OBS Studio Review [2022]

Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

In this review, we’ll walk you through:

  • Pros and cons of OBS Studio

  • The OBS Studio user experience

  • What to expect from OBS Studio

Looking for a high-quality screen recorder for a Mac or Windows? Check out Movavi Screen Recorder!

Is OBS good recording software? In our OBS Studio review, we’ll dive into the overall user experience, key features, pros, and cons – so you can make an informed decision and get the software that will best suit your needs.

Comparison parameter

Description

Rating

Interface

Difficult for beginners

2.5/5

Performance

Minimal lag on most computers

4.5/5

Features

Includes all streaming features, but lacks some editing tools

3.5/5

Show more

Our in-depth OBS review

Overview

OBS Studio is a free, open-source screen-recording program developed by OBS Project. Its capabilities include capturing still images from your screen, as well as recording videos from your display. Because it can capture screen recordings with system audio and/or external audio, OBS is a go-to program for many users who want to record webinars and other online presentations for later use. Its broadcasting capabilities make it a good tool for streamers on Twitch who want to capture on-screen activity along with webcam footage for their livestreams. While it’s very powerful, OBS is not the most intuitive screen recorder on the market. So, though this free software is attractive to many veteran video creators, it does have a fairly steep learning curve for newer users.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The ability to conduct online streams on any service

  • Capture video from a webcam or an external camera

  • The ability to place video sources on different layers

  • Support for various filters (stickers, color correction, other effects)

  • Powerful chromakey module

  • Good sound transmission and flexible settings

Cons

  • Creeping line can only be added through a filter, it is not added through layers

  • You cannot add the same video stream to several scenes at the same time using standard tools

Interface

Livestreaming has grown incredibly popular over the last few years, and creators everywhere are looking for Open Broadcaster Software reviews to help them choose the best screen-recording and streaming software. If you’re an experienced video creator and editor, you may find OBS Studio easy to pick up, but many new users find it cumbersome. The interface is not the most attractive around, and many users report difficulties finding and learning to use all of its features. 

Features

  • Audio mixer: OBS Studio allows up to two simultaneous audio sources while recording, and the audio mixer allows you to customize the levels and settings on both sources live or when editing a recorded video.

  • Filters: you can instantly add filters to a screen recording. This feature also includes chroma key and masking tools to overlay your webcam footage or other video footage onto your screen while streaming or recording.

  • Customizable controls: you can choose the controls and settings you want to see while recording or streaming.

  • Transitions: the program allows you to smoothly switch between video sources for a cohesive experience while capturing multiple screens.

  • Hotkeys: access the features and tools you use most often via quick key combinations on your keyboard instead of searching for them in the program.

User experience

Users that spend the time to get to know OBS Studio swear by it, and many streamers love using this free program. However, it’s not very intuitive, and the interface is not very sleek. It lacks some key video-editing tools, requiring creators to find third-party editing software to complete their projects. Video makers who want to create professional-looking presentations and tutorials often find this frustrating.

Live-streaming

As we’ve mentioned, a lot of streamers love OBS Studio. In our experience testing it out for this OBS review, we found that the platform is well-equipped for live screen sharing and streaming for veteran users. If you have experience with streaming software, and you have the time to learn the ins and outs of OBS Studio, you may like this software.

Video editing

OBS Studio includes some very basic video-editing tools. Without downloading a third-party app, you can transition between scenes and mix audio from two sources. You can also do some on-the-fly color correction, as well. And, in Studio Mode, you can make adjustments to your scenes before going live. In general, though, this software is geared heavily toward livestreaming, not video editing.

Sharing

OBS Studio allows users to livestream their screen recordings or record their screens and share their finished videos later. It’s primarily designed for live presentations, but videos can be shared to social media platforms and video-sharing platforms. It integrates directly with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch, but you’ll have to export your videos and upload them separately to other platforms.

Performance

As far as performance goes, OBS is a fairly lightweight program. It isn’t overly resource-hungry, making it a good option for people with older or less powerful computers. It’s also good for users who have a lot of processes running at once – like streamers. If you’re running multiple games and broadcasting on Twitch or Instagram Live, you don’t want your screen recorder to bog down and cause lag.

Video and audio quality

Video and audio quality are decent with OBS Studio. You can record in up to 1080p resolution, which is good enough for a lot of streamers. However, if you want to increase your video output quality to 4K, you’ll need to opt for a different program. As far as audio quality goes, the preset is not the best, but you can change your audio bitrate to 320 by adjusting the audio settings.

Pricing

OBS Studio is open-source software, which means that it’s free with no ads and no premium paid version. It does come with the challenges of a lot of open-source programs, though. Because it’s designed and developed by volunteers, there’s no dedicated customer service if something goes wrong.

OBS Studio alternatives

Feature

OBS Studio

Movavi Screen Recorder

Gecata by Movavi

OS

Windows, macOS, Linux

Windows, macOS

Windows

Streaming

Video quality

1080p

Up to 4K

Up to 4K

Show more

Movavi Screen Recorder

Best for: easily creating professional screen recordings for presentations, tutorials, and other videos

OS: Mac OS X 10.13 or later, Windows 7 or later

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 50 reviews

Key features

  • Webcam capture and overlay. Easily record your webcam footage and overlay it on your display while recording your presentation or stream.

  • 4K video resolution. Export videos in the highest resolution possible for pro-level projects.

  • Automate recordings. Schedule when you want to record your screen ahead of time to conveniently automate the whole process. 

  • Live drawing and annotations. Draw on your screen and add annotations while recording to enhance the video experience. 

  • Highlight keystrokes and mouse movements. Especially handy for presentations and tutorials, this feature allows you to show keystrokes and mouse activity to better highlight screen activity.

  • Fast, easy sharing. Upload your recorded videos to YouTube, Google Drive, and other platforms in seconds.

Gecata by Movavi

Best for: livestreaming high-quality video and audio for gameplay and other content

OS: Windows 7 or later

Steam rating: 421 mostly positive reviews

Key features

  • Record while streaming. Easily record your screen while livestreaming with no extra work.

  • Webcam recording and overlay. Capture your webcam feed and overlay it anywhere you want on the screen.

  • In-game audio capture. Record the audio from your game to share the full experience with your audience.

  • 4K video and no lag. Stream in high-definition 4K resolution without losing any performance quality.

  • Automatic recording with Game Mode. Set it and forget it. In Game Mode, your game play will automatically be recorded while you play.

  • Two-way sound capture. Your microphone and game audio are recorded separately to allow for easier audio editing when needed.

Summary

So, is OBS Studio good recording software? From our experience with this OBS screen recorder review, we found some pros and cons for this software. Overall, if you’re an experienced streamer and have the time to master this software, you may enjoy using it. If you’re newer to streaming, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning a screen-recording program before you get going, we recommend trying out Movavi Screen Recorder or Gecata by Movavi.

Frequently asked questions

Is OBS Studio good?

OBS Studio is good screen-recording and streaming software for veteran streamers and video creators. It does lack some video-editing functionalities, and it’s not very user-friendly for beginners. If you are new to screen recording, you may have some trouble getting started with OBS.

Is OBS Studio really free?

Yes, OBS Studio is open-source software. It’s free and safe to use, but it does have a fairly steep learning curve for new users.

Is it safe to download OBS Studio?

Yes, it’s safe to download OBS Studio, as this software is free of viruses and malware. The source code is open and available for anyone to look at, which means that there’s no malicious code hiding in it. Plus, all code changes and updates are reviewed by OBS’ contributing developers for extra safety.

Does OBS have a time limit?

No, OBS does not have a time limit on recordings. However, longer recordings do take up more storage space, which can eat up your computer’s resources. If you’re using it for longer recordings, you may want to save your videos to the cloud or an external hard drive.

What are the disadvantages of OBS?

Here are some disadvantages:

  • Occasional loss of audio quality while recording

  • No support for 4K video exports

  • May cause system lag

  • Confusing user interface can result in livestreaming the wrong feed

Movavi Screen Recorder

The perfect way to record from your screen

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams.

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