Best Mac Accessories iMore 2021
If you recently picked up a new Mac mini or MacBook Air, you're going to want the best Mac accessories to go with it. The right gear can totally transform the way you use your Mac. Whether it's a speedy portable drive, a beautiful 4K monitor, or some great headphones, this list has something that every Mac owner needs.
- Wireless simplicity: Apple AirPods (Second-generation)
- Portable and speedy: Samsung T7 SSD
- Official keyboard: Apple Magic Keyboard
- The mechanical option: Das Keyboard 4 Professional
- Every port you could want: OWC 14-port Thunderbolt 3 Dock
- Wireless sound upgrade: Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones
- Best for most people: Satechi Multi-port adapter
- Sleek and stylish: Bose Companion 20
- The mouse to get: Apple Magic Mouse 2
- More versatile: Apple Magic Trackpad 2
- 4K magic: HP Envy 27
- Power boost: Blackmagic eGPU Pro
Wireless simplicity: Apple AirPods (Second-generation)Staff Favorite
No matter which Apple product you own, you should probably have a pair of AirPods. They're great, the pairing process is simple, and once paired with one device, they're automatically paired with all of your devices that are signed in to your iCloud account. The sound is pretty good, too, and the built-in microphones make placing calls or issuing Siri commands crystal clear.
Portable and speedy: Samsung T7 SSD
This solid state drive from Samsung is speedy, tiny, and portable. It also connects using USB-C, making it a perfect companion for your new Mac. This is definitely one of the most useful best Mac accessories.
Official keyboard: Apple Magic Keyboard
Apple's official Bluetooth keyboard is a great basic option that provides a consistently solid typing experience and pairs easily with your Mac or iPad.
The mechanical option: Das Keyboard 4 Professional
If you're more into mechanical keyboards, the Das Keyboard 4 should be exactly what you're looking for, with options available for Cherry MX Blue or Brown switches. There's even an option for RGB backlighting, as well as media keys with a built-in volume knob.
Every port you could want: OWC 14-port Thunderbolt 3 Dock
OWC's dock is a little pricey, but it features almost every port you could possibly want, including four USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB-C port, audio jack, optical audio jack, and an SD card slot.
Wireless sound upgrade: Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones
These over-ear headphones provide a big sound alternative to AirPods while being just about as easy to use. Like the AirPods, connect easily to your Apple devices thanks to the built-in W1 chip, which allows the pairing to sync across devices logged into iCloud.
Best for most people: Satechi Multi-port adapterStaff Favorite
Satechi's multi-port adapter doesn't support high-speed data transfer or dual-4K displays. But it does have just about everything else you'd need to run your peripherals with your MacBook Pro. Things like SD and microSD card readers, 4K HDMI, Gigabit, and three USB-A ports.
Sleek and stylish: Bose Companion 20
These beautiful speakers offer a balanced sound in a stylish package. With no knobs on the front, the volume is controlled through a small pod attached to the right speaker, which also holds the ports for your headphones or other audio devices.
The mouse to get: Apple Magic Mouse 2
Just connect the Magic Mouse 2 to your Mac by a USB-to-Lightning cable once, and it'll be paired. This rechargeable mouse has a multitouch surface that lets you customize exactly how it works, from what one- and two-finger swipes do to which side works as "left" and "right" click. Available in Silver or Space Gray to match your Mac.
More versatile: Apple Magic Trackpad 2
This has long been my desktop navigation device, offering more options for how I work than the mouse. Adding the Magic Trackpad to your Mac setup gives you a lot of options for gestures, while still offering pinpoint cursor navigation. It's available in Silver and Space Gray so you can match it to your Mac.
4K magic: HP Envy 27
An excellent 4K monitor for those on a budget, the HP Envy 27 offers crystal-clear picture and beautiful colors, making it a great option for your Mac. It also features USB-C, which allows you to use a single cable to transfer both video and data between your Mac and the monitor. In addition to the USB-C port, two HDMI ports, and a DisplayPort connection.
Power boost: Blackmagic eGPU Pro
This external GPU offers a workstation-class graphics experience to enhance what your Mac is capable of, utilizing Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics with 8GB for HBM2 memory for a massive boost in performance. All of this power can be delivered to any Mac with Thunderbolt 3, including a MacBook Pro, which can be charged while you use its thanks to the eGPU's 85W power supply.
Custom graphics solution: Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
If you want a less expensive eGPU solution for your Mac, try Sonnet's eGFX breakaway box. You'll need to supply your own AMD graphics card for the box, but the box connects via Thunderbolt 3 for maximum throughput. The combination of this box and a compatible AMD GPU (RX 470, 480, 570, or 5800 will be much cheaper, though less powerful, than Blackmagic's solution.
These are the best Mac accessories to any Apple-made machine, whether you need great storage options, a more customized typing experience, or the massive power provided by an external GPU. But of all of these accessories, I'd recommend the Apple AirPods first. AirPods might be Apple's single best product in the last three years, they pair like magic and even sound pretty good, something you might not expect if you've ever used the wired EarPods.
With most Macs, including the entire MacBook lineup, moving to solid state storage in recent years, choosing additional internal storage for your Mac can be an expensive proposition. You can always expand your Mac's storage later with an external drive, and Samsung's T5 SSD is an excellent choice. It's compact enough to travel with you wherever you go, fast, and features USB-C for quick data transfers.
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