Streamlabs Review - The Top Live Streaming Suite
Written byBranko Krstic
Updated · May 04, 2022
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- Free to use
- Slick, user-friendly UI
- Streamlabs for Мac still in beta
People have moved past traditional cable and satellite TV and started looking for entertainment online. This has opened up a whole lot of new professions and helped popularize content creation using live streaming platforms.
Streamlabs OBS is one of the best live streaming platforms on the market; it’s simple, feature-rich, and is packed with everything you need to start streaming to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook in minutes.
Check out this in-depth Streamlabs review to see why nearly every streamer, including Ninja, uses Streamlabs.
What Is Streamlabs?
Streamlabs is a live streaming platform that integrates Open Broadcast Software (OBS) with viewer interactions, chat management, and tip donations for an all-in-one experience.
It is one of the best streaming software on the market and an excellent platform for gamers, both professional and casual, that makes live streaming easier and better – and all that for free.
The software has a ton of helpful features. You can use Streamlabs to go live on Facebook, broadcast to Twitch and YouTube, and even connect Streamlabs to Twitter to notify your followers when you start streaming.
While the Streamlabs software is free and you can go live with basic features, you can only access most of the best and newest features with the latest version of Streamlabs Prime.
Streamlabs lets you brand yourself like a pro! It gives you access to tons of free professional stream overlays and hundreds more with Prime from some of the industry’s top designers.
Having alerts is a crucial element of any live broadcast; think of them as an extension of your brand. You can customize them to match your personality and aesthetic. A Prime subscription gives you access to a massive library of sounds, all created from scratch.
Streamlabs multiple streams allow users to broadcast to several platforms simultaneously – one of the best ways to grow your audience as a new streamer. You can use Streamlabs for Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and custom RTMP locations at the same time.
Streamlabs’ custom tip page functionality allows users to start earning a living through streaming and works with various payment processors; it provides more ways to monetize your stream than any other platform in the industry. Setting up a tip page is simple, easy, and free. What more, Streamlabs OBS won’t take any cut of the money you receive.
The numerous choices in the App Store enable you to improve the quality of your stream. You can find apps like Powerspike that allow you to gain access to sponsorships, Pretzel and Monstercat that will help you with music, and tons of other tools like Discord to engage and interact with audiences in new ways.
Lucra is an exclusive service within Streamlabs that allows creators to make, promote, and host exclusive pay-per-view live streams and sell tickets to their community. It easily integrates with all major streaming software and makes it more convenient to interact with viewers during events.
Ease of Use
Our review showed that Streamlabs’s biggest draw is its exceptional ease of use; it has a slick and user-friendly interface and almost everything you need is conveniently grouped in the Streamlabs Dashboard.
If you’d like to create a more minimalist user experience for yourself, Streamlabs has a Layout Editor to help set things up just the way you want them. The installation process might be a bit long, but it is worth spending the time to set it up properly so you can get the most out of it.
How to Set Up Streamlabs
Streamlabs is among the best live streaming software if your aim is to create content quickly and easily. But if you’re serious about being a streamer, you’ll have to spend a little more time setting it up to make sure you’re taking advantage of its full potential.
To make that process easier for you, we’ve outlined the steps you need to follow to ensure the Streamlabs streaming software runs smoothly.
First things first: let’s go over the system requirements one more time. While you can’t stream from your browser, the software runs on both Windows and Mac. Streamlabs OBS for Linux isn’t available yet.
Keep in mind that the Mac and Windows versions have slightly different setups. Next in WebTribunal's Streamlabs review, we explain how to set up the latter.
First, you need to download and run both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 redistributable. Then, you have to ensure that your machine’s software and drivers, especially the video graphics card drivers, are fully up to date.
If you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, which you probably do, make sure to whitelist Streamlabs OBS. You will also need to open your firewall to make sure the software properly connects to the internet and allow various widgets to update.
Once you’ve prepped your device and rebooted it one last time, you can download Streamlabs for Windows from Streamlabs.com.
Upon completing the installation and signup process, you can use a feature called Auto Optimize that automatically scans your internet speed and computer hardware to recommend the best settings for Streamlabs OBS. That’s a fantastic way to jump right in without having to figure out the finer details on your own.
And that’s not the only handy feature that will help you set things up – there are more. For example, Dynamic Bitrate automatically adjusts your Streamlabs OBS video bitrate based on network conditions to avoid dropping frames.
Streamlabs Plans & Pricing
Streamlabs is free to use, and you could probably get by with this version, but much like any freemium software, the free edition has its limitations. To gain access to the more advanced features, you have to buy a premium version.
With the subscription, you get multistreaming, a customized tip page, custom themes and overlays, VIP support, paid sponsorship opportunities, and even merchandise.
Streamlabs has multiple channels of customer support that proved to be useful to users looking for guidance.
Over and above the traditional contact number and email, Streamlabs has a knowledge base filled with a collection of helpful articles and FAQs. You’ll find everything you need to know there: from how to get started with the software to the latest tech trends according to the Streamlabs Developers.
If you can’t find an answer to your question there, you can always consult the Streamlabs Reddit network, which has around 4,000 members. Alternatively, users can join the Streamlabs Discord community and get super-fast answers from its “power users.”
Streamlabs User Reviews
As might be expected, there is an overwhelming amount of positive Streamlabs user reviews. Streamlabs is a top-rated platform and is most often the platform of choice for Twitch and YouTube streamers.
The few complaints detailing how the platform has much higher hardware overhead and can often be buggy can be overlooked – most users seem to love Streamlabs.
Almost every Streamlabs review on Reddit highlights how robust Streamlabs is and how its on-screen notification suite and powerful live-streaming tools make it a highly effective all-in-one platform.
What We Recommend Streamlabs For
We recommend Streamlabs for gaming; the platform is built to integrate seamlessly with Twitch and works excellently for Facebook Gaming and YouTube gaming.
The fact that it’s free, relatively easy to use, and has an Auto Optimizing option will allow beginners to jump right into live streaming without fretting the minor details. The state-of-the-art features, premier tools, and advanced customization will help pro streamers build an audience and earn money while streaming.
Streamlabs might rule the roost in the world of live streaming, but it is not the only solution around. Next in our Streamlabs review, we’ll show you how the software performs compared to its competitors.
Streamlabs vs Livestream
The most significant difference between the two platforms is the intent behind them. Streamlabs is focused on developing tools, features, and widgets that can help live streamers grow their audience. At the same time, Livestream is backed by Vimeo and works not just for live streaming but also as an over-the-top media platform and a virtual events platform.
XSplit vs Streamlabs
XSplit is a simple yet powerful live streaming and recording platform. It comes with plenty of professional stream management features for higher production value – it is the perfect solution for creating rich video content.
Streamlabs, on the other hand, provides a far more customized experience that allows users to configure the platform down to the finest detail. Plus, it’s free, and free is hard to beat.
Wirecast vs Streamlabs
Wirecast is the ideal platform for capturing and streaming high-end productions, as we explained in our Wirecast review. This software is used by churches, schools, news and sports broadcasters, and live event production companies, among other institutions.
While Streamlabs lets users create content instantly, with Wirecast, the emphasis is on production. One of its many uses is as a video switcher software – it allows mixing and switching between multiple video sources.
Streamlabs or OBS
Streamlabs is built on the same code as OBS but was revamped and combined with powerful features to provide a better, more engaging user experience. Streamlabs has more functionality, better performance, and more built-in value-added tools, creating a more holistic platform for streamers. It’s also often described as the best streaming software on Reddit.
But OBS Studios, too, has a few tricks up its sleeve, with tools like Advance Scene Switcher – a function which Streamlabs doesn’t seem to have.
Great features, excellent user experience design, and robust functionality – these are just a few of the reasons why over 40% of Twitch streamers use Streamlabs to go live. This makes it not only one of the best Twitch streaming software on the market, but an absolute must-have for live broadcasters too.
We hope that we managed to show you in our Streamlabs review for 2022 why this platform is the future of live streaming.
Although you can stream to virtually any platform, Twitch is generally the best place to start simply because of the sheer number of people that watch content on the platform.
If you want to stream to Twitch, there are a few steps to follow. First, you have to create a Twitch account, then download Streamlabs OBS and sign in with your Twitch credentials. You can create a unique look for your channel: add overlays to your stream to grab people’s attention and on-screen alerts to boost engagement and stand out from the crowd.
The final step is choosing the best Streamlabs OBS settings for Twitch and an encoder – and you’re ready to steam. Once you get the hang of it, you can play around with the settings and add more stuff, like Twitch panels and a tip page, to see what works best.
Streamlabs is better than OBS the same way a triple cheeseburger is better than a double cheeseburger – it simply has more stuff in it. Streamlabs is essentially the same as OBS, but with advanced features and increased functionality. It’s the same code revamped for a better user experience.
Since there is no Streamlabs license, it is entirely free to use, and free is hard to beat. It’s easy to use and packed with tons of features and tools to make professional streaming as easy as possible. But XSplit has a few tricks up its sleeve too.
XSplit Broadcaster is great for higher-end broadcast productions and acts as a video mixer software – a function Streamlabs doesn’t have. This means that it enables switching between various media configurations while dynamically mixing them with other sources. XSplit has been reported to take a significant toll on CPUs, but it offers a whole lot more bang for your buck.
It might be intimidating at first, but the Streamlabs OBS setup isn’t as complicated as you might think. After you download Streamlabs OBS, you will be asked to connect any existing streaming accounts (Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook). You have the option to skip this step and add them later.
The next step gives you the option to import all your settings from OBS Studio or start fresh. Streamlabs will automatically detect the streaming gear you’re using, your microphone, virtual camera, etc. If you want to adjust the settings, you can do so in the Streamlabs OBS settings tab.
Streamlabs OBS is free, but there’s a paid version too. The price of Streamlabs Prime is $19 per month ($149 per year).
Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.
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