The 8 Best Karaoke Machines

Updated January 06, 2018 by Sam Kraft

8 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. Name your favorite musical artist. Is it the late, great Tom Petty? Taylor Swift? Kanye West? You’ve probably pretended you’re that person, even if it’s only for one song in the privacy of your own home. Right? With one of these karaoke machines, you’ll have a blast belting out their hits, whether you’re by yourself or partying with family and friends. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best karaoke machine on Amazon.

8. Memorex Sing 3

It’s not designed like a traditional karaoke machine, but the Memorex Sing 3 is a quality package that includes a microphone stand and integrated 5-watt speakers. It also has inputs for a guitar and a keyboard, allowing users to play along with their favorite tunes, too.
  • cord management clip
  • stands 59 inches tall
  • some distortion at high volumes
Brand Memorex
Model MKSSS3
Weight 10.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Little Pretender Sing Along

A simple device with an adjustable stand, the Little Pretender Sing Along can be quickly assembled and disassembled if you’re crunched for time. Four batteries are included, so the young ones can start performing the moment the package arrives.
  • foot pedal produces sound effects
  • lights flash while in use
  • microphone is low quality
Brand Little Pretender
Model pending
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Karaoke USA System

With two microphones, a convenient remote control and access to 300 songs, the Karaoke USA System is a party in and of itself. It’s a nice option for duets and group performances, and it even allows you to record your own songs.
  • comes with 2 song dvds
  • quality color display screen
  • sound system can produce static
Brand Karaoke USA
Model GF845
Weight 10.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Sakar Holograms

Dancing is the perfect complement to singing, and what puts people in the dancing mood better than colorful flashing lights? With the Sakar Holograms, you just have to plug in a music source and switch on the device, then watch the festivities unfold.
  • retro disco ball
  • 1-year warranty
  • not compatible with bluetooth
Brand Sakar
Model KO2-06095
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. 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 you can control remotely with a mobile app. It also generates better sound than most all-in-one models.
  • comes with a safety manual
  • battery lasts up to 75 hours
  • bluetooth may cut out at times
Brand ION Audio
Model MAIN-80512
Weight 20 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Little Pretender Rock Star

It won’t be the hit of the office holiday party, but then again, the Little Pretender Rock Star is designed specifically for young children. For its compact size and affordable price, it actually produces some decent sound and includes 10 built-in songs.
  • comes with 2 aaa batteries
  • cute carrying handle
  • applause button
Brand Little Pretender
Model pending
Weight 15.5 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Akai KS303W-BT

Despite its lack of size and fancy features, the Akai KS303W-BT provides you with all the necessary ingredients for an old-fashioned sing-off. You can play music via Bluetooth with your mobile device, or just use a CD if you’re old school like that.
  • 3 colors to choose from
  • includes a tablet cradle
  • lightweight and easy to carry
Brand Akai
Model KS303W-BT
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Singtrix Party Bundle

You'll feel like a true entertainer thanks to the intuitive design of the Singtrix Party Bundle and its pitch correction capabilities. It features more than 300 voice-changing sound effects, which will amuse anyone from a toddler to a group of grownups.
  • 3 skill level settings
  • a fun backup singer feature
  • subwoofer generates rich bass
Brand Singtrix
Model SGTX1
Weight 25.5 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 January 06, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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