From James Corden’s wildly popular carpool karaoke to the advent of 2020 Zoom sing-alongs, karaoke is having a moment. But large scale karaoke machines are now a thing of the past in the home, thanks to smartphone apps that can access thousands of songs, Bluetooth technology, and wireless microphones that allow it all to work beautifully together.
A great karaoke microphone can help liven up a party and keep it going late into the night: but being honest, the microphone itself can only get you so far. The best karaoke microphones make you the star of the show.
- Why Should I Get a Karaoke Microphone?
- Features to Consider in a Karaoke Microphone
- Top 9 Best Karaoke Microphones 2021
- 1. Best Overall Karaoke Microphone: VocoPro Pop-Up Oke Karaoke Microphone
- 2. Best Concert-Quality Karaoke Microphone: Shure SM58 Dynamic Vocal Microphone
- 3. Best Budget Karaoke Microphone: BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone
- 4. Best Smart Karaoke Microphone: VocoPro SmartTVOke Karaoke System
- 5. Best Premium Karaoke System: Mackie Performer Bundle With Mixer and Microphones
- 6. VocoPro TabletOke II Digital Karaoke Set
- 7. Best Professional Karaoke Microphone: Shure BLX288 Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System
- 8. Best Simple Karaoke Microphone: Singing Machine CPK545 Bluetooth Microphone for Cars
- 9. Best Toy Karaoke Microphone: Bonaok Bluetooth 4 in 1 Karaoke Wireless Microphone
- Karaoke Frequently Asked Questions
- Guide to Buying the Best Karaoke Microphones for 2021
- Sing It Together
Why Should I Get a Karaoke Microphone?
Ever since karaoke machines became small enough and economical enough for home use, they’ve gotten popular to the point where there are so many options out there it might be hard to choose between them.
But what’s the difference between a small karaoke microphone and a large karaoke machine? While karaoke machines include everything you need to sing along (except some type of display screen, typically), karaoke microphones are designed to be multi-purpose and plug into your phone. With a karaoke microphone, you can open a karaoke app and pull up your playlist without messing with a full-sized machine.
A smaller size, easier interface, and portable construction open up new possibilities for karaoke: karaoke at a park, at a limo ride, a party: every place becomes a new potential karaoke destination.
Finally, you can buy a normal vocal mic setup, completely distinct from a dedicated karaoke setup. Musicians might already have these in their equipment arsenal. While this will be the most durable option and provide the highest-quality audio, they’re expensive and will need a separate system to display karaoke lyrics.
Features to Consider in a Karaoke Microphone
When shopping for a karaoke microphone, you’re trading dollars for fun, so it’s important to think about what you’re getting out of your investment. While a cheap karaoke microphone might seem like a good deal. If it doesn’t end up getting used due to its flaws or lack of volume, it’s money thrown down the drain.
Wireless or Wired
Most karaoke mics are wireless now, relying on a Bluetooth connection to connect with your smartphone and even your karaoke app in some cases. Some microphones have a built-in MP3 player for downloading your own tunes.
Buy a karaoke microphone with poor sound quality and you’re not doing favors for anyone. Microphones with low audio fidelity make everyone sound worse than they really are and make things less fun.
The louder you can get a karaoke mic, the better. An inexpensive mic that barely produces sound isn’t worth it at all: half the fun is having amplification. Unfortunately, handheld mics are typically a bit smaller, but it’s still not too hard to get a hold of pocket-sized mics with powerful speakers.
With all of that in mind, let’s get to our picks for the best karaoke microphones available today.
Top 9 Best Karaoke Microphones 2021
1. Best Overall Karaoke Microphone: VocoPro Pop-Up Oke Karaoke Microphone
Why we like it:
Containing great amplification and features all in a small format, this karaoke microphone is perfect for small parties and events.
- Connection Type:Bluetooth
If you’re looking for an economical, compact karaoke microphone that will get you through just about any low-key, recreational karaoke night, this product is a fantastic pick. While it doesn’t have the great vocal quality of the Shure SM58 nor the multiple-singer capacity of the Mackie Performer Bundle, it’ll take care of most of your needs if you just want a fun night.
Music comes via an onboard MP3 player (you’ll have to load it up yourself); you can also connect to a tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth. With powerful speakers, seamless integration with mobile devices, and an easy-to-use, compact interface, this karaoke microphone has everything a full system has while being both compact and economical.
It’s set up with an LED light system for visuals and with easy-to-use, simple controls, making sure that it’s accessible for use by everyone from the youngest generation to the oldest. Keep in mind that it’s really more of a toy than a karaoke system, though, and that anyone looking to sing karaoke at a bigger event should look elsewhere.
- Easy to use for all generations from children to older adults
- Seamless integration with mobile devices
- LED light system provides visual interest
- Music comes via an onboard MP3 Player
- Compact microphone with smaller speakers
- Not powerful enough for larger karaoke events
2. Best Concert-Quality Karaoke Microphone: Shure SM58 Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Why we like it:
This microphone is one of the most popular entry-level microphones in the world, inexpensive, versatile, and, on top of it all, phenomenal for karaoke night.
- Connection Type:Wired
The Shure SM58 is possibly the number one recommended microphone for amateur musicians worldwide: at a price point that’s accessible for just about anyone, it’s simultaneously remarkably capable and versatile: and karaoke is just one of the many tricks it’s got up its sleeve.
As a cardioid dynamic vocal microphone, it’s not just for live vocalists but can be used for instrumentation and recording as well. That’s all and good, but for karaoke you’re really looking for a microphone for vocals. And this microphone is great for that: highlighting the nice parts of your voice while eliminating feedback and distortion.
But, as it’s a concert microphone first and karaoke microphone second, we’ve got to warn you about one thing: you’ll need to invest in an entire amplification system: that’s to say, this isn’t a portable karaoke microphone system but just a portion of what’s necessary for a complete karaoke setup.
While the advantage is sound quality, the fact that this microphone is quite capable and concert-ready, the disadvantage is complexity—if you’re not looking to fuss with it, pick something simpler like the Singing Machine CPK545 Bluetooth Microphone for Cars. But if you’re an existing musician with some existing equipment and you’re considering a backup mic for karaoke night, this could be a good pick.
- One of the best amateur microphones out there
- Capable and versatile with cardioid dynamic technology
- Eliminates feedback and distortion
- Great pick for musicians that already have an amplification system
- Setup isn’t karaoke specific
- Requires investment in a separate speaker system
- Separate from how lyrics are displayed
3. Best Budget Karaoke Microphone: BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone
Why we like it:
This viral product is clever, fun, and inexpensive, and that makes it great for casual karaoke sessions.
- Connection Type:Bluetooth
- Battery:Built-in Lithium-Ion
this brand isn’t immediately recognizable, what’s more important than their name is performance: it’s a viral product, with thousands of families and friend groups more than happy with the fun it brings them. Even more importantly, it’s equipped with the necessary tech to keep the singing going late into the night. Small, compact, and cheaply constructed, it won’t break the bank, but will certainly get the job done.
With a series of LED lights that are actually remarkably powerful for their size, every performance provides a mini light show as well. It can connect to Smart TVs, phone apps, and speaker systems using Bluetooth tech, but it also operates by itself. You’ll need to pick up an inexpensive (or free) karaoke app along the way, as there’s no screen or tunes included, but it’ll do the job it’s supposed to: let whoever’s holding it belt out their favorite song.
- Viral product will work great for any family or friend group
- Connects to Smart TVs, phone apps, and speaker systems
- Smart, compact, and inexpensive
- Gets the job done!
- Inexpensive plastic construction
- No built-in karaoke songs
4. Best Smart Karaoke Microphone: VocoPro SmartTVOke Karaoke System
Why we like it:
This karaoke microphone is meant to flawlessly connect to smart-TV karaoke apps, turning any living room into a karaoke zone.
- Connection Type:Digital Optical cable
This karaoke microphone setup has a specific niche it goes after: smart TVs. With the advent of systems like Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, and more, Now every television can be turned into a karaoke setup. TV apps like Red Karaoke and the Karaoke Channel can also be used in small-scale settings for karaoke. With this system, you can integrate the two included high-def mics to create a complete karaoke setup inexpensively.
And while this setup includes two fantastic, high-quality mics, you’ll lack a screen for displaying lyrics without a smart TV. When considering a sub-$50 mic like the Vocopro Pop Up Oke Karaoke Microphone, that feels acceptable, but when paying well over $100, you could start thinking about getting a full-sized karaoke machine for these prices.
Of course, you’ll still need separate amplification there, where this relies on your TV’s sound system. If you’ve invested in a soundbar, that’s great, but a native sound system will likely sound muffled.
- Simple way to get started with home karaoke
- Includes two high-quality microphones
- Taps into your TV’s sound system for amplification
- Apps like Red Karaoke and the Karaoke Channel make use intuitive and simple
- Requires a smart TV to operate effectively
- Only as good as your tv’s sound system
Why we like it:
This package doesn’t just contain a microphone for amateur users, but a whole setup for mixing, adjusting, and setting up entire karaoke performances.
- Connection Type:Wired/Wireless
While other models of karaoke microphones on this list are the musical equivalent of an easy bake oven, this is the equivalent of a full-sized kitchen. While it’ll run you about $300 to purchase, it’s not just a microphone, but a whole sound system.
The set includes a 6-channel mixer, two EM-89D microphones, and a set of MC-100 closed-back headphones to monitor sound output. You won’t have to shop around for accessories either, as the bundle also includes accessories like mic clips, headphone adapters, XLR cables, and carrying bags for mic transportation.
Unfortunately, though, unless you’re an audiophile, it’s probably overkill. While microphones like the Vocopro Pop Up Oke Karaoke Microphone can take care of all of your needs automatically, this system requires constant attention to work correctly, although you do have the advantage of simultaneous users. Just be prepared to learn a new setup and invest a little time and effort for a product range that’ll end up paying dividends for you.
- A level up from portable karaoke microphones
- Includes a six-channel mixer for mixing sounds
- Fully-equipped for any karaoke event
- Includes mic clips, headphone adapters, XLR cables, and more
- Pay a premium for audio quality that might be unnoticeable for some
- Requires serious attention from the operator
Why we like it:
This karaoke kit integrates seamlessly into whatever sound system you’re already using, making for flawlessly easy setup.
- Connection Type:Bluetooth
With this karaoke setup, VocoPro comes up with a new way to integrate karaoke into your existing sound system. With Bluetooth and 2.4GHz band operation, the microphones are designed to simply connect back into whatever speaker setup you’ve already got, no matter how impressive or simple it might already be. It’s a step up from Bluetooth wireless mics in terms of both price and quality.
All of this happens via the two included microphones that feed into an intelligent karaoke mixer that modulates and evens out sounds. If you’ve got two singers and one’s quite a bit quieter than the other, the mixer will help even out the sound. The visual display aids with modification and connection, laying out menus in a visually interesting and user-friendly way.
Set up, though, is a bit more involved, and you’ll need a karaoke app on your phone or tablet. If you want a TV-based system, however, consider the VocoPro SmartTVOke Karaoke System, which is made by the same manufacturer.
- Multiple wireless connection options
- Includes an auto-regulating karaoke mixer that automatically adjusts singing volumes
- Utilizes an intuitive, easy-to-navigate menu system
- You need another device or app for setup
- Pricier than single-mic Bluetooth options
7. Best Professional Karaoke Microphone: Shure BLX288 Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System
Why we like it:
Karaoke can be a lucrative side hustle, but it requires a bit of up-front investment: this package-set of two microphones is a great option to get set up with minimal fuss.
- Connection Type:Wireless
Looking for a way to get some high-quality audio going at a karaoke night? The Shure BLX288 Dual Channel System provides two separate audio transmitters for two singers, with high, crisp audio that’s not too sensitive to the unique singing characteristics of amateur singers. All audio is routed wireless via quick-scan frequency selection that can automatically pick an open frequency. Range isn’t a problem either, as the mics can broadcast up to 300 feet before facing issues.
Watch out for a couple of things: first, price tag. If you’re not prepared to make a bit of an investment, you should probably look for a more family-oriented, part-time microphone: the BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone is a great option.
But if you’re serious about starting a karaoke-based business, this is actually quite a deal. Not only is it cheaper than buying each component individually, but it also includes some fantastic extras: you get both microphones along with a wireless receiver and a few extras. Stands aren’t included, so make sure to include that cost in your budget.
- Karaoke set up with high-quality audio
- Includes a wireless receiver
- Mics can broadcast up to 300 feet
- Two separate audio transmitters for singers
- One of the most expensive options available
- Stands aren’t included
8. Best Simple Karaoke Microphone: Singing Machine CPK545 Bluetooth Microphone for Cars
Why we like it:
This karaoke microphone is portable, basic, cheap, and simple, which makes it great for those just looking for something to get the job done.
- Connection Type: Wireless
- Battery:Built-In Lithium-ion
With our final pick, we get back to basics. This inexpensive, light, wireless microphone is quite similar to mics like our top pick, the Vocopro Pop Up Oke Karaoke Microphone in that it’s more meant for impromptu karaoke sessions than karaoke events. Nonetheless, we appreciate it for what it is: something that can take the fun up a notch, something that’s perfect for a road trip with friends.
One of our favorite features about this microphone is its ability to simply and quickly connect with a car stereo. Whether you prefer using Bluetooth or you want to take advantage of the short-range FM-broadcasting capability, this microphone includes a built-in speaker but can amplify by orders of magnitude when hooked up properly.
It’s not without its faults, however. The FM transmitter is highly susceptible to interference. The built-in speaker is of quite low quality. And finally, the built-in cord is quite weak and breaks down quickly over time, meaning you’ll have to count on wireless capability.
- Transmits with FM or Bluetooth to car speakers
- Inexpensive and lightweight
- Great for road trips and casual events
- Cord can break easily
- FM transmitter is susceptible to interference
- Built-in speaker has low sound quality
9. Best Toy Karaoke Microphone: Bonaok Bluetooth 4 in 1 Karaoke Wireless Microphone
Why we like it:
This karaoke microphone is more of a toy than a microphone for a real karaoke night, but it’s still plenty of fun for younger singers.
- Connection Type:Bluetooth
- Battery:Built-in Lithium-Ion
While this direct-to-consumer karaoke microphone definitely doesn’t approach the quality of a professional system, it remains quite effective for small-scale gatherings and fun, casual events. It’s got buttons to adjust volume and to connect, as well as ‘play,’ ‘skip,’ and sound-modification functions.
It’s really more of a toy than a true karaoke system, available in lots of colors and loaded with LED lights. At this price point, though, we’re not expecting much, and it can certainly spice up a play date, birthday party, or just keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours—that said, if you want a “real” karaoke microphone there are some other affordable options. Keep in mind that you’ll have to connect it to a Bluetooth app to play tunes through the speaker.
- Toy-like microphone is great for keeping the kids occupied
- Effective for small-scale gatherings
- Plastic construction is toy-like
- Needs a separate app to function properly
Karaoke Frequently Asked Questions
While some karaoke apps modify pitch to help the singer sound better, most karaoke systems, even the less expensive ‘toy-style’ systems, don’t modify pitch. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) you’ll have to rely on your own signing ability to do well at karaoke.
Karaoke can be a bit tricky to set up, especially the first go around. Follow the same principles of IT support. Try turning both devices off then on again, make sure both devices have access to power, and make sure you’ve got the connection going to the right place. If these tricks don’t work, refer to the user manuals.
We won’t leave you without a couple popular karaoke songs to get started! Surveys say that the most popular karaoke songs buy the numbers are Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, Summer Nights from Grease, and Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. If you can’t sing too well, these standbys will get everyone else in the spot singing.
Guide to Buying the Best Karaoke Microphones for 2021
Family trips, sleepovers, parties, kickbacks, and Zoom meetings? No one is safe once a karaoke microphone comes onto the scene. While in the old days a karaoke setup had to be lugged around, now a karaoke microphone can help sing-alongs become more portable, flexible, and spontaneous.
But a karaoke session requires more than just amplification: it requires intuitive and easy transitions, good music quality, and an uncomplicated wireless connection system. All of that requires a bit of planning: keep in mind the following for a sing-along that ends up being fun for everyone.
As a karaoke microphone doesn’t include the typical karaoke machine setup, you’ll need to download a karaoke app or some of your favorite karaoke songs if you’re looking to get singing. Thankfully, there are many types of free and paid apps for every type of singer and every ability level. We’ve also included a bit of a guide for which apps are best for which types of users.
- Singing Machine Karaoke: Simple to use and with most classics available, this application is probably the best karaoke tool for beginners. It’s got an intuitive and easy-to-use interface that even less tech-savvy individuals can use (cough, cough, Grandma).
- Houseparty: This app is our favorite free karaoke app, although it’s not karaoke-specific, with hundreds of songs available absolutely free. It’s not fit for commercial use, but it’s great for on/offline karaoke groups.
- Smule: If you’re willing to shell out a bit of coin for karaoke, we’d strongly recommend this mobile phone and tablet app, loaded up with thousands of songs and featuring over 10,000,000 songs. It’s sure to have something for everybody.
- Karaoke Channel: If you’re looking for a karaoke app to work with your smart TV, the Karaoke Channel is your best bet. Compatible with Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs, and LG Smart TVs, the Karaoke Channel serves a large part of the existing smart TV market for a low price: just $2.99 a month.
You didn’t think we were gonna leave you without a few karaoke tips, did you? Even if you’re a karaoke novice with a less-than-stellar singing voice, you can still impress your friends and romantic partners with a little bit of confidence and some karaoke-cleverness. But first, a small disclaimer: sing Bohemian Rhapsody at your own risk:
- Confidence Is King: You don’t have to sing well to enjoy karaoke, you just have to make sure you’re enjoying yourself. Have fun, don’t take things too seriously, because no one else is.
- Pick a Classic: If everyone else is enjoying themselves, they’re a lot less likely to notice that the person holding the microphone might not be: the better known, the more catchy a song is, the higher probability is that everyone else is singing along and that you can coast.
- Know Your Target: Just because you’ve got the lyrics in front of you doesn’t mean you’re good to go. There are plenty of songs with mixed up bridges that’ll make things difficult when you originally thought you had made it through.
Starting a Karaoke Businesses
As more and more people look for ‘side hustle’ based income, part-time karaoke hosting has emerged as an attractive option for picking up some extra cash on weekends. While it requires a bit more of an investment than a simple plastic, app-based karaoke mic like the BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Microphone, your initial investment can last for years and pay you back many times over. We answer some of the most common karaoke-based business questions below.
What’s the Best Microphone for a Karaoke Business?
You’ll want something high-quality, durable, and preferably wireless for karaoke. You’ll also definitely want at least two mics, if not three for the karaoke. Two will be dedicated for performers, one will be dedicated to you (or the host, if you hire them separately).
Our pick is the Shure BLX288 Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System that comes with two mics and a receiver. You can also pick up a few of the Shure SM58 Dynamic Vocal Microphone if you’re on a budget.
How Much Can I Get Paid for Hosting Karaoke?
While it’s hard to pick up karaoke gigs full time, if you’d like to do it a couple of nights a week and make some side money, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with a decent singing voice and a sociable personality. Private gigs start at about $50 an hour, and in big cities desirable karaoke DJs can make about $250-$300 a night. At a restaurant or bar, a DJ can make $150 a night plus tips.
How Do I Get Started With Karaoke?
Most karaoke professionals these days recommend a strong online presence, so start with a website as well as Instagram and Facebook pages. Remember that bars and restaurants will pay based on how many people you can draw in, so the bigger your following, the more you’ll get paid.
After that’s set up, call around to your local bars and ask for them to give you a chance. See if you can book weekly gigs. Build a following, create a fun environment, and the rest will follow.
Are There Legal Concerns With Intellectual Property and Karaoke?
Many beginning karaoke hosts are worried about the legal implications and copyright/intellectual property concerns related to hosting karaoke. While some paid karaoke hosts stretch the rules, if you’ve got your ducks in order, you’ll have no trouble.
Paid karaoke DJs/hosts typically use a format called CDG to stay on the right side of the law. This music format is sold specifically to people and businesses that make money off of paid karaoke. Those who pay for CDG copies of music can play karaoke based on the license agreement associated with this format, which allows revenue to go back to the original artists and composers. CDGs are similar in price to normal CDs.
Sing It Together
While karaoke is nerve-wracking for some, after getting a feel for it and picking out your few favorite songs, it turns into something that can take a small gathering into the premier social event of the year.
If you purchase the right equipment and head into your night with the right attitude, karaoke can take you from a regular person and turn you into a temporary pop superstar, or maybe even a legend.