The 10 Best Karaoke Machines

Updated August 25, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Karaoke Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. So who doesn't want to be Taylor Swift or Kanye West, even if only for one song in the privacy of your own home? Pick up one of these karaoke machines, ranked by audio effects, sound quality, and ease of use, and you'll be belting out your favorite songs in no time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best karaoke machine on Amazon.

10. Akai KS808

The Akai KS808 has every feature you could ask for in a karaoke machine. It features a front-loading CD player, a vivid 7" color display screen, and a USB port for recording performances. It is available in a Bluetooth or non-Bluetooth model.
  • digital key controls
  • microphones sound tinny
  • somewhat large for home use
Brand Akai
Model KS808
Weight 27.3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Memorex Sing Stand 3

The Memorex Sing Stand 3 gives you a lot of bang for your buck with the included mic stand and integrated speakers. It also has inputs for a guitar or keyboard, allowing users to play along with their favorite songs, or it can be used for a second microphone for duets.
  • can adjust mic and music separately
  • has some distortion at high volumes
  • need an external screen for lyrics
Brand Memorex
Model MKSSS3
Weight 10.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Sharper Image SBT1009BK

The Sharper Image SBT1009BK seems to have picked up where many other systems fell short. The telescoping handle is sturdy, the wheels roll easily, and the speaker is powerful, yet lightweight enough to be easily picked up and carried to a stage.
  • has a guitar input
  • super bass boost button
  • can charge and play simultaneously
Brand Sharper Image
Model SBT1009BK
Weight 19.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Electrohome EAKAR300

The Electrohome EAKAR300 lets you enjoy the fun of karaoke in your home without having to shell out hundreds of dollars for a large system. It is fun and easy to use and has multiple voice enhancing effects to make poor singers sound better.
  • includes a cd of popular songs
  • can be connected to a tv
  • poor quality audio playback
Brand Electrohome
Model EAKAR300
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Akai KS213

The Akai KS213 is a solid offering from a brand well-known for quality audio equipment. It features multicolored lighting effects, a top-loading CD player, and an integrated tablet holder, so you can see the lyrics clearly while keeping your hands free.
  • can run on batteries or ac power
  • has two mic inputs
  • compact unit is easy to transport
Brand Akai
Model KS213
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Pyle PKRK215

The Pyle PKRK215 is a bit pricey, but it has an impressive LED light display that pulses in time with the music, and even more impressive sound out of its 2,000 watt speaker system that features dual 10" subwoofers and dual 3" tweeters.
  • built-in bluetooth connectivity
  • 10-inch fold-out lcd display screen
  • included microphone isn't great
Brand Pyle
Model PKRK215
Weight 49.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Singing Machine iSM1060BT

The Singing Machine iSM1060BT feels just like a professional model you would find at a karaoke bar. It has a large pedestal that contains a screen where the lyrics can be read while singing, and it has integrated CD controls along with two mic holders.
  • includes two powerful tower speakers
  • usb port for mp3 files
  • hdmi port for big screen viewing
Brand Singing Machine
Model ISM1030BT
Weight 23.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Ion Audio Party Rocker

The Ion Audio Party Rocker lives up to its name, with a dazzling multicolored light integrated into the top of the speaker, which can be controlled remotely via the Party Rocker app, and a powerful speaker that produces better sound than most all-in-one models.
  • quality microphone components
  • ideal for small house parties
  • battery lasts for over 8 hours
Brand ION Audio
Model Party Rocker Live
Weight 24.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Singing Machine SML385BTBK

With an easy-to-reach top-loading CD slot, the Singing Machine SML385BTBK lets you quickly change out your music source. It features balance and echo controls to make you sound better. Plus it comes with two mics, each of which has separate volume controls, for duets.
  • produces a dazzling light display
  • 2 digit led track number display
  • includes a sampler disc
Brand Singing Machine
Model SML385BTBK
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Singtrix SGTX1 Party Bundle

You'll feel like a true entertainer with the smart design of the Singtrix SGTX1 Party Bundle and its natural pitch correction. It allows for 3 levels of enhancement, from beginner to pro, and even provides instant backup singers to fill out the chorus.
  • makes poor singers sound good
  • features live vocal effects
  • sub-woofer provides rich bass
Brand Singtrix
Model SGTX1
Weight 25.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

What Separates a Good Karaoke Machine From a Great One?

Most people would assume that a karaoke machine's most important feature is its sound, and this is correct, but only to a limited extent. What is more important than a karaoke machine's sound is that machine's compatibility. A karaoke machine doesn't need to have exquisite sound, for example, so long as it can be hooked up to a larger sound system, or a pair of stereo-quality speakers.

Compatibility also applies to a karaoke machine's song selection. While the majority of machines come with a preset list of standards, certain top-of-the-line models will also allow you to add, play, or download new songs by hooking up the machine to any iPod, mobile device, CD player, or computer.

Ideally, you'll want a karaoke machine to feature its own digital display, so you can see what song it is playing, the name of the artist, and the song's lyrics, among other things. Depending on your needs, you may also want a karaoke machine to be compact so you can transport it. Certain machines are custom-made for this, having been designed with a set of wheels and a luggage handle. More elaborate machines may come with an upright microphone stand, or a music stand, or perhaps even a tambourine.

As a precaution, it's worth determining whether a karaoke machine runs on outlet power, some type of batteries, or both. This is especially relevant if you happen to be buying a karaoke machine as a gift, as the recipient may want to play with the machine immediately after he or she has pulled it out of the box.

A Variety of Uses for Any Karaoke Machine

Most people who purchase a karaoke machine intend to use it for some type of festive occasion. And this makes sense. A karaoke machine is an entertaining pastime for anything from a backyard party to a wedding reception. And yet you might be surprised to learn that a karaoke machine possesses more value than you'd think.

Given that karaoke tracks are recorded without lyrics, they could provide the perfect backdrop for any dinner party or afternoon gathering at your house. The fact that there are no lyrics may also be advantageous for any musician who is trying to learn - or a play along to - a certain song. If you're a vocalist, you can use a karaoke machine to practice, or to provide accompaniment for any small-time gigs. What's more, practically anyone with a karaoke machine (and some sound equipment) can pursue hosting gigs at a local nightclub or a bar.

A karaoke machine is a great accessory to have along on any family vacation. A night of karaoke isn't only fun for the adults, but it could be a distraction for the kids, as well. Teachers have been known to use karaoke as a way of teaching their students the lyrics to several canonical anthems. Babysitters have been known to use karaoke as a way to keep rowdy kids preoccupied for an entire night. The point being that whatever your reasons for purchasing a karaoke machine, there's no reason to resign yourself to only using it every few months.

A Brief History of Karaoke

Karaoke is a Japanese word combining the root kara, which means empty, and the first half of okesutora, which means orchestra. The practice of creating a separate instrumental track (without vocals) has always been a standard part of the recording process. And while this practice formed the basis of karaoke, the concept as we know it did not emerge until the 1970s.

Singalongs made a major splash during the 1960s, thanks in large part to the 5-yr. run of Sing Along With Mitch on NBC. This popular show was built around Mitch Miller, a veteran music producer who would conduct an orchestra as a bouncing ball highlighted the lyrics to each song along the bottom of the screen. Sing Along's success not only proved that instrumental tracks could be viable, it also made it acceptable for solo artists to perform over a backing track on live TV.

In 1971, a Japanese drummer named Daisuke Inoue began to focus on building a machine that could play instrumental tracks by way of cassette while also providing an amped-up microphone for singing along. Inoue was inspired by friends who would ask for instrumental versions of his music, particularly so that they could play these versions at private events, or during parties. Inoue's initial "karaoke" machine had been designed for leasing, with renters determining which tracks (i.e., cassettes) they wanted to take along.

Renting a karaoke machine was expensive, which is why the fad originally took off as a form of group entertainment. Several friends would pool their money to rent what was known as a karaoke box - a small room where people could drink and party while enjoying their own karaoke machine, and selection, throughout the night.

During the eighties and nineties, karaoke became an international sensation, first in Asia, and then throughout the U.S. The eventual introduction of MP3s made for smaller machines with an almost limitless selection. Today, karaoke is everywhere. In fact, there are even karaoke apps that you can download for your phone. Karaoke remains a staple of the average neighborhood bar. A karaoke night requires zero overhead, and it's all but sure to be a draw.

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Last updated on August 25, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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