How to Set Up Karaoke at Home


So you’re here because you want to set up a great karaoke system at home. Setting a karaoke system gives you the chance to take a party to the next level, entertain guests, or even just let you have a bit of fun singing at home! Whatever your reason is for wanting a karaoke system, you’ll need some basic equipment to set it up.

Decide on your Instrumental Source

So to set up karaoke, you’ll need a few important things.

  • Intrumental soundtrack
  • Video screen with lyrics
  • Microphones
  • Speakers/ audio output for the microphone sound and instrumental

We’ll go into the best two ways to setup karaoke at home a bit later on, but first, you should have a think about what intrumental source you want to use.

There are absolutely tonnes of different options available. Which one you choose will depend on your budget, and which type you feel most comfortable with. You can go for classic CDs or electronic sources like YouTube or karaoke subscription apps. You’ll need to make sure your karaoke setup is compatible with whatever instrumental source you choose. It’s up to you which you decide first, but remember, compatibility is by far the most important thing.

To help you choose what instrumental source is best for you, we’ve outlined some of our favourite methods.

YouTube

YouTube is the cheapest way of sorting out both your music audio and lyric video for a home karaoke setup. Connect a device like a tablet or laptop, or use your smart TV to your mixer and then search YouTube for an instrumental, or karaoke version of a song. The best thing about using YouTube, is that it’s completely free and it has a karaoke version of pretty much every song you could ever think of.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Did you know that if you say “Alexa, play Karaoke Night”, that you can use your TV to show both the song audio and lyric video so you can sing along? If you connect your smart TV to an Amazon Fire TV Stick and to your mixer, then you can get started playing karaoke really quickly!

Karaoke Version

Karaoke Version is great source for MP3 backing tracks that will have pretty much any song you could ever want to sing at your karaoke party. If you’re tech savvy, you can use it to create a video using Lyric Video Creator which allows you to add an MP3 backing track to create a lyric video to sing along to. This option is a little more complicated, but a good one to try if you can’t find a karaoke versio of the song elsewhere.

KaraFun

KaraFun is an online karaoke app that allows you to connect your mixer and screen to play the audio and video of over 33,000 songs. It works on a subscription plan with three options available. There’s a party pass (2 day) option if you just need it for a single occassion, a monthly subscription for personal use and their most premuim plan is 100% legal for professional use.

Sunfly Karaoke

Sunfly karaoke has been around for donkey’s years, but they’ve moved with the times and now offer a karaoke download service which allows you to create your own karaoke CD with a personal tracklist that can be posted or downloaded, depending on which option is best for you and the compatibility of your mixer.

The Voice Sing and Connect

The Voice Sing and Connect is a great app that’s based on the popular TV talent show. You can download it for free on both Android and Apple devices. It allows you to sing solo, with friends or even duet with other players all over the globe! There’s a huge library of songs and you can record your favourite tunes with visual and voice effects.

Choosing a Karaoke Setup

So there are two options you can choose from when deciding how to set up your karaoke system at home. 
 
1. Using a Karaoke Machine
2. DIY Karaoke Setup 
 
So let’s look at the main differences between the two. We’ll first have a look at a diagram of how to set the karaoke up with each method. 

 

 

karaoke setup at home
DIY karaoke without a machine
See the difference? So a karaoke machine is definitely more simple. It’s usually an all-in-one system that usually comes with microphones so you can get started with your karaoke in just a few minutes. The DIY setup is more complicated, but gives you more freedom to choose different pieces of equipment. This lets you create a setup that is custom made for your needs. So which should you choose? Here’s a quick comparison between the two methods.

Karaoke Setup Comparison

 

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

One thing you’ll need to decide on before choosing a setup, is what method you want to choose for the music you want to use to play the instrumental track that you can sing along to. Now there are loads of different ways you can do this. You can use CDs, YouTube, a smart TV or even karaoke subscription apps. Here’s a quick outline of the best karaoke software methods. 
 
Once you’ve chosen your preferred method, you can then start looking at the rest of the equipment using either of the two methods we talked about earlier. 
 
1. Karaoke Machine 
2. DIY Karaoke Setup 

Using a Karaoke Machine at Home

Make sure you choose a karaoke machine that’s compatible with the type of music software you want to use. Does it only use CDs, or can you connect a device like a tablet or laptop to use YouTube or a subscription app?

Take a look at the 12 best karaoke machines

Next, you’ll need to connect your karaoke machine to your TV to get started. Here’s a diagram to help.

So the first thing you need to do, is to connect your karaoke machine to a screen. There are usually three wires, collectively called an RCA connector to help you do this.

Simple connect the wires supplied with your karaoke machine to the corresponding colours on your TV (usually at the back or on the side of the screen).

After that, you simple connect the microphone to the karaoke machine, turn your screen on and use the source button to find the right setting to display the lyrics screen.

The types of cable, colours and connections will vary depending on your exact karaoke machine. Always be sure to check the instruction manual.

karaoke setup at home

DIY Karaoke Setup at Home

f you’ve gone for a DIY setup, then you have more freedom to choose the equipment for your requirements. 
 
You’ll need the following equipment for an at home DIY karaoke setup.
 
  • Microphones 
  • Speakers
  • Mixer
  • Instrumental audio 
  • Screen with the lyrics
To learn more about each type of equipment, check out our ultimate guide to karaoke mixers and our post on everything you need for karaoke.
 
The screen with the lyrics and instrumental audio can all be created using one device, for example a tablet or laptop, or even a smart TV. Or you can have a separate device for the instrumental audio that can also be connected to a screen that shows the video. It’s up to you which option you want to go for, and also depends on what music software you want to choose.
 
Here’s a diagram to help you set up your DIY karaoke system at home.

So the first thing you need to do, is connect your microphone to the mixer. Most wired microphones use XLR cables and most  modern mixers have 1/4″ TS and XLR channel inputs. If your microphones are wireless, then set them up as specified, usually either by WiFi or bluetooth. Now you need to connect your speaker to the mixer. This again is usually wireless or requires XLR cables.

Next you’ll need to connect the mixer to your audio and video device. This can be using a bluetooth or other wireless connection. If it’s wired, then it’s likely to be either an RCA or USB connection.

After that, you’ll need to connect your audio/ video device to the TV screen using a HDMI cable or it can be done wirelessly with a smart TV.

DIY karaoke without a machine
So there you go! That’s everything you need to know about setting up a karaoke system at home!
 
Have a look at our ultimate karaoke party guide for tips and ideas on equipment, entertainment, supplies, snacks, drinks, games and more! 
 
Don’t forget to check out our guide on everything you need for karaoke to make sure you have the perfect setup and don’t forget anything!

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