Microsoft has finally made it easier for gamers and aspiring streamers to broadcast their Xbox One sessions through third-party webcams. Nearly any USB webcam that's designed for PC can be hooked up to your console for Skype calls or live streaming on Mixer.
Now that Microsoft has opened up the door, it might be difficult to decide which webcam to buy, especially when picture quality and frame rates are the big concerns. Here are our best picks for streaming-ready webcams that can be used on your Xbox One.
For as little as $55, the Logitech C920 HD Pro is a superb USB webcam with a sharp and color-accurate 1080p camera. The C920 has a 78-degree field of view that can comfortably fit more than one person in the frame, making it perfect for multiplayer sessions.
The $100 Razer Kiyo is a webcam that's optimized for streaming. Providing resolution options of 1080p at 30 frames per second or 720p at 60 fps, the Razer Kiyo offers versatility and stellar picture quality. The Kiyo is unique because it features a built-in LED ring light with 12 adjustable settings that allow you brighten up the scene the way you want.
The Logitech C930e 1080p HD Webcam is an "enterprise" version of the company's C920 webcam. Priced at $130, the C930e is a reasonable investment if you want the best noise-cancelling microphone you can get in a webcam. Image quality is crystal clear in 1080p, just as it is on its cheaper sibling, but the C930e expands its field of view to an impressive 90 degrees. This might be more than what you need for streaming or video calling on an Xbox, but those willing to pay the premium will enjoy its extra perks.
Microsoft's LifeCam Cinema HD is a good choice that won't hurt your wallet. Providing a 360-degree swivel and a 720p camera for $44, the LifeCam Cinema HD is a convenient and functional webcam for someone just starting out in streaming. Picture and sound quality are crisp enough to get the job done, though the camera doesn't do a good job of blocking out ambient sound. Keep that in mind if you're planning to stream or make a video call in a noisy room.
Streaming is taken to the next level with Logitech's C922 Pro Stream Webcam. For $100, you can get a multipurpose webcam that can stream in 1080p at 30 fps and 720p at 60 fps. Details are captured precisely, while colors are accurately reproduced. If you plan to also use the C922 on a PC, you'll enjoy its impressive ChromaCam software, which creates a green-screen effect behind the person sitting in the frame and removes the background.
If you're a gamer on a budget, Logitech's HD C310 Webcam is a solid choice for $29. With a 720p camera that's capable of shooting detailed videos and stills, the C310 can hold its own in a streaming session or video call. This inexpensive webcam doesn't come with a wide-angle lens, making it better for solo sessions than two-person streams. The C310 captures sound fine as well, but don't count on it to cancel out background noise. But for $29, the C310 is as good as it gets.