Streaming is a job like any other. Professional streamers spend hours preparing material, streaming, and doing other related stuff. But what makes a streamer a professional? Charisma and exciting content? Sure, but it’s definitely not everything. Essentially, your stream is a sound overlayed on a video, so you should look and sound presentable to make your stream engaging and viral. It means you need top-notch gear like ASMR Microphones and good setting skills. Wanna find out more? Let’s look at streaming gear in more detail.
What Hardware to Choose?
To run a stream, you need hardware to process everything you plan to. There are 3 main types of hardware: smartphones, gaming consoles, and computers.
Streaming from your smartphone is perfect if you are traveling or just out for a walk, but the quality is mediocre at best. Also, don’t forget about the importance of internet stability and speed. Usually, smartphone streams are limited to 720p to maintain a stable internet connection. And yes, you will definitely need a power bank. Twitch streaming is very energy-consuming.
However, the most crucial limitation is that you can forget about streaming console and PC games using a smartphone. Nevertheless, the Twitch app supports mobile games. As an option, you can shoot the screen with the PC game on or your face in focus to convey your reactions. For example, some streamers use this approach on TikTok by selecting the vertical camera screen orientation. Yes, everything will look lousy, to put it mildly, but you can still try it.
The next option is to stream on consoles like PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X / S. Alas, it won’t work with the Nintendo Switch, as it’s not powerful enough.
Streaming from consoles is quite convenient and simple. All you have to do is link your Twitch account to your console, choose a name for your stream, and start the stream. You can stream all the games that are available on PS / Xbox. You have to connect your headset to the gamepad to communicate with viewers. The exception is PlayStation 5 with a microphone built into the DualSense gamepad. It provides pretty average quality, but it’s better than nothing.
Additionally, you can connect a webcam to your console, showing yourself on the screen’s corner without shielding the gameplay. Streamers usually use this method. You can also display your stream chat and viewer count directly on the screen.
Streaming from consoles gives you all the basics you need to gain popularity. However, all additional features like notifications and chat control won’t be accessible to you. It’s a problem since many viewers are used to the extra features available on a PC.
You need a pretty powerful PC for full-fledged streaming. Streams are very demanding in terms of computing power. The more demanding the game – the more powerful PC you need. To stream modern games with cutting-edge graphics like Cyberpunk 2077, you need a PC worth at least a couple of thousand dollars.
You can also stream on Apple devices. Their optimization is slightly better, but the overall performance requirements remain high. So consider streaming on Twitch only on the latest MacBook Pro or iMac.
A simple webcam with 1080p resolution will be enough for most, given that streamers usually keep a small window with their face somewhere in the corner. However, if you’re obsessed with image quality and want the best for your audience, you can consider getting a mirrorless or DSLR camera. Streaming with an interchangeable lens camera was a little tricky a few years ago. But now, most manufacturers offer firmware updates that turn cameras into USB webcams, including the Canon EOS R.
Your audience perceives you mostly by sound since you have to speak on streams almost all the time. You can get by with a headset, but the sound quality will be much lower.
Popular streamers use professional microphones. They capture all the subtleties of your voice, and the sound can be adjusted and processed, retaining even the most minor nuances.
But the catch is that studio microphones use a unique connection interface – XLR. You can’t connect them directly to a PC. You need to buy an additional sound card. Using a sound card, you can further process the sound at the hardware level to make the voice sound better.
There are also microphones with a USB connection. They have fewer processing options, and quality-sounding options are, on average, more expensive than similar-quality XLR options. But you will obviously have less ado with USB.
You also have to buy a stand for the microphone. You can choose special adjustable table mounts (pantographs) that can be adjusted to your liking, as well as ordinary small tripods and other supports specifically for studio microphones.
If you want to play on consoles but still have access to all the benefits of streaming from a PC, you should definitely buy a capture card. The device will allow you to display the image from game consoles to PCs or laptops. It’s the only way to stream Nintendo Switch games. Start with a simple and cheaper option, and then focus on your needs.
It would be best to get a second monitor, especially if you plan to stream video games. The first monitor is for the game; the second is for controlling your broadcast and chat. Using a smartphone or an additional laptop, you won’t be able to do even half of what viewers expect from you. Thus, a second monitor is downright vital for professional streaming.
In the future, you might consider purchasing an additional small keyboard to assign hotkeys for switching scenes on the stream, music tracks, and other features. Among the extra useful stuff are a green background, stage lighting, and sound-absorbing panels to help get rid of the echo. These are the finishing touches to bring everything to perfection.