Stream Controllers

Is Stream Deck Plus Worth the Hype? Our In-Depth Review

If you’re a content creator, then you’ve probably heard of Elgato’s Stream Deck, a device that allows you to control pretty much every aspect of your stream.

But now, Elgato has taken the Stream Deck to the next level with the Stream Deck Plus, combining the best features of the classic Stream Deck with four endlessly rotating dials and a touch screen. This new device is designed to offer even greater control over your audio, lighting, and cameras, and Elgato thinks it’s the ultimate tool for content creators.

In this review, we will take a closer look at Stream Deck Plus and see if it lives up to the hype.

Our Pick
Elgato Stream Deck Plus - Controller for Streamers and Content Creators
$178.00

The Elgato Stream Deck Plus is a versatile device that allows content creators and streamers to control their software and hardware with ease. With 8 LCD keys, 4 dials, and a touch bar, it's designed to offer greater control over your audio, lighting, and cameras.

Pros:
  • Finer control with dials
  • Unlimited pages
  • Unlocks Wave Link audio software
Cons:
  • Only 8 buttons per page
  • Limited third-party plugins
Buy Now
We may earn commission on purchases at no extra cost to you.
04/16/2024 03:42 pm GMT

What is Stream Deck Plus?

The Stream Deck Plus features 8 Stream Deck LCD Keys that are both familiar and improved over previous models. These keys are larger and more spaced out than those found on the Stream Deck or Stream Deck XL, making them easier to read and less prone to accidental pressing.

At the bottom of the device, there are 4 endlessly rotating dials that can be clicked in and have tactile bumps for feedback as you turn.

Separating the keys and the dials is a touch-sensitive screen called the Touch Strip. This screen shows information about each of the dials beneath it, but it can also be pressed or swiped for additional functionality.

Stream Deck Plus Swipe Page 2
8 LCD Keys, Touch Strip, and 4 Dials

What can the Dials control?

Elgato has added dial functionality for all of its flagship software at launch. You can configure the dials to adjust various settings, such as:

  1. The ISO, White Balance, or Pan/Tilt/Zoom of your webcam in Camera Hub.
  2. Lights on and off, as well as their brightness and color temperature in Control Center.
  3. Mute or adjust levels for any of your audio inputs or outputs in Wave Link.

In addition, they have launched a new plugin through the Stream Deck software called Volume Controller, which lets Windows users control the audio of individual applications. This is a smart feature as you can set a profile that will automatically populate the dials with any apps that are currently playing audio.

Since its launch, many third-party developers have added dial functionality to their Stream Deck plugins, introducing a variety of new and useful features.

Some notable examples include adjusting the volumes of any audio source in OBS Studio, controlling individual volumes of friends on Discord, and changing the brightness and temperature of Philips Hue lights.

Stream Deck Plus Dials Closeup
Tactile Rotating Dials

Dial Stacking

The dials on Stream Deck Plus can utilize Dial Stacking, which lets you add as many actions as you want to a single dial. You can then cycle between these actions by clicking the dial inwards.

For instance, you can use Dial Stacking to control both your personal monitor mix and the audience’s stream mix on a single dial. By clicking the dial inwards, you can easily switch between the two sets of controls.

Stream Deck Plus Dial Stacking
Dial Stacking

Hotkeys

The Stream Deck Plus dials can also be set up to map both clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation, as well as dial clicks, to specific hotkeys. This feature enables you to control various functions in any app, even if it doesn’t have a Stream Deck plugin built-in.

For instance, you can use the dials to adjust brush size in Photoshop, zoom in and out of timelines or color grading in DaVinci Resolve, or adjust playback speed on YouTube. This means that Stream Deck Plus can be used to enhance your workflow in a variety of applications beyond just streaming software.

Stream Deck Plus DaVinci Resolve
Hotkey Example

What does the Touch Strip do?

Each of the 4 sections of the Touch Strip can be tapped to trigger an additional action, such as muting an audio source or turning a light on and off.

Stream Deck Plus Touch Strip
Touch Strip

Moreover, swiping left or right on the Touch Strip allows you to navigate through the Stream Deck pages you have set up. This effectively gives you access to as many buttons and dials as you could ever need.

Stream Deck Plus Swipe Page 4
Page 1 – Lights
Stream Deck Plus Swipe Page 3
Page 2 – Camera Controls
Stream Deck Plus Swipe Page 2
Page 3 – Audio

The Touch Strip can also be completely customized with your choice of icons and backgrounds. Elgato has provided a variety of options for you to choose from, or you can create and use your own designs.

This means that you can personalize your Stream Deck Plus to match your preferences and aesthetics, making it not only a powerful tool but also a stylish addition to your streaming setup.

Stream Deck Plus Dial Backgrounds
Dial Backgrounds

How to Add Actions to Stream Deck Plus

The Stream Deck Plus’s drag-and-drop functionality makes adding controls to the dials an incredibly easy process. To add an action to an empty dial, simply drag and drop it into place.

Furthermore, the new dials toggle displays all available dial actions that you can add, making it even simpler to configure Stream Deck Plus to your liking.

Stream Deck Plus Adding an Action
Adding an Action to Stream Deck Plus

Smart Profile Switching

Smart Profile Switching still works as it did with other Stream Decks, but with the added benefit of dials.

This means that if you’re editing in Premiere Pro, Stream Deck Plus can be set to show one profile of controls. And if you switch to a streaming app like OBS, it can automatically swap to showing all your Twitch controls instead.

Stream Deck Plus Automatic Profile Switching 1
Editing in Premiere Pro
Stream Deck Plus Automatic Profile Switching 2
Streaming on Twitch

Elgato surprised everyone with the Stream Deck Plus by unlocking their audio control software, Wave Link, to anyone with the device. This means that you no longer need an Elgato Wave device like Wave:1, Wave:3, Wave DX, or Wave XLR to make use of the excellent Wave Link software.

Now, any microphone, whether it’s USB or XLR, can be used with Wave Link. If you’re using an XLR mic, you can use any interface and still get all of the Wave Link functionality.

This opens up a world of possibilities for controlling all your different audio channels, submixes, custom VST plugins, and easily managing audio in OBS using any microphone with just a Stream Deck Plus.

Elgato Wave Link Software
Elgato Wave Link Software

Areas for Improvement

While the Stream Deck Plus is a powerful and versatile tool for content creators and streamers, there are a few areas for improvement to consider.

One issue to be aware of is the potential for accidentally adjusting adjacent knobs when using the dials. Some users may find that the knobs could have been spaced out a bit further to prevent this from happening.

Moreover, the USB-C cable on the Stream Deck Plus comes out at the top rear of the device, which may not be as aesthetically pleasing as having the cable hidden behind the device like on the Stream Deck and Stream Deck XL. While this may not be a major issue for most users, it’s something to be aware of, especially for those who prioritize clean cable management.

Stream Deck Plus Cable Connection
USB-C Connection on SD+
Stream Deck Comparison of Cable Connections
USB-C Connection Comparison

Additionally, although the stand can be removed, the cable positioning means that the Stream Deck Plus cannot be laid flat, which may be a drawback for some users who prefer this top-down setup.

Stream Deck Plus cant lay flat
Stream Deck Plus without stand

Building Plugins for the Stream Deck Plus

The true value of Stream Deck Plus will become apparent as more third-party developers build useful plugins that can be controlled by the dials. If more developers jump on board, there are countless possibilities for what can be controlled with dials.

Imagine adjusting VST plugins for your audio chain, changing the pitch of your voice, customizing the length of timers for your stream, or adjusting channel point redemptions.

The possibilities are endless, as long as developers decide it’s worth their work. With the potential for third-party developers to create new functionality for Stream Deck Plus, the device has the potential to become an even more powerful tool for content creators and streamers.

Check out our guide on advanced Stream Deck tips and discover game-changing plugins that have been built for Stream Deck so far.

Summary

The Stream Deck Plus is a fantastic device that can consolidate multiple devices on your desk. With its endless pages, customizable Touch Strip, Dial Stacking, and Wave Link functionality, it’s the perfect tool for content creators.

While there are some minor issues with the device, the true value of the Stream Deck Plus will become apparent as third-party developers create new functionalities that can be controlled by the dials.

Overall, Stream Deck Plus is a must-have device for any content creator looking to streamline their workflow and enhance their productivity. With its powerful features and potential for further development, Stream Deck Plus is an excellent investment for anyone in the content creation industry.

Our Pick
Elgato Stream Deck Plus
$178.00

The Elgato Stream Deck Plus is a versatile device that allows content creators and streamers to control their software and hardware with ease. With 8 LCD keys, 4 dials, and a touch bar, it's designed to offer greater control over your audio, lighting, and cameras.

Pros:
  • Finer control with dials
  • Unlimited pages
  • Unlocks Wave Link audio software
Cons:
  • Only 8 buttons per page
  • Limited third-party plugins
Buy Now
We may earn commission on purchases at no extra cost to you.
04/16/2024 03:42 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Stream Deck Plus vs Stream Deck XL

Stream Deck Plus vs Stream Deck XL

The Stream Deck Plus and Stream Deck XL are two of the most popular devices in Elgato’s Stream Deck lineup. While they share many similarities, there are also some key differences to consider.

One of the most notable differences is the price point. Stream Deck Plus has an RRP of $199.99, which is $50 less than the Stream Deck XL, which has been out for three years now. While this price difference may not be significant for some users, it could be a deciding factor for others.

Another difference to consider is the number of buttons. The Stream Deck XL features 32 LCD keys, while the Stream Deck Plus has 8 LCD keys and 4 dials. While the Stream Deck XL offers more buttons, the Stream Deck Plus offers more versatility and customization options with its dials.

Ultimately, the decision between Stream Deck Plus and Stream Deck XL will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you require more buttons, the Stream Deck XL may be the better choice. However, if you prioritize usability and customization options, Stream Deck Plus may be the better option.

Video Review

As with all of our reviews, below we have included a video version if you want to see the device in action.

The NEW Stream Deck Wants To Do It All…

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The founder of Gaming Careers with a borderline unhealthy obsession for cameras, microphones, and all things streaming. He gets mistaken for Stephen Merchant at least 5 times a day.

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