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Now, more than ever, it’s important to have the capability to produce content from your home. Maybe that’s for your job. or maybe because you want to start a livestreaming hobby to help get you through the rest of the pandemic. Or maybe you want to start an actual play Dungeons & Dragons podcast with your family as a means of keeping in touch. Whatever your purpose, the equipment to produce a pleasing and professional audio-visual product is more accessible than ever.

Let’s talk about what you should get for Black Friday and beyond.

USB microphones

Razer Seiren Mini

Price: $50
Where to buy: Amazon

The best place to start is with a USB microphone. You can get great sound that is a significant upgrade over whatever is built into your laptop or webcam. And the Razer Seiren Mini is tiny and easy to keep out of the way. But it also still sounds nice, and it should serve anyone well as they get started with livestreaming or creating content.

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Blue Yeti X

Price: $170
Where to buy: Amazon

The Blue Yeti X is my favorite USB microphone. It sounds great on its own. But then you can also pair it with Blue’s Voice software for on-the-fly processing. This enables you to do effects like compression as you are recording. So you don’t need to go back and add these effects later. It’s absolutely worth the price.

Cameras

Razer Kiyo

Price: $122
Where to buy: Amazon

The Razer Kiyo is simple, but it also produces a really nice image for a webcam.

AVerMedia Live Streamer Cam 4K

Price: $250
Where to buy: Best Buy

If you want a really good 4K webcam, AVerMedia delivered exactly that this holiday. It’s more expensive, but it should drastically improve the look of your video content.

Capture card

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K

Price: $250
Where to buy: AVerMedia Shop

For capturing 4K60 HDR gameplay on the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, the only real choice in my opinion is the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K. Elgato has its 4K60 Pro Mk2, but I haven’t tried that. I do have an original 4K60 Pro, and I really disliked working with that. The Live Gamer 4K, however, delivered great results like this:

I like the Live Gamer 4K for its great performance, but it does require a decent PC with a modern GPU to take full advantage of it. If you’d rather pair something with a laptop or want something that record direct to an SD card, I like the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2.

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