The 4 Types of Karaoke Machine (and How to Choose One)


When you’re shopping for a karaoke machine, it can be really hard to figure out what you actually want. There are so many different types of machine, different brands and multiple models, that it’s a bit of a minefield. 

That’s why I’ve put together this guide to clear everything up. I’ll go through the four main types of karaoke machines, the advantages and disadvantages of each, the best picks in each category and at the end, and tips to help you decide which you should choose. 

There’s even a link to a quiz that’ll take you through 5 quick questions about your requirements and pick the best karaoke machine for your budget

The 4 Types of Karaoke Machine
  1. All-In-One Microphones 
  2. Mixer Only Karaoke Machines
  3. Speaker an Mixer Combinations
  4. All-In-One Karaoke Machines 

Karaoke Machine Basics

Before we go through each type of karaoke machine individually, it’s probably a good idea to go through the basics of what you actually need to be able to play karaoke. 

  • Microphone
  • Speaker
  • Mixer (combines the audio of the backing music and your singing through the microphone)
  • Instrumental source e.g. YouTube or CD+G
  • Screen to play the lyric video

Each type of karaoke machine has a different combination of each of these elements. So with some types, you’ll need to be able to connect them to different things to be able to have the full karaoke experience.

If you’re a bit confused then check out these posts:

Now let’s jump into the 4 different types of karaoke machine.

1. All-In-One Microphones

The first type of karaoke machine, is the all-in-one microphone. This is the cheapest type of karaoke machine. 

Here’s what it consists of:

  • Small speaker
  • Microphone
  • Mixer

Here’s what else you’ll also need:

  • A screen to play the lyrics

It works by connecting to a smart device like a tablet or smart phone using bluetooth or an AUX lead. Then you can go on your smart device and open a karaoke app or YouTube to find a karaoke track. You then use your smart device as the screen and you’ll hear your singing and the backing track through your microphone. It’s usually a wireless design, which makes it very portable and great for taking to parties. 

Here are the advantages and disadvantages. 

2. Mixer Only Karaoke Machine

The next type of karaoke machine is a mixer-only style. This type of karaoke machine varies in price depending on what features it includes and the complexity. 

Here’s what it includes:

  • Mixer
  • Sometimes microphones come included 
Here’s what else you’ll need:
 
  • Speaker
  • Screen to display the lyrics
This type of karaoke machine works differently depending on the exact model. Some models have a CD player which allows you to use CD+G disks. Others have an input for smart devices which allows you to play karaoke using apps or YouTube. Others allow you to use MP3+G files or even DVDs. It’s a very versatile kind of karaoke machine. 

They vary in terms of how many microphones you can connect. Cheaper designs will usually be compatible with two microphones. Whereas, more expensive designs can allow the connection of up to 8 microphones.

This is a popular choice amongst professional KJ’s due to it’s versatility which can allow you to connect to a range of different systems at different venues. They also aren’t too heavy so easy to transport to gigs. But there are many at home options too that are good for lower budgets. 
 

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of mixer-only karaoke machines.  

3. Mixer and Speaker Combination

The most common type of karaoke machine is the mixer and speaker combination. There are many different models available to suit pretty much every budget.

Here’s what it includes:

  • Mixer
  • Speaker
  • You’ll usually get microphones included 

What else you’ll need:

  • Screen to display the lyrics 
There are a lot different models of the mixer and speaker combination. Some have a built-in CD player which allows you to use traditional CD+G disks to play your karaoke backing track and lyric video. Others connect to smart devices using bluetooth or AUX leads to play karaoke using YouTube or karaoke apps. And some models use MP3+G or DVDs. 

They generally are not too difficult to set up. You’ll just need to hook them up to a screen. This can be the screen on your smart device like a tablet or phone if you’re using YouTube or karaoke apps for the instrumentals. Or you can connect it straight to your TV using either bluetooth or RCA cables. 

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of speaker and mixer combos.

4. All-In-One Karaoke Machines

The final type of karaoke machine is the all-in-one design. It includes everything you need to be able to play karaoke on one device.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Speaker
  • Microphone
  • Screen to display the lyrics
  • Mixer 
There aren’t as many choices of all-in-one karaoke machines on the market as there are the mixer and speaker combination design. They can work in a few different ways. Most work by connecting to smart devices and playing karaoke using YouTube or karaoke apps. But some also allow you to use DVDs, MP3+G and CD+G disks if they have built-in players. 
 
Although all-in-one designs are usually the heaviest, they are usually pretty portable way to play karaoke because you don’t need any other equipment to start playing. But if you want to use a larger screen, most hook up to a TV using an RCA cable. Another advantage is that most all-in-one designs have internal rechargeable batteries so you don’t need a mains connection making it a safer option when you’re at parties. 
 
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of all-in-one karaoke machines. 

How to Choose the Best Type

So now you know the main types of karaoke machine, how do you know which is the best one for you? The answer is going to depend on a few things: what other equipment you already have and want to use, how much you want to spend on your karaoke machine and what other kind of features that you want. 

To help you decide, here are a few different scenarios and the best type of karaoke machine for each situation. 

Someone Looking a Cheap Karaoke Machine

People who are looking for a budget karaoke machine should definitely consider the all-in-one microphone. It’s the most affordable option on the list. But the main drawback is that you can only use one microphone at a time, so it’s not the best option if you want to perform duets. If this is the case, then consider the mixer and speaker combination. It’s easy to setup, you can connect multiple microphones and they are also very affordable.

A Professional KJ

Professional karaoke hosts are best off looking at the mixer-only karaoke machines. It gives you the most versatility to be able to connect to multiple different setups at various bars. It’s also quite a portable design and doesn’t include any equipment that you won’t need when you’re performing at various venues. It’s harder to setup, but professionals shouldn’t struggle with this. 

Someone Looking for a Karaoke Machine for a Party
If you want your karaoke machine to mainly be used at parties in your house, then you should look at the all-in-one karaoke machine, or the speaker and mixer combination. Both options give you plenty of choice in terms of what instrumental format you’ll want to use, from CD+G to YouTube and karaoke apps. Plus, they’re really easy to set up quickly at parties. Which one you decide between will depend on if you need a built-in screen, or if you are just going to be connecting it to a TV. 

Top Picks

So now I’ve gone through the different types of karaoke machine, the pros and cons and how to choose the best option for you, here are the best karaoke machines in each category. 

Best All-In-One Microphone: 

Bonaok Wireless

  • The BONAOK wireless karaoke microphone is one of the most popular options out there. It’s comfortable and stylish design comes in a range of colours so there’s something for everyone.
  • It has a three-layered filter head design to filter air flow and wind noise producing a clear sound. The lightweight design make of aluminium is durable and stylist.
  • The battery life is excellent and offers singing time of 5-10 hours on a single charge which takes just 2 hours. 
  • The design offers several different modes for you to try. You’ll also get echo and volume controls built-in. 
Why it’s a great option  
The Bonaok wireless karaoke machine is a really good budget option, the quality is great and it’s very portable and lightweight. The main benefit of this karaoke machine is it’s super low price. 
 

Best Mixer Only Karaoke Machine

Karaoke USA A-B Box 

  • This is an excellent quality mixer design karaoke machine that’s suitable for both professionals and for use at-home.

  • You can use a huge range of instrumental sources included DVD, CD+G and MP3+G, making it a really versitile machine, capable of connecting with a wide range of different setups.
  • It comes with a wide range of features including a recording function to USB and SD, 13 step key control, and digital key and echo controls built-in giving you plenty of control over the audio.
  • It’s simple to use and is remote controlled operated and allows you to search songs on the screen you connect it to.
  • You’ll get one microphone included but it can be connected to a second microphone if you need it.
  • It’s also easy to connect to a TV using the outputs built-in.
Why it’s a great option

It’s a great value mixer only option that offers versatile instrumental compatibility and is simple to use and quick to set up. 

Best Mixer and Speaker Karaoke Machine: 

Singing Machine SML650W

  • The Singing Machine SML650W karaoke machine is one of the best value for money options available today. Singing Machine is a well-know trusted brand and has really excelled to produce such a quality design at a very affordable device.
  • It’s packed with premium features such as party lights and voice effects including echo, robot and radio.
  • It comes with one microphone, but you can hook two up for duets. 
  • It’s small, lightweight and battery-powered so great for taking to parties. 
Why it’s a great option

The Singing Machine SML650 is a really great option if you want a traditional style karaoke machine for home use. You get some really cool features included and the quality of the audio is solid. 

Find the Singing Machine SML650 on Amazon 

Best All-In-One Karaoke Machine:

Karaoke USA GF845

  • The Karaoke USA GF845 is the ultimate karaoke machine for home use and parties. It’s the perfect machine if you want a compact all-in-one design that’s completely portable and allows you to get the party started in minutes. 
  • It’s instrumental compatibility is outstanding and allows you to play backing song audio via pretty much any way possible including bluetooth, DVD, CD+G and MP3+G giving you loads of options. 
  • The Karaoke USA GF834 has some great audio enhancement features including base and treble tone controls and echo effects. It event allows you to record your voice using USB and SD cards.
Why it’s a great option

The all-in-one design comes with pretty much every feature you could ever want. It’s simple to setup, looks great and offers outstanding value for money. 

Find the Karaoke USA GF845 on Amazon

So there you go. Those are the different types of karaoke machine, the pros and cons of each, how to choose the best one and the top picks in each category. I hope you’ve found this guide useful and thanks for reading!

If you’re not sure which karaoke machine you should choose then don’t forget to check out our quiz. With 5 super quick questions it’ll give you the best option with all your requirements and within your budget.

Quiz: Find the Perfect Karaoke Machine for You

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