Two of the many things that streamers have in common and struggle with are good webcam image quality and low lighting. Kiyo, the first Razer webcam, attempts to solve both problems in a compact form factor. It shares many of the signature features of Razer products but does it get the job done?
The Razer webcam was designed with streamers in mind. It needs to be easy to use and provide all the right settings that a streamer would use, without cluttering the screen with too many adjustments. Razer integrated the Kiyo in their Synapse software.
It offers a few basic adjustments such as contrast, saturation, brightness, white balance and allows you to select one of the three fields of view. Even if sometimes, less is more, it feels like Razer could have done better with their software. The advanced settings section does offer some additional controls. Truth be told, these are all the settings an average user would need to tweak their Razer webcam.
Video and Audio Quality
For a streamer, audio quality should not matter since everyone is using a dedicated microphone. However, the audio quality of the built-in microphone is decent. Because you need to sit at a distance from the webcam, audio can be a bit on the quiet side. It should not be the main microphone of a gamer or streamer but in the absence of something better, it will do just fine.
For image quality, Razer did not cut any corners. In low light conditions, the webcam performs admirably. The light from a monitor is more than enough to make the streamer visible. If you want even more light without actually turning the lights on, the small, puck-shaped webcam comes with its spotlight. The spotlight can be turned on or off using Razer’s Synapse software. At 1080p and 30 frames per second, the Razer webcam performs better than almost any other webcam on the market.
For photos, the image sensor supports a higher resolution of 2,688 by 1,520 pixels. Videos are limited to 1080p at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps.
The Razer webcam is a great product made for gamers. It offers excellent video quality in low lighting conditions and a neatly integrated spotlight which you may or may not want to use. The microphone is not the star of the show and while it performs well, you are still better off getting a dedicated mic such as the Razer Seiren.
What is surprising about the Razer Kiyo is the price tag. Razer has received a fair share of backlash for making overpriced products. The Kiyo can be categorized as affordable and a good bang for the buck. Their Pro version offers even better video quality in low lighting but lacks the integrated spotlight. For what it offers, the Pro version is not worth paying twice the price of the standard version. If you want something affordable, practical and that gets the job done, the Razer webcam is a great choice. On the other hand, if you have cash laying around that you do not know what to do with, you may want to consider the Kiro Pro.