You want to start streaming but just can’t decide which streaming deck would be the best for you? You want to purchase one, but you find it very difficult to decide which?
I recommend Elgato Stream Deck to both beginners and pro streamers, since it has all of the features you might need, and it’s easy to set up.
I have also tested a few other decks and created a list to help you throughout your selection process.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Streaming Deck
Elgato Stream Deck
Razer Tartarus v2
Post 6 of 6 in the Stream Deck
Best Streaming Deck
Reviewed & Tested
After a lot of testing, I’ve managed to pick the best streamer decks and compose a list based on my tests.
Therefore, if you are keen on streaming, you should check out this list, since it will save you time and help you pick a streaming deck that suits you best.
1. Elgato Stream Deck
Why do I think Elgato Stream Deck is the best among these?
Because it’s a game-changing tool, which will give you complete control and allow you to focus on your creativity and your audience.
Who is it best for?
This deck is equally good for both beginners and veteran streamers. From my experience, regarding this deck’s price and features, it would be most useful to experienced streamers.
Not that some rookie streamers shouldn’t buy it, but it would be better to gain some experience and develop an audience first.
Thus, I recommend Elgato Streaming Deck to at least semi-professional and serious streamers, since they will be able to exploit all of its potential.
The installation and customization process is very easy and quick. The only thing you would have to do is download and install Stream Deck software which you can find on Elgato’s website.
After you run the software you will notice that some of the most popular streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, etc. are already in the sidebar menu and ready to use.
As for Elgato Stream Deck’s functions, they will make your streaming process easier. Namely, you can switch camera angles, pause your stream, change platforms, share your videos on Twitter or turn on or off the chat in just one click.
These features help you to remain focused. You, basically, get the feeling that you are controlling everything with just one push of a button and that is a really cool feeling.
Furthermore, there are several plugins that you can add, and all of them you can find by clicking “More Actions” button. I used Stopwatch, VoiceMeeter, SuperMacro macro recorder, and Nvidia Shadowplay plugins the most.
In terms of design, there are several angles in which you can adjust the device and then lock it at the angle that you prefer.
The deck has 15 buttons that are arranged in 3 rows of 5 buttons, which I found quite practical and easy to use.
The only issue I had was the USB cable length. It’s quite short and not detachable not solid and firm, and I feel like I will easily get damaged after a while.
- Easy customization
- Various plugins
- Small size
- Suitable for pros and beginners
- Pricier than other options
2. Razer Tartarus v2
You can count on amazing speed, perfect design, and a great number of possibilities with Razer Tartarus v2.
Who is it best for?
Tartarus v2 is suitable for both experienced and rookie streamers.
Nevertheless, experienced streamers will find it easy to get used to it, since it has more stream deck buttons than some other decks.
At the same time, this characteristic can be useful to inexperienced streamers as well.
Given that switching from a keyboard to a streaming deck can be tricky for beginners, this number of buttons can make that transition much more painless.
Tartarus v2 is an ergonomic keypad and apart from keys, there is also a scroll wheel, D-pad with eight directions, a thumb button, and a circular button.
There is a wrist rest as well, which is supposed to make the use of the deck more comfortable. It didn’t really work for me, so I removed it since it’s detachable.
As for the keys, instead of the usual mechanical keys, Tartarus v2 uses a Mecha-Membrane technology.
That means that there is a spongy membrane under the keys, although the intention is to achieve the same feeling while pressing buttons as with regular mechanical keys.
I know that many users reported that keys broke after a month or two, but I cannot confirm this because I didn’t use it for that long.
There is, also, a possibility of transition between three different keypads as well as the possibility to turn on the Hypershift function, which means that you can change the function of all the buttons, only by pressing or holding one particular key which you had previously chosen.
The negative side of these features is that if you want to use them, you will have to program them yourself. The very programming process is not complicated but it will take you some time.
- Similar to a regular keyboard
- More buttons
- Attractive design
- Good button arrangement
- Keys can bug
3. X-keys XK-24
Concerning XK-24 P.I. Engineering asserts that it is one of their most popular and best-selling products. Additionally, XK-24 is suitable for various applications and uses.
I tested it only for streaming, so let’s dive in!
Who is it best for?
Primarily, XK-24 is a very versatile device. That versatility is expressed in several ways.
First, it can be programmed in various manners so that it can meet the expectations of all kinds of users.
Second, it can be programmed in hardware and software modes, depending on users’ wishes.
First of all, keys on XK-24 are programmable and can activate numerous things, such as shortcuts, Macros, or applications.
It is compatible with Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux devices, basically, any device supporting USB. Moreover, it is suitable for desktop, mounted, or handheld use.
The device is easily programmable, the configuration is quick and easy. Nevertheless, in case of any problem regarding this matter, tech support is very reliable.
Additionally, there is a free tutorial on the manufacturer’s website. Another important feature is that the USB cable’s length can be increased by using a USB extender.
XK-24 is, like most X-keys products, high quality, reliable and dependable. Therefore, it won’t break down often.
Subsequently, it is very effective, so it can be used for various tasks, even for opening directories, websites, emails, files, or for selecting tools.
As for the design, XK-24 is very small and lightweight and, thus, easily transportable, which is a feature that almost all users like.
The device’s foot is detachable as well as angled, which should add to easier use. Furthermore, each of the 24 keys has a backlight which can be either blue or red.
- Small size
- Extendable USB cable
- Angle and detachable foot
- Nice design with backlights
- The keyboard is not mechanical
4. Koolertron 9 Keys
Koolertron considers One Handed Macro Mechanical Keyboard to be one of their best products which will make your streaming easier as well as increase your enjoyment while playing games.
Who is it best for?
Taking its size and number of buttons into consideration, Koolertron One Handed Macro Mechanical Keyboard is more suitable for streamers who have recently started or plan to start using stream decks.
Since there are only 9 keys, it would be easier for beginners to familiarize themselves with using a streaming deck with this particular deck, than with some more complicated decks with a greater number of buttons.
Subsequently, its price is very fair, so even those streamers who are not professionals and don’t earn a lot from streaming will be able to afford it.
In addition, it is recommended not only to streamers and gamers but to video editors and designers as well.
Firstly, even though there are only 9 keys, each key can be programmed to various functions. Thus, these 9 keys can function as 104 regular keys, Windows and keyboard locks, 8 multimedia shortcut keys, and as many web navigation keys.
This deck also has 24 macro functions (12 quick and as many advanced) which can support a maximum of 792 different commands.
Therefore, you can effortlessly handle numerous scenarios and another feature that adds to this is the capability of saving 4-layer of configurations.
There are 4 LED color modes, which are very bright so they can replace a lamp at night. This brightness can, of course, be adjusted and switched off.
The deck itself is very small, so it won’t take much place on your desk and the USB cable is detachable, which is very important since that capability can save the cable from damage.
I do find keys quite fragile and low-grade compared to other streaming decks I have tested.
I also noticed that many users with MacOS had problems with programming the deck, and those with MacOS Catalina couldn’t program it at all.
- Very small
- USB cable is detachable
- The software doesn’t work with macOS Catalina
5. Koolertron 23 Keys
Their One Handed Macro Mechanical Keyboard with 23 keys is a better version of their 9-key keyboard and it could even be said that this is their best stream deck.
Who is it best for?
This deck can be used by literally anyone. No matter if you are a novice or an experienced streamer. It won’t take much space as a regular keyboard does and still, it will be as useful.
It’s an ideal one if you are still getting used to using a deck instead of a keyboard.
It can give you the necessary experience and prepare you for purchasing a better and more professional streaming deck. Its design and color-changing keys can fit in different rooms and environments.
Essentially, this Koolertron 23-key deck is not much different from their 9-key deck, apart from size.
Same as the 9-key deck, you can use this deck’s buttons as regular, web navigation buttons, or as multimedia shortcuts.
Another same feature between these two decks is the fact that there are 24 macro function buttons, 12 quick and 12 advanced and each macro can note a maximum of 42 characters.
You can set up 4 different kinds of 4-layer configurations: FN, FN2, FN3, and normal.
Thanks to this feature, right after setting up this 23-key keypad basically becomes a keypad with 92 keys. Additionally, you can switch between these layers just by pressing a toggle button.
USB cable is detachable and 1.5 meters long, which is quite a good length. This deck’s software is compatible with Android, Mac OS, Linux, or Windows 10, 8, 7, XP.
Just like in the previous product, the quality of the keys is not the best.
- Long and detachable USB cable
- Good price-quality relationship
- Keys sometimes get stuck
Things to Consider when Buying Best Streaming Deck
1. Number and quality of keys
The number of keys is always important when it comes to stream decks. Some people like more buttons and, thus, a deck similar to a regular keyboard, while some people like fewer buttons.
It also depends on your level of experience, since users who are used to the PC keyboard and don’t have much experience with decks, will find decks with more buttons easier to use. Finally, it is fundamental to check whether the keypad is a mechanical or soft touch.
Most streamers and gamers like to have more space on their desk. That is one of the reasons why they change the keyboard with the deck, in the first place. That’s why size is very important to them and that’s why most users choose decks that are as small as possible.
3. USB cable
When it comes to USB cables, there are two main essential features. First is the length and usually, users’ opinion is the longer cable the better. The second important feature is whether the USB cable is detachable or not, given that non-detachable USB cables can get damaged more easily.
Design is probably the least important characteristic on this list, but still, every streamer likes to have cool equipment and, thus, wants to find the most attractive deck there is.
I hope that I have helped you to make the decision about which deck is most suitable for you. I have made an effort to present to you each deck’s advantages and disadvantages.
Here is a brief overview of my top three streaming decks:
- Elgato Stream Deck as the best overall,
- Razer Taurus v2 as the best value,
- X-Keys XK-24 as the best budget.
Your final choice will, of course, depend on what your preferences are and what amount of money you want to spend. There is something for everybody on my list, and I hope you’ll be happy with your choice. Happy streaming!
Does Elgato Stream Deck work with OBS?
Elgato Stream Deck supports StreamElements OBS. OBS option can be found among add-ons in the “More Actions” segment within Stream Deck Software. There you can also find specific configuration options. As for Streamlabs OBS, it is supported as of Stream Deck 2.2 software version.
What is the point of a stream deck?
Stream deck is a very useful tool for streamers. Its point is making it easier for its user to stream and game at the same time, but also to have multiple different things in control.
Stream deck provides a multitasking option to streamers, where they will be able to play games, stream and supervise everything that comes along with streaming.
What does a stream deck do?
By using a stream deck you will be able to control various things such as sound effects, animations, chat, etc. without having to exit or pause the game.
That way, stream decks make gaming and streaming processes much easier and let the streamer focus on the game itself and not on additional less important things.
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Post 6 of 6
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