For anyone looking to get into live streaming, you should be prepared to invest a little bit into your setup. Yes, you can use a smartphone and start streaming immediately but the quality of your stream will also attract viewers. This is why a lot of the top streamers today keep on upgrading their setups and keep improving because the better your quality (and your content) then viewers will follow.
Live streaming is like a business, you need to invest some money into and you might earn from it over time. All streamers start from somewhere and if you want to get into the live streaming game then at least you should start the right way. Do a little bit of research into what you’re getting into and the things that you have to shell out your hard earned money on. We have this guide for you guys so that it might make your decision a little bit easier!
For starters, a live streaming setup usually involves a couple of things, first is a PC or laptop that you will use, and internet which we will assume you readers already have. So what we’re going to talk about here are things that will improve, or get you started with a high quality stream. These are a video source, audio source, lighting, and other accessories that you would need. We’ll try to give you a budget, mid, and expensive options here so you can check which one fits your budget the most.
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Let’s start off with a popular choice, the Logitech C920. This webcam has been around for a couple of years already and is a go to for a lot of people that want to start live streaming. It’s older than the current favorite of a lot of people, the C922 but it still performs really well and for most people, with the right lighting, can do the job. It offers 1080p resolution at 30fps, a privacy shutter, and a fast autofocus. Yes, you can find cheaper alternatives online by Chinese brands, but we’re going for one that’s tried and tested already. The C920 also comes with Logtech’s RightLight 2 technology that allows you to adjust brightness and contrast. It’s an old reliable that still performs excellently up to this day.
Check out the Logitech C920 right here.
Another option is the Razer Kiyo, which the company really aimed at content creators and streamers. For around PHP 5,000, this webcam provides a lot of value. First is the ring light that it comes with, this is a feature not found in competitors. The ring light makes a lot of difference when it comes to video quality and the Kiyo provides it in spades. For streamers out there who like their room dark with some RGB, the lighting on the Kiyo will come in handy and will give you good quality streams. It can stream 720p at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps and is certified to work with popular streaming apps such as OBS and XSplit.
Check out the Razer Kiyo right here.
Now we go to the higher end of the spectrum with the Elgato Facecam. This webcam can stream uncompressed 1080p 60fps video. It uses a Sony STARVIS sensor that is very good at capturing detail in low light situations. The picture quality on this device is excellent and there are a lot of manual controls available to more advanced users using their Camera Hub software. The Elgato Facecam offers a step up in terms of video quality compared to the previously mentioned ones but of course that comes at a price. If you’re a user that doesn’t want to fiddle around and dive into buying a dedicated DSLR or mirrorless camera as a webcam then this is a good middle ground that is easily accessible.
You can find the Elgato Facecam here.
Lastly, if you want to start seriously streaming and pour in a bit of money into it then buying yourself a dedicated camera for streaming is your best bet for the best quality possible. You can check out our list of best cameras for content creators as these cameras can be used as webcams as well to improve your streams.
Audio Technica ATR2500x
The Audio Technica ATR2500x is a no frills good quality mic from a trusted audio brand. The ATR2500x doesn’t have fluff at all, no RGB here guys but it does offer all you need in a good quality microphone. The metal body of the device feels sturdy and will last you for a long time, a simple blue LED that just notifies you when it’s turned on, and a USB Type C connection. The condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern offers extremely clean vocal audio which is very important for live streaming. It picks up your natural voice very clearly and doesn’t compress it like a lot of others do. It doesn’t pick up a lot of noise from around you as well despite being a condenser microphone. I tried testing it while gaming and my teammates couldn’t hear my noisy mechanical keyboard while playing which says something. Sure, there are similarly priced microphones in this segment that offer a lot of fluff like RGB and other things but if you’re looking for a microphone that just does the job well then you don’t need to look further than the Audio Technica ATR2500x.
JBL Quantum Stream
Alright, let’s not alienate those who want a bit of flare from their microphones. The JBL Quantum Stream is a newly released device that features dual voice pattern pickup. You can switch between a cardioid microphone which is perfect for just one voice, or you can choose the omnidirectional pattern for capturing more of your surroundings, like a live performance. It has a built in volume control but no headphone jack for live monitoring. It has a customizable LED that will also glow red when you are on mute. Speaking of mute, you can just tap the microphone on top and it’ll mute itself automatically, perfect for when someone barges into your room mid stream. For more specific and detailed controls of the microphone you need to download JBL’s QuantumENGINE app at allows you to adjust the EQ, RGB, color and polar patterns. It offers clean vocal quality that might just be a bit sensitive at times, but for the price, you get a lot of features in this small form factor USB microphone.
To know more about the JBL Quantum Stream check it out here.
Let’s take it a step up in price point and talk about the Shure MV7. This microphone is Shure’s first USB/XLR hybrid microphone and it really does deliver. It’s the little brother of a microphone we’re going to be talking about later, but you don’t get a lot of compromises here. The MV7 gives you professional-grade audio whether using the XLR input or the USB. The ShurePlus MOTIV app really unlocks the potential of this microphone. You won’t end up getting disappointed if you just use the built-in auto mode of the app. It can detect your position relative to the mic and optimizes the settings. The MV7 delivers clean audio, whether you’re just streaming a game or even playing musical instruments with it, the MV7 delivers excellent quality audio we expect from the brand.
Check it out here.
Ah yes, the legend, the Shure SM7B. If you’ve watched professional streamers, podcasters, and content creators then you’ve probably seen the SM7B. It’s not cheap though and you’re going to need an audio interface or a mixer to use this microphone but the sound it gives you is just excellent. It doesn’t pick up a lot of background noise, it clearly picks up your voice so it’s perfect for streaming, voice overs, singing, etc. It has a built-in suspension system as well that absorbs shocks if you accidentally hit it or the table it’s mounted on to and is designed and built so well. It’s a microphone that is hard to describe as it just the go-to microphone of most professionals, so don’t just take my word for it, watch a podcast on YouTube and listen for yourself.
Spot the Shure SM7B right here.
The Godox ES45 is a budget all in one lighting solution that is specifically aimed at streamers. It has a 14 x 9 x 2” panel that outputs soft light that is flattering to any kind of skin tone and complexion. The great thing about the ES45 is that it comes with a wireless remote that allows you to change the color temperature of the light from 2800K to 6500K, and change the power as well. Even at 20% the light of this device can be blinding already. Some people would prefer to have two of these at both sides of their setup but I say just use one, it gets bright enough already. The Godox ES45 is a great option for those on a budget and don’t want to go up the ladder to the more expensive Elgato lights.
This E-sports lighting can be purchased here.
Elgato Key Light Air
The Elgato Key Light Air is a great small form factor solution for streamers. The panel can go up to 1400 lumens and have a color range of 2900K to 7000K. It is very versatile as well allowing you to control the lights from your PC, your phone, or a separate Elgato Stream Deck. It’s very simple to set up and they have multiple adjustments as well, you can tilt the head and there is height adjustment as well. They offer a soft light for pleasing skin tones in just about any situation and they aren’t harsh on the eyes as well. Lastly, the Key Light Air is powered mainly by USB, so you don’t need a separate outlet to use the device. The only con I can think of is that you might need two of these to achieve optimal results for your lighting.
Check out the Elgato Key Light Air here.
Elgato Ring Light
The Elgato Ring Light is great for streamers and content creators who need versatile lighting that is flexible. The Ring Light features a desk stand that allows you to cleanly mount it behind your monitor and a camera mount right in the middle that supports even bigger DSLR cameras. The Ring Light is adjustable via the app or the ring light itself and is a great option for users who need to look at the camera regularly while streaming.
The Ring Light is available here.
Elgato 4K60 Pro/4K60 S+
Both of these are high end capture cards that allow you to record your streams or gameplay easily. The 4K60 Pro connects to your internal PCIe slot and can capture up to 4K 60fps, while the 4K60 S+ can capture straight to an SD card as it is an external capture card. So if you want the best quality recordings of your streams then you can’t go wrong with either of this.
You can get yourself the capture card here.
Elgato HD60 S+
See a trend here? For mainstream streamers this HD60 is the way to go, it can capture up to 1080p 60fps and is powered by USB Type-C. It’s a bit on the older side when it comes to capture cards as it can capture really high refresh rates but for most streamers, it’s your best bet for high quality recordings.
Check out the Elgato HD60 S+ here.
The entire lineup of Streamdeck’s offers users an easy way to control your stream with just a button press. You can customize it almost any way you like. If you want to play certain sounds at different moments you can set it up that way. The software of Elgato is super easy to use as well and is very beginner friendly. You can start out with the 15-key version of the Streamdeck but if that’s not enough there is the Streamdeck XL which offers 32 keys.
The Streamdeck is available here.
So there you go, these are just a few of our suggestions when it comes to starting your streaming setup. There’s a bit of trial and error for everybody when setting up their stream and it does evolve over time but I hope this list could set you guys off to the right path from the start. The hardest part about live streaming is actually getting it started, so we’re excited to see what you guys come up with and see you in your future streams!