Change OBS Recordings Bitrate

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Updated by Donna Peng - Contact Author

What Everyone Must Know About OBS Recording Bitrate Settings

Being a professional desktop recording tool, OBS Studio is widely used for recording professional-grade videos from your screen. But the program is a little tricky on bitrate settings. If you're a live streamer, you need to consider whether your audience's network is fast enough to access your content when setting the bitrate in OBS Studio. Provided you just recording your screen as materials for a video clip, the higher OBS recording bitrate is recommended for crisper image and true details.

However, what are the best OBS bitrate settings  for recording videos? How to set the perfect recording bitrate for 1080p 60fps/30fps, 1440p or for YouTube? Let's go straight into the answers.

What If You've Recorded Videos in an Improper Bitrate with OBS Studio?

Go straight to change the bitrate of OBS recorded videos. Winxvideo AI provides timely help to users wanting to change video bitrate, or VBR to CBR. With the support of high quality engine, it guarantees high quality outputs, even if converting from 1080p 60fps to 30fps, you won't see any quality loss visually. Also, by using this bitarte converter, you can convert video format/codec, compress/edit video, change video resolution, frame rate, aspect ratio and more.

Part 1. Best Bitrate Settings for OBS Studio Recording

Depending on the computer you're using and the speed of your network connection (in case for streaming), OBS record bitrate settings vary from person to person. You have to play around with some adjustments until you find the best fit one. Here are some recommendations for OBS record bitrate settings based on my computer and Internet.

Computer configuration:

  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6670 (2GB),
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-9400F Processor
  • RAM: Kingston 16GB

Internet speed: 55.50 Mbps for Download, and 6.15 Mbps for Upload.

You can close the unnecessary background apps and check your network speed through Simpley tap the Go button for a test. By checking this is to figure out where your ceiling is for live streaming. The upload number here (1 Mbps = 1000 bits) is basically the maximum amount of data you can try to push out without running into performance issues like buffering, lag and stuff like that.

Best OBS Bitrate Settings for Recording

You know, besides a screen recorder, OBS Studio can also be used as a live streaming encoding software application. The bitrate settings are different between OBS streaming and recording. If you're only recording and not streaming, you don't need to set a value of bitrate. You should use a CRF or CQP level, which uses as much or as little bitrate as is needed to maintain a consistent image quality. Normally between 16-22, with lower being better quality but larger file sizes.

Best OBS Bitrate Settings for Recording

Best OBS Bitrate Settings 1080p 60FPS

To record in 1080p at 60 frames per second, it's recommended that you set the bitrate from 4,500 to 9,000 kbps in order to get the best video quality. For the audio bitrate, you can start as low as 64 kbps and can go up to 320 kbps for clearer sound.

If you're planning to record OBS videos in some other resolutions and frames per second, here are some recommendations:

  • 720p video at 30 frames per second – 1,500 to 4,000 kbps
  • 720p video at 60 frames per second – 2,500 to 5,000 kbps
  • 1080p video at 30 frames per second – 3,000 to 6,000 kbps
  • 1080p video at 60 frames per second – 4,500 to 9,000 kbps
  • 4K video at 30 frames per second - 8,000 kbps

Best OBS Record Bitrate for YouTube

As mentioned, the upload speed also matters for OBS Studio bitrate settings if you want to stream to YouTube. For example, if your upload speed is 2000 Mbps, you should limit the bitrate of your streaming, audio, and video to 1000 Mbps. The upload speed varies from person to person since we all have different service providers and different packages or plans. In view of this, YouTube's recommended bitrates are a good starting point for OBS Studio recording:

Best OBS Record Bitrate for YouTube

Part 2. How to Set Bitrate in OBS Studio

Now that you know the best bitrate for OBS Studio recording, the question is how to set bitrate in OBS Studio. Fortunately, this is not a complicated matter. I'd like to show you guys how to change the bitrate in OBS Studio.

Step 1. Open OBS Studio and go to Files tab and then Settings on the bottom-right of your screen. Select the Output tab on the left.

how to change bitrate in OBS

Step 2. In this menu, you can customize the encoding and format settings for your videos and streams, including the bitrate. To start, click Advanced under the Output Mode dropdown menu. And then adjust the OBS bitrate as well as other settings for high-quality recording.

Video Bitrate: Usually we set OBS bitrate at 6,000 Kbps, which is the optimal video bitrate for recroding in Full HD (1080p) at 60 FPS.
Audio Bitrate: 320 Kbps is the best OBS audio birate for recording in Full HD. For 720p, 192 is just enough.
Encoder: x264 is recommended by default. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, NVENC H.264 setting will record and stream in better quality.
Rate Control: CBR is recommended as it ensures your video and computer's performance stay even throughout. Of course, CQP gives you a possibility to record in high quality if you have installed an NVIDIA graphics card.

best OBS bitrate settings for recording and streaming

Step 3: Start applying OK to save the OBS Studio settings for recording and streaming videos.

Part 3. FAQs about OBS Recording Bitrate Settings

1. What is a good bitrate for 1080p OBS?

If you're recording a 1080p video at 30 FPS, your bitrate should be 8 Mbps. Your bitrate for 1080p 60 FPS clips in OBS should be 12 Mbps or so.

2. What is the best recording format for OBS?

MKV and FLV are the best formats for recording videos with OBS Studio. Actually, OBS Studio also supports to record videos in MP4 and MOV. But MOV and MP4 both are not the safe options. If OBS crashes or the power goes out, your MP4 and MOV videos won't be saved.

3. How to set OBS audio bitrate?

If you are only streaming audio, you can get away with OBS bitrate settings as low as 64 kbps. However, you can also up your audio bitrate settings to 192-320 kbps for better audio quality. For example. 192 kbps bitrate is a default one for simple recording for Recording quality except Lossless.

4. How to ensure a smoother recording in OBS Studio?

If you're experencing a stuttering video recording, there is a posibility that your CPU is struggling to keep up with encoding. In other words, your computer or configuration is under-powered. Here are some tips to make your record smoother in OBS:

  • Downscale the resolution of your output.
  • Lower the recording frame rate.
  • Choose a faster x264 preset.
  • Switching to GPU-based encoders, such as NVIDIA NVENC H.264 encoder.
  • Cutting down on background processes not in use currently.


author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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