For beginning karaoke singers, we always think it is best to start with an inexpensive karaoke machine. You can start to become familiar with features, and hone in on what you like.
The most inexpensive products at GoKaraokeMachine.com are the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphones (under $40). However, it is well to remember that these DVD microphones do need batteries (an ongoing cost) and need to connect to a home TV and DVD player for operation.
While the DVD microphone is designed to be unobtrusive and suitable for use by a child in a small TV room, you should note that a larger sound is possible with this microphone if you hook it up to a good amplifier or stereophonic sound system.
If you are buying for a child to use without adult supervision in a small room, you will need a DVD player a child could use, and possibly an extra TV. But a child can use this karaoke machine out of the box and be unobtrusive in the TV room, and enjoy parental supervision in using the family DVD player.
The next least expensive karaoke machines for home use are the all-in-one Emerson karaoke machines. The two least expensive of these are made less expensive by omitting the monitor, and relying on your existing TV.
To identify the least expensive karaoke machines, go to the Plug 'N' Sing and All-In-One categories and select the "Price" column to sort by price.
Our caveats on selecting an All-In-One karaoke machine would be to make sure you know whether the All-In-One has a monitor or requires your TV for lyrics display (All-In-One refers to audio only); and also, make sure you identify whether you will need a portable or non-portable All-In-One karaoke machine.
As with the DVD microphone, All-In-One karaoke machines may generally be connected to better audio components (such as a stereo system or additional microphone), so you really can start as cheaply as possible and borrow equipment to experiment with upgrades. But if you can afford a little more than the basics, don't overlook evaluating by benefits (for example, see the key changer of Model DT558 which will accommodate different vocal ranges; and note that the DT558 plays both DVDs and CDGs).
The more affordable All-In-One karaoke machines play CDGs (CD plus Graphics), or both CDGs and DVDs. These machines will play ordinary CDs but will have no lyrics display. For a wider range of music, check out play-along sheet music with CDs at www.MusicStudioStore.com. Many such CDs are of the type which contain tracks both with and without vocals or instrumental solos.
For ordinary CDs without sheet music, lyrics may be downloaded from the internet.
The more expensive All-In-One karaoke machines will play a wider variety of software types (CDG, DVD, DivX, MP3, MP4), and will contain more karaoke functions.
Karaoke CDs, Karaoke DVDs, Music for Karaoke Beginners
Perhaps you want to compare karaoke media types.
You will already know that MP3 is the format for downloading songs from the web, and MP4 is the format for downloading songs with a lyric file attached.
DivX is a new format that compresses files well so that you may have a larger selection stored efficiently on your karaoke machine without having a large collection of different karaoke discs.
If you already have a disc collection, or prefer discs or elect the minimal investment of discs versus the greater cost of purchasing a collection, you will be evaluating the difference in disc types.
Generally, there are 4 types of karaoke discs on this website: CDG, CDGM, CDG+PC and DVD:
- CDG has no Lead vocals on the disc.
- CDGM will have 2 versions of the same songs: one with lead vocals, one without lead vocals.
- CDG+PC (Hybrid CDG) will play on both your DVD (without lyrics) or CDG (with lyrics) player and your computer. If for some reason your PC does not play these discs, you may need to download an updated driver from the web for your DVD or CD drive.
- DVD discs may or may not have lead vocals. It depends on the manufacturer.
- CDG (no lead vocals)/CDGM (select to hear or stop vocals) discs will play in most CD and DVD players, but you will not be able to see lyrics on your TV screen if using the DVD player. To see lyrics, you must have a CDG Karaoke machine.
- Some DVD players may be karaoke compatible for CDG format, and will play CDG discs. Most DVD players purchased through normal retail are not karaoke compatible for CDG format, although they play the DVD format with full karaoke function. Check your manual before purchasing discs.
- DVD Karaoke discs will not play in a CDG Karaoke machine. They will however play in a karaoke DVD player or normal household DVD player.