When you're looking for a karaoke machine, choose a device that is simple to use. Karaoke is most popular with children and, if we're honest, adults who have had a few drinks. Neither of those crowds will be reading an instruction manual before getting on stage. Some karaoke machines also come with extra features, including multiple microphone capabilities, a screen for reading lyrics from, and even flashing disco lights.
Plenty of connections
You can view a song's lyrics by connecting the Singing Machine to a TV, tablet, or smartphone. It boasts Bluetooth, HDMI, USB, and line-in connectivity, allowing you to link to speakers to amplify your performance. Plus, it has a top-loading CD player. The Singing Machine comes with a microphone and has 54 disco lights, so you can start the party as soon as you plug it in.
Disconnect for a good time
The ION karaoke machine is a wireless system thanks to a rechargeable battery that churns out a good 35 hours of use before it needs to be plugged in. There is a 1/8-inch, 3.5mm aux-in port that also offers more wireless connectivity thanks to NFC and Bluetooth, so anyone can tap their phone and stream their music. This makes it great for parties. Sound quality is clear and defined with powerful bass.
The Singtrix shines with its effects console. You can lightly enhance your voice with options like reverb or chorus, or you can go for something crazy with Robotica, Distorted Dude, or Prank Caller. This console connects to the microphones and amp and comes with interchangeable faceplates. The Singtrix is a professional-looking machine that comes with an amp, microphone stand, and effects console that gives off a polished, put-together look.
Works with YouTube
This portable karaoke machine is ready for any party. Though it is smaller and more compact than other karaoke machines, it still supports two mics for duet performances. It links, via Bluetooth, to your mobile devices and works with more music streaming apps, including YouTube. It features retro lighting, voice effects, and sound effects, including cheers and air horns, to increase the entertainment factor. You can power up this karaoke machine using the included AC power supply or AA batteries to literally use anywhere.
Key features to look for when buying a karaoke machine
More is always better. Whether through CDs, preloaded music, or connectivity to an external source via an auxiliary cord, karaoke machines that support several formats for playing music give you and your friends the widest song selection. In our tests, we saw that people most preferred to find a karaoke tune on their phones and connect them to the machine via line-in or Bluetooth. They also liked the traditional experience of flipping through a list of available preloaded songs and entering a code. The least popular options were ones that only accepted a CD.
We recommend buying a machine that either includes all the necessary cords and accessories or clearly notes which pieces aren’t included so you can purchase them simultaneously. Discovering your machine is missing components when you are ready to sing can really put a damper on your karaoke party.
Most of the karaoke machines we reviewed have plug-and-play designs, meaning there isn’t much setup beyond plugging them in. We recommend this type of machine if you plan to travel with yours frequently since they are small and easy to set up. Models with a bird’s nest of cords are a hassle to travel with and better suited to being permanent fixtures in a room.
Before shopping, consider how you’ll use your karaoke machine, so you know whether you need to purchase extra equipment. For example, you may want to purchase additional microphones so two people can sing at the same time. Or maybe you want cordless mics so you can move and dance around while you sing.
Also, think about how you plan to play songs. Are you going to use a CD or connect a cord and pull them from the YouTube app on your smartphone? In addition, consider whether the machine has an onboard screen for lyrics. If not, you may need to purchase additional cables to connect it to your TV.