Apple’s new MacBook Pro is totally ready for a USB-C future, but some of your current accessories like printers and mics might not be so prepared.
Printers, mics, audio equipment, and a lot of other common accessories use a boxy connector and standard USB to interface with your Mac. You can add a USB-A to USB-C adapter on the end of the cable that comes with your accessory, but dongles and adapters add complexity that can be avoided in this case.
As I mentioned on this week’s 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, my Rode Podcaster mic uses this boxy USB port so I’ll need an adapter or something to make the included cable work with the new MacBook Pro when it arrives. I’d rather just replace the cable with one that works rather than permanently attach an adapter that could disconnect.
The boxy port I referenced is called USB-B (and what we think of as standard USB is called USB-A) so the cable solution we’re looking for here is USB-B to USB-C rather than USB-A to USB-C. The good news is these are already shipping and should work fine with the 12-inch MacBook or any new MacBook Pro.
Cable Matters ships a USB-B to USB-C cable from Amazon from just $6.99 (reg. $13.99) in either black or white with 3.3 feet and 6.6 feet options. Belkin also offers a USB-IF certified version that goes for $19.99 regular. USB-B is often marketed specifically as a printer cable, but you’ll find that audio equipment and other accessories use the boxy port as well.
In my case, I’m buying four. One for my printer (any HP Envy 5530 with AirPrint for wireless printing but wired scanning), another for my MIDI keyboard (an AKAI MKP mini), one for my guitar effects pedal (a DigiTech RP 155), and one for my Rode Podcaster mic.
I won’t connect all of these accessories to my MacBook Pro all the time, but when I do I’ll just use the cable attached and not fiddle with an adapter thanks to USB-B to USB-C.