What Are the Best Tips for Home Theater Karaoke?

G. Wiesen

When it comes to home theater karaoke, someone should consider the hardware he or she may already have and purchase a system that works well with it. This means that a standalone karaoke system is typically unnecessary, since these are often designed with speakers, while a unit that connects to a receiver or system controller is usually more effective. Someone should also consider “future proofing” this system, by using a home theater karaoke system that can be utilized with future upgrades. There are also some types of software that can be used with an existing system for karaoke, such as certain video games or similar media.

A flat panel display for a home theater.
A flat panel display for a home theater.

Home theater karaoke typically refers to a system someone can use to host karaoke, in which people sing along using a microphone with music played through speakers. When someone considers this type of setup, it is usually best to look at the hardware he or she already has and to choose new equipment that complements it. Since a home theater system already tends to have a sound system, a karaoke machine that includes speakers is unnecessary. Someone should look for a karaoke device that connects to a stereo receiver or home theater audio control unit.

A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.
A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.

There are some home theater sound systems that include karaoke features as part of the basic hardware. This type of home theater karaoke can be quite effective and simple to use, since it does not require any additional devices. Anyone looking for a new sound system might consider choosing one that includes karaoke capabilities and software necessary to use this feature.

Speakers for a home karaoke system should be set up to avoid feedback from the microphone.
Speakers for a home karaoke system should be set up to avoid feedback from the microphone.

One potential downside to this type of setup, however, is that the karaoke is directly tied to the actual sound system hardware itself. If someone uses this type of home theater karaoke, and then upgrades his or her system, then he or she needs to look for a new system that still includes this feature. The use of a separate karaoke system provides a greater degree of “future proofing,” since sound system upgrades are likely to be compatible with existing hardware.

Anyone with a good amount of media and home electronics should also consider ways in which he or she may be able to use some existing hardware to facilitate home theater karaoke. There are a number of video games, for example, that can be used as karaoke software to allow people to sing along with songs as a form of game play. These programs can be somewhat limited, however, since they only function with the songs that come with the game. Hardware such as a microphone is still needed for these games, but the purchase of a game and microphone may be substantially less expensive and require less space than a separate karaoke machine.

Karaoke -- meaning "empty orchestra" in Japanese -- began in Japan in the 1970s, and has stayed popular internationally since.
Karaoke -- meaning "empty orchestra" in Japanese -- began in Japan in the 1970s, and has stayed popular internationally since.

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Discussion Comments


I tried to set up a karaoke system in my house and ended up burning out my speakers. A friend suggested I invest in a mixer board and professional PA system. I can now mix the music with my vocals and also set up a small monitor at my feet. A strong singer can serious damage ordinary stereo speakers, so invest in professional grade equipment.


I knew one karaoke host who used a video game console to play karaoke CDs with graphics. This was at a time when most karaoke places used large laser discs. In terms of "future proofing" a home karaoke system, you might consider subscribing to an online karaoke service and running the PC through a home stereo system. These services usually have thousands of songs to choose from, instead of the hundreds most people can afford to buy in CD or DVD formats.

The last few times I went out to a professional karaoke show, the host had access to so many songs that she couldn't keep them all listed in a catalog. People who want to host karaoke parties in their own homes can also gain this sort of access for a fairly reasonable subscription fee.

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