Weekend Tech Deals For Upping Your Streaming Or WFH Zoom Call Production Quality
Whether you are streaming
games on Twitch
or working from home and regularly hopping on Zoom
video calls, you want to sound and look your best. Besides the fact that you are wearing sweatpants or no pants, some decent audio and video equipment can up your game overall. This weekend, we have collected some deals on Amazon which can help you look professionally produced, no matter what venue you take to the airways on.
Audio Gear To Amp Your Acoustic Game
Having audio that sounds noisy or tinny can make people not want to listen to you when you go live, or when you're making a point. If you sound good, though, people will notice and tune in. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to up your sound quality, but you certainly can if you want. Whatever route you go, there are several options here to fit all budgets.
Should you need something low profile, Razer has made the Razer Ifrit, a professional-grade condenser mic attached to a headset with earbuds. If you are a gamer or need quality for Zoom, this will work for either, and no one will be any the wiser. It also comes with a USB “audio enhancer,” so anyone could use this headset over a USB connection or the built-in 3.5mm jack. If you want to get one, only a few are left in stock for $69.99,
which is 30% off.
At the lower end of standalone microphones, we have the Blue Snowball USB Microphone in black, white, or brushed aluminum. This is a condenser microphone, meaning there will be decent quality, but it will easily pick up background noise. If you make sure you are in the right place for recording, though, you should have an excellent experience. Furthermore, it is a USB mic, so anyone can plug in and work with it on any device. You can grab this mic on Amazon for 29% at $69.99
right now, and eligible customers can save an extra $3.50 on top.
Stepping up from the Blue USB Mic is the Audio-Technica AT2020 XLR microphone. This mic is also a condenser, so it will have some of the same issues as the USB mic listed above; however, it is a bit more flexible overall. XLR microphones require power, and generally, that comes in the form of a mixer, which can easily tweak gain and other settings to optimize the quality for the room you are in.
At the high end of audio quality, the end-all-be-all right now in streaming and audio quality seems to be the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic microphone. On Twitch, many streamers are using this mic, and for a good reason, as it has “exceptionally clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech.” This mic is also an XLR mic, meaning it will need external power and mixing, so you can get the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 with this one as well. If you want top-notch sound, you can order this microphone on Amazon for $399.00
, which is 20% off.
Video Tech For Capture And Streaming Glory
If you need to do a presentation or show your Twitch chat something, not having a blurry video is vital to the experience. Again, several options and accessories can help you stand out from the crowd and look good doing it too. Just do not stand up in front of the camera with those sweatpants on.
First, on deck, we have the tried-and-true Logitech webcam for recording or streaming at 1080p 30FPS. Logitech says that it is “specifically designed and optimized for professional quality video streaming on social gaming and entertainment sites like Twitch and YouTube,” but it should work well for Zoom or Skype too. This webcam is also easy to set up as it is just a USB cable to plugin, and you set it on a monitor or stand, and you are good to go. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can further enhance the webcam with NVIDIA’s Broadcast software for background blur, replacement effects, and more. If you want to grab this handy webcam, it is on sale for $91.70 on Amazon
If you want to step up in quality over a webcam, you could always use a standard camera as well. Should you happen to have a DLSR or other camera that supports clean HDMI out, you can use a capture card like the EVGA XR1 to grab the video feed and share it with whatever software you use. The EVGA XR1 is a solid device that can also be used to capture games on a PC or console. We will have a review of it coming soon, so keep an eye on HotHardware
for that. If you want to grab one in the meantime, you can get an XR1 on Amazon for 32% off right now at $129.99.
When you start recording, sitting in darkness or a poorly lit room will not help your situation at all. Also, on Amazon are a few options for lights. You can get a RALENO LED light on the budget end, which draws up to 19.5W and should work well for a limited area. You can pick this up for just $59.99 on Amazon with up to 16% savings.
On the other end of the spectrum is Neweer, with a 2-pack of desk mounted bi-color LED lights that can draw up to 45W and crank out 4800 lumens. They are also remote-controlled, so you do not have to stand up when you want to tinker with the color and brightness. You can get these Neweer lights on Amazon for $194.99
with up to 10% off right now, but they will be on sale for less tomorrow.
Improving your live stream quality could mean the difference between completing a sale or getting a Twitch sub who appreciates quality audio and video production. If you decide to pick any of these items up, let us know what you think in the comments below. You can also tweet us pictures of your setup with any of these deals @HotHardware
of course, as we’d love to see your new gear in action.