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The best karaoke machines provide crystal clear audio, enough volume to kick a party into high gear, and great mics and features. Modern machines are a lot more complex than the dusty old mini-juke boxes of yesteryear, with built-in, high quality displays, Bluetooth connectivity, and a ton of other modern tech to get you singing your heart out quickly, with minimal fuss.
Our top choice, the Singing Machine SML385BTBK at Amazon, is portable, well designed, and puts on a hell of a show with its suite of 54 LED disco lights. It's also an amazing value, packing a ton of features for a low price, and lets you load or stream your music in a ton of different ways. It's a great all-arounder and the best karaoke machine for most people; for more amazing ways to dig into your favorite music, our guide to the best speakers is stacked with choices for even the most discerning audiophile.
Versatile feature set for the whole family
Compact and portable
Entertaining LED disco lights
Not the strongest audio quality from speakers and microphone
No built-in screen
When it comes to sing-along entertainment for your next karaoke party, you can't go wrong with the Singing Machine SML385. The portable and well-designed karaoke machine is simple to set up and once it is you get 54 dazzling LED disco lights to help set the mood.
The SML385's Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to use music from smartphones and other modern devices, with a 3.5mm line-in jack also available. Some models even support playback and recording via USB. You can load regular music CDs, though you'll most likely want to use graphics-enabled CD+G discs to show the lyrics as you sing. While there's no built-in display, the SML385 provides an RCA 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 multiplex karaoke recordings, so you can fade the lead vocal as much or as little as you like. There's also an auto voice control feature that can cut out the vocal track when it detects someone singing.
Need options for upgrading your mic or adding a second? Check out our guide to the best microphones.
More than 400 impressive vocal effects
Powerful 2.1 stereo speaker with subwoofer
Custom microphone with mic stand
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. You even get a portable 40-watt floor speaker with a built-in subwoofer to hit your audience with booming sound wherever you go.
But at the heart of the advanced karaoke 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 like guitars and keyboards.
You can even 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 and studio recordings and live performances.
Kid-friendly design and color options
Convenient Bluetooth connection
Sound output isn't the loudest or highest quality
It's never too early to foster a passion for singing. With Bonaok's Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone, all the karaoke functions you need are right in one device that's easy for kids to grip and to carry. The microphone and the built-in speaker produce stronger sound quality than you might expect. 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 YouTube or any karaoke apps on your phone. There's even a microSD card slot on the bottom if you want to have songs loaded right into the microphone.
All this comes at an affordable price that makes it an ideal starter set for a young singer, and it's available in a wide assortment of shiny, metallic colors to catch kids' eyes. 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.
Large, loud speaker with two wireless mics
7-inch color screen
Capable of recording voice and music mix
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, DVDs, SD cards, and more.
It's easy to see the GF844 is made to party, with a vivid 7-inch TFT 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 is 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 rock out at parties or on trips.
Easy connectivity to TVs, Bluetooth devices, and more
Fun LED disco lighting
Sound quality from the speakers and microphone on the low side
Some users report problems after some time
You won't exactly find "smart" karaoke systems quite yet, but that doesn't mean you can't integrate one smoothly into your existing high-tech entertainment setup. The Singing Machine SML385UW is a compact, affordable device in an appealing white color scheme that can work seamlessly alongside your smart TV. Once you get it connected with the included RCA cable, you'll soon be singing along to any karaoke tracks you can find on YouTube or other apps your TV supports. The SML385UW conveniently lets you employ your phone or tablet as a source as well, through Bluetooth or your own 3.5mm audio cable, and there are other models that support USB connections, too.
The SML385UW brings with it a strong set of features for the singer in your family including an onboard microphone (and a port for a second), echo effects, and a full array of playback, volume, and balance controls. Some users have reported experiencing issues after a short amount of time, including microphone problems and the power cable port breaking, in which case they had to get the unit replaced. But, for most, the SML385UW provides a great living room karaoke experience — get the LED disco light effects flashing from the front of the machine and you'll be remembered as the life of the party, guaranteed.
If you're in need of a new smart TV to go with it, check out our article on the best smart TVs.
Unique portable design with colorful LED ring
Entertaining audio/sound effects
Can run on batteries instead of power cord
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 distinct 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 that makes 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 that you can cue up at any time.
For most people, the Singing Machine SML385BTBK is a great pick, an excellent blend of features, quality, and convenience, all at a reasonable price. For a machine best suited to the adult crowd, check out the Karaoke USA GF844, with a brilliant 7-inch display, a huge array of controls, and killer volume.
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.
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.