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Best karaoke machine 2022: Sing your heart out with your friends or family

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Our pick of the best karaoke machines for adults and kids, including a detailed guide on how to choose the best one

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your parties, why not bring people together with one of the best karaoke machines out there? Sure, you may think you’re going to embarrass yourself, but just think of the videos you’ll be able to get of your friends putting on a show after they’ve had a few too many. Or, if you’ve got a budding musician in the family, a karaoke machine can make the perfect gift.

Take a look at our detailed buyer's guide to help you understand the many different facets of karaoke. Or, if you’re already familiar with the art, you can skip to our best buy roundup. From simple handheld microphones to the all-singing, all-dancing all-in-one speaker machines, we’ve found the best karaoke machine for every budget.

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Best karaoke machine: At a glance

  • Best portable (with a display): Mr Entertainer Digibox | Buy now
  • Best for games consoles: Let's Sing 2021 | Buy now
  • Best all-in-one: Mr Entertainer Moonbox | Buy now
  • Best for kids: Singing Machine | Buy now

How to choose the best karaoke machine for you

Most karaoke machines are made by small companies you may not have heard of, so it’s not a matter of simply going for a brand you trust. Meanwhile, some products that are advertised as karaoke machines are actually just microphone-and-speaker combinations, with no songs and lyrics supplied.

That’s fine if you’re happy to use the karaoke videos on YouTube – search for the name of a song followed by “lyrics” or “karaoke” and you’ll probably find something suitable. The quality can vary, though, and every now and then you might end up accidentally watching a video of some random people at a karaoke bar.

A dedicated karaoke machine, complete with backing track playback and lyrics onscreen, will give you a more streamlined experience so you can concentrate on what really matters: crooning, wailing and steamrolling your way through your favourite songs.

What features do I need?

There are various components in a karaoke system and it’s helpful to get your head around what each bit does.

  • The microphone is obviously what you sing into. They vary widely in price but £10 is probably about right for a home karaoke system. Most karaoke machines have quarter-inch jack inputs (like on a guitar or a big headphone socket) so choose a microphone that has this kind of cable. Having two microphones means you can perform duets. If three or more people decide to join in with a song, they’ve probably had too much wine and won’t need a microphone anyway.
  • The backing track is the music you sing along to. In most cases, it’s recorded specifically for karaoke and might include backing vocals but not the lead vocals. The quality of these backing tracks can be a bit naff, but it’s all part of the fun. Some karaoke systems use the CD+G format, which is essentially a normal audio CD with an extra data track containing the animated lyrics. These discs are available from various online retailers. Other systems have their own backing tracks so you have to stick to their proprietary format.
  • The mixer is where the backing track and your vocals are mixed together, balancing levels and (in most cases) adding effects to the vocals to make them sound glossier. Common effects you can add on most karaoke machines are reverb and echo, but more professional units also let you adjust pitch to make even the most off-pitch singers sound in tune. The mixer will have separate inputs for microphones and the backing track, and a stereo output to send the mixed sound to the speakers.
  • The speakers are where the sound comes out. Some karaoke machines have built-in speakers while others need to plug into a speaker, TV, hi-fi or PA system. Even if your machine has built-in speakers, it may still be best to plug it into a hi-fi system for better sound quality and more volume (neighbours’ sanity permitting).
  • The screen is where the lyrics are displayed. Not many karaoke machines have a built-in display so this will normally be your TV, although you can also use a PC screen or your phone or tablet. For obvious reasons, a larger screen works better because it means that you can prance around the room and really perform the song rather than being stood in front of a small display, straining your eyes to read the lyrics.

Should I buy individual components or an all-in-one karaoke machine system?

The answer depends largely on what equipment you already have. Most people will have a TV to plug into, but the TV’s speakers might not be powerful enough to cope with your enthusiastic hollering. Using separate hi-fi speakers is a good idea if they’re available.

If you don’t relish the thought of scrabbling around with cables figuring out what goes where, an all-in-one system keeps things simple. Some machines will only require a TV to plug into and some even have screens built in – although the lyrics will be easier to read on a telly.

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The best karaoke machines to buy

1. Mr Entertainer Moonbox: The best all-in-one karaoke machine

Price: £110 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for a no-fuss machine that will really liven up your karaoke night, the Mr Entertainer Moonbox is the best all-in-one karaoke machine. It’s got a sound-to-light activated built-in LED light show, two wireless microphones and loads of free songs to stream via the app they provide. You can read the lyrics straight off your phone or you can stream them onto your telly to get the whole group involved. The mixer has independent backing track and microphone volume controls, with standard playback and echo controls, which is all you need to get great quality sound if you’re using this for fun.

It can also run completely wirelessly with a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth functionality, meaning you can use this machine even when you’ve not got access to a power outlet. Of course, there are cable options too, and the radio antenna, USB port and microSD card reader allow you to play music when you’re tired of singing.

2. Mr Entertainer Digibox: The best portable karaoke machine (with a display)

Price: £350 | Buy now from Amazon

This is by far the best portable karaoke machine we could find that has a screen. It has rechargeable batteries that promise two to four hours of playing time, a handle for portability, reportedly excellent sound quality and a full-blown mixer on the side that offers far more tweaks than the other portable machines out there. The screen makes it perfect for karaoke on the go, but it can also connect to a large display like a TV if you’re keeping the entertainment confined to the living room. It comes with two wireless microphones and it can record performances onto a USB or SD card so you can embarrass your friends for years to come.

While it has a heftier price than the other machines on this list, its functionality is second to none. As karaoke machines go, this doesn’t look like a toy at all so it’s great for people who really want to invest. What makes it so special is that the screen is a touchscreen that has preinstalled music streaming and karaoke apps so there’s no faffing around with setup. Better still, as it runs using android software, you can also download games and movies to watch from the device, making it a great all-round entertainment experience. Just plonk this in the corner of your living room and your kids will be entertained for hours without you having to worry about them breaking a tablet or TV screen.

3. Vocal Star Karaoke Machine: The best karaoke machine for aspiring singers

Price: £150 | Buy now from Amazon

The best feature of this karaoke machine is its powerful 300W portable Bluetooth speaker, making it a great option for aspiring singers and musicians who want to hear every detail clearly. This powerful output also makes it a great option if you want to jam with your bandmates, busk in your city or even perform gigs at small venues. Thanks to the included remote control, you don’t even need to be near the unit to control aspects like your volume, channel and so on.

The unit itself comes with two wireless microphones and there’s even an input for a third one. Apart from that, it has the option to stream content wirelessly from any device straight to your machine using Bluetooth. The unit itself is completely rechargeable and has a humongous eight-hour battery life, which is long enough to get you through an entire day of music on a single charge.

4. Singing Machine: The best karaoke machine for kids

Price: £82 | Buy now from Amazon

If you have little ones who fancy themselves a future Spice Girl or Ed Sheeran – or you're stuck for fun things to do at a birthday party – this karaoke machine should keep them entertained for hours. It's Bluetooth-compatible, so you needn't worry about your kids tripping over any wires – although you can connect it to your TV via an RCA cable to load up those all-important lyrics on the screen. Unfortunately, due to stock issues, you’ll have to buy the second microphone separately, but this wireless microphone from RockJam is of the same quality and will work just as well, if not better.

Otherwise, this is a highly self-sufficient piece of kit that has a built-in LCD light-show for some added visuals to the vocals. The microphone cable is 3m long, so you don’t need to worry about being near the unit at all times. In case you want to use this as a portable karaoke machine, you can simply insert batteries into it instead of connecting it to your power supply.

5. Let’s Sing 2021: The best karaoke system for games consoles

Price: £70 (with two mics) | Buy now from Amazon

Back in the mid-2000s, SingStar on the PlayStation 2 was all the rage, and while there's a version for the current PlayStation 4, Sony shut down much of the game's functionality at the end of January, so we no longer recommend it. Instead, we suggest investing in Let’s Sing if you want to get your karaoke fix through a video games console. This bundle pack comes with the latest version of the base game, offering 30 tracks on the disc and two USB microphones.

You can buy a dual pack of additional PlayStation 4 mics for £18, or simply download the Let’s Sing app and sing into your smartphone – of course, that’s not as fun as having your own microphone to wail into. If you want more songs you can purchase additional themed packs in-game (prices range from £4 to £30): current offerings include the Best of the 80s, 90s and Party Classics.

6. Lucky Voice: The best karaoke machine for people who just can’t get enough

Price: £51 | Buy now from Amazon

Lucky Voice makes commercial karaoke machines for its chain of bars and the same technology appears in its subscription service for you to enjoy at home. It costs £7 a month to access their library of 10,000 songs via your computer’s web browser or the iOS app. You can search its entire library by song name, artist name and even genre or decade. The app supports multiple devices so one person can browse and order the tracks, while the other is singing. You’ll want to plug it into a TV and speakers so you can appreciate the slickly-presented lyrics and high-quality backing tracks.

Lucky Voice also sells a microphone plus a mixer to combine the mic signal and backing track. However, it might get a bit complex if you’re sending the video signal from laptop to TV via HDMI and running the audio analogue cables to the TV’s speakers. You’re better off plugging the mixer into a hi-fi. It might end up being an expensive option, but the quality and sheer volume of songs on offer mean it’s money well spent.

7. Vocal-Star VS-1200: The best karaoke machine for small venues

Price: £170 | Buy now from Amazon

Professional kits used in karaoke bars can cost silly money, but if you want something affordable and a bit more polished than the usual home-karaoke machine, the Vocal-Star VS-1200 is a solid choice. It comes in a sturdy metal chassis that can be rack-mounted and includes a wide array of outputs including HDMI, VGA, optical and analogue phonos. You’ll also find a pair of wired microphones plus 150 songs in the box. Upgrade to 1,200 songs for an extra £70 and you’ll have enough to keep punters happy for many months. There’s also an option to upgrade to wireless microphones for £50.

Songs are supplied on disc in CD+G format – a normal CD with extra data for the animated lyrics. These can be ripped to MP3G format and saved to SD card by the VS-1200, which saves constant disc-swapping. You’ll have to type in all the song names and generate song lists yourself, though. Additional discs in CD+G format are available from various online stores. The quality of the backing tracks in the supplied library is mostly excellent, but the lyrics sometimes wander slightly out of sync. It’s not as polished as it could be, but this is a robust package that’s reasonably easy and cheap to expand with new songs.

8. 200 Karaoke Megahits: The best karaoke CD collection

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

If you own a karaoke machine, you’re probably familiar with a karaoke subscription service such as Lucky Voice that gives you unlimited access to songs that you can then play on any device, and even stream to your karaoke machine via Bluetooth.

However, if you prefer a CD collection with the best karaoke songs, look no further than this megahits pack containing 200 famous karaoke songs on 10 CD+G discs that can be played on any of karaoke machines listed above, or any other karaoke machine. The tracklist contains all your favourite belters, ranging from classics like Queen and the Beatles to modern-day popstars such as Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

9. Kids Bluetooth Microphone: The best karaoke microphone for kids

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

This popular microphone is proving to be a hit with kids of all ages. Available in different colours and even as a set, it has several uses. Apart from a microphone, you can use it as a Bluetooth speaker, loudspeaker and recorder. Its built-in 1800mAh battery will work for up to six hours when fully charged, but you can even connect it to a speaker using the 3.5mm audio jack. Your kids will enjoy its different voice effects for hours on end, and this also makes a great gift, especially for young aspiring singers.

10. Ankuka Wireless Karaoke Microphone: The best karaoke microphone for adults

Price: £23 | Buy now from Amazon

This handheld karaoke microphone is perfect for those of you who don’t have space for a full-on karaoke machine but still want the fun. It’s got a ten-hour battery life and charges quickly in about three hours so you’ll be able to sing to your heart’s content. Setting it up is simple: just connect the microphone to your phone using Bluetooth and it will play your karaoke backing track. Or, if you’ve had enough of singing, you can also use the mic as a small speaker.

Most impressively, it’s got a built-in mixer with separate backing track and microphone volume controls and standard playback and echo controls. It’s also got a playback recording function, allowing you to record your performances onto your phone using a wire. All packed into a small, portable frame.

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