When planning a party, whether it is a small gathering or a massive birthday shebang, one of the greatest goals is creating memories. Although this can be done in numerous ways, one of the greatest ways is to share something exciting and/or embarrassing among all guests. One of the most effective methods of bonding over excitement and embarrassment is singing karaoke. Karaoke, while fun and entertaining, also provides guests with a chance to be open and vulnerable, creating a bond that stretches between all ages and genders.
Karaoke USA’s machine has a somewhat large, color screen, and is intended to be used by beginners and karaoke pros alike. The device features a myriad of ways to enjoy karaoke, ranging from the CD the unit comes equipped with, as well as offering a CD/DVD slot, a space to plug in computers, gaming systems, and other electronic devices and an MP3 cradle, providing customers with extreme versatility in use.
The unit may also be used in conjunction with an external television, and may be used to record. Equipped with two microphones, it is ideal for karaoke in a group, rather than just solo performances. Although it is sharp in appearance, its color screen also appeals to younger ages, making it an excellent machine for children and adults alike.
Customers who purchased this unit ran quite a wide range in age and background, from children of 7, to empty nesters in their 50s. Most found the machine an excellent purchase for the use and price, providing superior sound quality and versatility. Users were pleased with the machine’s ability to connect to televisions and computers, and were also impressed with the unit’s ability to function well alongside burned CDs and DVDs. The majority of users found it most effective used in family/friend gatherings, making an excellent addition to any party.
While the positive reviews far outweigh the bad, some users did experience difficulty with this particular machine. The most common complaint came from the machine’s tendency to produce a static-filled or buzzing noise when not in use. Though the buzzing did not typically extend into the sound while in use, some customers felt this reflected poor sound quality. Other users found that the device came equipped with too few songs, and were frustrated by the need to purchase CDs elsewhere if more modern music was desired. Finally, a handful of users found that the unit lasted less than a year before breaking, necessitating the purchase of a new unit or extensive repairs.
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Memorex MKS-SS2 SingStand 2
Memorex’s SingStand is a unique karaoke machine, in that it is primarily a mike stand, rather than a large box with a screen. The stand may be hooked up to additional microphones, and may be connected to most electronic devices ranging from TVs and computers to MP3 players. MP3 players are provided with a cradle to facilitate easier use.
The stand is also unique in that it offers customers the option of plugging instruments into the device for the sake of accompaniment. The base of the device holds high-quality speakers and stands at 12 inches wide, offering a stable space for the microphone. Due to the nature and height of the stand, it is best used with teenagers and adults.
Memorex’s SingStand positive reviews heavily, heavily outweigh the negative, suggesting this device is an excellent karaoke medium. Most customers used MP3 devices or tablets with this particular machine, as tablets allow individuals to plug YouTube videos into the stand, providing free music and visuals for karaoke. Customers were also pleased with the stand’s ability to work alongside musical instruments and two microphones, potentially making it an experience for an entire crew of musicians, rather than just singers. Customers also expressed satisfaction with the station’s portability and sleek design.
Customers who experienced difficulty with the system found an overabundance of static and feedback while in use, and many also found that the system began experiencing wire troubles soon after purchasing. Some were able to contact customer service for a replacement, but others were unable to reach Memorex for replacement, and simply had to take the cost or purchase a replacement.
ElectroHome Portable Karaoke Machine
Electrohome is a small, portable karaoke machine, boasting a 3.5” screen and capability with MP3 players and other electronic devices. Equipped with a single microphone, the machine is best used on-the-fly, rather than functioning as a large, stationary unit. Like the preceding units, ElectroHome’s system comes equipped with an equalizer, making even the shakiest singer sound crisp and clear. This makes it particularly useful for parties with teenagers, as it removes the element of fear from getting up and singing, and gives uncertain singers confidence.
Once more, the good overpowers the bad here. Most customers found the device’s small makeup and extreme portability definite boons, and regarded this little machine as a welcome addition to any party or small gathering. Most users found this particular unit most helpful and suitable for children, rather than adults; it was typically purchased as a gift for children or grandchildren, and suited the needs of children quite well. Parents expressed pleasure at the ease of storage accompanying the device, as well as the versatility; it can be hooked up to external electronic devices and can be used with an additional microphone.
While most reviews were pleased with the product’s performance overall, some were less enthusiastic. The greatest number of disappointed comments came in reference to the device’s failure to work upon delivery. Although not all machines are defective, as evidenced by the high number of positive reviews, many devices did not function from day one, and most customers were unable to get into contact with the company for a replacement or to process a return.
The Singing Machine
A larger, flashier aesthetic makes up The Singing Machine, making it an ideal karaoke machine for children or adults with flashier tastes. The display is characterized by a series of colorful lights, providing users with a fun karaoke experience in addition to a pleasing overall aesthetic. Like the machines described above, The Singing Machine comes equipped with two microphone jacks—though each of these is controlled by a separate volume knob, allowing true customization in performance. In addition to having a CD port, the device may be hooked up to external video and audio controls, and does not have a built-in screen for easy use. Set at a reasonable price point, this particular unit is likely to work well for people unwilling to break the bank, yet looking for a fun, easy-to-use system.
Many customers were pleased with the quality of the machine for its price. Most found the built-in lights an unexpected joy, and found the system itself to be of a higher quality than one might expect, including the speaker system and audio and video hook-up capabilities. As with the previous machine, the majority of purchases were made with children in mind, perhaps due to the colorful nature of the machine. Most users found that the machine maintained its usability for months upon months, making it an excellent gift or investment.
Some individuals found the system did not meet their needs, primarily due to the machine’s tendency to break quickly, negating the comments of numerous users who experienced months of acceptable use. While for some individuals this was not an issue, many consumers complained about the company’s return policy, as it requires customers to pay for return shipping and handling for approximately half the price of the unit itself.
This is ElectroHome’s larger karaoke machine. Although it does not have a screen, it is equipped with a CD player, high-quality output speaker, ports for various electronic devices (including smartphones and MP3 players), two microphone jacks, and a built-in voice coach that will back users up if they falter or lose strength while singing. For this reason, and because the unit is intended to be hooked up to a television, ElectroHome’s EAKAR300 model is perhaps more adult-friendly than their portable machine.
This particular model has been used by customers for both children and adults, and is considered by most customers to be simple in design and easy to use. Many users were impressed by the built-in speaker’s quality and tone, and enjoyed the overall sleek appearance of the unit, as it made a welcome addition to traditional electronic equipment and was not bulky, necessitating constant storage. Customers were also pleased with the device’s voice coach function, as it encouraged shy or timid individuals to take a swing at karaoke—individuals who might otherwise refrain. Finally, customers were pleased with the overall quality of the device, citing it as an excellent machine for its price range.
Although most users were pleased with ElectroHome’s karaoke offering, some individuals found that the unit’s sound was far lower than expected, and were frustrated by the need to connect the device to external speakers or a television. Apart from this inconvenience, however, most users did not report any other difficulties, apart from the odd faulty unit unable to play CDs. Of those who were disappointed with the unit, most kept it and hooked it up to external speakers, while only a handful sought out a replacement or refund.
The Grand Finale: Which to Purchase?
There are several things that should be taken into account when considering a karaoke purchase:
- The age group of the intended audience.
- The status of the intended audience (pro, avid musician, hobbyist, amateur, etc.)
- The intent of the machine.
- The budget of the purchaser.
Each of these will play a significant role in determining which machine is best. Children are likely to be most besotted by The Singing Machine, as it provides users with both a karaoke medium, and a clean, bright, and flashy set-up, providing a karaoke machine and light show in one. Adults and children are more likely to benefit from ElectroHome’s larger model (the EAKAR300), as it provides a laid-back, easy approach to karaoke with its voice coach feature. Through this feature, users are encouraged to engage in karaoke regardless of talent or experience level, making it a fun addition to any home or party. More serious karaoke users, however, are likely to benefit most from the Memorex SingStand; this particular unit is the only one able to accommodate musical instruments for accompaniment, and will add an entirely new dimension to an avid karaoke user’s performance.