Elgato has had something of a fascinating trajectory, going from external capture card solutions before streaming was even mainstream to where they are now: a full-featured one-stop shop of home streaming products that can take you to Twitch stardom in moments (disclaimer: actual Twitch stardom not included). But, while you may be getting ready to click away at the mere mention of streaming, not filled with ambitions of owning oversized colorful chairs and talking through every game you play, I implore you to look again. Elgato is not just for streamers. Its suite of products is also perfectly suited to the new work from home world we find ourselves in, so if you spend your days behind a computer screen in the home office, Elgato is well worth a look.
We haven’t reviewed the entire line of Elgato products, but recently put together our experience after a few weeks with five different things that we’ve since integrated into our day-to-day workflow in the home office space. You can jump right to any one of them below:
- Elgato Key Light Review
- Elgato Wave XLR Review
- Elgato Wave Mic Arm Review
- Elgato Facecam Review
- Elgato Stream Deck Review
But as we reviewed each product individually, we found that we’d be remiss not to mention how the products all functioned in harmony, not just slotting into our setup perfectly, but fitting in with one another in a way that few other brands can boast. And best of all is the simple and modular design of all the products doesn’t limit you from having other products in your lineup either, even if they aren’t Elgato. In fact, the Wave XLR is a product specifically made so that if you don’t want to use an Elgato mic, you can easily use your own. That sense of open compatibility persists across all Elgato products. If you buy into the Elgato ecosystem, you aren’t locked into it; rather, Elgato will enhance your setup however you choose to integrate it.
At the center of things is the Stream Deck—and the assorted models you can get—which acts as a really cool controller for… just about anything. Stream Deck’s ability to integrate with IFTTT means you can make buttons and macros to engage with near limitless possibilities. Does your living situation benefit from smart home functionality? Stream Deck can add an extra layer (or ten) of desktop convenience to that, all with some sweet customizable screen buttons. And of course I turned mine into an external Spotify controller so I never have to fumble for my phone or try to find the Spotify window on my screen.
Stream Deck can also then control other Elgato apps and products, of course. Whether it’s adjusting camera settings on the Facecam, adding buttons to change mic settings, or controlling your Key Lights, Stream Deck becomes the central hub to streamline normally cumbersome tasks. And that’s all before showing how Stream Deck can make it as easy as pushing a single button to start your stream, change your lighting, enable your camera and mic, setup your windows on your screen just how you like them, and even shoot off a tweet letting your followers know you’re live. If you want Stream Deck to map a task to a button for you, you can probably find a way to make it happen.
Elgato also has a number of hardware pieces that can optimize your setup too. Whether it’s the two models of desk-mount mic arms, the different Key Lights depending on your needs, the simple yet high-quality Facecam, and microphone solutions, Elgato has you covered.
And that’s not even considering the products we didn’t review as part of the setup. Acoustic panels can improve audio reflections in your space. Cam Link can turn any camera into a webcam, letting you utilize higher quality DSLR cameras when you want to grow your setup. Capture cards for streaming, light rings and light strips, green screens, and the extra-versatile multi-mount system round out the selection that Elgato has to get you set up for streaming or at least looking good in your next video meeting. Elgato is a company that has clearly listened to its customers over the years as it’s built the product lineup, expanding within the space in a surprising yet natural way.
With everything they offer, the one thing I’d like to see Elgato work on next is optimizing its associated software and applications. Game Capture, Camera Hub, Control Center, Wave Link, Stream Deck—there are a lot of applications to download, install, and run if you use Elgato products. While each is great independently—and often getting updates from Elgato—it would be nice if they could be housed together in a kind of a la carte “Elgato Hub” where you can install what you need, but have them all unified in one place. It’s a minor thing, but it would be great for further organization and streamlining.
And the modular nature of everything means you aren’t ever locked in. You can grow, evolve, upgrade, and add or change out products as you need them—whether Elgato or not. Knowing Elgato for its capture cards in the past, it’s been amazing to see the product line grow to encompass a single place you can go to get all of the basics you may need for a home office setup, whether you choose to enter the streaming and content creation rat race or just want to bring some organization and quality to working from home. Elgato knows what people want—and perhaps more importantly, what they need. Want to upgrade your own home office? It’s well worth checking out Elgato to see if they can fulfill needs you may not even know you had.
Elgato products were provided to PlayStation LifeStyle for review. For more information, please read our Review Policy.