How to Connect USB 2.0 Audio Interface to MacBook Pro [My Story]

If you have a USB 2.0 audio interface that you want to connect to MacBook Pro or iMac then this article is going to be beneficial for you. In this article, I will show you how to connect your old USB 2.0 audio interface to MacBook Pro.

15 years back, when I had started audio recording, I had a USB 2.0 audio interface from M-Audio. Back to the present, I have this audio interface. But the problem is, the USB-C port in my MacBook Pro dies not to support this audio interface.

However, it is a 96kHz/24Bit audio interface and the recording quality is also good. But, due to the lack of connectivity, I couldn’t use this with my MacBook.

So, I started researching how to connect the USB 2.0 audio interface to USB-C ports in MacBook. Unfortunately, there was not enough information about it on the internet.

But, the solution was there. That’s why I have written this article to help others connect USB 2.0 audio interface to MacBook Pro or iMac.

Read also,

Well, without wasting any more time let’s jump into the solution.

Which Ports does MacBook Pro Have?

MacBook Pro has 2 ports, which support,

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  • Charging
  • DisplayPort
  • Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gbps)
  • USB 4 (up to 40Gbps)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
macbook pro ports

Here you can see, there is no support for USB 2.0 devices. The oldest supported port is USB 3.1 2nd generation. Which is the much higher version from USB 2.0.

Is MacBook Pro Compatible to USB 2.0 Audio Interfaces?

macbook pro 2021

Now let’s see if MacBook Pro is compatible with USB 2.0 audio interfaces or not.

You can see on the official website of Apple, the oldest USB port MacBook Pro supports is USB 3.1. There is no room to connect a USB 2.0 device to MacBook Pro directly.

So, what would you do?

In the next section, I will show you the solutions, so keep reading…

2 Ways to Connect USB 2.0 Audio Interface to MacBook Pro?

I have researched for some hacks to connect the USB 2.0 audio interface to MacBook Pro and found, I can use adaptors to make my audio interface compatible with USB C or thunderbolt ports.

Such as,

USB 3.0 to USB C Adaptor

usb 3.0 to usb c adaptor

I read in a forum that we can connect any USB 2.0 device to USB C ports by using USB 3.0 to USB C adaptors.

So, I ordered a USB 3.0 to USB-C adaptor and tested it with my old audio interface and MacBook Pro.

Surpricingly it worked.

So, the first way, you can use a USB 3.0 to USB-C adaptor to connect USB 2.0 audio interface to MacBook Pro.

Here are my recoemndations for USB 3.0 to USB C adaptor.

Now let’s see the second option.

USB 2.0 to USB-C Hub

USB 3.0 to usb c hub

You can also use USB 3.0 to USB C Hub to connect USB 2.0 audio interface to MacBook Pro.

As you’ve seen above, MacBook Pro ports also support Thunderbolt, USB 3.1 etc, so USB 2.0 to USB USB C multi port hub also work fine with MacBook Pro.

Here are my reccomendations for USB 3.0 to thunderbolt, USB-C multiport hub,

These hubs generally cost more then adaptors, however they can be used for several other coneectivity tasks, such as card reader, USB adaptor, thunderbolt adaptor etc.

Even you can use muliple devices simultanuelsy though these hubs.

So, as per your need you can choose between adaptor and Hub.

Summing Up: Connecting USB 2.0 audio interface to MacBook Pro

That’s how I had connected my old USB 2.0 audio interface to MacBook Pro. My audio interface is working fine.

BUT, keep in mind, if your audio interface driver doesn’t support the latest Mac OS then it will not connect to your MacBook. So always keep the latest driver handy which supports the lastest version of Mac.

Let me know in the comments, if your audio interface worked with this arrangemnt, and don’t forget to mention the audio interface model alond with the mac version so that other people with same audio interface get to know if that will work or not.

FAQ

Can USB 3.0 to USB C adaptor is cmpatible to my audio interface?

It depends on your audio interface model. However, USB 2.0 is compatible to USB 3.0 port so I think your audio interface would work with USB 3.0 to USB C adaptor.

Does my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 work with Macbook Pro?

Yes, Scarlett 2i2 is compatible to Mac computers, so it will work on your MacBook Pro.

Why is my audio interface not showing up?

If your audio device driver is not supported in latest Mac OS then it will not show up on your MacBook Pro. But don’t forget to check the connections first.

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Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing, and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.

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