Streamlabs and OBS are popular streaming tools. The former is used for streaming and broadcasting, while the latter is used equally for streaming and recording.
The article covers tests and features to help you decide on this Streamlabs vs. OBS comparison.
If you have a medium to high-end PC, choose Streamlabs. If you have a low-end PC, you should invest in OBS because it does not impact the computer’s performance and is highly customizable.
What are both?
Streamlabs and OBS Studio are streaming and recording applications to stream (mostly games) on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms.
Both are powerful in their ways. Streamlabs supports chat, charity, themes, donations, and many other things, eliminating the need for plugins or third-party apps.
However, the program is heavier than OBS.
OBS Studio, on its own, offers the core features but lacks advanced options.
Nevertheless, it’s highly customizable, and with its customizations, the right person can make it more potent than Streamlabs OBS.
Streamlabs looks much like OBS Studio because it uses OBS Studio’s source code.
How do both work
In both, we have scenes and sources. Think of those as stages and equipment. Scenes are stages that we fill with lights and mics (sources).
In Streamlabs and OBS, we have scenes for different streaming environments. For example, chatting with followers will have a scene; for gameplay, you will have a different scene, etc.
Sources include text, display window, video player, image, solid color, etc. So, you can populate scenes with those sources and switch between scenes with one click.
Supported streaming platforms
In terms of supported streaming platforms, OBS is the winner. Streamlabs supports:
- Many RTMP-supported services
OBS, in comparison, supports around 90 streaming services, including the above. Like Streamlabs, you can add a custom RTMP-supported service if you have the details.
Ease of use
Installing both is straightforward. The problems start when you update. With OBS, you get a pop-up when you open the software.
With Streamlabs, there is no pop-up or option to check if the update is available. You have to check the website manually.
Regarding ease of use, Streamlabs is more accessible. Because of its easy-to-navigate interface, many new streamers tend to use Streamlabs.
OBS, at first, can be overwhelming, and it also doesn’t have many built-in features making it challenging to communicate with your followers.
Let’s see some unique features in this Streamlabs vs. OBS battle. Both come with an auto-game detection feature to detect the active game automatically. Below are the features unique to both apps.
Streamlabs OBS pros
Built-in-chat: Streamlabs offers a built-in chat feature with a web-based chatbot to filter out spam. On OBS, you need to install a plugin to enable chat.
Themes/overlays: Streamlabs OBS supports and comes with a wide range of free themes. Check out the 25 free and best Streamlabs overlays.
Donations and payments: Streamlabs offers five built-in payment options to accept donations from fans on YouTube and Twitch. The team does not cut your tips.
Dashboard: Video stats, events, view time, and many other statistics can be viewed on the Streamlabs dashboard. The tool gives you insights to help you work on the weak spots.
Charity: The program allows starting a charity for free.
Test button: The test button lets you oversee all the arrangements before going live. It also helps you determine whether your stream alerts have been organized properly.
Undo changes: The program allows you to undo any mistakes with the Ctrl + Z command during a streaming activity.
Remote control: Streamlabs mobile controller app lets you control the Streamlabs OBS desktop app from your mobile phone.
Free sound library: The program offers a free sound library for alerts and notifications.
Minimal CPU usage: From the tests I conducted, OBS consumed minimal CPU resources. Because of that, your gameplay and streaming are smooth compared to Streamlabs.
Starts quickly: While testing, Streamlabs took 5 to 8 seconds on average to open, while OBS only took about 3 seconds.
Over 100 plugins: The tool has about 118 plugins to extend its functionalities.
No Visual C++ Redistributable: Streamlabs requires and installs Microsoft Visual C++, whereas OBS does not.
Optimize on first-time start: OBS shows a wizard to optimize the program for streaming or recording.
Gets updates frequently: OBS gets updates regularly.
SLOBS vs. OBS: Tests
From here, we take some tests and see which performs better.
In terms of performance, OBS wins the battle. While testing OBS, I saw a 5 to 10 percent increase in CPU usage.
In contrast, the performance impact of Streamlabs OBS was 15 to 20 percent which is reasonably high compared to OBS.
In the first test, I recorded the Cyberpunk 2077 game for at least one minute on the same configurations. Streamlabs, by default, saves videos in the MP4 format, and OBS saves in MKV.
Despite the format differences, both videos consumed 21 MB of storage respectively. One should not be surprised because both tools use the same source code.
Power usage test
Like the performance test, the Task Manager of Windows helped me to see my PC’s power usage. It turns out that Streamlabs is a heavy program.
While recording a video in OBS, the power usage was low, but while recording the gameplay in Streamlabs, the power usage was very high at all times.
Related: Streamlabs vs. StreamElements
Supported operating systems
Streamlabs OBS is available for Windows, Android, and iOS devices. It can be partially installed on Linux with the help of the OBS Linux Browser plugin while it is in the beta stage for macOS.
Its mobile app offers to chat with fans and access the Ultra subscription features to stream directly from your mobile phone.
On the other hand, OBS is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The DroidCam OBS app allows you to use your phone’s camera in OBS.
OBS Studio is free to use. Streamlabs has a premium toolkit called Ultra. It’s available for $19 monthly or $149 if paid yearly.
The subscription gives access to the following features:
- Premium themes and overlays
- Access apps on their website
- 10 GB cloud storage for streams
- Custom tip page
- YouTube thumbnails and Twitch panels
- Up to four on-camera guests
Other than that, you get to enjoy some premium features of the following apps:
- Melon App Pro
- Oslo Editor Pro
- Willow Link Pro
- Streamlabs Console
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Which one is for you
OBS is for streaming and recording games. It does not affect the computer’s performance, so it’s best for low to mid-range computers.
However, for easy access to many options, Streamlabs is your best bet if you are new. The only catch is that you need a fair computer to play a heavy game and Streamlabs simultaneously.
Streamlabs vs. OBS: Links
Regarding Streamlabs vs. OBS, it is impossible to declare one better. Both have their pros and cons. Here we end this article.
Feel free to share your thoughts about the two and help me improve this article by sharing your suggestions.
Tuesday 17th of May 2022
update this Mixer is dead dead.
Tuesday 17th of May 2022
@MixerIsDead, Thank you. The article has been updated.