Streamlabs vs. OBS Studio

Try Movavi Screen Recorder to capture your screen:

  • Capture screen and webcam footage simultaneously

  • Draw on videos while recording

  • Schedule and automate screen recordings

Edited by Ben Jacklin

Trying to decide between Streamlabs vs. OBS Studio for your next screen-recording project? These two popular apps both have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s walk through all the info you’ll need to make a decision about the best screen recorder for your needs.

Comparison parameter


OBS Studio


Outperforms OBS Studio on more powerful computers

Performs consistently on high- and low-end computers

CPU usage

Uses more CPU resources

Uses less processing power




Here’s what Movavi’s team does to provide you with verified information:

  • When selecting products to include in our reviews, we research both demand and popularity.

  • We’ve tested and compared both programs to ensure you get the most relevant and up-to-date information.

  • When testing, we aim to highlight the best features of a product and what it’s best suited for.

  • We study user reviews from popular review platforms and make use of this information when writing our product reviews.

  • We collect feedback from our users and analyze their opinions of Movavi software as well as products from other companies.


Are Streamlabs OBS and OBS Studio the same?

Despite their similar names, Streamlabs OBS and OBS Studio are not the same program. While they’re both open-source platforms, they are actually competitors and are completely different programs with similar functionalities and features.

  • While their functions are almost similar, OBS Studio and Streamlabs are not the same.
  • OBS Studio is free and has a lot of customization options.
  • Streamlabs has a better range of features, some of which are paid.

Price: Free

OS: Windows 8/8.1/10; Mac OS X 10.13 or higher; Linux

Software Advice reviews: 4.65/5, 836 reviews

As you start to consider whether to choose OBS vs. Streamlabs OBS, OBS stands out in a few different ways. First, it’s a free, open-source platform with capabilities to record your screen and stream live videos. It’s popular with many video streamers because it can capture and record multiple scenes (or screens) at the same time. So, whether you’re creating a presentation or tutorial, or you’re streaming gameplay on Twitch, OBS Studio lets you choose multiple windows, applications, or screen areas to record at once. This feature also works across multiple monitors or displays, and you can record footage from your webcam and add it as an overlay in your video as well. The biggest weakness with this software, though, is that it’s not very intuitive. Some users have reported difficulty with finding and using some of the OBS Studio’s most useful features.

Key features

  • Unlimited recording time
  • Simultaneous screen recordings across displays
  • Highly customizable interface


  • 100% free with no watermark

  • High-definition export video formats

  • Multiple interface configuration options


  • Incompatible with older versions of Windows

  • Unintuitive user interface


OBS Studio’s interface at first looks rather confusing. There’s no in-app tutorial to help you navigate the program easier. Most likely, you’ll end up searching for instructions online or watching video tutorials.

If you only need OBS for recording gameplay, you only need to choose the right program to capture, make sure the in-game sound is on the capturing list, and click Start Recording. For streaming, you’ll need, as your bare minimum, to choose a video coder and set the streaming website. If you want more from this streaming software, e.g. set an overlay or show donation alerts, you’ll have to dig deeper into the settings.


To properly compare Streamlabs OBS vs. OBS Studio, we need to dive a little deeper into OBS Studio’s performance. One of the perks of this software is that it is relatively lightweight. While it may lack some editing features, it does have livestreaming capabilities. Furthermore, without using a lot of processing power, it allows users to stream in HD, which is a big factor for a lot of users.

But is OBS better than Streamlabs? That depends a lot on which features you value most. For example, OBS does not include additional functionalities, like video-editing tools or the ability to change the background on your screen recordings. You can record multiple scenes, and you can do it live without a lot of lags. But, if you want to do much more than that, OBS may not be the right option for you.

Video and audio quality

One big advantage of OBS Studio is the ability to export HD videos for free. However, while this software gives you numerous file formats to choose from, and you can export files as high as 4K resolution, it doesn’t include much in the way of audio optimization. The internal audio capture is good, and you can capture quality audio from a good microphone as well. However, you may find OBS lacking in terms of audio-mixing capabilities.


OBS Studio is not the most robust screen recorder and screencaster available today. However, it does allow users to record multiple scenes and/or applications at the same time. Along with unlimited recording time and the high level of customizability in OBS Studio’s user interface, it can work as a very functional livestream broadcasting tool for users that don’t need to accept payments or donations. With that in mind, we should note that OBS Studio has a fairly steep learning curve, especially for newer users. Once you get used to it and find all of its features, you may love it, but it could take some time to get there.


There’s over 150 plugins listed on the OBS official website. They're mostly user-made, have reviews and ratings to help you choose the best add-ons for your purpose. There are also many themes, tools, and scripts for more advanced control of the software.


Since OBS is completely free, it doesn’t have a full-time support team. There are some volunteer support members you can contact via the OBS Discord channel. If you need more detail on using the software, you can go to the Guides & Help section of the website. Alternatively, you can check out the forums. There may be an answer to your question.


OBS Studio is completely free. There’s no paid subscription or any other services. You can support the developers’ team by a voluntary donation.

Price: $149/year (free version available)

OS: Windows 10; Mac OS X 10.14 or higher

G2 reviews: 3.8/5 stars, 28 reviews

Which is better, OBS or Streamlabs? Let’s take a closer look at Streamlabs as we continue comparing the two platforms. Streamlabs’ developers market it as an all-in-one livestreaming program. This means that Streamlabs can not only record your screen and webcam footage, but it can also broadcast streaming video to multiple platforms, including Facebook Live, Twitch, and YouTube.

Key features

  • Test feature for troubleshooting before going live
  • Free integrated themes and overlays for easy customization
  • Built-in chat platform


  • Comprehensive dashboard with events, view times, and analytics

  • Built-in feature to easily accept donations or payments

  • Automated spam filter in chat feature


  • Uses significant processing power

  • Requires paid subscription for premium features


Streamlabs’s interface is mostly similar to OBS Studio’s. The main two additions are a mini feed that lets you track followings and subscriptions to your streaming account and a sidebar with many additional features that are only available in OBS Studios via various plug-ins. As for the settings, Streamlabs makes it easier to start streaming since it lets you enter your streaming service account, eliminating the step of entering the stream key from the website. However, the rest of the settings are pretty much the same as in OBS Studio. Again, there’s no in-app tutorial, so you’ll have to look for instructions online.


Performance is a big factor for users deciding between OBS Studio vs. Streamlabs OBS. Is Streamlabs better than OBS? That may depend on your computer and a few other factors. If you have a powerful desktop or laptop, with a fast CPU, you may not notice the amount of processing power that Streamlabs uses. If you’re working with an older computer, Streamlabs may be too resource-heavy to run properly without lag. 

Video and audio quality

Because Streamlabs is based on OBS Studio, it’s not surprising that it has similar video quality. Users can export up to 4K quality videos in multiple formats, just like OBS. The difference between the two platforms is apparent in Streamlabs’ audio capabilities, though. In addition to high-quality video outputs, Streamlabs also includes an audio mixer that allows you to customize and optimize your audio output as well.  


Streamlabs includes all the features available for OBS Studio, and a few more. Along with unlimited recording time, multi-scene recording, and a high level of customizability, Streamlabs includes several other built-in features that make life easy for streamers. For example, if you want to monetize your livestream or run an online charity drive, Streamlabs has a built-in payment feature. Likewise, Streamlabs includes a chat platform, which is a key element of almost every livestream.

And, if you’re a first-time streamer, Streamlabs’ test feature is a must-have. It allows you to run a test of your stream before you go live. You can use this feature to see what your screencast will look and sound like before starting the show. You can then make adjustments and ensure that everything is running properly when you do go live.


Many features which in OBS Studio are achieved by plugins are already included in the Streamlabs app. However, you can get more themes and tweaks by installing widgets. Their titles comprehensively explain their usability, small icons show streaming platforms a specific widget works with. So, if you cannot find something you’re looking for in the default app, you can boost its functionality quite a bit.


Unlike OBS Studio, Streamlabs actually has a customer support team. You can submit a ticket anytime to get a response from them. If you’ve purchased a subscription, you have access to priority customer support, meaning your requests will be answered more promptly. If you don’t want to bother the support team, you can access a dedicated Discord server and ask for help from the community.


Streamlabs has a free and a paid version. With the free one, you get all the basic Streamlabs features and no time limit on how long you can use the app without purchasing a subscription. The Ultra plan costs $149 per year and gives you access to Streamlabs Console, streaming to multiple platforms at once, priority support, etc. To see all the benefits of the paid subscription, check out the app’s website.

OBS vs. Streamlabs OBS: Which one to choose

Still wondering, “Should I use Streamlabs or OBS Studio?” Now that you have a better idea of the difference between OBS and Streamlabs, you can choose the best one for your needs. While both programs have their strengths and weaknesses, the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs for your screen-recording or streaming goals. We recommend taking these factors into consideration as you make your decision:

  • CPU usage. Overall, Streamlabs is a more customizable and powerful tool. With that said, if you have a slightly older computer or run multiple programs at once, you might need a screen recorder that uses less CPU power. In that case, OBS Studio or another option might be the best pick.
  • Pricing. OBS Studio is freeware. It provides users with open broadcaster software at no cost. Streamlabs is free to use, but you can’t get all the premium features without a paid subscription, which can be pricey at $149/year. If you have a small budget, you might want to go with OBS.
  • Features and tools. Streamlabs has a few more features than OBS Studio, but it also lacks some features that many streamers and video creators appreciate. If you just need to record your screen, you can do it for free with OBS. However, you’ll need a third-party editing program if you need to enhance your videos after you finish recording. Another platform might be a better choice if that’s the case.
  • Streaming with remote guests. While OBS Studio is a popular streaming platform, it lacks a key feature for many podcasters and content creators. If you want to record with remote guests (e.g., if you’re interviewing an expert on a cool topic or playing a collab game with another streamer), you’ll have to find and test out a plugin or another workaround for OBS Studio. This feature is built into Streamlabs OBS with no additional third-party programs or other challenges.
  • Monetization. Many users will be drawn to OBS Studio because it’s 100% free. However, along with a few popular features included with Streamlabs OBS that are absent from OBS Studio, Streamlabs also approaches streaming as a potential moneymaker for its subscribers. The platform is designed to help users start monetizing their content from the start with its native “accept tips” feature.

Using an alternative


macOS, Windows

macOS, Windows, Linux

macOS, Windows



Video quality

720 or 1080p


Up to 4K

Up to 4K

Separate audio capture channel

Of course, OBS and Streamlabs aren’t the only screen recording and live-streaming platforms to choose from. Depending on the type of content you want to create, you might want to consider an alternative. For example, if you’re not live-streaming but you want to record and edit online presentations, tutorials, video podcasts, and how-to videos, you might want to consider Movavi Screen Recorder. The program includes live drawing and annotations, video-editing tools, webcam overlay capabilities, and other features. For streamers, a good alternative might be Gecata by Movavi. It includes one-click gameplay recording, easy streaming, webcam overlay, and live drawing and annotations.

Which is better: OBS or Streamlabs?

Now you should have all the info you need to decide between OBS and Streamlabs. While Streamlabs is based on OBS and outperforms it in some aspects, Streamlabs is also more resource-intensive than OBS. With the right software, you should be able to record your screen, make basic edits to your videos, capture webcam footage, and broadcast livestreams – all without using a separate platform.

Frequently asked questions

Does OBS own Streamlabs?

Does Streamlabs use more processing power (CPU) than OBS?

Is Streamlabs free?

Are OBS and Streamlabs the same?

Is OBS more efficient than Streamlabs?

Is Streamlabs OBS better than OBS?

Is OBS or Streamlabs better for beginners?

Is OBS more stable than Streamlabs?

Does Streamlabs cost money?

Does Streamlabs have a watermark?

Movavi Screen Recorder

The perfect way to record anything from your screen

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

Movavi Screen Recorder
Have questions?

Have questions?

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact our Support Team.

Join for how-to guides, speсial offers, and app tips!