Studio Display owners... a request

Now that significant numbers of “normals” have the Studio Display on their desks, I’d like to ask those people about the thing most reviewers seem to have skipped over… what can you reliably plug into the USB ports on it?

I have an interesting conundrum in that I currently have an OWC USB-C Dock plugged into my 13" M1 MacBook Pro. That’s the no-longer-available one that is USB from Mac to Dock, but it happily runs:

  • 4K monitor
  • Ethernet
  • 2 x USB hard drives (USB-A)
  • 1 x USB SSD (USB-C)
  • 1 x Epson scanner (USB-A)
  • 1 x SD slot
  • Spare USB-A slot on front which I use mostly for a headset

I only have two ports on the laptop and use the second one from time to time for various tasks, so don’t really want to leave both a Studio Display and the dock plugged in all the time it’s on my desk.

Assuming the use of a proper Thunderbolt cable from the Mac, how does it go with connecting the following?

  1. Self powered hard drives (e.g. WD Passport or similar).
  2. Ethernet adapters (USB ones, obviously, not Thunderbolt).
  3. Other USB docks (ideally like the OWC one).
  4. Audio interfaces (I have an Elgato Wave).
  5. Scanners and printers.

The documentation for the OWC Dock clearly says it “must be plugged directly into the computer” but a friend pointed out… “Yes, it says that, but is that just a CYA statement?”


Of course after I post this I get the answer to one of my questions which I thought would be the last answer I got. On ATP (next week if you’re not a member :slight_smile: ) there was some follow-up (well I think it was follow-up, that’s where it was in the show) about Ethernet adapters specifically in the Studio Display ports. I think I know which one I need to buy if I end up running Ethernet off it.

I’ve only used a Samsung T7 ssd with the Studio Display so far. It works flawlessly. My printer is connected over AirPrint

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My use for the display has been limited to a Stream Deck, printers and a Cambridge Audio DAC. All are working as expected.

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Thanks, I also have a T7, though it’s not a priority device for me. Is the speed still ridiculously fast?

Thanks, the DAC sounds like the sort of device that might complain about an inferior hub.

Still ridiculously fast read write speeds on the T7 for me.

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My current set-up is a MacBook Pro M1Pro → OWC Thunderbolt Dock (w/4 Thunderbolt 4 ports) → Apple Studio Display

For testing I disconnected my OWC dock, so it’s MacBook Pro M1Pro → Apple Studio Display. Here’s 's what I tested using the ASD’s USB-C ports:

With USB-A–>C dongles:
ScanSnap S1300i
Dymo Labelwriter printer
G-Drive 4TB HDD
Universal Audio Volt-276 Audio Interface (powered on; didn’t test with my guitar plugged in)
Direct USB-C:
Samsung T3 SSD; SanDisk Extreme SSDs
All of the above worked fine

Then I connected a Satechi Type-C Multiport Adapter 4K with ethernet V2. The other 2 ASD USB-C ports were empty.

I filled the 3 USB-A ports with the scanner, printer, and HDD listed above - all worked fine.
Connected ethernet cable to ethernet port (hard to see in picture but it’s at the end next to the USB-C port). - worked fine (1 Gbps) - required a reboot before working.
Connected a USB-C SSD - this did not work but the USB-C port on this adapter may be broken. It doesn’t seem to work when connected directly to my MBP nor my iPad Pro. CORRECTION: The USB-C port is for pass-through charging only and does not support data transfer.


Awesome! Thank you for doing all that!

I have a similar Satechi hub to the one you have. Mine has 2 x USB-A and an SD slot where yours has 3 x USB-A. The USB-C port on mine (which is on the same side as the the USB-A) is only for passthrough charging, so that might be the same for yours. I had not considered I already have USB-C to Ethernet solution (aside from the OWC dock). Could be useful even if only interim.

I don’t use the Satechi often currently, but it fulfils one annoying role. Or, at least, it gets around an annoying problem. Some hard drives will not work when plugged directly into the M1 MacBook Pro. Most notably my WD My Passport Wireless Pro will not switch to USB mode unless I interpose the dock. I wonder if interposing the ASD would do the same.

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Yes - You are correct about this. I guess I had forgotten this. I will correct my post above for anyone who might stumble across this thread in the future. :grinning:

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Well, thanks in large part to the contributions here, I finally clicked the buy button today. Time will tell how my connectivity works out, but I am fairly hopeful I won’t need anything extra at least in the short term.

This is definitely the most awesomest of online Apple communities. After asking a bunch of questions here lately I’ve been making a bigger effort to contribute to others, too. High five everyone.


I don’t think I will ever buy from that reseller again. Delays, I get. But their handling of my order was terrible.

However, today it arrived at the local branch and I went and picked it up. Felt the weight of it and called my son to come and grab it. I thought I was going to die after the 300m back to the office. The 1km plus many road crossings to the railway station would have been a bad idea!

Anyway, I have it set up now. Observations:

  • One of my favourite puzzle games is “figure out where the packaging opens”. (Also known as… hunt the arrows.)
  • I spent a serious amount of time hunting in the box for the power cord. (It’s attached to the back of the display. :roll_eyes: )
  • It looks FABULOUS.
  • After getting the MacBook Pro and screen acquainted and set just so I went for the “surely it can’t be this easy” step and plugged my OWC USB-C Dock into the back of the screen. Everything seems to work!
  • I have my best photos set as wallpapers across my Spaces — same pic on both laptop and external for each. The laptop versions always looked better than the LG 4K “less-than-ultrafine”. Now they look :heart_eyes: on the big screen.

I’m stoked with my purchase, and that’s only worrying about it being a screen. Hold on to your ears while I test out the audio…


I agree completely, it is a gorgeous piece of hardware.

I’m now waiting on my second Studio Display for my work office, no idea when I’ll see it as the IT department ordered it. I’m not hopeful of anytime soon.