With so much streaming gear out there, from mics to cameras, it is hard to know where to start—this is why CGM has provided a handy guide to help you through the process.
In the past few years, game streaming has become a massive part of our culture. There are countless devices and gear that promise you the world, but it is hard to know what really works and what is just not worth your time. With it being the end of the year, CGMagazine has compiled a list of the best and brightest gear that should take your stream to the next level and bring a smile to anyone you know looking to get into the world of streaming.
As always, CGMagazine only endorses products that we have tested, so there are pieces of gear that while amazing, have not made it in to our office for testing. We have also tried to give a variety of options to fit all budgets so that everyone—no matter how big or small the streams may be—should find something there to usher them forward into 2020.
Maingear FORMA GT
If you plan to stream for hours on end, you need a chair that will not only support your back but also looks good on camera. Thankfully, Maingear offers a fantastic option for anyone looking to get into streaming: the FORMA GT. This $349 USD chair has most things that any gamer or video personality could need. It is well built, comfortable, and has enough extras to make it a great choice.
Shipped all in one box, the FORMA GT is easy to put together while still feeling solid and built to last. The easy to follow instructions were some of the best we have seen, and CGM managed to put our review sample together in around 15 minutes from start to finish. Using the FORMA GT was also a pleasure; it is comfortable, the included back and neck pillow make it great for a job that requires you need to be seated for long periods of time, and the fit and finish give the full chair a premium look. While built for gaming, the FORMA GT is also clean enough to fit most office environments. The black with red stitching is striking, and it never feels too “gamer” to be used by anyone simply looking for a comfortable place to sit. The plethora of adjustments also ensure that you will be comfortable no matter how you prefer to set up your work station.
At $349 USD, the FORMA GT is a great addition to any streaming setup. You can currently purchase the chair from Amazon or directly from Maingear.
For any good streaming setup, you need a good camera. There are countless options now on the market, and many promise everything under the sun. The LS Cam 313 from AverMedia looks to take some of the tedium out of getting a streaming setup ready to go.
At its core, the AverMedia LS CAM 313 is a good camera and a decent mic all in one. The setup offers an easy to handle process, and if you are already streaming console games, the AverMedia range of products may already be in your rotation. That being said, the microphone on the LS CAM 313 is not the best, and if you want to break into Twitch or take your stream to the next level it may have some limitations.
For the price of $79.99 though, the AverMedia LS CAM 313 is a great value. For those looking to enter into the world of streaming, it manages to cut out a significant portion of the complications involved. While the mic quality isn’t all that great on its own, it’s hard to argue with the value of the overall package. The LS CAM 313 is simple, easy to navigate and a great introduction to the world of streaming.
You can purchase the AverMedia LS CAM 313 on Amazon.
For the content creator looking to take their stream a little more seriously, Logitech has a camera that should make everything crystal clear. The Logitech 4K Pro Webcam looks to offer creators—or anyone in need of a webcam—access to production-level quality in a small, stylish package. The small camera offers a staggering resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels at 30 FPS, and will also stream at 1080p Full HD at either 30 FPS or 60 FPs and 720p HD at 30, 60, and 90 FPS. Logitech’s RightLight 3 with HDR will also allow the camera to work in a series of lighting conditions from bright and sunny to night and low light.
Logitech has also taken much of the stress out of the setup process. As soon as you plug it in via a USB 2.0 Type-A or USB 3.0 Type A or C, you will be up and running. There is also some solid Logitech software that will allow you to set up the cameras how you see fit. You’ll be able to fine-tune the brightness and contrast and even adjust the FOV (Field of View) to fit your needs from 90° to 78° or even 65°.
And to top it all off, the image quality is some of the best we have seen in a web-cam. Now it should be noted, it will not compete against a full DSLR or production camera, but will be in another stratosphere when compared built-in cameras. Selling for currently $179.99 CAD on Amazon, the Logitech 4K Pro Webcam is a bit of an investment, but it is also one of the best webcams you can currently buy.
You can purchase the Logitech 4K Pro Webcam at Amazon and Best Buy.
To have a good stream, you need good audio, and if the mic looks good on camera, then all the better. This is where the Razer Seiren Emote Microphone fits into the picture. This little streamer-focused mic offers much of what people loved about the Seiren X and improves on it, offering a microphone that will turn some heads.
On the surface the Seiren Emote looks very similar to the Seiren X, only this mic holds a secret—on the front of the device there is an 8X8 LED grid that can be customized and tuned to suit your streams or the events taking place around your stream. From alerts of new followers to the ability to play a specific animation once something happens within the stream, the Seiren Emote has many ways to tweak the device to fit your stream and style.
The Seiren Emote offers improvements over the Seiren X, but on the whole, it feels like an evolution rather than a revolution of the microphone. Costing around double the price of the Seiren X, if you don’t need the features and you are just starting out, you’d be better off with the cheaper option. But, if you want something to liven your stream and don’t mind paying a premium for a better-made microphone, the Seiren Emote makes a great option to any stream. It sounds great, has a fun hook, and looks great on camera. I hope we see more streamer and creator-focused gear moving forward from Razer, it could lead to some exciting new products.
You can purchase the Seiren Emote from the Razer Store for $229.99 CAD.
For years the capture card marketplace has been dominated by the likes of Elgato and AverMedia. While the two companies have continued to push each other as competitors, resulting in some great enthusiast-grade products, the lower price brackets haven’t seen nearly as much action, with the Elgato HD60 S taking home the most market share for nearly three years uncontested. Razer has recently entered into the market to stir things up with the introduction of their affordable external capture card, the Razer Ripsaw HD.
Retailing for $219.99 CAD, the Razer Ripsaw HD aims to conquer this bracket with a stronger feature set than its main competitor—but at the same price. Both the Ripsaw HD and the HD60 S record gameplay at 1080p 60 FPS no matter which platform users decide to play from, but the advantage Razer has up their sleeve is 4K 60FPS Passthrough. This additional feature means that players using an Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 Pro, or 4K capable PC won’t have to downgrade their picture quality to 1080p just to capture their gameplay, and instead can enjoy the full performance of their preferred gaming system uninterrupted.
Razer is here to take full advantage of their competitor’s glaring flaws with the Ripsaw HD, showing that players shouldn’t have to settle for lesser gaming experience just to capture their gameplay in 2019. Despite Razer’s best efforts to capitalize on fighting Elgato at the same MSRP, Elgato has already lowered the price of the HD60 S permanently by $20 CAD as a counterattack. However, this dated capture card is beginning to show its age and is in need of a new iteration to beat the picture quality of the Razer Ripsaw HD.
You can purchase the Razer Ripsaw HD from the Razer Store for $219.99 CAD.
Streaming on Twitch and Mixer with a webcam has always been possible, but if you are on the go or at an event, bringing your full recording studio can be a stressful process. It limits the portability of things and often restricts what sort of set and scene you can ultimately get going. That is where the Mevo Plus comes into the picture—a small, portable streaming camera that despite its price hits the right balance for new and experienced video personalities.
The Mevo Plus is a small self-contained camera/audio solution that with the help of the Mevo app, available for Android and iOS, can have you up and streaming in minutes. The device, standing no more than 3” in height, has been built from the ground up to be an easy, no-hassle option.
Designed to be the ideal “set up and go” device, the Mevo can be run via battery pack or from the included micro USB cable. With the optional mount base, you can set the device on a standard tripod, or if you so wish, set it and forget it on a table and get to what you love best: broadcasting to all your fans.
At a $299.99 USD base price, the Mevo Plus is not for everyone. If you are just starting out and want to give streaming a taste, a webcam will be fine for the time being. But if you already have an audience or want to up your quality game, the Mevo Plus is an invaluable tool that will more than make up for the cost in the time saving alone. They have knocked it out of the park with the Mevo Plus, and I am excited to see how the product range expands overtime.
You can buy the Mevo plus currently for $299.99 USD from shop.mevo.com.
Razer Ifrit Headset
Every once in a while a new piece of tech is created that is so revolutionary or so strange that it changes the very industry that it is in. I’m not sure if it’s revolutionary, but The Razer Ifrit is definitely the most unique headset that I’ve ever reviewed. It’s an oddity, plain and simple, and one that attempts to tackle one of the biggest issues that headphones create: the potential for ruining your hair. While Razer is no stranger to having bright colour schemes in their peripherals, the Ifrit’s design makes it arguably their most standout product to date.
The Razer Ifrit is built with streamers in mind. While headphone hair may not seem like a glaring issue for most gamers, for those creating content where they rely on their image and how they present themselves, the Ifrit actually serves a real need. Also, the Ifrit features two headset inputs, which works well if you’re someone who streams as a duo. This is also very much the perfect device for casual gamers or anyone who wants to game for a couple of hours and then go out on the town.
You can buy the Razer Ifrit via the Razer Store for $129.99 CAD.