All the Equipment You Need for a Professional Karaoke Setup


If you’re an aspiring KJ, or own a bar and would like to set up some karaoke in your venue, then you’ve come to the right place. One of the first things you need to do when setting up a karaoke business, is decide on what equipment you’re going to get, and how much it costs. 

First, we’ll go through the basics, including the instrumental sources you can choose from. And then, we’ll jump into the two different options you can go for:

  1. Karaoke Machine
  2. DIY Karaoke Setup

The Basics

For a professional karaoke setup, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Karaoke machine or mixer and amplifier
  • Screen to play the lyrics 
  • Microphones
  • Speakers
  • Instrumental source

Instrumental Source 

No matter what karaoke equipment you go for, you’ll also need a way to play the music and video. For the instrumental source, there are several options to choose from. 

The main ones are CD+G, DVD, MP3+G, YouTube and Karaoke apps. CD+G, DVD usually use a disk player to operate. But MP3+G, YouTube and Karaoke apps work by connecting to a smart device like a mobile or tablet to play the music through. You’ll need to check the licensing in your venue to make sure that you can use all these methods before deciding which one you want to go with. 

Here’s a quick comparison between the instrumental sources so you can make a decision. But if you want to learn more, then head over to our Karaoke Instrumental Formats 101 for some more detailed information. 

Format

Cost

Song Choice

Need for Internet Connection

CD+G

Pay per song/ pre-made

Unlimited

No

DVD

Pay per song/ pre-made

Unlimited

No

MP3+G

Pay per song

Unlimited

No

YouTube

Free

Good for popular songs

Yes

Karaoke Apps

Subscription

Good for popular songs

Yes

Two Options

There are two options to choose from when deciding what karaoke equipment you’ll need for a professional setup. 

  1. Karaoke Machine
  2. DIY Setup 
If you’re looking for a simple option, then go for the karaoke machine. But if you’re after a more customisable and higher quality option, then you should go with the DIY setup. We’ll go through a head-to-head comparison of the two setups at the end, but first we will jump into the karaoke machine option. 

Options 1: Karaoke Machine

Using a karaoke machine for your professional karaoke setup is the most simple option. But it can be hard to choose the best karaoke machine. There are hundreds of options out there. That’s why we’ve created the list of the 8 best professional karaoke machines, with something for every budget. 

There are several different types of karaoke machine. Some have built-in speakers, screens and microphones included, whereas others are just basic mixers that use CD+G players or connect to a smart device via bluetooth and that need connecting to a speaker. 

How to Choose a Karaoke Machine 

To choose the best karaoke machine, you’ll need to think about several factors. 
  • Your budget
  • The instrumental source you want to choose
  • The connection type (mains, battery, wireless)
  • Additional features like LED lights or audio enhancement
  • What’s included e.g. speakers, microphones  

We’ve created a really quick 5 question quiz that will take you through the main factors and select the best karaoke machine for you based on your answers. 

Quiz: Find the Best Karaoke Machine for You

Best Professional Karaoke Machines 

If you’re looking for a great karaoke machine to kick off you’re professional career, or you want to upgrade your current system, then head over to our list of the 8 best professional karaoke machines for all the best options for every budget. Here is our top pick:

Options 2: DIY Karaoke Setup

If you don’t want to go with a karaoke machine for your professional setup, then you can choose the DIY option. You’ll need the following equipment: microphones, a mixer, speaker and amplifier and also a screen to display the lyrics. Sometimes the equipment does not need to be purchased seperately, and you can get all-in-one karaoke mixers, speakers and amplifiers. But make sure you have all these basic functions included in your setup. 

Mixer 

Put simply, the mixer connects all your setup together to make sure the audio works correctly. With a karaoke setup, there are two different types of sound that need to be amplified, the sound of the song or backing track, and the output from the microphone by the person singing. 

A mixer has an input connection for both the song audio and the microphone to allow both sounds to be recieved. The mixer also has an output connection which goes to the speaker to amplify both these sounds. Make sense?

There are plenty of mixers available that are compatible with various types of microphones, music software and speakers, whether they’re wired or wireless, so make sure you check which one is suited to the rest of your equipment. 

Need more info? Check out our ultimate guide to mixers!

Microphone

You’ll also need to get some microphones. For a professional setup, you’ll definitely need at least two microphones, but you more depending on how many connections your mixer works with. 

You can also go with a wireless or wired option, dependent on what your mixer is compatible with and also your budget. Wireless microphones are more expensive generally, but are safer as there are no wires to trip up on. 

Speaker and Amplifier

You’ll need to make sure your karaoke equipment is connected to a speaker. Some venues already have a sound system in place, so make sure it’s compatible with the rest of your setup. Most karaoke speakers have an amplifier built-in, as microphones alone are not enough to drive the speaker on their own. 

The speaker option you go for depends mainly on your budget and how seriously you’re taking your karaoke setup. Again, wired speakers are the cheaper option, but wireless speakers offer more flexibility in terms of placement and positioning. The quality of the speakers will also be limited by your budget too.

You can also get a speaker and mixer two-in-one as well if that works better for you. Sometimes this can work out cheaper than purchasing the mixer and speakers seperately, but usually the quality of the speaker won’t be as high.

Here ‘s our list of the the 10 best karaoke speakers

Screen 

Finally, you’ll need a screen to display the lyric video. Sometimes your venue will have screens that you can connect to, but otherwise you may need to bring your own. 

Which Option Should you Choose?

So now you know the two different options, here are a few things to consider to help you decide between them.

Karaoke Machine

DIY Karaoke Setup

Easy to set up because it’s an all-in-one system

Allows you to choose the perfect pieces of equipment for your needs

Fast to connect, most karaoke machines can be setup in under ten minutes

More compatible with a range of audio software such as YouTube, karaoke apps and CDs

Budget karaoke machines are available to make them a cost-effective option

Helps to create a higher quality sound output for professional use

How Much Does it Cost?

Setting a karaoke business up with professional equipment can end up quite expensive, so you need to consider your budget carefully and decide where to put it to get the highest quality equipment within your price range. Here’s a quick estimate of how much the equipment costs to setup a karaoke business or professional setup. 

  • Karaoke Machine: $150-1000 / £150-1000
  • Speakers: $100-400 / £100-400
  • Two microphones: $10-50 / £10-50
  • Mixer: $50-500 / £50-500
If you’re going for a budget setup and your venue already has some equipment, then you should be able to get all your equipment for under $200 / £200. 

How to Set Up

Now you know all the equipment you’ll need, you’re probably wondering how difficult it’ll be to set everything up. Here are some guides that you might find useful:

 

If you’re looking for some of the best karaoke equipment, don’t forget to head over to these posts:

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