Buying a Karaoke Machine

by Bryan Singer | Last Updated: December 4, 2019 When you buy something using the links on our posts, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

How to Buy a Karaoke Machine for Your Home

When it comes to buying a karaoke machine for home use, you can get away with a fairly basic setup. However, there are a few things that you’re going to want to check for to ensure you get a decent machine for your money.

For home use, you can get a decent one for around $200, and it’ll have all of the basic things you need. Even if this is considered a lower end model, you’ll still get a lot of bang for your money.

A mid-range model has more features, and this will cost you between $300 and $500, and you most likely won’t end up using everything if you’re just a casual singer.

You want to have decent speakers so everyone can hear it while you sing along. If you’re planning on having a smaller gathering, you can have less powerful speakers because it won’t be competing with a large crowd. Does the sound output go via your own external speakers?

If you take your time and choose your system carefully, you can get one that comes with great speakers that are perfect for home use.

Ease of Use
Think about the age group that is going to be using your home karaoke system. Are you someone who is technologically savvy, or do you have younger kids in the home? Do you want to hook up to YouTube or Bluetooth?

Audio Formats
The older CD+G discs are outdated, and you want a player that will either have an audio input or allow you to plug in a flash drive. This way, you can load endless amounts of songs, and a Bluetooth-enabled screen will allow you to have your lyrics on the tv screen, so they’re easier to see.

It’ll also save room in your home as you won’t have to store dozens of discs.

Even for home use, you want to allow for at least two microphone hookups. This allows you to duet or to get groups of three or four to sing along during your karaoke sessions easily.

It is important to note that most standard models come with one microphone and they have a jack for a second microphone, but it’s always good to double check.

Even in your home, there’s the risk of getting knocked around or knocked over. This means your purchase should be able to easily withstand a little abuse without showing too much wear and tear. Accidents do happen, and you want your machine to last for years.

How to Buy a Professional Karaoke Machine

If you need a professional karaoke machine to make a living, you’ll want to have a high-end model that will last you for years, and you want it to have all of the options your guests could want.

Price will be a big deal when you’re thinking about buying a professional option. You should be prepared to spend a decent amount of money to get a high-end product. For professional options, the bare minimum you’ll spend is around the $400 mark.

However, you can easily go upwards of $1,000 for a high-end unit that has everything you need for your professional setup.

Audio Enhancements
Getting up to sing karaoke can be a scary experience, and a professional setup has audio enhancements that can cover minor mistakes and vocal issues.

Echo is a popular feature that can mask common mistakes. You can also have key changes that can make your voice sound flat or sharp, pitch control, and treble or bass control.

Any professional karaoke setup should have these features, and it’s a good idea to check any model before you but it to ensure they have all of them.

Audio Inputs and Outputs
As you’re most likely going to be paying a decent amount, it should easily do just about anything you want it to. A pro karaoke machine can easily be used for a PA system, instrument amplifiers, karaoke setups, audio receivers, and much more.

All of these things can help to enhance your guests or employers experience, and this results in satisfied customers.

Storage and Recording Capabilities
No matter where you go – whether it’s a bar, venue or club – typically has some sort of playback and recording feature. This is an excellent way to showcase a specific person’s performance, run a karaoke contest, or keep a running leaderboard.

You want your device to be able to record and store large quantities, and you’ll pay more for this. However, it’s worth it, especially if you have a karaoke business or a lively venue that depends on your karaoke machine for entertainment.

Video Inputs and Outputs
You’ll quickly find out that different models have different video inputs and outputs. This is an important feature to think about, especially if you use your product at different venues.

You want a karaoke machine that has pretty universal video inputs and outputs. If you have these, it will help to reduce any chances that you might run into trouble getting your system to operate at its top performance level.

Powered Mixers
The goal of professional-grade karaoke machines is to make the karaoke singer sound as good as you possibly can. This is where powered mixers come into play.

A powered mixer allows you to control various audio signals, and this ensures you can create the perfect balance. It amplifies the signal’s power before it is sent to your machine’s speakers, and in turn, this creates a very slick, polished sound.

How to Buy a Karaoke Machine for Your Kids

Buying a karaoke machine for your kids presents unique challenges. As with the home system, there are a few things you want to watch for to ensure you’re getting the best unit possible that your kids will enjoy using.

Kids rarely sit still, and you want something that makes it easy for them to pick up and move with it, especially if they’re younger kids. Your kid’s unit should be lightweight and durable, so it survives through bumps, falls, crashes, and any accidents.

Self Contained
The more moving parts and pieces your model has, the more likely it is something will get lost or broken as your kid uses it. So, you should look for one that has everything they need on one self-contained unit that is simple and doesn’t have many bells and whistles except for the microphone jack.

Ease of Use
Kids want a toy they can quickly set up and start using, and they tend to get frustrated very quickly if their project is too difficult or if it takes too long. So, it should be very user-friendly, and very easy to operate.

The fewer switches, options, and buttons on your kid’s machine, the better off you’ll be because they’ll be able to set it up quickly and get the most out of their new karaoke machine.

Kids are more prone to accidents like knocking the karaoke machine over or dropping it. You want a unit that will survive a little more than normal wear and tear, so durability is a big factor.

Get a karaoke machine that is functional, but it won’t cost you tons of money as it’s more prone to being broken. However, this one really depends on how destructive your kid or kids are.

Your kid will have better eyes than you, but you should still invest in a karaoke machine that has a decent screen. You want their screen to be large and bright enough so your kids can easily see the lyrics to their songs and sing along. If the screen is decent, it should cut down on any frustration level they may experience if the screen isn’t big enough.

This is one you may not think about, but it’s important. Double check any warranties on offer. See exactly what is covered and what isn’t in terms of damage. Ideally, you want a two-year warranty. This will work to protect you in the event it breaks.

How to Buy a Portable Karaoke Machine

If you choose to purchase a high-quality portable karaoke machine, you have a very versatile device that you can use in various places.

A portable karaoke machine can be at the lower end of the price spectrum, and you’ll still get a decent-quality one by paying less. A portable unit typically runs around $300, but there are more and less expensive options available as well.

You may want to start around the $300 mark and see if you want more or fewer features.

Video Output
You’ll find that many portable models come with integrated video features, but it may be a good idea to check that your option has universal video output features. This means that you’ll be able to quickly and easily project your lyrics onto whichever screen suits you. It’s also worth checking how the sound output is processed – external speakers or internal, bluetooth or 3.5mm jack.

Power Output
When you purchase a portable unit, you have to realize that you’ll have to sacrifice something in exchange for the portability. Unfortunately, you typically end up sacrificing power. You can still get a pretty powerful portable product, but you will have to be careful and read everything before you make your choice.

Generally, you want between 5 and 20 watts for smaller kids and smaller spaces, 30 to 50 watts for medium venues and adult events, and 60 watts and up for large parties or venues.

Audio Input
As with video input, audio input is just as important to think about. Many of them have audio functions built-in. By having universal audio input, you’re ensuring you can use your equipment when you get to your venue.

Durability will be a big factor in your choice. You’ll be moving this machine around quite a bit, and this increases the likelihood that it’ll be bumped around during transit.

You want your purchase to be able to withstand this and other minor wear and tear. Purchasing a durable model will ensure that your unit lasts for years and you get the most out of it.

Recording and Storage Capabilities
You want to be able to record performances. Whether you’re hosting an event, working at a venue, or just recording your family at home, you want a way to record and store the various performances.

By making sure your portable karaoke machine can record and store a decent amount of footage, you’ll maximize what you get out of it, and make it well worth your money.