No longer relegated to unused rooms of public houses, the pursuit of karaoke these days takes place front-of-house. It is also appearing in front rooms too as it is friends and family inclusive, even that over-enthusiastic uncle with the one-knee, arm-outstretched finale is welcome. Time to up your sing-a-long-a-game with this selection of top karaoke tech.
Bringing together the jeopardy of spin the bottle and karaoke skill levels that will entertain in differing ways, this app-enabled game is an essential for your shelf. Pluck it out for post-pub-party-play, when the relatives pop around or when the kids need letting loose – as universally appealing as Ariana Grande. Download the free app, sort out your playlist then stick your smartphone at the end of the spinning microphone and begin. Whoever the microphone picks presses play and the performance begins, an excerpt (30 seconds to a minute) of the randomly selected track and then other players get to vote, secretly of course.
There are also a dozen cards included which may be introduced at random too that’ll request the singer to add some flair to their performance and add a flair of rap, or opera style or sing like a robot – levels out the playing field. After playing your pre-determined number of rounds the winner is announced and presented with a montage of selfies that have been taken throughout the game, their “best bits”.
The Electric Jukebox mob may just be an upstart brand but their first foray into the music box business should be able to make some real noise with this 4-in-1 system – Roxi. It might well sound like a stage dancer type name but we’re certain there’s a clever acronym hiding in there somewhere. This is a system deigned to get friends and family together round the screen and remove them from isolated behaviour, such as wearing headphones, and instead enjoying the tunage together.
At its core it is a streaming device but it uses this music for more than just banging out tunes. You can rock out with the Sing with the Stars sing-a-long, show your music trivia skills with Name that Tune and also access radio stations from all four corners. They’ve lined up a decent set of curators for their ready made playlists including Sheryl Crowe, Robbie Williams, Alicia Dixon and Stephen Fry – an eclectic collection indeed.
It is hard to image how, at innovation HQ, that place full of the folk who create things we never knew we wanted took so long in getting this piece of karaoke kit to market. Plugged into your headphone jack this shrunken singing unit, compatible with most karaoke and voice recording apps, will make any speaking/singing into your smartphone task more fun than it was previously. Provided with an additional piece of kit so you can both listen to your headphones whilst you sing into your new favourite gadget and make a real name for yourself on the 8:20am commute.
Price: £9.99 | Buy Mini Karaoke Microphone
This piece of kit screams that you’re taking your singing pretty seriously, an all in one box of tricks that has the ability to turn you into a small business overnight maybe. There is an included microphone but the box has two inputs to utilise its impressive 100 watts of power to turn your performances into a half-decent sounding production, especially if you flick on the echo effect. Play your smart device based tunes streaming over Bluetooth and we’re thinking that it is always best to perform in a darkened space, this isn’t to save face if your singing isn’t up to scratch but this box delivers some very decent light display. The front grille gives a six colour pulsating music following display whilst the dome on the top fills a well above average sized room with lights all over the place. Take this wherever you may, a party should start very shortly.
Price: £249 | Buy Ion Party Rocker Max
Not winning any beauty contests this pair of machines do just what they say on their box, and for under thirty quid apiece we’re pretty impressed. The fluids you’ll need for a short performance are included, just load them up, plug in and you’re away. Spray fog and bubbles across your light displays for added effect, use either to create an added walk-on experience for your next performer, use them randomly at any time of day because you can.
Once only the preserve of Ibiza based DJ’s, super clubs and big budget productions all now available for your front room.
Stood on end it has the look of a two decision traffic light, laid flat it takes on a top-of-futuristic-cop-car appearance. Whichever way you prefer it looks menacing enough to create some wall movement and with 600W of power it can. Built-in lighting offers over sixty illumination options, pulsing along to the audio output. Connect your Karaoke app connected device over Bluetooth and connect up a compatible microphone and turn yourself up to 11.
Naysayers of the selfie stick please halt your hating, without such an accessory it is likely that this, the most head-slappingly brilliant invention of our time, would not have come to exist. Shove just about any smartphone in its vice-like grip (pre-loading a karaoke app previously) and put yourself right there in the picture. Gather groupies, backing singers and hit play. Words appear on-screen, you and others sing-along, the microphone in-hand empowering you to a stage like performance. Add filters for added ambience and, when done, share socially – or keep safely hidden, the call is yours.
If you're convinced that a career in mime might be more appropriate for your vocal skills this slick piece of karaoke kit might have you behind the mic once more. Until now reserved for higher grade studio kit the Singtrix offers up live vocal effects that enhance your audio emissions and can correct your pitch. There will indeed be those beyond assistance but even they can entertain with the harmonies that can create back-up singers at the touch of a button.
For a fiver each month these doyens of this superlative pastime offer access to over 8,000 tunes through their dedicated app. This blinged up version of their kit turns a laptop or iPad into a well equipped karaoke machine and the tunes you've access to aren't all from ages past but a decent selection of recent chart entries and a collection of classics for the crooners. For month one you get a voucher enabling free streaming of all their lyrics. Bond-villanesque microphone, mixer and all the cables complete the package.
Introducing the one-box sing-a-long solution, this could add an entirely new dimension to the world of busking we believe. Set-up and let punters sing to the gathered crowd and, for the pleasure of doing so they pay you - just a thought. This set-up includes a trio of discs, one for the kids and a pair containing more classic tunes. The on-screen lyrics are clear enough to read on the seven-inch LCD screen and there's a controller for the decent enough light-show build-in. We can't help think that if you sing too hard into it however it might well implode. Best in show for the one-box lot anyway look a lot like a shop front in Kabukicho.
If you opt for a unit that ships short of a microphone or you're keen on getting into the duet business this is the spare mic you are looking for. Beyond karaoke duties, which it performs well enough, the iRig is compatible with recent iOS and Android devices to deliver a full suite of vocal based operations. Conduct interviews with rich/famous and record direct to your smartphone, practice making important speeches to the masses or just settle for honing your vocals with the EZ voice app that enhances your own sounds. Available in enough hues to match your outfits, Monday to Friday.
Air instruments are entirely acceptable, both guitar and sax easily recognizable without an accessory, but far better with one right? There is a surprising array of air-filled instruments on offer, and once in hand, they seem to remove another layer of inhibition from anyone's performance. Totally inadequate and underwhelming for an end of performance stage smash up.
Price: £2 each | Buy Inflatable Instruments