Any streamer’s setup would benefit from the Elgato Stream Deck. It’s a simple, customizable control pad that can be used to display graphics and animations, send alarms and messages, open media, and much more.
The Elgato Stream Deck, which is powered by USB 2.0, is the ideal companion for streamers who want to engage with their system and their audience without taking their attention away from their game.
The stream deck is a fantastic tool for streamers, but it isn’t for everyone. The hefty price tag is enough to entice streamers who have only recently begun streaming on Twitch or YouTube.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of stream deck options to help you get the most out of your streaming setup, even if you’re on a small budget.
The Do-It-Yourself Approach
When the fancy LED switches are removed, the Stream Deck is just a customised keypad. With an external number pad like this and key remapper software, a Reddit user decoded this and created his own stream deck replacement.
The only thing you’ll need is a num pad and some free key remapping software to put it all together for about $15.
To avoid keys interfering with your main keyboard functions, we recommend assigning ‘F13’ and ‘F14’ to the external number pad. Then assign specific functions to the ‘F13’ and above keys, such as launching the chat, sending out animations on YouTube, and so on.
The DIY technique has the small disadvantage of requiring you to memorise the keys and functions assigned to them. A easy solution is to replace the number pad’s native keys with new keys. The cost of a set of translucent keycaps is around $7.
Put a Nerd or Die icon pack under the translucent keycaps and you’ll have the exact same set of keys as a vanilla stream deck.
Alternatively, you can print personalised stickers and just place them on top of the current keys. The alternative way will save you some money and give you more customising options.
Ironically, the amazing affordability comes at a cost. It will take a long time to configure the buttons and then assign them to perform particular functions.
As a result, the initial setup will take a lengthy time, especially if you use custom keys. Let’s not forget that an external number pad will never be able to compete with LCD screens in terms of looks.
You’ll be able to organise your commands and create folders so you don’t have to sort through them while streaming. The LCD buttons allow for endless customization, and the Elgato interface is a godsend.
While you’re giving up nine keys, you’ll just have to pay a fraction of the price of the full-scale version.
If your streaming channel is gaining traction, this is an excellent place to start. If you decide to purchase to the fifteen-key variant later, you’ll be able to join the two together, thereby giving you 21 customisable LCD keys.
Sure, twenty-one keys is a bit excessive, but more is always preferable to less.
It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, either. For starters, six buttons is fairly limited and insufficient for most streams. Theoretically, you can organise the commands and functions into folders that can be accessed using certain buttons.
However, its applicability in the actual world is restricted. While flying through the folders, the LCD buttons take a minute to animate, which may cause a delay while broadcasting.
The full-fledged Stream Deck comes with a tilt stand that you may adjust to your liking, but the mini lacks this feature. It’s affixed to your desk, and it’s at an inconvenient angle for most people.
Apps for mobile devices
There are a slew of mobile apps that convert your phone into a control panel, serving the same role as a Stream Deck. Here are our favourite recommendations for mobile Stream Deck alternatives.
App for Matriculation
The Matric App, which is available for Android devices, converts your smartphone into a media deck. OBS studio is supported natively by the app.
You can personalise decks and create several decks for different circumstances with this simple but efficient Windows software. Apple devices do not have access to the client or server apps.
Deck of Macro
The Macro Deck is a simple, easy-to-use alternative to Matric that is less efficient. The app transforms your phone into a deck, but customization options are restricted.
However, because the app’s customizability is limited, it’s simple to configure and set up. The client app is available on Google Play Store, and the macro deck server is available for Windows.
Only OBS is compatible with Up Deck, which is a free, fully configurable alternative. You don’t need to install any server apps on your PC because the programme is available on both Android and iOS devices.
You’ll only need OBS Studio to get started using Up Deck. Up Deck was designed for tablets to take advantage of the increased screen space, but it works just as well on most phones.
Deck Board focuses on creating a system that is simple to use and customise. Here you’ll find native OBS support as well as Twitch support.
The free version of the software only allows you to use 12 buttons, however the paid version allows you to use all 30. Deck Board isn’t available on Apple devices, unfortunately.
Touch Portal is a free alternative to a stream deck that works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. The features that stand out here are native support for OBS and Soundpad.
The free edition includes almost everything you require. The commercial version gives you access to 110 buttons, which is way too much for a small device.
StreamPuppy is a Twitch streamer-specific app. The server software is only accessible for Windows, whereas the client app is available for Android and Apple devices.
It has almost everything a Twitch streamer requires, all in an easy-to-use manner. To name a few, there are Chat-Activated Button Triggers, Voice-Activated Triggers, Stream-Event Triggers, and Stream Clip Button.
You don’t need to set it up again if you transfer PCs because the app is linked to your Twitch account and your preferences are saved in the cloud.
It’s simple to customise the app; simply add a hotkey in the app and set it in the Windows app.
The app’s free edition includes almost all of the functions you’ll need, but it’s limited to only six buttons. If you pay $39.99 for the streaming version, you get 45 customisable buttons spread out over three pages.
5. Stream Deck Mobile
The Stream Deck Mobile gives you all of the features of the Elgato Stream Deck without the need to buy any hardware. We’re talking about a fifteen-key setup that can be fully customised using the same server software that Elgato provides with its hardware.
As a result, customizability is the most straightforward on the market. The app is available for download for free, but only for a 30-day trial period. After the trial period expires, you’ll have to pay $2.99 per month or $24.99 per year to continue using Stream Deck Mobile. Unfortunately, there is no option to purchase a lifetime licence.
The phone is wirelessly connected to the app via the local network. On Apple devices, Siri is available, so you don’t even have to touch your control panel to have your chat bot do the work for you.
The app works perfectly on Apple devices, but there have been a few issues with the Android version. The software lost connection with the PC as soon as the phone went into sleep mode, according to users.
The loss of connection was followed by the deletion of buttons, forcing users to completely re-configure the system.
Put your Android device in ‘Never Sleep’ mode as an easy workaround. However, this isn’t a long-term solution, and we hope the developer will address the issue soon.
6. Streamlabs Deck
Streamlabs is a full-fledged broadcasting and streaming app for your phone, but if you’re using Streamlabs OBS on PC, the Streamlabs Deck app may be used as a remote controller in the same way that the Stream Deck can. The software is simple to use, however it has limited functionality.
For starters, if you’re not utilising Streamlabs, this software is practically worthless for you.
If you’re using Streamlabs OBS, you can use the remote app to move between scenes, such as your beginning soon screen, start and stop streaming, record, hide and show sources, and play and mute audio.
You can’t use its start animations, send warnings, or perform any custom functions, unfortunately. The mobile app is also not very configurable.
It is not enough that your PC can play the latest games without lagging or overheating. Your PC must also be powerful enough to live stream your gaming skills to the ever-growing gamer community. If you are lucky, you could be the next Ninja or Pokimane and earn millions for streaming your content.
To make this dream a reality, we are going to show you the best PC for streaming, but before that, let’s look at what makes a great streaming PC.
What makes a good streaming PC?
The common misconception is the best PC for streaming must have the highest GPU possible. While having a high-end GPU is beneficial, it is not the primary requirement for live streaming. The GPU powers the rendering of the game and image creation, while the CPU transcodes the rendered game into videos for streaming online.
What does this mean?
A high GPU is necessary for the seamless playing of demanding titles like Fortnite and PUBG. If the CPU is low, the computer will struggle with transcoding your gaming session for live streaming.
The minimum CPU or processor a streamer’s PC must have is Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500. Either will let you stream at 720p without issues, but if you want higher-quality streaming, your PC must have at least Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 1700. These processors guarantee high quality 1080p streaming.
The higher the processing power of a streaming PC, the more it will cost. If you are on a budget, you can get a good streaming PC for around $1,000, but if you want the very best, be ready to pay $3,000 or more.
Aside from processing power, the best streaming PC must support fast internet speeds. At least 3MB per second is the recommended minimum download speed for smooth live streaming. The best internet download speeds come via Ethernet, not Wi-Fi, so your PC must have provisions for an Ethernet cable.
According to Twitch, other features your streaming PC must have are at least 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a Windows 7 operating system or the iOS equivalent. If you want a PC that can also perform 3D rendering, video editing, and other resource-intensive tasks, get a system with higher specs.
Is one PC enough?
In the old days, you needed one system for gaming and another for streaming, and not every streamer could cope with the multitasking or cost of owning two PCs. Fortunately, you can now find all-in-one PCs that are powerful enough to do it all. Here are the best of these systems and their strengths and weaknesses.
Skytech products are popular for offering high performance and attractiveness at competitive prices. The Skytech Archangel, powered by a third-generation AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor and powerful GTX 1660 graphics card, is no different. The PC costs less than $1,000, but its processing power for gaming and streaming is on par with that of pricier PCs.
Its impressive aesthetics combine an RGB tempered glass case with attractive LED lighting. Unlike other gamer PCs that come without accessories, the Skytech Archangel comes ready to play with its own gaming keyboard and mouse.
The Ryzen 5 3600 Processor is a six-core, 12-thread processor. It guarantees no worries about ghosting, low frame rates, poor sound or picture quality, or stuttering while gaming or streaming.
Powering your gaming experience is a GeForce GTX 1660 GPU from NVIDIA. If you want, you can easily upgrade to a higher GPU, but this 16 Series GPU is powerful enough to play your favorite titles. The GPU also facilitates streaming by offering a dedicated hardware encoder that supports gaming and live streaming on your favorite platforms, including Twitch.
Since the Skytech Angel is a budget gaming PC, it is not the most powerful on the market. If you are streaming and playing a demanding game simultaneously, you may notice a drop in the system’s overall performance.
Other notable features of the Skytech Archangel are its 8GB DDR4 RAM and 500 GB SSD. The 8GB DDR4 RAM lets you launch and switch between programs with minimal lag, while the 500 GB SSD ensures shutting down and booting up within seconds. Combine the two features, and you have a smooth-running PC with superior responsiveness.
For internet connectivity, the PC has an Ethernet (LAN) port for steady online connection and download speeds. If you prefer wireless, the system has 802.11ac Wi-Fi, supporting up to 3.46Gbps internet speeds. The PC has 3x120mm RING RGB LED fans to keep things cool, which are efficient, silent, and pretty.
Skytech Archangel’s operating system out of the box is Windows 10, which is user-friendly. Lastly, the system offers NVIDIA Ansel’s fantastic photo mode, which is perfect for streamers who want high-grade snapshots of their gaming sessions. You won’t need any extra accessories or software to screenshot and share high-resolution, 360-degree, HDR images of your gaming.
Depending on the settings you choose, you can play games like PUBG and World of Warcraft at 1080p Full HD resolution with 60+ FPS. More demanding games, like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, may not run as smoothly, but that is fair for a PC that costs less than $1,000. If you reduce the game’s graphic settings, you should be fine.
If you are on a budget and do not mind that the Skytech Archangel is not the best for gaming and streaming at the same time, you should get this PC, or you could go for one of the pricier PCs on our list.
Comes with a gaming keyboard and mouse
Sophisticated ventilation in a compact case
Satisfactory streaming and gaming performance
Not the best for simultaneously streaming and gaming
CyberPowerPC has pleased gamers and streamers for years with reasonably priced PCs that are reliable, fast, and just as important, fun to use. The highly regarded brand has won several awards over the years, including the PC Magazine 2018 Reader’s Choice Award for Overall Desktop PCs.
The CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC continues that heritage by being a competent system for live streaming your adventures. For a little under $2,000, the system comes ready to play with a gaming keyboard and RGB 7 color mouse.
Powering the PC’s superior gaming performance are a new generation Intel i7 9th Generation Processor and NVIDIA Graphics Processor. Both are leaders in graphics and computing processing and deliver sufficient power for some of the most demanding games on the market.
All of that power sits within a sleek chassis with tempered glass on the side so you can see the inner workings. The interior also has LED lights that give the entire setup a sci-fi appearance.
The 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor is an intelligent system that delivers faster performance. It yields significant power, but what is most impressive is its ability to share resources and send power where and when it is most needed. You can multitask with ease, meaning live streaming while you mow down enemies on Call of Duty or recover bounties in Red Dead Redemption will not be a problem.
You can live stream in 720p or 1080p, but a slight drop in performance may occur if you are running multiple demanding applications simultaneously.
For an impressive gaming experience, the PC uses the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series. Combining NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture and RTX technology offers sublime graphics processing with real-time ray tracing, programmable shading, and artificial intelligence. Gameplay on the PC is among the best even when you are on ultra-high game settings and high resolutions.
The graphics card is so powerful it can even handle virtual reality gaming. Out of the box, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme is VR-ready and compatible with HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift for a fully immersive gaming experience.
Running all that power generates lots of heat, which would be a problem if not for CyberPowerPC’s high-performance liquid cooling system. The cooling system features a 120mm aluminum radiator, copper plating, and an integrated pump. The sealed mechanism prevents evaporation and leakage while providing quiet server-level cooling.
For internet connectivity, you can use the Ethernet slot or the 802.11 AC Wi-Fi. The operating system is Windows 10 with DirectX 12 gaming optimization for higher FPS and richer graphics. The PC’s components are easily upgradable, especially since the casing is easy to open.
Get the CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme if you want a reliable and powerful system that is not overly expensive and straightforward to upgrade. You will enjoy peace of mind with a 1-year parts and labor warranty and free lifetime tech support to protect your investment.
1TB HDD and 240GB SSD for more storage space and performance
The Corsair One i164 is a pricey PC at over $3,000, but it could be a worthwhile investment if you want a compact and sturdy PC for live streaming your gaming sessions.
The Corsair One i164 has a subtle and compact exterior design that might make you doubt its capabilities. Its chassis is a 2mm thick aluminum shell that stands at just 19.25 inches. It has built-in RGB light pipes and comes with CORSAIR iCUE software for personalizing the lighting to suit your aesthetic preferences.
Since the body of the PC is small, you can place it on your desk without worrying about space. On the inside lies an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics processor, an Intel Core i9-9900k, and prized Corsair DDR4 memory. The three combined deliver incredibly fast performance for a wide range of demanding games.
The Intel Core i9 Processor is a modern 9th generation system. It delivers enough power to run games and hefty creative software without any significant drop in the PC’s performance. Multitasking, especially live streaming in 720p or 1080p, is smooth and satisfying.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Graphics card supports the Core i9 processor by letting you play games at their highest settings. The card also supports 4K displays on multiple screens and VR gameplay.
On the memory side of things, you have SSD storage and hard disk storage. The SSD offers 960GB of memory for fast loading speeds and quick boot-up times. The hard disk storage is 2TB for storing your videos and other files.
Separate from all of this is the graphics memory, which is 11GB. The standalone graphics memory ensures that GPU processes do not interfere with the system’s 32 GB DDR4 RAM operation.
Corsair One i164’s cooling system keeps the system running safely and smoothly while you work or play hard. Like the CyberPowerPC, the Corsair One i164 uses liquid cooling to achieve low temperatures with minimal noise and power consumption. The CPU and GPU each have their own radiators, ensuring maximum cooling on all fronts.
Consider getting the Corsair One i164 if you are not a fan of flashy PCs. It might be compact and pricey, but it delivers a top-quality gaming and streaming experience. Plus, it comes with a two-year warranty to protect your investment.
On the downside, compared to the less expensive PCs we have looked at, this Corsair One does not come with a mouse or keyboard. Considering the PC’s price tag, the lack of accessories is disappointing but not a deal-breaker since most gamers prefer pro gaming mice and keyboards.
The Corsair One i160 takes everything amazing about the Corsair One i164 and improves it, including the compact size. The i164 is about 19 inches tall, but the i160’s height is under 15 inches. The i160 is also almost 10 pounds lighter than the i164.
Despite being smaller and slimmer, the Corsair One i160 is more powerful than the i164, offering more storage space and smoother performance. The smaller design and higher performance come at a higher price – approximately double what you would pay for the i164.
If you can afford the hefty price tag, features you can expect from the Corsair One i160 include an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Dewclaw graphics processor and Intel Core i9-9900K processor. NVIDIA’s new Turing architecture increases the speed and frequency of GDDR6 memory, leading to higher graphical power.
The Core i9 processor supports the graphics processor with enough power for demanding games and live streaming without slowing down. The processors also support multi-display viewing on up to three 4K displays. If you want a PC that can support virtual reality gaming, the Corsair One i160 is a great buy. You can pair the latest VR systems from various brands for the most immersive gaming experience.
iCUE performance from the i160 is something else to consider. The system uses a liquid cooling system and quiet fans to prevent overheating. You can adjust the fans, but not the liquid cooler’s pumping speed. It is not a problem since setting the PC to Extreme performance mode will cause the fans to generate up to 1,467RPM, which is enough to keep the CPU and GPU cool.
If you want to upgrade components and make this PC more powerful, you have limited options. You can easily reach the hard drive in the tray between the motherboard and the power supply. The RAM sticks are also accessible and easy to replace while getting to the CPU will require taking out the liquid cooler pump.
Upgrading the SSD or GPU is more of a hassle, but these units already offer significant streaming and gaming power, meaning they probably won’t need an upgrade.
For its high price, one would expect the i160 to come with Thunderbolt 3 ports, but it does not. Instead, you are stuck with USB 3.1 ports, which deliver limited transfer speeds. The Ethernet port on the PC is also underwhelming since it does not support 10GB Ethernet. These missing features are not deal breakers, but having them might make the extremely high price tag easier to swallow.
If you are looking to spend big on a small but powerful gaming PC for streaming, the Corsair One i160 is worth considering.
Compact enough to fit any work station
Powerful enough to satisfy the most demanding gaming and streaming needs
Every year, at least one computer from Alienware pops up on lists for the best PC for streaming and gaming. That’s because every computer from the brand has something impressive to offer in terms of power, efficiency, durability, and speed. The Aurora R11 Gaming Desktop is no different.
The first thing about the Aurora R11 that will impress you is its aesthetics. It looks like nothing else on our list, and at first glance, you probably will not realize it’s a PC. The body looks like an otherworldly monolith, and the RGB LED AlienFX lighting really sets it apart.
After drooling over its exterior, the next thing that will impress you is its computing power. The Aurora R11 has 10th Generation Intel Core i7 10700KF processors combined with factory overclockable processors. The processors can handle hours of extreme gaming without any performance issues. Multitasking is a joy, regardless of if you are running multiple games or playing games and live streaming.
The graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB GDDR6 – one of the best the market has to offer. The graphics processor supports real-time ray tracing, which delivers realistic shadows, lighting, reflections, and more. The increased realism makes for a more immersive gaming experience that most gamers can find only in VR.
Other features that make this PC a popular choice among gamers are its 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Boot) and 1TB 7200RPM SATA. It also comes with 16GB Dual Channel HyperX FURY DDR4 XMP. The HyperX FURY memory ensures faster performance and lets you utilize large data sets more efficiently in real-time.
Aside from being attractive to look at, the Aurora R11’s body prioritizes efficiency. Its unique design optimizes airflow, which keeps heating to a minimum. If you want to upgrade any of the inner components, the PC makes it super easy with a PSU swing-arm that you can open without tools.
The layout and lighting within the computer’s interior ensure that you can see everything clearly and upgrade components with ease.
Is the Alienware Aurora R11 expensive? It is not super affordable, but it costs far less than many other PCs on our list. If you want a mid-priced PC for gaming and streaming that will turn heads, the Alienware Aurora R11 is worth the money. Plus, it comes with a solid warranty, and the manufacturer offers exceptional customer service.
Lots of convenient upgrade options
One-of-a-kind case design
Reasonably priced for its quality
The fans get loud
The best PC for streaming will depend on your unique needs and preferences. As you can see from our list, several options are available to fit different budgets. Based on our experience and the average customer review, we believe the Corsair One i164 Compact Gaming PC is the best overall PC for its price.
It is compact and durable, meaning it can serve your gaming and live streaming needs for years without any problems. Its powerful features also guarantee that the PC can handle any demanding games that come out in the next few years.
Once you have your streaming PC set up you can then look at purchasing peripherals.
Are you looking for an easy and effective way to capture game footage from your PC, PS4, Xbox One, or other gaming consoles?
While there are many options, the best way is to use a game capture card. Capture cards work by converting your gameplay into video formation and automatically saving it. You can then transfer the video to your computer or other storage devices.
Elgato capture cards are perhaps the best in the market, but they can be costly. This article explores some of the best alternatives to Elgato capture cards.
Why Use Game Capture Card?
You are able to stream without a game capture card, however, The primary purpose of capture cards is to record or stream what is running on your computer screen. It sounds cheaper to use an application like XSplit Broadcaster to do the same than investing in a third-party device. However, you should realize that the application utilizes your PC’s hardware resources.
As such, it takes up a lot of processing power of your CPU and a massive amount of memory from your RAM to work efficiently. If your PC lacks sufficient hardware resources to run the game and the streaming application, you’ll end up with a poor-quality stream.
It’s best to invest in dedicated hardware for capturing gameplay footage to ensure you have excellent quality streaming or footage regardless of your PC’s hardware specifications. That’s where game capture cards come in.
However, you’ll find a wide selection of capture cards on the market, so it can be challenging to choose the best one for your needs. Here are some of the factors to consider when looking for the best game capture card:
Image quality: Before you pick a capture card, look for the image resolutions it supports and the number of frames per second (fps) it can record. A good game capture card should record in at least 1080p or Full HD. If you want extremely high-quality footages, a capture card that records in 4K or Ultra HD is ideal.
Input types: Before choosing a capture card, make sure it has the right input for the device you want to use for record. While most modern gaming consoles use HDMI, some older devices use component cables. If you want to capture gameplay from old consoles like the Nintendo 64, invest in a capture card with a component video input.
Interface: A capture card’s interface is the way it connects to your recording computer. USB is the most popular interface, thanks to its ease of use. PCIe is another excellent interface, but it isn’t easy to set up. Other cards use the Thunderbolt interface.
Now that you understand the significance of game capture cards and how to choose the best one for your needs, let’s explore some of the best options to consider.
Dimensions: 32mm x 111mm x 142mm / 1.25in x 4.37in x 5.59in
Weight: 345g / 12.16oz
Elgato has become a household name in everything related to general game streaming and game capture cards. The company’s 4K60 S+ is one of the best high-end external game capture cards you can buy in 2020.
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is ideal for content creators and livestreamers. If you’re looking to capture premium footage without compromising graphic quality, this capture card won’t disappoint. It can record and pass-through Ultra HD footage at 60FPS.
You won’t even require a computer to record. The capture card comes with a built-in, dedicated HEVC encoder, which allows you to record to an SD card. However, you’ll have to buy the SD card separately.
The onboard HEVC eases the burden on your computer’s CPU and keeps video files at manageable sizes, which is necessary for recording 4K 60FPS with HDR.
Another remarkable attribute of this Elgato capture card is that it can automatically adjust recording resolution, file format, and bit rate on any device it’s plugged into. That means you won’t spend a lot of time fine-tuning your settings.
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is an excellent device for content creators who are always on the go and looking for a convenient way to record gameplay. So, if you usually travel while streaming and making content, this game capture card would serve you well.
One of the downsides of this capture card is that there’s 250ms latency during livestreaming. You’ll also need a high-spec computer for editing edit HEVC, MKV 4K60 HDR videos. Nonetheless, if you need an impressive game recording experience, the 4K60 S+ will deliver, thanks to its game-changing capabilities that you might not find in other capture cards in its class.
HDR10 pass-through and recording
Ability to record 4K 60FPS HDR10 directly to a memory card
Support for MKV recording
No PC needed for recording
Onboard HEVC chip for capturing small-sized footage
Supports 480p, 720p, 1440p, 1080p, and 2160p resolutions
Compatible with PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One
Dimensions: 130mm x 86mm x 17mm / 5.12in x 3.39in x 0.67in
Weight: 183g / 6.4oz
Are you looking for the best capture card for Xbox One? Maybe you’re fed up with lag and compromising your system’s performance while streaming? Then you might want to look at Razer Ripsaw HD.
This capture card is one of the best and cheapest alternatives for Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+. The Razer Ripsaw HD records your gameplay as uncompressed raw data and streams with virtually zero latency. The capture card also has a 4K pass-through, allowing you to play on your usual PC at high resolution without sacrificing your stream or gaming experience.
Many streaming devices use dedicated hardware to handle their audio, but this capture card can also handle basic audio mixing. It comes with a 3.5mm input and output, allowing you to easily plug in an aux-in music source or a mic-in enabled microphone to layer your stream with commentary.
While most game capture cards come with their software, the Razer Ripsaw HD works with some industry-leading broadcasting apps like XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). With this capability, you can use a wide selection of powerful tools to create high-quality content.
It’s worth noting that connecting the capture card to any broadcasting apps is a two-step process because the process splits video and audio into two separate channels. You have to add both audio capture and video capture to set up the Razer Ripsaw HD properly.
This game capture card comes with a USB 3.0 interface, allowing you to record game footage from your computer and consoles up to 1080p at 60FPS. Quality is impressive, capturing uncompressed 1080p video.
Overall, Razer Ripsaw HD is an excellent capture card for any streamer looking to get started with content creation. It’s simple and user-friendly, and it does everything the manufacturer says it can do.
Supported resolutions: Up to 2160p at 60 FPS, 1440p144 or 1080p240 and 140Mbps bitrate
Dimensions: 120mm x 120mm x 29.3mm / 4.72in x 4.72in x 1.15in
Weight: 348g / 12.27oz
AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt is another excellent Elgato capture card alternative. For many years, AVerMedia has consistently produced fascinating game capture cards, from simple configurations to more sophisticated 4K pass-through cards. The company’s Live Gamer Bolt is ideal for users looking to future-proof their gaming devices for 4K content frame capture.
This capture card is one of the best for streaming. If you want 4K 60FPS gameplay capture and your PC can handle it, you can’t go wrong with AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt. It is one of the external capture cards that can record 4K HDR at 60FPS, thanks to its Thunderbolt 3 interface.
Thunderbolt 3 can handle up to 40GB/s transfer speed. GPUs also use this port to connect to laptops. With this bandwidth, this capture card can push through the required video data to record a full 4K frame 60 times each second at bitrates of up to 240Mbps.
It delivers an exceptionally low latency level, at only a few milliseconds, making it ideal for games that require swift reflexes. It captures high-quality footage at either 1080p24 or 4Kp60 HDR.
Another remarkable attribute of Live Gamer Bolt is that it’s easy to set up. All you need to do is plug in your gaming device or HDMI switch box into the video-in, run a cable from the video-out to your monitor or TV, and the Thunderbolt 3 cable connects to your PC’s Thunderbolt 3 port.
The notable drawback of this capture card for streaming is that you need a Thunderbolt 3 interface. That means you can use it with only a few compatible gaming consoles and laptops. Be sure to check your system’s ports before you purchase the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt.
Supported resolutions: Up to 2160p at 60 FPS, 1440p120 or 1080p240, and 140Mbps bitrate
Dimensions: 125mm x 151mm x 21.5mm / 4.92in x 5.94in x 0.84in
Weight: 208g / 7.33oz
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly capture card that allows you to capture 4K60 footage in HDR, you might want to consider the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K. This card offers support for 240FPS video capture and 1080p, making it ideal for PC gamers playing e-sports titles such as League of Legends.
Besides pass-through, it can also capture HDR. The Live Gamer 4K also comes with RBG lighting for visual customization. This feature comes in handy when your PC case needs a couple more lights. When it comes to build and design, this card is so compact that you can easily slide it into smaller and packed cases.
While the manufacturer mainly targets video game streamers with this card, you don’t need to be a gamer to benefit from it. The Live Gamer 4K is a powerful tool for anyone involved in computationally intensive recording and streaming.
The capture card saves files in MPEG4 format, which is compatible with most devices. The notable setback is that you can’t switch to alternative formats such as AVI, but that’s not a deal-breaker.
This capture also comes with CyberLink PowerDirector 15 and RECentral software. CyberLink helps you edit 4K video content. RECentral is AVerMedia’s streaming app that allows you to stream, configure, and record your content. This software offers the same level of customizability that you’ll find in major streaming apps. It allows you to set up your webcam, microphone, digital overlays, and other tools.
Impressive HDR compatibility
4K 60FPS support
Full HD, high-frame capture up to 240FPS
RECentral for streaming
Tendency to be slow when you’re changing settings
A wide selection of game capture cards is available on the market, but the cards listed in this post are some of the best to buy in 2020. While Elgato capture cards tend to deliver the best gameplay capture experience, they’re often expensive and require high-end computers to work properly. So you can consider cheaper alternatives like Razer Ripsaw HD and AVerMedia’s Live Gamer Bolt and Live Gamer 4K. We, however, recommend the Razer Ripsaw HD as the best Elgato game capture card alternative because it offers almost all functions you would need in an Elgato card at a much lower price.
The best headsets for streaming allow for gaming, streaming videos, listening to music, and communicating comfortably. Plus, they ensure top directional surround sound, comfort, and high-quality audio in streaming and gaming sessions.
In this audio guide, we compare the top 5 best headsets for streaming and look at everything from their build, price, durability, and sound quality to enable you to choose the best one for your needs.
What to Look for in a Streaming Headset
As streaming enthusiasts, there are several things to consider when purchasing the best headphones for streaming. Consider the factors below to separate the best gaming headsets from sub-par ones.
Audio quality typically varies according to the price of the headset. Higher value headsets designed for gaming feature 7.1 Dolby surround sound, making the listening experience out of this world. However, you can still get decent quality sound with slightly cheaper headsets for a decent streaming experience.
Build and Durability
When choosing a headset, you should also consider its build, aesthetics, and durability. A good headset is built with quality materials that last to save you from replacing it every few months. You’ll also want a headset that looks and feels good and probably comes in a variety of attractive colors.
As with all purchases, you should consider your budget when looking for the best headsets for streaming. While not every gaming headset and microphone may be in your price range, you should aim to go for headsets that give the most features.
At the very least, consider headsets that have some steel construction over purely plastic ones. Also, look for units with decent audio quality, comfort, mic noise cancellation, and platform compatibility. Remember, when it comes to wireless connectivity and Dolby 7.1 surround sound capability, the price of your headset will likely increase. As long as the features mentioned above are present, you could pick a wired and regular sound headset if budget is a concern.
Streaming and gaming, by their very nature, require that you wear a headset for extended periods. Because you want to feel comfortable, always pick a headset that includes features such as ear padding and adjustable sizing. Check the specifications of your chosen headset carefully to ensure that your choice will be a good fit.
Noise isolation needs may differ from streamer to streamer. However, it’s essential to note that the better the noise isolation, the better the sound quality when you stream. It would be best to go for headsets that feature superior noise isolation to enjoy better surround sound and positional imaging as you game and stream.
Try to choose headsets with in-built streaming microphones over headsets that require additional external microphones. These all-in-one units not only save you the hassle of looking for an extra microphone but also feature a more precise mic quality that enhances the quality of your streaming session.
Perhaps this factor is the most important to look for when choosing the best headsets for streaming. Some headsets are not compatible with all platforms (Xbox, Mac, PC, etc.), and you may end up buying a unit that’s not compatible with yours. It’s essential to check that the headset you intend to purchase is compatible with the platform you’re streaming or gaming on to avoid wasting your time and money.
Built for extended streaming and gaming, the ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset is at the top of our best headsets for streaming review.
These units feature remarkable audio quality across every frequency, a precise microphone, and a comfortable build for those long gaming and streaming sessions. They also have excellent mic quality that transmits voice without interruption.
Additionally, these units feature Dolby 7.1 surround sound, making your streaming or gaming experience more immersive and realistic, coupled with several EQ presets and software. You can turn it off with the click of a button when you prefer the standard sound.
The 5.0 GHz wireless technology ups the price of these units, but it’s worth it; as you stream or game, you won’t have to worry about lag.
The Astro Gaming A50 also features a high-quality aesthetic, lightweight, ergonomic, and durable build, and comes with extended 15-hour battery life, extremely vital for long streaming or gaming sessions.
Furthermore, this unit comes with a convenient magnetic charging dock. Plus, it is compatible with two of the most popular gaming consoles – PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as your PC.
The EPOS I Game ONE headset by Sennheiser features extraordinary audio quality suitable for streaming and music. This premium headset has an esthetic build, durable quality, and a precise, responsive mic that will both enhance and upgrade your streaming experience.
Choose between a white or black model with red metallic features to highlight the design. All versions also come with a sturdy carrying case for safe travel and storage.
Additionally, these headsets allow for an immersive soundscape and unique sound experience, especially if you’re used to using closed-back headsets. While closed-back headsets cancel out much of the external and ambient sounds in noisier game environments, the open-back EPOS headsets are the better choice in quiet spaces. They produce a cleaner and more spacious sound that’s unlike anything you’ll have heard before.
Plus, they’re comfortable too! The velour ear pads are suited for extended sessions, and the plush breathable ear cups prevent overheating and unpleasant sweating.
The microphone quality is also excellent and transmits voice without breaks or crackles, resulting in a clean and clear sound. The mic’s flexible boom arm adjusts seamlessly for the best voice pick-up, and the microphone design cancels out ambient noise for clear communication and acoustic clarity. Furthermore, the microphone conveniently goes to mute when you raise the boom arm.
With all these features in hand, you’d expect to pay top dollar for these units. However, the EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE headset is quite affordable and represents excellent value for money. Competitive gamers may decry the lack of Dolby 7.1 surround sound capability, crucial for an immersive experience. Nevertheless, whether you’re a casual music listener or a professional streamer, this headset is one of the best headsets for streaming for the money.
The HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless headset with impressive 30-hour battery life is our best pick for long-session streaming and gaming.
This premium headset with reliable, gaming-grade wireless connection and signature memory foam cushions allows the avid gamer to play uninterrupted without worrying about discomfort.
With a closed-up design that allows for a fully immersive experience and a higher than average construction, plus a durable steel slider that can withstand wear and tear, you won’t have to worry about replacing this unit anytime soon.
What’s more, setting up these headsets is incredibly easy as they are plug-and-play. All you have to do is place the USB dongle into a USB port, turn it on, and you’re good to go. These headsets are easy to use with convenient controls for LED effects, volume, power, and mic mute.
Note, however, that this headset comes with its own mic level settings. You may need additional software to adjust the mic levels higher for better audio during your streaming session.
This headset is also quite versatile, compatible with PCs and PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles using a 2.4GHz wireless connection. The rotatable ear cups rest comfortably around your neck, making it seamless to break off your streaming or gaming session, and the detachable noise-canceling mic ensures crystal-clear communications and easy storage when you take a break.
All in all, if you’re an avid gamer or stream for long hours, this minimalistic, travel-friendly headset makes an excellent buy.
The Logitech G432 DTS:X 7.1 Surround Sound Wired gaming headset is the most versatile and affordable headset on our review list.
These units are enhanced with premium Soundscape technology in huge 50 mm audio drivers that deliver an impressive sound. For maximum gaming immersion, the DTS Headphone: X 7.1 Dolby surround sound enables in-game positional awareness that promotes preemptive play and competitive advantage.
These headsets are also lightweight and minimalistic for comfortable extended wear during multi-hour streaming, music listening, or streaming sessions. Enjoy premium features such as a flip-to-mute mic and rotating ear cups for ease of use and multi-platform compatibility for versatility.
Additionally, the single 3.5 mm cable can work as headphones and a microphone coupled with your smartphone but just as quickly can hook to your PC using the USB adapter.
You won’t have to pay top dollar for these units. These headsets, even with so many features, are the most affordable in our review. However, you’ll find that the Logitech G432 does not have the same audio clarity and mic responsiveness as other headsets.
Additionally, the mic lacks noise cancellation and isn’t as precise at picking up sound, but users can enhance the voice quality in quieter environments. Also, the headset lacks Dolby 7.1 surround sound, but as with the microphone, some EQ tweaking can alleviate this issue to an extent. When you purchase your headset, you can download the G-hub software to change basic EQ settings like bass and treble to improve the sound quality if you find that it is not up to your expectations.
Another factor to consider is the limited durability. Despite an overall good construction, these headsets feature plastic joints that are more susceptible to breakage. Store them carefully, or you may find yourself replacing them sooner than planned. Users have also complained about the ear cups barely fitting on even on the highest setting, causing the headset to squeeze the head more. Also, users found the wiring to be of a mediocre quality, which caused it to break or get bent without much wear and tear.
So if you are a beginner streamer or gamer and you’re looking for the best gaming headset to start, we recommend this pick. They’re comfortable to wear, easy to use, feature decent audio and voice capability, and are affordable.
Just be aware that you may need to replace these headsets if you up your streaming game.
Over-Ear Headphones Form Factor
Product Dimensions – 7.2 x 3.2 x 6.8 inches
Weight -1.25 lb
Excellent for casual gaming and streaming
Large audio drivers provide an immersive experience
The Razer Kraken is a versatile headset that’s compatible with all the top platforms and gaming consoles.
This beautifully designed headset comes in three attractive colors – mercury white, black, and gunmetal grey, perfect for the discerning streamer. These units feature oval, gel-infused ear cushions that prevent pressure build-up and overheating and a retractable noise-canceling microphone that reduces background noises for excellent communication.
The headset also has Dolby 7.1 surround sound capability that allows users to hear what direction competitor gamers are coming from, giving them an added advantage. However, while the audio enhancer DAC easily connects via a USB connector to various platforms and consoles, the THX Spatial audio is currently available on Windows 10 64-bit only.
The large, custom-tuned 50 mm audio drivers deliver a richer, more immersive soundscape, and the retractable microphone makes this headset travel-friendly and easy to store. What’s more, the inline audio controls that include a mute mic switch and analog volume control wheel make this the most seamless headset to use on the market.
Although the headset has a reasonably heavy design, it is still lightweight, so it is comfortable enough for long sessions with periodic breaks. The large, noise-isolating ear cushions are replaceable with a variety of shape choices (sold separately).
We recommend this headset if you’d rather avoid the hassle of buying different headsets for different platforms and consoles.
The Razer Kraken Surround Sound Gaming Headset is okay to play on multiple platforms and consoles, including PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, and mobiles. However, note that with the Xbox One, you will need an adaptor.
Over-Ear Headphones Form Factor
Product Dimensions – 6.76 x 7.6 x 3.86 inches
Weight -11.4 oz.
Compatible with almost all top platforms and consoles
Comes in three attractive colors – black, gunmetal, and mercury white
Excellent sound isolation
Fully retractable mic for easy storage or travel
THX needs manual activation for separate apps
Xbox One adaptor required
Final Verdict: Best Gaming Headset and Microphone
If you’re looking for the best headsets for streaming, we hope this review has made your search easier.
Apart from coming in on budget, your headset of choice should be comfortable to wear, impart Astro surround sound, limit noise interference, and maintain high-quality audio throughout your streaming session. It would help if you considered whether your unit comes with a built-in microphone. Also, check for compatibility with multiple platforms and consoles before you buy.
Although no streaming headset is perfect, we’ve settled on the ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless headset as it has all these qualities despite being slightly more expensive than others in its group.
Do you agree with our choice? We’d love to hear from you, so please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Interactive light tiles take a room or streaming setup to the next level. Not only do they look incredible, but they also enhance your experience.
It doesn’t matter if you spend your hours gaming or working, you’ll feel more in the moment thanks to the mesmerizing and energizing light patterns.
Nanoleaf was the first brand to make quality light tiles. However, those tiles are expensive and miss critical features.
We’ve looked at the best choices for Nanoleaf alternatives. Keep reading to see how you can have everything you want without blowing your budget.
Nanoleaf Aurora Review
Before we get into the first nanoleaf alternivative – let’s take a look at the original Nanoleaf Aurora.
Nanoleaf light tiles are beautiful. Their triangular shape creates eye-catching shapes on the wall. With variable light patterns and customizable colors, you can change an entire room with the press of a button.
The Nanoleaf setup dominates the smart interactive lighting world. In the beginning, it was the best option in town. Nanoleaf was the first to bring dynamic, interactive lighting to the home market. Gamers and technology fans alike eagerly acquired these tiles.
However, Nanoleaf remains unaffordable for many potential users. To have all of the features, like rhythm responses and smart home connectivity, the user must purchase and install extra parts.
In recent years, the field of available light tiles has grown, making other high-quality options available at affordable prices.
These lights contain even more features than the Nanoleaf. Plus, programming color patterns or choosing a pre-mixed option now requires no advanced computer skills.
Whether you’re looking to enhance your live stream or decorate your living room, there’s an affordable, easy light tile option available for you.
Nanoleaf Canvas Review
Nanoleaf Canvas has tried to fill in the gaps where the original Nanoleaf tiles lack. Nanoleaf Canvas offers more features than Nanoleaf but remains too expensive for most people.
The Canvas’ square tiles with various connector options allow you to make unique shapes. Whether you hope to disguise your light tiles as a traditional tile wall when not in use or you plan to use them as a remarkable accent piece, it’s easy to bring your vision to life.
You can even take your pattern around corners or onto the ceiling. These light tiles create more opportunities than their square competitors.
The interactive nature of Nanoleaf Canvas tiles helps them to remain at the top of the field. You can touch the tiles to create effects directly from your stimulus. This feature brings hours of fun to individuals of all ages.
Another benefit to Nanoleaf Canvas is its ability to connect with the internet and your existing smart home setup.
You can download color programs to use when you aren’t feeling creative. Then, you can control the lights by engaging an app on your phone, using the 12-sided remote, or talking to your control hub.
To set the perfect vibe, you can use the rhythm module that changes the light colors and patterns based on the sounds in the room. You won’t have to spend time programming with this addition. Simply plug it into a free port on one of the lights and watch the show.
One of the downsides to Nanoleaf Canvas lights is the way they attach to the wall. The manufacturer sells extra tile holders that allow you to screw the lights into place.
However, many people choose to save money and use the included double-sided tape.
The tape holds the lights securely to the wall. This strength is excellent if you place everything correctly on the first try and won’t ever need to move the tiles. But if you like variety or won’t live in the same space forever, this can be a significant issue.
Similarly, this hanging method does not create a straightforward cord management system. You must be proactive in organizing your cables as you design your feature wall and hang the tiles. If not, you’ll end up with a mess.
We suggest laying the tiles on the floor and planning your cord paths before attaching the tiles to the wall.
Another mark against Nanoleaf Canvas RGB lighting is the cost. These lights are some of the most expensive smart lighting tiles on the market.
You cannot have all of the features that make these lights unique, like the rhythm controller and remote, without forking over a pretty penny.
For people who enjoy only a top-of-the-line product, Nanoleaf Canvas is the perfect choice for your home. For those who prioritize sticking to a budget and having the tech options with the most features, these are not the top choice.
Nanoleaf Canvas Pros
Work with your smart home
Easy to program
Unlimited tile connections
Nanoleaf Canvas Cons
Not easy to reposition
Cololight WiFi Smart LED Lights Review
When you install intricate lighting systems in your home, it’s essential to consider their power draw. Inexpensive lights become costly fast if they increase your electric bill. It’s crucial to check their energy consumption.
You won’t break the bank or harm the planet when you use these to spice up your game room, office, or nursery.
These light tiles come with 16 million color combinations pre-installed. You’ll find yourself in awe of the combinations and patterns.
Cololights have three control options. First, you can use the free app downloaded onto your phone. Second, you can connect to your Alexa or Google Home setup and talk to the lights.
Finally, you can use the microphone on your phone to change the colors and intensity based on the sounds in your room.
Other light tiles require separate hardware additions to control the appearance based on the rhythm of the music playing. With Cololights, you don’t need expensive, extra items.
This fact makes these the perfect choice for gaming lights or accents in your home theater room. You can have dynamic lighting for a fraction of the cost.
Even though Cololights are energy efficient and come with all the necessary features built-in, they remain one of the most affordable options on the market. These lights make cool, innovative technology accessible to anyone.
The hexagon shape stands out from the more traditional forms that light tile manufacturers choose. Hexagons facilitate a wide range of shape options. You can cover your wall completely or create fun, even seasonal, patterns.
Cololight WiFi Smart Pros
All features come standard
Unlimited tile connections
Cololight WiFi Smart Cons
Doesn’t include a power block or wall-mounting hardware
Yescom WiFi Smart LED Lights Review
If you’re looking for quality lights to create a mood for your office or to enhance your lighting for Twitch streaming, Yescom hexagon tiles are a decent option.
They’re energy-efficient and budget-friendly.
One of their most unique features is auto-brightening. When you open the door to the room, Yescom lights will illuminate. You don’t have to fumble for a light switch.
Like the other light tiles on our list, these work with smart home systems, an app, or a built-in switch.
Many reviewers complain about the positioning of the switch. Luckily, the other options render the switch unnecessary for most uses.
The easiest way to set up your lighting patterns is through the app. You can then use your smart home hub to run the established color modes through your Yescom tiles. This process eliminates the need to fuss with the somewhat clunky app.
If you’re hoping to create an expansive light wall or to frame your desk setup, Yescom tiles are not the best choice.
Unlike with the other options with unlimited connectivity, you cannot connect more than 10 Yescom tiles. To use more, you’ll need a second (or third) power source.
However, many users don’t need to connect dozens of pieces to create the desired effect in their space. This set of smart light tiles comes with a solid base. You can create a unique lamp or accent piece with the parts included.
Another complaint from reviewers is the packaging of Yescom light tiles. Each light comes protected in a separate box.
Yes, the packaging produces more recycling to manage, but you’ll have no concerns about lights arriving broken.
Yescom tiles come with a power cord, but no power block. You must connect the cable to a 5-volt, 1-amp USB outlet. If you use a power block or charging port without enough power, the tiles will flicker while in use.
Yescom WiFi Smart Pros
Works with a smart home system
Built-in voice activation system
Yescom WiFi Smart Cons
Only 10 blocks can connect at once
Winner and final thoughts
For the ultimate interactive light wall setup, order the Cololight system. This Nanoleaf alternative is energy-efficient with unlimited connectivity. Plus, Cololight tiles are the most affordable option on our list.
Every feature you need comes built into the system. Unlike with other options, you won’t find yourself continually ordering new parts to upgrade the setup. The only parts not included with these tiles are the power block and hanging mechanisms.
You won’t be disappointed with Cololight tiles on your wall.
After thousands of hours of gaming I found that the best silent mechanical keyboard is the Das Keyboard 4Q.
Many gaming keyboards claim to be a quiet operation but produce more noise at work than a traditional keyboard. The right keyboard with the right software and customizability takes time and research to find through multiple websites and platforms.
What should you look for in a mechanical keyboard?
Before you buy any mechanical keyboards, consider and look for the following things. Creating a table of stats can also help you narrow down how to look at each keyboard that might work the best for your needs.
A full-sized gaming keyboard places all the keys within reach of your fingers, but can take up a lot of room on your desk. When you start looking at customizable keyboards, you can choose specific types of features that can make your life easier to work or game with.
If you are looking for a gaming keyboard, you might choose the keyboard with reinforced W, A, S, and D keys for intense gaming.
Mechanical keyboards come with switches that let you send signals around the keyboard. You can program the keys to have specific functions and replace the keys with caps for specific needs or to replace damaged keys.
You do need to hit the keys of a mechanical keyboard harder, which results in more noise unless you purchase a quiet mechanical keyboard.
Our favourite switches are Cherry MX.
Many types of keyboards you can purchase come with specific types of software that help you to program the keyboard specifically for your purpose.
The software can make or break the keyboard functionality. Make sure you read about the software you will be using with the keyboard.
Sometimes you are required to download the program or keep a constant connection to the internet to maintain settings. The software updates can help with functionality, but not always. Read up on the software that goes with the keyboard to make sure it will work for your needs and will program the keys correctly.
Mechanical keyboards come with the option of backlighting. Most let you select up to seventeen million different colors, but sometimes only one color is an option. While it is not a requirement for the operation of your keyboard, they can help you to program the keyboard lighting for specific actions or particular RGB macros.
A mechanical keyboard, like a lot of keyboards, is not always quiet. Regular keyboards use rubber-domed switches or gel membranes to help the keyboard transmit signals of typing to your screen. They are not always the best of quality and can wear out quickly. They do not lack the tactile feedback to help you feel the adjustment of the keys as you type.
A mechanical board does not require you to hit the key hard for it to register and a keystroke and with new sensitivities that are tactile quiet. You can feel the key move with a spring-loaded tap, but you will not hear the key to make the traditional “click” noise.
Wireless or Wired?
Everything is turning wireless as the technology improves, but often the wired version is still superior when it comes to reactivity in what you are working on or gaming. The wired keyboard will send the signals directly to your screen without a lag or interruption.
Wireless keyboards are improving as Bluetooth technology improves. Using Bluetooth keyboards lets your work from almost anywhere in your office or at home and has your screen and receives the information you are typing. Not all the keyboards come with a good range or the latest Bluetooth usability.
What are the options?
The best mechanical keyboard for your needs is the one that is quiet enough to use at work or use at night without disturbing the rest of your home.
You will also want to see if your different devices are compatible with each other – additional USB ports will allow you to connect devices to the keyboard such as your stream deck or headset.
CHERRY G80-3000 Keyboard
The CHERRY G80-3000 Keyboard is a high-quality keyboard designed to work for you. The keyboard comes with individual Gold Crosspoint contact keys that support MX technology. The keyboard is also compatible with the UNIX computer systems.
Built with Codeset 3 support, the keyboard works with PCs and MACs running the UNIX system. The keyboard comes with an adapter for a PS/2 interface. The silence feature is the result of the use of a high-end keyboard with switching technology that keeps the keyboard quiet enough for an open workspace or late-night work.
You can perform up to fifty million actuations using the key switches and hear little noise. The system uses integrated two-component stems to minimize the noise of the bottom of the key as well as the top. You can do simultaneous operations using the N-Key rollover feature that allows for up to fourteen keys to be in action without ghosting effects.
The keyboard has self-cleaning contacts and is resistant to dirt and dust. The keyboard design helps it be traditional as well as long-lasting with unique design enhancing features for long-term use. Made in Germany for long-term use, the keyboard will hold up to the test of time.
MX Black Silent Switch
Wireless or wired
The keyboard works with PCs and MACs running the Unix System.
You can perform fifty million actions using actuation key switches.
The keyboard is quiet enough for office spaces and late-night work.
The keyboard is not quiet for hard typists.
The LED backlighting is too bright, and you cannot turn it down
Does not come with a wrist rest so can be uncomfortable if used for long amounts of time.
Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Keyboard
The Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Keyboard lets you choose the backlighting color, tactile sensations, and noise quality, either clicky or silent. The mechanical keyboard uses zero-compromise mechanical switches to help you be accurate, speedy, and quiet in your typing. The keyboard tactile sensations let you feel the click more than hear it.
Requiring at least forty-five G of actuation force, the keyboard is ideal for work situations or gaming. The design of the keyboard lets it be perfect for personalization and immersion into gaming or work. You can fully sync the keyboard with various games as well as change your backlit keyboard into almost seventeen million different colors.
You can program the keyboard macros to map your keyboard out for combinations of features and commands. The design of the keyboard itself is ergonomic, to make typing comfortable with a plush leatherette to help your wrists rest comfortably. The keyboard uses a military-grade metal top plate to help support up to eighty million clicks.
Razer BlackWidow Elite Features
Magnetic Wirst Rest & Dial
Wireless or wired
The backlighting for the keyboard can be almost any color you can imagine.
You can program the keyboard macros for your work or gaming needs.
The keyboard uses zero-compromise mechanical switches to help with speed as well as accuracy.
Comes with a wrist rest.
The keyboard requires a cloud account, and if you log out, you lose your settings.
The keyboard does not support Mac or Linux systems.
CORSAIR K95 RGB Platinum XT
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT Mechanical Keyboard uses Per-key backlighting to let you have a vibrant workspace you can customize. The keyboard has tuning to help with low-noise operations even when you are typing hard. The system is also customizable for your work and the gamer.
You can program size dedicated macro keys for complex actions and remap other keyboard commands, including S-Key caps. You can also stream commands through the onboard software called Elgato Stream Deck. Through the software and integrated technologies, you can produce 1.2-millimeter actuations with accuracy across one hundred million keystrokes.
The mechanical keyboard uses the Cherry MX Speed RGB silver key switches that come with an anodized aluminum frame that helps muffle sound while providing long-term durability. A detachable leatherette comes with the keyboard to help the keyboard be ergonomic and protect your wrists through hours of typing.
CORSAIR K95 RGB Platinum XT
RGB Gaming Keyboard
MX Speed RGB Silver mechanical key switches
Wireless or wired
Low noise operations help muffle the sound of the typing keys.
The keyboard allows for one hundred million keystrokes with 1.2-millimeter actuations.
You can stream commands through the keyboard for customized actions.
The software is out of date, and the updates you download often cause the keyboard not to function properly.
The G-Keys will not work on certain types of programmable functions.
The SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard lets you have a smooth and silent performance using the QX2 linear mechanical gaming switches. The five thousand series of keyboards is an aluminum alloy that helps the keyboard be durable and quiet during operation. The keyboard uses real-time discord to produce gaming lighting notifications.
The RGB lighting lets you customize the keys to help the keyboard be easy and intuitive for your work or gaming needs. The reactive illumination of the mechanical keyboard lets you know when you are low on ammo or health. The QX2 mechanical switches help you have faster gameplay and let you have fifty million key presses of reactivity.
The Steelseries comes with the SteelSeries Engine Software that helps you use the Engine Apps functionality that helps you use the keyboard intuitively and unleash the full power of the keyboard in seconds of use. You can easily use Discord Chat notifications to receive new messages or mute different status updates.
The mechanical keyboard comes with one hundred percent anti-ghosting functionality. You can use full N-key rollovers that help you never lose a match because of an unrecognized key press. You can also ensure each keypress is macro programmed into the keyboard.
SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB Features
XT Mechanical, MX Speed RGB
Wireless or wired
You can have real-time reactivity using the keyboard.
The keyboard gives you fifty million keystrokes.
The keyboard has anti-ghosting ensures you will not miss a keystroke or unintended action.
The keys are fragile and can break easily.
The keyboard does not work well with gamers who are hard on their keyboards.
Das Keyboard 4Q
The Das Keyboard 4Q uses the RGB Cherry MX version of the keyboard, so you can eliminate interruptions as you type and is fully programmable for your needs. The computer comes with pre-built Q applets that let you customize the keyboard keys for different types of commands. The applets include using Gmail to GitHub.
The keyboard has two USB ports that provide 2.0 high-speed connections. You can program the Cherry tactile MX RGB brown keys to give you fifty million keystrokes. You can control the almost seventeen million RGB colors to backlight your keyboard or different keys around your keyboard.
The mechanical keyboard comes with an oversized volume knob and updated media controls that let you change songs, the volume, or windows with a few strokes of the keyboard. The design of the keyboard is anodized aluminum painted black for long-term use and durability.
Das Keyboard 4Q Features
5000 Series aluminum alloy
QX2 linear mechanical gaming switches
SteelSeries Engine Software
PrismSync multicolored Lighting
Wireless or wired
You can program and use the pre-built Q applets, including Asana and Gmail.
The keyboard is anodized aluminum to help the keyboard last.
You can type at the speed of thought and get your words and commands down at the same time.
Comes with Cherry MX switches.
The keys can start to stick over time.
The software comes with a lot of bugs and makes using it more difficult for some types of commands.
Quiet mechanical keyboards are hard to find. There are many different styles and software that claim quiet operation but are do not deliver. The Das Keyboard 4Q is one of the few keyboards that deliver the quiet and functionality.
The construction of the keyboard is sturdy, with up to fifty million keystrokes and a soft touch to feel under every finger. You can type quickly and accurately for hours without producing too much noise.
The keyboard is also customizable for macros and hotkeys to make work or gaming easier.