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.
The Best Powered USB Extension Cables
After conducting extensive research, we’ve compiled a list of the four best USB extension cables that allow you to reach your nightstand or desk with less hassle:
Cable Matters SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Extension Cable
The Cable Matters Superspeed USB extension cable is six feet long, allowing you to extend your current USB cable by a considerable length.
The cable 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.
These cables are a worthy addition to your desk for charging your iPhone or error-free data transmission.
CableCreation USB C Extension Cable
Most modern devices use USB Type-C because it’s faster in connectivity and charging. The CableCreation USB C Extension Cable is a Type-C to Type-C connector, making it compatible with iOS and Android devices.
This extension cable enables charging and data sync and transfer at a speed of up to 10Gbps. 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 so that you can use it with MacBook Pro, Nintendo Switch, Smartphones, and Chromebook.
The only fault we found with this extension cable is that the connector is too tight.
Monoprice Select Series USB 3.0 Extension 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 is what 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.
Additionally, the Monoprice Select Series USB 3.0 Extension Cable is compatible with PlayStation, card readers, keyboard, printer, USB flash drive, hard drive, camera, and Xbox, among many other devices.
The only downside of this extension cable is that it’s a little too stiff to bend.
Amazon Basics USB 3.0 Extension Cable
The Amazon Basics USB 3.0 Extension Cable consists of two shorter cables, all at an affordable price. The cords are easy to install.
These USB 3.0 A-male to A-female cables enable high-speed data transfer and can extend your USB connection by up to 3.3 feet. They’re compatible with printers, mice, cameras, keyboards, and other USB computer peripherals.
In addition, the connectors are gold-plated and corrosion-resistant, ensuring minimal interference and maximum signal clarity.
The Amazon Basics USB 3.0 Extension Cable uses less power, but its power output is excellent (up to 4.8 Gbit/s). When you compare this cable with the USB 2.0 cable, the Amazon Basics has a transmission speed ten times faster.
Although this cable is an excellent option, its short length can sometimes be a limitation.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Powered USB Extension Cable
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.
However, if you need a longer USB extension cable, make sure the cord has some or all of the features for optimal performance.
- Gold plating on the male conductor
- The cable is usable with Ethernet
- A repeater for enhanced signal strength
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.
Buying a USB extension cable with this feature limits the power drawn through the USB cable from the supplying device, ensuring it’s at a safe level.
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, and so they can’t withstand harsh environments.
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.