WHETHER you're a karaoke aficionado or you're organising a family party and fancy a warble, when buying your own system, you need to know which brands offer the best karaoke machines so you can live your popstar dream.
Here are our suggestions for the best karaoke machines to help you sing your heart out.
Depending on your needs, the best karaoke machines can simply act as a speaker for your TV or laptop – or they can be used to create entire productions.
Prices vary depending on features, but you can pick up a DIY karaoke machine for a party for fairly cheap and really, why wouldn't you?
Karaoke is a great way to get any party going – you won't believe how many people have a wannabe singer inside of them.
Easy Karaoke The Portable Party Box Easy Karaoke The Portable Party Box, £59.99 from eBay – buy here 9/10 Sound: 10/10 Ease of use: 10/10 Value: Most read in Product Reviews STRAIGHT UP 7 best GHD straighteners 2023 UK; tried and tested GLOW GETTER We got hands-on with the 13 best vitamin C serums DUVET DAY 9 best duvets 2023 UK; tried and tested STEAM DREAM 8 Best Handheld Clothes Steamers 2023 UK; tried and tested 10/10 Overall:
We thought this was a great price. The system has flashing disco lights and comes with two microphones for duets.
Easy Karaoke also supplies a code which enables you to stream thousands of karaoke songs for free.
It gives you around four hours of playing time on one single charge and has a built-in speaker.
Great for parties and karaoke nights at home, and it's small, compact and easy to store. Our winner.
Microphones: 2, songs included: yes records: no, USB/Bluetooth: yes, speaker: yes, battery or mains powered: battery, portable: yes Vtech Kidi Super Star DJ 10-in-1 Vtech Kidi Super Star DJ 10-in-1, £43.99 from Amazon – buy here 6/10 Sound 8/10 Ease of use: : 7/10 Value : 8/10 Overall
This machine is essentially a karaoke machine and a DJ mixer in one.
It looks attractive and little ones were lining up to help us test it out.
Our only issue with this is that it is top-heavy and, therefore, a bit unstable.
But with that being said, it's great for younger kids who like doing pretend shows and want to mess around making music and would make an impressive gift.
We were expecting the sounds to be better for the price, but children love playing with it, and the disco lights are fab too.
Microphones: 2, songs included: no records: no, USB/Bluetooth: yes, speaker: yes, battery or mains powered: battery, portable: yes READ MORE: Best karaoke machines for kids Best beer dispensers Best hoverboards Amazon music deals Best UK streaming services Best Hoverboards iDance MegaBox 2000 iDance MegaBox 2000, £219.71 from Amazon – buy here 10/10 Sound: 7/10 Ease of use: 7/10 Value: 8/10 Overall:
For serious party throwers, this powerful 400-watt Bluetooth speaker and PA system has incredible quality sound and a built-in disco light show to make your party extra special.
It has a wireless microphone for karaoke and a built-in USB, so you can use it to charge your smartphone or tablet.
The battery will last up to eight hours, and it has a handle and wheels, so you can take it anywhere.
It's super expensive and bulky to store, but it's cheaper than hiring your own DJ and might be a good investment if you throw a lot of parties.
Microphones: 1, songs included: no records: no, USB/Bluetooth: yes, speaker: yes, battery or mains powered: battery, portable: yes Groov-e Karaoke Boombox Groove-e Karaoke Boombox, £57.59 from Amazon – buy here 7/10 Sound: 6/10 Ease of use: 7/10 Value: 7/10 Overall:
A retro-style machine, but we liked it.
It is Bluetooth and CD-enabled, allowing you and your guests to belt out classics all night.
Perfect for solos or duets, it comes with two microphones, a 10-song karaoke disc, integrated flashing LED party lights and video output so that lyrics can be displayed on your TV.
The sound quality was good, and it was small and easy to store. Hours of fun and a great price.
Microphones: 2, songs included: no records: no, USB/Bluetooth: ye, speaker: yes, battery or mains powered: battery, portable: yes Easy Karaoke Bluetooth Karaoke Party System Easy Karaoke Bluetooth Karaoke Party System, £32 from Amazon – buy here 6/10 Sound: 5/10 Ease of use: 6/10 Value: 6/10 Overall:
Great for family nights in. although we found that it was a bit of a faff to set up.
It plugs into the TV, and lyrics appear on the screen if you insert a disk.
We found it worked better if you have a strong internet connection, and if it was poor, it kept kicking you off, so you'd have to reconnect.
The microphone was quiet, and it was fun for family nights at home.
Don't expect too much from this, but it was super fun.
While the version we were able to test is now out of stock, we've linked the updated model above.
Microphones: 1, songs included: yes records: no, USB/Bluetooth: yes, speaker: yes, battery or mains powered: battery, portable: yes Easy Karaoke Bluetooth Karaoke Machine Easy Karaoke EKS780BT Bluetooth Karaoke Machine, £94.02 from Easy Karaoke – buy here 8/10 Sound: 8/10 Ease of use: 7/10 Value: 8/10 Overall:
What's a party without some funky disco lights? The Easy Karaoke Bluetooth machine is kitted out with flashing rainbow lights to really get you in the mood.
Compared to some loftier designs, this one's quite compact, so it's easy to store in the cupboard, which is useful because not everyone loves a daily karaoke session.
You simply connect your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and then can prop it inside the stand, which connects to the back, perfect for reading lyrics off if you haven't bought a CDG track.
Just like a real pop star has in the studio, you can adjust the echo, balance, AVC and microphone volume, plus you can even record yourself singing and burn it onto a CD.
When this arrived, we were surprised at how easy it was to get straight down to business. You simply press the 'play/pause/pair' button, and your phone finds it immediately.
Although Easy Karaoke actually supplies you with a lyrics CD that has all the karaoke classics on, from Baby One More Time to I Want It That Way.
We'd recommend buying some CDs with lyrics on as the screen is big and clear, rather than using your phone. An iPad would go down well, though.
Our only real flaw of this bad boy is that it comes with just one microphone, and we aren't one for a solo show. Luckily, our friend had a mic, so we plugged two in at a time, and well, the rest was history.
Microphones: 1, songs included: yes, records: yes, USB/Bluetooth: bluetooth, speaker: yes, battery or mains powered: mains, portable: no RockJam Sing Cube Portable Bluetooth Karaoke Speaker RockJam Sing Cube Portable Bluetooth Karaoke Speaker, £32.95 from Amazon – buy here 10/10 Sound: 9/10 Ease of use: Valu 9/10 e: 9/10 Overall:
This machine is unbelievable value for money.
The sound quality of this is great – you'd think it was much more expensive.
Kids love it, and it's suitable for adults to use at a party, so we'd definitely recommend it for occasions like birthday parties or celebrations.
The sound isn't that loud but fine for parties and gatherings at home, so if you live in a busy area or populated building, it won't annoy your neighbours.
With two microphones that are perfect for duets, you'll have hours of fun with this.
Microphones: 2, songs included: no, records: no, USB/Bluetooth: yes, speaker: yes, battery or mains powered: battery, portable: yes Where to buy karaoke machines in the UK?
You can buy karaoke machines online from large online retailers as well as high street stores that have online websites.
Depending on how advanced you want your karaoke machine to be, you may have to look at some slightly more karaoke-focused shops.
Here are a few places to help you get started:
Amazon Very Argos Robert Dyas eBay How much do karaoke machines cost?
For a karaoke-style microphone that's perfect for kids, prices start at around £10, but for a more traditional karaoke experience, with lyrics that appear on screen, disco lights and devices with various audio functions, prices start at around the £60 mark.
This rises to hundreds of pounds for the newest machines with the showiest lights, best sound quality and all the latest technology.
What is a karaoke machine?
Apart from the obvious answer (a guaranteed party starter, of course), if we're getting back to basics – a karaoke machine is an electrical device that plays backing tracks without vocals.
Performers can grab a microphone, which usually comes with the machine, and sing their favourite songs in time with the music.
Machines are hooked up to a TV screen, laptop or tablet (or flashier models include built-in screens), which show subtitles of the song lyrics, so you don't have to worry about forgetting the words.
How do karaoke machines work?
This very much depends on the type of machine you're using and the format of the song being played.
Many modern karaoke machines rely on digital files, and songs can be downloaded and added to a library. These can be free, or you can subscribe to a service to access karaoke songs or pay per track. You can also buy karaoke CDs that are compatible with most machines.
Once you have your song, the lyrics are displayed on the screen. Song words are usually highlighted in a different colour to indicate when you should sing.
Some karaoke machines give performers the option to speed up the song's tempo, change the key of the music or experiment with the sound of the singer's voice.
What should you look for in a karaoke machine?
When shopping around for a karaoke machine, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Some machines are built with the bare necessities in mind, and if you're going to be the star of the show, you may want a machine that comes with a speaker and flashing lights to add to the atmosphere.
The next thing you should take into consideration is how it connects, Bluetooth is always the simplest option, and it generally means that you can stream songs directly from your phone for easy setups.
What are the easiest karaoke songs?
Classics are some of the most played songs at karaoke parlours across the country.
Think “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston or hits like The Killers' "Mr. Brightside".
When buying a machine, these are called backing tracks.
In most cases, it’s recorded specifically for karaoke and might include backing vocals but not the lead vocals.
Some karaoke machines will have come with auto-tune software, some stream songs online, and others require separate purchases of CD+G and MP3+G compilations.
CD+G is a form of compact disc that will play graphics, including lyrics when played on compatible machines. An MP3+G is the digital equivalent.
A number of machine manufacturers on this list sell their own compilation CD+G and MP3+Gs, but you’re not limited to these.
You can pick up box sets of generic CD+Gs on Amazon, for example, for around £12, and these can be played on any other machine you decide to upgrade to in the future.
What is the best karaoke machine for kids?
Children love flashy lights and cool voice effects like an echo, plus clear sound quality is a major plus.
A top karaoke machine for children should also be easy enough for them to use on their own, light and portable, and have enough features to hold their attention.
See our edit of some of the best karaoke machines for kids.
What is the best karaoke machine for home use?
A karaoke machine can brighten up any party, whether you're with friends or your family.
If you don't have much space, it's probably best to pick one that is portable and comes with extra features like fun LED lights or a set of mics you can share during duets with friends.
For anyone looking for something even more simple or for those who already have a speaker, you can just look for a microphone that comes with it. It's also usually a cheaper option than buying a full kit.
How do I turn my laptop into a karaoke machine?
If you're using a karaoke machine, hook it up to your laptop with the cables provided (usually AUX or USB) or connect it via Bluetooth. Setup should be pretty straightforward from there – follow your device's specific instructions to get the lyrics to appear on your desktop.
If you're not using a traditional karaoke machine and you want to try belting a song out without one, you can search on YouTube for karaoke songs (i.e. backing tracks without vocals where the lyrics appear in the video). For a better experience and a bigger moment in the spotlight, connect a microphone and karaoke speaker.
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Firstly, do your research – is it important to you that it has lights? Should it come with a CD of music ready to go, or would you prefer to pick and download your own tracks? Is it for personal use, or are you planning some epic karaoke parties?
Once you've nailed down exactly what you're after and what you have to spend on it, check out our list of the best karaoke machines above and take it from there.
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