Some of the audio interfaces are connected via USB. For instance the focusrtie Scarlett series. Now the question I have is regarding performance and issues if any when connecting this to a MacBook Pro 2017 model which only has thunderbolt 3.1 ports.

I know we have converters and hubs but wouldn’t those be an additional step in the connection causing latency or some other issues ?

If the hub does not cause any problem is there any usb hub which you have used and know is really good in terms of connection reliability.

I’m looking for some in-depth answer on this topic as several google searches led me to - not much, to be honest.

  • Asking for equipment recommendations is off-topic for this site, so don't expect specific hardware suggestions for USB hubs. Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 1:23
  • I added additional information in my answer for you. Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 1:34

1 Answer 1


I can't provide a definitive answer about using USB hubs due to the various configurations available, but basically, using an adapter for Thunderbolt to USB shouldn't cause any latency or bottleneck issues. Many of the common USB audio interfaces are still running at USB 2.0 specification, which provides plenty of transfer rate for most audio interface applications (Focusrite uses it for the 18/20 without problems).

It is the data transfer rate and not the bandwidth that causes latency, so your system is going to be limited by the interface device, not the transfer format.

That being said, you should probably not use a hub or a daisy chain, but connect directly through the adapter. Apple sells one currently for $19USD. I would avoid off-brand and "inexpensive" versions.

The Thunderbolt technology is directly compatible with USB, so the adapter is only changing the wire configuration between connectors. Your only bottleneck is the rate that your USB device is sending information.

For more information on Thunderbolt connections you should check out the Thunderbolt FAQ.

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