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Streamlabs vs OBS Studio - Which one should you use

Streamlabs vs OBS Studio - Which one should you use

We are talking about an extremely important comparison between
Streamlabs OBS vs OBS. Whether you are streaming to twitch, Facebook, or youtube to whatever. In this article, I'm going to be answering all the questions about OBS and streamlabs. I'm going to be breaking down a lot of common misconceptions and myths about actually both tools and which one you should be using and going to be revealing a hard truth about the streamlabs vs obs debate.

Who uses Streamlabs and OBS Studio?

Both are the most popular broadcasting software used by streamers on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live. Streamlabs is essentially a skin-over OBS Studio that provides the most versatility and is designed for streaming-friendly to go live easier. Streamlabs obs is actually using obs as a base.

What Is The Difference Between Streamlabs And OBS?

Both are free and open-source streaming software that are free to download and use. Streamlabs is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems while OBS is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has been used by streamers to stream to platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.

Both are incredibly similar software because streamlabs obs is actually using obs as a base and then putting an extra layer of features over the top of it. As well as, adding a bunch of extra features and plugins already installed but essentially at its core obs and streamlabs are the same thing.

Streamlabs OBS vs OBS Studio - Pros & Cons

Streamlabs OBS Pros

1. Easy to learn and Pre-made Layouts

It's easy to get the hang of and the learning curve isn't too steep. It is very effective and easy to grasp, and very easy to get a hold of. The layout is very basic if you are just now starting streaming. This is your first time and you're looking to learn OBS which is a very easy way to do. Just get in there and play around with Streamlabs OBS.

It also integrates very well with a twitch, the chat, the follows, everything along those lines well integrates into your Streamlabs OBS. You won't need to alt-tab to youtube which will save you some time and you won't need to view these updates you can simply just view them on the streamlab software.

2. Easy built-in feature to add widgets

Built-in feature to add widgets which provides less hassle when adding them via the browser source. Also, you can view what the widgets will look like on the stream while just editing your overlay. Streamlabs making the widgets so you won't need to make any stops to third-party websites and make it a little bit more hassle-free.

The widgets that are in Streamlabs OBS are easy to use. They're easy to figure out and with a basic tutorial on youtube and you'll be a master in no time.

3. Notifications

Notifications are very easy to get the hang of. All you'll need to do is just add some widgets and then you can add some notifications that way very easy to do very straightforward, and fantastic for beginning streamers.

Streamlabs vs OBS Studio - Which one should you use

4. Stream Management, Chatbot, Donation Page & More

When it comes to tracking follows, tracking subscriptions, hosts, donations, that kind of stuff it is fantastic at doing that because of that integration with twitch. Streamlabs connects directly to your YouTube or twitch or whatever you streaming through which provides a built-in display of your recent events whether it be real-time subscribers or donations or whatever that be.

Streamlabs vs OBS Studio - Which one should you use

5. Merchandise

One very great pro about streamlabs is the fact that their merch store is amazing. They have fantastic merchandise but that being said a lot of the merchandise is behind that paywall.

The streamlabs website is very intuitive. It's very easy to use. Very user-friendly and it's great for beginning streamers. The moderator bot which can be found on that website is pretty effective, it gets the job done. However, you can't change the name of it unless you pay for some stuff.

The paid version of Streamlabs OBS

How much does Streamlabs OBS prime cost?

Streamlabs Prime is available for $149 per year or $19 a month. Once Logitech took over a couple years ago they added a paywall to a lot of different features. Those features include a custom website and a couple other various things, you get a bunch of free overlays whenever you sign up for that paid version and it's decent. The overlays are pretty solid. The website's not so much but we'll get that on the other side of things.

It is mobile compatible, so you can stream it directly from your phone which is great but unless you pay for it there is a little streamlabs watermark if that's okay with you then fantastic. Also along the mobile lines, you can actually use that Streamlabs app on your phone to actually be a stream deck replacement kind of not totally so, but it's still pretty solid and still a great option.

Inside given the state of streamlabs version of OBS given that it's in beta. It's obviously gonna have some of its issues and little bugs and minor problems and just little frustrating things but also you can look at it like because it's in beta and it already has all these cool features. It's kind of cool to think about where it's gonna go next and all the cool things that can add from here once it gets to a fully developed version.

Streamlabs OBS - Cons

1. Higher CPU usage

It puts a little bit more stress on your CPU or GPU whichever one you use to encode than OBS because everything is using a local file as opposed to using a browser source.

If you're a gamer on a budget it's kind of hard to run streamlabs OBS because of its higher CPU usage. So it's more inaccessible to like a majority of the public.

However, if you are on a game or budget that's where you would go to the original OBS because it doesn't demand as much. Obviously, they're both free but you get the most out of your computer if you were to use original OBS over streamlabs because you have less CPU usage and demand from the online caster software.

2. Not customizable

It's not super customizable. So with normal OBS, you have the ability to add plugins that are going to be able to streamline your entire stream and just make it look more custom and just better. You can't put plugins on Streamlabs OBS which makes a huge difference in your stream.

3. Some Features Are Behind A Paywall

One of the biggest drawbacks of streamlabs is the prime version so that paid version. When Logitech took over they put a lot of things behind a paywall, that we had access to before Logitech took over which doesn't really sit right with me.

4. Web page isn't good

The web page is not fantastic at all. Coming from somebody that works in SEO, in digital marketing in my nine to five job it's not the best. It's poorly optimized and the SEO is not near the quality that it needs.

OBS Studio - Pros & Cons

OBS Studio - Pros

1. OBS just feels more basic

It has less features and therefore feels more navigable, especially for someone who's just getting you to streaming in gaming and all that. If you were to just start gaming and you're getting used to everything this would be the way to go. Also, it just gives you an idea of like what you're working with, and then from there on you can advance the more complicated programs like the streamlabs version of OBS.

2. Longevity

OBS has been around longer and with that longevity. It brings a lot more solutions to its problems. You won't experience as many bugs and issues. if you were to come across a problem, you can basically just go on the internet and Google search your problem and it will be under some forum, like Reddit or whatnot.com. You just got to kind of look that up and mostly every problem has already been fixed or has some sort of troubleshooting behind it.

3. It doesn't demand as much CPU usage as streamlabs does

When streaming OBS actually puts a little bit less stress on your pc, on the CPU on the GPU, whichever one you use to encode than Streamlabs OBS does again because streamelements is using the browser source whereas Streamlabs OBS is actually using local files and having to play those local files through your computer as well. The moderator bot on streamelements is a lot better.

4. Go live notification

You can change the go-live notification every time instead of having to open up the web browser and then log into the twitch app and then go into the creator dashboard to change the stuff.

5. Vertical audio mixer

You can make the audio mixer vertical which is much more natural to see using any type of audio editing software or just any audio. You see the vertical. So it's a good option of seeing that vertical and has more control over it. Also, you can see the decibel levels like the specific numbers besides everything it makes things a lot visually easier.

6. Subscriber count visibility

You can see your subscriber count without going into the creator dashboard on twitch. Just go straight into streamelements and update this which you need to right now as you can tell by your sub-goal there.

7. Quick access to source options

If for instance, you plug in a webcam or something that you would normally have to do after you plugin that camera, is go into properties which either leads you to double-click on the source and then click on deactivate then reactivate or you could right-click on it and then click on properties and then you deactivate/reactivate.

But in OBS studio, if you just click on the source, you have properties filters deactivate/reactivate right there which is very convenient. It's a few clicks but a few clicks make a lot of difference. So upload clips to Twitter instead of sending a clip link to Twitter because people don't want to click, you want to have it as easy as possible and obs studio took that ease of use and put it right into their program.

8. Plugins

One of the main reasons that you want to move to obs studio is the plugins that you could use.

These are the best 3 plugins of OBS

1. Closed Captions

If you don't want to superimpose captions on your screen for people who may not have wanted to see captions because speech to text sometimes isn't very accurate. So it could be pretty distracting for people who don't want subtitles so that's been a really cool feature.

2. Spectralizer

It puts the music hold on. As you play music, you will see the spectralizer which is basically just a visualizer reacting to the music that's playing.

3. Streamfx

Streamfx is really popular every plugin that you can use to blur out the spectralizer effect so it looks a little less rigid.

You're going to use streamelements which is kind of similar to Streamlabs. It's the same idea as Streamlabs but they do it a lot better. It is a little bit tougher to figure out, a little bit steeper, a little bit steeper of a learning curve but very well worth it in my opinion.

If you have a basic understanding of OBS in general then you should use the OBS platform with streamelements because it's so much more flexible and you're gonna your stream is gonna look so much more original. 

You can have something pop up on the stream a sound happen or just change the stream color I mean there's all kinds of crazy stuff that you can do with the plugins that you get for OBS. In my opinion, it is more functional as well as you can name it whatever you want to name it for free which I appreciate and I love having that feature.

OBS Studio - Cons

1. Tougher to learn

It takes a little longer to learn. It is a little bit steeper of a learning curve but in my opinion that learning curve is very well worth it. And also it's going to make you stand out as a streamer. When somebody comes in and can do something completely custom on your stream that's 100 worth, taking a little bit extra time and learning that little feature.

2. Complex interface

Its design and interface at first glance seem more complex than that of OBS giving you a feeling of a little bit more control and overall more options. However, it also can have its issues.

3. Not a full separation from SLOBS

If you are trying to completely separate yourself from streamlabs that is going to take a bit of work. Now there is a streamelements extension you can use on Google Chrome that can transfer your streamlabs stuff into streamelements. So you can then put it into obs studio which will completely help you separate from the streamlabs ecosystem.

4. Not convenient to use on multiple devices

It's very convenient to open up streamlabs on a different computer, log into it and then have all the scenes come over and that's not the case for obs studio. If you get a new computer then the thought of switching everything over is kind of painful. So theoretically, you could log into streamlabs obs again and you have your old stuff and then do the scene collection export to obs studio. And that is something a little less convenient about obs studio is that if you get a new device you have to do everything from scratch.

5. High GPU Utilization

Obs studio does use less CPU on computer. however, it uses a lot more GPU than streamlabs does. It's the part of settings because, for the most part, all your preferences are not set the same or scenes aren't pretty similar with the exception of a few plugins or the plugins make that much of a difference in the GPU usage.

6. Quick access to follower alert toggle

You could easily go into your alert box and turn off follower alerts.

Should You USE Streamlabs OBS or OBS Live?

If you're a beginner and you're not looking to get too technical with your overlays and everything else, go with streamlabs obs. It's so easy to get set up and start streaming or you can go with streamelements obs live, the plugin for obs, it'll also do the same thing. It's just a little bit trickier both will get you set up pretty much instantly though but then if you want to get technical or really start customizing things I recommend going with obs.

Streamlabs OBS vs OBS Studio- Which one should you use

Streamlabs OBS is an absolutely fantastic application if you're a beginning streamer and more amateur at the basic level. Its minimal and basic design is a better option because it's not as complicated. It's very easy to get the hang of and it's very easy to set up and customize.
However, if you are more tech-savvy or raring to try something complicated, go for the streamlabs version just because it has more options and flexibility in terms of what you want to do. So depending on your skill level is really which one you want to go for. Once you understand OBS and the program in general you should switch over to the plain old vanilla OBS with streamelements added.

It's gonna be a learning curve-changing streamelement but there are tutorials out there on youtube. Explaining everything you need to know about streamelements, and how to interlace them with OBS. So, in my personal opinion, I would say that OBS is the superior program, because of the plugins, customization, and originality that you can get with your stream through OBS and through streamelements. And the fact that they don't have that paywall.

The TRUTH About OBS and Streamlabs OBS!

Whether you use obs or streamlabs obs doesn't matter as long as the audience is enjoying themselves. Your stream is crystal clear. It works for you and there's no problems. At the end of the day, both programs are practically identical and it doesn't actually matter. If you need to switch between any of them, It's so easy because streamelements, streamlabs, and OBS have all built-in tools to help you switch between the two programs.

If your stream is high quality and clear, if it sounds good, if it looks good, if your audience is enjoying themselves and you don't need anything else then please just use whichever one works for you and stop insulting people if they don't use the right one.


Q. Streamlabs Desktop System Requirements

A. Streamlabs is compatible with major operating systems, such as Windows 10 or macOS 10.14 or higher. Intel® Core™ i5 CPU or higher (11th or 12th gen) and AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPU or higher. Nvidia RTX 20 or 30 series GPU or AMD RX 5000 or 6000 series. 8 to 16GB+ RAM and 512GB SSD or more storage space. Ethernet connection - You need 3.6 Mbps upload speeds or better for 720p at 30 fps for most platforms for live streaming.

Q. OBS studio Desktop System Requirements

A. Streamlabs is compatible with major operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux.


Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system, OS - Windows 8.1 (64-bit). Intel i5 2500K, AMD Ryzen 1300X processor, 4 GB of RAM, 500 MB available storage space, Version 10 of DirectX, and Graphics: GeForce GTX 900 Series, Radeon RX 400 Series, Intel HD Graphics 500. Hardware encoders recommended

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system. OS: Windows 10 (64-bit). Intel i7 8700K, AMD Ryzen 1600X processor, 8 GB of RAM, 500 MB available storage space, Version 11 of DirectX. Graphics: GeForce 10 Series, Radeon 5000 Series, Intel Xe, and broadband Internet connection.


Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system. OS - 10.13 or higher.
Intel quad-core processor recommended, 4 GB of RAM, Intel or AMD's Graphics, and 500 MB available storage space.

You need a 64-bit processor and operating system. OS: 10.15 or higher.
Intel quad-core or M1 (Pro/Max) processor, 8 GB of RAM, Intel, AMD, or Apple's Graphics, Broadband Internet connection, and 500 MB of available storage space. M1 native builds are not yet available.


To run OBS Studio on Linux systems, you need X window system or Waylanda and a GPU needs to be compatible with OpenGL 3.3. The Linux version of OBS Studio is available for Ubuntu 18.04 or later. Your Linux system must have FFmpeg to continue with the installation. 4 g of minimum RAM you need for a seamless installation of OBS Studio. Both Intel and AMD FX series CPUs support OBS Studio. However, dual or quad-core processors are preferred.

Q. Why does Streamlabs use so much CPU?

A. Streamlabs uses more CPU because it has the widgets and everything going on in the background whereas the original OBS doesn't have that going on. So with that the benefit you can get is your graphics on, your video games will look clear, and everything will run a little bit faster because your CPU is being dedicated elsewhere and this is just a really good benefit for the original OBS.

Q. How much RAM does OBS use?

A. OBS isn't primarily a RAM consumer software. At least 4 GB of RAM is recommended but you could go for 8 GB but it all depends on what features you've enabled and how many sources you use in one scene.

Q. What are the best streamlabs obs alternatives?

A. Here are the popular Streamlabs alternatives

1. OBS Studio
2. Xsplit
3. Lightstream
4. FFsplit
5. Wirecast
6. Prism Live Studio
7. Elgato

Q. What are the best OBS alternatives?

A. Here are the popular OBS studio alternatives

1. Streamlabs OBS
2. Camtasia
3. Screencast-O-Matic
3. ShareX
4. Bandicam Screen Recorder
5. XSplit Broadcaster
6. Movavi Screen Recorder
7. Lightstream Studio

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