Portable Karaoke Machine Buyer’s Guide

Portable karaoke machines have never been this popular. With technology to thank, today karaoke machines have become affordable and sophisticated to the extent that they rival commercial models of the yester years. Add to this the numerous options and the consumers get a lot of choice with regards to portability and features. But before moving on, let’s look at the portable unit versus other options first.

Other Options Against Portable Units

There are honestly only two other viable alternatives to portable units and they are software based systems and component systems. Software karaoke players are highly versatile but require technical expertise and a lot of effort. Component players though integrate with any home theatre equipment and offer a better overall quality or karaoke experience. Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Portable karaoke players.

The Advantages

  • Portable units are entirely self contained.
  • They are the easiest machines to use designed ergonomically and with limited controls or connections required.
  • Very budget friendly.

The Disadvantages

  • Do not provide any opportunity to upgrade and easily get outdated in terms of technology with time.
  • Usually hard to repair since everything from the mic, speakers, display and recorder are packed into a single box.
  • Have a limited power output because of built-in speakers and amplifiers.

Buyer’s Guide Table of Contents:

Total Power

This is arguably the most critical of all factors with portable players. Because the power output is constant and cannot be upgraded, you need to be decisive with the amount of robustness, loudness and sound quality you want. Usually, 5 to 15 watts is fine for kids and low usage but 30 watts is what you ought to target for adults. Audiophiles will however want around 60 watts or more for larger space and more gathering.

Sound Quality

Wattage doesn’t alone decide a karaoke experience. What really makes for a splendid karaoke experience is the quality of the speakers and individual components such as the mic. If the speakers and microphone or amplifiers aren’t good enough, wattage will just distort the end result. The components in a portable karaoke machine must be capable of handling the power available to them.

Size and Portability

There is a reason why karaoke machines that are portable are called plug and play devices. They are capable of running on their own and don’t need monitors and stuff but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are portable. They can still be quite heavy and bulky so be careful when dealing with large portable karaoke machines, these are intended for home use and not to take along on road trips or camping.

Laser Eye Quality

Remember that karaoke machines still have to read the music and lyrics from somewhere. Low end portable players implement poor quality laser eye readers and these tend to miss out on over 30 percent of commercial CDGs. This problem is further exaggerated if one attempts to make their own DVDs or CDGs.

The Microphone

The best karaoke experience comes from duets and multiple singers. Get something that offers support for additional mics. Do not worry about the Mic-in connections since you have plenty of options even for 0.25 inch points.

Format Compatibility

While most players will not have any problems playing CD+G formats, some usually miss out on other popular formats such as WMA+G, MP3+G, MP4 and more. Make sure that your player can play many of these formats to make it future-proof.

Voice Cancellation Technology

Way down in the pecking order, voice cancellation technology however is what you need to really make karaoke feel like the real thing. This allows you to strip away vocals from any music from real time and display lyrics on the screen so that you can play along to AM/FM radio or a simple music CD that you just purchased. Not a necessity but definitely worth having in a portable karaoke machine.

Recording And Storage

Most karaoke machines have recording capabilities and can record into a built-in hard drive, an auxiliary flash drive or even burn CDs. Make sure you have this combined advantage one way or another as you will eventually come across times that a recording is necessary.

Remember that portable karaoke machines are a party equipment more than anything else so they need to be durable, quality oriented, highly powered and definitely capable of being transported. At the end of the day, everyone must have a good time with the machine.

In the next part, Purchasing A Karaoke Machine For Professionals and Bars, learn about the extra features a professional karaoke machine offers and how they make a difference.