The Singing Machine SML-385W Review

Welcome to the detailed Singing Machine SML-385 review. My goal here is to make the buying process as easy as possible for the visitors reading this review.

The entertainment portion of your child’s next party is taken care of with the Singing Machine Disco Light Karaoke System.

Its solid design makes it easy-to-use for teenagers and younger children. It comes fully assembled allowing you to take it from the box, plug it in and start singing. Older adults and children alike, find using the Singing Machine easy.

With the Singing Machine you can go ahead and schedule your next karaoke party with everything you need to get started. The light-weight, easy-to-use system is simple to set up anywhere and comes with various features including a microphone and disco lights.

You can let your kids take a dull party and bring it to life with the addition of this system. It can plug into any television to offer them scrolling lyrics so they can sing along. This product is a great buy for parents looking for a Karaoke Machine for kids.

It is important to note that this Karaoke System is currently an Amazon best seller in Karaoke equipment/player category.

Type of Usage

This portable karaoke Machine is great to take to any occasion, including birthday parties, holiday get-togethers and family weekends together. It is small and unobtrusive and is available in either black or white.

The light-weight construction (under 10 pounds) makes it easy-to-use for even little ones. They can proudly set-up their own karaoke club, without help from adults, for a unique sleep-over experience, which makes them one of the cool kids.

Given the design and the output power, this machine is not suitable for big outside parties or where professional top quality sound is required.

 

Karaoke Microphone

One wired microphone—The Singing Machine SML-385W comes with one wired microphone.

Two microphone jacks—there are two jacks, which allow you to connect two microphones at one time. Note that the second microphone must be purchased separately and does not come with the system.

Having two microphones would offer a wider variety of song choices, including duets and chorals. Multiple people on each microphone lets a group sing together. Holiday time is more fun when the whole group is able to sing holiday tunes together.

Monitor and Display functions

Note that this Karaoke machine does not come with a separate monitor. The display on your Singing Machine karaoke system is an easy-to-read LED display that displays the number of the song track you are currently playing. This makes it easy to quickly jump to the song number you need.

The Singing Machine SML-385W can hook up to your TV. Connecting the machine to your television is simple. You plug it in the same way you would connect your VCR or video game console. The RCA plug is provided with your machine and is color-coded for ease-of-use.

The yellow connector on your plug is used for the video. This is what allows your song lyrics to scroll on your television screen. The red and white plug connections are for audio and are interchangeable with most televisions. If your television set does not have both a red and white RCA jack, you can simply plug either the white or red plug into the available audio jack on your television.

For example, if on the back of your television you have three RCA jacks that are yellow, white and red—you can plug in your RCA cord and match the colors. If, however, you take your machine to a friend’s house and they only have yellow and white jacks on the back of their television, plug the yellow plug into the yellow jack and plug either the red or white in the white audio jack. The red and white plugs are equal and the sound comes through the same.

One thing to consider when purchasing this machine is that it hooks up to television only with RCA jacks and does not have any HDMI or S-cable plug-ins. There are no graphics in the background of the lyrics or any high-definition capabilities with the lyrics.

Home Stereo Option

Another option that can provide additional sound and functionality is that the unit has the ability to connect to your stereo system. If you need a louder system for a special occasion, this is an optimal option for you. You simply plug your Singing Machine into your audio input jacks on your stereo system. You now have a stereo-quality unit that you can use for many functions.

Song source / Player

The Singing Machine plays compact discs or traditional music CDs and CD+Gs.

A traditional or music CD only plays music and does not have any type of images on it. Music CDs are not the same as those that allow for graphics or movies; they only hold sounds.

CDG also called CD+G stands for compact disc plus graphics. These are the type of discs used for karaoke because they hold music and graphics. The graphics portion on the CD allows for you to see the lyrics for your songs.

Karaoke Speakers

The Singing Machine has a built-in speaker that offers descent sound quality. The music is full and doesn’t sound hollow.

You don’t have to worry about delicate speaker wires, or untangling speaker cord. The built-in design is another streamlined advantage of the Singing Machine that makes it ideal for younger users; everything they need to sing with the machine is inclusive.

The Singing Machine SML-385W Features and connectivity

  • LED Disco lights that add special light effects and don’t use much power
  • RCA output jacks that allow you to connect your machine to your television and display scrolling lyrics
  • A CDG demo disc with 5 bonus songs
  • A 2 digit CDG track indicator
  • Built-in speaker, video and audio out
  • Two microphone jacks with separate volume controls
  • Top loading CD /CDG player
  • Voice controls
  • AC power input

Recording Options

This Karaoke machine has no recording capability.

The Singing Machine SML-385W Voice and Sound Controls

Voice controls are used to help blend singers’ voices with music. Professional singers and groups use various voice controls to make their songs sound the best they can. Fuller notes, richer tones and clearer music all use the help of voice and sound controls. Some of these controls come with your Singing Machine to help blend your voice with the music. They include:

Echo control

Echo control helps a singing voice to sound melodic and less flat. When you speak your voice is flat and is usually the preferred sound; it is the natural sound of speech. When singing; however, a flat voice sounds generic and hollow. The echo control adds a reverberation to the voice to make it sound full-bodied. This effect makes your voice sound similar to singing in a concert hall instead of a bathroom.

Balance Controls

This feature works with a multiplex Karaoke disc. In multiplex recording, the background vocals and the music are recorded on the left channel and the lead singer on the right one. This feature can be used to balance control between these two channels. You can choose to sing a duet with the lead singer and gradually fade him/her away using the balance control and as you feel more comfortable singing the song on your own.

Auto Voice Control (AVC)

The AVC feature can only be used with multiplex recordings. When this function is activated, the vocals on a multiplex are eliminated as soon as the singer starts singing the song. When the singer stops singing, the vocals are again re-activated. This is a nice feature that can be used to add some spice to your Karaoke party.

Note that when you are using the Balance Control, depending on the position of related control button, you are giving more or less weight to the recorded vocals and you can have them completely present, absent or somewhere in between while you are singing. However, in the case of AVC control, as soon as you start singing, the vocals are completely eliminated and they would only be back when you stop singing.

Audio/Video Input & Outputs

  • Aux Out jack (Right)
  • Aux Out jack (Left)
  • Video out jack

Special Effects – disco lights, etc

With the Singing Machine SML-385W Karaoke System you get to use disco lights to add an extra feature during your karaoke sessions. The adjustable settings on the front of your machine allow you to control the intensity of your lights. This feature can also be turned off in case not desired.

Power Option

AC power electrical plug-in, 110V-120V, 60Hz

Control Panel

The front panel of machine is where all your controls reside. These are easy to see and use. They all have singular functions and are clearly labeled. They include:

  • LED display—the red light is bright so you can see what song number you are currently playing
  • Master volume control—this dial allows you to adjust the volume for your needs according to your needs. Its classic turn-dial design is easy to use for younger children.
  • Repeat button—this handy button allows you to repeat the songs so you do not have to manually replay each one.
  • Skip button—this button allows you skip songs without any interruptions.
  • Play/Pause button—allows you to press the play button or pause during a song while you are busy with something else.
  • Disco light and slide button—the disco light control allows you to adjust how faint or bright you prefer your lights. The sliding movement makes it is easy for little ones to adjust for a fun light show.
  • Microphone holder—this clip holds your microphone to keep you from losing or harming it.
  • Voice Controls—all your controls that allow you to adjust how your voice sounds while singing.
  • Microphone jacks for two extra jacks.
  • Stop button—allows you to stop the CD/CDG playing. This is handy when your phone rings or you have a knock at the door.
  • Random button—this button plays songs in a random order. This is a fun way to play non-stop music and games with your machine.
  • Program button—this button lets you put the songs in order of how they are played. You can choose patterns that allow for different types of music to play.
  • Microphone volume control allows you to adjust the volume of each microphone independently. This allows for softer voices to stay equal with stronger voices.

Remote Control

This machine does not come with Remote Control.

Set Up

One of the best features of your Singing Machine SML-385W Disco Light Karaoke System is that it is easily set up. You simply pull it from the box and plug it in. It is light weight, compact and has many built-in features. These attributes make it great for kids to take with them to friends’ houses or wherever they want to enjoy karaoke. Wherever there is an electrical plug, there is karaoke fun. However, if you need the machine but do not have an electrical outlet—you are out of luck. This model does not have battery usage.

What’s Included in the box

  • Your complete Singing Machine SML-385W Karaoke System
  • Wired microphone
  • RCA Cables
  • Sampler CDG disc
  • Instruction/Owner’s Manual
  • A 90 day limited manufacturer warranty

The Singing Machine SML-385W consumer reviews

I have read many existing reviews of this Karaoke Machine. I am summarizing in below my major findings:

The majority of people enjoy the easy layout, uncomplicated use and lightweight construction. The simple buttons and top-loading abilities make it easy to use for younger children. The Singing Machine is rated for children 7+ but many parents have bought it for younger children with great success.

The unit is a common purchase for children, and is a hit for both younger children and teenagers. Younger kids can control the machine without the help from adults, so they can play with their friends during sleep-overs and parties. Although many families buy the machine for the children, it quickly becomes a family favorite used for parties, holidays and family time.

Other users are not as satisfied with the top-loading CDG player and have had problems with it working. They have returned their machines for replacements after newly buying the system.

Dimensions and other specifications

Comprehensive Karaoke Machine ReviewsAudio Section

  • Output power 3.5W (RMS)
  • Output impedance 4 ohms

CD player section

  • Frequency response 100 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Signal to noise ratio 50 dB

Microphone

  • -74dB 600 ohms

Dimensions (H x W x D) 13.2 x 10.5 x 9.3 inches

Weight 7.2 lbs

Pros

  • Disco light effects
  • Built-in speaker for convenience
  • Simple to get started with and easy setup—just plug it in and start singing
  • Great voice controls
  • Connects to a television for on-screen lyrics

Cons

  • Only comes with one standard microphone—you have to purchase additional microphones
  • Does not have a built-in monitor—but the television function makes up for that
  • Does not have any way to record—although recordings from karaoke machines are usually very low quality
  • Multiple complaints of non-functioning CD player and having to return the product for replacement
  • No MP3, iPod or tablet connection
  • No remote control
  • No HDMI hookup
  • No Headphone input

Consumer Ratings

Most users are happy with The Singing Machine SML-385W Disco Light Karaoke System and feel it offers a lot of options for a simple set up. The built-in speaker has good sound quality for a small machine, making it better sounding than expected.

Many consumers buy more than one unit for different family members and are impressed by how much younger children enjoy the system. The system is streamlined and has an easy design that makes it uncomplicated for younger children to use.

The only low ratings for the machine are from users who receive a defected system and have to get it replaced.

The Singing Machine SML-385W Price

After going through tons of reviews and studying various features of this Karaoke Machine, here is my recommendation: the price is competitive and reasonable. This machine offers various cool functions that make it a great buy. The compact design makes it great for children and taking to different venues. The built-in speaker has quality sound that isn’t expected from a small machine.

 

 

Conclusion

The Singing Machine Karaoke System offers a simplistic and compact design with a realistic disco lighting system. The fun starts with the disco lights creating a party feel that children and teenagers adore. The easy television connection gives you the true karaoke experience with scrolling lyrics that allow you to sing along. The majority of consumer reviews related to this system are positive.

Beyond typical karaoke machines you have audio controls that create studio effects for exceptional vocals. With the touch of a button you can create vibrant sounds that make your voice pop instead sounding flat. The top-loading disc design and easily accessible controls make it a blast at parties for younger children all the way to adults who are looking for a great karaoke system for home.