The 5 Best Karaoke Machines of 2021

Sing your heart out with family and friends

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The Rundown
When it comes to sing-along entertainment for your next karaoke party, you can't go wrong with the Singing Machine SML385.
Singtrix has created a system that delivers both serious performance and serious fun.
Comes at an affordable price that makes it an ideal starter set for a young singer.
Best for Adults:
Karaoke USA GF844 at Amazon
Adults will appreciate all the features that come in this impressive package.
A flashy karaoke machine created to be fun and easy for both kids and adults to use.

The best karaoke machines should be easy to setup and use at home, offer crisp music and easy streaming of your select playlists, and ideally come with microphones so you and a friend can sing along. The newest and most modern karaoke machines come with lots of bells and whistles. Aside from high-quality speakers and microphones, you can also expect flashing LED lights for a disco light show, a built-in screen to help you navigate and select songs, and potentially connectivity to Bluetooth, so you can stream music from your phone or other devices.

For kids, there are quite a few simple and affordable options that come in child-friendly plastic and rely on an aux cable for easy plug-and-play setup. Most of the karaoke machines on this list come with one or more microphones, but if you need more be sure to take a look at our list of the best wireless karaoke microphones to help you expand your setup.

Otherwise, read on for our picks of the best karaoke machines!

Best Overall: Singing Machine SML385BTBK Bluetooth Karaoke System

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 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.

Mics: 1 | Connectivity: Bluetooth/USB | Lights: 54 LED disco lights

"Its minimal design, Bluetooth connectivity, and access to thousands of additional hit tracks make this machine a great addition to any party or gathering."Marshall Roach, Product Tester

Singing Machine SML385BTBK Karaoke

Lifewire / Jordan Provost

Best for Singers: Singtrix Party Bundle

What We Like
  • More than 400 impressive vocal effects

  • Powerful 2.1 stereo speaker 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. 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.

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

Best Value: BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

bluetooth microphone
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

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.

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

Best for Adults: Karaoke USA Karaoke System GF844

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, 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.

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

Best for Family: Singsation Burst Deluxe Portable Karaoke Machine

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 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. 

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

Final Verdict

For most people, the Singing Machine SML385BTBK is a great pick due to its excellent blend of features, quality, and convenience, all at a reasonable price. In terms of value and chilled-friendliness, we like the simple BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Microphone (view at Amazon) that comes with Bluetooth and is easy to use.

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.

FAQs

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

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