Takes center stage with 54 LED disco lights. Comes with one microphone, but two wired jacks are available. Scroll lyrics to your TV using RCA cables. Plays music using CD player or Bluetooth. Record performances or play to a device. Keep track of song tracks with two-digit LED display. Built-in wood cabinet speaker.
Power adapter plug on the back of the machine breaks off relatively easily.
Comes with fun voice effects to keep a child's attention. Also comes with memory so they can show off their artistic performance. Finally, it has two microphones included — meaning your child can include a friend or family member for those songs that are just begging for a duet. Setting it up is incredibly easy.
Doesn't feature songs that are great for singalongs. Requires C batteries that don't come with the unit.
We love how this karaoke machine can play Bluetooth devices as well as regular CDs and custom karaoke CDs. Song lyrics will display on your TV, allowing everyone to sing along.
Only comes with one microphone. You can purchase other microphones for it at an additional charge.
Play background music using Bluetooth, USB, MicroSD, and auxiliary jack. Battery is rechargeable for portability. Comes with power adapter. Comes with one wired microphone with a 9.5-foot long cord. Jack available for second microphone. Also can work as a radio or speaker.
Doesn't play CDs. Only comes with one microphone.
We like that this karaoke machine comes with two microphones, allowing your children to sing together. It also has an applause function and plenty of lights to make your child feel like a star.
The karaoke machine presents a choking hazard to children under age three. It is also battery operated, which limits its run time.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
If your son or daughter can’t help but sing along with every song on the radio or television, a karaoke machine can make his or her dreams come true. Kids’ karaoke machines are designed to be easy to use and give kids the feel of performing.
Like many other children’s products, there are a lot of models on the market. If you’re not familiar with these machines, it can be hard to know what to look for. CD+G: what’s that? What about a microphone stand versus an all-in-one model?
We’ve put together this shopping guide to help you find the best kids’ karaoke machine for your budding pop star.
Types of karaoke machines for kids
Karaoke machines for kids are available in three basic types. The all-in-one karaoke machine is probably the type you’re most familiar with as it looks like a souped-up speaker with a microphone. These models may have a display, which doesn’t show lyrics, or a built-in screen, which does. Some models connect to a TV that displays lyrics, while others connect to a Bluetooth-enabled device like a smartphone or tablet on which lyrics are displayed. Some models connect to both.
Microphone stand karaoke machines mimic the sound equipment used by professionals. Some models have a control panel on the stand that allows your child to adjust the volume and choose the track. Other models are controlled via a Bluetooth connection to an app. A few stand models come with a set of pre-loaded songs. With others, you can download songs through the same app that controls the machine.
If you need a kids’ karaoke machine that’s highly portable, microphone-only models are the way to go. The wireless microphone connects to an app, which then displays the lyrics on a smartphone or tablet. Volume and other sound controls are on the microphone, which also acts as the speaker. While the sound quality isn’t as good as it is on larger models, if you want to take a karaoke machine anywhere, a microphone-only model is for you.
Corded vs. cordless
Corded machines rely on either an electrical or USB power cord. (USB cords are also used to connect to other devices and access songs.) Other models rely on batteries, some rechargeable and some not. A few karaoke machines can use either a cord or batteries for power. Battery-operated models offer better portability, but corded models usually have more features like tuning options and built-in screens.
The list of audio formats continues to grow, and you want to make sure the karaoke machine you choose is compatible with the most common types. Models with a CD player can play normal CDs and/or CD+G discs, which are compact discs plus graphics. CD+G discs do not play video but music and lyrics (graphics) that appear on a screen. They can also be played on a machine without a screen; you just won’t be able to see the lyrics. Karaoke machines for kids that play both types of discs offer more song variety.
Children’s products aren’t always known for their quality. And, we’ll admit, some inexpensive kids’ karaoke machines aren’t built to impress in terms of sound quality. However, mid-range and high-end children’s karaoke machines have impressive outputs that rival more expensive adult machines. If you want your child to be able to sing without distortion at high volumes, you’ll need to splurge on a machine with a good-sized speaker and audio control adjustments.
Karaoke machines with a built-in screen are often an excellent choice for children because everything you need is included in one unit. There’s no cord to find to connect a smartphone or tablet (although Bluetooth can eliminate this problem), and your child can look at the machine to read lyrics rather than at a separate screen.
Multiple microphone jacks
All karaoke machines should come with at least one microphone, but those that include two are like gold for children. Kids love to sing with friends and siblings. With two microphones, what starts as a sing-along turns into a party. Check the machine’s specifications for two microphone jacks. Even if it only comes with one microphone, it may have two jacks.
Some karaoke machines offer more entertainment features than others. There are your basic audio adjustments like tone and bass, but some models also include voice changers, background singers, and other voice-modifying abilities. Extra audio adjustments can add hours of fun.
Karaoke machines with Bluetooth technology vastly increase song choice. Machines that are not Bluetooth-enabled may still connect to a smartphone or tablet via a USB cord, which will grant access to a wide variety of music. Models that don’t connect to any wireless device should have a port for (and hopefully come with) an RCA cord to connect to a television for displaying lyrics.
Karaoke machines for kids that connect to a smartphone or tablet access music through apps. Some machines can only access the songs on the manufacturer’s app, while other machines can access music on any karaoke app.
Before buying, be sure to check the operating system of the manufacturer’s app. Most machines are compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems, but there are a few that can only use one or the other.
For some machines, the CD player is the only source of music, while others can use CDs or apps to access songs. There may be times when you can’t access the internet, and the CD player will be the only source of music available. For example, if you take your karaoke machine with you while camping or to the beach.
Ease of use
Karaoke machines with easy-to-understand instructions and simple control panels allow kids to run the show. Younger children do better with CDs, but if your child is tech-savvy, she may be able to set up a Bluetooth connection without trouble. Your child’s age and capabilities will help you decide which machine will be easiest to use.
Let’s face it, kids love to listen to themselves. A built-in recorder lets them make their own tracks for playback. While some only record to the device, others can create an MP3 file that can be sent to grandma.
Kids’ karaoke machines start at around $20. These basic machines may only include a small set of pre-loaded songs without the option of adding more. A few machines can connect to a device to play MP3s. The models in this price range may be microphone stand machines or basic all-in-one models that lack a display screen.
Between $20 and $50, you’ll find all-in-one, stand-only, and microphone-only machines with good audio. These models may have a built-in recorder, LCD display, and extra audio control features.
In the $50 to $100 range are all-in-one machines with excellent sound, Bluetooth capability, USB ports, and multiple microphone jacks.
For over $100, you’re looking at machines with built-in screens, tablet and smartphone cradles, and disco lights. Older kids will love the extra audio adjustment features offered by these models.
An inexpensive karaoke machine that’s basically a speaker with a microphone might be all you need if your child is under the age of three. If you find your child loves singing along, you can invest in a more expensive machine down the road.
Some karaoke machines have a headphone jack, which can save you from having to listen to the same track over and over again. Your child might still be singing along, but it does cut down on the noise.
Machines with microphone holders, cord storage, and a carrying handle make it easier to keep everything together around the house or when traveling.
Q. Can I record my child singing on a kids’ karaoke machine?
A. Many models include some kind of playback feature, though not all can create a sound file that can be saved to your phone or tablet. A model with built-in memory will let your child hear how she sounds. If the model you choose can’t create exportable sound files, you can always record the playback with your phone on a recorder or voice memory app.
Q. Can karaoke machines for kids connect to any karaoke app?
A. There are models that can play music from any karaoke app because once they connect to your smartphone or tablet, they can play any song on it. Other models can only connect to and play songs on the manufacturer's app.
Q. Do all-in-one karaoke machines for kids have a smartphone or tablet cradle?
A. Not all but many karaoke machines that don’t have a built-in screen have a cradle for a wireless device. Most cradles are at the top of the machine so your child can easily see the lyrics. A few models have two cradles, one for a smartphone and one for a tablet.