Streaming has become one of the best ways to build and sustain an audience nowadays.
If you do something that the world loves to watch, you can start a part-time or full-time career in streaming. It does not have to be gaming all the time.
As you know, thousands of streamers show various content, such as their music skills or woodworking skills. In the end, your success in streaming depends on if you can entertain your audience.
However, to fulfill this essential requirement, you need a suitable set of streaming equipment. Some devices on the list would be crucial, while others are optional but can add value. In this article, though, we have made an ultimate list of streaming equipment one needs in 2021.
Essential Streaming Equipment You Need
Below are the ten pieces of streaming equipment you need to get started.
#1 A Desktop or Laptop
In case you are wondering, you can stream content using your smartphone or tablet PC, but the options will not be ideal. Therefore, you should have a fully-fledged laptop or desktop to get started with streaming.
You can use these devices to stream via popular platforms like Twitch and YouTube without a hassle. There is no single perfect streaming computer, but you can choose between the available options.
If you want to stream your music or instrumental skills, you are good with an entry-level high-end PC. But, if you are into the game-streaming scene, you will probably need a maximum-performance system with more RAM, faster SSD storage, and dedicated graphics. You can choose between a desktop or laptop based on whether you need a portable streaming setup.
#2 Webcam or Camera
Unless you are a faceless streamer, you need a webcam or professional camera for the streaming setup. The idea is to provide the best viewing experience to the audience. Depending on how much money you can pay for a camera, you can choose a primary 1080p Full HD camera or a fully-fledged 4K DSLR camera. Nowadays, connecting both these cameras to your streaming system would not be a challenging task.
There are a few constraints, though. Most streaming-based webcams come with easy-to-access controls. It will be easy for you to control the angle, field of view, and video output. You can plug-and-play everything as well. However, if you use a GoPro or DSLR to capture the streaming content, you will have to find a way to integrate everything into the stream.
As we said earlier, streaming is about entertaining the audience. If you think your skills — gaming, carpentry, singing, or whatever — alone would do that, you may be wrong. Occasionally, you have to interact with your audience and make them stick around. It is why you need a microphone as one of the essential tools for streaming.
If you already have a high-end gaming headset, you may not need a dedicated streaming microphone. Still, you can expect advanced features like noise cancelation, sound isolation, switchable pickup patterns, etc., when you get a standalone streaming mic. If you decide to expand to podcasting or other forms of content creation in the future, this mic will be helpful.
You can use headphones for two primary purposes while streaming. First, you will have to listen to your game or application audio. Two, you can monitor the sound that your microphone is picking up. Given that most games require auditory attention, we believe a good pair of headphones is an essential tool for a streaming setup.
You must be more careful while choosing a pair of headphones, though. First, you have to pick a device you can use for continuous hours. Extra padding and proper ventilation are some noteworthy features you can have in the package. If you are into music production streaming, you may need a high-end device to fulfill the best needs.
#5 A Decent Network
Nothing is worse than having to stop your stream due to internet issues. Therefore, you should ensure the best network environment before you start streaming. While you can rely on Wi-Fi connectivity, moving to wired connections will be a better move. You must also ensure that your own devices do not interfere with each other.
Therefore, if you have too many Wi-Fi-enabled devices, you should arrange them in different channels. For each of these devices, you need a considerable speed and minimal latency. We are also talking about an impressive mixture of download and upload speeds. You may need a high-end Wi-Fi router or network hub according to these needs.
#6 A Hassle-free Space
A disturbance-free space is also one thing you need for a seamless streaming experience. You must approach this from the audio and video points of view. From the audio perspective, the room should not have too much disturbance. Only then will you be able to pick up the best sound through the microphone. Even though some microphones can isolate your vocals, it may not be an absolute relief.
You should arrange the room to bring the best view possible from the video perspective. Getting rid of glare and other disturbances is the best place to start. Adding lighting and RGB options are great, but they should not distract your audience from the core content. As you can guess, setting up a hassle-free space would be beneficial in boosting your workflow as well.
#7 Audio Mixer or Interface
It may seem like an excessive addition for basic streamers, but that is not entirely correct. If you are into music streaming, you will have to connect multiple audio sources and mix the content. To handle this, you will need a dedicated audio mixer or interface. The best part? You need not spend a considerable amount to get one of these devices.
There may be an option to adjust everything through a software-based solution, but they are not as easy as they seem. You may also need a different device to handle audio processing. On the other hand, if you get a dedicated audio mixer or interface, you can use the knobs and easy-to-use buttons for management. An audio mixer will help you save a lot of time in the end.
#8 Streaming Software
Regardless of what you are streaming, you should have streaming software installed on your computer. As you can guess, many free solutions are available, including the most popular one: OBS. This type of software allows you to bring audio/video content from multiple sources and convert everything to a single stream. It is also possible to set up overlays.
If you are looking for advanced features and customization, you can check out alternatives from the market. While doing so, you may have access to interaction options as well. Nevertheless, you must check if the tool you have chosen works with Twitch, YouTube, or another streaming platform you use. Finally, the software interface must be easy to handle.
You cannot ignore the visual appeal of your stream while choosing the instruments. It is why you will have to include some lighting or RGB lighting options. You cannot expect your audience to look at subpar-quality images and stay in your stream. Therefore, you will have to set up the camera visuals with proper lighting and sensitivity.
In the end, lighting and RGB options are easy to afford. You can customize these options according to your needs as well. We also recommend getting ring lights and tripods that can help you stabilize the supply. Of course, most of these abilities depend on the other instruments you have chosen as a part of the streaming gear.
#10 Mounting Gear
Last but not least, you cannot ignore the impact of mounting gear as essential streaming equipment. To keep things simple and accessible, you will have to arrange everything properly. For instance, you must set up the camera at an angle that brings a comprehensive view of the streaming environment. In the same way, you must place the microphone to pick up the required sounds.
The problem with some streaming accessories is that you may not always get mounting hardware. In such cases, you will have to purchase mounting gear separately. Even though these nifty tools may cost you some more dollars, you can save money in the long run. When you think about it, spending a little more is always better than rearranging things amidst the stream.
Optional Streaming Equipment You May Need
Unlike the first pick, the streaming equipment listed below is optional, but they add enormous value.
A Separate PC
If you are into hardcore game streaming, you may need a dedicated PC for streaming. It will be challenging to play the game and stream the content.
To increase your ease of use and productivity, you can set up a secondary PC. As you can guess, this device will make things a lot faster.
A stream deck is an excellent option for managing a stream. A stream deck is a set of buttons that you can assign to different actions. Therefore, instead of selecting the options from the screen, you can press a button. Some of the actions could be appreciating your donors or celebrating a win.
A Green Screen
If you want to step up your streaming game, you can consider adding some effects to the final footage. A green screen will thus come in handy.
You can use the space and the right set of video editing suites to generate the best possible streaming environment. If you want to show the stream footage on the inset of the gameplay, a green screen will be a convenient choice.
Video Capture Solutions
Depending on the character of your stream, you may have to capture video content from multiple sources. You would also need a dedicated video capture tool to catch up in such instances.
We recommend getting some of the best video capture cards since they can impact the overall quality of the stream.
A well-designed and customizable lighting kit are one of the best streaming gear you can have at this point. These kits may come with multiple types of lights and customizable intensity.
So, you would not have a problem optimizing the lighting setup to meet your needs. You can also set up the most appropriate ambiance for the stream.
Mobile Streaming Suite
Twitch and many other platforms allow you to set up an utterly mobile streaming setup. It may come in handy if you would like to capture something from the outside.
The devices in these kits will connect to the Wi-Fi automatically and start streaming. Even though they might compromise the customizability, they are neat to set up and use.
An Advanced Camera
When you step up your streaming game, you should also get a fully-fledged DSLR camera for capturing the content. You can also consider purchasing some accessories such as a wide-view lens, which would enable a comprehensive view of the streaming setup. It will improve the streaming quality.
Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
If you are into game streaming, you can also get an excellent keyboard and a mouse. Both these will help you increase your proficiency in the game and manage the streaming setup. Even if you are not streaming, we recommend getting a Pro-level mouse like the MX Master 3, which comes with customizable buttons.
As you can see, much of the equipment we have covered is quite a niche. You would not need them unless you are into streaming a specific type of content. However, if you are into the stuff, you can save time and effort.
With the first ten pieces of streaming equipment, you would have a good enough environment to get started in the scene.
Then, as you gain more followers and a consistent audience, you can get the upgrades we have mentioned in the second section.
By the way, we have not mentioned some crucial things you need, such as an insane amount of confidence and the ability to turn even the simple things into something entertaining.