Streaming games on Twitch, YouTube or any other service is fun – and for many, it becomes a full-time job. If you're facing streaming and want to take things to the next level, this page is for you. We have tested and suggested some of the most advanced accessory features available, including mics, cameras, lamps and other AV equipment that you will need to put in a good stream.
We will start with the selection of playback microphones and audio combinations, as sound is often the most difficult thing to know when you start streaming. Whether you're looking for a simple USB plug-and-play microphone or a professional XLR setup, our recommendations should help you find the best price options in the market from £ 50 / $ 50 to $ 400 / $ 400 it's a high end.
If broadcasting has become a serious hobby or your profession, then dedicated video resources become more useful. For our part, we tested the cameras with a minimum entry level, each less than $ 200 / $ 200, to make sure you start with the right foot.
While we have the full range of recommendations here, to maximize your potential we focus on what you will need to stream the gameplay from a single PC. That means we've left out some categories now – including useful extras like capture cards, secondary monitors and built dedicated PCs for streaming. However, we have dedicated pages of the best graphics cards and best gaming monitors that you may find useful and the FAQ section at the end of this article goes into more depth.
So with all that out, let's understand the recommendations.
The best streaming accessories for gaming on Twitch 2020
Cheap USB mic:
- Excellent audio quality for money
- Connect and play USB performance
- No physical controls or additional features
If you only have $ 50 / £ 50 to invest in to improve your recording set, you will get the most bang for your band from Blue Snowball Ice. This old mic desk provides surprisingly good audio quality, more than enough to start your streaming work. It's also easy to use – just plug it in and hit records, without any additional software or equipment to install it. However, depending on both the audio quality and features, Snowball Ice can't compare to the next-generation bracket microphone, starting at around $ 100 / £ 100.
Best mic for streaming: HyperX QuadCast or Blue Yeti X
- Detailed audio quality in four recording patterns
- QuadCast and Yeti X include features for easy-to-tap taping
- All three options come with a built-in stack, even though the boom arm is optional
The QuadCast is the best type of USB microphone we have received for streaming with its excellent audio quality and its long list of well-made features. There are four recording modes on offer – cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional and commirectional – as well as a physical dial, allowing the mic to be converted into one sound source or multiple voices with ease. These condenser filters, so the transmitted sound is detailed, but it's also very easy to pick out the external sound, especially if your microphone is far from your mouth.
Being able to mute your sound quickly can be important, and the Quadcast tapping system – coupled with blurring the entire microphone – is the best implementation we've seen. Other useful features include an internal and external validation filter p and b noises do not lead to annoying ripping, horrible mounts built into a desk rendering area and uninspired noise monitoring. The only real danger here is that the LED light is not optional and the automatic stop is short, so it is recommended to use a boom arm or other mount.
The Blue Yeti is an alternative with the same focus on recording detailed sounds and four recording patterns to choose from, but the Yeti has a great look and comes in a variety of colors. The 3.5mm hair jack insert is effective, because it means you can mount headphones to properly monitor what the mic is hearing. The standard Yeti does not have a built-in pop filter and its dumb light is clearer than that of a Quadcast, but it offers slightly better audio quality at the same price.
In the meantime, the Yeti X is the latest version and features a new USB volume meter and a multi-function control knob up front, making it easy to turn a dial dial to the correct flight levels. Yeti X comes with Logitech & # 39; s G Hub software, including complete options for adjusting the tone and removing annoying sonic origin art, including edits from the popular stream. It is more expensive than the original Quadcast or Yeti, but broadly we think it is worth the premium.
The cheapest XLR mic: Audio-Technica AT2020
- Warm, straightforward sounds
- Professionally, it's almost an unknown look
- It allows access to the complex yet dynamic XLR ecosystem
The AT2020 is the most popular XLR XLR entry system, which offers the possibility of a much clearer sound if you are willing to put together the equipment needed to operate. All that comes in the box is the mic, bag and stand adapter, so you'll need to provide at least an XLR cable, stand and a connector or mixer that provides at least 48V of phantom power. When all of these components are in place, your reward is warm, with specific sounds that work well for broadcast or voice work.
Best XLR images for streaming: Rode Procaster or Shure SM7B
- The technical quality of the technical range has an imminent effect
- A solid microphone means unwanted background noise
- Need to set something up, including the audio interface and boom arms
If you are willing to use more, there are better XLR microphones also available. The two we recommend are both dynamic microphones, better equipped to separate your voice compared to the Quadcast, Yeti and AT2020 condenser mics that we looked at earlier. This is great for streaming games, because it means that background sounds like the clatter of your keyboard or your housemates won't ring loud.
The first is the Rode Procaster, which also includes a built-in pop shield and provides a very clean sound, especially when the mic is only a few inches away from your mouth. The Procaster typically comes with the microphone itself and is heavy, so consider taking a good boom arm (such as the excellent Rode & # 39; s PSA1) to make sure it stays in the right spot of choice.
Our second recommendation is the Shure SM7B. This popular microphone is used by audio operators of all stripes, including artists and radio recorders, and is a favorite of broadcasters as well. The quality here is top notch, and you can approach the mic with a warm tone if you like. It requires a fair amount of gain, so choosing a high-quality audio interface (like the other examples below) is important.
The best streaming interface: GoXLR / GoXLR Mini
- A simple audio interface between one and the mix solution
- Unsurprisingly good for ports, last but not least
- It is reasonably priced, but buying individual items can be expensive
The TC Helicon GoXLR is the most user-friendly interface we have tested on flowers, providing 48V phantom power to the XLR microphone and up to 70dB of driving value in almost every marketplace. While the GoXLR is more expensive than the simple use of equivalent sound quality, the additional use of hardware controls such as faders, buttons and rods in this unit is great. Combined with the system performance benefits of achieving your mixing and rotation with Hardware rather than software, and you're left with a convincing package.
Impressive sound effects and controls are backed up by a powerful tool – and somehow – software that allows the microphone to be sold internally and a number of functionality to be made to make your voice heard the way you want it to. You can also adjust how the audio is transmitted to any USB unit audio devices. For example, you can put your game on one audio device, your mic on another, your conversation on another. You can also set up different sounds and samples, if that's your style. Finally, the lighting is reversible, making it a great visual supplement.
While the original GoXLR is impressive, the smaller GoXLR Mini offers the best value for money. The ports and hardware performance remain unchanged on the Mini, even though you lose the sample and control results from the right side. In fact, these are the most important parts of the unit, so it's an acceptable sacrifice given the huge difference in price.
Good streaming camera: Logitech C920
- Provide clear video with autofocus at 1080p30 or 720p60
- It easily calculates on most monitors and laptops
- It includes a microphone, but we recommend a dedicated mic if possible
While the most popular florists regularly use multi-mirror cameras, DSLRs or action cameras to record video, usually captured on Cam Link, simple USB webcams are the best way to get the most out of Twitch broadcast.
The most popular – and your favorite – option is the Logitech C920, a well-built webcam that is easy to reach for most viewers and offers standard video at 1080p 30fps or 720p 60fps. It is considerably faster than standard USB budget webcams, and is much better than web cameras built on most laptops. Including a microphone, though we recommend choosing a USB microphone or XLR (especially one of the ones listed above) when you can.
If you have a lot of money to spend but don't want the hassle of setting up a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, then a high-end web browser can sound good. The best webcam we have ever tested is Logitech StreamCam, which offers high-quality 1080p 60fps video in a convenient package. However, there are a few gotchas – the connection here is USB-C, so you'll need an adapter or USB-C port left for your computer, and there's no privacy hack to block camera view – you'll need to physically disconnect it instead. However, improvements in video quality and frame rate can make the extra cost worth it.
Best light bulb for broadcast: Neewer Softbox or Elgato Key Light
- Softboxes are cheaper and more efficient, but take up more space
- Elgato Key Light and Key Light Air are pieces, but they are compact and light
When developers of the first game find their site on Justin.tv – the site that will be Twitch – they often use fluorescent lamps and soft boxes to get good lighting conditions. These were powerful and produced a lot of heat, but they got the job done. Today, LED lights can provide that healthy light without the heat associated with the heat, whether you prefer soft boxes to use bulb light or panel lights for a more compact setup.
If you have a few feet of space behind your desk, a soft box method can produce excellent results. There are a lot of ready-made items by retailers like Amazon; we like this one in the Neer that features two lamps and costs about $ 65. Depending on the color temperature, the shift after each light allows you to rotate between a warm 2700K and a 5500K neutral, while the knot allows you to adjust the brightness. These lamps feature a built-in fan to help with cooling equipment, but they should not be heard on your microphone from afar where you will be working.
If you would like a simple and easy solution that still produces great results, then Elgato Key Light is an excellent choice. These lamps are slightly larger than paper and offer 2800 lumens, which can be changed from a warm 2900K to a 7000K clinic. The setup is very inexpensive, with the lights stuck to the side of your desk, watching you by phone for the height you need and measuring to find the right corner. From here, you can connect to the lights via Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only) and control them on their software or on the Elgato Stream Deck. The Elgato Key Light is expensive, especially if you choose a pair, but being able to adjust your lighting from your desktop makes the premium feel important.
There's also a small Key Light Air, which sits on your desk instead of clinging and produces 1400 reputable lamps throughout the same range of color temperatures. This is a good choice if you are looking for a simple and integrated lighting solution at a low price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which PC do I need to stream?
In general, today's PCs can handle the additional requirements of a decent streaming, thanks to embedded Hardware media such as Nvidia & # 39; s NVENC and the prevalence of multi-core processors. So, if you can run your favorite game in good measure with the framework and have a modern gaming machine, streaming should not introduce too much saturation.
For the processor, we recommend today's Ryzen 3000-series CPU if you have built a PC from scratch to play and stream, since the additional tours offered by Ryzen are very useful and these systems fit well with the cheap B350 boards. The six-speed Ryzen 5 3600 is a good value option, but there are issues to be made for the eight-3700X, 12-core 3900X and even the 16-core 3950X. However, some games still work very well on Intel CPUs, which tend to offer fewer cores but higher frequencies than those similar to AMD. Here, the latest Core i5, Core i7 or Core i9 should work well.
With graphics cards, the latest NVENC on the RTX 20-series and GTX 16-Series cards are much more advanced than its AMD, but cards from any manufacturer can work well. You can see our collection of superb graphics cards here.
Alternatively, the speed of your internet connection will limit the bitrate, configuration and frame rate you can use. It's better to connect your computer directly to your router via ethernet cable rather than using wireless to get the most out of your connection, especially if you have high-speed fiber broadband. As with most things, spend some time testing the speed and robustness of your internet connection, and consider improving if you can stream at least 720p at 30fps – at 1080p at 60fps which is a good fit.
What is the most important broadcast extension?
We can say that good sound quality is very important, considering that you spend the majority of your time in the game. After the audio is edited, consider upgrading to a webcam in the middle range and adding lights if necessary. A second monitor, streaming controls (such as the Elgato Stream Deck or Corsair K95 Platin XT keyboard) and a capture card from the likes of Avermedia or Elgato can also be helpful.
For that second monitor, we recommend a price-based option – something 1080p and 60fps will work just fine. If you have a good budget for this, then an IPS screen with multiple viewing angles works well, and larger screens with higher resolution will give you more real estate to set up your chat window, preview windows and other controls.
Which microphone accessories are helpful?
There are a variety of accessories we can talk about, but most importantly new arrivals are boom arms and pop filters. Instead of relying on short trains fitted with multiple USB and XLR microphones, the right adjustable arm makes it easier to set your microphone to capture your voice without taking too much of your screen (when playing a game) or your camera's view (when streaming). When adjusting your arm, consider the style of your microphone.
The side address microphone, such as the Blue Yeti, works best when talking in one direction, while the upper address microphones should be pinned directly to your mouth. We used the Blue Compass arm and the Radius 3 shock Mount to test this microphone, but there are many other options available at this price point range.
Pop filters and air shields are the next supplement to consider, as they reduce the impact of the placement – it sounds like p and b harsh to the ears when recorded with an empty microphone. Pop filters and air shields are usually installed on your mic or boom arm, and need to be installed between you and your mic to work.
For the XLR cosmetics, you'll also need an audio interface (such as the aforementioned GoXLR or the Focusrite Scarlett linked below) and an XLR male cable for women to amplify your microphone.
Is it better to use USB or XLR?
If you are going to use your single mic on your PC, then the USB microphone is ready – plug and play, with no additional equipment required. XLR mics need to be connected through the audio interface, but this allows you to install other audio equipment such as multiple microphones or mixers. For starters, USB is the way to go, while the XLR might be a better choice for dedicated content creators looking for room to grow into advanced settings. You can also distinguish the difference – take an XLR mic, but use a simple XLR on the USB adapter until you have imported the right audio interface.
What platforms can I use?
The aforementioned USB mics will work great out-of-the-box on Windows, MacOS and PS4, while XLR mics will need to be connected to an adapter or a USB output interface for the same purpose. The Xbox One doesn't support USB mics, unfortunately.