Karaoke used to be something that family and friends could bond over on a slow Friday afternoon. Before the dawn of Netflix, there was Karaoke and the great news is that it’s making a comeback. So here’s all you need to know on how to build a laptop karaoke setup.
So if you had your eyes set out on a $1500 all in one integrated karaoke machine, then go through this article first and see if it’s actually worth it to shell out all that cash when you can make a pretty decent system for a fraction of the cost on your laptop.
building a karaoke system at home With A Laptop
To have a proper Karaoke System at home on your laptop, you won’t be able to cut it with a cheap microphone from Amazon or AliExpress and the speakers from your laptop.
If you want to get the full Karaoke experience, you’re going to want to have the following equipment.
- A decent quality microphone
These are the bare necessities that you are going to require to set up a decent karaoke system on your laptop. In addition, you can purchase other equipment as well to amp up the quality of your system. This includes
- An amplifier
- A large TV
Again these are an optional extra and not a necessity.
The images sourced for the following equipment is from Amazon.com and AliExpress.com
A Decent Quality Microphone
The microphone is going to be the most essential part of the entire setup. If you skimp on the microphone then it won’t matter even if you spend thousands of dollars on all the other equipment.
Cheap microphones have the decency to distort your vocals, introduce static or unnecessary echo and whenever you pronounce the letter “P”. You won’t hear anything but wind noise.
You can search for Karaoke microphones on both Amazon and AliExpress. Though if your on a tight budget we suggest sticking to AliExpress as you can find some amazing products at a great price if you are willing to do some research.
We outlined some good choices we found on both platforms, but do note you don’t need to purchase the exact models we recommend. Do a bit of research and you might even find one that’s a better fit for you.
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone
The Shure Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone is a great choice for a Karaoke system on your laptop. As the name suggests it provides good and clear vocals and at a pretty decent price as well.
Microphones can easily cost hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars. This Shuru model, however, comes in at anywhere between 99$-$139 depending on which retailer you purchase it from.
Speakers are the next most important item on the equipment list. If you don’t have a good pair of speakers. You’re not going to sound very good no matter how good an impression of Adele you pull off.
You’re going to want to find a pair of speakers that are very neutral in sound. That means not too bass-heavy. Something that accentuates the highs, mid and lows of your music equally.
Logitech remains a great brand choice for great speakers at an affordable price tag. The Logitech Z506 is a home favorite for a cheap surround setup for your home theater as well as for a laptop karaoke system.
You can usually find them on sale for well below 100$.
A mixer is what is going to allow you to mix the sound coming from the karaoke song and your microphone and output it as a single audio source.
Ammoon Karaoke Sound Mixer
The ammoon sound mixer is great for karaoke and with a price tag of less than 30$ its a no brainer. You can find the same system on AliExpress without a brand name for around half the price of what it is on Amazon.
There is a multitude of karaoke software available on the internet. We’re going to be discussing the three best software in three different categories. So there’s something for everyone.
These categories include.
- Home Use
- Professional Use
- Best Free Option
KaraFun Player (Home Use)
KaraFun Player is the best karaoke software if you’re not planning to run a karaoke business professionally. It is lightweight and easy to use as well. It offers over 33,000 tracks to choose from.
It even offers dual-screen functionality so you can have the controls on one screen and the lyrics projecting to an external monitor or TV.
To download Karafun Player click on the link here.
Kanto Karaoke (Professional Use)
If you want to open up a karaoke business, then the best software for that is Kanto Karaoke. It supports almost all the formats that are available on the market. It comes with all the features you would expect a DJ to have and even offers a free trial.
To download Kanto Karaoke click on the link here.
Walaoke (Best Free Option)
The best free option available is by far Walaoke, it offers all the features you would expect to see in premium karaoke software. The only downsides are that it doesn’t offer a great selection of standard karaoke songs.
You’ll have to source most of them yourself. To download Walaoke click on the link here.
How To Setup Your Karaoke System With Laptop
Once you have all the equipment now all your going to need to do is set up this karaoke system on your laptop. For this guide, we’re going to be using KaraFun player as our software of choice as that is currently the most popular option out there.
Step 1: Connect your laptop to your mixer using the 3.5mm audio jack. If your using a TV as a secondary display connect your laptop to your TV using an HDMI cable, connect your TV to your mixer using a 3.5mm audio jack.
Step 2: Connect your microphones into the secondary audio input source on your mixer. Then run a cable from the audio out on your mixer to your speakers of choice.
Step 3: Launch your desired Karaoke Software, in this case, it’s KaraFun player. You will be presented with a layout like/similar to this.
Step 4: Login or create an account if you haven’t already. You’re going to need to purchase a subscription to get full access to their catalog.
Step 5: You can play and pause the music using the controls on the top left-hand corner
Step 6: You can adjust the sound of the vocals and lead using these sliders when you however over the icons. Press the icons to mute microphone completely.
Step 7: Click on the first icon to enable a dual-screen setup, click on the wrench icon to access your preferences.
Step 8: Use these controls to increase or decrease the key and/or temp.
Step 9: To view what songs you have set up in your queue, click the top item in the left-hand side menu.
Step 10: You can also view the songs by category over here.
Step 11: To add a song to the queue right-click on it and select Add to queue
Step 12: To add a song from your local storage click on “Add a folder” in the bottom of the left-hand side menu.
After reading through this short but thorough the guide you should have all the information you need to set up a karaoke system on your laptop!
If you feel we missed out on anything be sure to tell us by leaving a comment down below.