XSplit vs OBS: Best Streaming App [2021]

The year 2020 started off with COVID-19 pandemic.

Then came lockdown in respective parts of the world. And during this time, online streaming achieved new heights of popularity.

For quite some time, online streaming was considered nothing more than a hobby but nowadays, it has become a career option.

Online viewers are always in search of professional-looking streams. And you’ve got the chance to stand-out among them. All you need is a software that can offer the best possibilities to fulfil your goals.

In this regard, you can use either XSplit or OBS. But which one’s the best? That’s what I’ll find by the end of this post. So, stay tuned to find the answer.

Choosing the Best Software?

Before I go into this battle between XSplit and OBS, it’s important to summarize the latest vesrion of these two software. I’ll first begin with summarizing OBS. So, let’s get started:

OBS Summary

When it comes to OBS, you got to choose between OBS Studio & Streamlabs. And after comparing the two, Streamlabs OBS seemed like a friendly version of OBS Studio. It comes with the same OBS code but revamped to offer better user experience. Any new streamer will prefer Streamlabs OBS over the raw unfiltered software OBS Studio.

And if you’re planning to go deep into this, the choice is yours. What do you want? One-Click ease of use with Streamlabs OBS or find the best possible settings manually..

XSplit Summary

XSplit comes with two choices for you – XSplit Gamecaster and XSplit Broadcaster. The different between these two can easily be spotted with their name.

But is it enough? NO.

The XSplit Gamecaster provides better overlay support, & in-game integrations whereas on the other hand, Broadcaster gives you freedom to do other things in the background.

XSplit Broadcaster can be used with almost every type of online streaming. However, XSplit Gamecaster is dedicated for streaming games online.

XSplit vs OBS

Based on your preference, pick any one streaming appplication from XSplit Broadcaster/Gamecaster or Streamlabs OBS/OBS Studio, and lets get into the battle of the best between XSplit and OBS. Let’s get started:

XSplit vs OBS: Pricing

Before using any application, the first thing that comes into the mind is – What’s the price? So, I decided to start the XSplit vs OBS battle with their pricing.

In order to use any XSplit application, you should be ready to pay a hefty premium fee. Unless you won’t be able to use the  application at full potentoal. On the other hand, OBS is an open-source program, it’s completely free for everyone using Windows OS, Linux OS and mac OS.

There’s no need to buy any premium subscription as every OBS feature works out of the box. If you don’t want to spend money in buying a subscription plan, I would recommend you to go with OBS as it;s completely free.

XSplit vs OBS: Ease of Use

I don’t like to use complicated stuff. And if you aren’t a techie like me, you would too. That’s probably why ‘ease of use’ matters when choosing a streaming application. Between OBS Studio & Streamlabs OBS, the former seems way more complicated to use than the latter.

But can Streamlabs OBS compete with XSplit? Yeah! In fact, I’ll always prefer Streamlabs OBS in terms of easy of use as you don’t have to change settings again & again.

Besides, you get every advanced feature of OBS Studio in Streamlabs OBS. It’s free. It’s easy to use. You won’t have any trouble interacting with the application even if it’s your first time using it.

XSplit vs OBS: Features & Customization

In this XSplit vs OBS battle, OBS is compleyely free. However, when compared with XSplit’s features, is it worth it?

NO.

Even though, XSplit comes with a premium license, it includes quite useful features such as a built-in green screen, capability of streaming to multiple platforms, and edit videos inside of the application. And as I said earlier, XSplit works like a charm in adding and managing overlays.

On the other hand, OBS lets you add a number of plugins to provide massive cutomizations. In this aspect, OBS has a lot more to offer than its paid subscription counterpart XSplit.

XSplit vs OBS: Performance

In terms of performance when it comes to XSplit vs OBS there is honestly not that much of a difference. The truth is that in time both software have developed and their impact on the performance of your system has diminished.

This is especially relevant since both programs can use NVENC encoding which is very light on your CPU. At the same time, if you want to be nitpicking, XSplit does use 1-2% more CPU because it has more side-loading to do with all the overlays and other stuff that comes integrated.

We are pretty sure though, that if you loaded about the same amount of external plugins into OBS your results would be equalized.

The argument of performance when discussing the XSplit vs OBS topic would only matter in the case where you stream on a low-end PC, and that extra 2 % of CPU would matter, otherwise, this is a non-issue.

XSplit vs OBS: Audio/Video Quality

As compared to OBS, XSplit has a lot more to offer in local recording as it provides x264 and x265 video codecs. XSplit also includes a well-thought-out feature that allows audio and video optimization making it the better the better choice for YouTube uploads.

This doesn’t mean, OBS has nothing to offer. It supports more file formats than Xsplit.

XSplit Review

What I like the Most?

I love how stable it is, its large selection of plug-ins and customization, and how little the layout of the software changes from version to version.

What I disliked the Most?

It has a learning curve, and requires some pre-production time to get everything set up and ready to go. It does let you save different stream layouts (which it calls “presentations”) and will automatically load and hold the last one opened, but you still have to set it all up.

You can create hotkeys and macros (but you have to take the time to set it up), can broadcast to a multitude of platforms including with custom RTMP (but, yet again, you have to take the time to set it up), and can even have participants in the steam with you via NewTek NDI (which takes time and a little effort to set up, and I still haven’t done yet).

So yeah, the setup time and effort takes some time. But once you do, it’s awesome.

Recommendations Before Considering XSplit

Give yourself some time recording locally and testing your setup before taking it online. And keep your eyes peeled: While there is a subscription option, there is a lifetime license that goes down to $99 during Black Friday and includes all of their related software for free!

Why You Need XSplit?

I’ve used this to completely rework a live fundraising event to be held via Zoom by using this to host both live participants and pre-recorded footage blended together to not disturb the audience. I’ve recorded multitrack podcasts, let’s plays, software tutorials, and more. Ultimately, this is my go-to software for screen captures.

Pros:

  • 3D positioning in XSplit allows you to position any scene element in the the 3D space. All you’ve to do is rotate it in the required axis.
  • Load .swf flash files to a scene, and interact them using keyboard and mouse inputs.
  • Very short learning curve
  • If you like to stream on multiple streaming platform at one time than XSplit is what you need to run a simultaneous broadcast.
  • Transitions adds a fun layer to a stream. XSplit comes with a number of built-in transitions such as fade, wave, hole, and more.
  • If XSplit Broadcaster’s basic functionlity isn’t enough for you, the applincation lets you extend them using a source plugin store. You can add up to 5 plugins to extends functions like image slideshows, video playlists and whiteboards.
  • These days stream sniping is quite common in gaming world. Viewers tends to get into the same game as the streamer they’re watching. Only to troll & ruin overall gaming experience of the streamer. So, to get rid of this, streamers adds some minutes delay to their stream. And XSplit allows you to set up delay to your audio, webcams & capture card video.
  • You might not have heard of this but XSplit comes with a free version but it’s limited in features. Audio is limited to .aac 96kbps mono, video is limited to mp4/flv file format at 30fps. And advanced features like Twitch integration, preview editor, or image overlays, in XSplit’s free version are nothing but a great addition.

Cons:

  • As I’ve been saying from the start, you need its paid license to use it for commercial purpose. The pricing of its premium license starts from $18.71 for 3 months and goes all the way to $112.46 for 3 years. That’s way too costly.
  • XSplit’s sucks up the resources of your system. So, you would need a high specs PC for smoother operations.
  • No OSX or Linux support. XSplit is made only to run on a windows machine.
  • Stream delay can be added only after buying its paid subscription.
  • XSplit doesn’t support 2K or 4K video streaming.
  • You can’t add text to your stream without its plugin. Unlike XSplit, there’s no such streaming software that comes with this minor inconvenience.

OBS Review

What I liked the Most?

I like how it is easy to use this Software, even if user has never used this kind of Software before. It is easy for setup and overall quality is very good ( both audio and video ). I like how user can easily set things up and select from which source OBS is going to receive some information.

What I Dislike the Most?

For new users it would be really good to have a sort of an intro, via which they can even faster dive in this Software and which would go thru basic settings for normal recording for instance, because this Software is really good and has good quality, but without some intro some people will turn around to look for some other alternative

Why You Need OBS?

This Software is good for recording general Troubleshooting of some issue which I may encounter. It is also good for making recordings of online class, especially in the time of the Corona Virus, so we can review them later again.

Besides this, I used this Software for smaller QA Testing for one online platform, for which I had to Submit smaller recording of the encountered issue on the Website or some Software.

Pros:

  • OBS is an open source video recording and live streaming software. Unlike XSplit, you don’t need to opt for any paid subscription plans.
  • Unlike XSplit, OBS is available for Windows, Mac & Linux PC.
  • Blazing fast GPU-based game capture software for high performance streaming.”
  • Supports file output to MP4 or FLV
  • OBS supports recording in multiple popular formats. The list includes mp4, flv, mkv, and many more. All these video file format comes with control over the bitrate used.
  • Unlimited number of scenes and sources.
  • As OBS is an open source software, it lets the developers use its API to create some useful plugins. These plugins further provide complete control to streamer for a quality streaming experience.

Cons:

  • Intimidating interface.
  • Complicated set up for a complete beginner. You might find it hard to record a screen.
  • When capturing the display screen, OBS will not record the popup menus, child dialogs, and menu bar.

Frequently Asked Questions | XSplit vs OBS

Q: How do I setup a stream delay?

A: Open all streaming Output plugins and from there enable stream delay up to X seconds.

Q: Can I use XSplit Broadcaster on my Mac?

A: NO. XSplit Broadcaster currently supports Windows only. Instead, you can use Boot Camp to install Windows on your Mac. Once done, install XSplit Broadcaster and start streaming.

Q: Does OBS add a watermark in the live stream?

A: NO. It doesn’t.

Q: Does OBS have a video editor?

A: NO. OBS doesn’t come with video editor of its own. Instead, you can use powerful video recorder to record your live stream & edit it using a dedicated video editor. Or else you can use its paid alternative software XSplit.

Q: I’m getting black bars on my stream or recording, how do I get rid of them?

A: That’s happening becuase you either failed to fit your source or you’ve selected the wrong aspect ratio/resolution.

Final Verdict

After a neck to neck Xsplit vs OBS battle, it was pretty hard to find the winner.

However, after comparing their pros and cons, I’ve come to a decision. So, which online streaming application wins the battle?

Is it XSplit?

OR

Is it OBS?

For me OBS is the clear winner. Even though, XSplit tried its best with features like multi-stream setup, quick support via Discord or Twitter, & tons of pre-loaded plugins. And it did beat OBS in many areas but couldn’t come on TOP.

In comparison to OBS, XSplit couldn’t justify its hefty price tag. I would say OBS is best but it certainly is better than its XSplit. That’s all for now. What do you think is best in the Xsplit vs OBS battle? Do share your valuable thoughts in the comments section given below.

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