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2021 Accessories Accessory Review Buying & Gift Guides Reviews

The Best USB-C Accessories Guide (Spring 2021)

Having USB-C in more devices is not only easier but more convenient because you’ll just need one cable to connect to a number of accessories. Below are some of the best USB-C accessories you can get right now.

Table of Contents

Chargers & Cables

iOttie Aivo Connect

iOttie Aivo Connect

iOttie makes many car chargers and holders including their latest, the Aivo Connect.

The device has support for Qi wireless charging with up to 10W for Android and 7.5W for iPhone, the including car charger has an additional USB-A port for other devices.

iOttie Aivo Connect

Just like your Amazon Echo, the Aivo Connect has Alexa built-in, meaning you have access to thousands of skills including ones to voice-activated navigation, calling, smart home, music and more.

iOttie Aivo Connect

When your phone pairs via Bluetooth with the Aivo Connect, Alexa goes into Auto Mode, which brings a simplified version of the Alexa app. There’s also the option to use Alexa to pay for gas but that feature is currently in the US.

Although the Aivo Connect has 3 microphones with noise-calling, there were a few times where Alexa had trouble hearing me and I had to almost shout at the device. Thankfully, there’s an action button on the back to trigger Alexa whenever.

The Aivo Connect includes iOttie’s Auto Sense mounting technology, which uses an infrared sensor to open up the motorized clamps and secure your phone automatically. You can also put your phone in portrait or landscape with the mount. The back of the device is where you’ll find the USB-C port, mic mute button, clamp release buttons and action button to activate Alexa.

The iOttie Aivo Connect is available now for $89.99 USD from the following retailers:

If you’re not interested in having Alexa in the car or Auto Sense, iOttie also recently launched their Easy One Touch 5 car mount, which starts at $33 CAD and comes in-dash, CD, cup holder and vent options.

You can pick up the iOttie Easy One Touch 5 from the following retailers:

Nomad Base Station Pro

While Apple’s AirPower never made it to market, there’s been an influx of products from accessory makers to fill that void, such as Nomad’s new Base Station Pro.

The Base Station Pro has 18 charging coils, so you can charge up to 3 devices wirelessly at the same time. Because of all the coils, you don’t need to place your device perfectly, you can place it wherever.

One downside is that the Base Station Pro supports up to 7.5W speeds, while some of Nomad’s other wireless chargers support up to 10W. The slower speed is to helps with minimizing the risk of devices getting too hot.

The charger comes with a 30W USB-C PD power supply with international adapters included. There are also LED charging indicators to know when your device is charging.

The Nomad Base Station Pro is available now for $199 USD from the company’s website.

Nomad also sells refurbished versions of the Base Station Pro for $149 USD but there’s a limited supply from the company’s website.

Storage

WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD

WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD

For those looking for the perfect companion to your gaming laptop, WD’s D50 Game Dock has you covered.

For ports, the dock includes:

  • Thunderbolt 3 x2
  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • USB-C 10Gb/s x2
  • USB-A 10Gb/s x3
  • Audio In/Out
  • Gigabit Ethernet

Not only can you connect peripherals like keyboards, monitors and mice, the dock also includes up to a 2TB NVMe SSD. There’s also RGB lighting that can be controlled via the WD_Black Dashboard and can connect to your existing systems such as ASUS Aura Sync on Armoury Crate, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Light, or Razer Chroma.

WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD

To connect to the dock, you’ll just need a single Thunderbolt 3 cable and that’s it. The dock works with Windows 10 (64-bit) and Mac (on 10.13 and later).

WD_Black D50 Game Dock is available now for $679 CAD for the 1TB model and $842 CAD for the 2TB model.

You can pick up the device from the following retailers.

Crucial X6 Portable SSD

Crucial X6 SSD

For a more travel-friendly solution, Crucial has recently launched its latest SSD with the X6 Portable SSD.

Crucial X6 SSD

The SSD weighs less than 40 grams and can fit in the palm of your hand. It can withstand a 6.5ft drop and is shock, vibration and extreme temperature resistant.

The X6 Portable SSD offers read speeds of up to 800 MB/s and comes in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB storage options.

The SSD works with PC, Mac, Android and you could use it with your game console.

The Crucial X6 Portable SSD is available now and starts at $88.99 CAD for the 500GB and goes up to $626.99 for the 4TB.

It’s available for purchase from the following retailers:

Peripherals & Other

ViewSonic Monitors

ViewSonic VP3481a Ultrawide Monitor

When it comes to monitors, most tend to think of Samsung, LG and Dell but one brand that is often overlooked is ViewSonic. As USB-C is becoming the norm for connecting devices, so are monitors with USB-C.

ViewSonic TD1655 Portable Monitor

ViewSonic has a couple of options worth considering including their VP3481a Ultra-wide and TD1655 portable monitor.

The VP3481a has a 34-inch display size with a WQHD+ resolution at 3440×1400 and a 21:9 aspect ratio. One of the biggest reasons for going with an ultra-wide monitor would be to replace a dual monitor setup.

ViewSonic VP3481a Ultrawide Monitor

The bezels on the VP3481a are on the smaller side and the display offers great viewing angles and plenty of space to work with. The monitor can rotate side to side and up and down, in addition to being height adjustable.

ViewSonic VP3481a Ultrawide Monitor

For ports, the VP3481a has two HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, two USB-A, Ethernet, USB B and USB-C with support for 90W. The monitor worked great with my MacBook Pro (2020) without any issues.

ViewSonic TD1655 Portable Monitor

The TD1655 is another good option when working on the go. Sometimes you need a second display when working on your laptop and a portable monitor makes it easier.

The TD1655 has a 15.6-inch touch display with a 1080p resolution and built-in speakers. For ports, there are two USB-C, mini-HDMI, headphone jack and there’s a built-in stand. The benefit of USB-C is that you just need one cable to provide power, video and audio.

Since the monitor has a touchscreen, you can use your Mac with a touchscreen via the ViewSonic vTouch software that currently works with Intel Macs with macOS Catalina and later. A version for M1 Macs is currently in development.

The VP3481a Ultra-wide monitor is available now for $765.99 USD from the following retailers:

The TD1655 portable monitor is available now for $245.99 USD from these retailers:

Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dual 4K Docking Station

Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dual 4K Docking Station

With more computers coming with fewer ports and making the switch to USB-C, you’ll need something to connect all your accessories or peripherals like a keyboard, mic or even a display.

Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dual 4K Docking Station

That’s where the Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dual 4K Docking Station has you covered. The dock supports dual 4K monitors (at 4K 60Hz) and there’s a built-in 180W power supply to charge your laptop at 90W.

It has the following ports:

  • Thunderbolt 4 ports x4 (all of which are capable of video and audio)
  • USB-A ports x4 (one 5V/1.5A charging port on the front and three Gen2@10Gbps ports on the rear)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Audio combo jack
  • UHS-II SD 4.0 card reader
  • Kensington Lock

The dock works with both Mac (both Intel and M1) and Windows computers.

Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dual 4K Docking Station

The Kensington SD5700T is available for $399 CAD from the following retailers.

HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2 and HyperDrive Viper 10-in-2

HyperDrive Viper 10-in-2

If you prefer some more portable solutions than a Thunderbolt docking station, Hyper has some options with their HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2 and HyperDrive Viper 10-in-2.

HyperDrive Viper 10-in-2

The HyperDrive Viper 10-in-2 adds 10 ports to your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air including:

  • HDMI x2
  • USB-A 5Gbps x3
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • SD UHS-I
  • MicroSD UHS-I
  • USB-C PD 60W
  • 3.5mm audio jack
HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2 (2020)

The other option is the HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2, which was refreshed for 2020. It includes the following ports:

  • HDMI
  • USB-C 40Gbps 100W PD
  • USB-C 5Gbps 60W PD
  • MicroSD/SD UHS-I
  • USB-A 5Gbps x2

The HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2 and HyperDrive VIPER 10-in-2 are available now for $99 USD and $119 USD respectively.

HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2 (2020)

The HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2 is available to buy from:

HyperDrive Viper 10-in-2

Meanwhile, the HyperDrive Viper 10-in-2 is available from the following retailers:

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

For those PC gamers looking for a good mechanical keyboard, Razer has their Huntsman V2 Analog. Like most of Razer’s accessories, the Huntsman V2 Analog has individual RGB backlighting that can be controlled via Synapse 3.

The keyboard connects to your PC via a USB-C connection (or via USB-A with an included adapter) and hybrid onboard storage for up to 5 key binding profiles.

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

As the name implies, the Huntsman V2 Analog uses analog optical switches. There’s also a leatherette wrist rest that magnetically attaches and a USB 3.0 passthrough port.

The Huntsman V2 Analog costs $329 CAD and is available from:

Audio

Elgato Wave:3 Mic

Elgato Wave:3

For those that are getting into podcasting, Twitch streaming or even recording music, Elgato has recently launched their Wave lineup of mics.

Elgato Wave:3

The Wave:3’s design has a rounded design while also being compact. The front of the mic has a dial that can be used to adjust the Mic Gain, Monitor Volume and Mic/PC Mix by pressing the button in.

Elgato Wave:3

At the top of the mic is a mute button. On the back are a USB-C port and direct monitor/3.5mm audio jack.

One of the best parts of the Wave:3 Mic is that it’s plug and play, meaning just connect it to your computer and that’s it. If you want a bit more control, you can use Elgato’s Wave Link software which lets you have up to 8 channels, Stream Deck compatibility and uses very little of your CPU. Wave Link is available for Windows and Mac and only works with Elgato’s Wave:1 and Wave:3 mics.

The Elgato Wave:3 is available now and costs $219 CAD from the following retailers:

Soundcore Motion Boom

Soundcore Motion Boom

When it comes to speakers, Anker’s Soundcore brand has been growing. Their latest is the Motion Boom

Soundcore Motion Boom

It offers great sound thanks to 100% pure titanium diaphragms to produce 30W of sound, IPX7 waterproof protection and 24 hours of playtime. For extra bass, you can use the Bass Up button and if you want to change the EQ, just use the Soundcore app. It uses USB-C for charging and there’s also a USB-A port to charge your phone.

Soundcore Motion Boom

The Soundcore Motion Boom costs $139 CAD (but there are usually coupons bringing it down to $124.99 CAD) and is available from:

Creative Pebble V3 speakers

Creative Pebble V3 Speakers

For those looking for computer speakers, Creative has some you should consider with their Pebble V3.

Creative Pebble V3 Speakers

The speakers have the round shape of past Pebble speakers in the lineup. The right speaker has your controls like the volume knob and a Bluetooth button to connect to your device.

Creative Pebble V3 Speakers

You also have the option of connecting via USB Audio via the USB-C cable (or USB-A with the included adapter). There’s also the option of using the 3.5mm aux jack on the back.

The sound quality on the Pebble V3 is good and provides up to 16W of peak power (8W from each speaker).

The Creative Pebble V3 costs $53.99 CAD from the following retailers:

Huawei FreeBuds Pro

Huawei FreeBuds Pro

While Huawei has been known for its smartphones, the company has also been releasing wireless earbuds including their FreeBuds Pro.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro

The earbuds have 11m dynamic drivers, Bluetooth 5.2 and 7 hrs of listening time with ANC off and 4 hrs with ANC on. The charging case can be charged over USB-C or wirelessly.

While other wireless earbuds have touch controls, the FreeBuds Pro uses a combination of squeeze sensors and swipe controls. To play/pause you squeeze the sides of the earbuds and to control volume, you swipe up and down.

The noise-cancelling on the earbuds is great and blocks out most external noise.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro is available now for $268.99 CAD (but can be found on sale down to $228.99 CAD) from the following retailers:

Creative Outlier Air V2

Creative Outlier Air V2

While the market has been flooded with wireless earbuds over the past few years, one of the biggest negatives has been battery life. But that’s not the case with the Creative Outlier Air V2.

Creative Outlier Air V2

These latest earbuds from Creative offer 12 hrs of listening time while most earbuds get half or less. The charging case for the Creative Outlier Air V2 adds 34 hrs.

The Creative Outlier Air V2 uses drivers with a graphene diaphragm coating for better audio. There’s also Bluetooth 5.0 and IPX5 sweat resistant.

While the Creative Outlier Air V2 isn’t available in Canada yet, the company has said it’ll be launching sometime this year.

The Creative Outlier Air V2 is available now (in the US) for $79.99 USD (but on sale for $69.99 USD) from the following retailers.

1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds

1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds

For wireless earbuds, 1More might not be as well known as Apple or Sony but 1More’s True Wireless ANC are a solid pair of earbuds.

1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds

The 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds are THX Certified, meaning that they went through a process by THX that “gives special attention to frequency response and its consistency, low distortion and exceptional noise isolation.”

1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds

With the THX Certification, you should get a more balanced sound overall. The earbuds offer two levels of Active Noise Cancelling, from Mild which gives you more of a hybrid option and strong to give full ANC.

The ANC on the earbuds is solid and blocks out some noise but isn’t up to par with Sony’s WF-1000XM3 ANC earbuds. The battery life on the earbuds is around 6 hrs with ANC off and 5 hrs with ANC on and the charging case uses USB-C and wireless charging supports add 22hrs.

Overall, the earbuds sound great but the ANC isn’t the best.

The 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds retail for $249 CAD and are available from:

Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds

Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds

Sennheiser has been known for their great audio but sometimes their products can be on the pricier side. That’s where their CX 400BT True Wireless comes in.

Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds

The CX 400BT True Wireless earbuds offer 7 hrs of listening time and 20 hrs additional from the chagrin case, which charges over USB-C. The earbuds have 7mm dynamic drivers and the app lets you customize the touch controls to your liking.

While the CX 400BT doesn’t have active noise cancellation like the Momentum True Wireless 2, these earbuds have passive noise cancellation, otherwise known as noise isolation. The earbuds do a good job of filtering out some noise but not everything.

The Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless is available now for $269 CAD from the following retailers:

Drop x THX Panda Wireless Headphones

Drop x THX Panda Wireless Headphones

Drop (formerly MassDrop) has teamed up with THX for what they call “the first headphone to deliver an audiophile listening experience free of wires,” with their Panda Wireless Headphones.

Drop x THX Panda Wireless Headphones

The Drop THX Panda headphones have a very minimal metal design with a USB-C port and joystick control on the right earcup and a 3.5mm audio jack on the left earcup. The headphones are also IPX6 water-resistant.

Drop x THX Panda Wireless Headphones

Battery life is around 30 hours on a single charge. The sound quality on the is great thanks to the 55mm planar-ribbon drivers but there is no way to adjust the sound because there’s no companion app. One downside of the headphones is that the carrying case is on the bigger side.

The Drop THX Panda headphones are available now for $399 USD from the following retailers:

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