BEST KARAOKE MACHINES | NOVEMBER 2017
Karaoke machines provide hours of fun and entertainment, and there are a ton of options on the market today. The ReviewLab team performed extensive research on a wide range of karaoke machines – including karaoke machines for kids, karaoke machines for weddings and parties and more – to create this list of recommendations. To learn more about karaoke machines in general, check out our buying guide below that covers things like power sources, portability and sound quality. Read more about our methodology.
The Karaoke USA GF845 Karaoke System is our top pick because it’s got a ton of features and sells at an attractive price point. The all-in-one construction of the unit means that it doesn’t require a TV or tablet to use.Read full review.
Our runner up for best overall is the HDK Box 2.0 Karaoke Machine. This unit is a feature-rich karaoke machine that has an extensive database of songs that are auto-updated on a regular basis. The database does require a subscription, but it’s got plenty of content. You’ll also need a TV to use this unit, but its compact sizing makes it easy to store.Read full review.
The Singing Machine Bluetooth Karaoke System is a portable system that’s perfect for users that want a lightweight, low-cost toy for their kids to play with. It also works just as well for family gatherings and small adult get-togethers.Read full review.
The Akai Portable Karaoke System is an easily transportable option at a budget price point. It can play Karaoke CDs and can be connected to a music device for playback. It’s a great low-priced option for anyone looking for an affordable group activity.Read full review.
Karaoke Machines BUYING GUIDE
If you plan on toting your brand new karaoke machine around, look for a device that’s lightweight and portable. Karaoke machines marketed towards children should be easy to carry so that they are easy to travel with. Most lightweight units have more inferior sound quality, but that’s the tradeoff for maximum portability.
If you are using your karaoke machine in one location and have a plug nearby, then an electrically powered unit should suit you just fine. For those who want a more portable option or want to use a device where there is no wall outlet, look for battery operated models. Most children’s karaoke machines are battery powered so that they can easily be carried around.
Good sound is particularly important for those seeking a commercial grade karaoke machine. If you’re purchasing a unit for a big event, party, or setting, choose a model with a sturdy construction. Karaoke machines with built-in speakers are more convenient but may not have the most exceptional sound quality. Look for a model that supports the use of an amplifier or that can plug into a sound system for clear, crisp sound.
Screen or no Screen?
When most people think of a karaoke machine, they think of a device with microphones, that play music, and displays lyrics on a screen. That is, after all, what a traditional karaoke machine does. Before you settle on a device, you should be aware that not all karaoke units sold come with display screens. Some work in tandem with smart devices like tablets or smartphones. The user can download an app to use with the machine or can utilize YouTube for free karaoke-style videos with lyrics. Other units can plug into a television.
Budget option karaoke machines are most popular with families who have young children. The low-priced karaoke machines are great for kids or small parties and are usually priced below $200. In the middle, you’ll find devices above $200 but under $500. These karaoke machines are often standalone and don’t require a TV or extra speakers. They are great for adult parties that need louder sound. Higher end models over $500 have the most features, most connectivity options, and provide the best sound quality. They are best used for large events or in commercial settings.
FULL product reviews
We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.
The Karaoke USA GF845 is a standalone option that comes with everything you need to have fun right out of the box. It has lots of features including voice recording, and a key changing function lets users choose a key that works for them. It also comes with a library of songs so you can sing along right away. It's also priced reasonably for such a feature-rich device. All this helped it to earn its spot as our top pick.
Why We Recommend It
- High-quality design. Reviewers like the sturdy construction of the karaoke machine, and it's two included microphones.
- Doesn’t require a TV to function. The machine is standalone, so there’s no need to hook it up to a TV. It includes a 7-inch color screen and comes with two karaoke music discs for use in the unit’s DVD player.
- Voice recording feature. Not all units come equipped with this function so reviewers appreciate that this device can record performances.
- Key change option. This neat feature allows users to change the key of the music playing if so desired.
- Multiple ways to connect devices. The unit comes with RCA and AUX cables is Bluetooth enabled, and features both SD and USB ports. A convenient device cradle lets users use their device as a screen.
- Cool design. LED lights synchronize with music for a neat light show effect. Great for enhancing a party atmosphere.
- Some find the volume lower than expected. The speakers are good quality; but for massive parties and events, an amplifier is required.
Our best overall runner-up is the HDK Box 2.0 Karaoke Machine. For users who prefer easy access to content, a massive song library is available via subscription. It’s an excellent karaoke machine for those who are looking for lots of features such as voice recording and microphone volume control but who also want an easy to store device.
Why We Recommend It
- Easily hooks up to the TV. Users like that set up is so easy, just plug in, connect to the television and go. A subscription-based library is also available and updates on a weekly basis.
- Convenient app control. The device is controlled via an app, which reviewers really appreciate.
- Small size. This isn’t a big clunky machine, so it’s easy to store it away when not in use.
- Has a lot of features. The microphone volume can be adjusted independently, and there’s also an option to switch the lead vocalist or use an echo effect on someone’s voice. The machine can also record performances and adjust the key of music playing.
- Nice design. The device is sleek and unassuming. It will blend in well with most entertainment set-ups.
- USB connectivity. A port on the device allows users to playback their downloaded content.
- Music library requires a subscription and Internet connection. Some users don’t like the fact that a subscription is needed to access music content. Users can use their own music files via USB, though.
The Singing Machine Bluetooth Karaoke System is a small portable machine with Bluetooth technology for extra convenient connectivity. There’s even a specific app that works with the device, so users don’t have to bother downloading content or finding it on Youtube. Even at its low price point, it comes with a microphone and has impressive sound quality for its size, which helped it snag top budget pick.
Why We Recommend It
- Easy to use. The karaoke machine can be used in conjunction with the company’s app, which eliminates the need to worry about loading your own content.
- Very portable. The machine is compact and comes with a handle for easy transport.
- Low price. The sound quality is quite good for the machine’s small size and low cost. The device also comes with a microphone that features separate volume control.
- Bluetooth pairs easily. Users find the Bluetooth connects quickly and is reliable.
- Convenient tablet shelf. The unit has a rack that users can rest their Smart device on if they choose to use YouTube or the app in conjunction with the karaoke machine.
- Does not have a CD or DVD player. Not appropriate for those who already own a collection of Karaoke discs.
- Does not have a record function. Cannot record and save performances for later playback.
Our next budget pick is the Akai Portable Karaoke System. It’s an inexpensive option that’s both portable and provides excellent sound. It’s a fun little machine that can be used for kids’ parties since it won’t break the bank and it can be used with CDs or your own media library via the AUX input.
Why We Recommend It
- Loud sound for such a compact device. This karaoke machine is small but provides a fair amount of volume.
- Easy to carry. The unit is lightweight, so it’s easy to move around.
- Heavy-duty design. Reviewers point out that the machine seems well constructed.
- Cool flashing lights. The included lighting effect is great for parties.
- Users can use their own media library. The device can be connected via AUX input to play music on your device. It can also play CDs.
- Great price. It’s a cheaper option that provides good sound and durability. It also comes with a microphone.
- Convenient tablet cradle. Users can use their tablet or smartphone as a screen to view lyrics.
- The included microphone could be better quality. Reviewers aren’t impressed with the included microphone citing sound issues.
- No screen for lyrics. The unit itself doesn’t have a screen so users must use a tablet if they need a reminder of what the lyrics to a song are.
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Best Karaoke Machine for Kids
Karaoke machines that are made for children are brightly colored and durable. They’re easy to use and lightweight so that kids can carry them around the house or travel with them. Most karaoke machines made especially for children also feature attached microphones so that no accessories get lost.
With a cute design, the Kidzlane Karaoke Machine is our suggestion for parents looking for a unit for their youngsters. It’s easy to carry and parents can play content from a variety of sources including USB, SD, AUX, and Bluetooth. Kids can even listen to the radio using the little machine making it a device that will keep kids busy for hours.
Why We Recommend It
- Super durable. Reviewers agree that the Kidzlane machine can withstand the rigors of playtime.
- Lots of storage room. The device can store up to 100 songs thanks to its 512mb storage capacity.
- Lightweight and easy to carry. The karaoke machine features a handle and is light enough for children to tote around.
- Cute design. The bright orange machine features rounded corners and easy to identify controls.
- Attached microphones. It comes with two wired microphones so that children won’t misplace or lose them at home or on the go. The volume of the mics can also be adjusted independently from the song playing.
- FM Radio function. Another neat addition is the radio feature, which instantly transforms the karaoke machine into an FM radio.
- Battery power option. In addition to electrical power, the unit can be powered by batteries making it perfect for those traveling with kids.
- Quick pairing Bluetooth. Users like how fast and reliably the Bluetooth connects.
- Sound quality isn’t the best. Users point out that the sound isn’t great, but it is meant for young children, so professional sound quality isn't expected.
- There is a learning curve required for younger children. Some parents point out that younger kids need a bit of help when it comes to controlling the device.
Best Karaoke Machine for Weddings and Parties
Karaoke machines for weddings and parties are usually more expensive but feature better sound quality and higher-end construction. These types of machines can belt out sound loud enough to fill larger rooms or can be hooked up to existing sound systems. Generally, these systems come equipped with better quality microphones.
The Rockville Powered Pro Karaoke Machine provides quality sound in an easy to transport package. It comes packaged with two well-construction wireless microphones perfect for a well-attended event or wedding reception. An AUX input allows users to play their own music with the powerful system.
Why We Recommend It
- Excellent sound quality. The karaoke machine provides professional sound quality according to reviewers.
- Can be hooked up to various devices. The unit can play music from many sources including iPhones, tablets by using the AUX input. It can also be plugged into a TV.
- Included microphones are good quality. The machine comes with two wireless microphones that have a long range.
- Surprisingly compact. For a device with such powerful sound, it’s easy enough to move it around.
- Easy to use. Reviewers agree that the device requires no learning curve. No need to be a professional to get good sound quality.
- Controls are not as precise as some might like. Some reviewers point out that the volume controls are quite basic.
- Cannot play Karaoke CDs or regular CDs. You have to use your own music since the device is not compatible with Karaoke CDs or any other type of disc.
Best Karaoke Machine for Home
Home karaoke machines are great for small gatherings. These machines are more affordable than those used for large events and usually come packaged with one or two wired microphones. They often have numerous connectivity options so users can stream content from their tablets via AUX connection or USB drives.
The Electrohome Karaoke machine is a compact machine for at-home use. It’s easy to use and features multiple connectivity options so users can play music from almost any device. It’s an affordable option for the homeowner who wants to try a fun new pastime or entertain party guests, without having to deal with a big clunky system.
Why We Recommend It
- Easy to use right out of the box. The device can be used with regular CDs and Karaoke discs, can connect to your TV, and can be used with most devices via the AUX input. It also comes with a Karaoke CD so you can start singing immediately.
- Good value. A lower price point makes this a reliable option for occasional entertainment. It also comes packaged with one microphone, and there are multiple voice effects available for use.
- Attractive design. A cylindrical configuration makes this a sleek addition to the living room.
- Lightweight and compact. Although it has a beautiful design, it’s small enough that it can be stored away if so desired.
- Unique Auto Voice Control feature. This nifty function helps users if they forget the words to a song. The AVC will fill in the blanks for you if you stumble.
- Good sound quality. The unit provides audible, quality sound according to reviewers.
- No Bluetooth. You’ll need to rely on cables to stream music to the karaoke machine.
The Memorex MKS-SS2 SingStand Karaoke Machine is a fun option for those who want to feel like they’re really performing. It has a few exciting features not included with other models such as vocal muting, auto-voice play, and a microphone stand design. The well-priced SingStand machine is also easy to store or put aside when not in use.
Why We Recommend It
- Neat auto-voice feature. The microphone karaoke machine doesn’t only project sound. It also helps to make the user sound better thanks to its equalizer function. The function ensures your voice does not get overpowered by the music playing.
- Sturdy construction. The stand is well built and won’t fall over easily. You can even set down your tablet on the convenient cradle.
- Easy to use volume controls. The machine has a volume control panel so the user can adjust the sound as they see fit.
- Vocal track mute function. Reviewers love this feature. It essentially cuts out the vocals from almost any song so you can become the lead vocalist.
- Small footprint. The upright design means this karaoke machine is easy to store in a corner.
- Great sound for the price. Reviewers feel the machine provides decent sound quality considering the affordable price tag. Users can even plug in their instruments to use with the microphone.
- No recording function. Users cannot record their voices and listen back later.
- No key adjustment. Despite having an AVC function, volume controls, and vocal track muting, the karaoke machine cannot change a song’s key.
Best Bluetooth Karaoke Machine
Bluetooth karaoke machines allow users to stream content without the need for extra cables. These types of devices are a great option for those who already have a large Karaoke song database on their Smart devices and want the flexibility that comes with Bluetooth technology.
The Akai KS878 Bluetooth Pedestal Karaoke System gives users the ability to stream media via a reliable Bluetooth connection. Don’t have your phone or tablet handy? No worries, you can use USB flash drives to playback downloaded content. The device can also be used with Karaoke CDs and displays lyrics on its 7-inch color screen, via a tablet or connected television.
Why We Recommend It
- Can be used right out of the box. Whether you choose to use Bluetooth to stream your music or play a Karaoke CD, it’s simple to get started. The Bluetooth connects quickly so there’s no need to wait around to perform.
- USB port. Users can play their own downloaded music using a USB drive and can record performances to a USB stick using the second port.
- Good sound quality. Reviewers like the powerful, quality sound of the machine. Powerful wattage ensures music and voices are heard loud and clear.
- Neat lighting effects. This is a great feature for parties.
- Lightweight. It’s not so heavy that it can be moved around.
- Comes with two wired microphones. There’s no need to buy an additional peripheral for duets since it comes packaged with a set of mics.
- Microphones could be better. Reviewers feel the microphones could be better and are not as good as the karaoke machine.