Elgato Stream Deck+ Review: A must for streamers and content creators


If you are a gamer or general PC user you may have heard of streaming and if you have heard of that then you may have heard of the Elgato Stream Deck. It’s a box of backlit, customizable buttons that give you quick access to programs and other controls – ideal for on-the-fly adjustments while streaming. The latest model, the Stream Deck+, also adds rotary knobs and a touchscreen.

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It’s a handy gadget for streamers, with instant access to lighting, volume and camera controls, but as we’ll get to, it can be very useful for content creators too. The Stream Deck+ offers eight customizable buttons, but in addition to previous versions, it also includes a touch screen and push buttons.

Starting with the touch screen, this provides control over the functions you place there, as well as displaying the adjustments you make using the dial below. For example, you can control the system or microphone volume, or even the brightness or temperature of the lighting of an Elgato lighting accessory connected to the same Wi-Fi network – useful for getting those colors and lighting just right.

The new watch faces also have buttons, so not only can you use them as watch faces, but you also get an extra button to work with. For example, if you control lighting with the rotary knob, you switch it off with the button function. The button can also be used to add layers or ‘dial stacks’ to the watch faces.

This stacking feature allows you to add additional controls to a single dial that you can cycle through with the dial. For example, you can control the lighting and temperatures of an Elgato lighting accessory with a single dial and switch between them with the dial.

The controls make it pretty and easy to do what you need to do, but the real star of the show is the software interface and available plugins and icons that are free to download. More are being added, but in addition to Spotify, Twitch and Voicemod integration, it takes a few minutes to do and goes well beyond simple app opening commands as you can dial in commands to control almost every aspect of the software.

This brings me to using the Stream Deck+ for tasks other than gaming, streaming and music. For example, Premiere Pro has a full icon set that lets you use the keys and dials to control various aspects of the software. For example, there are more than 60 icons in the Premiere Pro icon pack, such as ripple delete, add edit, adjust track heights, group and dozens more that remove the need to remember hotkeys or use your mouse so often.

You can also use the rotary knobs to control functions such as scrubbing or moving clips. It’s a real time saver here and all you need to do is match the keyboard commands to the relevant icon, place them on the correct key in the software and you’re good to go. While the Stream Deck+ only has eight keys, you can create up to 10 pages, easily surpassing any icon for Premiere Pro in the icon pack, and it’s also easy to flip between pages using the touch screen.


The damage to your wallet? The Stream Deck+ costs $200, which is a lot for something many of us might not use on a regular basis. But even if you’re not a regular streamer, it can certainly save you time if you spend hours each week editing photos or videos, which is where it differs from many other gadgets – it can even save you money if you earn money with that work and it will take you less time to do it.

However, the ecosystem behind the Stream Deck+ is mature, has plenty of free plugins and add-ons and while some of them can be a steep learning curve if you’re new to this kind of gadget, and also time consuming to set up, if you once done, you don’t need to do it again. It’s not going to be an essential item for anyone using a PC, but it certainly has huge benefits not only for streamers, but for content creators as well.



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