Logitech G Pro X vs HyperX Cloud Alpha

Logitech G Pro X vs HyperX Cloud Alpha

Logitech G Pro XHyperX Cloud Alpha
 Logitech G Pro Gaming HeadsetHyperX Cloud Alpha - Gaming Headset
Design⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Build⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Adjustability⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comfortability⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Bang for your buck⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Microphone quality⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
CostCheck PriceCheck Price

✔️= winner ❌ = loser

Good budget headsets are hard to come by and with the Logitech G Pro X vs HyperX Cloud Alpha, we have some strong contenders.

TLDR;

We recommend the Logitech G Pro headset.

The Logitech G Pro headset has better design and audio performance. Build quality is also quite decent for this considering it’s under $200.

In this we are going to assess design, build, adjustability, comfortability, sound quality (both mic and speakers) and look at which one is going to give you the best bang for your buck.

We have talked about the importance of audio in streaming before – however this time we’ll be looking at audio from your (the streamer’s side of things)

Logitech G Pro X Headset

Design ✔️

The logitech definitely comes out ahead with design. As it has a total black finish to the whole headset, it is going to match more setups/outfits. 

It also isn’t too bulky – I know how much of an issue bulky headsets can be with my Razer Kraken Ultimate. This is not an issue here with a small designer.

This also means that you could use these as regular headphones in public. Branding is rather minimal and doesn’t have any fluro colors that’s going to draw attention.

Build ❌

The build for these headphones are bad – it’s just that the HyperX Clouds have such a huge reputation for being built like Nokia mobile phones.

After 3 months of solid use I haven’t had any more wear and tear then I would have from other headphones.

It’s built like a Logitech product which from my experience is always fantastic.

It uses a combination of hard plastic and stainless steel for the body.

Adjustability ✔️

The adjustability on both of these headsets is pretty good with a self adjusting headband so that the headset can sit snug on your ears. 

The ear cups also rotate so that these can sit flat against your chest and make them easy to wear around your neck for short breaks.

Comfortability ❌

Personally I found that the Logitech fit me slightly better when it came to squeezing/cupping the ears.

The clamping force feels better for these ones and is a little stronger than the HyperX.

With a lightweight polymer ear cup and fork these are still very comfortable headphones – it’s just that the HyperX do have the advantage.

Sound Quality ✔️

After a side-by-side comparison with the two headsets, the Logitech objectively has a better, crisper sound when it comes to the output. It did feel like the HyperX Cloud Alphas did sound a little muffled sometimes.

I used these for both gaming and listening to music and 

The tech and specs

  • 3.5mm audio jack that allows you to connect these to PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch or any other device with an audio jack.
  • The headset uses a prograder condenser microphone so it has a wider frequency response and higher sensitivity.
  • These use the Pro-G audio drivers which will give better audio for gaming – especially for first person shooters where you are wanting to hear foot steps.

HyperX Cloud Alpha

Design ❌

With bright red and orange accents I’m not a fan of the design of this headset.

It would have been better for more variety for color selection – bright orange just isn’t for me and would much prefer a stealth all black version.

Build ✔️

These guys are know for their excellent quality and this is no exception. After a month of use I can tell that this thing is able to take a beating if it needed to.

It is built with an aluminum body which means that you won’t need to worry as much about damaging it when throwing it around.

Adjustability ❌

Unlike the Logitech G Pro, these do not have rotating ear cups which means that if you want to take short breaks from these you will need to take them off completely.

You can adjust the sizing of these like any other headset – nothing tt

Comfortability ✔️

With premium leather ear pads these are comfortable headphones. There is plenty of cushion and space between the headphones and your ear.

The only downside I had with these headphones is that after a long period of time of wearing these they did squeeze a little too hard for my liking.

After 4-5 hours straight of wearing these they began to give me a headache unlike the 

Sound Quality ❌

These do have pretty average output which is why the Logitech are going to claim this one.

The noise cancellation is a 6/10 for me when comparing them to something like the Bose QS35’s – these are the best in noise cancellation.

The microphone does detach unlike the Logitechs which is good if you’re wanting to just wear these around and not use them just for gaming.

The tech and specs

  • These are compatible with any device with a 3.5mm audio jack – PC, Xbox One, Mac, phones, PlayStation 4.
  • They are pretty lightweight coming at 340g – however the weight difference between the two headsets is quite small so you won’t notice much difference here.
  • Packaging is similar for the HyperX Cloud Alphas with a carrying case along with a Y cable for splitting and a audio cable to connect the headset to devices.
Dual PC Streaming Setup Without Capture Card

Dual PC Streaming Setup Without Capture Card

The Problem

When you stream with a game capture card you are going to put a cap on your framerate. Unfortunately this is one of the downsides of using a capture card.

The Solution

What we are going to do here is stream the unencoded video output from one computer to the other over Ethernet – this will allow the other one to encode and stream the video.

This means more frames and no lag – especially for FPS shooters that require 0 lag!

Once you set this up you will be able to stream your gameplay while you view 144hz+ framerates.

It will also take some of the work off of your CPU for your gaming PC.

What you will need

  • A PC that you want to stream from.
  • A PC that you want to game from.
  • A connection between the two PCs which can be accomplished by:
    • Connect the two computers to the same router
    • Connecting the two PCs a switch which is then connected to a router
    • Directly plug the computers into each other with (either a regular either cable or a crossover ethernet cable – make sure to check your motherboard!)

Preparation – for each of your PCs:

  1. Download and install Open Broadcast Software (OBS) Studio.
  2. Go to https://ndi.tv/tools/ then download and install the software.
  3. Get the Open Broadcast Software for NDI. This can be found as a plugin here.

On gaming PC

  • Open OBS and go to Tools > NDI Output settings
  • Make sure the ‘Main Output’ is checked and name the PC > click ‘Okay’

On your streaming PC

  • Boot up OBS
  • Select add source and select ‘NDI source’ – here you are able to add your gaming PC as a source
  • Set up your scenes and you are ready to go live.

Now that you are able to run a dual PC setup without a capture card – you have the ability to let your gaming PC do all the heavy lifting for the game while the streaming PC will just send the stream to Twitch.

Best Green Screen For Streaming in 2022 (Budget to High-End)

Best Green Screen For Streaming in 2022 (Budget to High-End)

Green screens are essential if you want to have a transparent background for your stream – and they make your stream look cool!

It’s extremely popular with streamers as it gives a more immersive experience for the viewer.

It’s mostly used for stylistic purposes as you are able to turn your background into the game that you are streaming.

We’ve tried and tested all of the best green screens for streaming so you don’t need to go through multiple purchases to find the perfect one for you.

Dr Disrespect streaming PUBG

In this article, we are going to breakdown the top 5 options that we recommend that you get for your green screen. These will range from budget options for people who are on a tight budget to a higher-end option if you have some cash to splash.

Our Top Picks

#1 Elgato Green Screen

Elgato green screen
BenefitsDownfalls
Collapses down to the base for fast and easy packing awayQuite a bit more expensive than most of the other green screens
Can adjust to any heightThe unit is heavy as it weighs 21 pounds
Extremely versatile and can be placed anywhereA lot of moving parts which means that if something breaks it can be annoying to fix

# 2 LimoStudio 9 x 15 ft. Green Chromakey 

Limno green screen chromakey
BenefitsDownfalls
Dimensions are big and able to cover large backgroundsStand does not come with the green screen – additional costs to buy
Comes with clips so that you are able to attach it to whatever you want to hang it fromMaterial isn’t the best – can quick accumulate wear and tear if you are constantly putting it up and taking it down
Affordable if you don’t need to buy a stand for the green screenShades of green that this comes in isn’t consistent – ordering 2 may mean you get 2 slightly different shades of green

#3 Fancierstudio Chromakey Green Chromakey 

Fancierstudio chromakey green screen
BenefitsDownfalls
Super cheapNeed to hang it – does not come with a stand
PortableThe green side is a little darker than we would like
Comes with both green and blue screen if you need either colorNot very big if you need to cover a large background

What Is A Green Screen?

A green screen is simply a sheet that sits behind you in your background which will allow you to turn that portion of your frame into anything you want – a picture, video, game or even just a color.

It can be made from almost anything such as sheets, paper, plastic or cardboard – you can even just paint the wall behind you green and that can work. The hex color for a green screen is #00ff00 which looks like this.

green screen color

When this is in the frame you can then use programs like OBS Studio, Streamlabs, XSplit or post-editing software like Adobe Premier.

Lighting Your Green Screen

It’s important that you have great lighting with your green screen so that when you’re on stream, the background stays consistent. If you have poor lighting sometimes you will experience static where your background is. 

The reason for this is that when you use chroma to change your background it will not register all of the green in the frame. You don’t want this as it will make your background look choppy and cheap.

The lighting setup that we recommend when using a green screen is a Neewer LED light combined with a softbox.

You’ll want to use the softbox (or similar light) to light the front of you which will point at your face and the Neewer LED light for behind you to shine on the green screen.

Doing this will help prevent the static effect and shadows that you’ll get from poor lighting as the green will be brightened up by the lights and the camera will be able to clearly register the difference from the foreground and background.

Which Camera Should You Use With A Green Screen?

It’s vital that you’re mindful of the camera that you’re going to use as it can either make or break whether your green screen will display correctly.

With a cheaper/lower resolution web camera it will be difficult for the software to read the areas of the frame which are covered by the green screen. For this reason, we recommend using a DSLR camera

If this is out of your price range as it can be expensive for a complete set up then we recommend the most popular webcam used by streamers – a Logitec C920. This webcam is great value for money and is under $100. It will perform fine and even has a useable microphone built-in to it.

What Programs Can You Use A Green Screen With?

Most capture programs such as OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS offer in-built green screen compatibility.

Personally, I use OBS Studio as I find that the easiest to work with the green screen.

A setup guide for this can be found below and is what I used when first getting started.

Final Tips

As mentioned in the video above – using a green screen is CPU intensive when it is using chroma in order to replace the green in frame with a new background.

Complete Audio Setup Guide For Twitch

Complete Audio Setup Guide For Twitch

It takes 10 seconds for someone to come to your stream and have a complete opinion of you.

It sounds unfair, but that’s the reality of the world that we live in with people having the attention spans of goldfish.

There are key components to a live stream – video and audio.

If you’re falling behind with poor audio then you are going to struggle as a live streamer.

In this article we’re going to show you step-by-step how to get the best sounding audio for your stream.

Let’s start with why good audio is important.

Why Audio Is Important

Who is your favourite live streamer? I bet you look at their setup with envy and wonder how they get the production value the way they do.

I can say that my favourite streamer is TimTheTatMan (many will disagree but stay with me).

Listen to 15 seconds of the clip above and you might have an indication to why he has over a million YouTube subscribers, 3,264,106 Twitch followers and over 115,000,000 channel views.

It has a lot to do with quality.

While just having a good looking and sounds stream won’t make you the next Ninja, it’s a massive component to maintaining viewer retention.

A great audio setup is something that is going to cost you a few dollars but it will have a massive effect on the long term performance of your streams.

Examples of Good Audio

Before we dive into all the nitty-gritties of having great audio, let’s go through some examples of great audio!

Now audio just isn’t used for streaming – it’s used for high production content such as TV and radio.

With today’s technology it’s not difficult to get an audio setup that sounds just as good as the professionals for not a lot of money.

Let’s take one of the greatest radio hosts of all time – Howard Stern.

He uses a Neumann TLM 103 Microphone which is something that you can buy right. Have a listen to it and see what you think.

While that microphone is pricey for the average streamer we can replicate the sounds pretty great with some less expensive, professional devices.

Some of the microphones that are used by some of the big-time streamers (in case you’re interested)

As you can see these are relatively cheaper microphones to those that are used by professional radio hosts and output A+ audio.

Let’s get into a basic audio setup that is going to get you on par with these top streamers.

The Basic Setup

We’re going to cover the different aspects of a complete audio setup so that you know what to look for when shopping for your own.

XLR vs USB

There are basically two types of connections that you are able to get for your microphones – XLR and USB connections.

USB microphones are great for their simplicity and ease of use as you don’t need any other hardware to process the audio, although, they do not always output the best quality.

Often the integrated amps in these microphones are lower quality which brings down the audio quality and sometimes cause electrical sounds to be in the output.

Don’t get me wrong, some USB microphones can sound just as good as XLR microphones although you are limited by the mixing capabilities.

XLR setups are what are used in professional audio setups – such as the Howard Stern mic as mentioned above along with all of the other streamers.

To have an XLR setup, you will need an audio interface which you will plug your microphone into and then plug the interface into your computer.

The audio interface is often a mixing board or mixer – this converts analogue sounds into digital and usually connect via USB.

Consider it the ‘control center’ of your audio.

These will also give you the greatest control of the sounds of your audio and looks something like this.

This will allow you to equalize, control sounds ceiling and mix the bass/treble/gain/sensitivity of your microphone and usually plug in multiple mics into the single interface (this is handy if you’re streaming with more than just yourself and have 2 microphones).

Just having the XLR connection does not automatically mean that it is going to sounds better than a USB microphone – you’ll need to buy a great microphone to create a better sounds than a USB microphone.

Having a XLR connection will also allow you to upgrade and replace components of your audio setup at a later time whereas if you had a USB microphone you would just replace the entire device.

Audio Interfaces & Mixers

Now that we’ve established that XLR connections will provide you with superior audio quality to that of a USB microphone – which audio interface do you use?

An audio interface is what will convert the analogue single that comes from your microphone with an XLR connection to a digital signal which will them plug into your computer, usually through USB.

A mixer is what takes different audio inputs (microphones, music, PC, game sounds, consoles ect) and mixes them together to give you a final output. This can also have a USB output as well.

For the purposes of streaming, you will not need a mixer – you’re just going to be speaking over the top of game play sound and music, not doing professional voice overs. Don’t overkill it for no reason.

To prevent compatibility issues with Windows 10 drivers, I suggest that you you recieve the audio into your PC via a blue link in jack.

The back of your PC will most likely have a green, pink and blue 3.5mm jack input that looks like this.

Plugging in the audio into this jack will prevent issues with OBS Studio.

You may still run into different noise interferences but that is entire different subject with the countless methods of troubleshooting audio devices.

Our Recommendation – Behringer XENYX X1832

While this is an area where you can write an entire novel on which mixer you can use, we’ll make a simple recommendation that will have you set for all your streaming needs, for now and in the future.

This mixer comes with

  • 6 studio compressors
  • 18 inputs
  • 3-Band EQs
  • 24-bit multi-FX processor
  • XLR input and output
  • Connects to your computer via USB or line outs
  • Rack mounts

Types Of Microphones

Now that we have the audio interface it’s time to pick a microphone which is going to plug into the mixer!

There is an entire industry that is dedicated to the perfection of audio quality although as a Twitch streamer you don’t really need to worry about it too much.

Just for a quick overview there are dynamic microphones and condenser microphones.

Dynamic Microphones

A dynamic microphone works with 3 main components – diaphragm, voice coil and magnet.

When sound waves hit the diaphragm it vibrates the voice coil. When the voice coil vibrates within the magnetic field, the audio signals are then converted into electrical signals – these are interpreted by the audio interface.

These are the microphones that you hear most radio hosts using – they have that ‘radio host’ sound to them.

Condenser Microphones

A condenser microphone also has 3 components although these are – a back plate, diaphragm and diaphragm case.

When sound waves hit the diaphragm it moves back and forth towards and away from the back plate which then translates the sound signals into electrical signals – these are also translated by your audio interface.

These microphones will pick up sound from wherever you are standing in front of the mic.

Dynamic mics will only sound clear if you are directly in front of them.

Our Recommendation – Shure SM7B

This is a dynamic microphone which is going to better for you as a streamer because:

  • It is durable
  • It’s great at drowning out background noise
  • It can handle very loud noises (which most streamers make)
  • Sounds professional for that ‘radio host’ sound

This is the microphone that Shroud uses for his live streams and sounds great! Have a listen.

Pop Filters

You’ve probably seen those black foam looking things in front of stream’s microphones – these are pop filters.

They’re used to prevent air hitting the microphone when you speak.

A type of these often come on gaming headset mics and are used for the same reason, so you’re breathing doesn’t come through Xbox party chat.

If you didn’t use one of these you would constantly hear popping and booming sounds from when you pronounce difference words starting with ‘p’ or ‘f.

These aren’t expensive at all and any pop filter will increase your audio output significantly.

Check this one out.

Boom Arms

This is an accessory that is extremely handy and makes holding the microphone in place much simpler.

It is going to suspend your microphone from whatever you hand it off so that it isn’t directly on your desk.

This is great because you don’t want to be hunched over your desk trying to get close enough to your microphone so you can hear it – this will make it so your microphone sits in front of your face.

These are fair cheap and will improve your streaming experience ten fold.

The one that I use is the Neewer Advanced NW-35 which does just the job!

It’s compatible with almost all microphones – just double check that it will connect to yours.

One end of the device will clamp to your desk which then rotates and swings around – the other side has another clap that connects your microphone to the stand.

This isn’t an essential tool to but it just makes life that much easier and you’ll thank yourself later for snatching it up.

Desk Stands

If you don’t want a swinging boom arm then I suggest just a simple desk stand.

They’re not as expensive and allows you to get your mic off the desk and into something secure.

For this we recommend that you get the Neewer Microphone Desk Stand.

It’ll run you about $25 and clamps onto your desk.

It’s great because of how mobile it is and hooks up to all microphones – XLR and USB microphones.

Shock Mounts

Shock mounts are used to reduce unwanted sounds from your microphone moving.

If you’re constantly moving around while you’re streaming then you’re going to bump your microphone here and there.

With a shock mount you will significantly reduce the feedback when the mic is touched, moved or bumped.

Whether you’re swinging your boom arm away from you to get up or accidently bump your entire desk, this is a great way to reduce unwanted sounds.

It connects to a desk stand or a boom arm at the end where the microphone connects to the device.

Once you set it up, if you bump the desk or stand by accident there will be almost no feedback.

Acoustic Foam

If you have had experience with audio you may have found that echo and reverb can be a big problem.

This is due to sound waves bouncing of nearby surfaces.

To fix this you need to fill your recording space with different things to absorb the sound waves.

The easiest thing for this would be to have more furniture in the room.

If you already have a complete studio then add rugs and curtains which can prevent echoing.

To complete the set up – add acoustic foam to your walls which do not have anything on them.

You would have seen these in other people’s streaming setups which are usually placed behind your gaming monitor (in front of you).

The reason for this is that by putting acoustic foam in the direction that you are speaking, it will absorb the sound waves instead of bouncing off the wall.

These are also relatively cheap from Amazon or eBay.

For installation just use 2 sided velcro – as they are light they will easily attach to these.

Budget Microphones For Streamers

If you’re not quite ready to commit to a professional audio setup then we have provided some great alternatives to get you started for a much more reasonable price.

Tonor TN12326

You can pick this up for about $10 and is a condenser microphone. It uses a 3.5mm jack and comes with small stand to hold it into place. It’s super portable and plug n’ play if you’re often on the move.

Neewer NW-800

For $20 you can get yourself a studio microphone. It uses a XLR to 3.5mm connection, a foam cover and shock mount. It’s even gold plated!

Floureon BM-800

At the $30 mark we recommend this condenser microphone. It also uses a XLR to 3.5mm audio jack, shock mount and windscreen.

Blue Snowball iCE

If you have $50 this microphone is great. It has to be the most famous affordable mic. It connects to your computer via PC and after testing it I’ll say that it’s pretty good but not amazing. It comes with a tripod which is a bonus.

Hessaneiser Lavalier

This is a lav mic so will act a bit different as it will connect to your shirt (or hold it) and connects via 3.5mm audio jack. It’s  a decent price for what it is and also can connect to your phone, if that interests you.

Microphone Settings For OBS Studio

Connect your microphone to your PC and boot up OBS – before we start make sure that you have your microphone selected in OBS – you will be able to tell as the Mic/Aux bar will fill with green when you make sound.

To selected the correct microphone click the gear icon next to Mic/Aux under Mixer > Properties and then select your device.

Noise Suppression

This will prevent your microphone from picking up background noise that you don’t want to come through.

This is especially helpful if you have a lot of street noise or fan noise coming from your PC.

To toggle this click the gear icon next to the Mic/Aux under Mixer > Filters. A new window will pop up.

If you haven’t toggled anything on this screen just yet then this will have nothing in it.

In the bottom left hand corner click the + icon and select Noise Suppression.

Add a name and click OK.

There are now default noise suppression settings applied to your microphone -30dB.

You will need to adjust this according to your microphone. Every’s mic is different so it may take some playing around with.

Noise Gate

Noise gate will make it so that your microphone doesn’t take in any sound while you aren’t speaking.

This is done by setting a minimum sound level that needs to be made in order for your microphone to playback a sound.

This means that there will be complete silence from your microphone while you aren’t speaking.

Again, click the + in the bottom left hand corner of the Filters window and select Noise Gate.

Name the filter and select OK – you will have the default settings applied to your microphone straight away.

In the window you will see all of the settings that you can toggle for this filter.

Close Threshold (dB): the level at which your microphone will mute itself – if the noise level gets below this your mic will not playback sound.

Open Threshold (dB): this is the level at which your microphone will be unmuted – you will playback sound fi the noise goes above this threshold.

Attack Time (milliseconds): the amount of time needed for a noise to be active in order for the microphone to start taking in sound.

Hold Time (milliseconds): the amount of time that the microphone will stay active after you stop speaking.

Release time (milliseconds): the amount of time that the OBS filter takes to mute your microphone – makes the transition between active and muted mics sound more natural.

To configure these correctly you want to look at your Mixer on the OBS home dashboard and talk into your microphone. Get a rough idea of at what dB your voice makes when you’re talking.

You;ll want to set the close threshold above the noise volume and the oen threshold just below your voice level.

If you find that you’re not outputting sound while you’re talking then you will need to lower the open threshold.

If your microphone isn’t going silent when you stop speaking then you will need to increase the close threshold.

Playaround with these until you find a sweet spot.

While you are toggling these settings, speak at the level that you normally speak when you stream.

Compressor

The compressor will turn down the input volume for those times where the volume is raised (eg. screaming cause you just got a 360 no scope). It will prevent distortion and save your viewer’s eardrums if they are wearing headphones.

Again, in the Filter window go to the + in the bottom left hand corner and select Compressor.

These settings are highly dependent of your setup, voice, microphone, environment ect.

Ratio (x:1): the amount of compression to apply when the volume limit is set.

Threshold (dB): the threshold at which the compression will begin to work.

Attack (ms): how quickly the compressor will take effect once it does detect high volumes.

Release (ms): how quickly the compressor volume will return back to normal once volume goes below the threshold.

To best test this out – raise the volume of your voice to what you might think it could be while streaming.

This does take a while to setup but is a must!

Gain

This will allow you to boost the volume of your microphone.

To add a gain filter click the + in the bottom left hand corner of the Filters window and select Gain.

Name the filter and select OK.

Toggle this to your liking – don’t increase it too much as I found it often distorts the output.

Best Stream Deck 2020 (Elgato)

Best Stream Deck 2020 (Elgato)

 
Pros Cons
✓ Saves streamers loads of times with short cuts. x Not an absolute essential to have as an amature streamer.
✓ Increases the production value of a stream. x There are cheaper alternatives.
✓ Makes tedious tasks that you do every stream simple.
✓ Great UI and easy to set up.
The Elgato Stream Deck is a device which has 15 programmable keys that allow you to seamlessly control different aspects of your stream with the touch of a button. These buttons are made up of small LCD screens which means that you can map different images and functions to them. With the ability to map hotkeys to the device you will find yourself saving a lot of time and energy by not having to manually go into software to control it. Instead, you are able to preconfigure all of the control before you start your stream and then while you’re live you won’t have to stop what you’re doing to complete actions. For example, if you are in a pre-game screen which League Of Legends has, you may want to switch between scenes while you are on this screen and then switch back to a different scene when the game commences. Here is an example of creating a ‘be right back’ scene button.
You can do this by mapping different hotkeys with OBS Studio, Streamlabs or XSplit. Aside from switching scenes you will able to have control over volume, application shortcuts, post to Twitter, comment in chat, turn your facecam on and off, mute/unmute your microphone and heaps more. Recently, Elagto have released a SDK for the stream deck which will mean that developers can now submit their own use cases for the deviice to the Elgato app store. This is going to mean that there will be unlimited uses for this device as developers slowly start rolling out their creations. Another super handy feature we use the device for is to act as a monitor for important information such as CPU and GPU usage, amount of viewers on your stream or any other relevant information to you.

Features

Pre-Made Drag & Drop

This device was built with streamers in mind. This means that they have integrated all of the primary programs that most streamers use directly into the software that do not require any set up aside from logging into accounts and dropping the action onto a key. These integrations include Twitch, Twitter, OBS Studio, Streamlabs, game capture devices, TipeeeStream, Mixer, XSplit, YouTube, multimedia and more.

Easy Switching

The Elgato Stream Deck integrates seamlessly with OBS, Streamlabs OBS, Twitch and countless APIs. The biggest benefit we have found from the device is having the ability to switch between scenes in OBS Studio. Rather than going into the program and manually switch between scenes you are able to assign a button to select scenes and then hit the button on the deck and change to it. If you think about the amount of times that you switch between scenes in a single live streaming session then this will save you a lot of time as well as increase your production quality. Aside from switching between scenes, you can also use the device to switch between cameras – this is toggled within the Elgato software.

Customisation

The physical device is made up of 15 buttons although you are able to have more shorts within the stream deck. You can create folders which you can fill with even more shortcuts which means that you can control everything you need to with this. Custom hotkeys are also able to be set up so that you can map any macro to a button which can be toggled on and off. These hotkeys can be either to control a program, open up an application or complete an action in software. You can even customize every icon that displays on the screen with Elgato’s Icon Generator so you can create the exact image that you want to display on the buttons.

It’s Not Just For Streaming

As Elgato have integrated so many different features into the stream deck you are able to use it outside for streaming functionality. For example, if you are a heavy video editor which we most are when cutting up our live streamings for uploadable content, you can set hotkeys for Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro X to control the program. The one that I find myself using most often is to mix audio levels. I have created a hotkey to set the volume of audio to -15% which is super handy because I no longer have to click the tiny audio line to drag it down – super handy!

Setting It Up With OBS Studio

Since OBS is the main streaming software that most streamers use we’ll show you just how easy it is to integrate OBS and the Elgato Stream Deck. For media – first drag and drop your media files into OBS.
Next we’re going to tie these media files to buttons. Drag a Source action from under the OBS tab in the Elgato software onto a button.
Highlight the button you just dragged in in the lower third of the software under Source, select the media you want to control. That’s it! Now when you press the button on your stream deck the media will begin playing. Be sure to press the button once the media has finished playing otherwise it will either loop or freeze at the last from. For changing scenes – dragg the scene toggle onto one of the buttons in the Elgato software. Then once you highlight the button you will be able to select which scene you want the button to change to. Be sure to label/create icons for these so that when you are using them it’s super simple to know what button switches to which scene.

Product Support

Even though the Elgato Stream Deck was released in 2017, it is still a great purchase for the 2019 streamer. The key reason for this is the continued support for the device almost two years later. As mentioned before Elgato have just released a SDK (software development kit) so that users can create extra functionality for the device. This SDK will give third parties the ability to create plugins for the device and expand the use cases for the product. Previously Elgato relied on community feedback for them to make additions or changes to the functionality of the device. Now, anyone is able to download the SDK and create their own applications for the device. These plugins will live in an Elgato app store where uses can easily install the features that third party developers create.
An example of a new feature that has come from developers is voice modulation. You are now able to apply voice changers from the stream deck with the push of a button – you can see this YouTube video of it in action.

Is This Product For You?

There are two things that will make or break this product for you and it really depends on your use case for the device. Firstly, are you an amature streamer that is just getting started with no gear? This will be a nice-to-have product later down the line once you have the rest of your setup already. While it is great to have there are many other devices that would be much more useful for new streamers such as a game capture card, a good facecam and a complete desktop PC setup. This should be an addition that you add to your streaming setup a little further down the line. Secondly, do you stream enough to justify having it in your set up. If you’re a hobbyist streamer that only streamers every so often then perhaps this isn’t for you. The device isn’t cheap and does take a little time to set up. For this reason you need to be streaming often enough to justify the cost and time investment it takes to set this device up. I’d say that if you’re streaming at least twice a week consistently and are making some revenue through your streams then this is 100% the correct purchase for you. You will improve the production of your stream as you can seamlessly complete actions without interrupting your stream.
Image result for elgato sdk

Alternatives

As we are aware this isn’t the cheapest product on the market, but it is the best. If you’d like a similar product that is less expensive with similar functionality then we are these:

Elgato Stream Deck Mini

This is the little brother to the Elgato Stream Deck. It offers all of the same functionality as the regular device although it only has 6 buttons. This may even be a prefered product if you don’t find that you’ll need that many shortcuts as you will still be able to utalise the nested folders function to have more of the hotkeys. The mini also comes in at a much lower price as the regular device!

Razer Orbweaver Chroma

This device has the ability to assign many more hotkeys as there are 30 programmable keys. It is slightly more costly than the mini stream deck and it doesn’t have any any LCD screens which can be programmed. It is a bit more difficult to map exactly what you want to this device’s hotkeys as the UI for this isn’t the easiest I’ve used. This device is mainly used for games which require a lot of macros like World Of Warcraft or League of Legends – still usable though with a stream if you want to have complete control over everything.

Novation MK2 Launchpad Mini

This is a simple MIDI controller that you can use with your computer to assign hotkeys to which will allow you to add shortcuts to. This is a much more cost efficient, less pretty way to have similar functionality to the stream deck without breaking the bank. Set up is a bit of a nightmare but it can be done! These controllers are designed for music creation but can also be used for other purposes when set up correctly – like streaming on Twitch!

Deckboard

This is a free app that will allow you to assign macros to your phone which can be used to control your PC. This is the ultimate budget stream deck if you’d like to just try and see if a stream deck is something that you would get a lot of use out of. After trying to use this for a few hours I didn’t find it to be that great of an experience but it does have some of the same functionality as the other device. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
[Comparison] Best Game Capture Card: Elgato HD60 S vs HD60 Pro vs 4K60 Pro vs Cam Link 4K

[Comparison] Best Game Capture Card: Elgato HD60 S vs HD60 Pro vs 4K60 Pro vs Cam Link 4K

PriceRating
Elgato HD60 SCheck price on Amazon5/5
Elgato HD60 ProCheck price on Amazon4/5
Elgato 4K60 ProCheck price on Amazon4/5
Elgato Cam Link 4KCheck price on Amazon3/5

With all of the options that are out there to capture or stream footage, it’s difficult to determine which capture card is right for you.

Each card has its own unique benefits and depending on what you want to capture and do with the card will determine what card is right for you.

For most people, the Elgato HD60 S is going to be the best option for them and is what we easily recommend to most new streamers. It combines highquality output with easy setup and portability.

ProsCons
✅ Capture 1080p 60fps ❌ Not the highest possible output of all the capture cards
✅ Can be used to record/stream on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
✅ A more affordable option
✅ Extremely portable and easy to plug and play

What Is A Game Capture Card

A game capture card is a device that connects to your console or computer which allows users to record and stream gameplay.

You are able to record/stream without a game capture card although it does not provide the best quality. If you would like to create a professional-looking stream and build an audience you will need to improve your stream’s quality to stand out from the increasingly saturated industry.

Why Use A Game Capture Card

If you want to stream on Twitch then the benefits of having a dedicated capture card over using device’s in-built capture software are:

  • No restrictions on the amount of gameplay that you are able to capture – Xbox One has a 5-minute limit and PlayStation 4 has a 15-minute limit on clip capturing.
  • Higher-quality footage – Xbox and PlayStation put a limit on the bitrate of recordings due to their relatively small storage space. They also cap frame rates at 30fps when recording.
  • Better editing capabilities – if you’re using the built-in editing software in consoles then you aren’t able to compile great videos. If you use a capture device then you can take the footage into Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro to create high-quality content.
  • Take CPU loads off your PC – if you’re playing PC games then recording at the same time put huge loads of work on your CPU which limits the performance of recording and gameplay.

In this review, we are going to cover Elgato’s HD60 S, HD60 Pro, 4K60 Pro and Cam Link 4K.

To determine which capture card will best fit you we will look at:

1] Performance

2] Device compatibility

3] Portability

4] Use cases

5] Price/value

Elgato HD60 S

Elgato’s HD60 S is an external capture card that connects to your device via USB 3.0. It records at 1080p 60pfs and can record footage from PlayStation 4, Xbox One, mobile and Nintendo Switch.

Performance

The key feature of this device is that it offers 0 latency when using Elgato’s software to record.

They call this Instant Gameview and it means that you can play your game from watching the playback in the recording software.

This device allows you to record at 1080p 60fps, 1080p 30fps, 1080ti, 720p 60fps, 720p 30fps, 575p, 576p, 576i and 480p.

When we tested this it did output crisp, lag free footage that looked great at 1080p 60fps. I ran a test on it where I captured Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox One and was more than satisfied with the output.

One of the restrictions that this device does have is that it won’t have as high of an output as the other PCIe capture cards (such as the HD60 Pro or 4k60 Pro) as it is sending data through a USB 3.0.

The maximum bitrate for this device is 40mbps. While it’s not as high as the other capture cards, it is plenty and all that you will need if you’re just streaming!

Device Compatibility

The device connects via USB which makes it compatible for any computer or laptop.

Elgato does offer game capture software for their device for both Windows and Mac.

Portability

As this is an external capture card and connects to a PC via USB – this device is extremely portable and easy to set up.

You can simply plug n’ play as you go due to the ease of use. This is convenient if you are going to events, LAN parties or simply capture footage in different locations other than your PC.

Use Cases

This card is perfect if you want to either stream or record footage – but not both!

A restriction that may be an issue for you depending on what you’re using the card for is the ability to create master copy (H.264) recordings.

Due to the 40mbps data limit that comes with the USB 3.0, you are unable to both stream and record a copy of the footage that is free of overlays which can be used later.

This would only be an issue if you are going to stream as well as recording footage which you might want to edit to upload to YouTube.

Price/Value

This device is awesome value!

For what you are getting it is a fair priced piece of hardware and we strongly recommend it.

Elgato HD60 Pro

The HD60 Pro is a very similar product to the HD60 S with a few major differences:

  • It is an internal capture card where the HD60 S is an internal capture card.
  • Increased max bitrate.
  • Connects via PCIe where the HD60 S connects via USB 3.0.

Performance

This device allows you to record at 1080p 60fps, 1080p 30fps, 1080ti, 720p 60fps, 720p 30fps, 575p, 576p, 576i and 480p – same options has the HD60 S.

It also includes the Instant Gameview feature which offers low latency output into Elgato’s capture software.

It offers an extra feature of H.264 encoding.

This means that you are going to be able to output a higher image quality with a similar or less bitrate (this means smaller file sizes when recording).

From my testing it does a great job and captures exactly the way you would expect it to!

Set up does take a few more minutes as it s an internal capture card.

Set up is not as simple as external devices as you will need to open up your PC case to plug it in via PCIe under your graphics card slot.

You will then plug the HDMI into your graphics card and the HDMI OUT to your monitor or TV.

I’d recommend that you use a short or retractable HDMI cord for the HDMI IN cable to reduce clutter around your PC since the connections will be less than a foot between each other – check this one out.

Device Compatibility

This is an internal capture card which means you will need access to a PC’s motherboard to plug it in.

Due to this, you are unable to use this with Mac or laptops.

This will become an issue if you often record in different locations or don’t use a PC to record or stream.

Portability

If you ever do want to move this capture card around it will require you to open your PC case and unplug it from your motherboard.

This is a big drawback as you can’t easily plug n’ play if you are going to a friend’s house or streaming in a different location.

Use Cases

Elgato’s HD60 Pro has a great max bitrate of 60mbps.

This means that you are able to hold a live stream as well as record at the same time.

Elgato call this feature Master Copy (H.264) and is useful if you run a YouTube channel along side your stream.

Elgato’s capture software also allows you to make your voice overs directly through their software which is even better

Price/Value

This is great value, similar to the HD60 S although it has different use cases.

Due to the requirement of having a windows PC and the fact that it is not as portable as other cards, this may or may not be for you.

If you do have a windows PC and don’t travel with your capture card often then I would recommend this over the HD60 S as you will have extra features such as streaming and recording at the same time as well as an increase bitrate to 60mbps and H.264 encoding.

Elgato 4K60 Pro

Now if you want high performance and amazing looking footage this is for you!

The Elgato 4K60 Pro is the first consumer grade capture card that allows for the recording of 4K footage.

Performance

In terms of performance, this is the top of the line capture hardware that is on the market right now.

It captures up to 2160p 60fps for PC and consoles. You are able to push it to capture 144hz with a HDMI 2.0 cable and this tutorial.

With a max bitrate of 140mbps, this card can handle a lot of data when capturing footage. One thing that you do need to keep in mind is that capturing at 140mbps will mean that it creates 60GB of data per hour.

Also, if you are looking to stream then you are unable to stream in 4K on Twitch as the max bitrate and resolution that is supported is 3,500kbps. Having a higher-performing capture card will not increase your Twitch stream anymore.

I would recommend that if you are recording at 4K – do it at a smaller bitrate such as 35mbps to save hard drive space otherwise you will need terabytes of storage to hold all of your files.

It is however great for YouTube if you are looking to upload in 4K.

Also, keep in mind that you will require much stronger PC specs to be able to both play and record 4K gameplay. You will need at least a 6th generation i7 CPU and a GTX 1050 to be able to record with this device – these specs won’t be able to play AAA games at 4K.

As a helpful tip – you are going to want to use your GPU for encoding this software as the capturing is extremely CPU intensive.

This card has many of the same features as the other cards such as Instant Gameview and stream command.

This card does use different Elgato software that isn’t as user-friendly but it still works fine so I can’t complain there.

Device Compatibility

Similar to the HD60 Pro, this is an internal capture card.

This does mean that it is going to connect via PCIe to your motherboard.

You are unable to use this card with a laptop or Mac.

Portability

This is an internal capture card which means that if you want to take it out from your rig then you are going to need to open up your PC case to unplug it.

If you know that you won’t be capturing in other places then this is a great card.

Use Cases

This card is great for both streaming and recording – this can be done at the same time as it has a maximum bitrate of 140mbps.

As mentioned above this would mainly suit you if you are needing to record 4K footage that will then be uploaded somewhere else as Twitch does not support 4K streaming as of writing this.

Price/Value

This is the most expensive capture card that Elgato offer – with this said it does pack the most punch with extremely high performance.

If you plan on putting a heavy focus on high-quality YouTube videos then this card is what you should get as the quality output is higher than any of the other device.

While this is their most expensive device, if you compare it to similar products by other companies you will be twice as much with Blackmagic.

However, if you are just planning to record or stream at 1080p 60fps then the HD60 S or HD60 Pro is a better choice in terms of value.

Elgato Cam Link 4K

This capture card is created mainly for cameras and makes a great addition to any streaming setup.

This is a brand new product that was introduced in November of 2018 which replaces the old Cam Link.

We’ve talked about the Cam Link before in relation to using a DSLR camera as a webcam setup – see the full tutorial here.

Performance

This card can capture upto 4K 30fps which is a huge upgrade from the previous Cam Link which only did up to 1080p 60fps.

It connects via HDMI and works with cameras that have a HDMI output slot.

It’s great for cameras that have clean HDMI outputs – if your camera has overlays and does not allow you to hide overlays you will need to do some third party tweaking to get it right.

This device doesn’t use the default Elgato software but instead uses the 4K version. This isn’t as user-friendly but with some setup, it is quite easy to start using.

Device Compatibility

This is an easy plug and play device – it will work as long as you have a HDMI input in your device.

Most PCs and some laptops come default with this so just double check your computer’s IO before purchasing.

Portability

As you can see, this is a super portable device. It’s slightly larger than a USB drive and is easily removed if you need to take it anywhere.

Use Cases

This should be used alongside a game capture card to capture your facecam.

A lot of streamers use the Logitech C920 – while it is a good webcam, it doesn’t have the greatest quality.

If you want to step up your production quality and stand out from the competition I’d recommend you go with an actual camera.

Price/Value

This is a A+ value product as you are able to get 4K webcam footage (using a actual camera).

It has to ability to get a crisp 60fps which is what is used by big streamers in the Twitch community.

The alternative to this is getting a webcam – while this is much cheaper, it is also lesser quality.

This should be a staple in a streaming setup to go alongside a gaming capture device.

It doesn’t make much sense to have 1080p 60fps gameplay and a lower quality facecam as it will not look professional.

Summary

Our recommendation for most streamers is the HD60 S as it offers high quality output, wide device compatibility and portability.

Looking at the use cases and what you need the most, you may opt for the internal capture cards for greater performance.

It must be noted that having the ability to capture 4K footage is only needed if you are going to create videos to be uploaded due to Twitch’s bitrate limits.

In order to match your facecam’s quality with the gameplay you should opt to also get the Cam Link 4K.

This will allow you to use an actual camera as a webcam alongside your gaming capture device.