Many people today have been inspired to become streamers and broadcast games to the masses via platforms such as YouTube or Twitch. While you can definitely get started with a minimal setup, if you are taking streaming seriously you will want the very best equipment to present professional, high quality content to your audience.
There are many different types of equipment that you will need to provide the very best streams including computers, microphones, cameras, lighting, monitors and more. Managing a stream while presenting live can be a tricky task, since you will need to flick between games, your chat box, stream settings, music controls and more.
Ordinarily, you would need to do this manually on your system, but that is where the Elgato Stream Deck comes in. This is a device with a range of programmable buttons that can be used to carry out these activities on the fly, making it a very useful piece of kit for top streamers.
Elgato offers a few versions of the Stream deck, so let’s compare the Stream Deck and the Stream Deck + to determine which one is best for you.
Elgato Stream Deck Vs. Stream Deck + Comparison
So both devices seem to be useful additions to any streamers desk but how do they stack up against each other?
|Feature||Stream Deck||Stream Deck +|
|Size||118 x 84 x 21mm (Without stand)||140 x 138 x 110 mm|
|Weight||190 g||465 g|
|Keys||15 x customizable LCD keys||8 x customizable LCD keys|
|Connection||Built in USB 2.0||Detachable USB 2.0|
|System requirements||macOS 10.13 or Windows 10||macOS 10.15 or Windows 10|
|In the box||Stream DeckAdjustable standQuick start guide||Stream DeckUSB C to USB A cableQuick start guide|
|Aesthetic customization||None||White variantReplaceable faceplate|
The Stream Deck + is similar in concept to the original Stream Deck, but is much more geared toward audio control and scene editing. Since the Stream Deck + is much more expensive, it should only be considered by hardcore audiophiles who wan’t their streams to sound immaculate and the levels to be perfect.
For those who would prefer more buttons rather than dials, the original Stream Deck is probably going to be the preference since it offers seven more buttons than the Stream Deck +.
The detachable USB cable is a nice touch on the Stream Deck +, to ensure it can be replaced if it becomes faulty.
In terms of software, both the Stream Deck and Stream Deck + both use the Stream Deck studio and there is even a mobile version of this so that you can customize your device on the go.
Elgato Stream Deck Features
The original Elgato Stream deck provides 15 illuminated LCD keys that you can map to keyboard shortcuts to switch scenes, play media, control volumes and more. This means that you will not have to spend too much time fiddling with your settings while streaming or creating, allowing for a sleeker, more professional production value.
The device is quite smart as it detects the software and streams that you are using and automatically provides you with controls. Streaming is a crowded space, so to stand out from other creators you can use the Stream deck to display images, GIFs, sound clips and videos to entertain your viewers.
To set your commands, you can simply drag and drop actions onto the keys and even customize the symbol they display. The device comes with the Stream Deck as well as an adjustable kickstand so it fits in with your exact setup. It is connected to your computer using a built-in USB 2.0 cable.
Despite being very useful, the Stream Deck is a little pricey, coming in at $149.95.
Elgato Stream Deck + Features
The Stream Deck + immediately jumps out as being different to the original device due to the reduction of customizable LCD buttons to just 8, the introduction of the narrow feedback screen and the four dials present below the keys.
The eight customizable keys serve the same function that the original Stream Deck does and it is controlled through the exact same piece of software.
The main difference here is the bigger emphasis on audio, with the customizable dials being used to control different audio streams and outputs. They can also be used to pan, zoom, change scenes, scrub and trim. These dials can be equipped with many different functions and you can press them in to cycle through these different functions. This level of customization is extraordinary but most streamers will not need this sheer amount of controls.
In terms of aesthetic customization, the Stream Deck + can be made your own through custom dial caps available to purchase from Elgato. You can also change the background of the touch screen strip to suit your unique style.
The screen can give you live details for sound and other settings, which can be operated due to the touch screen setup. It is significantly more expensive than the original Stream Deck, coming in at a total cost of $269.99.
The Stream Deck + is a great device that offers customizable buttons, a touch screen interface and additional dials. The device should only be seriously considered by streamers who want to pay special attention to audio in their streams or who are focussed on video editing and scene settings.
The Stream Deck + isn’t as wide as the original Stream Deck, but it is quite bulky due to the screen and dials, making it stand out much more on your gaming desk.
For most streamers who want customizable LCD keys, the original Stream Deck will be the better pick due to the 15 buttons and the much cheaper price point.
A gaming enthusiast who started their gaming venture all the way back on a Gameboy Advanced (Purple) on Pokemon Yellow.