Buying Guides

Top Picks: Live Streaming Equipment for Content Creation

By May 17, 2021 May 18th, 2021 No Comments
Streaming requires special gear

Streaming equipment and gaming hardware have advanced right alongside the evolving needs of gamers. Think about how a basketball player may find a winning edge in a particular sports shoe. In the world of esports, having a high-quality headset yields a similar advantage by allowing you to track the enemy’s footsteps more closely. Or how the right ergonomic gaming chair comes in handy during a 24-hour charity stream.

Whether you stream for fun or have ambitions to take it to the next level, we’ll share our picks for streaming equipment based on your needs and budget level. We’ve included recommendations rounded up from our pro streamer friends SpringSims and CuddleCore!

Streaming Gear

There’s a ton of streaming gear out there

 

 

Entry-Level 

The beauty of the industry today is that just about anyone can get started with the most basic, entry-level streaming equipment while still producing something to be proud of. If you are still streaming from your bedroom or home studio and want to secure just the right amount of equipment at an ideal quality to build or grow your audience, the streaming equipment feature here should do the trick.

Note that we have left off choosing a web cam in the entry-level discussion. That’s because most desktop and laptop computers have a built-in camera to get you started. We do, however, recommend that you at least invest in a good USB microphone with some noise cancellation for the best engagement with your audience. 

Recommendations

Elgato Wave 3

Elgato Wave 3 streaming mic

A great affordable mic option

Most Elgato products are tailored specifically for content creators and the Wave 3 microphone is no different. It’s a Plug & Play USB microphone for PC & Mac, that clocks in just under $150 and is great for beginner to mid-level streamers.

It comes with a noise shield and suspension mount and works seamlessly with other Elgato equipment such as the Elgato Stream Deck. Even without the stream deck, this is a solid mic to start out with. 

You can get your own here.

Elgato Capture Card

Streaming capture card

Gotta capture ’em all

If you’re interested in streaming from your consoles and/or Nintendo Switch, definitely consider this capture card. Another great recommendation from the YouTuber SpringSims: “I love these products,” he shares via Twitter DM. “Especially my capture card so I can stream Animal Crossing, hehe.” Whether you’re a pro or looking to get there, this is an excellent pick at $150.”

Capture one of your own!

Midrange

This range of equipment is for those who have decided to take it up a notch. Maybe you have committed to streaming regularly and are developing a growing audience. Or perhaps you belong to a small to midsize organization committed to streaming, esports, gaming, or another form of content creation. 

This is the perfect time to invest a little more thought (and money) into the type of gaming equipment you’ll be using on a day-to-day basis from your gear to your furniture. In addition to a quality microphone (or headset, if you prefer), now is the time to start thinking more about your audio and visuals to appeal to your audience.

Recommendations

Logitech Brio 4K Ultra HD webcam

Logitech Webcam

4 whole K’s in one webcam

Logitech has always been known as one of the forerunners in providing affordable webcams. At around $178, this is an affordable professional quality addition to any pro streamers collection. It’s small in size and void of complicated controls and settings. And to get 4K quality at under $200 is practically a steal, so don’t sleep on this gem.

The camera has green screen capabilities and a built-in microphone, however, some feel the audio quality leaves much to be desired so it’s best to pair this with a professional-grade mic.

Make FHD your reality

Rode Podcaster

A quality streaming mic

Ride the Fury Rode Podcaster

The Rode Podcaster microphone is broadcast quality, and at a $229 price tag, is ideal for those who are serious about streaming and delivering the highest quality audio possible to your audience. This is a stand-alone mic, so you will need to set up a stand or use a microphone holder, so keep that in mind and be prepared.

Get a Rode for your home

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset

Astro Headset

A solid versatile headset

If you prefer an all-in-one microphone and headset, you may want to check out the ASTRO Gaming A40 TR headset, personally recommended by professional TEKKEN esports competitor, CuddleCore.

It’s the premier gaming headset for streaming and professional content creators, developed with esports competitors in mind from features to comfort and customization. It has game-to-voice balance settings and a handful of other controls that allow you to deliver the best audio with the utmost flexibility.  

Experience the performance for yourself

Professional

This equipment within this budget range is for those who earn an income streaming, or a brand or esports organization looking to deliver the most epic and highest quality experience to their audiences.

If you are really looking to invest in your gaming career and take things to the next level, these items are perfect for you and enhance the experience beyond the typical audio and visual setup.

If you have corporate sponsorship, a dedicated audience or a solid plan for executing your vision in the highest grade possible, these picks are great for you.

Recommendations 

Shure SM7B

Shure streaming mic

Raise your hand if you’re Shure

The Shure SM7B dynamic broadcaster microphone offers you the supreme audio experience. This popular mic is a top choice among professional streamers. At first glance, it looks serious, like something you would see in a radio station studio.

Beyond the surface, it offers great frequency response and crisp, clean audio from speech to music. The air suspension eliminates mechanical noise and of course, it comes with the usual pop filter. This mic is a personal recommendation of SpringSims, and a great addition to any gaming room or studio.

Shure performance can be yours

Sony A6400 Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless Camera

A top level streaming camera

The OG Black girl gamer and The Sims Spark’d winner, XMiraMira took a moment to recommend this beauty of a camera for professional streamers.

At $1,079 roughly, it is the priciest piece of equipment in our roundup but once that will possibly take you the furthest when it comes to creating top-notch, quality, professional content. This is no beginner camera, yet it’s fairly easy to use. In addition to stellar streaming quality, it also takes some incredible photos.

Take a closer look here

Elgato Key Lights

Key lights

This Elgato Light is Key

Lighting is something that isn’t entirely essential in the beginning stages but can make all the difference as both you and your audience grow. The right lighting adds a touch of vibrancy and professionalism to any stream.

While there are cheaper lights you can order online, a favorite of SpringSims and other gamers is the Elgato Key Light. There is a more affordable LED version but the professional lighting kit, complete with color temperature adjustments and desk mount, is sure to get you looking right on-camera.

Key one up for yourself 

Elgato Streaming Deck

Streaming Deck

All streams on deck

This is a favorite of SpringSims (The Sims: Spark’d). The live content creation controller is easy to set up and customize with vibrant colors, so it’s no wonder it’s one of his faves.

It works with both Windows and iOS, making it versatile and a great recommendation for intermediate streamers that want more personalization and control over their experience.

Check out all the benefits of this impressive piece of gear

Bonus: Branding & Decor

Many professional streamers pay extra attention to their gaming space, the same way a film or art director pays attention to set design.

SpringSims Streaming

SpringSims’ Streaming Setup

For example, SpringSims’ gaming space reflects his brand with lots of yellows and vibrant colors, a bookshelf that prominently features his Sims collection and a cozy, ergonomically gaming chair, also decked out in his signature colors. 

Xmiramira's setup

Streamers represent their brand in many ways

XMiraMira’s space also highlights the sultry-and-sassy streamer’s personality with her signature purple and magenta pallet, colored lights and lots of signature touches from plants to her Twitch paraphernalia to a sign with her gamer tag.

There are plenty of touches you can add to your personal space to bring your brand into the decor, thus enhancing your stream’s aesthetics.

Regardless of your level of gaming and streaming, it doesn’t take much to get started. An investment in the right equipment is also an investment in yourself, your passion and if you chose to make it so, your career.

Whether you start where you are or level up, just know we’ve got you covered for all your streaming needs!

Ronnia Cherry

Author Ronnia Cherry

Ronnia Cherry is a writer and Black girl gamer with an affinity for technology, communications and programming. When not playing The Sims, mobile Monopoly or Peak brain games, she also enjoys arts, entertainment and nature.

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