The best gear to upskill your streaming
This gear will transform you into a Twitch titan
So you’ve decided to become a streamer, making your fortune by broadcasting live on Twitch, YouTube or Facebook. It’s easier than ever to get started – you only need a PC or console, a microphone, a reliable broadband connection and a winning personality – but transitioning into a more professional setup will require a bit of extra investment.
If you want to look and sound slick then boy, do we have some tech tips for you. Here is the gear to take your stream up a few notches, ensuring you’ll be raking in the Subs and Bits in no time.
Yamaha ZG01 Pack
This one-box set includes Yamaha’s ZG01 mixer and YH-G01 headset – everything you need to kickstart a killer audio setup for your stream. The ZG01 has physical controls for easy adjustment of game, voice and voice chat audio, as well as a bunch of DSP effects including a voice changer and ZG Surround (which creates a 3D surround sound effect that your viewers will be able to experience through regular stereo headphones).
The YH-G01 headset is built for the long haul. Lightweight and comfy, it features a studio-quality condenser microphone that’ll capture your voice precisely without picking up ambient noise.
£339 | uk.yamaha.com
You might think a mirrorless camera would be the best choice for streaming, but while they work well they’re seriously expensive. The Insta360 Link is a webcam, making it much more affordable, but it still offers pin-sharp 4K image quality and an uncanny AI-powered talent for following your face around in real-time. It also features a clever top-down desktop mode that’s brilliant if you want to livestream your arts and crafts exploits on the tabletop.
£319 | insta360.com
Elgato Key Light Air
If you’re putting your face on camera it needs to be properly lit, and the Key Light Air is a compact and relatively affordable way to do that. It’s height adjustable, tiltable, lightweight and can be sat directly on your desk, and its bright but soft light, comprised of 80 LEDs, is designed to provide the main (i.e. key) piece of lighting for a subject (i.e. you). A companion app (available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices) allows you to finely adjust the brightness and colour temperature of the LEDs, ensuring your fizzog looks just right.
£150 | elgato.com
If you already own a decent desk, you may want to skip this particular investment, but Ikea’s Utespelare is large enough to accommodate all your streaming kit (160 x 80cm), height adjustable (to six different settings between 68 and 78cm) and comes with smart design touches like a metal mesh at the back (to aid air flow – useful if your PC is placed on the desktop) and an under-desk cable management trough to keep all your wiring out of the way. It’s also sleek-looking, available in black or grey finishes, and heavy enough to stay nice and stable even when loaded up with gear.
£150 | ikea.com
Want to raise your sound game to professional levels? This compact three-channel live mixer is designed specifically for streaming, with precision controls that let you tweak audio levels from a range of sources to perfection on the fly. There are inputs for smartphones and computers, of course, but you can also hook up a live instrument and high-end condenser mic should you wish. The AG03MK2 also offers up a smorgasbord of zero-latency DSP effects, available at the push of a button.
£150 | uk.yamaha.com
OBS Studio 2022
There’s a wide choice of streaming software apps available, but OBS Studio is free, fairly straightforward to use and compatible with all the major platforms (not to mention all the major computer operating systems). While it’s not the most beginner-friendly of apps, given that you’ve already starting your streaming journey and are using it to level up, we’re confident you can get to grips with it pretty swiftly.
You can add multiple inputs – audio, webcam, text, images and backgrounds and your computer desktop – and check everything thanks to Studio Mode, which splits the screen in two and shows you the current broadcast in one half with a preview of what’s coming next in the other. You can tweak this preview before switching screens, safe in the knowledge that your viewers won’t see anything until it’s ready to go.
Free | obsproject.com