The Best Karaoke Machine for Children
So you're looking for a karaoke machine for a child. I can say from experience that this is a favorite gift to many kids. It can also be educational as children watch the words they are singing be highlighted as they sing them. I know it can be a little confusing when trying to get information on the best choices. I'm here to help you out with this. Once we clear up a few facts your decision will become a lot easier.
This is NOT a karaoke machine review article. In 99% of those types of articles the author has absolutely no personal experience with the products they are reviewing and often giving praise to. The units listed on this page are here solely because they have received good to excellent consumer reviews and/or are among the best selling.
About Karaoke MusicThere are many karaoke formats around as well as different types of karaoke discs. You've probably read about CDG, DVD, MIDI, NEO-G, SCDG, and VCD discs. I'm going to make things very simple for you right now by suggesting that you focus solely on CDG karaoke. The reasons for this is because CDG is by far the most popular karaoke song format, offers vastly more song titles than any other format, and the discs are widely available.
CDG is not a video format. The songs consist of background music with synchronized lyrics displayed against a solid color background. CDG discs can be purchased at department stores and music shops as well as online at stores like Ace Karaoke and Amazon. Songs in every genre, including children's songs, can be purchased on CDG discs.
All the karaoke machines discussed here will play CDG discs. You will see MP3+G mentioned occasionally. This is simply a compressed version of a karaoke CDG song much like an MP3 is a compressed version of a standard song. Some karaoke machines will play MP3+G files from a USB thumb drive and/or SD card. Songs in the the MP3+G format can be purchased as individual downloads from websites like TriceraSoft for example. There are also software programs that can create CDG discs from these downloads.
About Karaoke MachinesThe term "karaoke machine" has been used to label any player or unit that plays karaoke music. This includes disc players, hard drive players, self contained systems, and handheld units. They all have their uses but in this article we'll stick to the type most suited for kids. That would be the all-in-one karaoke system. These are self contained and easily portable units. They typically include a CDG disc player, amplifier, speaker(s), microphone(s), and monitor. They are available in a variety of sizes.
For young children there are the small, light, colorful, units that are extremely easy to operate and offer few features other than play/stop buttons and volume controls. Most run on batteries and require very little adult supervision. Most lower priced models (under $90) will not have a monitor and are better suited for children who do not yet read. The ones with built in monitors will display the song lyrics. Some can be connected to a TV.
The units pictured below are ones I found at Amazon that have some good consumer reviews and at least a 3 star rating.
The karaoke machines listed below are among the highest rated and best selling units available. My niece still loves the Karaoke USA GF829 that I got for her last year.
Handheld Karaoke Machines
These are basically microphones that have an integrated digital karaoke player that plays songs from a "chip" inserted into the unit. The song chips can contain thousands of songs and are interchangeable. They are easily connected to a TV or entertainment center. The music is not the quality as commercial CDG discs nor are there near as many song titles available. I suppose the compactness, portability, and cheap music are the biggest selling points of handheld systems.
MP3+G™ is a trademark used with permission by TriceraSoft