Live Streaming Equipment Checklist: A Guide for Streamers of All Skill Levels (and Budgets)

Everything you need to go live whether you're a streaming beginner, pro, on a budget, or ready to splurge. Includes checklists for every level!

by
Komal Ahuja
Live Streaming Equipment Checklist: A Guide for Streamers of All Skill Levels (and Budgets)

Whether you’re on a tight budget or have a generous budget for your streaming setup, this live streaming guide will give you a list of the best streaming equipment for beginners across three pricing tiers.

Stick with us till the end, and we'll tell you the best all-around software to level up your live streaming quality. 

Table of Contents

  1. 🎒 Starter Pack: For beginners on a budget
  2. ⚖️ Intermediate Pack: For a balance between quality and affordability
  3. 💰 Pro Pack: For when you want to splurge on a pro-level setup

[#TOC1]🎒 Starter Pack: For beginners on a budget[#TOC1]


Microphone

  • Your Smartphone Earbuds Built-In Mic—Price Varies

If you're building a budget-friendly live stream setup, your smartphone's earbuds can easily meet the audio requirements. A pair of quality earbuds work well for mobile streaming, especially if you're going live on TikTok and Instagram. 

  • BOYA BY-M1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone—$14.95

The BOYA BY-M1 is a neat lapel mic for beginners. Clip it on your t-shirt, plug it into your streaming device, and you're all set. You can use this lav mic with a PC, an audio recorder, or a DSLR. It's also omnidirectional, recording crisp audio from any angle. But you might need to adjust the bass level for fuller audio for your stream. 

  • Elgato Wave:1—$69.99

The Elgato Wave:1 is a beginner-friendly option for creators looking for a slightly higher-end mic at a budget price. This compact condenser mic uses the cardioid pattern to block any background sound and produce a crisper audio output. It has a sleek design and excellent build quality, as expected from a premium brand like Elgato. While it lacks gain control functionality on the device, you can adjust gain input and other settings using the mic's desktop software.

Camera

  • Your Smartphone’s Built-In Camera—Price Varies

Instead of splurging on a full-fledged streaming setup, most creators rely on phone cameras to stream content while still finding momentum initially. So, check your device’s camera settings and see if it allows you to shoot in 1080p or 4K. If yes, use your camera in the highest resolution to shoot videos to get high-quality footage. If not, consider investing in a good phone for live streaming. Consider the resolution quality and pricing for different models from Apple, Samsung, Google, and Huawei to get a camera that matches your requirements. 

  • Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam with Ring Light—$67.98

The Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam is a uniquely designed camera with an attached ring light. You can mount the camera on your desktop or keep it on a flat surface—perfect for a sit-and-stream session. Alternatively, you can fix it on top of a tripod for better height and easier movement. The ring light is a great fit for creators streaming in low-light settings. You can rotate the ring light to adjust the brightness and use the Razer Synapse app to modify other settings. 

  • Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam—$69.99

The C920S HD Pro Webcam by Logitech is a somewhat advanced gadget ideal for live streaming on video calling platforms like Zoom. It comes with a full HD lens and dual mics for stereo sound effects. The powerful auto-focus makes this webcam a great choice for creators using a green screen. It'll cut out any background distractions to keep the focus on your face and neatly display overlay graphics. It also produces clean visuals even in less-than-ideal light settings—so if you're streaming at night or don't have a well-lit space, grab this camera. 

  • Logitech StreamCam—$129.99

The Logitech StreamCam is specially built for a live stream setup. With a neat design and modern feel, the webcam offers HD resolution at 60 fps to produce high-quality visuals. Its automatic adjustment capabilities keep the stream clean at all times—maintaining good exposure and clear focus. Its unique portrait mode feature can benefit TikTok and Instagram creators to go live with a professional camera. 

Single Point Lighting Setup

  • Natural Lighting—Free 

Streaming during the day in a naturally well-lit area can save money on lighting devices. If you can't invest in a good light source yet, make sure you find a space with ample light. Face this light so that your face and background are properly visible throughout the stream. 

  • Tabletop Ring Light with phone mount—$25

A ring light can turn things around for your live stream setup. You can mount a ring light above the camera to focus the light on your face. Depending on the ring light you get, you can fine-tune different settings like brightness and color temperature. They're available for a lower price than professional lights and are ideal for beginners on a budget. 

📖 What is single-point lighting?
Single-point lighting uses only one main light in the streaming setup and keeps the attention on the subject. It's usually a key light positioned on one side of the camera. So, one part of the scene is well-lit while the other has some shadows.

Accessories for specific use cases

  • Live Gamer MINI Console Capture Card for Gamers—$84.99 

The Live Gamer MINI Console is designed especially for streamers in the gaming space. The card works with most devices, including smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and laptops. It can produce 1080p 60 fps streams. You can also enhance your stream with features like overlays, chroma key compositing, and multiple streams through the company's software, RECentral.

  • Manfrotto Mini Tripod—$26.35

The Manfrotto Mini Tripod is the perfect addition to a basic streamer setup. You can use it as a tabletop tripod for your smartphone or a compact camera. It has excellent build quality with an ergonomic design and matt finish. Thanks to its plug-and-play design, you just have to mount your streaming device and get started. Its legs are easily adjustable and remain sturdy even on an irregular surface. It also comes with a rotating ball head for easy camera movement. 

  • EpocCam Pro for iPhone—$7.99

The EpocCam Pro app converts your phone into a webcam to enhance the quality of your live stream using the superior video quality of an iPhone. Along with better video quality, you get more flexibility to stream via a portable phone camera. The app integrates with Snapchat Lenses to add gesture-controlled lenses to your live stream—perfect for a chill hangout session with your followers. You can also use the multicam features to stream from different angles. 

  • Camo for Android—Free

The Camo app for Android makes your smartphone a portable webcam for the desktop. Since a phone camera delivers better video quality than most built-in webcams, Camo can significantly enhance your stream quality. Plus, you get more camera options than a standard webcam—like telephoto, ultra-wide camera, or selfie mode. You can refine the video by modifying settings in the desktop app, such as brightness, focus, color saturation, and more. 

[#TOC2]⚖️ Intermediate Pack: For a balance between quality and affordability[#TOC2]

Microphone

  • Razer Seiren V2 X—$99.99 

The Razer Seiren V2 X is a great choice for creators willing to spend on a high-end, professional microphone. This condenser microphone comes with a built-in limiter to prevent clipping the sound when you shout in excitement or frustration. The shock absorber removes any unwanted vibrations to create a cleaner sound. The only drawback is that the mic doesn't have the best build quality. It's mostly made of plastic, and the front dial doesn't have enough hard stops to ensure proper gain control, which can be frustrating. 

  • Elgato Wave:3—$149.99 

Elgato’s Wave:3 microphone is among the most premium audio devices in the market. It has a multifunctional front dial for gain control, volume, and mic/PC mix. The mic also has a capacitive mute button on the top—just tap it to mute or unmute yourself during a stream. This is an excellent choice for gamers and sports streamers because it removes distortion at higher volumes and prevents clipping. However, the mic has a tiny desktop stand, so you might have to mount it on a separate stand for optimal height. 

  • Blue Yetix—$169.99 

The Blue Yetix is a multifunctional condenser mic with four audio patterns: cardioid, omni mode, bidirectional, and stereo. So, you can use it for almost any type of stream—a 1:1 podcast, a roundtable panel discussion, a live performance, or a gaming session. The mic integrates with Logitech G Hub, allowing you to tailor the sound quality to your requirements and produce high-quality results. 

Camera

  • Elgato Facecam—$169.99

The Elgato Facecam is one of the best live streaming equipment for beginners. It's an app-controlled camera with multiple settings to enhance the video quality, even when you're in low-light environments. You can save your ideal settings on your account and use this camera in the best conditions with any device. The Facecam's fantastic build quality and Sony-backed lens make it a great choice at this price point. The fixed focus feature is handy for streamers in the beauty space that live stream makeup tutorials. 

  • Logitech MEVO Start—$379.99

The Logitech MEVO Start is an all-in-one streaming camera with powerful audiovisual capabilities. It can fit right into the palm of your hand—so, if you stream in outdoor locations, this should be in your streamer equipment checklist. This camera offers various audio and color control settings to produce crisp visuals. You can customize these settings for different streaming environments. The micro SD slot also means you can record and store your streams within the camera. 

  • Sony Alpha a6400—$985.39

The Sony Alpha a6400 is designed for the best live streaming experience at 4K resolution. While the camera is ideal for still photography, creators can use it to produce the sharpest video quality for their live streams. What's more, the variety of tutorials available for this camera makes it a lot easier to learn and get the best of it. The only downside is the camera's tiny mic, which wouldn't meet your audio needs. So, you might have to go for an external mic. 

What do these terms mean?
🔎 Bidirectional Mode
Microphone audio setting where the mic is equally sensitive to sounds coming from the front and rear of the mic and least sensitive to sounds coming from the sides.
🔎 Stereo Mode
A wider audio pickup pattern that’s ideal for shooting live events or outdoors.
🔎 Omni Mode
With an omnidirectional microphone, sound is picked up equally from all directions. This is best when trying to pick up audio from multiple instruments or if you're interviewing someone in person.

Tripod

  • Elgato Multi-Mount System—Starts at $49

The Elgato Multi-Mount System is the perfect accessory to complete your streaming setup. It has three components: a weighted flat base, a core arm, and a flex arm kit with multiple mount arms. It offers flexible movements for your camera, mic, lighting, teleprompter, or any other accessory you might want to mount. A strong build quality means you can mount heavy objects too, like a DSLR camera. The rotating ball head allows for smooth angular movements—ideal for creators who have to move a lot in their streams, like cooking tutorials. 

  • JOBY GorillaPod 5K—$99.97

The JOBY GorillaPod 5K is a small, flexible tripod for SLR cameras weighing up to 5 kgs. You can use the adjustable legs to wrap the tripod on a pole or mount it on a desk. It has an aluminum ball head for seamless camera movement. The mounting base works well with multiple camera attachments, saving you the trouble of constantly attaching and detaching parts. The rubber foot grips can ensure durability even with rugged use. So, if you're live streaming outdoor events and games, the GorillaPod 5K has just what you need. 

Two-Point Lighting Setup

  • Elgato Keylight—$199.99

The Elgato Keylight is a flat panel LED light with a fully app-controlled functionality. You can easily moderate the color temperature or control the brightness from your system instead of reaching out to toggle any buttons. Its adjustable height means you can mount it on your desk or place it on the floor. Since the panel is bigger than most key lights in the market, this is ideal for creators with a large desk or a big studio space.  

  • Govee Glide Color Changing Wall Light—$169.99

The Govee Glide Color Changing Wall Light is a must-have accessory for a game streaming setup. You can do so much with this wall light using the desktop and mobile app. Play with many effects, patterns, and colors to create the perfect mood for your stream. You can also create and save your own customized presets for different occasions/moods. Pair it with a fill light or use it solo to see the full effect. 

📖 What is two-point lighting?
A two-point lighting setup uses two light sources and places the creator at the center of these sources. One of these sources is a key light that focuses on the subject, while the second is a fill light that fills the shadows created by the key light.

Accessories for specific use cases

  • Streamdeck Mini—$79.99

The Streamdeck Mini is a smart keyboard with six fully programmable LCD keys. You can customize the functionality for every key and pick a unique icon for that action. The keys have a tactile feel and instant feedback. This keyboard can easily automate different actions you use in a live stream. While it integrates with your system via the app, you can also integrate the keyboard with apps like OBS Studio, XSplit, Streamlabs, YouTube, and Twitch. At this price point, it’s well-suited for creators who stream frequently and want more hassle-free controls. 

💰[#TOC3] Pro Pack: For when you want to splurge on a pro-level setup[#TOC3]

Microphone

  • Shure SM7B—$399

The Shure SM7B is a dynamic XLR mic with a sleek design and sturdy build. This mic is a premium buy if you're willing to spend on creating the best setup for streaming. It offers amazing sound reproduction quality and proximity effect boost to produce clean and natural sound. The mic can be patterned to remove any unwanted sounds from the background. What's more, its built-in cable management design effortlessly creates a neat, wire-free look on your desk. 

  • RØDE NT1 Cardioid Condenser Mic—$228.22

The RØDE NT1 Cardioid Condenser Mic is a go-to choice for recording studios and a great fit for live streaming. You can record at a higher resolution than most mics with minimal ambient noise. This condenser mic comes with a stack of accessories like the shock mount, pop filter, dust cover, and XLR cable. It also has a superior build quality, so it looks and feels durable. Remember that the shock mount and pop filter can make the mic look huge and cover your face. So, you'll have to adjust its position according to the camera. 

Camera

  • Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro—$1,865

The Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro is a mid-range studio camera with a 7-inch HDR touchscreen. The touchscreen is a major differentiator from other cameras since it makes the interface and controls very intuitive. The camera's built-in tally lights give it a broadcast-style appeal, ideal for creators streaming action-packed content. The two XLR inputs ensure high-quality audio and the HDMI function means you can connect and control the camera through your system. 

  • Sony a7 III Mirrorless Camera with 28-70mm Lens—$1,998

The Sony a7 III is among the best mid-range cameras to feature in pro-level streaming equipment for beginners. The camera features a dynamic color range to improve video quality through different settings. Its powerful auto-focus and mirrorless design make it ideal for professional-quality live streaming. This camera is perfect for outdoor streams because of its long-lasting battery life and lighter weight. 

  • Panasonic AG-CX350 4K Camcorder—$3,488

The Panasonic AG-CX350 4K Camcorder is a professional standard 6-lens camera. It produces excellent audio and visual results and comes with a full-size HDMI port for live streaming. Its 32x intelligent zoom, image stabilization, and lens control features produce top-notch results. While the camera's built-in audio function is great, you can also use an external audio device with XLR cables. At this price point, this camcorder is ideal for professionals. But beginners who don't mind a learning curve can also get their hands on this power-packed device. 

📖 What does XLR mean?
XLR stands for X Connector, Locking Connector, Rubber Boot. These types of microphones are the go-to for high-quality audio. It's what professional recording and radio status use and what performers will use when live on stage.

Tripod

  • Manfrotto 502AH Tripod Kit—$499.88

The Manfrotto 502AH Tripod Kit has a flat base, a neatly designed video head, and aluminum tripod legs. The video head's base has a wheel designed for adjusting the tension for side-to-side camera movement. The option to attach the handle on either side of the video head makes the design ergonomic. It can also balance heavy cameras with seamless movements, thanks to its excellent pan and tilt functionality. You can also attach your monitor or any other accessory using the threaded connections on both sides of the video head. 

  • Sirui BCT-3002 Video Broadcast Tripod—$509

The Sirui BCT-3002 Video Broadcast Tripod is an excellent option for light and mid-size cameras. It comes with floor spreaders and has a maximum height of 59". The video head offers smooth movements, and the aluminum build doesn't feel bulky. The carbon legs slide flawlessly without any vibrations. This tripod works well for streaming educational content where you're writing on a whiteboard or drawing illustrations. 

⚡️ Pro Tip: The tripods listed above are mainly for heavy-duty cameras like the $3,488 Panasonic 4K Camcorder. The intermediate pack's Elgato Multi-Mount is the most versatile, affordable, and quality option for any beginner budget and suits most cameras.

Three-Point Lighting Setup

  • Keylight: Elgato Keylight—$199.99

The Elgato Keylight is the perfect option to highlight the subject in a three-point lighting setup. It's a flat panel light with adjustable height and customizable controls. Once assembled, you can jump to the Elgato Control Center and modify the light settings to suit your environment. You can attach this light to your desk or place it on the ground, behind the screen/camera. 

  • Fill Light: Elgato Keylight Air—$109.99

The Elgato Keylight Air is a smaller version of the original key light from Elgato—which you can use as a fill light to remove shadows. This would sit nicely on your desk and comes with a cable tether to keep the table clean. It isn't too bright, so it can fill the space with more light without throwing too much light. 

  • Backlight: Philips Gradient Signe —$329.99

The Philips Gradient Signe is the perfect backlight with gradient light settings that fill the entire room. These wireless lights work with Bluetooth and a mobile app so that you can control these lights directly from your phone. Choose from various patterns or create your custom patterns using the app. 

📖 What is three-point lighting?
A three-point lighting setup includes three light sources—the main light (key light) to focus on the subject, a fill light to prevent shadows, and a backlight to create a dramatic effect and add depth to the streaming space.

Accessories for specific use cases

  • Stream Deck XL—$209.99

The Stream Deck XL is a fully programmable keyboard with 32 LCD keys. You can create endless possibilities with this keyboard—set triggers, create customized actions, and save multiple sets of actions for different occasions. Unlike the mini version, the XL keyboard has an adjustable cable and a non-slip, magnetic stand that you can place anywhere. The best part: Elgato has launched an SDK for developers to build custom integrations for their keyboards and do more with this gadget. 

  • Cam Link Pro—$359.99

The Cam Link Pro is a quad input internal capture card with four HDMI inputs of up to 1080p 60 fps or 4k 30 fps. It’s significantly cheaper than buying four separate cam links, which makes it a great investment for creators looking to add more than one high-quality camera panel to their live streams. So, if you host multiple guests on a live show or stream panel discussions, this capture card is a godsend. Pair it with your Stream Deck for more intuitive control. 

The Best Streaming Software for Any Beginner’s Budget

VEED Live is a feature-packed live streaming (and multi-streaming) tool with a suite of tools to record, edit, repurpose, and store your stream footage. It’s an all-in-one tool so you don’t have to juggle multiple tools at the same time, can create professional-looking videos in minutes even if you’re not a pro, and save money spent on a massive tech stack.

You can also make your stream interesting with background effects, music, overlay text, and other assets. Record your live stream and edit it later to add subtitles, resize for major platforms, clean audio, and include your branding. No need to worry about downloading the clips either because they're already stored in your cloud account. 

What can VEED Live do?

  • Beautiful templates ready for your use case 
  • Access to all-in-one chat from all platforms
  • All in your browser, no need to download
  • Easy scheduling on multiple platforms
  • Stream to multiple platforms
  • Invite up to eight guests 
Live Streaming Equipment Checklist: A Guide for Streamers of All Skill Levels (and Budgets)

Komal Ahuja

One-click video editing, online.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What equipment do I need to stream?

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The best stream setup includes a camera, microphone, lighting, and a tripod. You can also include additional accessories to make your live stream smoother, like a customizable keyboard. 

How do you live stream?

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Live streaming on any platform is easy with VEED Live. You can go live on multiple channels and invite up to eight guests. The browser-based streaming platform gives you options to enhance your stream with text, audio, and background effects. Its all-in-one chatbox collects responses from all the platforms you’re streaming on.  

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