4 Common Types of Karaoke Machines

A girl sings.
  • Beginner

Of the karaoke machines you can purchase for personal or commercial use, different features are available while performing the same basic function. A karaoke machine is great for parties or for just entertaining yourself and a few friends. Half of the thrill of using a karaoke machine is singing in public, but sometimes they are fun to use at home. There are essentially four types of karaoke machines. They all play a music track without the lead vocal while providing lyrics on a monitor, but they differ in how they achieve this. The four types are the all-in-one karaoke machine, one with a TV monitor hookup, a built-in microphone system, and an MP3 player karaoke system.

The four types of karaoke machines essentially allow you to sing along with songs while the lyrics are displayed on a monitor. The most common types are the TV monitor hookup system and the all-in-one system, although, with the rise in MP3 popularity, that system is gaining ground. The microphone system can either be very cheap or quite expensive.

1. All-in-one System

This karaoke system includes everything you need to play, read and hear the song you are singing. It includes the CD player, a monitor for the lyrics and speakers. However, all-in-one systems often do not come with any music, meaning that it is not really all-in-one. If you have a karaoke CD library, the all-in-one system provides everything you need to have a party. If not, you’ll have to acquire special CDs before the machine can be used. The monitors, while functional, usually do not exceed 14 or 15 inches which may or may not be a problem.

2. TV Monitor System

The TV monitor system provides a karaoke CD player and one or more speakers, but it requires a television in order to display the lyrics to the songs. It may also be hooked up to your stereo system. Some sleeker designs are no bigger than a DVD player, making them very convenient and portable, but a TV is still needed. Depending on the system, the TV monitor system may include a large library of karaoke songs. Others require you to purchase the music separately.

3. Built-in Microphone karaoke

The built-in microphone karaoke system consists of a microphone with a built-in song selection, an easy TV hookup and the ability to connect it to your stereo system. More accurately, the built-in microphone karaoke system is also a TV monitor system. Otherwise, you have no way to read the lyrics. The player is the microphone itself, requiring nothing bulky. Different cartridges are available with many other songs, but some microphones come with 300 or more songs already there.

4. MP3 System

Instead of karaoke CDs, digital downloads of karaoke songs, complete with the lyrics are used with the MP3 karaoke system. It is the smallest karaoke player available, but it may require a monitor to display the lyrics just like the built-in microphone. With the special karaoke downloads, the lead vocal track is easily removed. Rather than wait for new karaoke CD collections, the MP3 player lets you download them before they are available elsewhere.

These four karaoke music systems provide a range of portability, versatility, and price. Professional karaoke systems can cost thousands of dollars, including the music library. Smaller systems can cost a lot less, but they may require supplemental devices such as monitors and speakers to be completely functional.