Have you ever heard the now classic Nickelback song, ‘I wanna be a rock star…’?
I think deep down, secretly, and in our own unique ways, we all want to be rock stars. The freedom, the glamour, the chance to be carefree, it all sounds so… simple!!
But as much as we’d love to be rock stars, a lot of us have chosen to pursue different paths for varied reasons. Luckily, with a karaoke machine, we can all play pretend for a night. And if you’re not satisfied with playing pretend for just one night at the local pub, you can purchase your own karaoke machine.
What to Consider when Buying a Karaoke Machine
Most karaoke machines range anywhere from $40 to $400 and the more professional models can be even more expensive. The higher the price of your machine, the more functions and features it will come with.
The smartest thing to do is decide on an amount you would be comfortable spending and then work around that amount as you’re doing the actual shopping. Once you have a budget, you will find that there are many models, all with different features and functions, within that price range.
Note, however, that you shouldn’t automatically judge the quality or suitability of a machine solely based on price. Simply because a machine is more expensive than another doesn’t automatically make it the best fit for you. While price is undeniably an important factor to consider, it is not the only factor.
A high-quality karaoke machine will definitely have a better audio quality than most. A karaoke machine with great audio quality will have even the worst singer sounding melodic. Most machines will even have manual controls for the pitch, tone, bass, voice projection, and other sound effects.
Of course, great audio quality means a higher price, but if you want a great karaoke experience every time, the extra cost is definitely worth it.
To spice up the atmosphere, some models will have disco balls and spotlights that project lights around the room. This adds that extra oomph to the experience. If this is something you feel you or your companions would appreciate, consider the effects available to each machine before purchase.
The most portable karaoke machines are hand-held microphone devices. These portable models are best suited for kids who are more likely to want to carry them around for some fun with friends.
Bulkier karaoke machines are still portable but are obviously less convenient to transport because of their size. The least portable models are all-in-one machines; these should be purchased primarily for quality and not movability.
If you choose to purchase a portable karaoke machine, also consider the battery life. The best karaoke machine batteries should be able to last you roughly 48 hours before you need a recharge.
As mentioned, most machines will work with external devices such as CDs, CDGs, DVDs, and USB storages. Karaoke machines also connect to smart devices such as phones via a 3.5mm jack or via Bluetooth. So evaluate the connectivity features of each potential purchase and, again, your preferred connectivity mode should guide your decision on which machine best suits you.
- When it comes to its own display; we don’t find it too necessary for a karaoke machine to have its own display these days because almost everyone has TV, tablet, smartphone that can be used as a monitor.
- However, you may want to consider whether your potential purchase has an Auto voice control (AVC), which automatically activates and deactivates the demo vocals from your music source, e.g. CD, depending on whether you are currently singing or not.
- Also consider the number of microphones you get complimentary with your purchase; the more the better, right?
Best Budget: Singing Machine SML385BTW
The Singing Machine SML385BTW has a top loading standard CDG (Compact Disc + Graphics) system. This is the most common type of karaoke system; CDG discs contain normal audio sound tracks but with added lyric graphics that are embedded in the typically unused portions of the disc.
The Singing Machine SML385BTW also comes with an RCA cable that enables you to connect the machine to a screen and read the lyrics of it.
2 Digit LED Display
The Singing Machs thine SML385BTW additionally features flashy light are projected around the room when the machine is in use, which makes the karaoke experience with this system even more fun. The Singing Machine SML385BTW is ideal for kids and for adults who would love the extra aesthetics.
Apart from a CD compartment, the Singing Machine SML385BTW can also connect to Bluetooth devices such as phones, tablets, and computers. And although the machine only comes with one complimentary microphone, you can simply purchase another and connect it to the extra jack for double trouble!!
Lightweight, Portable, Durable for home – Electrohome EAKAR300 Karaoke Machine
What makes the Electrohome EAKAR300 Karaoke Machine so appealing is its lightweight and portability; it’s like it hardly has any weight at all. The Electrohome EAKAR300 Karaoke Machine looks like a tiny drum, making it a clever hybrid of modern and classical musical instruments.
All you need for this machine is an AC power sources and a screen such as TV that you can connect to for purposes of reading song lyrics. It even has an auxiliary output that you can connect to a speaker system for improved sound quality and a digital echo control feature that gives you a richer tone during performances.
The Electrohome EAKAR300 Karaoke Machine is also moderately priced, going for only $70, which is pretty fair considering all the brilliant user reviews it has received.
The machine is pretty standard with two 3.5mm jacks for microphones, a mp3 player, and a top loading CDG disc compartment. The Electrohome EAKAR300 Karaoke Machine also has an Auto Voice Control (AVC) coaching system that takes over if you happen to fumble your song lyrics and stop singing. So essentially, it picks up the slack for you, and that’s pretty cool.
Best Karaoke Machine for Parties – ION Audio Block Party Live Karaoke System
Size, portability, and battery are the major distinctions between these two versions. The more portable The Ion Audio Block Party Live goes for roughly $500 with handle, wheel and battery for 48 hours.while the bulky The Ion Audio Block Party Rocker goes for roughly $170.
ION Audio Block Party Karaoke Systems have self-contained Bluetooth sound systems and also feature disco lights for a cool light show that invites people to the floor as you’re performing. They also have built-in rechargeable battery systems that are capable of giving you hours of service before you need to plug them in.
The Bluetooth connectivity allows for remote control of the disco lights through an ION Audio App that you can access through the ION Audio website. The Bluetooth connectivity also allows you the convenience of wirelessly streaming music to the machine. The built-in speakers then do a great job at playing back even the most bass-heavy sounds in perfect quality.
Best Karaoke Machine for Solo Performances- BONAOK Upgraded Wireless Karaoke Microphone
It’s very easy to underestimate this little jewel but it’s much more functional than you would assume. The BONAOK Upgraded Wireless Karaoke Microphone pairs easily with Bluetooth devices such as; tablets, phones, and even PCs and laptops at distances of up to 10 meters. You can then search your favorite song on your smartphone or online; the device allows you to play, pause, and even shuffle through songs as you please.
This karaoke machine has in-built speakers that produce great audio quality. There are also audio controls for echo, bass, treble, volume, and song style adjustment on the small control panel above the handle. These controls allow you to make your singing sound much more spirited and in tune; as though you were in a large room and you were a professional singer.
The BONAOK Upgraded Wireless Karaoke Microphone is also easily portable and takes up very little space. Its in-built lithium safe battery will serve you for well over 6 hours before you need to recharge it. This BONAOK Upgraded Wireless Karaoke Microphone goes for a fair $70.
Best Wireless Karaoke Machine – ARCHEER Bluetooth Wireless Microphone
What makes it so light is that, unlike the BONAOK Upgraded Wireless Karaoke Microphone, it doesn’t have an in-built speaker. The ARCHEER Bluetooth Wireless Microphone comes with a mini portable singing mixer (KTV Box) that receives audio from the microphone, but you have to get your own speaker system and amplifier. All additional audio equipment can be purchased at ARCHEER so it’s not too much trouble.
The ARCHEER Bluetooth Wireless Microphone delivers high quality sound and if you want, you can make further audio adjustments on the singing mixer to get that perfect sound. The Bluetooth 4.1 technology is said to be the most advanced of all microphone systems, connecting to devices up to 30 meters away. This makes it perfect for outdoor events, including weddings, concerts, speeches, rallies etc.
Best Karaoke Machine for Kids – Singing Machine SML-283P CDG Karaoke Player
This is an adorable pink karaoke machine that features flashy disco lights; its whole design is geared towards appealing to the young and the young at heart. But this is not to say everyone else will miss out on the fun; the Singing Machine has features that everyone can enjoy.
The Singing Machine SML-283P CDG Karaoke Player also features audio balance controls and an echo effect that will have you sounding like a pro. Its Auto Voice Control (AVC) also takes over when you lose the words and allows you to take over with your own voice once you’ve found your bearing again. It also has a light weight and a handle at the top that makes it easily portable.
The Singing Machine SML-283P CDG Karaoke Player features a vertical front-load CDG player for convenience. Also, while most karaoke machines will come with a single complimentary microphone, the Singing Machine SML-283P CDG Karaoke Player comes with two and you know what that means… duets!
This karaoke machine has in-built speakers and an RCA cable that allow you to connect to your TV for better visualization. It’s an all-inclusive machine that will give you plenty of karaoke fun, all at the small price of $40.
Best High-End Karaoke Machine – Singtrix Party Bundle Premium Edition
Now, if you are a true karaoke fan and want to do it like a pro, the Singtrix Party Bundle Premium Edition is what you’re looking for. No matter how terrible you or your companions are at singing, this karaoke machine will have you sounding awesome with its clever and innovative voice effects.
The Singtrix Party Bundle Premium Edition comes equipped with a ‘SingTrix Studio’ that corrects your tone/pitch, delays it when necessary, reverbs it, and even gives it some harmony. The Party Bundle comes with one high-quality complimentary microphone that has a ‘Hit-It’ feature that amplifies up your singing when you press it at the chorus, or whenever you feel like. It also comes with a microphone and screen stand as well as a 40W home theatre speaker system with an in-built subwoofer.
All in all, there are numerous variables to consider and it is difficult to say definitively that a certain unit is the best karaoke machine available. What seems like the perfect machine to one person may not be even remotely appealing to another. But we’re hoping this review, if nothing else, enlightens you on the different types of machines in the market and gives you a sense of direction as to what features would suit you best. This way you can make an informed decision and get to sing your heart out!