Editors’ Choice Karaoke
EAKAR535 Portable Karaoke Player
Review by Angie Kibiloski (July 2012)
The EAKAR535 Portable Karaoke Player (Retail $179.99) from Electrohome is a complete karaoke system for your home. You get much of the functionality you’d find with larger machines, like in a karaoke bar, in this lightweight, easy to learn system, ready to use in your living room or on the go. With it’s 3.5” LCD screen and onboard speakers, you can use this player on it’s own or hook it up to any television screen and stereo system for a larger display and audio output. Along with being able to play karaoke CDs, you can also input media from your MP3 player or a USB connection. One microphone is included, but there are 2 microphone jacks, which is a huge plus when singing duets or group songs. There are also a few handy vocal effects, to help make you sound your best. With all of these features, plus a sleek and stylish design, this compact and complete karaoke system will wow you right out of the box.
The 3.5” LCD screen is small, but if you don’t have a conveniently located television screen, it’s all you need to start rockin’ out. The screen acts as a menu display while scrolling through your available songs as well as a monitor for your lyrics as they are highlighted during playback. This is a great feature if you want to take the party on the move, maybe out to the backyard for instance. As long as you can find a place to plug the machine in, you can sing along to your favorite songs anywhere. When you do want to read your lyrics on a larger screen, simply connect the device to any television with the included RCA cables and you’re good to go. The same goes for the audio. Enjoy clear sound from the built-in speakers while out and about, or plug in to a home speaker system for a louder output. You can play any CD is this system, and it will act just like a regular CD player, without lyrics on the screen. But to get the true karaoke experience, with scrolling lyrics and background music with no vocals, you need to use a CD+G Multiplex karaoke disc. The same goes for digital media. You can play regular songs from your MP3 player or USB device, but you will need to download special karaoke tracks to get the full usage of the machine’s features. You can find karaoke discs and downloadable tracks online and often at retail music locations. Using a karaoke disc or track will also allow you to use the helpful vocal effects.
These vocal effects are pretty cool. You can apply reverb to your voice with Digital Echo Control, which is like a little vibration in the microphone that gives your voice that rich, vibrant rock star quality. With Digital Key Control, you can adjust the key that the CD is played in, to fit your personal vocal pitch and range. This prevents you from having to strain your voice to match the original recording; instead, it matches the recording to your voice. For the times when you just can’t quite remember the next line, there is the very helpful Auto Voice Control Singing Coach feature. When this is turned on, the device will sense when your voice tapers out and will bring the prerecorded vocal track up in volume to fill in the gaps in your singing. This helps get you back in the swing of the song. The vocals will turn back down again once you’ve come back strong. You can also manually adjust the strength of the recorded vocal track to help you learn a new song, or if you find that you are just more confident with a little background accompaniment.
Karaoke in a crowded public setting like a bar can be intimidating for some people, but as all of the secret car and shower crooners can attest, we all have the urge to belt one out inside of us. With the EAKAR535 Portable Karaoke Player, you can do just that in the comfort of your own home, or to a much smaller audience in a party atmosphere. Some other people have no problem amazing large crowds with their vocal stylings, and with this system, they could even take their talents out to the street corner and serenade the masses, provided they can find a power outlet. Whichever sort of karaoke lover you are, you’ll get great value form this machine, and with all of the competitive features it offers, there is no reason not to get one.