If you’re in search of a new soundboard for streaming then you’ve come to the right place.
A soundboard is a physical device that allows you to play audio clips on the fly. Adding one to your setup can improve overall engagement, with humorous samples, iconic phrases, and memes.
It may be a low-cost and simple addition to work with, but a little goes a long way.
Regardless of the one you choose, expect a more professional mix and less stress while streaming.
What is the best soundboard for streaming?
5. CALIDAKA Live Sound Card
Dimensions: 13.0 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches
USB input: Micro-USB
Up first is the Live Sound Card from CALIDAKA. This digital soundboard simplifies adding audio sound bytes to your setup without skimping on any details.
The colorful interface is easy to navigate, and the labeled controls ensure you don’t miss a press. While there’s a lot going on, everything is well spaced-out. Due to this, you won’t have to worry about bumping into another knob or button when making quick adjustments.
At the top of the board are several knobs that control the pitch levels, including the treble, bass, and mid-tones. Additionally, the large knobs on the left and right offer volume control for two separate channels. The left knob is for your microphone while the right one is for a friend.
You’ll also like that the CALIDAKA Live Sound Card lets you clear up the quality. One-click noise reduction reduces unwanted background sounds such as digital clicks and pops. This works particularly well and should help solve any audio issues.
This soundboard features 27 built-in sound effects with the ability to personalize them as you see fit. For effects, you get a mixture of samples, K-song tones, and voice effects. The voice effects include favorites such as male, female, baby, and robot. Robot is our favorite here, sounding very realistic.
Finally, we like that the CALIDAKA Live Sound Card is Bluetooth compatible. It has an advertised 10-meter range, though we suggest 5 meters for top quality. A built-in 1800MAh rechargeable battery provides the power. This can last up to 12 hours during a broadcast and recharges in just 3-hours.
Overall, the CALIDAKA is great little budget soundboard that’s suitable for the most basic streaming setups.
4. MAONO Maonocaster
Dimensions: 14.6 x 11.4 x 5.5 inches
USB input: Type-C
The MAONO Maonocaster is an “all-in-one device” that combines an audio mixer with a sound effects board. It supports most mainstream software programs, like OBS, Discord, and Zoom. Additionally, it’s compatible with laptops and PCs that operate on Windows and Mac.
The MAONO Maonocaster has a simple yet easy-to-understand design. While it doesn’t have as many buttons as other soundboards, everything you need is available and properly labeled. The minimalistic design pays off without removing any essential features.
Supporting up to four devices simultaneously with basic volume and equalizer controls, the mixer aspect is a nice addition. Next to the channels are twelve sound sample buttons. Eight of these are built-in samples (including applause, laughter, and cheer) and four are user-recordable buttons.
To the right of the twelve sample pads are six buttons for controlling effects. Here you will find an effect and a pitch button for voice customization. Additionally, there’s a simple “denoise” function. That allows you to get rid of background noise for an immediate increase in audio quality.
The Maonocaster connects to audio sources in multiple ways, including USB-C, a 3.5mm jack, and Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with USB or XLR microphones, though. Clearly, this is a big con for those who wish to use their own mic and benefit from the audio mixer side of things.
However, for new streamers without any of their own gear, a nice bonus is that the deal includes everything you need to get you started. On top of the device itself, you get a bonus condenser microphone, a tripod, and even a windscreen muff!
Overall, the Maonocaster is a great entry-level bit of kit that comes with all the basics.
3. Elgato Stream Deck
Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.8 x 3.3 inches
USB input: Type-A
The Elgato Stream Deck is one of the most popular streaming options out there for control, and it doesn’t limit you to audio controls alone. With direct integration for programs like TipeeStream, Twitch, and YouTube, this is a fantastic choice for handling software applications as well.
The Stream Deck features 15 LCD keys for easy functions. While other soundboards have set functions, the Stream Deck is completely customizable. It may take some time to understand the software and create a good layout for your actions, but the possibilities are endless.
As for the touch keys themselves, these provide both tactile and visual feedback. This makes it easy to find the effect that you’re after. It also feels quite satisfying when the command went through. Use the LCD keys to mute audio channels, control volume, kick off sound bites, and more.
Another massive plus is the ability to create and nest folders in the keys via the software. Unlike other interfaces that limit your control, this lets you expand the functionality well beyond the 15 LCD keys. Think of it like multiple pages of an online book that scroll with two fixed arrow keys.
All in all, while the Stream Deck is not a dedicated soundboard, it’s easy to see why so many swear by it for their streaming sessions.
2. Donner MIDI Pad Beat Maker
Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
USB input: Type-C
The Donner MIDI Pad Beat Maker is an ultra-lightweight midi-controller. Measuring just 1.3 inches in depth, it opts for a low-profile, pad-oriented design. Due to this, it can easily slip inside a backpack alongside a laptop or other devices.
Knobs and sliders control the volume, but the keypads provide the bulk of the features. Sixteen keys are programmable through three banks for a total of 48 different assignments. All customization is then performed within the STARRYPAD Editor. Here you can quickly assign individual mini codes.
We like that there’s plenty of versatility in the software. The editor lets you adjust the MIDI channel or note numbers for each pad/ fader/ knob, as well as the A/ B/ play/ and pause buttons. A slight caveat though is that the remaining buttons have fixed functions. However, for users of MPC and other DAWs, this may even be an advantage.
Made from silicone, the keypads are soft to press, yet quick to respond to the actions behind them. They also light up in seven different colors, making it painless to memorize commands.
For plug-and-play access, the included USB-C cord connects the device to laptops. The setup is quick but admittedly, the user manual isn’t all that helpful so finding your way around the device takes a little longer. Overall, intermediate users, in particular, will appreciate this soundboard for streaming.
1. PreSonus ATOM Production
Dimensions: 14 x 11 x 6 inches
USB input: Type-A
The PreSonus ATOM Production provides vast soundboard functionality without taking up much of your desk’s real estate. While it migrates further away from the concept of pre-installed sound clips, it integrates with programs like Studio One for the utmost control.
The interface houses 16 full-sized pads that are both pressure and velocity-sensitive. These sit next to eight assignable banks that store away plenty of features for the moment that you need them. Additionally, there are four programmable rotary encoders at the top of the bank.
With the included software, it’s easy to draw custom responses from the pads. The smaller buttons on the sides then help you to create and navigate these functions, while the rotary encoders provide intuitive controls for audio levels. Much like the pads, the dials are completely programmable.
All programming is possible through the ATOM, Studio One Software. Here you can quickly add sound effects and adjust presets to suit your needs. Due to ATMO being included with the deal, we especially like that you don’t have to deal with any pesky ads to access this powerful tool.
Finally, another neat thing about the ATOM software is that it offers deeper integration with Ableton Live (with the Live Lite version free). This is where things really start to get interesting. In Ableton, you can launch clips and scenes, and even download VST plugins to create your own wacky effects.
Overall, thanks to its sixteen assignable pads, great touch response, and software plugins, the PreSonus ATOM comes out on top as our best soundboard for streaming.
What is a Soundboard for Streaming?
A soundboard is a device that allows you to play audio clips or sound bites on the fly. These clips and bites may include samples from iconic phrases, funny memes, or other audio recordings. Broadcasters use a soundboard alongside live streaming software to help engage/ excite a stream.
Soundboards are commonly integrated on other devices such as audio mixers. For this reason, some people may refer to audio mixers as a soundboard. Examples would include the TC-Helicon GoXLR or Rode Rodecaster Pro that both integrate a soundboard to their interface.
Soundboards used for streaming have buttons and controls that address different audio aspects. These vary depending on the model you choose, but they all work to fine-tune and cultivate the perfect audio environment for your stream.
Soundboards typically incorporate two or more sources of audio, such as a microphone, background music, and/or gameplay. The soundboard provides greater control over all of these sources, so you do not need to fumble around in different places to address any issues.
When live streaming, it’s much easier to use a soundboard to address quality issues like tuning or feedback than it is to dive into your audio programs. That’s because they have physical buttons, knobs, or sliders. They provide immediate control over different channels, compression modifications, and equalization.
Moreover, because everything is all in one place, it only takes a few movements for you to solve problems and get back to your stream.
Can You Use a Stream Deck as a Soundboard?
You can use a Stream Deck as a soundboard, but it’s not a one-for-one swap. You need to dive into Stream Deck and OBS Studio to customize the Stream Deck for use as a soundboard. After adding your own audio files, only then can you use it as a soundboard.
The Stream Deck allows you to create folders for different functions, so you can store all your soundboard controls in an appropriately labeled folder. It takes an extra button press but lets you organize soundboard controls alongside other Stream Deck functions.
Using OBS Studio, you can add channels to the Stream Deck and add mute and volume up and down functions. It’s important to note that this does not replace the faders that you get with a soundboard, but it works for basic controls.
The Stream Deck software also includes actions that let you add and control specific sound effects, similar to a soundboard’s customizable buttons. The Stream Deck can play these simultaneously and add unique icons, but you need to run it through a fader if you want that option.
Using a Stream Deck as a soundboard works best if you want simple controls without adding to the clutter on your desk.
How to Choose the Best Soundboard for Streaming in 2024
Choosing the right soundboard is an easy way to boost the quality of your stream. There are plenty of options out there, but you need to rule out any low-quality soundboards that will not meet your needs.
Look for a higher-quality soundboard that does not suffer from issues like buzzing or muffling sound. If the soundboard has programmed noise clips you cannot override, make sure their quality is up to par for your preference.
Ensure that you won’t lose quality for anything you program to the soundboard.
On top of programmed and programmable keys, pay attention to other audio effects offered by a soundboard. This includes the ability to play multiple sounds at the same time, equalization controls, or fader slides.
Some soundboards also offer audio mixing features. If you’re looking for something simple to cover both areas then you need to opt for a soundboard with greater effects options and quality.
Pay attention to the software that a soundboard uses, and make sure it is compatible with your streaming platform. Make sure the software has plenty of positive reviews and covers everything you need.
Soundboard software should be easy to use and allow you to program keys.
Pick a soundboard that fits on your desk in an area that is easy to reach and has enough room for the control you need.
Larger soundboards are more likely to offer extra features like control knobs and sliders. They also have more buttons that provide easier access to a plethora of sound clips.
While Bluetooth is a decent option for wireless connectivity, you really want a soundboard that features a USB connection. You’ll run into fewer issues, like disconnection and latency. There’s little worse than the awkward silence while you wait for an audio track to hit.
If you’re doubling its use as an audio mixer, make sure the soundboard can connect to your mic or other audio devices properly.
Ease of Use
All these features are pointless if you can’t figure out how to work the soundboard. It’s usually as simple as tapping a key to play a sound, but soundboards still require effort to set up the clips and audio settings.
Some come with labels to remind you what each button does. Others let you swap through different audio banks to give you more sound options. Make sure this does not get too confusing.
We hope you found a soundboard for streaming on this list.
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