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I suspect that high school audio-visual clubs became outdated once teachers realized their students knew a lot more about emerging technologies than they did. This would have happened in the late ’90s, as personal computers, the internet, cameras and microphones began to become widely available, and teens tinkering with their bedrooms could single-handedly create works of art and designs. digital intrigues.
These days, Twitch and YouTube are the A / V club of the world. These sites are home to millions of hours of creativity, comedy, and personal connection delivered live, all with in-house but high production values. And, of course, a lot of video games.
It doesn’t take much to start broadcasting. Using open source software like OBS, you can go live with just a laptop or cell phone, but if you want to compete with your favorite streamers, you’ll need a few extra gear. Here we’ve outlined the equipment you’ll need to start building your streaming empire, and in the interest of college-age budgets, we’ve kept most of the picks below $ 200. (Except one. Try not to gasp when you see him.)
In homage to the A / V clubs of yesteryear, we’ve broken things down into two categories: audio and visual. Let’s start with these sweet sounds.
This is the best option if you want a standalone mic. The Yeti by Blue has been a longtime favorite with streamers and podcasters, delivering crisp sound with little fuss. The Blue is a USB microphone, so it plugs right into your computer and you’re good to go. A word of advice: use the cardioid setting for streaming.
Buy a Yeti Mic at Best Buy – $ 130
If you go for a mic like the Blue, you’ll also need a headset. Feel free to use whatever buds or cups you have on hand, but once these get extremely uncomfortable (as they will after hours of streaming) invest in something like the MDR-7506 from Sony. They are designed for audio professionals and designed to be worn for long periods of time.
Buy Sony MDR-7506 on Amazon – $ 95
Steelseries Arctis 1 wireless
For those who wish less to add pops of color to their streams, there is always the Steelseries Arctis 1 Wireless headset. This is the only wireless option on our list, as wired is still the best way to ensure a consistent and clear connection. However, the Arctis 1 works well with PC, Mac, Android, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch devices (sorry, Xbox streamers).
Buy Arctis 1 from Best Buy – $ 100
Or, get your headphones and microphone in one package with a headset like the Logitech G433. This baby is light and strong, and offers clear audio output thanks to a noise-canceling boom microphone and micro-pop filter. In addition, it comes in pretty colors.
Buy Logitech G433 on Amazon – $ 129
Razer Ripsaw HD
It’s one of the more expensive items on our list, but capture cards are necessary for serious streamers and the Razer Ripsaw HD is at the top of its game. The Ripsaw HD is essentially a plug-and-play device that works with PCs and consoles. It records and streams your gameplay at up to 1080p and 60FPS, while allowing you to play at 4K and 60FPS, convenient for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X gamers in particular.
Buy Ripsaw HD at Best Buy – $ 160
How about a ccc-combo camera deal? Razer’s Kiyo is a miniature HD camera and ring light in a compact body, capable of streaming at 720p and 60FPS, or 1080p and 30FPS. The Kiyo is great for tight spaces with a lack of natural lighting, and as an added bonus, it costs about as much as streaming cameras that don’t have additional lighting features. Lighting is a key aspect of creating professional-looking videos, so just think of the Kiyo as a real-world Photoshop.
Buy Razer Kiyo on Amazon – $ 199
Logitech C922 HD Camera
If you don’t need help with the lighting service, the Logitech C922 HD camera is a reliable, high-quality choice. This baby also streams at 720p and 60FPS, or 1080p and 30FPS, and he has a 78-degree field of view. It should be fine for two people in one go, so feel free to start some local co-op games. It also includes two microphones and promises to stream audio without interruption, but if you can get a separate mic, that’s still your best bet.
Buy Logitech C922 Pro from Best Buy – $ 105
OK, this one is definitely not what you would call “user friendly”, but we thought it would be good to include something under the “goals” category. The Fujifilm X-T3 is for people looking to sustain their workflows, damn the cost – though it’s still priced right for a compact mirrorless rig. The X-T3 captures videos up to 4K and 60FPS, and it can reach Cinema 4K at 30FPS. Plus, it has fantastic autofocus and face detection features, so your face stays in focus while you play. The X-T3 is a beloved watch for photographers and videographers, and streamers could be its next big market.
However, if you opt for a mirrorless or DSLR camera, you will need a few additional accessories, including a cam link and a tripod.
Buy Fujifilm X-T3 on Amazon – $ 1,000
Elgato 4K Camera Link
Once you’ve put down a mirrorless or DSLR camera, you’ll need a way to direct that video into your stream – and that’s where the Elgato Cam Link 4K comes in. Most streamers today limit their videos to 1080p or 720p, but Elgato’s Cam Link is prepared for a future where 4K is the norm. This should be the only camera connection device you will ever need for years to come.
Buy Elgato Cam Link 4K on Amazon – $ 195
Fantastic magic arm
It securely holds your camera. It is discreet. It’s pretty cute. What more do you need in a tripod?
Buy Fantaseal Magic Arm on Amazon – $ 35
Neewer dimmable LED lamp
And finally, the lighting. Adjustable LED panels like Neewer’s Dimmable LED Light should work well for most streaming situations, delivering crisp light in a portable package. This particular model sits right on your desk or attaches to a tripod, and it comes with a white diffuser for a soft, perfect glow. Go for an LED panel especially if you wear streaming glasses.
Buy Neewer LED Light on Amazon – $ 70
Neewer Dimmable Ring Light
Let’s finish with a classic. The Neewer Dimmable Ring Light is a sturdy, no-frills device that will light up your face even in the darkest dorm rooms. This set includes an 18 inch dimmable ring light and white and orange plastic filters. Plus, it will give you that iconic “circle of light in your irises” look.
Buy the Neewer Ring Light on Amazon – $ 65