The Japanese may have invented karaoke, but they tapped into something universal. Inside, almost everyone has a Kelly Clarkson, Mick Jagger or Taylor Swift that’s dying to rock the stage.
And while a karaoke night out on the town with your crew can be a blast, there’s a lot to be said for belting it out in your living room among the less intimidating crowd of family and close friends. (After all, they still have to love you even if your vocals aren’t up to par.)
Luckily, with the variety of karaoke machines available today, it’s easier than ever to put on your own karaoke night right and sing along to your favorite playlist from the comfort of your home. But, you might be wondering, what is the best karaoke machine for home use, or which karaoke system is best for kids?
There are a few factors to consider before you invest in a machine, such as its size, power, sound, and ambiance. So, before we jump into our list of the best karaoke machines, let’s look at some important considerations before and try to answer any questions that you might have.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Karaoke Machine
Here are a few things to think about before buying the best karaoke machine for your needs.
Where Will You Be Using It?
While some karaoke systems are best for home karaoke use, you’ll probably want a machine with a more powerful speaker if you want to perform, say, at a wedding venue or a very large outdoor party.
If you need to fill a bigger space, consider a machine with more watts and even a subwoofer. But if you’ll only be using the machine for home karaoke, extra loud speakers could be overkill and a less powerful machine will probably work just fine.
Size and Portability
Planning on a karaoke road trip? Or at least on taking the machine to a park or friend’s house? Some karaoke machines come with wheels and carrying handles that make them easier to move around.
Or you can opt for a smaller model that’s lighter and easier to carry. Consider a more streamlined option that won’t take up too much space in your closet or living room if storage space is an issue.
And speaking of a karaoke road trip, many of the best karaoke machines on our list come with a built-in rechargeable battery so you can do your tour unplugged. However, battery life can vary anywhere from 2to 25 hours, depending on the model.
If you plan on having a karaoke marathon, be sure to pick a model with longer battery life.
Number of Performers
Most but not all of our picks come with two microphones. Even if they don’t come with two, many machines have an output for an extra mic. When purchasing a singing machine, be sure to check how many microphones it comes with in case you need to purchase an extra one for duos.
While some units are more basic, others have nice extras like voice and sound effects, disco balls to pump the glam and LED lights to sparkle the room. It all comes down to how you like to rock it. If you really like to put on a show, you may want to opt for the extras.
A Word About Connectivity
While old school karaoke machines came with a CD of selected songs, most modern machines allow you to connect to your phone or another device via a Bluetooth speaker to access your favorite karaoke songs.
Also, in many cases, there’s no built-in screen to read the lyrics. Instead, there’s a device holder where you can put your phone or tablet to see the words. While there are some karaoke machines with a built-in screen, none of our favorites provided this option.
If you’d like to be able to connect to your smart TV, be sure the unit comes with an RCA cable that allows you to do so.
And with that, we’ve covered the bases of School of Karaoke 101. Now let’s talk about our favorite machines. Here are the 10 best karaoke machines on the market today.
What Your Karaoke Machine Should Come With
Some karaoke machines come outfitted with fancy light effects, big lyric screens and multiple microphones. But what do you really need for an enjoyable karaoke experience? Before purchasing any karaoke machine, make sure it comes with these essentials.
The Right Type and Number of Microphones
You’ve considered whether you want wired or wireless mics (the wireless are more comfortable to use, sure, but they’re also easier for kids to lose or damage) or a mic stand, and you know if you need multiple mics for duets or if one will do the trick — so now make sure the karaoke machine you’re considering actually comes with what you need.
Most karaoke machines come with a speaker built into the body of the machine. However, if you plan on using your karaoke machine in a large space, you might want to opt for a machine that can also connect to larger, better, extra speakers.
While many karaoke machines will connect to a television or other device for displaying lyrics to your favorite songs, it’s nice to actually have a monitor built into the machine itself. This way, if you have connectivity issues, your karaoke night won’t fizzle and fall flat. Just make sure to buy a karaoke machine with a monitor that’s large enough to read from a comfortable distance, so you can sing along with ease.
On a similar note, consider buying a karaoke machine that comes with preloaded songs, so you’re not reliant on connecting a device or inputting a CD in order to use your machine.
If you like to karaoke loud and proud, the Tonor K20 will prepare you for a full-on karaoke concert with great sound and lighting effects and 12 hours of battery life.
With a peak power of 250 watts, an 8-inch subwoofer and two 3-inch tweeters, even your fans in the cheap seats will hear you loud and clear. It also gives you plenty of ways to connect to your music with Bluetooth and an auxiliary audio input jack (with included cable). Or you have the option to play your jams with a USB flash drive or microSD card.
Want to plug into your TV? There’s a built-in RCA cable.
Other nice features include two great sounding wireless microphones with a range of 100 feet and a disco ball with LED lights so you can put on a show. You can even capture your amazing performance with the audio-recording feature.
Things to Note: The speakers tend to sound better at higher volumes which may make this machine better for larger gatherings as opposed to more intimate gatherings.
This singing machine is designed by the creators of Guitar Hero and is considered one of the best karaoke machines for home use. The Signtrix Party Bundle will make the performer feel like a pro while they hone their karaoke skills and jam out to their favorite tunes.
What sets this system apart from other machines is the controller. With over 375 effects that allow you to add four-part harmonies, fix your pitch and add standard modulations from just about any musical genre, this karaoke machine has a bit of everything!
This system is also known for its clear, crisp sound, booming speaker with a subwoofer and a high-quality, wired microphone. Also included are a mic stand and device holder. And you’ll also find that the setup is quite simple, something we’re all looking for!
Things to Note: This system does not connect via Bluetooth, but it does have outputs so that you can connect to your device and an RCA cable if you want to connect to your TV.
Ready to rock and literally roll? With its rechargeable battery, this portable karaoke machine is great for taking on the road.
Not only does this wireless system have a powerful 100W audio, but its rechargeable battery and convenient carrying handle and wheels will have you ready for your next Karaoke Road Tour.
This karaoke machine is also Bluetooth enabled so you can stream your favorite tunes and has a USB port for charging your smartphone or tablet. And if you don’t have a Bluetooth-enabled device, there’s also ⅛ inch (3.5 millimeters) aux input as well as an AM/FM radio.
Things to Note: This karaoke machine only comes with one microphone, but it does have a port for connecting another wireless microphone if you prefer to sing duets. Also, be aware that while the battery is supposed to have 50 hours of life, most clients rate it between 25 to 35.
Another option for a portable karaoke system is the Mts10-2 model from MouKey. The quality speaker and 10-inch subwoofer gives vibrant, rich and life-like sound, even at lower volumes.
And the system provides you plenty of ways to connect to your jams via Bluetooth, an aux-in port, USB drive or microSD card.
While the MouKey system is missing the disco ball, it does come equipped with colorful LED lights for an extra hint of showmanship. Other features include two wireless microphones, a device stand and a remote control.
Things to Note: The battery life on this system is only 1 to 3 hours, and the mics don’t sound as good as the Tonor K20.
We’re big fans of the streamlined approach to this system. Equipped with a convenient carrying handle and two microphone holsters for easy transport, this retro-looking karaoke machine doubles as a PA speaker system!
Despite the relatively small package, the Masingo Ostinato Karaoke System has everything you need to get your karaoke on, including Bluetooth connectivity, an RCA cable to connect to your TV, an AUX cable and a USB charging cable.
You’ll enjoy the fun disco ball with its glittering lights and the unmistakable sound quality generated by the 30-watt speaker. It also features a built-in wireless battery with up to five hours of playtime.
Things to Note: Although two wireless microphones are included, they run on AA batteries and are not rechargeable. Also, no device holder is included, but if you’re looking for a paired-down system with decent sound quality, this machine makes a good option.
This stand-based karaoke machine gives you everything you need in a conveniently streamlined package. Like all the machines on this list, you can connect to your favorite jams via Bluetooth.
But what makes this system a blast (and a favorite as the best karaoke system for kids!) is the 10 different voice effects that allow you to add harmonies or transform your voice into Alvin the Chipmunk or an alien. It even has sound effects like an air horn, cheering and DJ scratch.
This machine comes with a wired microphone and an adjustable stand (between two to six feet) with a device holder. 16 different lighting effects also help create an authentic concert atmosphere—even if the singing isn’t quite as professional.
Things to Note: While the speaker on this unit is fine for a small room, you’ll want to use the output to add a bigger speaker if you plan to throw a large karaoke party. This system also only comes with one wired mic, but there is an output for a second mic if you decide to purchase one.
If you’re looking for a budget pick that’s also great for young kids, this pint-sized option from Singsation has all the bases covered for a great price. This portable cube allows you to connect to your music via Bluetooth and comes with two wired mics, each with a range of 6 feet.
This system’s other nice features include five different voice effects and six sound effects, including cheers, air horns and applause. It even has an LED light show with 10 separate functions to liven up the party atmosphere further.
Things to Note: While the sound of the speakers and mics work fine, they won’t exactly impress an audiophile. Also, there’s no built-in rechargeable battery, so you’ll have to depend on AA batteries if you want to unplug it from the wall. Still, considering the price, this is a good pick for budget entertainment.
If you’re looking for an ultra-economical pick to keep small kids entertained, this lightweight portable karaoke machine will give them the essentials they need at a great price.
Kids can connect to their favorite music via Bluetooth and the machine also features easy connection via AUX input, USB and SD/TF card. Added features include a rechargeable lithium battery, LED lighting effects for added glam and the system even works as an FM radio between sets.
Things to Note: This machine only comes with one wired microphone, and it’s not very high quality. But considering the price, this is a budget-friendly pick for tiny rockers.
If you already have a pair of great speakers and are looking for a way to sing karaoke without a bulky machine, this microphone mixer will let you croon to your heart’s content without taking up extra space.
This simple system is equipped with Bluetooth, a ⅛-inch audio in-port and a ⅛ inch audio out-port. It also comes with various adapter cables to make it compatible with almost any home audio system allowing you to sing karaoke using your TV, smartphone, computer, laptop or pad.
The wireless mics have a surprisingly good sound quality and can be individually adjusted for volume. They also have a range of up to 100 feet, giving you ample opportunity to work the room while you’re performing.
Things to Note: This pair-downed system comes at a great price but doesn’t include a mic stand, device holder, or disco lights. But if you’re a minimalist at heart, this will be right up your alley.
If you are looking for an all-in-one karaoke system, the VeGue wireless machine might be what you need. Perfect for all ages, the VeGue features an LED light system that changes with the music to keep your karaoke party rocking all night long.
Equipped with an 8” subwoofer and 3” tweeter to amplify sounds and provide clear audio, this singing machine also functions as an FM radio and PA system. Control the volume, bass, tremble, and echo effect all at the touch of a button.
Easily stream your favorite songs from an iPhone, Android, iPad, Tablet, or PC.
The two provided wireless microphones connect automatically and allow for up to 100ft of connectivity so you can work the room while jamming. We also love the powerful battery life, with up to six hours of playing time.
Things to Note: While the microphones are wireless, they are not rechargeable. Keep a couple of fresh AA batteries on hand so you’re never stuck with a dead microphone.
This portable, battery-powered karaoke machine features an eight-inch subwoofer and spectacular speaker power. The machine offers both a party-on and a party-off mode, for whether you want a flashing light show and a disco vibe or just a more low-key feel. If you go with the party-off mode, you can simply listen to music on the machine’s speaker, and you’ll benefit from the battery lasting longer than it might during an all-out karaoke party.
The machine comes with a remote control and two wireless mics. A 6.35 jack allows you to connect instruments to the speaker, too, including DJ kits, guitars and keyboards.
Whether you want to sing, listen to music or rock out with some tunes of your own creation, you can do it with this do-it-all karaoke machine.
Singing Machine is one of the most popular karaoke brands, and for a good reason. This karaoke system offers great value, playing tunes via an aux cable, Bluetooth connectivity or even CDs (if you still have some of those lying around). While it does only come with one mic, it’s outfitted with disco lights, and you can connect the system to your television for lyrics displayed on the big screen.
Want even more options? Connect to the Singing Machine app for thousands of songs right at your fingertips.
This karaoke machine from Karaoke USA receives high marks on Amazon.
One of its best features? You don’t even need to stream any songs to the machine or plug in your aux cable. The machine comes equipped with 300 preloaded songs that you can start singing immediately after you open the box. If you can’t find your favorite crooners among those hundreds of hits, you can play your own favorites, as the machine can also play CDs, DVDs and music from any MP3 or Bluetooth-enabled device.
Unfortunately, while this machine does come with two mics, they are wired microphones, which can make for an unwieldy singing experience. The machine is also on the heavier side, at 10 pounds.
This highly rated, basic but sleek and stylish karaoke machine (it’s made of wood and leather, rather than plastic, like some other options you’ll find) offers excellent sound quality. You can adjust the treble, bass and echo. It comes with two wireless mics. The battery will last for up to eight hours.
If you’re looking for something that’s maybe a little more budget-friendly and lightweight, consider the AlPowl Portable Karaoke Machine. Closer to the size of a standard boombox, it’s easy to lug around. While it’s not outfitted with a screen, it does come with two wireless mics, and a USB port/phone and tablet holder recharges your device while allowing you to play music and video.
The battery lasts for about four hours at top power, and this karaoke machine comes with a recording function.
If you want a karaoke machine with WiFi and streaming capabilities, you might have a difficult time finding exactly what you need. However, this VocoPro WiFiOke option delivers — albeit for a hefty price point.
Regardless, those crooners looking for a modern-era karaoke machine will appreciate this machine’s compact size, 14-inch LED touch screen, four hours of battery power and easy access to apps like YouTube, where you can access thousands of karaoke songs, all for free.
A similar option from the same brand, this digital karaoke machine doesn’t come with a big speaker or a screen. Instead, it’s all about compact size. The small machine is intended to be used with your existing audio system. It comes with two wireless mics. You’ll have to provide your own music, but the machine combines your voice with that music, for that karaoke effect, just without any hefty equipment.
Is your child begging for a karaoke machine? Do you honestly know that they’ll probably break the thing as soon as they get it, or possibly worse, need your help running it every time they want to act out their pop star fantasies?
For a kid-friendly, budget-friendly option that comes in at under $50, look to this Bluetooth-powered karaoke microphone. It comes in an array of flashy, metallic colors and works with any device, playing any songs you want, from any app, through the microphone, combining the song with your vocals. You can even use the recording app on your device to simultaneously record your singing.
What to Do When You Open Your Karaoke Machine for the First Time
Some karaoke machines are easier to set up than others, but you should be able to expect generally the same setup process for each machine.
After you purchase your karaoke machine and are ready to use it for the very first time, remove it from its packaging, but don’t throw any of that packaging away. When you’re not using the machine, you can repackage it in its original box for extra protection while in storage.
If your machine requires batteries, install them. Otherwise, plug it into a power source. If your karaoke machine connects to a screen, use an RCA cable to connect your machine to a television or computer monitor. Then, connect the microphone (if it’s wired) and turn on the machine.
From there, your machine’s user manual should provide instructions as to how to select songs, adjust audio settings and use any other features or functions your machine offers.
How to Find Songs for Karaoke Machines
Some karaoke machines come with preloaded songs. For others, you’ll need to use CD+G discs designed for karaoke machines.
No CDs? No worries. There are plenty of places where you can stream karaoke songs and then play them through your karaoke machine. While YouTube offers tons of karaoke-intended videos, there are also karaoke-specific companies that allow you to buy and download songs, such as Karaoke Cloud. You can also find karaoke apps that allow you to access thousands of songs for one price, like KaraFun.
Karaoke Machine FAQs
Still not sure which of the above karaoke machines might be your family’s best fit? Here are some of the top questions consumers consider when purchasing their first machine.
Are karaoke machines expensive?
While you might correlate karaoke with high-priced evenings out at bars or karaoke rooms, you don’t have to worry about your at-home karaoke experience costing hundreds of dollars every time you want to break into song. Most karaoke machines are under $200, so you and your family can potentially enjoy years of entertainment for a fraction of the cost.
How do the songs get on the karaoke machine?
It depends on the karaoke machine. However, some come preloaded with songs, while others allow you to play your favorite songs and playlists on the machine from a different device. Most machines today allow for a mix of both.
Do I need any extra equipment for a karaoke machine?
Typically, no! Your karaoke machine should come with everything needed to start using it as soon as you set it up. However, you may find that you want to buy extra equipment once you see what your karaoke machine comes with, such as an extra mic.
What does CD+G mean?
You’ll see a lot of karaoke machines tout their “CD+G” functionality. That means the karaoke machine is specially equipped to play CDs that come with graphics (so, in other words, it can show the lyrics on the machine’s screen or on another connected device, in addition to playing the music). However, do note that not every CD comes with those graphics. For that feature to work, you will have to buy dedicated CD+G discs.
How can I clean a karaoke machine?
You might not think of your karaoke machine as something you might need to clean, but then just consider how many people are putting their mouths up to those microphones. Ew. To clean your karaoke machine, just wipe the machine and mics down with a very light application of rubbing alcohol before allowing it all to air dry.
Do I need a karaoke machine to sing karaoke?
Not necessarily, no. However, a karaoke machine can make the karaoke experience much more enjoyable and easier. The alternative would be purchasing a mic and connectable speaker separately and playing your instrumentals-only music also separately while reading the lyrics on another device.
Rather than compiling all these separate moving parts and pieces, opting for a karaoke machine can make the entire experience streamlined and simple.
Are karaoke machines good for kids?
Karaoke machines make for super-fun family nights in and are a great addition to any kids’ party. However, do note that, with a karaoke machine comes quite a lot of noise, and it’ll likely all be condensed to your living room. Additionally, some karaoke machines will be a little too technically difficult for most elementary-age children to use on their own.
If you want to buy a karaoke machine for the entire family and you intend to use it primarily as a family, this might not be a big deal. However, if you imagine your child will be the primary user, you might want to specifically look for a kid-friendly, bare basic option that doesn’t require a lot of extra tech knowledge or wires and that’s a little more on the lightweight side than some of the machines that can weigh between 10 and 20 pounds.
As you can see, there are a variety of great karaoke machines depending on exactly how you like to rock it. If you love to strut your karaoke stuff or have a budding singer in your family, you may want to splurge on a machine with excellent sound quality and lots of extras.
But if unleashing your inner rock star is only an occasional desire, there are plenty of budget-friendly and paired back options that will work just fine. All you need is a few friends who are ready for a night of music and laughter.
Whatever way you rock and roll, keep having fun as you belt those tunes. After all, everyone deserves their special moments of karaoke fame!
You might also be interested in: 9 Best Guitars For All Beginners [Musician’s Guide]
The 18 Best Karaoke Machines:
- Tonor K20 Wireless Karaoke Machine
- Singtrix Party Bundle
- ION Audio Block Rocker Plus
- MouKey MTs 10-2 Karaoke Machine
- Masingo Ostinato M7 Bluetooth Karaoke
- Singsation All-in-One Karaoke System
- Singsation Star Burst SPKA25
- Rice Bass Portable Karaoke Machine
- Rybozen K201 Portable Karaoke Microphone Mixer
- VeGue LED Wireless Karaoke Machine
- KaraoKing Karaoke Machine
- The Singing Machine SML385BTBK Bluetooth CD+G Karaoke System
- Karaoke USA GF842 DVD/CDG/MP3G Karaoke Machine with 7″ TFT Color Screen
- AlPowl Portable Karaoke Machine
- VocoPro SMARTTVOKE Karaoke Mixer with Digital Input & Wireless Microphones