this USB hub from Anker for my MBP 13″ 2018. The idea is to have only a single cable from the hub connected directly to the MBP to make it easier to dock/undock the laptop from my desk.

My question is, would the audio quality noticeably degrade if I plug the headphone jack into the hub instead of the laptop? I tried researching the specs of the two DACs but have no idea how to make sense of them. My MBP’s DAC is Cirrus Logic CS42L83A Audio Codec (iFixit) and the Anker hub’s DAC is this.

Any general advice or specific assessment of the two DACs is appreciated!

The total harmonic distortion (THD) for the two is comparable. The other specs on the KT0200 aren’t stated (sampling rate, num bits).

What will you be playing? If it’s not something esoteric like e.g. 96kHz FLAC, I doubt you’ll notice a difference.

What will you be connecting to it? If it’s not something esoteric (e.g. $700+ headphones), I doubt you will notice a difference.

You can always try it out and return it if it doesn’t play well for you.

Thanks for your insight!

I’ll be playing largely FLAC (a small portion are 96kHz), not because I can reliably tell the difference but because HDD is affordable enough for me to not care. The headphones are ~$150 Beyerdynamic DT770s no nothing crazy.

I think I’ll buy it to try it out and maybe even do some ABX testing. I’ve bookmarked this site for a while but never bothered to test it.

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FWIW, I plug my urBeats into a HyperDrive using the Apple 3.5 to C connection… now, admittedly, I can’t hear a dog whistle any more (I blame the Ramones) but I can hear whatever it is that I am listening to, and it sounds fine…

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Those are nice looking headphones!

Thanks for sharing your experience! It’s entirely my prejudice, but I have much more faith in HyperDrive’s more premium hubs than Anker. It’s great value for the money, but I’m worried they might cheap out on the DAC or something.

Agreed, I love the aesthetics. They’re very comfy too.