How To Select A Karaoke Machine

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A Handy Karaoke Machine Buyer’s Guide & Checklist

Now that we’ve gone over the many different types of karaoke machines, it’s time to dive in a bit deeper into the different features available.

In this article, I’ve compiled the ultimate checklist of what to consider before getting a karaoke machine.

I’ve come up with a list of questions you can ask yourself when selecting a karaoke machine.

Why Even Get Your Own Karaoke Machine?

Karaoke is a fun way to bond with your friends, but singing can be a deeply personal thing for many of us. Sometimes, you just want to have that singing session in complete privacy, and this is especially true for people who have stage fright. If you’re scared of sharing your voice to strangers, or you feel like you’re not the best singer, then you should get your own machine so that you can practice more.

Everyone is an artist in their own way, and you should remember that not being the best vocal artist is okay.

If you’re considering buying a karaoke system for your home, maybe you can use your social media account to sign up for karaoke apps (check our list of our favorite karaoke apps here). This will give you an idea of what you sound like with a music track, and make it easier for you to decide if you’re ready to buy a karaoke machine.

Some people aren’t comfortable with performing in front of strangers, which is fine, but if you’re looking for something to make it easier for you to improve your singing method, then you should consider getting a home karaoke system.

Who’s Going To Be Using The Machine?

You can choose to get a karaoke machine purely for personal use.

A personal home karaoke machine can be useful in a lot of ways. Karaoke lets you express yourself and expressing your emotions through song can be a healthy practice, even therapeutic.

Personal VS. Social Functions

You can use a karaoke machine to train yourself in singing and performing. A personal karaoke machine at home is a great way to practice and improve your karaoke skills and impress the people you’re going to do karaoke with.

You can also use it to prep for a singing or performance competition. 

If this is your route, machines like the built-in microphone karaoke system introduced in the previous article would be your best choice. 

At the opposite end of that spectrum are the karaoke machines cater to groups. It’s the perfect entertainment system for parties and events.

You can also bring out people’s competitive side by hosting casual singing competitions or playing games.

For example, you can play the song association game where Team A picks a word and Team B would have a limited time to think of a song that contains that word, then sing the song.

Is Your Karaoke Machine A Gift?

A karaoke machine can also be a wonderful present. You can bestow upon your friends the power of turning any moment into a concert. Your friends who are really into singing and performing will definitely appreciate the support.

A karaoke machine is also an ideal present for kids.

There are karaoke machines that are built especially for children, these machines come in the most adorable designs with easy to use settings.

A popular karaoke machine for children is the Vtech Kidi Star Karaoke Machine.

It can connect to mp3 players or mobile devices, includes six built-in games, comes with bright colorful lights, and can even record up to five minutes of audio.

Karaoke has the ability to make a person feel like a star, it’s a good way to develop one’s charisma and to get over stage-fright. Introducing karaoke to kids can help build their confidence and even encourage them to take an interest in other music-related hobbies.

VTech Kidi Star Karaoke Machine (Pink/Purple)
  • Music magic mode turns down the main voice of included songs or songs accessed through a mobile device
  • Connects to MP3 players or mobile devices with the included audio cable so you can play songs from your own collection
  • Includes six built-in games, a voice changer that has five different voice effects, fun sound effects and eight original songs
  • Twist the disco light 180 degrees for bright and colorful light effects that create a great atmosphere for singing and dancing
  • Kids karaoke machine includes a built-in recorder that records for up to five minutes

Do You Just Need Something Simple?

If you’re not ready to own your own karaoke system (or you simply don’t have space), then you can always consider just hooking up your Smart TV to YouTube. This is enough for most people, but of course, it won’t have all the songs (especially if you have obscure taste in music!)

To do this, simply output the video of your YouTube to your TV, and connect your microphones up to your amp. Don’t have an amp? Check our list out here.

Where Will You Be Using The Karaoke Machine?

The next concern is logistics. If you want to get a karaoke machine for your home or for someone else’s, you need to consider where you’ll be placing the machine. Thankfully, karaoke machines come in all sorts of sizes.

Indoor Machines

If you have a lot of space, you can pretty much turn your living room into a concert hall with all-in-one karaoke systems. If not, opt for the TV-Monitor Systems, and choose the ones that you know will be compatible with your TV and speakers at home.

If you’re planning on having an indoor karaoke system, it would be a good idea to also think about some soundproofing solutions.

Outdoor Machines

You want to be able to sing your heart out without getting possible noise complaints from the neighbors. Simple sound-proofing techniques are having thick curtains and a rug pad wherever you’re planning to set-up your karaoke machine.

If you’ll be having lots of summer BBQ sessions, poolside parties — you should consider getting machines that have some type of weather-proofing.

The ION Explorer Outback Wireless is a fantastic option — 100 watts, waterproof, splashproof AND a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 100 hours!

Ion Explorer Outback Wireless Rechargeable Speaker
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box

Portable Machines

There are even portable machines that you can bring to social gatherings like the Singing Machine SML385UW. This machine has its own built-in speakers, several music input options, and comes with 54 LED Disco Lights with dimmer settings. You’re basically bringing the party to the party.

You can also go battery-operated karaoke machines, some of these machines can last up to a full day of singing. If you often burst into song or have always wanted to turn your life into a musical, this might be the karaoke machine for you.

Singing Machine SML385UW Bluetooth Karaoke System with LED Disco Lights, CD+G, USB, and Microphone, White [Amazon Exclusive]
  • Bluetooth for wireless digital audio streaming from compatible devices and top loading CD player plays music CDs plus CD + Graphics
  • 54 LED disco lights with dimmer setting allows you to control the party ambience and 2-Digital LED display lets you know your song track
  • Line-in to connect to other audio devices (sold separately)
  • Built-in speaker in wood cabinet in karaoke system provides powerful sound
  • Sing a karaoke duet with two wired microphone jacks with separate volume controls and echo control for voice effects

Features To Look Out For When Buying A Karaoke Machine

Karaoke machines these days have evolved so much from just being a disk-player of instrumental songs. Today’s karaoke machines have a lot of additional features that could take your karaoke experience to the next level.


An essential piece of the karaoke machine is the mic.

If you’re looking to get an all-in-one system or a TV monitor system and not just a built-in, you want to choose a mic that offers superior audio quality.

Most karaoke machines will come with their own mics but you can also personalize your karaoke system by getting a mic of your own.

Personally, I love these microphones — they’re wireless and have awesome battery life!

You would also want to have a couple of mics on hand for people to be able to do duets and group songs smoothly.

Unfortunately, a lot of karaoke machines only come with one microphone, so be sure to check!

Karaoke machines usually already have built-in speakers but if you want to get that surround sound experience, you should check if the karaoke machine you want to get has audio outputs.

Being able to connect your machine to external speakers gives you that concert-experience effect.

This feature is especially useful if you plan to use your machine in larger venues, such as parties, weddings etc.


Besides your mic and your speakers, the third piece of hardware that’s essential to your karaoke machine is your screen.

Not all karaoke machines will come with a built-in display so it’s important to check.

TV Monitor Karaoke Systems, Built-in Microphone Karaoke Systems do not come with their own screens, as you are expected to connect these to either a TV, laptop or tablet.

Portable Karaoke Machines will usually have built-in displays but these displays might also be too small.

Vocal Effects

Most karaoke machines will have settings allow you to adjust the microphone and background volumes, though not all will have an expansive collection of fun effects like vocoders, autotune and pitch shifters.

Some machines will have a voice cancellation feature so you can turn any song into an instrumental. Consider whether this is an important function for you.

Another feature that comes with some karaoke machines is the key-changer feature.

This feature allows you to change the key or the pitch of the song you want to sing. Though it is fun to challenge yourself with the high-notes. The key change can let you sing all Adele or Mariah Carey songs you want to sing without breaking your voice.

Bluetooth Connectivity

A karaoke machine that is Bluetooth-compatible is like a gateway to another dimension.

Not only can your karaoke machine be able to connect to different devices, you will also be able to connect your machine to the internet through these devices.

This means being able to play songs that have just been released or songs that might be too obscure.

This also means you get to sing karaoke versions of songs from YouTube that might not be available in your machine’s internal library.


There are some karaoke machines on the market that can now double as your own home studio, complete with effects, pedestal stands — the whole shebang!

In this category, the Singtrix Party Bundle Home Karaoke System aims to be the one machine to rule them all.

Though I actually prefer the direct competitor: Singsation Mainstage!

You can read my full review of the Singsation Mainstage here.

This machine boasts an extensive list of features and effects, one of these features is having an instrument input where you can plug-in your keyboard or guitar.

Invite friends who prefer playing instruments to your karaoke event and turn it into a live-band jamming session.

Other karaoke machines can even let you record your sessions and play them back instantly or give you the option to save to your device so you can share them online.

Are LED Lights Necessary?

If there is anything that pairs well with music — it’s vodka.

But coming close 3rd — it’s LED lights.

Honest to god, the technology has come such a long way in 2019 that if you’re going to get a karaoke machine, my opinion is that you should at least treat yourself to some visual candy.

Lights create a vibe, along with friends and the music.

BUT — if you do opt for a karaoke machine without LED lights, you can always buy a separate lighting effect unit down the track. So it’s not a huge dealbreaker.

The LED disco lights of karaoke machines are often customizable so you can adjust the way the lights dim and shimmer according to the mood of the song.

Another example of a neat ambiance feature is a lighted stage mat that provides the performer with their very own spotlight.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! The ultimate checklist on how to select a karaoke machine. I hope this list has been useful in helping you determine the perfect machine for all your karaoke needs.

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