Karaoke Machine Buying Guide
What is a Karaoke Machine?
A karaoke machine is a machine that enables a user to play a song without the singing and read the words to the song from a TV monitor. They used to be extremely expensive and could only be purchased by this with lots of money, but times have changed a lot and now these fun entertainment machines are affordable and easy for anyone to get. They have gained popularity and are used in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, wedding reception venues and other places to provide entertainment for the guests that involve playing popular music tracks while the guests sing the songs. The lyrics are shown on a regular TV screen that is facing the person on stage.
Types of Karaoke Machines
There are two formats that karaoke machines are available in:
- Software – This format allows karaoke tracts to be played and sung with by using a personal computer. Karaoke software will allow your computer to act just like a real karaoke machine. Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux all have karaoke applications that work beautifully on the computer. There are also video games on Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii U and that have karaoke based themes that have grown in popularity over the last few years. The software-based karaoke machines are extremely versatile and you can customize them to your own preferences. They are typically not as user friendly or convenient as hardware based karaoke machines.
Hardware – No computer is needed for this type of format as everything it needs to run is self contained. There are two styles of hardware based karaoke machine:
- Component – This type of system works very much like a stereo receiver. They are designed to connect to home stereos, home theaters and even directly to the televisions. One of the benefits to a component system is that it can also be used to play a DVD or Blu-Ray player. They are not viewed as very portable choices due to being reliant on the system it is integrated into.
- Plug N Play – These machines are very portable and are self contained. They have everything you need to have your own karaoke party including amplifiers and speakers. Some even have video screens. This type of karaoke machine is very easy to use and can be taken anywhere. Power and sound are not adjustable in a plug n play system, so it is important to find a good quality machine that boasts good sound quality and that has reviews to back that up.
Once you have decided on which style of karaoke machine you want, it’s time to take a look at the other considerations that you need to examine when choosing a karaoke machine for yourself.
Power Output – One of the best indicators of sound quality, volume, and clarity will be the wattage that the machine has. Karaoke machines’ wattage can vary anywhere from 5 watts to 300 watts or more. There is a huge different between a 5 watt karaoke machine and a 10 watt karaoke machine but overall the average is about 30 watts. Unless you are using your karaoke machine for a business of some kind, you should not need more than 90 watts. Career pursuers may want to consider a more powerful machine.
Sound Quality – Your speaker system will determine the quality of sound and you definitely want your karaoke machine to have good quality sound. When researching the different machines available, pay attention to the sound specifications so you choose a machine that provides excellent sounding songs for your guests and potential customers to sing along to.
Television or Monitor – Most karaoke machines are capable of supporting video. Many karaoke machine owners use regular TV monitors or even a computer monitor but if you want a very high level set up there are video screens available too that would provide a more enriched experience.
Laser Eye Quality – The laser eye quality is very different between low end machines and higher quality models. Low quality laser eyes will not be able to read every CD and CD+Gs and can be very finicky when trying to read discs that the user has burned on their own.
Song Database – The number of songs available with the karaoke machine is very important, as the more song choices there are the more enjoyable the karaoke machine is to use for users of all ages. Make sure that the model you choose supports all CD+Gs and if they have access to their own expandable databases, it adds even more song versatility to the mix.
Format Capability and Compatibility
There are several options to choose from when it comes to format compatibility. We have listed the most common ones below that you will encounter in your research.
- CD+G – Stands for compact disk plus graphic. This is the most common format that almost all karaoke machines have.
- VCD – These provide video backgrounds to the music which can be fantastic for receptions and bars or nightclubs.
- DVD Karaoke – The DVD karaoke has many of the same features as the VCD but they video quality is much higher and it has additional features that come with it as well.
- MP3 + G – This format allows the CD+G music to be packaged using compression in a MP3 format.
- WMA+G – The same as MP3+G except that the format used is Windows Media Audio.
There are many other features that can be included and a part of a karaoke machine. When doing your research, check for the different features that each model offers and compare them against the needs you have. There are some standard features too that should be a part of even a basic machine. If the one you are looking at does not have these standard features, you are better off avoiding that particular model.
- Microphones – At least one, but preferably two microphones should be included with the karaoke machine
- Pitch Control – The purpose of the pitch control on the machine is to assist the user in singing at a comfortable level. It will automatically adjust the pitch based on the setting.
- Voice Echo – This feature makes the user feel like they are a professional singer thanks to the audio adjustments the echo makes. It adds to the fun and appeal of singing along with the karaoke machine.
Other features that are not standard but will add even more enjoyment to your karaoke machine experience include video screen, video camera, hard drive, Blu-ray or DVD capable, AM/FM radio capable. All of these are fun but are not considered must haves although if you are starting a karaoke business, you will definitely want as many of these special features as you can afford.
Having your very own karaoke machine can be a lot of fun and it has a lot of uses and possibilities, including starting your own karaoke business. There are many different models on the market that have different things that make them stand out above others. Finding the right karaoke machine for your needs means researching and understanding the different features, format options and other choices you have. All of these different factors will help you narrow down the selections and find the perfect one for you.
We’ve shown you the top rated karaoke machines on the market and these are models that provide the performance and features that customers want. There are so many fun things you can do with one: holiday parties, kids’ sleepovers or birthday parties, fundraising events, wedding receptions and much more.
Whether you are getting a karaoke machine to start a business or you’re buying one for as a gift for your kids for Christmas, hours of fun will be had by anyone who uses it. You now have the knowledge to find the perfect one for you that has the features, power and format that you are looking for.
- Karaoke USA – http://www.karaokeusa.com/display.asp?o=GF829
- ION – http://www.ionaudio.com/products/details/tailgaterbluetooth
- Singing Machine – https://singingmachine.com/product/sml385/