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Make your parties come to life with the best microphones for karaoke.
Best Microphones for Karaoke
Best overall: GTD Audio U-35H
“Two mics and wireless receivers make the GTD ideal for small parties”
Best handheld system: BONAOK Karaoke Microphone
“Easy to use portable system that punches way above its weight”
Best multipurpose mic: Shure SM58
“A world-class standalone mic that's as good for karaoke as it is for studio recording & live shows”
Best karaoke machine: EARISE T26
“This speaker and mic combo is all you need to start a karaoke party”
Did you know that karaoke is over 50 years old?
It was way back in 1967 that Japanese engineer Shigeichi Negishi developed the first karoke machine prototype. Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue, a drummer, later modified this prototype to create the first commercial karaoke machine in the early 1970s.
That's over 50 years of being a party mainstay across the world – quite an accomplishment!
If you want to host a karaoke party of your own, you, of course, need a good karaoke microphone.
You can broadly divide karaoke mics into three categories:
- Independent karaoke machines: These are usually complete karaoke setups that include mics, speakers, and some sort of processing unit for song selection, pitch control, etc. Some will even include dedicated screens for displaying lyrics.
- Microphone systems: These are usually wireless microphone setups designed for karaoke performances. The setup consists of one or more microphones and a receiver unit. The receiver unit connects to the microphones via radio waves or Bluetooth. The unit can also be plugged into a speaker system and screen for showing lyrics.
- Recording microphones: These are just standalone microphones. You can hook them up to a receiver unit, a karaoke system, or even build your own DIY karaoke setup with a computer + audio interface. The microphone can range from cheap $20 throwaway units to expensive studio-tier equipment that will offer the best vocal performance.
Depending on your technical experience, needs, budget, and existing equipment, I'd recommend the following:
- For casual karaoke sessions: Choose an independent karaoke machine. Though the sound quality isn't as good, you get an easy to use, no-frills karaoke experience for relatively cheap. Perfect if you don't want to deal with all the technical hassles.
- For serious karaoke enthusiasts/events: If you host a lot of karaoke nights, want to host an event, or run a venue with karaoke nights (such as a restaurant), invest in microphone systems. These can have anywhere from 1 to 16 (or even more) microphones hooked up to a receiver unit. Duets, entire choral arrangements – everything is possible when you have multiple mics to work with.
- For recording/podcasting/studios: If you want to record/produce music/podcasts/audio and want to host karaoke on the side, just get a good studio mic. You likely already have the equipment for hooking up the mic to your computer (such as an audio interface). The sound quality will be top notch, though you will need gear and more technical know-how to set up the entire system.
Based on these requirements, I'll share my pick of the best microphones for karaoke in 2020 below.
About your reviewer
Ryan Harrell is the founder of MIDINation and an experienced producer/DJ. His first experience with electronic music production dates back to Cubase 3.0 in the summer of 1997, and he's been a fan ever since. He prefers Ableton as his primary DAW these days, though he is still partial to Cubase and Pro Tools. He lives in San Diego and freelances as a producer and part-time DJ.
The 7 Best Microphones for Karaoke
For the three categories I discussed above, here are my picks for the best karaoke microphones you can buy right now:
A complete karaoke machine that includes both a speaker and a wireless (Bluetooth) microphone. Think of it as a wireless speaker that also includes karaoke-friendly features such as echo/reverb and track selection. The price tag is super-affordable and the performance good enough for most small parties. A great no-frills, easy-to-use karaoke microphone.
The EARISE T26 is a compact, complete, karaoke machine set with multiple connections. It is available for a medium price and has good audio performance. It is easy to connect to any type of terminals such as a smartphone, tablet, or even a computer. Bluetooth 5.0, TF/USB input, and the classic AUX allow us to have it in operation for about 4 hours with the volume at maximum.
Its power and sound give little to envy about other devices. The Earise T26 has an output power of 6W x 2, a frequency of 20 to 90 HZ, and supports up to 60Db. It is small and portable. The set is ideal for use outside the home as it works with a rechargeable battery that takes 6 hours to be ready to use. It can be operated from the various controls or by using the remote control.
The outdoor speaker with Bluetooth connectivity can deliver hard bass and very high-quality audio. Thanks for the AUX and the Bluetooth input, you can stream music from just any type of device you have. This can be a laptop, mobile phone, iPad, or iPhone.
What I don’t like
The speaker is mediocre at best, and the microphone included with the setup is clearly not top of the line. If you really want to showcase your singing, this isn't the setup you'd want. But it does what it's meant to do: offer affordable, easy to use entertainment for small parties.
Recommended for: The microphone is ideal for use outside the home. This is because it works with a rechargeable battery that takes 6 hours to be ready to use. While the sound quality is not top of the line, the ease of use and karaoke-friendly features make it one of the best microphones for karaoke on the market.
Best Handheld Karaoke System: BONAOK Q78 Karaoke Microphone
Delivered in attractive, quality packaging, the BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone was easy to use. And its weight makes me believe it is well made. It comes with the micro-USB cable for charging and a jack cable. Your purchase also includes a beautiful case. When you are not using the device, you can store it there: it ensures the mic stays clean, and you will have no difficulty finding it.
Like most of the manufacturer's karaoke mics, the Bonaok Q78 is well finished and very functional. Bluetooth connectivity allows it to be compatible with many karaoke software and applications on tablets, computers, and smartphones.
There are four colors to choose from: Cosmos Gray, Black, Gold, and Silver. If you want it for a child, gold is often appreciated.
The microphone handling is nice and quick: you can independently manage the volume for music, echo, and voice. The buttons are well in the center. They are easily accessible even for small hands.
What I don't like
The reason I don't put the Bonaok Q78 higher in the ranking is the speaker's power. However, the limited volume can also be a plus for children or sensitive people. But you have to sing loudly to take full advantage of the microphone.
Recommended for: The Bonaok Q78 is a balanced microphone: it is the model that we recommend to people who are afraid of microphones. Children naturally like this a lot, and adults too: it's a great way to set the mood.
Best Wireless Microphone System: GTD Audio U-35H
The U-35H Karaoke Microphone System is a very good quality wireless system that comes with a two-channel receiver and two handheld microphones. It is made by GTD Audio Inc., a company that specializes in audio equipment such as VHF wireless microphones, UHF wireless microphones, power amplifiers, amplifiers/mixers, accessories, and parts. Although it produces from China, GTD Audio Inc. is based in the United States. Its U-35H system highlights the reliability of all its products.
It's a very good system at an affordable price. The sound quality it projects is one of the best. In this aspect, it competes with higher-end equipment like the TONOR Wireless Microphone. Individual controls for each channel allow you to work with the two microphones at different volume settings. This gives you some versatility and freedom when performing duets or using both microphones at the same time.
This pair of microphones is excellent for this amount of money. It is a low-cost plug-and-play system with very good performance. The overall response is pretty normal for a wireless mic in this price range. It's not stellar and requires more equalization than better mics to dial in a good, flat response. However, considering you get two and one receiver for this price, it still has good value for money. Also, the included cable is of good quality and adequate length.
This microphone system is one of the best options if you are looking for equipment for karaoke at an event. Its quality and reliability allow you to use it in more planned activities such as presentations, religious activities, etc.
What I don't like
There are restrictions placed on wireless microphones such as this. These restrictions thus place some limitations of use on it.
Recommended for: Looking for a simple and balanced microphone system for a duet? The GTD Audio system is a good candidate. It is suitable for both casual singers and aspiring stars of all ages. The wireless system is seamlessly easy to use and ranks as one of the best microphones for karaoke for most customers.
Best for Large Events: GTD Audio G-380H
The single karaoke is fine, but taking your friends with you is even better. With the GTD Audio unit, you will have 4 wireless microphones that can be used for karaokeing. The GTD G-380H is a VHF wireless audio system with four wireless microphones.
This system comes at a low price, especially because you get four microphones. The microphones are self-supporting on the receiver, giving you a convenient place to put them when you're not using them.
It could even compete or exceed the quality of some of the most expensive systems out there. One thing you need to be aware of with this system is that you will need batteries on hand, as they are not rechargeable.
The GTD Audio microphone set is a reliable and high-quality VHF handheld system. It has 4 channels and can be wirelessly connected to the receiver. This unit makes use of the surface-mount technology (SMT). The GTD Audio microphones are made of high quality components that guarantee reliability.
It is perfect for professional uses, for home karaokeing, and for church uses. Meanwhile, despite its quality and reliability, I feel that the battery should be stronger at this price. It uses AAA batteries. I recommend that you remove the batteries when the microphones are not in use. Asides this, the GTD Audio G-380H is one of the best in the market.
What I don't like
The microphone set is not rechargeable. However, for general and recreational karaoke use, this shouldn't be too inconvenient.
Recommended for: This is a good microphone system for small groups and music bands who need more than one mic for singing and practicing. It's ideal for venues, events, or large parties who want the best microphone for karaoke for multiple users.
Best Budget Karaoke Microphone: TONOR Karaoke Mic
Tonor specializes in all types of microphones. One of the company's primary goals is to offer equipment with the clearest possible sound. Founded by a singer-musician, all Tonor products are designed in California and made in China. But, their rigorous testing and extensive research ensure that each microphone meets their high standards.
This Professional UHF handheld unit illustrates the quality that comes from its product line. Tonor specifically made this product for karaokeing. Therefore, the sound is lovely, the material is of high quality, and it is very easy to operate. Coming at an under 30 price, it has the lowest price in this ranking.
What I like about it is that it has a range of up to 60 meters. Also, its crystal oscillator technology guarantees a strong and stable signal. The batteries can last up to twelve continuous hours of use. Its robust design, both in the microphones and in the receiver unit, guarantees a lot of reliability and durability.
Its sturdy design, long-range, and excellent sound make it one of the best microphones in karaoke systems. However, it could not be connected to a mixer with a real XLR cable when delivered. Wireless, it can be used anywhere and is very portable, with dimensions of 29cm x 21.9cm x 13.6cm and 1.6 Kg weight.
What I don't like
The karaoke microphone system doesn't come with a receiver. But when you know that you can buy 5 of the Tonor microphone for the price of the Shure SM58Ss, that's compensation!
Recommended for: This good quality Tonor system can be an excellent purchase for just any profile of users. Apart from using it as a karaoke, you can also use it in other activities, even in outdoor environments. If you're looking for the best microphone for karaoke on a budget, this should be the first choice for you.
Most Versatile Microphone: Shure SM58
On stages around the world, music legends such as Tina Turner, Charles Aznavour, Dolly Parton, Paul Anka, Dionne Warwick, Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, and many more rely on Shure microphones in live use or in the studio to express their voices. The American brand Shure, therefore, rightly carries its slogan: “The most trusted audio brand worldwide.” The undisputed star and downright an icon of vocal microphones, is the dynamic Shure SM58 microphone.
The Shure SM58 is a dynamic cardioid microphone for vocals and speech amplification. It first saw the light of day in the American world in 1966 as the direct successor to the SM57. The “Studio Microphone” or SM series was created at Shure in 1965. The first product in this series, the dynamic SM57, was a success right from the start. And it is still used today as the official microphone of every US president.
The second microphone in the young SM series, called the SM58, follows a year later. And this microphone will soon break every record and start a triumphal march around the globe.
Roger Daltrey, singer of the rock band The Who, has long been known for his extreme stage shows, in which he twirled microphones on the cables in the air and made other jokes with them. A Shure SM58 is always included in Daltrey's show performances. Thanks to its unmistakable appearance with the spherical wire basket and its proverbial robustness, the Shure transducer will soon be seen everywhere.
The Shure SM58 vocal microphone picks up sound most strongly from the front due to its cardioid polar pattern. On the other hand, ambient noise coming in from the side and behind is significantly attenuated. The cardioid polar pattern reduces the risk of feedback even on noisy stages, an excellent advantage for live use. The pneumatic shock absorber also minimizes the handling noise, which makes the microphone very well suited for the performance of singers and speakers.
Like any directional microphone, the SM58 also has a pronounced proximity effect. The frequency response is dependent on the distance to the sound source. The closer the microphone or the capsule is to the sound source, the more the low frequencies are raised. This effect can be used consciously and give volume to thin voices.
With the SM58, you have a classic cult status in your hands. You simply can't be wrong with Shure!
What I don't like
There's nothing I don't like about this microphone. I can recommend it without any reservations. There's a reason it has been a mainstay for nearly half a century.
Recommended for: To this day, the SM58 is regarded as the reference in the “all-purpose vocal microphone” category and is still the first choice for many artists. The SM58 is very popular with sound engineers all over the world because of its sound characteristics. While you'll need other gear to set up a karaoke system, as a standalone mic, you can't get better than this.
Best for Serious Singers: MXL 2006
The 2006 MXL Microphones are a worthy successor to the legendary MLX-2001. The microphone set is characterized by a warm sound and is suitable for studio and live recordings.
Its maker, MXL, the manufacturer of audio and video equipment from the United States, has already delivered several microphones that are very popular among amateur musicians. And the MXL 2006 is of good quality and are affordable. The microphone is the successor to the legendary MLX-2001.
The transmission range is between 30 Hertz and 20 Kilohertz. When connecting the microphone, you should make sure that it is operated with a phantom power of 48 volts plus/minus 4 volts. The device comes in a stylish silver finish, has a shock mount, and a sturdy transport case is included. With a size of 50 by 190 millimeters and a weight of almost 600 grams, it is easy to transport.
If you look around for customer opinions about the microphone, you will only find good reviews. This is because the device has convinced the users in practice. The microphone was most convincing when it came to recording voice, i.e., singing or recording rap. Guitar recordings also work well with the microphone. According to users, the price-performance ratio is right here.
Are you looking for a decent microphone for rap or vocal recordings and don't want to spend a lot of money? Then the MXL 2006 could be an option.
What I don't like
The only point of criticism mentioned a few times was the shock mount. It is a little too weak for the relatively heavy microphone.
Recommended for: According to the manufacturer, the microphone is suitable for vocals, guitar, and even percussion recordings. It can be used in studios as well as for live performances. It is therefore recommended for many different styles of music such as rock, pop, R&B, or hip hop. If you're a serious singer, this is one of the best microphones for karaoke – or anything else – you can buy right now.
Over to You
If you want to setup a karaoke system of your own, you'll need a great mic. Hopefully, this guide will help you zero-in on the best microphone for karaoke you can buy right now.
For more recommendations and advice, don't hesitate to reach out to me here.
- Our favorite audio interfaces to pair with your standalone microphones
- The best studio monitors to connect to your karaoke system
- Shure microphones (Official website)
- MXL microphones (Official website)
- GTD Audio (Official website)
- Earise Speakers (Official website)
- October 2, 2020: Article first published