Akai KS808 Karaoke Machine Review

AKAI KS-808 Professional Karaoke System

Product Name: Akai KS808 CD+G Karaoke System
Brand: Akai Karaoke
Model: KS808
Weight: 75 pounds
Dimensions: D 32″ W 20.8″ H 18.8″
Color: Black
Source: Amazon.com

Think about when you buy a musical instrument, like a guitar. If you play guitar a lot, then you’re going to want to get one that’s a little bit more expensive. Sure, it’ll cost you more money, but the quality that comes with the higher price point is very noticeable.

The same concept applies for karaoke machines. If you sing a lot, then you’re going to want a real unit with the crispest audio possible. Not only will it last for longer, but each and every time you sing, you’ll have a better time.

The Akai KS808 is for those who like to sing a lot.

Looks like a professional unit

Looks can make or break your mood when it comes to singing. And mood is reflected in your voice – just like regular talking, it’s very clear if you’re in a good mood when you’re singing. Why do you think professional singers are always smiling on stage?

The Akai KS808 looks like a karaoke machine that you’d find in a legitimate karaoke bar. It’s not just a microphone stand and some controls – it’s an entire unit. Feeling like you’re singing professionally can turn your mood from neutral to ecstatic, which naturally improves your singing.

Some imagery to get you excited

The entire finish is a glossy black. The volume dial is illuminated in a deep blue, located in the dead center of the unit. The volume dial is pretty large, and according to one review the machine can get very, very loud.

Up top, you have a large speaker, and right below it you have the screen. The screen is seven inches, which is much larger than comparable units. A bigger screen means that you won’t be squinting to see the lyrics, and more can be displayed at once so you’re not stumbling over the words.

Below, you have a plethora of audio and voice controls. You can adjust your voice so that it sounds different from your usual voice – all musicians do this. It’s why seeing a band live is so much different from listening to their studio album. (To see if our words match what it actually looks like, view the images here.)

Is it worth the price?

The Akai KS808 will run you just under $200. You can get karaoke systems that cost less than that, and you can get karaoke systems that cost more than that.
We’ve tested out this system and we thought it had exceptional value for the price. The problem with this price range is that it’s not quite professional grade, but at the same time, it’s a lot more expensive than most “personal” machines. The Akai KS808 surprised us, especially in terms of volume – this thing can get loud! It’s perfect for parties. (Or, you know, just singing at the top of your lungs any time you want.)

Other reviewers agree with us on both of these points. Akai clearly put a lot of focus on the volume of this unit, and the good part is that the sound quality isn’t diminished with a louder setting. Some units will make your voice and music sound crackly past a certain point. This one does not.

What this unit has that others lack

Cheaper karaoke systems allow you to plug in your own music and sing, but they don’t offer any sort of recording function. The Akai KS808 not only offers a recording function, but it also offers a playback function. This means that you can sing, see how you sounded, and if you like it, record it to a USB stick in .mp3 format.

This is great for aspiring musicians who lack the funds to go to a professional recording studio. We found that the audio produced by the playback was quite close to studio quality. If you have the money, get yourself into a studio, but this is a fantastic start.

Remember how we said the speakers got really loud? The Akai KS808 doesn’t discriminate which tracks it will play back. You don’t even have to sing – the system can just double as plain speakers. Because of how loud it gets, purchasing this will save you the hassle of getting an additional speaker system for that room.

Click here to read the reviews that talk about its volume

The downsides of the unit

If you’re looking for a beast of a karaoke system, then this thing really has no downsides that we can see. Obviously, it’s a personal system – we tested it in a room that’s roughly 15×15. If you’re trying to project sound over a much larger room, then you may have to go with a larger (and more expensive) unit.

That’s pretty much a given, though. For regular people (not businesses), this unit is perfect. The only “downside” we can think of is that it’s right around $200. Keep in mind the guitar example that we went over at the start of this post – you want to pay for quality so that you enjoy using it each and every time.

Amazon Warning

Most of the reviews on Amazon are five stars. The negative reviews (anything under five stars) come from the shipping.

At the time of writing this, one customer has complained that the Akai KS808 came with missing parts, and two have complained about the shipping speed.

As the machine is so popular, there are over 60 sellers on Amazon pushing it. That means that you can carefully select the vendor from whom you purchase it– don’t just go with the cheapest price. The price difference in each vendor is a whopping $10 to $20, and some will offer faster shipping included in that price. (We haven’t been able to pinpoint who shipped the package with missing parts, but it looks like it was a one-time mistake. Don’t worry about it too much.)

Should I buy this system?

As this doesn’t really fall under the category of “impulse purchase”, we recommend that you carefully consider if you need a system of this quality. If you just sing every once in a while, then you might be able to get by with a cheaper system. It’s like if you only mess around with your guitar every once in a while, then you probably don’t need one that’s worth thousands.

If you sing a lot, though, consider this system. For its price, you can’t beat it. It’s like if you’re trying to be the next Led Zeppelin, you’re not going to use a guitar that you find at a garage sale. (Well, you might start like that – plenty of rock legends have – but if you have the money, it’s always better to go with a quality one.)

Look through the reviews, check out the detailed pictures, and make a decision. The good news is that most sellers offer free shipping – the box that comes is 75 pounds, so if shipping weren’t included, it’d cost an arm and a leg. Good luck!

Reviewed by
Updated:October 10, 2014.


Price: Check On Amazon