Child Age 6-12
The recommendations for the Karaoke Beginner and Preschool Child are good ones for the Child of age 6 to 12, with just a change in the software.
There are Forever Hits CDGs and DVDs which promote reading and learning of traditional songs, as well as popular songs. Keep in mind that the Forever Hits software is being discontinued, so it will be a good idea to buy Forever Hits software while it is still available.
The newer models of the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone have the ability to turn a vocal track on or off, to help the singer learn the song. Models that DO NOT have this feature are the MM205 (Alvinizer) and MM212 (Teen), as well as the RS823 and RS827 Plug 'N' Sing karaoke guitars. For these earlier karaoke machines, you will need to select the vocal only, or instrumental only, track from controls on your DVD player.
If you purchase an All-In-One which plays CDGs but has no vocal cancel or vocal partner to cancel a vocal line, you will NOT have a vocal track on the CDG discs.
If you select a CDGM type of disc (CDG which has a multiplex vocal track), these are just like the DVD discs, in that they contain one track with vocals and one track without vocals. Like DVDs, The CDGM discs usually have a decreased number of songs because of the need to allocate space to a vocal track. You will be able to switch from vocal to non-vocal while singing, if you have a karaoke machine that plays multiplex. Vocal cancel will stop the vocals entirely; vocal partner will play the vocals automatically if you stop singing and cancel the vocals if you start singing.
Although Forever Hits discs are now in diminishing supply, the CDGM Forever Hits discs are still available.
More expensive All-In-One machines, such as the VocoPro GigStarProII and CDG6000RV contain the vocal cancel (eliminates vocal) and vocal partner (vocal stops when you sing, starts when you are not singing) features which play the multiplex track. Also, if you search for vocal cancel and vocal partner, you will see audio components you can add to your karaoke system (if you have RCA jacks for connections for those components) which will add vocal cancel and vocal partner, and play multiplex discs.
While it seems logical that the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone could somehow work for karaoke on a computer, this is not really advertised by the manufacturer, because it takes technical know-how to accomplish, since special drivers may be needed to play karaoke DVDs and see karaoke lyrics on the computer. However, the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone does have an adapter which enables it to connect to a video game console (not a computer). The box lists as compatible games the PS2, PS3, and XBox. This set-up basically turns the video game console into a DVD player, so that, along with the TV, the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone set-up has all the necessary components to work as a complete DVD karaoke machine.
Additional recommendations for ages 6-12 would be that, if the family has now had some exposure to karaoke machines, it could be time to increase the investment and consider the first karaoke machine a backup for a larger group activity.
One could move into a more expensive All-In-One karaoke machine which does not rely on the TV for a monitor. This would allow the karaoke experience to become very portable, moving it into the bedroom, a friend's home, or the car, without requiring additional devices.
In addition, the more expensive (but still affordable) All-In-One machines increase the things you can do with your karaoke machine.
The GM522 ($169) and GM527 ($189) are among the most popular family karaoke machines. They incorporate a 7" color monitor and can record your karaoke rendition to an SD card. The 522 comes with 300 MP3G songs, plays CDGs, and incorporates digital key control to adapt musical pitch to your vocal range. The 527 has the same capability, but adds DVD playing capability, audio and video outputs, and cables, for experimentation with video and slide shows.
The PP650 Peak Power All-In-One karaoke machine has a 5.5" monitor. It offers the more serious student of karaoke the ability to control CDG/CD software (forward, back, pause, repeat), and experiment with 5 speakers which can produce as much as 65 watts of power without distortion. While it has no built-in songs, it does play MP3s which are easily downloaded from the Internet. It has auto voice control for canceling out vocals of a CDG (or possibly MP3G), and it has balance control which allows one to turn down a stereo speaker to dim an ordinary CD's vocal track (roughly similar to the vocal cancel feature for machines which cancel vocal lines on multiplex recordings). This karaoke machine has no recording feature, and so you would need a separate recorder if that feature would be wanted.
These All-In-One machines with monitors differ from the no-monitor GP298S and GP398 in that they utilize the MP3G format (basically, the same format CDGs use), in addition to playing CDGs, and the GM527's also playing DVDs.
Finally, for the 6-12 age group, one should consider "kids' instruments." Emerson offers electric guitars which are small enough in size (30" to 32", although these sell out and there could be a wait to replenish stock) to be handled easily by pre-teens and smaller-sized older guitarists. For more information, please see our recommendations for instrumentalists.