The 5 Best Karaoke Machines of 2022

Sing your heart out at home with family and friends

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A home karaoke machine should be easy to set up and use, offer crisp music and easy streaming of your select playlists, and ideally come with microphones so you and a friend can sing along.

If you just want to sing your heart out, our experts say you should just buy The Singing Machine SML385. It’s got lights to set the mood, allows you to play songs from your smartphone through the system, and even includes some effects to make non-singers sound better.

If your ambitions are far higher, read on for our selection of the best machines that'll have your neighbors begging for quiet in no time.

Best Overall: Singing Machine SML385BTBK Bluetooth Karaoke System

4.6
Singing Machine SML385BTBK Bluetooth Karaoke System

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Versatile feature set for the whole family

  • Compact and portable

  • Entertaining LED disco lights

What We Don't Like
  • Not the strongest audio quality from speakers and microphone

  • No built-in screen

The Singing Machine SML385 is a portable, well-designed karaoke machine that's intuitive to set up and features an array of 54 LED disco lights to set the mood.

The SML385's Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to play music from your phone, and there's also a 3.5mm line-in jack (the type usually used to plug in headphones) available. Some models even support playback and recording. You also can load regular music CDs, and while there's no built-in display, the SML385 provides an output and cables to connect your TV. It comes with one microphone and includes a second mic input for your duet needs.

In terms of audio quality, the included speakers won't blow anyone away, but they present a great value for the price. The machine offers echo effects, along with controls to balance the volume of background music and vocal tracks on karaoke recordings. There's also an auto voice control feature that can cut out the vocal track when it detects someone singing.

Mics: 2 | Connectivity: Bluetooth/USB | Lights: 54 LED disco lights

Tested by Lifewire

One of the best parts of this singing experience is the light show. Flip the disco switch and adjust your way through a range of desirable settings. Setting up the SML385BTBK is relatively easy and takes just a few minutes. The SML385BTBK offers multiple options for connectivity. We tested the Bluetooth feature in our apartment, and even up to fifteen feet from the machine we got crystal clear sound. Microphone quality is excellent for the price of the machine, offering echo control and sound-enhancing options for the everyday singer. Marshall Roach, Product Tester

Singing Machine SML385BTBK Karaoke

Lifewire / Jordan Provost

Best for Singers: Singtrix Party Bundle

Singtrix Party Bundle

Amazon

What We Like
  • More than 400 impressive vocal effects

  • Powerful stereo speakers with subwoofer

  • Custom microphone with mic stand

What We Don't Like
  • Can't play from CDs or via Bluetooth

  • Much pricier than basic karaoke machines

If you're serious about karaoke, Singtrix has created a system that delivers both serious performance and serious fun. From the makers of the Guitar Hero music video games, the Singtrix Party Bundle includes a high-quality microphone and full-size stand, with a boom arm for the mic and a holder for the device you're plugging in as a source (an iPhone for example). You even get a portable floor speaker with a built-in subwoofer to hit your audience with booming sound wherever you go.

At the heart of the system is its powerful "Studio" effects console, which puts more than 300 impressive preset effects at your disposal. These include professional-level technology for on-the-fly pitch correction, auto-tuning, and harmony/choir effects that can add instant backup singers at the touch of a button.

A voice cancellation feature can lower the vocals on any song you want to sing along to (though this may not be as effective as removing vocals with other software). Other effects can morph your voice in various ways, or transform it to sound like other instruments such as guitars and keyboards.

You even can plug in actual guitars and keyboards to provide the background music live. It's a powerful tool that can go beyond karaoke parties into other environments, from vocal training to music composition, studio recordings, or live performances.

Mics: 1 | Connectivity: 3.5mm | Lights: None

Best Value: BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

bluetooth microphone

BONAOK

What We Like
  • Kid-friendly design and color options

  • Convenient Bluetooth connection

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • Sound output isn't the loudest or highest quality

The Bonaok is a microphone-based karaoke system aimed at a younger market. While anyone can use the mic, it’s particularly easy for kids to grip and carry. The mic also comes with a built-in speaker, which produces a stronger sound than you might expect (but it’s not going to blow your socks off).

It comes with an audio cable and a USB cable for wired input and charging, but beyond that, you can connect wirelessly over Bluetooth to play songs from any karaoke app on your phone. There's even a microSD card slot on the bottom if you want to have songs loaded right into the microphone. Plus, it comes with a case that not only helps with transporting the microphone, but also helps kids keep the cables and other accessories organized.

Mics: 1 | Connectivity: Bluetooth/Micro-USB/3.5mm | Lights: None

Best for Adults: Karaoke USA Karaoke System GF844

Karaoke USA Karaoke System GF844

Amazon

What We Like
  • Large, loud speaker with two wireless mics

  • 7-inch color screen

  • Capable of recording voice and music mix

What We Don't Like
  • Faint buzz when not playing music

The GF844 from Karaoke USA is the system to get when you're ready to take your living room karaoke game to the next level. It can be plenty of fun for kids, too, but adults will appreciate all the features that come in this impressive package. You get a big, powerful-sounding speaker with an expansive set of controls, including volume knobs, on-screen menus, and a five-channel equalizer. You can access your music in a number of ways—through Bluetooth, USB drivers, DVDs, SD cards, and more.

It's easy to see the GF844 is made to party, with a vivid 7-inch display and a built-in library of 300 songs. It's also duet-ready with two high-quality microphones, both fully wireless so your performance is never tied down. A small remote is included, as well as a holder for tablets and smartphones, in case you want to use one as an additional display or keep it in place to serve as your controls. To top it off, the system is lightweight and portable, so you can rock out at parties or on trips.

Mics: 2 | Connectivity: Bluetooth/USB | Lights: None

Best for Families: Singsation Burst Deluxe Portable Karaoke Machine

Singsation Burst Deluxe Portable Karaoke Machine

Walmart

What We Like
  • Unique portable design with colorful LED ring

  • Entertaining audio/sound effects

  • Can run on batteries instead of power cord

What We Don't Like
  • Volume on the low side

  • No display or CD player

Families who sing together will stay together for hours enjoying the Singsation Burst Deluxe, a flashy karaoke machine created to be fun and easy for both kids and adults to use. The first thing that might catch your eye is the glowing LED light ring front and center on the device. You can choose from 14 colorful light effects to add more life to your performance.

Besides the design's unique aesthetics, there's also a functional handle making it easy to carry the Burst Deluxe around the house or on the road. And, unlike most other karaoke systems that need to be plugged into the wall, you can power it with eight AA batteries for extra portability.

The Burst Deluxe's one included wired microphone may not be enough for your family to share, so you can use the second input to double up. There's no CD player, but a line-in port and wireless connectivity can pipe in just about any song from YouTube or a karaoke app. Also helping to keep things fresh is a selection of voice and sound effects you can cue up at any time.

Mics: 1 | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Lights: Multicolor light panel

Final Verdict

The Singing Machine SML385 (view at Amazon) is the one to get if you are throwing a karaoke-type party and plan on using it more than once. If you are just having a one-off party and the budget’s tight (or you are giving this as a gift), the BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Microphone (view at Amazon) is a good pick.

FAQ
  • Do you need a special CD with Karaoke lyrics?

    If you're connecting to an external display with an RCA connection, the lyrics and background music are provided by a CD that uses the CDG format. This supplies low-resolution graphics to accompany the music files. However, online video streaming services like Youtube replace the need for this with your phone or tablet. Models like the Singtrix party bundle are specifically made to work with mobile devices rather than CDs and an external screen.

  • Where can you find Karaoke videos to play on your phone or tablet?

    If you're not using a CD there are dozens of supported Youtube and Spotify channels that specialize in Karaoke videos such as Singtrix and Sing King. These channels are updated regularly and often organized by genre and artist.

  • Is there a way to make a Karaoke version of a song you can't find?

    While it won't have the lyrics playing in perfect time with the music it is possible to strip the vocals from tracks that you can't seem to find on more popular streaming services provided you have an existing WAV file. While it does require a little technical aptitude, it's relatively simple thanks to free tools like Audacity. Simply drop in the file you want, split the stereo track, and use the inverter effect on the bottom track. Once you've done that, select mono playback for both tracks and give it a listen. You will notice some distortion as this is hardly a perfect method, but the vocals will be far less noticeable. 

Singing Machine SML385BTBK Karaoke

Lifewire / Jordan Provost

What to Look For in a Karaoke Machine

Kids vs. Adults

If you’re buying a karaoke machine, it’s important to consider who will be using it. Will your machine be brought out at parties with other adults or are you buying it primarily for kids’ use? How complex of a machine you want — or whether you want one specifically made for children — will depend on who will utilize the karaoke machine the most.

Portability

Do you want to be able to easily tote your karaoke machine to friends’ houses or events, or will it primarily live in your home? There are trade-offs when it comes to portability — for example, you’ll usually get better sound quality with a larger machine. But if you want to be able to move your karaoke machine around easily, then you should definitely take its footprint into account. Some models can weigh as little as 7 Lbs. whereas more professional models can weigh nearly triple that.

Displays and Music

Are you planning on using your karaoke machine personally or in a party setting? The answer to this question — how and where you’ll take advantage of it — will help you figure out the karaoke features you want. Does the device need a built-in display, or are you content with using your own tablet, phone, or TV? And how do you want it to play songs — through CDs or audio files on your phone? These questions matter quite a bit when it comes to the usability of your machine, so it’s important to keep them in mind while shopping. If you're downloading your own files, or burning a custom playlist. just make sure they're in either an MP3+G or WMA+G format.

Singing Machine SML385BTBK Karaoke

Lifewire / Jordan Provost

About Our Trusted Experts

Anton Galang started writing about tech in 2007 as an editorial contributor to PC Magazine and PCMag.com. He is an expert in consumer technology, which encompasses karaoke machines.

Marshall Roach is a former writer who specialized in product reviews for gaming and audio accessories, including karaoke machines.

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