The Best Karaoke Machine for Children
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 which means CDG discs or MP3+G files. 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 and downloads 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 KaraokeDownloads.CA 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 five units pictured below are priced below $115.
For older kids and teens, or adults for that matter, there are larger units with more features like digital key control, microphone effects, multiple discs type support, vocal scoring, remote control. etc.. Some will allow you to record and save your singing performance to an SD card and/or USB device. These are always a big hit at parties and other social functions.
The karaoke machines listed below are among the highest rated and best selling units available. My niece still loves the Karaoke USA GF830 that I got for her last year.
Singing Machine STVG350 features a top loading CDG disc player and built in 3.5 inch color LCD monitor. This is an entry level machine so don't expect great sound or a super sturdy case. Priced at about $98.
Karaoke USA GF830 is a portable all-in-one karaoke machine that has many useful features. For starters, it can play a few main formats such as DVDs, CDGs, and MP3+G so you can both sing or watch a DVD movie right on the built-in 7" TFT color screen. When singing, record your vocals and music together on an SD card and instantly play it back! Two microphones are included so you have everything you need to get started right away. Priced at about $160.
Singing Machine Bluetooth Pedestal Karaoke System is Designed with a 7" color TFT LCD screen that provides a clear view of song lyrics, this karaoke system features a resting cradle for iOS and Android devices (sold separately) for convenient music streaming and displaying scrolling lyrics. Bluetooth® allows wireless, digital audio streaming from compatible devices. Plays CD+Gs and music CDs through the built-in CD player; plays MP3s and MP3+Gs through the USB port. Priced at about $190.
The Akai KS5500-BT Karaoke Machine allows you to take a huge step up from entry level All-In-One Systems and delivers greater power at 75W RMS per speaker. Perfect for home users that are looking for more power and features but don't require everything in a professional systems. This system includes all important features such as a CDG player, CD ripping, graphic EQ, and Bluetooth. Connect devices like your smartphone wirelessly and play music for parties and then pop in a CDG when it is time to start singing! Another audio source can be connected through the line input giving you the ability to connect multiple audio sources and take advantage of the speaker system.. Priced at about $220.
RSQ ROKBOX is a big step up in power and performance. With a maximum output of 200 watts this machine has the power to cover a crowded room. Older kids and teens will be the hit of any party they bring this unit to. Easily connects no most TVs. Record your singing performance for playback or saving to an SD Card or USB device. A Vocal scoring feature to rate your singing. Can double as a guitar amplifier or stand alone PA system. Does not come with microphones. Priced at about $390.