How to use USB Hub


Sorry if this has already been discussed, I’ve been focused on the Shipping discussion until now but as I am finally going to receive my monitor next week I’m now preparing the cables I need.

So I have a couple questions about the USB Hub as this will be my first time using a monitor USB Hub:

  • The only way for computers to connect to the USB Hub are the USB B port and the USB C with DP alt mode?
  • It means that if I connect 2 computers to Spectrum through HDMI and one through USB C, I will only be able to keep connected to the Hub the computer connected through USB C and one of the HDMI computer with a second cable plugged in the USB B port. The 2nd HDMI computer have no way to access the Hub unless I unplug one of the other cables to connect it?
  • If I have one computer connected through USB C and one through USB B, do I have to manually switch to which device the Hub is connected in the OSD each time I change my input device?
  • I’d like to use one of the ports of the USB Hub as a simple charger with a USB C cable hanging in case I need to charge my headphone/keyboard/phone/etc. Will the port always give power output or does it depends on some settings?

Basically, I’d like to use the Spectrum with both my personal M1 Mac Mini & professional laptop with TB3. If I understand correctly, I would have to:

  • Connect Mic & Webcam to monitor through USB A or C
  • Connect laptop with USB C alt mode DP
  • Connect Mac Mini with TB3 to DisplayPort and with USB to USB B

As a result the laptop would be able to receive power from Spectrum and connect to the Hub while the Mac Mini would be able to access the hub too. Is that correct?

You’re correct that there are only 2 upstream connections to a PC: the USB-B port and the USB-C port. The USB-C port can also carry video, if supported by your computer, but you can use it just for power/USB and have video come in via DP or HDMI.

Correct. As there are only 2 ports that provide an upstream connection to a host computer, you’ll have to do some cable swapping somewhere if you want to have 3 computers connected and want to switch input between them.

Either that, or you’ll need a KVM of some sort. This might be an option to consider if you’ve got 1 computer for gaming (which you’ll want to give a direct connection to the monitor for max refresh rates) and the other 2 computers for productivity.

At the moment, yes. There is an option to auto-select which USB connection to use for upstream to the PC, but this doesn’t currently change the selection when the video input changes.

There’s a firmware feature request to make this work better.

I’ve been using one of the USB-A ports to charge my headset. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is still charging when the Spectrum goes to sleep. I’m fairly certain that it stops when I turn the Spectrum off (as can be expected).

There is a setting to always have the USB hub on, but I don’t know if this only works when the Spectrum is sleeping or if it also works when the Spectrum is powered off via the power button on the back of the display.

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Thanks very much for your detailed answer!
I really hope the firmware feature request for auto changing the Hub connection when the user switch video input will succeed, it would make using the Hub so much more convenient.

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also question if input is USB-B would usb-c port on the side also work?

I’ve currently got the following attached to my Spectrum:

  • USB-A: micro-USB cable (used to charge my headset for work video calls)
  • USB-A: mouse (SteelSeries Sensei Ten)
  • USB-C: keyboard (Wooting Two HE)

Everything seems to work as expected when using either USB-B or USB-C as the upstream.

However, I don’t know if the keyboard needs anything beyond a USB 2.0 signal. I don’t have a device that needs USB 3.0 that I can test with.

Is it possible for me to connect an audio interface into the upstream USB-B port and get audio input and output to my other devices connected through USB-C and HDMI?

The Spectrum’s USB hub acts just like a normal USB hub. There are only 2 significant differences:

  • The USB-C connection can be used to drive the display and charge the device, while also carrying a USB signal.
  • The Spectrum can switch between USB-B and USB-C for connecting to the computer, making it also act like a KVM.

If you have something that plugs into a USB port and converts a data signal to audio, such as a USB headset or external DAC, it should work just fine.

If you want to take the audio that’s sent via the display signal and convert it to something that can be output via USB, the Spectrum doesn’t do that. I don’t know of any display that supports that kind of audio conversion. If they exist, they are rare.