I just published a new guide over at Wirecutter that goes into exquisite detail about the best at-home karaoke machines. This involved a surprising amount of research just to figure out what the hell a modern karaoke machine actually entails:
The biggest challenge we faced with this guide was also the most basic part of it: What exactly is a "karaoke machine," anyway? Is it the microphone itself? The ability to mix a song source with a separate vocal track? Is it the little screen that displays the lyrics, with or without a cheesy CGI fireworks display in the background? Should a karaoke machine come with one of those big, beer-stained binders of CD+G discs that get passed around the bar every week? And what are people looking for in a home setup?
After hours of research, we ended up right back where we started: There's no single, clear answer on what specifically constitutes a "karaoke machine."
More importantly, this involved me spending several days just doing karaoke at home in the name of research — not something I ever expected that someone would pay me money to do, but hey, here we are.
Bonus points if you can catch all of the subtle rock and roll allusions I sprinkled throughout the guide. There are some deep cuts I'm particularly proud of.
The Best Karaoke Machines [Thom Dunn / The New York Times]