Karaoke can liven up any party, but it does need some special gear. There are a lot of different karaoke machines to choose from, and making that choice can be quite difficult because of the sheer number of special features that are available. Picking the right karaoke machine for your home comes down to figuring out what sort of features and format you need, then going through all of the options to select the one that fits your criteria.
Consider the Format
The first thing that you should consider is the format of the machines. This won’t have a huge impact on the quality of the sound, but it’s a very easy way to narrow down your options. Once you’ve figured out the format, you can start looking at other factors to narrow down your choices even more.
CD+G is the classic format for karaoke, and it’s the one that most people are familiar with. The discs combine audio and graphical information in a special format, so they need special players in spite of the fact that they look like they should be compatible with normal CD and DVD players.
That is not to say that DVD players are useless for karaoke. Special karaoke DVD sets are available, and those are compatible with standard DVD players. That makes them a wonderful choice for people who already have a player, although they still need to purchase microphones and other equipment to complete the set. In that case, this option will save money and space compared to the other choices.
Digital options are also available, either in the form of MP3+G or cloud storage. These systems work like the DVD options, but they rely on a computer or a dedicated karaoke machine with a hard drive instead of a DVD player. Like the DVD format, a computer will need microphones and other attachments.
Choose the Setup
The next choice is the type of setup. There are a lot of options that differ in the details, but they can generally be divided into two main categories. Some of them are magic microphones, while others are all-in-one systems.
A magic microphone system consists of a central control station, which might be a dedicated machine or some software on a laptop, and a few wireless microphones. Those microphones double as controllers for the system. This option conserves space, and it’s often cheaper than the alternatives, but they don’t offer all of the options as the more complex systems.
All-in-one systems are simplified versions of the professional systems. They combine a variety of components and all of the cords that are necessary to hook them together into a single package. That makes them easy to set up, but it limits the customization options. They take up more space than the alternatives, so they’re harder to transport and some homes might be too small for them. Professional systems work the same way, but the components are purchased separately and chosen by the owner, so they’re much more complicated and usually more expensive.
Check for Extra Features
Those two traits will narrow down the number of systems, but there will still be plenty of options. Sort through the rest by looking for special features. Many systems come with special light arrays, recording systems, or a variety of other bonuses. These can add a lot to the karaoke experience, but only if you make use of them. While you look through the systems, make a note of any features that appeal to you. After you make your list, search for the options that offer as many of those features as possible.