I love the Stream Deck, so I was intrigued when the Stream Deck Pedal was announced. Not requiring the former to work, this plugs into your computer and provides you with three fully-mappable foot controls. But at a smidge under £80, is it worth the money? Here’s my Stream Deck Pedal review.
Unboxing the Stream Deck Pedal
The box for the Stream Deck Pedal is a colourful affair, with a section that you rip off to get at the product. Once inside, this isn’t going to win any awards for the unboxing experience: it’s relatively simply and boring.
The pedal is in a white bag (not sure what it’s made of, but looks to be part plastic), which sits in a brown, cardboard surround. The pedal springs (more on these below) all come in their own paper bags and there are a couple of leaflets. Bag aside, it’s all quite recyclable, which is good to see. The USB cable comes with a plastic cable tie, though.
Why am I being hard on what is, after all, the box that it comes in? Apple, amongst other companies, has shown that the experience of unpacking a product can be both environmentally responsible and sexy. The Pedal falls in one camp only here.
The Pedal measures 175 x 244 x 49 mm and weighs a hefty 960g. It’s obviously plastic but it’s sturdy.
Rubber feet on the underside will hold it firmly in place on hard floors and a USB-C connector on the back is all you need to connect it to your computer (a 2.5m long USB-C to USB-A cable is included – Elgato states that you can use one up to 5m in length).
You can even adjust the tension of the provided pedals, from soft to hard, with a number of replacement springs. By default, it’s fitted with medium springs: remove a couple of screws from the bottom, pop in some replacement springs (supplied), and it’s done. It’s a shame that such a manual method is needed rather than, say, a dial or switch on the bottom that adjusts the pedal resistance for you.
Also included is a couple of “stoppers” that can be used to replace the centre springs and prevent the middle pedal from working. This is useful to provide a clear rest area between the two outer pedals. Of course, it also stops one third of the provided pedals from doing their job, but the choice is yours.
The pedal makes use of the standard Stream Deck software. It’s already been designed to manage multiple devices, so Elgato has simply added the pedal to the list. Indeed, you can attach multiple pedals to your computer (most folk have two feet, after all!) and the software will allow each to be managed and controlled separately.
The management is pretty simple, too. From a list of functions you drag and drop them into one of three slots – one for each pedal. You can then configure each. Here’s an example where I’m setting up the middle pedal to toggle the mute setting on my Mac:
You can also set up a number of different profiles. Each is a separate set of controls, which can be switched to manually (e.g. by a pedal press) or by automation. As an example, I have mine set up so that when I’m in Zoom, the middle pedal will end the call.
As well as the default functions, you can add more via a comprehensive store of plugins, icons and audio:
The plugins are probably the primary thing you’ll be interested in. They’re free and provide a full range of features for apps such as Twitch, PowerPoint, Apple Mail and many more:
Many of the plugins, though, have been designed for the screen-based Stream Deck, so you’ll need to avoid anything that relies on screen output (ie. utilities that display CPU consumption).
The Stream Deck Pedal review verdict
The pedal is easy to use, although without looking down it’s not always easy to know where you’re pressing – especially if you’ve got a foot rest under your desk as well. This is why you can lock down the middle peddle to make it harder to mis-step.
The biggest question, though, is why you might need these foot controls? I can see three situations where it might come in handy (or footy):
- In a home office environment. As I’ve mentioned previously, the ability to press your foot down and activate something during a video call is an undeniably useful, although a similarly priced Stream Deck would be handier.
- In a music set-up. With instruments connected to your laptop via a Midi interface, the ability to use the pedals whilst, for example, playing drums or guitar feels such a great fit.
- Streaming or gaming. The pedal gives you an amazing ability to control your stream, or even activate in-game settings, without having to look away from the screen or be seen to be doing something with your hands in-shot.
It’s definitely the last two camps on that list that will benefit most from the Stream Deck Pedal. It’s probably no coincidence that Elgato only use examples from those setups in its own marketing, too. For home office workers, the pedal is probably a step too far.
Stream Deck Pedal Review
Ease of use
A well-built set of pedal controls for PC and Mac, which have a wide range of potential functions due to the excellent Stream Deck software
- Strong build quality
- Great software gives you a huge range of pedal possibilities!
- Relatively pricey
- Adjusting the pedal tension is a manual process