Nothing can beat the feeling of singing your heart out shamelessly while your friends watch and laugh (both with you and at you!). For those of us with a golden voice box, our go-to playlist of karaoke songs is finely crafted with thought and time. For others, merely opening up that book, closing our eyes and picking whatever song our finger is pointing at will do. If you’re at home or somewhere that does not provide a professional machine, it is very affordable in picking up your own karaoke gear. The microphone you use requires a specific type, and to our avail, karaoke mics are pretty cheap. Here are the best we could find.
How to choose your karaoke microphone
There’s a pretty big difference between a karaoke mic and a professional condenser or dynamic microphone. When you’re searching for a karaoke mic, you want something relatively cheap yet still provides some decent quality in order for your vocals to be heard clearly. Here’s our checklist:
- Your budget. As always, the first and foremost aspect of shopping for the mic is what you can afford. Surprisingly there are some cheaper models out there specifically for karaoke.
- Wired or wireless? Both have their perks — wired are cheaper and ensure you have a stable connection and clear sound quality, whereas wireless is a lot more convenient and less of a hassle when you karaoke. The only problem we may have with wireless is the chances of interruption, but if you grab a stable model and don’t travel too far away from the receiver you should be fine.
- Look for mics with long cords. This is merely our recommendation and only applies if you’re not going the wireless route. We prefer a 10 ft. cable or even longer — you need some freedom for when you’re singing and don’t want to be constrained by a short cable.
- Check your machine’s connectivity. Most karaoke machines use a 1/4″ (6.3 mm) plug-in or you can buy an adapter if it is different.
The best microphones for karaoke
Here’s our list. Some are as low as $10, while others go a bit higher depending on where you look. Wireless systems will cost you a bit more. Be sure to also check out our best karaoke machine if you haven’t picked one up yet, although most of these come with their own mics so if you’re also buying a machine, double-check to save some money. Be sure to read our best karaoke machine article if you’re still looking to pick up your main unit, or if your kids are in need, we have a karaoke machine for kids guide as well.
Singing Machine SMM-205
Singing Machine is pretty synonymous with karaoke gear. Coming in at around 10 bucks a pop, the Singing Machine SMM-205 karaoke mic is perfect for those looking for an affordable solution. It’s a dynamic microphone, which we learned in our best microphone for live shows is the best type of mic for our purpose due to its wide pickup range. A huge plus is the fact that it doesn’t need batteries and the make is pretty good considering the price. It’s not an expensive steel-build like professional mics out there but you get what you pay for. Plug it in via the standard 1/4″ jack and you have our required 10 foot cord requirement fulfilled as well. An overall solid choice if you want a cheap karaoke mic. If you want the wireless version, take a look at the SMM-107 (around $5 more retail) although I’ve read some iffy reviews on it.
Karaoke USA Emerson M189
The Karaoke USA Emerson M189 mic is only a few more bucks than the SMM-205 and has a few other features you may be interested in. It most noticeably has a detachable cable and comes with a case, so I’d prefer this over the SMM-205 if you’re traveling a lot. The build is pretty sturdy so if you drop it a few times you’ll be OK (which happens at times) although it isn’t necessarily made for professional concerts — you get what you pay for again. We’ve heard it work well with kids and it fits in a standard karaoke machine 1/4″ adapter, so if you want to use it for your computer via USB or any other connectivity you’ll need an adapter.
Behringer UltraVoice XM8500
Here’s a bit higher quality microphone as it’s double the price of the others we’ve spoken about, but the UltraVoice XM8500 gives you some better quality all around. Behringer is pretty well-known in the music equipment industry. It has a nice frequency range with clear audio quality, not to mention a built-in ‘shock mount system’ that only helps when it comes to stability and protection. It’s stated to have wind and pop noise filters and although effective, it’s still a cheaper microphone when it comes down to it. It does however come with a hard case, mic clip and stand adapter if you need the additional accessories. Grab this if you want a step up from the others we’ve listed.
Now we’re talking wireless karaoke mics. The working range of the Axess MPWL1504 is super long coming in around ~120 feet. It comes with two wireless microphones, a receiver, and two batteries. You can also use it for guitars or other systems that are compatible, so if you are planning on using this other than karaoke it’ll be a great investment. Regardless, it’s one of the cheaper wireless systems out there but a great alternative if you want to get rid of those pesky cables. Although if you’re going this route and want the wireless system implementation, any model will do — there are a lot better systems out there if you have the money so be sure to check out our best wireless microphone article for some more options but then we’re talking about some semi-pro stuff (which is never a bad thing, just more money).