Karaoke originated in the 1970’s in Japan and parts of the Philippines as a form of entertainment but just like arcade machines, this was something you would not find in people’s homes. Instead, everyone would go out to the mall, bar or karaoke club and enjoy themselves the same way that video games were enjoyed back in the same era – on giant refrigerator sized karaoke machines that had attached microphones, and used thick CRT displays with super low resolutions.
With the advent of modern technology though, we managed to squeeze all parts of a karaoke system into a smaller portable unit, enabling everyone to own one of these if they wanted to. Teenagers can now belt out their favorite tunes envisioning themselves onstage and in front of thousands of fans. These karaoke systems are designed to be easy to use, fun and a great way to spend a few hours either on your own or with friends.
ION Audio Block Party Live Portable Bluetooth Speaker System
The ION Audio Block Party is not just any karaoke machine, it is an entire entertainment system packed into a compact box that weighs just 26 pounds. There is a disco ball light on the top of the unit, and it even comes with Bluetooth so that you can stream music wirelessly from your Bluetooth-enabled device such as smartphone, PC, or mp3 player. The battery life when you’re not using the speakers or lights is a massive 75 hours! With the speakers and lights engaged though, that number drops down to just 6 hours.
Still, that is plenty of time to enjoy and you can even invite your friends to join in on the fun as this machine supports multiple ¼” microphone inputs. Peak output power is 50W, meaning that the RMS or continuous power output should be 25 watts – pretty good for a karaoke machine, considering that this is bordering on the output level of many dedicated amplifiers. There are wheels on the bottom and a handle on the top so that you can carry this machine around the home with ease, and if you ever need to travel around the block with this you can simply roll it around with the help of the wheels that are included underneath the base.
There is a 3.5mm AUX input as well, along with a built-in radio and ¼” instrument input for those MIDI cables. Download the Block Party machine app on your iOS or Android phone to customize the speed, colors, brightness, and more of the light dome in real time. The controls are extremely easy to use and the LCD panel is very simplistic, allowing almost anybody to operate this machine without any prior training.
STAR BUDGET PICK
CDG Karaoke System and Disco Light Show
From far away, the Singing Machine SML385BTBK looks like an oversized trashcan with LED’s plastered all over it. However, it is actually one of the best karaoke machines that you will find in this price range, and costs anywhere from 40 to 80 percent less than most other premium karaoke machines on the market. We call this a “premium” karaoke machine for various reasons, the most important of which is the sheer versatility of this product. It makes for a great personal karaoke system in your home because of its simplistic controls and large, easy to read LCD display that shows everything you need to know while singing on this machine, including data like lyrics, volume, track name, lighting status, etc.
It has two microphone jacks so that you and your friends can sing on this machine at the same time, doubling the fun. There is a top-loading CD player, and it even has built-in Bluetooth for streaming audio from your media devices. There are arrays of RGB LED lights around the frame of this cylindrical karaoke machine, these lights will introduce a party atmosphere into any surrounding, which means that you can even use this little machine for community gatherings, Christmas celebrations, poolside parties, and more. The lights can be customized, and made to shine in different patterns just like the ones that you find in discos and karaoke clubs.
Electrohome Karaoke Machine Speaker System
Electrohome is known to make really interesting home karaoke solutions, and the EAKAR300 is their newest addition to this segment of home entertainment products. The EAKAR300 has a top mounted CD player, with controls positioned in a circular pattern around the CD hatch. It looks very retro from the top, with no fancy LED’s or touch inputs, instead it uses knobs and buttons for you to control stuff like volume, play/pause, previous/next, balance, repeat, program, etc. The start button is decorated with a nice little lighting ring around the base that glows blue when it is pressed. The speaker is intelligently positioned at the bottom, and actually makes up the entire bottom half of this karaoke machine.
It radiates sound in a 360 degree pattern, which actually gives this a weird sort of pseudo-surround audio effect. There is a 3.5mm AUX input to stream audio from your laptop, phone, etc. There are 2 microphone jacks so that you can sing duets with buddies, and many specialized controls are included which can give a special effect to the audio. These effects include echo manipulation, bass boost, clarity control, etc. With the help of these effects, you can make your voice sound in-tune, rich, and confident.
Memorex SingStand 2 Home Karaoke System
Unlike most conventional karaoke devices which are all designed as boxed enclosures, this one is shaped like a stand. It consists of a microphone stand with a modified base that is designed to contain the whole karaoke system. The top of the stand has a mount for the microphone, along with a dock for your smartphone. You can run a 3.5mm cable from your smartphone to the base, allowing this karaoke machine to stream audio and tracks from your phone itself. Or you can simply use the built-in Bluetooth if you’re ready to sacrifice some audio power in exchange for convenience.
The controls are all mounted at the base of the stand, so you’ll have to bend down every time you need to change the volume, track, play/pause, skip, etc. There are a total of 2 microphone inputs, and the base contains a small amplifier + speaker assembly which is not the best in terms of volume output, but manages to sound surprisingly clear. Do consider that the sound is actually coming from speakers positioned like 2” above the floor. There are no flashy LED lights or disco effects, but we recommend this machine due to its compact size and convenient shape. Remove the telescopic stand and microphone, and you’ll be left with a karaoke machine that is smaller than a toaster.
Choosing the Best Karaoke Machine for Teenagers
Karaoke machines allow you to step into the shoes of your favorite singer without having to worry about getting your own music production studio. The machine will provide the background music and soundtrack, so all you need to do is sing the lyrics out aloud into the microphone that is attached to the karaoke machine. The way karaoke machines do this is very simple actually – they use songs that have been recorded in two separate tracks, with the singer’s voice comprising one track, and the background music comprising another track.
If you wish to listen to the entire song like you do on a regular music player, you can. But if you wish to sing, the machine will cancel out the voice of the actual singer, and use the microphone input in its place. This will mean that your voice is used instead of the original singer’s voice, and you suddenly end up with a unique version of your favorite song – one that you have sung!
But while buying any karaoke unit, we end up with tons of options to choose from. Most compact household karaoke machines these days are all-in-ones, meaning that they consist of all 4 parts in one complete product – the player, the mixer, the microphone, and the speakers. Many good karaoke units will also contain onboard storage in the form of a hard drive or even flash storage (SD cards, USB, etc.). This way, you can store your masterpieces on the karaoke machine itself, and can later transfer the song files into your phone, mp3 player, or PC with the help of a USB cable, but only if your karaoke unit supports USN output.
Always pay attention to how many microphones are supported by the machine before you decide to buy it. The minimum should be 2, so that you can connect a higher end microphone down the road, or even play as a part of a duet with your friend. Singing in a duet can be a lot of fun, and you need at least 2 microphone inputs for that.
Make sure that the mixer in your karaoke system is capable of handling audio well enough to output premium quality sound, and if you plan on hooking up large external speakers with your karaoke machine, you better have a decent amplifier circuit built-into the karaoke unit. Finally, there are some other things that you must focus on while buying a karaoke machine – LCD display size and resolution, loading and playback format (CD, CD-G, DVD, MP3, etc.), storage capabilities (hard drive, flash storage, etc.), and the overall usability.