How to Do Karaoke on Mac or MacBook: Everything You Need


Setting up karaoke on a Mac or MacBook is super easy and quick to do. In this article, I’ll take you through everything you need and how to connect everything together.

The Quick Answer

You can do karaoke on Mac as long as you have a microphone and can connect it either wirelessly or using an AUX or USB connection. You will then need an app, website or karaoke software for the audio instrumental and lyric video. Popular options include KaraFun, YouTube and Smule.

What You’ll Need

To do karaoke using a Mac, you will need:

  • Microphones
  • A karaoke app or software for the audio and lyric video
  • External speaker (optional extra which will improve the audio quality)
  • Mixer (optional extra which allows you to combine the instrumental audio and microphone audio into one output)

First let’s start with the best instrumental audio and video sources. Then we will move onto connecting it all together.

Best Software and Apps for Mac

To do karaoke using a Mac or MacBook, you will need a source for the instrumental audio and lyric video. This can be in the form of a website, downloadable software or an app from the app store.

Best Software and Apps for Karaoke on Mac:

  • KaraFun (paid)
  • Smule (paid but offers 1 week trial)
  • Karaoke by Yokee (paid and free option)
  • The Voice (paid and free option)
  • StarMaker (paid and free option)
  • SingSnap (paid and free option)
  • ARIA Karaoke (paid)
  • YouTube (free)

Here are the features of some popular options compared.

CostFree Option/ TrialNumber of Songs
KaraFun$9.99/ monthNo44,000 +
Smule$7.99/ month1 week trial 1 million +
Karaoke by Yokee$4.99/ monthFree option1 million +
The Voice$7.99/ monthFree option1 million +
StarMaker$16.99/ monthFree option1 million +
SingSnap$14.99/ monthFree option1000+
ARIA Karaoke$1.99/ trackNo1000+
YouTubeFreeFreeUnknown
Karaoke apps and software for Mac and MacBook

KaraFun, Smule and YouTube are all very popular options for karaoke using an Apple device.

KaraFun

  • Downloadable software
  • Access to over 42,000 high-quality songs
  • Option to download songs offline so you can do karaoke without internet access
  • Option to customise the key and tempo and add in backing or lead vocals

KaraFun has two main subscription plans:

  1. Party Pass: 2 day access for $5.99 in the US and £4.99 in the UK.
  2. Monthly Subscription: $9.99 in the US and £6.99 in the UK.

Smule

  • Downloadable app
  • Access to over one million songs.
  • Includes microphone effects, video filters and auto-tune.
  • Option to share your performances in the community and over Facebook
  • Free 1 week trial

Smule offers two main subscription packages:

  1. Monthly Pass: $7.99
  2. Annual Pass: $39.99

Connecting Your Equipment Together

Once you have decided on the source of your instrumental audio and lyric video, you will need to connect your equipment together. There are three possible setups:

  • Microphone and Mac only (simplest but lower audio quality)
  • Microphone, Mac and External Speakers
  • Microphone, Mac, External Speakers and Mixers (more complicated and expensive but best audio quality)

Here’s how you set up each combination of equipment as easily as possible.

Microphone and Mac Only Setup

For a microphone and MacBook/ Mac setup, you will just need to connect the two pieces of equipment together. This means you will use your Mac for the instrumental audio and lyric video, and be using the internal speaker.

This method is fine, however, the audio quality will not be brilliant. You also need to be mindful of the volume and not turn it up too high as it risks damaging the internal speakers.

The most common ways of connecting a microphone to a Mac include:

  • AUX connection (using a 3.5mm jack)
  • USB connection
  • Wirelessly (using Bluetooth)
  • XLR connection (for older microphones)
  • 1/4 inch connection (for older microphones)

You may need an adapter depending on the microphone you’re using. They are very cheap though on Amazon.

USB
XLR
1/4 inch
AUX

Microphone, Mac and External Speaker Setup

If you are using an external speaker for your karaoke, then you will need to connect it to your Mac. Using an external speaker is a good idea as it will improve the overall audio quality.

Connecting an External Speaker to a Mac:

  • Wirelessly (using Bluetooth)
  • USB connection
  • AUX connection

You can connect the microphone and Mac together using one of the methods outlined above. If you are using an external speaker, you may wish to connect your speaker and microphones directly. This is preferable, if your speaker has two inputs (one for your Mac and another for your microphone). This will give you more control over the volume of the music, and the microphones.

Microphone Mac, External Speaker and Mixer Setup

Using a mixer is a great way to take your karaoke setup to the next level. Mixers will combine the audio from the instrumental, and the audio from the microphones, into one source which can be played through the speaker. This works well if your speaker only has one input, or if you want more control over the volumes of each audio source.

Here is my complete guide to mixers, if you’re looking for some more information.

Connecting to a Larger Screen

If you would like to connect your Mac/ MacBook to a larger screen to make the lyric video easier to view, the you have three main options:

  • Wireless connection using Screen Sharing (possible if you are using an Apple TV)
  • Wireless connection using Bluetooth (possible if you are using Apple TV or with some other smart TV’s)
  • Wired connection using a HDMI cable

How to Record a Singing Video on a Mac

To record a performance of you singing on your Mac, you can use a karaoke app or software such as Smule or The Voice. This will allow you to record your singing video and give you the ability to share it on social media platforms easily.

You can also record just your voice using Quick Time Player (press command + space, then type in quick time) Press file and record to record your singing. To improve the audio quality, considering using an external microphone.

It doesn’t need to be expensive to get decent results. I use this Boya BY-M1 Clip on Microphone which is really cheap on Amazon.

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