As someone who livestreams constantly, but keeps his setup confined to a relatively simple suite of hardware, I’ve often wondered if something like a streaming hub would help streamline my process and help me keep things organized. It just so happens that Razer has such options, and its latest is the Razer Stream Controller X: a handy little hub with 15 programmable buttons and a wealth of customizability for accessing livestream apps, functions, and extras to make running your shows easy. I gave this little dynamo a whirl and came away feeling like it’s about to make my livestreams both better and easier to execute.
What’s in the box?
The Razer Stream Controller X offers a very simple set of hardware. In the box, you’ve got the Stream Controller panel itself, a magnetic mount for the device, a USB-C-to-USB-A cable, and a removeable magnetic faceplate that can be swapped with what I imagine will be fun and colorful options in the future. It’s also ready to go at a very basic level the moment you plug it in with no installations necessarily required. However, to begin really tinkering with the device, you’ll need to download Loupedeck, which has partnered with Razer to bring easy functionality of a variety of apps to the device. Razer also suggests you install Synapse for some reason, but Synapse doesn’t seem to provide any functionality or customization here.
Either way, setup of the Razer Stream Controller X is ridiculously easy. Once Loupedeck was installed and I’d had a good look at what I could do with it, I felt confident in playing with the settings and programming buttons to my heart’s content. It helps that with Loupedeck, the device already has some easy connectivity with programs like OBS, Streamlabs, and Discord. I was able to customize it to the point where I could launch these programs automatically with a few button presses and access most of my scene functionality in OBS in a jiffy.
What can it do?
As hinted at above, the full benefit of the Steam Controller X lies in just how much you can reduce the opening of applications, and accessing their functionalities down to a few buttons on the hardware. The Razer Stream Controller X has 15 LCD buttons. What’s more, you can create multiple pages of buttons to cycle through and even create unique profiles for users and their various needs.
Heck, you could use the Stream Controller X to simply reduce your on-screen clutter even when not streaming by programming the opening of various commonly used applications to the device, such as Steam, Discord, and Slack. If you don’t have the functionality for a certain program built into the Stream Controller, Loupedeck has a marketplace full of plug-ins in which you could likely find what you’re looking for.
Ultimately, I set up one page of buttons entirely for the applications I wanted to be able to access quickly, one page of buttons for OBS functions, one page of buttons for Twitch stream and chat management tools, and then finally a page of buttons for sound effects and stingers. That last one in particular was quite fun because while the Razer Stream Controller X has a suite of sound effects you can use as a basic soundboard, it didn’t take me long to create some custom sound files and load them into the thing for one-touch goofs and gaffs you’re probably going to hear regularly in my upcoming streams.
And that barely scratches the surface of functions you can add to this little device. I will say that it definitely feels geared towards people who know what they are doing with a stream. The amount of options and functionality on offer through the Stream Controller X is dizzying and I’d say it can be overwhelming to figure out what defaults are appropriate to change and what custom options will fit your needs. However, if you know what you want out of it, the Razer Stream Controller X will likely provide and then some.
Is it worth it?
At the end of the day, the Razer Stream Controller X is a very fancy set of customizable buttons. You don’t necessarily need it to livestream, and I would actually recommend getting some time under your belt and figuring out what your needs are as a livestreamer before you invest in something like this. That said, if you’re going to go in on livestream companion hardware, this is a good option. It retails at $149.99 USD, which is on the low end of what you’d pay either with Razer or Elgato’s previously offered products. For that price, you get 15 buttons that feature a high level of customizable functionality to help streamline a great deal of workflow and functions on and off stream.
For my part, once I saw what the Razer Stream Controller X was capable of alongside the Loupedeck software, I had a field day tooling it to fit my needs perfectly. What’s more, I’m confident that if my needs change, I’ll be able to change up the Stream Controller X easily along with them. I can certainly recommend it if you’re looking to make your livestreaming efforts an altogether easier and better process.
This review is based on a sample unit provided by the manufacturer. The Razer Stream Controller X retails at $149.99 USD and is available on Razer’s website and through approved Razer retailers.
Razer Stream Controller X
- 15 easily programmable LCD buttons
- Vast array of customization options
- Easy to tweak if you know what you want
- Loupedeck is good support software
- Functions go beyond livestreaming
- Low price among competing products
- A bit too technical for beginners
- Razer Synapse doesn't do anything for this hardware