Some folks think of karaoke as that embarrassing thing they do at the annual office Christmas party. But the truth is karaoke has gained such widespread acceptance because it’s more than that. It’s the kind of fun activity can be enjoyed by everyone from seniors wanting to take one more crack at those classic hits to kids wanting to emulate their favorite K-pop stars. If you’d like to ramp up the fun at your next holiday bash, birthday party, family get together or company soiree you can’t lose when you bust out the karaoke machine. Not all karaoke machines are created equal, however, so we’ve scoured the marketplace to come up with the top 10 examples of the best karaoke machine out there. Here they are, in no particular order.
Top 10 Karaoke Machines Reviews
Singing Machine SML385BTW Top Loading CDG Karaoke System
The SML385BT karaoke system from Singing Machine boasts a top loading CD
player that plays both music CDs as well as CD+graphics. Thankfully the company has also recognized that CDs are about as relevant today as Harry Truman and so they’ve included Bluetooth compatibility as well which allows you to connect the system to your digital devices. There are also output jacks that will connect to your TV (RCA and not HDMI) and a pair of mic jacks that will allow for the all-important duet with your honey or the head of Human Resources. Other features include:
- Built-in speaker audio/video output.
- A CD+graphic disc with 5 complementary songs.
- LED light show that adds the finishing touch to your party.
- Separate volume controls on the dual microphones.
- Generous voice control capability.
- Extremely attractive price point.
The SML385BT karaoke system from Singing Machine lets you add an element to your parties that will rocket them into the stratosphere whether your guests are 5 or 50. While we weren’t crazy about the color scheme we have to admit that for the price it has a really solid feel and everything is laid out logically top to bottom. Sound quality is generally good to excellent (on a relative scale of course) and the “disco” LED light show is actually quite a hoot.
Snazzy LED disco lights.
The built-in speaker makes toting it around a snap.
Easy as pie set up. Comes ready to go right out of the box.
Compatibility with any RCA input TV.
Better than expected voice control.
No built-in monitor but if you have a TV handy it doesn’t matter.
Wish they’d upgrade to full digital input and HDMI TV connectivity.
Singing Machine SML-385 Top Loading CDG Karaoke System – 2016 Version
While we love the latest iteration of the SML-385 (reviewed above) that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with last year’s version. You can still get this one at Amazon and a slew of other online retailers so if you’re having a hard time finding the latest version you can feel confident defaulting on this one. Like the updated model the SML-385 has a nifty little disco light LED function that’s actually a lot of fun. Where this model will fall short for some people is the lack of digital compatibility. But it is an older model so you shouldn’t come at it with unrealistic expectations. For what it is and the price they’re asking it’s a great bargain: versatile, dependable, solidly built with good to very good sound quality for such a device. Other features include:
- Aforementioned LED disco light system.
- Dual microphone jacks (but only 1 mic included).
- Top loading CD player makes swapping out discs a snap.
- Balance, echo and volume voice controls.
- Handsome, sleek black case.
Another thing we really like about this system is the echo feature, which admittedly is available on other systems but seems to work particularly well here. It’s a great effect the kids are going to love and the adults will have fun with too. The ability of the system to isolate vocals by way of the multiplex system is another big plus for the SML-385 2016 version.
Plug in and play capability.
LED light show is a hoot the kids will love.
The echo feature raises the karaoke bar.
Easy to move, easy to store, easy on the wallet.
No compatibility with digital devices.
No remote control capability.
RCA TV cable only. No HDMI.
Karaoke USA Karaoke System GF829 with 7-Inch TFT Color Screen
While the design of this older version of the USA Karaoke System GF829 isn’t going to win any style awards it’s a karaoke machine so who really cares? What matters is that it brings the fun wherever you take it. And you can take it just about anywhere due to its compact nature and fairly light weight. One thing that separated this device from the competition when it first came out was the 7 inch TFT color screen. It’s still an important feature and one you should keep in mind if your karaoke efforts don’t always happen right next to a TV. Another things that makes the GF829 noteworthy is the ability to record your singing efforts onto an SD card in MP3 format so you can listen to yourself on other devices (which is almost as much fun as singing). Other features include:
- Ability to record both CD+G and MP3+G.
- Dual microphones for those must have duets.
- Instant playback for double the fun.
- 300 free songs come with the kit.
- iPhone and iPad compatibility.
- Handy remote control.
While we typically aren’t fans of older models of things (unless of course we’re talking about a 1965 candy apple red Pontiac LeMans) we have to admit this GF829 karaoke system from USA Karaoke is one of the exceptions we’ll make to the rule. It holds its ground against the newest machines with its robust support for digital media, the ability to record your efforts to an SD card, the large, high quality screen and USB port.
Fully digital integration.
Remote control capability.
Plug it in and play it right out of the box.
CD with 300 bonus songs included.
Outstanding sound quality for such an affordable device.
Voice can sometimes seem drowned out by the music.
Screen placement over the CD drive is curious.
Singing Machine iSM1030BT Bluetooth Karaoke Pedestal
We move on with another entry from Singing Machine. This time it’s their iSM1030BT Bluetooth Karaoke system. The iSM1030BT is designed to look like a large system in photos but is actually pretty small when you encounter it in person. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that, for the money, this may be the best dual speaker stereo karaoke system you can get. The stand system is a welcome change for many from the speaker box design and the ability to place your speakers wherever you wish creates real live music/studio effects you’ll never get with the single fixed speaker. The monitor is conveniently located at the apex of the circular pedestal so you can just grab one of the 2 mics and start singing. Other features include:
- Robust digital sourcing capabilities.
- Ability to also play CD+G, standard music CDs, and MP3+G.
- Built-in cradle accommodates all iOS and Android handsets.
- 7 inch TFT LCD full-color display.
This is a multiplex system so songs are split into stereo channels so that voices can be easily isolated. The system also offers handy digital key control, because not everyone is comfortable singing in the same key and echo control which is something everyone is going to love. Stereo sound quality from the 2 tower speakers is good to excellent and the whole thing costs a lot less than you imagine.
Plug in your USB device full of songs and get partying.
Allows you to save and replay your vocal efforts.
Simple but effective audio controls.
Full support for CD+G and MP3+G.
Surprisingly high fidelity sound.
Pedestal is not very heavy and so is easily toppled.
We found ourselves wishing the speaker cords were longer.
Akai KS213 Portable CD&G Karaoke System
The Akai KS213 Portable Karaoke System puts a new spin on the old speaker box design and it’s a welcome upgrade. This is a thoroughly modern take on the portable karaoke machine that embraces the visual nomenclature of the day and backs up that visual punch with real 21st century handset compatibility. The device has dual mic capability and produces surprisingly good audio quality for such a compact device. It’s stable as all get-out with a tilted design that makes it easy to read the words on the large, clear screen even if the device is on the floor or on a low table. Other features include:
- Blinking disco light effect the kids are going to love.
- Dual microphone inputs for your Grammy-winning duets.
- Echo and balance control on voice input.
- Can be powered by AC input or 6 C batteries.
The Akai KS213 may or may not be the future of portable karaoke machines but it’s very definitely the present and that should be more than enough for most people. Whether you’re bringing it to the big company holiday bash or plan to have it in the family room on New Year’s Eve this is one karaoke speaker box that behaves like something much more expensive. We really appreciate the generally fine audio quality produced by the dual speakers, the easy integration with iOS and Android devices, the handsome design and the snazzy little light show.
Sharp, well thought out design.
Can be plugged in or battery operated.
Comes with a CD with 50 free karaoke songs
Supports both yesterday’s CDs and today’s digital content.
Can set it anywhere and not worry about it being knocked over.
Not as big as it looks if that matters to you.
Sound can get a bit tinny when you push the volume.
ION iPA77 Audio Tailgater
The ION iPA77 Audio Tailgater looks like a classic rock amp and performs like one too. This is a karaoke machine that includes the best of yesterday with plenty of forward-looking features that situates it squarely in the 21st century. The power of the speaker is impressive, as is the 100 foot Bluetooth range, the solid construction, the sensible and effective feature layout and the fact that when your voice has given out you can use it as an AM/FM radio and charge your phone from it. Few other karaoke machines can equal never mind surpass the feature set of the ION iPA77 Audio Tailgater. It’s without a doubt the best karaoke machine for under 100 bucks. No, there’s no built-in screen but you won’t miss it when you set this puppy up at your next bash. Other features include:
- Single high-quality mic.
- Double boom box that delivers bass like a boss.
- 12V 5.0Ah Sealed Lead Acid battery holds a 50-hour charge.
- Can be used as a power bank during emergencies.
- Sharp looking uber-stable design.
The ION iPA77 is the type of deal that leaves you scratching your head wondering if you read the review correctly. “You get all that for how much?” Fear not though, you read it right. This is one of the great deals in party kit and is going to blow your guests away when you trot it out and power it up. It’s as easy to use as it is easy on the eye and the sound, with the deep thundering bass, is like nothing you’ve heard from a karaoke machine before.
Compatible with most iOS and Android handsets.
SLA battery provides up to 50 hours per charge.
Both wired and wireless capability.
Doubles as powerful AM/FM radio and power bank.
Incredibly affordable price point.
It’s heavier than some other karaoke boxes.
No lyric display screen.
Magic Sing ET23KH HD Resolution Karaoke System
The Magic Sing ET23KH is another high tech karaoke device for those who take their karaoke seriously. With the ET23KH you’re able to hook directly into your computer or TV and have custom graphics playing in the background while you teach your friends what singing is really all about. You’re able to connect the device to your HDTV either with RCA or HDMI and you’ll never be confined by the mics because they’re completely wireless. Use your iOS or Android handset, a USB drive, audio files on your PC or pull source material in via Bluetooth. Other features include:
- Full integration with other components of your home entertainment karaoke system.
- Comes with an incredible 2,100 songs built in and ready to play.
- Create your own video or still backgrounds to complete your performance.
- High fidelity sound to accompany your pics and vids.
When you arrive on site with the ET23KH in its handsome carrying case your friends are going to wonder what’s up. After you set up and get cranking they’re going to want to be up next. The ET23KH has all the advantages you’d expect from a karaoke machine in 2018: incredible sound, high level compatibility, easy portability and wireless functionality. Use it once and you’ll be sold.
Easy as pie setup.
You’re never at a loss for source material.
The handsome carrying case makes it a breeze to take anywhere.
Wireless mics free you from the tyranny of the cord.
High degree of build quality throughout.
Maybe more than you want to spend on a karaoke device.
Might be easy for the kids to lose one of the mics.
Karaoke USA GF830 Karaoke System with 7″ TFT Color Screen
The Karaoke USA GF830 is the updated version of the GF829 we reviewed above. There aren’t a whole bunch of differences as you might expect with the lone notable difference being the integration of Bluetooth capability. This enables you to source music from a wider array of devices and to listen to content on your other Bluetooth enabled devices through your karaoke speaker. The same iffy design is back but just like with its predecessor it doesn’t matter because you’re not picking up a device like this to win style points. You buy it to liven up your parties and the GF830 will certainly to that. Other features include:
- CD+G, DVD and MP3+G compatibility.
- The same dependable 7 inch TFT screen as the GF829.
- Ability to record your vocal efforts and playback immediately.
- RCA audio video input cable to play on your TV.
- Full remote control capability.
The GF829 had one significant drawback: no wireless capability. That problem has been effectively addressed by the GF830 and the result is a much more complete piece of party kit and a best karaoke machine that still won’t break your bank. Your get togethers will be the talk of the town and the watercooler set when you have the GF830 on your side. You can even power it through your car to keep the kids busy and happy on those long road trips.
Small enough to take anywhere.
Plug it in and get rocking right out of the box.
Easily hooks up to any RCA compatible TV.
Unlike some dual mic systems it actually comes with 2 mics!
Stores easily out of the way.
Remote control needs its own instruction manual.
Included CDs are not labeled.
Akai KS800 Front Load CD&G Karaoke System
The KS800 Front Load is another state of the art entertainment device from Akai and every bit the functional equal of their KS213 Portable Karaoke System (see above). But whereas the KS213 takes a horizontal approach to karaoke box design the KS800 goes all vertical. As such it’s not as physically stable as its cousin the KS213 but what it lacks in stability it makes up for in performance. The name should give away the fact that the KS800 has a front loading CD player but thankfully the designers didn’t stop with 2008 design options. The device is also Bluetooth compatible and will accept input from any USB device. Other features include:
- MP3 and MP3+G compatibility.
- 7 inch TFT full color display.
- A line in function and built-in tablet cradle.
- Digital key control for better song/singer matchups.
- Volume, balance and echo controls.
The sound produced by the KS800 is certainly one of its most remarkable properties. It’s full and rich and never seems to tip over into tinny even if you’ve got this baby cranked. That’s a testament to the thought and engineering effort that went into this portable karaoke system. The overall design is practical, easy to understand and use and the speakers are smartly located at the highest point of the box in order to provide the clearest sound possible.
True high fidelity sound.
Common sense layout of functions.
Digital key control makes singing more enjoyable for everyone.
Ready to plug in and use right out of the box.
USB compatibility expands possibilities.
Plug in only. No battery option.
Fairly easy to push over onto its back so not for young kids.
Rockville Dual 15″ Karaoke Machine/System
We wrap up this tour through the 10 best karaoke machines in a fitting manner, with a look at one of the most deluxe consumer grade singing systems out there: the Rockville Dual 15” Karaoke Machine. All you have to do is unbox this system and you’ll see the many ways it stands apart from the competition. From the dual tower mounted speakers, to the 4 mics to the sheer weight of the whole system (90 pounds) this is not just a party ready system it’s a club ready system. But it’s not just bulk and brawn, it also features a high degree of compatibility with a plethora of digital devices both wired and wireless. Other features include:
- Rockville Power GIG RPG 15” Speakers.
- The company’s impressive long throw woofers.
- Rockville’s own wireless microphone system.
- And premium audiophile RCA interconnect cables.
This is no karaoke machine for the kids. This is serious singing equipment that will allow you to live the dream while taking your house parties to legendary levels. Pull music in via your Bluetooth enabled device and hook up your iPhone to read the lyrics from. Your voice will sound rich and clear (whether it’s out of key or not will be up to you) and will project to every corner of the club or hall.
Sets up in just a few minutes.
Easy to understand instructions.
Will definitely make you the lifeblood of the party.
Tripod mounted speakers for outstanding sound quality.
Ability to pull music from a variety of digital sources/platforms.
Lots of parts that can get lost over time.
More than some people will want to pay for a karaoke system.
How to Choose High-Quality Karaoke Machine?
There are many types of Karaoke machines. It depends on what your needs are (and also your budget) as to which model will be right for you. They come in all shapes and sizes, some suitable for kids and other models aimed mostly at adults to sing their hearts out.
Let’s look at the criteria to see how best to decide.
Types of Karaoke Machines
The Karaoke machines for kids are the ones designed for the younger set. Different models depend on the age range, so the ones for the under 8s are not the same as the models suitable for teenagers who want something a little more sophisticated for their tastes. Most times, the machine can display lyrics on a small screen or works with a smartphone to achieve the same result. There may be disco lights on the machine or separately provided.
The Karaoke machines for the home are more advanced models than the kid-friendly ones and lack kid-specific features like larger buttons or more color variances. The sounds quality is usually far better, and it can connect to a TV via HDMI or wireless connection.
The portable karaoke machine is designed to be far more compact, lighter and easier to move from place to place. Traveling DJs mostly use These and to have fun parties.
Professional karaoke machines come in many flavors and high price points. They’re designed to hook up to panoramic TV projectors to show backdrops, lyrics, and so on. The microphones are usually better quality, there are more features for group singing, and these are models you’d expect to find in a bar or club.
Setup:- Setting up a Karaoke machine needs to be fast to get singing quickly and thankfully most are just that. With the children’s machines, they set up the fastest and most kids can do it themselves. The more advanced the machine, the more options there are when setting up like professional-quality microphones and external speakers.
Power is usually supplied from a normal power outlet, but some models are smaller and run on batteries.
What Accessories Really Matter:- Not every karaoke machine comes with a microphone and certainly not two for duets. It’s fair to say that with most low-cost to mid-cost machines, you’ll be able to buy a better microphone separately than anyone that’s supplied with a machine. You’ll get improved audio range and quality as long as the speakers can produce a professional sound quality.
Compatible Media Formats:- There are different systems for the media with karaoke.
The leader right now is CDG. This supports CD’s that will have a graphical background and produce lyrics on display. CDG systems require either a display with the device or one to plug into.
The latest machines will access your smartphone and play music via a connection. An auxiliary connection is used to access the karaoke machine and hook it up to the smartphone. There is no lyrical support this way, so you must know the lyrics to the songs on your smartphone. Alternatively, Bluetooth is sometimes possible with the same setup but minus the physical cable.
Benefits of The Good Karaoke Machine
There are many benefits of having a good karaoke machine. They are good both for kids to play with and also adults too. Many of the benefits are the same, but some are different.
Benefits for the Kids
- Group Activity:- For younger kids, using a karaoke machine is not just about learning to sing and having fun with it. A large part is learning to socialize better with other children, taking turns to use the karaoke equipment and not fighting over who is next.
For kids, it’s a good idea to have multiple microphones so they can sing together, perform a two-person rap, or another kind of music. With only one microphone, it’s a little more restrictive, and some kids may get bored waiting for their turn. Buying a second microphone and making sure to buy a karaoke machine for kids that supports two mics is the best idea.
- Reading:- The task of reading is not easy for kids. It works better when it’s a fun activity. When a karaoke machine display shows the lyrics for the song that’s playing, the kids can try to read it and sing the words. This way, they’re learning the more English language, and they have fun with it like it’s a game.
Parents or supervisors can practice the songs the first few times with the younger children, so they learn how to pronounce the words and are not left feeling unable to do it. This could lead to them giving up easily or enjoying karaoke. Once the child has picked up a few songs, then they can be left to their own devices until they get to a new song. They can also be told to ask for help when a new song comes on, so the parent can enjoy it with them, so they don’t feel bad asking them.
- Confidence:- Learning to perform karaoke at a young age is helpful for kids because they gain confidence and may go to performing or speaking on stage and feel more comfortable doing so. That newfound confidence can translate into other areas of their learning, at school and later college life as they get older too.
Benefits for the Adults
- Large Group Activity:- The ability for larger groups to get up on a stage, share a couple of microphones and sing their heart out is a good time had by all. There are few other activities that a group can participate in together and share so equally. The highs and lows of their singing voice are equally fun or embarrassing.
- Practicing for a Singing Career:- Anyone who wants to get onto a talent show on TV will need to have experience singing and using a microphone properly. There is plenty that can be learned about having a better singing voice, effective breathing techniques, the distance from the microphone to the mouth, and more.
Whether a karaoke machine is wanted for the kids or the adults to play with, the number of hours of pure fun that you get from the equipment cannot even be measured.
The best karaoke machine for your needs will be determined by the age of the person the system is intended for, where you believe it’s most likely to be used, whether you have a slew of CDs you want to use or you want to jump straight to more sophisticated sourcing devices. And, of course, your budget.
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