Singtrix makes karaoke more accessible, but it’s expensive
Warranty: 90-day limited warranty, Details: www.singtrix.eu, Part code: Singtrix
Singtrix is designed for those who love karaoke but hate waiting until the weekend to impress the regulars at their local boozer. It’s also designed by the creators of the Guitar Hero series, so there’s a firm emphasis on fun.
However, Singtrix is different from Guitar Hero because it’s sold as a standalone system rather than as a peripheral for a games console. This means you almost have everything you need to sing karaoke right out of the box.
The Singtrix bundle includes a Singtrix Studio vocal effects unit, a custom microphone, a microphone stand and a 40W 2.1 stereo speaker system. The Limited Edition bundle, which we tested, also comes with a second microphone, a tablet holder and extra song presets, which are vocal effects programmed for specific songs, such as Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.
BRING YOUR OWN
To play music you must connect a device such as a tablet, phone or computer to the 3.5mm input on the vocal effects unit. You then play music from that device, whether that’s music from your own media collection, karaoke videos from sites such as YouTube or Vimeo or tracks from the Singtrix app, which can downloaded for iOS or Android devices. The Singtrix app uses the Karaoke Anywhere service to let you stream karaoke tracks from a library of over 13,000. You’ll need to pay around £7.30 per month for the privilege, but the app does come with a selection of free songs that you can stream, and this includes a few karaoke classics such as Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.
The Singtrix app is very basic and the karaoke songs lack visual flair, with lyrics appearing as just orange text on a black background with a scrolling effect to indicate timing. However, it does have a kind of retro appeal, it stays true to the typical karaoke experience, and it certainly makes for fewer distractions when you need to concentrate on the lyrics.
The Singtrix app lets you see song lyrics in a suitably low resolution
Sadly, the production quality of the tracks was a hit and miss affair, with some of the backing music sounding like low-quality MIDI covers. There are better quality tracks on YouTube.
If you use your own music, it’s likely that you won’t have karaoke-ready versions of songs nor will you have direct access to lyrics. In this instance you can use the Song Voice button on the Singtrix’ effects unit when playing your own music. This lowers the volume of vocals so that it’s easier for you to be heard over the original song.
We found the Song Voice effect worked reasonably well, although on certain songs it also lowered the volume of some of the background music as well. Singing along to your own songs means you’ll need to find lyrics yourself, but many lyrics are available on the internet.
YouTube and other video services offer a more traditional karaoke experience and there was a surprising amount of free videos from professional channels, such as KaraokeOnVevo, and a dizzying array of homemade lyric videos.
Singtrix has a massive amount of voice effects to help you sound your best, over 300 in fact. The massive list doesn’t return to the start when you reach the end, so you have to scroll all the way back to the start again, which can be frustrating. You can, however, save 10 of your favourite effects for quick access, which is handy.
The effects selection is good and it includes presets that are dedicated to specific songs and genres such as hip-hop. There’s also a button on the microphone that instantly creates a four-person vocal harmony based on your voice. A further aid is a pitch correction tool, which we found to work well.
We liked the selection of effects, and they make karaoke a more approachable activity for those who have less confidence in their falsetto, or don’t know their staccato from their legato. Some of the 300 presets sounded very similar, though, and it’ll take you a long time to find one that makes you sound your best.
the Singtrix effects unit lets you choose from around 300 vocal effects, but many sound similar
The included 2.1 stereo speaker resembles a guitar amp, and it has adjustments for volume, treble and bass to help you shape the sound for your room or venue. We found the speaker emphasised higher frequencies, which is ideal for a karaoke system, and it meant our singer’s vocal performance came through crisp and clear.
Buying a karaoke system can be daunting, but Singtrix makes it much easier by providing everything you need in one package. It’s a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys karaoke, and the effects and pitch correction go a long way to making amateurs feel comfortable taking part. Singtrix also makes the experience for audience members a lot more enjoyable thanks to pitch correction and the effects.
Singtrix is a lot of fun, but traditional karaoke systems can be bought for less. They lack Singtrix’s effects presets, but make up for it with support for CD+G file support, which is a file format that combines low-res lyrics video with music. Other alternatives are karaoke games such as Singstar. You’d have to connect your TV or games console to a separate hi-fi, and you’d have to pay for songs, but you could buy a considerable amount of songs for Singstar for the cost of the Singtrix package.
Buy the Singtrix if you like the idea of a self-contained, personal karaoke system and don’t have or don’t want to use Singstar on a games console. However, we think a system such as the Starsinger 1000 Pro II (£89 from www.emkaraoke.co.uk) is a much better buy if you already have a hi-fi or speaker system you can use with it.
|Price including VAT||£299|
|Warranty||90-day limited warranty|