Karaoke machines are getting better and better. It is now possible to get a full stand-alone karaoke machine for under $100! There are a number of features that go into making a good karaoke machine.
Whether you are a seasoned professional, or an aspiring superstar, there is a perfect karaoke machine for you.
There are a few considerations you should be making when selecting your karaoke machine. We'll quickly discuss these considerations and then dive straight into the reviews. By the end of the article, we hope you will have a good understanding of what to look for in your karaoke machine.
How To Select The Right Karaoke Machine
Karaoke machines actually have a surprising range of quality. There are a few different types for a different user experience.
If you have never bought a karaoke machine before and have just used them in karaoke lounges it can be difficult to know which ones will give you what you want. Let's quickly discuss a few features you should be aware of.
Most karaoke machines will be compatible with your smartphone or tablet. This connection will either be through an AUX cable or Bluetooth. This feature is now widespread because it gives you access to 1000s of free content files through YouTube.
Your karaoke player will either be a stand-alone player or will need an additional product to display the lyrics. If the karaoke machine comes with a screen, then it will be able to display the lyrics. Any machine without a screen with either require you to hook up your smart device or connect to your TV (usually by RCA connections) to stream the lyrics.
If you need a Bluetooth connection you can always use a small Bluetooth transmitter to get the job done. They are very inexpensive and will transmit high-quality audio. Just make sure you get one that supports aptX codec as you do not want any latency issues.
Most speakers under the $100 price point won't be fantastic. They won't be powerful enough to fill a large room and may start to distort at high volumes. This can be improved by using your own external speakers, or by routing the sound through your TV. Karaoke machines above the $100 tend to have better speakers and won't be requiring an upgrade.
There are a few options I've listed below that would be suitable for a more professional setting. The karaoke machines that are built into speakers will be loud enough to play over a crowd.
However, If you are going to be using the karaoke machine for a large crowd you'll want to consider larger speakers. These tend to be very expensive to buy, but there are always options to rent for a night.
The microphone can easily be upgraded if you are unsatisfied. Keep in mind that most karaoke players will be compatible with two microphones but typically only come with one. This is an extra expense that needs to be considered when making your decisions.
If you decide to purchase a microphone, I highly recommend buying an inexpensive dynamic microphone. There is no reason to shell out on an expensive condenser microphone. These are far to sensitive for the karaoke environment and will inevitably lead to feedback issues. You won't really need to spend more than $50 here.
You are going to at least want some kind of auto voice control. This function knows when you need a break singing and will raise the original vocals to fill in the gaps. Some machines also automatically reduce the vocal levels of regular tracks, allowing you to sing the lead vocal section.
Higher quality karaoke machines will also come with pitch correction, harmonies, and vocal enhancements along with all the other standard effects.
The overall quality and number of features will be dependent on your budget. If you are buying for kids, you won't need to worry about getting the best sound quality or a ton of features. If you are looking to entertain a large group of people, you will want to get something above the $100 range to ensure the speaker and sound quality is there.
Do I Need CD-Gs?
There are a few options regarding the format of your audio tracks. Conventionally, karaoke has used CD-G (compact disc and graphics) as a method of providing the lyrics with the music.
There are now a number of apps you can download to stream the lyrics along with the edited audio track as well as endless YouTube videos designed for karaoke.
I recommend avoiding CD-Gs if possible. They will cost more money and you will have to have a place to store them. It's far more convenient to have all of your karaoke songs stored digitally.
Just keep in mind that some machines only use smart devices and won't be able to play CD-Gs.
- Ensure you know what compatibility requires you need (TV? CD-G? Streaming?)
- Look above the $100 price range for good quality speakers that can fill medium sized rooms.
- Do you want effects with your karaoke such as pitch-correction or harmonies?
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