Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 review: Made for Macs too!


Elgato recently refreshed its Stream Deck with an MK.2 model, which caught my eye as a notable Twitch streaming companion. And then I started thinking how well it would work on my Mac workstation. our latest Tested with 9to5Toys review dives into how this gaming accessory can improve your macOS productivity.

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Hands-on with the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2

Elgato is known for a variety of PC gaming accessories these days, but its Stream Deck is one of the peripherals that started it all. Recently, the brand refreshed the studio controller with the launch of the MK.2 version, which improved the experience with some quality of life changes.

Centered around the same customizable 15-key design as before, the new model has a more streamlined form factor with a 45-degree removable stand as well as USB-C connectivity. But how well does this $150 gaming accessory actually perform in a macOS workflow? Find out below what to expect.

Here is an overview of the data sheet:

  • 15 customizable LCD keys to control applications, tools and platforms
  • Removable faceplate for different designs and modifications
  • Easily customize keys to trigger one or more actions, launch social media posts, adjust sound, turn on lights and more
  • Removable stand and USB-C cable included
  • Powerful plugins for Elgato 4KCU, OBS, Streamlabs, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Spotify, Philips Hue and many more
  • Keyboard shortcut actions to streamline your movie editing, music production, photography workflow, and more.

Taken from 9to5Toys

I originally purchased the new Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 in late January to go along with my first PC gaming setup. After using it for Twitch streaming, I thought about how it could also improve my daily Mac workstation. Paired with the 24-inch iMac M1, it’s been a very useful addition to my podcasting setup.

Each of the 15 keys on the device sports a customizable LED display that can be programmed to a special icon or gif. It’s even possible to present real-time information, like a stock’s price, current Twitch viewers, or notifications in a messaging app. That, along with out-of-the-box Mac support and the new USB-C connection, made it a great companion for my iMac M1.

As for how I actually use it, I configured the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 for a variety of tasks. The front row is filled with various shortcuts to programs or workflows that I use every day, like opening GarageBand and other programs. It was also essential for me to tame the different audio inputs and outputs of my configuration. Through Quick Actions, I was able to set buttons that not only let me switch audio settings between my microphone and the iMac’s speakers, but also see sources at a glance using the LCD keys.

One of my favorite use cases for the device is to control all the HomeKit lights in my office. Using the HomeControl Menu app, I was able to set favorite scenes as buttons for one-click access to turn on the lights first or set the mood with a specific scene.

So don’t be fooled into thinking that because the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is designed to be a gaming accessory, it won’t be a great addition to your Mac setup either. Because it is! Having a dedicated input to complete my workflow in the same way this accessory has been very helpful in streamlining day-to-day tasks. There really is something so new, not to mention useful, about the customization of the latest Stream Deck. That’s why it becomes easy Tested with 9to5Toys stamp of approval from this up-and-coming podcaster and streamer.

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