Karaoke Machines: How to Choose

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So, you are looking to get a karaoke machine for the family, but don't know which kind to get. There are 2 types of Karaoke Players to choose from, both with their own good and bad points. Below you you find the pros and cons to each type of Karaoke Machine available.

Stand Alone Machines:

Stand Alone type players have their own built in speaker systems and sometimes come equipped with built in TVs. This is the most popular type as they are found in most mass retail stores. These units tend to be smaller in power and features (although some of the newer ones offer an I pod dock, or MP3 Hookups). These players offer the convenience of virtually plug and play operation, not having to deal with a myriad of messy wires and connections just to get the party started. As I mentioned earlier however, these units also tend to be underpowered, not many of them have more than 10 Watts power and are just not going to be suitable for most singers over the age of about 8. Because these machines have been geared towards mass market sales for so long, for the most part, these units have become more children's toys than real Karaoke Players. A set of audio outputs can make these players a lot more versatile, as you can hook into larger systems when you need more power. A couple of features that will have you singing like a pro, and saving a little dough (ok, there's my cheesy rhyme for this article):.

***Look for audio outputs on these machines so that you can hook up to larger systems if you need, make sure the microphones work with these outs as well.

***Digital Key Changers are awesome! They really help the average singer in that they can make those tough notes a lot easier to hit.

***Built in screens are cool, but not as important as a USB/SD Card Inputs, or at least an MP3 Hookup. You already have 3 TV's, do you really need another tiny one?

There are Premium Stand Alone Karaoke Machines available, offering a lot of features and more power, but you definatley pay a premium price. These units have usually been designed for professional use and have many bells and whistles, the price usually puts it out of reach to most new karaoke buffs. The added weight and features usually ups the defective rate, so check the warranty and make sure its up to par.

Component Karaoke Player:

These machines usually look like regular DVD players with Microphone inputs. The great thing about these players is that they will hook into any amp and speaker system, as long as it has an RCA audio input , these players can connect to it (some of the new players also offer HDMI hookups for easy, one cable connection to newer Home Theatre systems). This means you can customize your power to your needs, or use any system you already own. These Players easily connect to: Home theatre systems, Home Stereos, Computer Speakers, even most portable speakers (Boom Boxes). These karaoke machines may not come with power, but they offer other feature like USB/SD Card Inputs, Scoring, Recording and more. These units also ship better and usually run a lower defective rate than Stand Alone alternatives.

Here are a few things to look for in a Component Karaoke Machine:

***Make sure to find one with a USB/SD Card input so that you can hook in your: MP3 player, flash drive, external hard drive. As digital media becomes more available, your karaoke machine needs to be prepared.

***If your Home Theatre supports it, look for a machine that offers HDMI for even easier conectivity. It helps prevent the mess of wires in the back of your TV and Stereo.

***For an inexpensive alternative to a stand alone player, look at a set of multimedia speakers and an inexpensive component player.(I recently spotted a 13" tube style TV in a box store for $30).

***If you are an enthusiast looking to upgrade, look at some of the component and speaker systems available, some of these systems offer way more features and sound (and mic mixers) for comparable prices to the premium stand alone units.

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