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There are times you want to use your smartphone or any other USB-powered device while still charging them. However, most of the USB Cables that come with these devices are not long enough for you to use the device while it’s connected to a power source.
That’s where a powered USB extension cable comes in handy. You should note that a lot of small devices use Micro USB, Mini USB and USB-C.
With a USB extender, you can connect your USB-powered devices easily, thanks to their long cables. This article outlines the best Powered USB cables in the market and what to consider when buying one.
Best Powered USB Extension Cable
The Cable Matters Superspeed USB extension cable is six feet long, allowing you to extend your current USB cable. It comes with a pack of 2 Superspeed USB extension cables and is compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. In addition, the Cable Matters USB Extension Cable works with multiple devices such as a mouse, keyboard, USB flash drive, printer, and VR headset.
This male-to-female USB cable features molded strain relief connectors for durability and grip treads that make plugging and unplugging easier. Unfortunately, the connector is a little tight.
Best Mid-Range USB Cable
The Amazon Basics USB 3.0 extension cable is easy to install. This USB 3.0 A-male to A-female cable enables high-speed data transfer and can extend your USB connection by up to 9.8 feet. They’re compatible with printers, mice, cameras, keyboards, and other USB computer peripherals. The connectors are gold-plated and corrosion-resistant, ensuring minimal interference and maximum signal clarity. You also get two cables in the pack.
The Amazon Basics USB 3.0 extension cable uses less power, but its power output is excellent (up to 4.8 Gbit/s). When compared with the USB 2.0 cable, the Amazon Basics has a transmission speed ten times faster. Although this cable is an excellent option, it’s not without its faults.
Best High-End USB Cable
The CableCreation USB extension cable is a 3.0 A male-to-female connector. This extension cable enables charging and data sync and transfers up to 5Gbps. The connectors are gold-plated, and the cords have shielding to ensure no EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) during data transfer.
The CableCreation USB C extension cable also features universal compatibility. You can use it with: VR, consoles, USB flash drives, hard drives, mouse & keyboard, printers, cameras, and other USB computer peripherals. The only fault we found with this extension cable is that the connector is too tight.
Best Low-End USB Cable
The Monoprice Select Series USB 3.0 Extension Cable is a six-foot-long extension cable featuring a USB 3.0 A male connector on one end and a USB 3.0 B female connector on the other. It’s got five additional pins that ensure superspeed data transfer, thanks to the USB 3.0 B connector. Ideally, this sets it apart from the USB 2.0 B connector. The cable has two sets of conductors: 24 AWG power conductors and 28 AWG data conductors.
It is compatible with PlayStation, card readers, keyboards, printers, USB flash drives, hard drives, cameras, and Xbox, among many other devices. The only downside of this extension cable is that it’s a little too stiff to bend.
Factors to Consider
Before settling on a powered USB Cable to buy, consider the following:
Using a USB cable that’s longer than the recommended maximum length may result in slower data transfer speeds or signal drops, an active USB extension cable can help with this. For this reason, we recommend using a powered USB cable of a maximum length of about 10 feet.
Back Voltage Protection
A powered USB extension cable with a back emf (voltage) safeguards the connected devices from power surges. This over-current protection feature ensures your powered USB extension cable has no power surge moving through the cord and harming your connected devices.
Although most cables look identical, there are always differences in the design, leading to price variations.
Some powered USB extensions are less expensive, often costing less than $8. Typically, such cables tend to run six feet long or shorter. Also, they’re not braided, making them “weaker” to wear and tear.
Mid-range powered USB extension cables will often feature a set of two or three cords measuring six feet or less in length. These cables will likely be braided. Single cables in this category can be up to 15 feet long.
Expensive USB extension cables usually feature lengths more than 15feet. Most of these cables feature back-voltage protection, boosting technology, and a power adapter. To get such extremely long extension cables of up to 50 feet can cost you up to $100.
Our buying guide features powered USB extension cables compatible with USB Type-C, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 cables. Which one is your favorite? With any of our top picks mentioned above and also paying attention to the features to look for in a powered USB extension cable, you can be sure to find one with remarkable comfort, improved maneuverability, and multi-device compatibility.
Jul 30. 2021: Article posted.
Jan 17. 2022: Article refreshed and updated.
Feb 7. 2022: Article linked to other USB articles.
Jan 31. 2023: Visual style of the article changed. Article refreshed and updated.