Don’t you love karaoke! What’s a party or even a tiny meet-up without some music and fun? With so many places having dedicated karaoke setups, it was easy to pick one and have loads of fun.
However, times have changed, and home karaoke has become a great substitute. So why go anywhere else when you can grove to your favorite tracks right at your home (and in your pajamas if you are like us).
Yeah, we know that karaoke machines are expensive. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to spend as much to have at home. We didn’t either, and that’s how the idea for this article was born. So we decided to follow the trend and use the existing items to have a home karaoke system in the living room.
Before you fret, let’s assure you that it is not that difficult, nor do you need to spend thousands of dollars. What’s more, there are different ways to have home karaoke.
Since it is more private, comfortable, and cozy, you can have a karaoke party whenever you want. And hey, it’s also a good way to nudge non-singers to give it a shot. They shouldn’t mind crooning a track or two at home, right?
Shall we read more about setting up a karaoke system at home? Let’s get going!
What Do I Need for Karaoke at Home?
The answer to this question depends on the type of setup you want. Do you want something more professional, or will a casual style home karaoke do? We chose the casual type given how none of us was what you’d call singers.
You can also go for the DIY home karaoke that offers complete customization. Research shows that the cognitive function of elderlies can improve following frequent karaoke training at home. We’ll talk about that in the later sections. But first, let’s list the items you need for a home karaoke system.
Things You Need for a Home Karaoke Setup
- A computer or a smart TV
- A good pair of speakers (with or without a built-in amplifier, and if possible, the best karaoke speakers)
- A couple of quality microphones
- A karaoke mixer device
- A reliable Wi-Fi connection (to access YouTube)
- HDMI cable
Pro Tip: Choose Chromecast instead of Apple TV for a better experience. Chromecast also saves you the trouble of creating a playlist on YouTube. It’s done automatically.
Having a Separate Mixer Is an Advantage
A mixer device is the one that receives sounds from YouTube and the microphones and combines them to play together through speakers. If your speakers already have a microphone input port, you can connect the mics to them directly. Naturally, we tried both versions and felt that having a separate mixer has its advantages.
Another thing you can do is to sign up for free karaoke websites. Singa, Smule, karafun, etc., are some karaoke apps you can check out. That way, you don’t need to rely on YouTube for the home karaoke setup.
All you need is something that plays the music and a screen that shares the lyrics as you sing into the microphone. The mixer and speakers take care of the rest.
How to Set Up a Karaoke System?
Get a Karaoke Machine
Luckily, you can find not-so-expensive karaoke machines on the market. One of our friends does have one, and we worked together to set it up (and, of course, we tested the machine by singing at the top of our voices).
The issue with these machines is the instructions (or the lack of them). If the karaoke machine doesn’t come with a clear instruction manual, you’ve got some work to do. A complicated karaoke setup can be daunting to manage without clear instructions.
Connect the Karaoke Machine to a TV Screen
The first step is to connect the karaoke machine to a TV screen. That would be a computer, laptop, or TV. You need to plug in the three wires (RCA cables) to get this sorted. Nothing tricky here. Just plug in the wires in the corresponding colored ports at the side/back of the screen.
Plug the Microphone Into the Karaoke Machine
Now take the microphone and plug it into the karaoke machine. Switch on the TV screen and change the display settings to get the lyrics. Bingo, you’re all set.
Well, not exactly. We didn’t talk about the core element yet. The music, of course! What will the karaoke machine and the TV do without music?
Choose a Suitable Input
Karaoke machines come in different types. The input could be through CD/DVD slots or USB ports. The latest ones have AUX input, where you can use online streaming apps to input music to the machine. You’ll need to decide this when you buy the actual karaoke machine.
Can You Do Karaoke Without a Machine?
Yes, you can do karaoke at home without a machine. That’s what we do, and it’s simple enough once you have the necessary items. We listed these items in the previous sections – computer or Smart TV, microphones, normal speakers/karaoke speakers/best party speakers, mixer, and the connecting cables.
Guess what? You can have a karaoke party even without a computer, laptop, or a Smart TV. Use your mobile device or tablet instead. We tried it for fun and liked the results well enough. Just make sure to charge the tab and hunt for the HDMI cable in advance.
A Smart TV is more convenient because of the range of features it offers. If you got one at home, use it in the karaoke setup. What makes karaoke setup at home easy is the range of options available. A great karaoke setup should be easy to set up and use.
We noticed that we could go for budget-friendly items to set up karaoke just as easily as an expensive one. Yeah, you still need to buy the mics (or loan them from a neighbor/friend), but there are enough choices to get a pair of microphones without spending too much.
Elements of a DIY Home Karaoke Setup
The simplest home karaoke setup includes the following:
A computer/laptop/tablet/iPad to act as the karaoke device and connect to the karaoke apps or YouTube.
A screen to display the lyrics, depending on how many guests you plan to invite. A computer screen works for a small group, but you need a projector screen for the lyrics if you invite ten or more people.
The all-important microphone for you and your gang to belt out lyrics is the next item on the list. Here, we have a wired microphone and wireless microphone with Bluetooth connectivity. The wireless microphones work better when connected to the Smart TV via Bluetooth.
Got home theatre speakers or active speakers at home? Go on and use them for the karaoke party. They do the job well. Of course, you can always buy the best karaoke speakers to play the karaoke of your choice. But our home has more than enough speakers, and we didn’t want to add any more.
The mixer device (very crucial) has to be of decent quality. Grab a four or six-channel mixer from Yahama or Mackie.
Feed music from the karaoke device (PC/tablet/mobile) to the mixer. Then connect the karaoke device with the app to the screen. The speakers and microphone are also connected to the mixer. Mix up the tunes to suit your taste.
How Can I Turn My TV into a Karaoke Machine?
Karaoke apps are wonderful, but not all work with Smart TVs. Regardless of whether it is a Smart TV or not, make sure to connect the karaoke devices to the same Wi-Fi network.
A Smart TV connects to Wi-Fi and can be paired with YouTube directly. You don’t need Chromecast, Android TV, etc., to play YouTube music on a Smart TV.
Chromecast is possible with an HDMI cable. Connect the input device to the TV using the HDMI and play the list of songs. There are many karaoke apps you may use for the party night. Search for your favorite tracks by including the word karaoke and add them to your karaoke playlist. We do this to get a long list of karaoke songs that’ll continue to play as we sing and dance at home.
Can I Use YouTube for a Karaoke Party?
Yes, you can. We’ve used YouTube for the home karaoke sound system several times. It’s not just us either.
Why do so many people use YouTube for home karaoke? Well, it is simple and free to use. We love free stuff, especially when it has a collection as vast as YouTube and can be used by just about anyone.
YouTube for karaoke parties doesn’t record our karaoke songs the way apps like Smule, etc., do. If the offline recording is not an issue, you can’t go wrong with YouTube. The items you need to set up karaoke using YouTube are the same ones we listed above. You just have to open the YouTube channel on the input device (the computer/laptop/tablet/smartphone) and connect it to the screen (the TV).
Also, you can use YouTube TV Queuing on Smart TVs, Xbox, etc., but with other LED TVs, Chromecast is the best choice. You can queue as many tracks as you want and party all night.
What is a DIY Karaoke Setup and How to Make One?
A DIY karaoke setup is the one you create from scratch (and by that, we don’t mean that you manufacture devices) and customize it as per your requirements. Here is everything you need for a DIY karaoke system.
Song software is the application that sends songs to the karaoke system. We are talking about YouTube and karaoke apps. Depending on your plan for the karaoke party at home, you need to decide if you want YouTube or another app that can record your performance. Your recorded performance can be shared online using the same apps.
And hey, have you got the Amazon Fire TV Stick? You can use order the TV to play audio and display lyrics. You don’t need another input device this way. Cool, right?
A mixer is an amplifier that connects the home karaoke setup and brings it all together. The microphone and song software device are plugged into input ports, and speakers are plugged into output ports.
Typically, two microphones, if possible, the best karaoke microphones, should be enough for a karaoke night, even if you have many people coming. If you want to be prepared, add another mic to the list. Wired microphones are cheaper, but wireless mics allow more freedom to move around. Wireless microphones come with rechargeable batteries.
We’ve discussed speakers before, but there’s an important point we want to add. Karaoke plays best with PA speakers (the active ones). An active speaker is the best speaker for karaoke; it plays live sound very well compared to home theaters.
Also, you can use both wireless and wired speakers for the karaoke setup.
Wired mics have XLR cables, which is lucky because most mixers are compatible with XLR cables. Rather, you need the same cables to connect speakers to the mixer. For the song software or audio device, you’ll need a USB cable or RCA cables. The lyrics screen is again connected using HDMI or RCA.
The screen is the display unit – the TV, computer, or projector screen. Additionally, if you intend to pass the device from one person to another, you can use a smartphone or tablet.
The advantage of a DIY home karaoke setup is its scalability. The sky is the limit if you want the best of everything. The entire DIY setup could cost more than the karaoke machine if you buy high-end microphones, speakers, and a mixer.
Setting up karaoke at home is not a challenge. However, for a great karaoke experience, plan it the first time, and you’ll get into the groove from the next.
As you’ve seen in this post, you can plan karaoke nights at home whenever you want and start singing your favorite songs. A DIY karaoke system is perfect for a home party. Also, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to set up karaoke at home.
For a great karaoke party, you need good speakers, at least two microphones, microphone output options, a mixer, a karaoke app, and other equipment listed in this post. With all the equipment, you can build your karaoke machine and enjoy singing. According to us, home karaoke is the best bet in the current scenario where social distancing is a must.