As a parent, I’m always looking for fun ways to keep my kids entertained, especially during long winter months when we’re stuck inside. Recently, I came across the Singing Machine SML385UW karaoke system and thought it would be the perfect way to liven up our family game nights. After testing it out with my two kids for the past few weeks, I’m excited to share my review of this interactive and engaging product.
Singing Machine SML385UW Overview
The Singing Machine SML385UW is a Bluetooth and CD+G karaoke system specifically designed for kids and families. It allows you to play music from CDs or wirelessly stream songs from a Bluetooth-enabled device like a smartphone or tablet. The set comes with two cordless microphones so your little stars can feel like they’re performing on stage.
In this review, I’ll provide an overview of the product’s key features and benefits. I’ll also share my experience using the karaoke machine with my family to give you an idea of how it works in a real-world home setting. From audio quality to extra accessories, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the Singing Machine SML385UW before you buy.
Key Features and Benefits
Here are the most important features and benefits of the Singing Machine SML385UW karaoke system:
One of my favorite things about this karaoke machine is its Bluetooth connectivity. All we had to do was pair our smartphones to the speaker via Bluetooth, and we could wirelessly play any of our favorite songs from Spotify, Apple Music, or other streaming services. No more fumbling with CDs! The Bluetooth connection is super convenient and makes it so easy for kids to queue up their favorite chart-toppers.
For a more traditional karaoke experience, the Singing Machine SML385UW can also play CD+G discs. These are special karaoke CDs that display lyrics and graphics on your TV or monitor as the song plays. Popping in a CD+G gives your family instant access to hundreds of familiar karaoke hits.
The set comes with two wireless microphones that allow kids to really take center stage. They can dance around with total freedom thanks to the cordless design. The mics also have built-in echo effects to add a professional touch to performances. My kids love pretending they’re pop stars on tour!
Top-Loading CD Player
I appreciate the top-loading CD tray that lets you easily insert and remove discs without fumbling around. It’s so quick and convenient to switch between different CD+G karaoke discs. No more digging around side slots or drawers like on older machines.
Amplifier with LED Lights
The built-in amp on the Singing Machine SML385UW delivers loud, clear audio that fills our living room with vibrant sound. It has flashing LED lights that create a fun concert atmosphere for our at-home shows. The amp also has ports for plugging in mics, devices, and TV connections.
From the bright white casing to the intuitive control buttons, it’s obvious this machine was designed with young users in mind. Setup is super simple – we had it out of the box and rocking in minutes. The mics are sized perfectly for little hands. And the song selection and volume controls are easy enough for even preschoolers to navigate.
My Experience Using It
Here’s a look at how the Singing Machine SML385UW has performed during our family karaoke nights over the past few weeks:
I was able to get the karaoke machine unpacked and set up in just 10 minutes. The instructions are clear and the ports are conveniently labeled. I also downloaded the free Singing Machine app on my phone which made the Bluetooth pairing process a breeze.
Loud, Clear Audio
I was worried a low-priced kid’s karaoke machine might sound cheap or tinny. But even with both kids belting at full volume, the amp delivers rich, vibrant sound that fills our downstairs. The wireless mics also provide clear audio without any static or cut-outs.
Endless Playlist Options
Thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity, my kids can sing along to any song they want. We’ve done everything from Disney soundtracks to pop hits by Taylor Swift. And when we want a more guided experience, we’ll pop in a CD+G disc packed with kid favorites.
Impromptu Family Dance Parties
Since the mics are wireless, my kids inevitably end up dancing around with them. The flashing lights and upbeat music get all of us up and dancing together in the living room. It turns an ordinary weeknight into a fun family dance party!
Karaoke Contests and Performances
My kids have started coming up with skits and holding “concerts” for me and my husband where they sing their favorite songs. We’ll even hold karaoke contests and vote for a winner. It’s an easy way to have interactive family fun without leaving the house.
Educational Singing Practice
As a bonus, the karaoke machine has helped my daughter improve her singing skills. She’ll practice hitting the high and low notes in her favorite songs. And seeing the lyrics on screen is teaching her to read music and follow along. It takes screen time and turns it into a creative outlet.
Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons after using the Singing Machine karaoke system for a few weeks:
- Super easy Bluetooth setup
- Loud, clear audio quality
- Wireless mics allow freedom of movement
- Hundreds of songs with CD+G discs
- Intuitive controls for kids
- Encourages family bonding & fun
- Helps kids practice singing skills
- Song selection limited to CDs and Bluetooth library
- No built-in screen for lyrics
- Echo effect could be better
- Extra features like scoring or voice effects would be nice
While there are fantastic kid-friendly features, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of high-end professional machines. But for the very reasonable price, it packs a serious entertainment punch for families.
Who Should Buy It?
The Singing Machine SML385UW is ideal for:
- Families with kids ages 4-12
- Parents looking for an interactive way to bond with kids
- Households that frequently host family gatherings
- Parents who want to encourage their child’s singing abilities
- People seeking an affordable, entry-level karaoke machine
Thanks to the intuitive design, it’s easy enough for even little kids to set up and start singing. Yet it still packs powerful audio performance to keep teens and adults entertained, too. Any household that wants to add some musical fun should consider the SML385UW.
To enhance your karaoke experience, here are some optional accessories that pair nicely with the Singing Machine system:
- TV Monitor: You can connect the karaoke machine to a TV screen via RCA cables to display lyrics during CD+G playback. This creates the quintessential karaoke visuals.
- Speaker Lights: Attach colorful LED lights to the speaker for a dance club atmosphere. Great for parties!
- Extra Microphones: Add extra wireless mics so more people can sing together. A 4-pack is affordable.
- Mounting Kit: Mount the machine and TV monitor to the wall to keep equipment neat and off the ground.
- Carry Case: Take the machine on the go with a lightweight carry case. Perfect for picnics or camping weekends.
- Karaoke Song Chips: Expand your song choices with plug-and-play karaoke chips loaded with hits. Convenient format kids can use independently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about the Singing Machine SML385UW karaoke system:
What music formats can it play?
It can play standard CDs, CD+G karaoke discs, and wirelessly stream via Bluetooth from your device’s music library.
How do you load CDs?
CDs are loaded into the top-mounted disc tray slot for quick, convenient access.
How many mics are included?
It comes with two wireless microphones with built-in echo effects. You can purchase additional mics separately.
How long does the battery last?
The rechargeable battery provides 4-6 hours of cordless singing per charge.
What kind of devices can you use Bluetooth with?
It’s compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Pairs easily in seconds.
Can you use it outdoors?
Yes, it’s great for outdoor gatherings and picnics thanks to the wireless mics and Bluetooth connectivity.
What age range is it designed for?
With the intuitive interface and kid-sized mics, it’s optimized for children ages 4-12 but works for all ages.
Does it come assembled?
Yes, minimal assembly is required. Simply connect the wires and mics. Takes less than 10 minutes.
After several weeks of family karaoke nights, I can confidently say the Singing Machine SML385UW is a hit in our household. The wireless mics, Bluetooth connectivity, and loud amp bring an interactive concert vibe that keeps my kids engaged for hours. It’s an easy way to unplug from screens and bond as a family over music and laughter.
While it may lack some bells and whistles of pro machines, the blend of features and performance make this an ideal starter karaoke system for families with kids. I would absolutely recommend it to any parent looking to liven up evenings and weekends with shared musical fun.
So grab your wireless mics and get ready to sing your heart out with the Singing Machine SML385UW karaoke system! It’s sure to be a fan favorite in your home for years to come.