Curt Brandao reviews three karaoke devices that allow users to enjoy the ultimate singing experience.
Technophile: Intro to karaoke
Stage presence The ET19KV offers two wireless microphones with a 15-metre range that rest on a small base station. Although it weighs more than three kilograms, its slim profile - 32cm tall and 18cm wide - means it won't be an entertainment-room eyesore when not in use (however, whether it's hard on the ears while in use is largely up to you). It also comes with a remote control.
Set list The system comes with more than 2,000 built-in songs and a base station that can hold up to six song clips (which usually contain about 250 songs each). Features include the ability to use your own video behind the playback once you plug the device into your television.
Finale If musical egos and two-part harmonies run in your family, the ET19KV is the perfect choice for parties or after-dinner duets.
Stage presence Although the attention-getting Emerson GM527 is sure to draw attention at any sing-a-long, it's small enough to carry with you from one "gig" to another. It comes with only one microphone, but has inputs for two. It also features a colour seven-inch screen for playback. For those who want to also entertain fans in the "cheap seats", the GM527 can be hooked up to televisions.
Set list The GM527 comes with two discs that hold 300 songs, but it can also hook up with an iPod or other MP4 player, such as an iPod or iPhone.
Finale The GM527 doesn't offer the best sound quality or deep song library, but it's great for kids or karaoke newbies who want an affordable way to test their crooning skills.
Stage presence The stylish MKS-SS1 is bascially a karaoke machine in a mic stand that allows you to sing along with any song coming from your MP3 player. It's heavy, of course (6kg), but the base of the stand is also the base station that includes full-range speakers. It comes with one microphone, but has inputs for two.
Set list Although the system requires you to bring your own music, its vocal eliminator and echo effects will make sure your voice is the star of the show.
Finale Don't expect miracles - vocal eliminators usually distort music and this device is no exception - and don't forget the lyrics because this system comes with no video display. But for those who want to sing from their own playlists, the MKS-SS1 is the hip choice.