Best Tech for Twitch Streaming 2018
My tech purchases are typically backed by a ton of careful research, so perhaps my buying habits can rub off on you — thus improving the quality of your own Twitch broadcasts. And with that said, prepare to have your wallet on standby. You might have a bit of spending to do.
The products below are not listed in any kind of particular order.
PC Capable of Streaming
Yeah, I know — this kind of goes without saying. I'm going to put it out there, anyway... You are going to need a PC that is well spec'd and optimized for streaming. Whether it's a custom gaming PC that you built yourself or a spare PC used primarily for streaming, it's important that you're using something that is capable of outputting a quality broadcast for your viewers.
Check out my dedicated My Gaming PC playlist for an in-depth guide on building a custom gaming PC. I walk you through how to assemble the parts inside a PC case, install a liquid CPU cooler, and more.
If you're a Twitch streamer and you are only using a single monitor, I have one question for you... Are you crazy?!
Seriously though, dual monitors are a must-have for any serious gamer. Having a dedicated monitor to display your chat room and broadcast preview is huge. I cannot express how critical this is. Not only does this give you more flexibility in being able to put out a quality broadcast, but it just makes things a whole lot easier to manage. No longer would you be required to alt-tab for the simplest tasks.
Personally, I've been loving the Dell Gaming S2716DGR. In fact, I love it so much that I decided to buy a second one. Now I proudly own dual 27-inch monitors with an impressive 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. I'm telling you... Once you go 144Hz, you'll never want to go back to using a 60Hz monitor. The difference in performance is monumental and definitely something that should not be ignored.
But of course, not everyone is comfortable spending nearly $500 on a single monitor. If saving money is your thing, then definitely look into buying the Dell M27BLK. This monitor doesn't feature a 144Hz refresh rate, but at least it uses a 27-inch panel and slim profile — two specs that are important to me when deciding on a new monitor.
Condenser Microphone w/ Audio Interface
As I've made clear in past Twitch tips videos of mine, audio plays a crucial role in any form of broadcast. Without good audio, you've got nothing. This is why you'll want to be sure to use a quality microphone that can be trusted.
I use the Audio-Technica AT2035. It's a condenser microphone, meaning it's designed to capture any audio that is directly within range. In other words, the AT2035 focuses on your voice and does not distract viewers with unnecessary background noise. It does use XLR, as opposed to USB, so it requires an audio interface of some kind to function. For my setup, I am using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Generation), and it's been fantastic.
Similar to using a quality microphone, you'll want to make sure you treat yourself to a good pair of headphones. Most users are likely okay with the headphones that come included with their iPhone. But gamers? Different story. You deserve an experience that is so much better. While you don't exactly need to spend hundreds of dollars, I'm still going to recommend the Sennheiser HD 650. The soundstage is large, comfort level is nice, and you can just tell you're using a quality product when wearing them.
If gaming headsets are more your thing, then consider looking into the ASTRO Gaming A40. This noise-canceling headset is built specifically with gamers in mind. It features quality audio, lightweight construction, and even a swappable microphone.
Chances are good that you plan on streaming your console games alongside PC. Thankfully, doing so is incredibly easy if you use a capture card. I have been using the Elgato Game Capture HD60 Prosince my PC was built, and it's been amazing. The setup process is fairly straightforward and easy to understand, so you'll be up and running in no time. For the USB alternative, look into the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S.
To make your console streaming experience even more effortless, I highly recommend you buy yourself a reliable HDMI switch. This will allow you to seamlessly switch between consoles automatically, which can be really convenient if you want to quickly change things up for your stream. You'll want to have access to four HDMI ports at a time, so check out the Zettaguard 4-Port HDMI Switch.
And finally, we cannot forget about a webcam to use for your facecam. Displaying a facecam in your streams isn't for everyone, but I definitely recommend giving it a try. I use the Logitech C922xand love it. Simple as that.
You may have noticed that I decided to not list the Elgato StreamDeck. While it's a great piece of hardware that can make interacting with your streams more interesting, I don't look at it as a necessity. Either way, it's still something you might want to consider.
So, how's your wallet looking? If you find yourself restricted to focusing on one thing at a time, I would recommend starting with dual monitors. It can be a bit of an investment at first, but I can assure you it's money well spent.