Best Karaoke Machine for under $100

Best Karaoke MachineThe other day I got a call from a cousin of mine. He wanted to ask me some information and buying tips as he was looking for a nice home karaoke machine.

He had researched a bit here and there and mostly through online stores. His budget was under $100 and he mainly had found a couple of popular best sellers. The issue is, in order to make a sound decision, you really need to spend time and understand all the details and features that each product would have to offer. This is not an easy task for a busy and impatient guy like him.

To his credit though, he had a good starting point. In general, it is a good sign when a product becomes the best seller in a category on the Amazon site. You need to realize that writing a review takes time and effort and people don’t write reviews just for the sake of it. They would like to share their experience when using the product and after having made the purchase.

That’s why I always recommend taking reviews seriously but at the same time, don’t assume all of them would apply to you and your needs in the same way. In other words, you need to apply your own filter when considering karaoke machine reviews or any other product review in general.

Anyways, long story short, he had identified the following 2 best sellers:

Prices are close (both under $100) and they have many features in common but also some important differences to consider. I answered his questions and gave him my recommendations. Then I figured these are questions that most consumers would have when purchasing a Karaoke Machine. I decided then to sit down and write what I think about these 2 home karaoke machines and provide you all with a detailed comparison and some recommendations. Hopefully after reading this post, you will have a better idea to make an informed decision and see if anyone of these 2 systems would be the best karaoke machine for your need.

Overview of The Singing Machine SML-385W

This is an affordable home karaoke machine for kids. It’s easy to use, portable with no need for any initial setup. It comes with a wired Karaoke microphone but there is possibility of using a second one. Just take it out of the box, plug it and play. There is no built-in screen. However, the machine can be connected to your TV. This is a nice feature to enable the singer follow the lyrics on a large screen.

To make your karaoke parties more fun, this portable karaoke machine comes also with disco lights. Note that this system is not iPod, MP3 or smart device compatible but comes with a CDG player. It also offers generic voice and sound controls such as Echo control, Balance control and Pitch control. All in all, this is a simple karaoke machine for home that offers various features at a great price. It is very kids friendly and at the same time well suited for teenagers and adults when used at home but not in large spaces where more sound power is needed. Read my detailed Singing Machine SML-385W review to learn more details about this karaoke machine.

Overview of Memorex MKS-SS2 SingStand2

The Memorex SingStand 2 is also a home karaoke machine well suited for smaller venues and not big outdoor parties. The system is iPod compatible and can be connected to various smart devices such as iPhone, tablets and MP3 players. It also comes with a built-in cradle to secure safely your smart device in place while you are singing along with the lyrics on your device screen.

Note that this system cannot connect to your TV. Although this karaoke machine can easily be used by younger kids, its slick design is more appealing to teenagers and adults. The voice control features offered are AVC and Echo control. One of the nice features that this system has is an input jack to connect to a musical instrument. This is a unique feature that cannot be found in most home karaoke machines.

Main differences between the two Karaoke Machines

As you may have noted from previous sections, one of the main differences between these two karaoke systems is compatibility with smart devices such as iPod and tablets. The Memorex karaoke machine can hook up to smart devices to stream your own playlists but the Singing Machine Karaoke system does not offer such a feature. However, note that the Singing Machine SML-385W comes with a built-in, top loading CDG player. This is not the case for the Memorex karaoke machine although there is an input jack that makes the connection to a separate CDG player possible. In other words, if you are interested in playing CDG’s with the Memorex system, the player must be provided or purchased separately.

Besr karaoke machineThe other main feature to mention here is the possibility of connecting to a TV. The Memorex system does not provide such feature while with the Singing Machine Karaoke system  can be connected to your TV to benefit from a large screen while singing and following the lyrics.

The Memorex system comes with a unique feature. It allows the user to connect a musical instrument such as a guitar to the machine and play along while singing. This feature is non-existent in neither the SML385W nor most similar home karaoke machines.

On the other hand, disco light is a feature that comes with the Singing Machine Karaoke system and is not offered by the Memorex machine. This is a feature which is most appealing to younger kids. It makes their parties more colorful and fun.

One more thing worth mentioning here is the output power. The Singing Machine Karaoke system comes with speakers with 5 watts output power compared with that of the Memorex Karaoke machine which is 3.5 watts. These output power levels are mostly good for indoor use.  No need to mention that, the bigger the power, the larger the area that can be covered by the karaoke speakers.

Summary

If you are looking for an affordable, functional and portable Karaoke machine that offers a decent number of essential features for under $100, you need to have both these products on your short list.

The fact that they are both best sellers is an indication of both Machines being great buys. For those really tight in budget, especially around Christmas time or holiday seasons, the Singing Machine Karaoke system would possibly be a best choice as you could save few dollars in this case.

To those who are into using smart devices, don’t want to bother with CDG players and are happy to play their own customized playlists, I would recommend you go with the Singing Machine Karaoke System.

On the other hand, if hooking up to TV is a big deal for you as you may have busier parties with more people, the choice is clear: the Memorex karaoke machine would be the best option. This will allow more people around the main performers to sing along with lyrics shown on a large screen, viewable by everybody.

4 thoughts on “Best Karaoke Machine for under $100”

  1. your review is inconsistent. At one point you say the Memorex cannot connect to the TV and then in the next paragragh you say it can. You do the same with the other machine as well. So, which one do you have wrong?

    1. Dear Momx5,

      Thank you for your comment and my apologies for the typo. Great catch 🙂

      Just to make it clear: you cannot connect the Memorex system mentioned in the post to TV but the Singing Machine can be hooked up to your TV. Please let me know if I can be of any more help. Good luck with your purchase.

  2. It appears that a small cheap male to make 3.5 audio cable can be purchased to allow iPod/smartphone input into the singing machine giving it the ability to use the endless supply of free YouTube karaoke options similar to the singstand2. Had I known that previously, I would have bought the singing machine as opposed to the singstand2.

    1. Yes Marc, you are right. The audio connection is a great feature but just a reminder that the lyrics and video have to be still seen on your smart device using this type of arrangement. I am sure you are aware of this but I only brought it up for the folks reading your content so they fully understand how the setup would work.

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