Music moves us from an early age. You’ve probably seen a child wiggle their bum in a high chair as the radio was playing, or a toddler is bust in a move on a rug in the living room during the Grammy Award Shows. Kids love music. And it’s no wonder: music has been shown to help reduce stress, promote relaxation, improve memory function, and bring about happy emotions. Humans are drawn to music, and even the youngest child can enjoy it.
That’s why as my kids have gotten older, we decided to invest in a karaoke machine for them. They are always singing in the car and rocking out the latest tunes with me, and they have an appreciation for music more so than I think my generation did because they can access it anywhere, anytime now. When I was growing up, if I didn’t own a cassette tape of the song I wanted to hear, I had to listen to the radio. Now, kids can get 24/7 access to new and upcoming music, indie music and more.
So a karaoke machine seemed like a great way to get them thinking about music from a different perspective: karaoke machines not only allow kids — and their parents — to sing along to their favorite songs, but they can also record themselves singing those songs. These devices provide a fun and unique way of getting kids to interact with music in a way that helps them gain confidence and promotes an outgoing personality. Plus, how cute is it when kids sing? It’s super cute.
I started my research online, as many people do, and found out that karaoke machines have come along way since I was a kid! They have all kinds of bells and whistles now, and they are available in all sorts of colors – some even have disco balls on them for added fun and sparkle. we found out that most karaoke machines are made for kids who are at least 3 years old. That makes sense because children that young can’t read and are still learning dexterity to use controls like those found on karaoke machines. My kids are 4 and 7, and my oldest daughter helps her little brother with some of the words in the songs.
As I set out to start testing some of these karaoke machines, I tried to look for a few things that were important to me. I wanted something that was sturdy because let’s face it: kids are rough. I wanted something that could be easily moved around the house and could travel with us in the car. I tested a number of karaoke machines without lights and disco balls, but I really liked the idea of flashing lights and something to make the karaoke experience more special for my kids. And I wanted the karaoke machine I chose to come with everything I needed to get started out of the box. There’s nothing worse than getting home from the store and finding out you needed a cable or an adapter to make the darn thing work. Parents, you know what I am talking about!
Here are the 5 karaoke machines I tested and reviewed in my search for the best karaoke machine for kids:
Best Overall Kid’s Karaoke Machine
Runner-up Kid’s Karaoke Machine
Good Kid’s Karaoke Machine
Middle of the Road Karaoke Machine
Entry Level Karaoke Machine
When I set out to find a great karaoke machine for my kids, I started with the Singing Machine ISM990BT and it ended up being my favorite overall. I liked the way the machine looked like a real karaoke machine, and not just a children’s toy. Some of the other karaoke machines that didn’t make the cut looked like colorful toys. I preferred to spend my time looking at a karaoke machine that might last more than 2 days around children.
This unit offers an adjustable cradle for a number of smartphones and devices. Because let’s face it, even if your kids don’t have their own smartphone or mobile device, they probably use yours a great deal. It’s best to try to get a karaoke machine that has a device hook-up like this one does because you’ll want to be able to expand your song options using what’s online. If you don’t want your smartphone to be tied to the karaoke machine all night, you can use the Bluetooth compatibility to stream music through the speakers. If you have an iPhone or other Apple mobile device, you can download the Singing Machine mobile app and find lots of cool features and options there.
I liked this unit mainly because it came with a microphone, which was ready to use out of the box, and I was able to download five songs for free as part of my purchases. In all, there are about 8000 songs that are available in the Singing Machine library, and there are more being added all the time. Because Singing Machine has been around for a while and it continues to put out new machines, I feel confident that they’ll be updating that library for a good while into the future.
In addition to these great features, the Singing Machine ISM990BT offers auxiliary inputs for other audio devices and 2 microphone jacks, even though it only comes with one microphone. I had to buy a second microphone because I have two children, but I liked the unit so much that it was worth it to me to make that little bit more of an investment to get the machine I really liked.
The kids loved that we could hook this unit up to the television and they could see the words on the screen. At only 10 pounds, I felt confident that my kids could pick this machine up and move it around without damaging it. It’s pretty compact and easy to move, and the overall look and feel of the karaoke machine are pleasing.
The one downfall of this karaoke machine was that it only came with one microphone. And while there is a CD player in this unit, I actually had a hard time opening it because at first glance it looks like there isn’t one included. Overall, this is my favorite karaoke machine for kids because it is built to last.
Only comes with one microphone
Modern looking exterior
Doesn’t have a carry handle
Suitable for kids of all ages
Might not be visually appealing to children
Easily hooks up to your television for visuals
Could be heavy for some children
I’m just going to start by saying that I wasn’t going to bother with this karaoke machine because I don’t like white electronics. I find they look cheap. But since it was made by Singing Machine, I figured it was worth paying attention to, and I am glad I did. For every bit of flash that appears on the exterior of this karaoke machine, there is every bit as much technology and features on the inside. I was surprised by the quality of the sound the most I think, because again, I just assumed this wasn’t going to be a good karaoke machine for my kids. I was wrong.
The only reason it didn’t make the top spot on my review is because I prefer the look of electronics that are less flashy. My kids really liked the way this one looked, but since it was going to be spending most of the time in our family room, I decided it was a good runner-up.
This karaoke machine offers top-loading CD with graphics options, which means that you can use specially designed CDs that feature videos with lyrics in it. These CDs are typically labeled as karaoke music and you can find them anywhere you buy music. This unit also features Bluetooth technology, which I would assume is pretty standard on any audio device these days. There is also an input if you prefer to use wired devices to run your karaoke machine. You can also play regular CDs and use this as a boombox if you prefer just to play music in the background.
With 2 digital LED displays, you can easily see what’s happening with your karaoke machine; there are balance and echo controls that allow you to adjust the settings of the music that is playing. I liked that this unit came with everything you would need to get started: wired microphone, AC adapter, demo disc and more. The LED lights on the machine are fun for the kids.
The controls are easy to use and perfect for little hands that might want to make some changes mid-song. Overall, this is a great runner-up option for families looking to start their karaoke rock star careers.
One downfall of this karaoke machine is that it does not have a carry handle and it could be difficult for children to move it around the house if they were feeling adventurous. And there are two microphone jacks with holders on the side of the machine, but there is only one microphone that comes with the unit. In addition, this karaoke machine is very heavy, weighing in at 18 pounds. It would be impossible for a younger child to move this, and truth be told, it would be uncomfortable for me to move it around a lot, too!
I don’t like the color, but you might!
Kids spend more time playing with lights and buttons than singing or listening to music
Includes everything you need to get started
Not a good option for smaller children who can’t use mobile devices
Very heavy at 18 pounds
Options to expand music library online
When you are looking to buy any new product, it’s important to research and test a wide range of products in the lineups that are available. So in my search for the best karaoke machine for kids, I tried out a few good, but not great options, including the Karaoke USA GF839 karaoke machine. The thing that drew me to this karaoke machine was the large 7” TFT digital color screen display that appears at the top of the machine. I also liked its upright design and the fact that it came with 2 microphones that had their own holders on top of the karaoke unit. I also liked that there was a docking station for your mobile phone and multiple hook-ups for external devices.
The machine does come with 300 MP3G songs on a disc, and it will play any karaoke CD you might already own. It will also play regular CDs and even DVD movies, which I thought was a nice touch, but sort of unnecessary if the DVDs weren’t karaoke movies. Kids can sing and record their voices on this machine, and they can download their tracks onto an SD card. Again, for younger kids, this seems like a bit much, and to me, I felt like all of these added features were perfect for children that were older, or maybe even teenagers.
There are outputs to be able to display your karaoke lyrics and slideshows on the big screen of your television or computer monitor. Of course, you can use the smartphone input holder so you can charge your smartphone, but again, this is not usually necessary for smaller children who might want just to sing a few songs and enjoy themselves. It does charge your mobile device though, which is a nice feature, and it is compatible with all brands of smartphones and tablets.
There is a remote control that comes with this karaoke machine so you can change songs on the fly, but it doesn’t come with batteries so you’ll need to stock up on those if you decide to buy this machine. You can control a lot of the audio with this device including the echo amounts, balance, volume, background, voice recording and more.
The songs that come on the free discs including hymns, holiday songs and children’s songs that are all specifically prepared for children who want to participate in karaoke, but if your kids are a little older they can download more songs from the online library of the manufacturer, and of course, there’s always Youtube videos.
This is a bit lighter than some of the other models in this review, and that’s good for smaller children, but the size of the screen worries me that kids might accidentally break it and then I am not sure how useful this machine would be. All in all, it’s a good quality machine that offers a little bit of everything, and some things that aren’t necessary at all. Despite all of the good things about this machine, the one thing that keeps it from being a “great” karaoke machine is that it isn’t Bluetooth compatible. If the manufacturers have gone so far as to make it smartphone compatible, it should have Bluetooth capabilities.
Doesn’t have Bluetooth
Only has a small amount of songs to start
Weighs less than 10 pounds
Too many unnecessary options for children
Comes with 2 microphones
During my search for the best karaoke machine for kids, I came across a number of middle-of-the-road options that I considered a good option if you didn’t want to invest in a karaoke machine that a had a lot of extras. Sometimes, you just want something that does the bare minimum, and you are okay with that. If you are that kind of person, or if you are budget doesn’t agree with something a little more high-end, you might consider buying the iRocker BC-1000 for your kids to rock out with. It’s a cute little machine that features a large disco light that is activated by the music, but other than that, it’s pretty plain and easy to use.
It does feature Bluetooth compatibility, so it has that going for it, and that seems to be the trend with these machines these days. It doesn’t have a lot of extra options for adjusting sound or making special effects, but it does have an echoing vocal effect that kids will find fun to experiment with. It can also act as an amp for guitars, and it might even be good for a small hall to make announcements with. It does feature a carry handle and is lightweight: only 5 pounds in total, so it’s a go-anywhere kind of machine.
This karaoke machine is pretty small and easy to move around, but it doesn’t come with a microphone, so if you have one or can get one for cheap, it’s a good option.
The reason this machine isn’t rating better in this review is because it’s not actually a karaoke machine; it does take microphones and you can play music on it, but it’s a good option for smaller children who can’t read but like to sing. You could use a number of mobile apps and even Youtube videos to sing along with if you were looking for a decent speaker system, but you won’t be able to use traditional karaoke style songs with this machine. What’s more it doesn’t have a CD player, so you can really only use it with your mobile device, mic or guitar.
Still though, it’s a great option for getting started on the road to karaoke stardom, and smaller children will appreciate how easy it is to use.
No fuss machine
Doesn’t come with its own mic
Great for smaller children
Doesn’t use traditional karaoke software
Light is fun and music activated
Doesn’t have a CD player
Bluetooth technology is a plus
Great for guitars and putting on shows
This is my pick for an entry level karaoke machine for kids because of the oversized handle on the top that makes it easy for them to transport it around the house. I think kids would like the color of it – mine did, but I prefer black. It comes with its own wired microphone so you can start using it right away.
The vertical design of the Karaoke Night KN200 means it’s easy to store when not in use and it offers a fun LED light show when the music is playing. It also provides another microphone jack so you can add a second microphone if you need another one for more children. It does play traditional karaoke software and CDs as well as CDs with graphics so kids can sing along with the lyrics on the screen. You’ll need to hook this up to an external monitor though because it doesn’t have its own lyric display.
I liked this device as an entry-level unit because of the bright colors and simple design elements that make it easy for kids to use. I liked that it had 20 tracks already included on the machine so you can see if your children like it before investing in more songs or devices to play with this machine. It does have several adjustable audio features that are suitable for more experienced children, and it operates on batteries so you can take it with you wherever you go. There is also an AC adapter that is included for when you are staying put.
Weighing in at under 6 pounds, this karaoke machine is a good starting point for your little ones, makes a great gift for other children, and it can really instill the love of music and singing into a child.
Easy to use
Not Bluetooth compatible
Sets up in minutes
Tall design might make it easy to knock over
Comes with everything you need to get started
Doesn’t have a display screen for reading lyrics
Can grow with your child
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