ReviewsPeripheralsElgato Stream Deck + Review: Dial Up Your Stream!

Elgato Stream Deck + Review: Dial Up Your Stream!

After testing it for a couple of weeks, I can say that this is the ultimate companion for seamless streaming and content creation.

Expert Verified By

Plenty Of Customizations!

Review Summary

The Elgato Stream Deck + is a handy little product that sits on your desk, packed with customizable buttons, a touch bar, and rotating knobs. With it, you can control all sorts of things during your streams or video editing sessions, from switching scenes to adjusting audio levels. The design is sleek and sturdy, with a cool touch bar and knobs that feel great to use. Overall, it is a game-changer for anyone serious about streaming or content creation. It might be a bit pricey, but the added features and customization options make it well worth the investment.

Hours Tested: 1.5 Weeks

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Build Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Design - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Software - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value For Money - 8/10
    8/10

Pros

  • Premium Build Quality
  • Customizability
  • Intuitive Software
  • Innovative Features

Cons

  • Limited Control Buttons
  • Lack of Lighting for Knobs
  • Price

Elgato has become a leading brand in streaming and content creation products. Therefore, if you’re active in a streaming community, you’ve probably heard that name mentioned somewhere. Subsequently, it came up with another outstanding product, the Stream Deck +. For those who stream their gaming sessions live on platforms like Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, or any other platform, the Stream Deck can be an ideal product for their requirements. Let’s find out if the Stream Deck + is the perfect addition to your setup.

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Key Takeaways

  • The Elgato Stream Deck + is a versatile product designed for streamers and content creators seeking to enhance their production quality and productivity. With its sleek design, customizable buttons, touch bar, and spinning knobs, it offers innovative ways to interact with streaming setups and editing workflows.
  • You should buy the Stream Deck + if you’re serious about streaming or content creation and want to invest in a quality product. 
  • You should not buy the Stream Deck + if you’re on a tight budget and have no need for advanced features.

Here are the specifications:

SIZE 140 x 138 x 110 mm | 5.5 x 5.4 x 4.3 in
WEIGHT 465 g | 1 lb
KEYS 8 x customizable LCD keys
MULTIFUNCTION DIALS 4 x 360° encoders with push function
LCD TOUCH PANEL 108 x 14 mm | 4.2 x 0.5 in
INTERFACE USB 2.0

Box Contents

Box Content (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Box Content (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  1. Stream Deck +
  2. USB-C to USB-A Cable
  3. Quick Start Guide

Design

Design (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Design (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Elgato has kept Stream Deck+’s overall design unchanged, except for a few slight modifications, such as providing two more ways for streamers to tinker with their streams. Except for this, it looks mainly identical to the original stream deck. With two new additions that consist of a touch bar and a set of four spinning knobs at the bottom, the deck still has a curved surface with eight big buttons on it. Notably, Stream Deck’s logo is still there at the top.

Instead of being detachable, the control surface is fixed to the stand and angled at 45 degrees. On the contrary, the Stream Deck supports a wider variety of inputs than the original and has a few other design enhancements. To give an illustration, the Stream Deck+’s inclined surface makes it easy to interact with. It’s bigger, and having evenly placed large buttons guarantees that accidental touches won’t be an issue like other stream deck models.

Compared to a standard Stream Deck, the input arrangement is noticeably wider, providing enough space between the various dials and buttons. The disadvantage is that you only have eight control buttons. However, this is compensated by the inclusion of the touch bar. The 4.2-inch wide and 0.5-inch tall LCD touchscreen can be configured to initiate customized actions through long and short press actions. Additionally, it serves as a visual indicator of the action that corresponds to the dial that is located below it.

The most remarkable feature is the ability to access plenty of new use cases by navigating Stream Deck pages and swiping the touch bar. Moving to the bottom row, you’ll see four metal dials that look and feel incredible. They’re made of black machined aluminium, notched, and wonderfully textured. The dials have a pleasant click that is identical to the buttons, making your inputs smooth, and the sides are nicely textured for an easy grip.

My only complaint about the design is that there should be an LED ring or some lighting behind these dials. Because when streaming in a dark environment, they blend in more with the darkness in particular. Due to the fact that all of the other control interfaces are lighted. Especially with the shining displays above, a lighting ring around the base of each of these dials would have been excellent.

Build Quality

Build Quality (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Build Quality (Image By Tech4Gamers)

With dimensions of 5.4 inches (138mm) in width and 5.5 inches (140mm) in length, the Stream Deck+ is housed in a robust black plastic chassis that is both durable and robust. It comes in both black and white, and, as a bonus, Elgato also includes a pair of colored dials for free when you purchase it directly from their website. Unfortunately, you can’t remove the face plate from the Stream Deck+, but you can change the dial colors, so it’s still somewhat customizable.

Since the Stream Deck+ comes with a built-in stand that tilts it 45 degrees, it will need about 4.3 inches (110 mm) of height space on your desk. The stand is 5.5 inches (140 mm) in depth. On the other hand, the bottom is covered with rubbery, non-slip material. Notably, Stream Deck+’s integrated stand contributes to its heavier weight of 1 pound (465g), making it noticeably heavier than other Stream Decks.

Furthermore, the Stream Deck+ has the same high-quality build quality as the original. The eight customizable LCD keys are backlit, with four separate columns and two rows. The keys are asymmetrically spaced to be arranged in pairs instead of a uniform grid, identical to other Stream Deck models. These buttons are made of clear plastic and provide substantial tactile response.

These keys include an interior membrane that makes them feel great when pressed and gives a pleasing click. Surprisingly, the LCD panels are bright and readable even at a distance. On the downside, the USB cord that comes with the package is more unlikely to tangle or malfunction because of its woven covering. However, if we are considering Stream Deck +’s build quality and physical appearance, overall, it seems like a highly premium product and is well worth the investment.

Connectivity

With the Stream Deck+, you get a USB-C to USB-A cable 5 feet in length. It’s included in the box along with other accessories. You just need to simply connect the accompanying USB cable from the Stream Deck to your PC, and it will be ready to go. A USB-C port is present at the back of the Stream Deck+, and it connects it easily to your PC. Elgato advises that this connection must be direct and should not be a USB 2.0 connection through a USB hub.

Software

When you open the Elgato’s software for the first stream, the Stream Deck can be easily detected, and empty squares that correspond to the arrangement of the deck’s actual buttons will appear in the middle of the screen.

Similar to other models of Stream Deck, you can personalize each key with your own custom images, text, and colors. Notably, Elgato has a large collection of premade assets that you can utilize to add your visuals. Overall, customizing all this is very straightforward. Moreover, the right sidebar has a selection of streaming services and software. The most popular of them are already pre-loaded. You will see pre-made collapsible menus at this right-hand bar for YouTube, Xsplit, Twitch, and even Twitter, along with Mixer and OBS.

The Stream Deck +’s level of customization is second to none. I had a fantastic time experimenting with different page layouts that I could switch between with the touch of a finger, all while figuring out different applications. At the moment, there aren’t as many customization options for the touchscreen backdrop as there are for the buttons, but you could still customize this screen’s background. The animated GIF collection was my favorite to download, as it has an assortment of funny animations. There are also other useful plugins available for download.

PRO TIP: You can maximize your productivity by creating custom profiles for different streaming setups or editing workflows.

For instance, a Pi-hole program that allows me to turn on and off the ad-blocking service, as well as update my Facecam and streaming settings. Ultimately, the dials are an excellent upgrade, and they can be customized to be utilized for a variety of other purposes, such as adjusting the brightness of different lights and the system volume. Overall, extensive customization is available, allowing you to customize personalized actions if needed.

Performance

Performance (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Performance (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The Stream Deck + is functionally identical to previous product models. Notably, the only difference is the addition of certain new, innovative features and dials. With the dedicated software for Stream Deck + being installed. Simply dragging and dropping your commands onto the adjacent buttons will allow them to instantly be visible on the Stream Deck +. Other than the change in size, the buttons work just as they did on the previous version of Stream Deck, so I won’t be discussing them for very long.

They are easy to press even when you’re not focusing on them. So, you can’t accidentally click them since they are around 0.20 inches in size. What makes the Stream Deck + unique are its touch bar and dials. They are Elgato’s first offering of an innovative way of interacting with a Stream Deck, and they make a fantastic appearance. Elgato states the amount of effort required to turn stepped dials is fine-tuned for user-friendliness through optimal input speed, and in my opinion, it’s hard to disagree with them.

All-in-one command center for seamless streaming!

When combined with a grippy machined surface finish, my fingers never slip, and the space between each dial is ideal so that one can easily make little changes without accidentally going too far. There are many creative ways to engage with the touch bar, making it responsive and visually appealing. In addition to providing accurate information regarding the dial below, prolonged touches and single taps serve as distinct input methods. At the same time, a swipe across the bar changes the pages of commands.

Since streamers are the intended users of the Stream Deck, I spent much of my testing time assigning commands to Twitch and OBS studio. After setting up my commands through Stream Deck software, I found almost no delay between when I pressed a key and when OBS responded to specific actions. It’s now simple for me to stream, and I can depend on my Stream Deck + to carry out commands rapidly that I would have to manually execute in the app I was using.

Should You Buy it?

Buy it if

✅You’re serious about streaming or content creation: The Stream Deck + offers advanced features and customization options that can enhance your workflow and productivity.

✅You value innovation: With innovative additions like the touch bar and rotating knobs, Stream Deck + provides new ways to interact with your streams, offering flexibility and creativity.

✅You’re willing to invest in quality: Despite its higher price tag, the Stream Deck + delivers premium build quality and performance, making it a worthwhile investment for dedicated streamers and content creators.

Don’t Buy it if

❌You have a simple setup or no need for advanced features: If you’re satisfied with your current setup or don’t require the advanced features of Stream Deck +, you may not need to invest in it.

❌You’re on a tight budget: The Stream Deck + may be a bit pricey for those with budget constraints, so consider your pocket before making a purchase.

❌You prefer simplicity: If you’re not interested in customizing controls or exploring new interaction methods, the Stream Deck + may be more than what you need.

Final Verdict

Deck With Gaming Setup (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Deck With Gaming Setup (Image By Tech4Gamers)

In my opinion, Stream Deck + is an excellent product that will be useful to the vast majority of streamers and content creators. The special features more than justify the higher price tag compared to the standard model. With Stream Deck+, you get larger and more widely spaced control buttons that work better with four highly customizable rotary dials that make a difference in everyday use.

You can use them like a regular audio mixer or set them to control Windows utilities or the brightness of different Elgato lights. Moreover, the innovative touch bar is very useful and can be configured to do a lot of different tasks. While it had few customization options when it first came out, you can now add many. 

Notably, Elgato’s software ecosystem and Stream Deck+’s incredible customizability are its defining features. The Stream Deck+’s physical characteristics are great, but what really sells it is Elgato’s software ecosystem. In the future, when Elgato upgrades the Stream Deck software, I can’t wait to see what new features they add to make the touchbar and dials more interesting.

Coming Next: Elgato Wave 3 Review

 
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