These days, all we see are devices. A smartphone here. A tablet there. Gone are the days where a boy would invite his friends over to play video games on split screen – now, everything is online.
That’s not to say that technological advances are bad, but the human aspect is missing from a lot of them. Social media dominates our culture, and human to human interactions are quickly fading away.
One thing that’s advanced technologically without losing the human touch? Karaoke machines for kids.
We’re well aware that different parents will have different budgets for a karaoke machine. Luckily, there are models that range from around $20 all of the way up to $500.
The difference that comes with the varied pricing is mainly sound quality and number of features.
A $500 machine is one that you’d see at a karaoke bar – this is probably overkill if you’re just getting it for your kid.
A machine in the $100 to $150 range is plenty. You’ll get all of the features, including two microphones, a screen, incredible speakers, and all of the audio controls that you can imagine. Once you get this expensive, though, the machines usually aren’t portable.
In the $70 to $100 range, you’ll be able to get either a really good portable system or a decent non-portable one. Kids usually don’t care about sound quality that much – if they’re just curious about singing, then this is the range you want to be in.
For $20 to $70, you’ll get a low end non-portable system or a basic portable one. This is a good range to be in if it’s an impulse purchase or you think your kid will break it. (Karaoke machines for kids are built to be strong, but even the sturdiest ones can break from a kid’s hand. They’re notoriously careless.)
Click here to view a review of our favorite kids’ karaoke system in different range.
Karaoke is good, old fashioned fun
There’s nothing better than having your child do something productive that he or she loves. Kids love to sing – in fact, singing has been shown to improve the mental health of adolescents. It’s a great way to relieve stress, and all kids have that inherent desire to sing and shout that we lose as we age.
Karaoke takes singing to a whole new level. Without a karaoke machine, your kid will be stuck singing into thin air. Even if you have a microphone, your kid will have to look up the lyrics and meticulously try to follow along, which can be hard for a child.
Karaoke machines take all of this guesswork out, and they turn singing into a real activity. Most allow your kid to load up his favorite songs to the machine – you can even put some of your music on and see if they like it! (They probably won’t – kids tend to hate our generation of music.)
Parents: any of these sound like you?
See what our visitors are saying about their new karaoke machines!
Megan R. from New York, New York
My best Nanny, karaoke machine for kids
In NY, there’s not a whole lot that the kids can do on their own after dark. Sometimes, when I’m working late, I feel terrible leaving them at home with nothing to do except go on the internet or watch TV.
Karaoke was a godsend – the neighbours don’t like it a whole lot, but we have a strict “No Singing After 8 PM” rule in the house. When I go to work, I feel like they’re going to be entertained and advancing at the same time. It’s the best feeling in the world to come home and listen to them brag about what they sang!
Don R. from Worchester,MA
Lucky I bought a Karaoke Machine
I’m lucky enough to have a well-paying job and be able to put my family up in a fairly large house. I work from home, so I’m there during the day all of the time. This includes weekends. And my wife works on the weekends at her own job, so I’m at home with the kids.
The kids are home on the weekends and they’re always looking to play. Nothing feels worse than asking having to turn your kid down because you have to work. Ever since I bought a karaoke machine, they’ve been obsessed with it. It’s great. I’m not a big singer myself, so they don’t expect me to participate – we do other things once the work is done. (Luckily, they took after their mother with the pipes!)
Natalie L. from Burlington,VT
Have you ever been around a child who has just discovered singing… and does it NON-STOP?
I love my kids to death, but the constant, unexpected bellowing can startle me to the point where I feel like I’m having a heart attack. I don’t want them to stop singing… I just want them to do it in a more controlled fashion.
That’s why I bought a karaoke machine for kids. They love it, and I love that they love it. They get all of the singing out of their system by doing karaoke for a half hour per day. I’ll have to say, they’re really improving – my youngest, Samantha, wants to take voice lessons!
Roshanda B. from Boston,MA
I’ll admit that singing karaoke has always been a guilty pleasure of mine.
When I was younger I’d always go out to karaoke bars. Now that I’m older, married, and have two kids, I find myself being able to do that less and less.
Getting a karaoke machine for kids was the perfect solution. First thing’s first: my kids adore the system. I splurged and got one that was fairly expensive, but I consider it a machine for entertainment just like a video game system would be. Having a karaoke system in the house means that if no one is home, I can use it too! The machine I bought was technically marked for kids, but I load my own music onto it and it’s like I’m at a karaoke bar… minus the booze.
Twill A. from Malden,NJ
I’m a single dad… sometimes finding things for my two girls to do is a challenge.
I grew up with GI Joe and Saturday morning cartoons… those things aren’t really aligned with their interests.
My oldest, Emily, said she wanted “something amazing” for her birthday, but she wasn’t sure what that “something amazing” was. So I had to do some research. I went to Best Buy and they recommended a karaoke system for kids… the problem was that each one on display was well over $100.
So I found this site and went with a cheaper model. It was around $50… the amount that my girls use it (especially Emily) is astounding. Giving gifts to kids is usually hit or miss… they love it, or they hate it. They loved the karaoke machine – as I write this, they’re singing Taylor Swift.
What can you do with a karaoke machine?
Family karaoke night.
Getting bored of the typical popcorn and movie? Switch it up with a night of karaoke.
Kids having sleepovers are notoriously loud and rowdy – may as well let them go all out. Grab a machine and watch as your kid and his or her friends have fun singing their favorite songs. It can be a good break from the typical “look what I’m doing on the laptop” sleepover. It might even remind you of your childhood.
It’ll tire them out so they don’t stay up all night, too.
Pump up a party.
Hey, just because the karaoke machine is made for kids doesn’t mean that adults can’t use it, too. As long as you have the option to input your own songs, create a playlist that the adults at your party will like and start singing.
Karaoke is one of those activities where it’s tough to get it going, but once you do, everyone gets really into it. Volunteer to go first, or get a second microphone and get some duets going. Karaoke has the innate ability to turn a normal house party into a memorable one!
What type of machine should you get?
There are two schools of thought around karaoke machines – portable systems and non-portable systems.
Portable systems are good if you want a karaoke machine, but you don’t want to have it locked into one place. Not only does this allow your kid to bring it wherever he goes – in the car, to a friend’s house, etc. – but it allows him or her to use it in different rooms throughout the house. (If you get a non-portable one and set it up in the living room, then your kid will only have the option of using it when you aren’t in the living room. Get it?)
Non-portable systems do have their benefits, though. For one, they’re usually of a higher quality – it’s like buying an actual Playstation over a PSP. Also, non-portable machines can become centerpieces. The more you spend, the more aesthetic they look, and depending on the current décor of wherever you plan to put it, it can fit right in.
“But I’m not good at singing!”
The great thing about karaoke is no one expects you to hit play and bellow out a masterpiece. Think the average karaoke singer – he’s probably not too skilled!
When it comes to singing, practice makes perfect. Believe it or not, our vocal chords are basically muscles – the more you use them, the stronger they’ll get, and the easier you’ll be able to control them.
Recommend your kid tries these three things if he wants to get better at singing with karaoke.
Sing recognizable songs
It’s simple – the more we listen to a certain song, the easier it is to sing. Not only that, but singing songs that you recognize makes karaoke a whole lot more fun. Imagine that instead of singing, you were playing piano. There’s nothing wrong with playing the classics from Beethoven, but you’re probably going to want to learn some songs that you recognize, too. Once you can sing one of your favorite songs with (moderate) success, you’ll be a lot more likely to continue singing.
Practice one song over and over
Practice makes perfect. Taking the example of piano again, does a good piano player play a song once then jump to the next one? Not really – he practices it over and over again until his fingers can fluently execute each and every note with precision. The same concept applies to singing. If you sing one song over and over again, you’ll be able to hit each note on point without even trying.
Perform, don’t just sing
Karaoke for kids is an activity, not just something to do. Grab a wireless microphone and encourage your kid to really get into it. The more fun he’s having, the better he’ll sing.
If your kid is cool with it, watch him perform a song. The addition of an audience can often bring out hidden talents.
How to choose a brand
To buy or not to buy?
Whenever it comes to buying new toys for our kids, there’s one thing to keep in mind: the ratio.
What’s “the ratio”? We like to imagine that for everything you purchase, there’s a certain amount of fun that the kid will have with the item. Karaoke machines don’t cost much and can provide hours upon hours of entertainment – for a parent, it’s an easy choice to make.
Make sure that you get one that’s within your budget, and make sure you get one that suits your kid. For example, if your kid is into war movies and war video games, then he probably won’t be too interested in the Hello Kitty version. On the other hand, if your kid is into Barbie and Disney, then the Hello Kitty system might be the perfect idea to get her going.
Overall, though, a karaoke system is a great investment. Instead of continuing the technology trend that alienates children from actual social interaction, karaoke brings people together for good old fashioned fun. You can take the backseat and just watch your children perform, or you can join in on the fun and satisfy that guilty pleasure.
Start browsing around the site for reviews on individual units and brands. Once you find one that you like, go for it – karaoke never gets old!