Learn how to setup a Karaoke party at your own living room with today’s latest hits using YouTube and Google Chromecast
There are many out of the box karaoke solutions that you can buy and simply set up at home – so why do the YouTube way?
Why use YouTube for Karaoke?
First, it’sFREE! The most popular good quality karaoke players (good sound, HD video, wide selection, 2 wireless mics) are too expensive. The only advantage these out of the box solutions have is they can work offline – no internet connection needed.
Second, all of these out of the box solutions have one glaring limitation – the music library will get outdated eventually. You will get tired of singing the same set of songs. There will be additional fees to get the latest songs. Now, thanks to available technology, YouTube and Chromecast, you can have a karaoke party with all of the latest songs (yes, ALL!), and enjoy your karaoke setup as long as you can (unless your equipment breaks down).
Lastly, using YouTube, choosing and selecting songs is a lot more fun with the YouTube TV queueing capability. Use your smartphones (iPhone or Android) and tablets (iPad or Android) connected to the same wifi to add songs to your queue and YouTube will automatically play each song one after the other! If you have a smart tv or an apple tv, and have a way to mirror YouTube to your TV, using Chromecast is not needed. But if you have regular (non-smart) TV with HDMI, use Chromecast to connect your mobile device to your TV wirelessly.
Chromecast VS Apple TV for Youtube Karaoke
Before buying the Chromecast, I have tried to use my existing Apple TV for karaoke but sadly, it does not support the YouTube TV queuing functionality that Chromecast does. In using the Apple TV, you will need to create a playlist (which does not consistently refresh real time) while in Chromecast, the TV queueing is built in, there’s no need for a playlist, you create your song queue on the fly with friends. Once you have done karaoke with the Chromecast TV queueing, karaoke will never be the same without it.
Before we begin, you’ll find example products below from Amazon.com to illustrate the different equipment you’ll need. I may get a small commission from the use of these links and your purchase helps the continuity of this site. Don’t worry, prices are the same if you purchase through these links or directly from Amazon.
What you’ll need
These are all you need to setup your Karaoke system:
- TV with HDMI port
- WIFI internet connection
- Google Chromecast (if you do not have a Smart TV or a device supported by YouTube)
- Microphones (Wireless UHF microphones recommended)
- Karaoke friendly speakers (PA speakers recommended or Karaoke specific speakers)
- Audio cables as needed. Check the instructions below.
- YouTube app
Putting it all Together
Sound System Components
Let’s talk a little bit more about the sound system. There are 3 main components to a sound system:
I recommend having 2 UHF Wireless Handheld Microphones. It’s a lot for more fun to do duets and to move around with 2 wireless mics. UHF (Ultra High Frequency) type is preferred although more expensive but a lot more reliable. Examples are the Pyle Pro Series UHF microphones or the Fifine Dual Channel Wireless Handheld Microphone,easy-to-use handheld UHF wireless system. I’ve tested it in my sister’s setup and so far it works well.
Remember to get Microphone Windscreen Foam Coversto protect your mics from singer’s spit and to add more color to your karaoke party! These covers are washable and reusable.
2 Amplifier/Receiver/Home Theater
This is where you connect your mic and speakers. You may already have existing equipment that can be used. This can be your home theater or DVD player. See table below.
An amplifier and receiver provides power to the speakers. Some speakers have this built-in. The key thing to check is if you have existing equipment – does it have a microphone input? If none, then a mixer is needed so you can connect the mic to your existing equipment.
I used to utilize my existing home theater speakers (Polk Audio) for karaoke but later learned that there is a high risk of damaging the speakers when using with a microphone. Home Theater speakers are not designed for live sound but are great for recorded sound. I did notice that the speakers gave feedback and sometimes had sound distortion depending on how loud the voice of the singer is. Karaoke sessions can get intense and we really can not control what the singers would do! I had to adjust the mic volume frequently to avoid damage to my speakers. I got tired of getting anxiety over damaging my speakers and bought a different set of speakers designed for mic input.
There are karaoke specific speakers you can check such as the ION Audio Party Rocker. This speaker has an amazing lights feature that follows the beat of the music! In using this speaker there’s no need for an amplifier or a mixer, just simply connect your wirelesss mic to the MIC input and music source to the AUX input then you’re good to go! This speaker also has the echo effect to make you feel you are in a professional karaoke bar!
When checking out speakers for karaoke, remember that for Karaoke, PA (public address) speakers are more appropriate.
The LyxPro SPA-8 is an example of a compact PA speaker that can be used. It has a built in amplifier and mixer. It supports many input types – bluetooth, AUX, MIC and RCA. But it does not have the echo effect included.
1 Connect all of the related hardware components – the mic to the sound system and the Chromecast to your TV. Plug the Chromecast in your HDMI port, if your TV has USB, use the included USB cable for power. TIP: You can use your mobile phone USB charger to power up your Chromecast.
There are 2 options on where you can output your Chromecast Audio sound:
Option 1 – Use 2 different sets of speakers.
Output the Chromecast Music to your existing Audio setup such as home theater to get quality sound. Then output the Microphone audio to a different set of speakers used for Karaoke such as PA speakers. This will avoid damage to your expensive home stereo speakers.
Option 2 – Use one set of speakers for Music and Mic.
This is a recommended option if you don’t have an existing home theater or speaker set in the TV setup you’re planning to use for karaoke. Depending on the speaker set you plan to use, you may need to get a mixer.
If you are using the ION Audio Party Rocker, no need to get a separate mixer. Just connect the microphone/s to the MIC IN jacks. Since the Chromecast outputs audio in your TV, you can choose to output your TV audio to the ION Party Rocker. Check your TV Audio Out ports and get the appropriate cable to connect your TV to the ION party rocker. Some of the options can either be a 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Cable to use the headphone jack of your TV. Or a 3.5mm to 2 RCA Audio Aux Stereo Y Splitter if your TV uses an RCA Audio Out port.
2 Test that your connections are working and sound can be heard from both TV and Mic.
3 Setup your google chromecast – follow the Chromecast setup instructions.
4 See video below on how to cast videos and add to your TV queue. All your friends connected to the same WIFI network can add to your TV queue. You can all build your own list of songs together. Get your free Quick Start Guide to help your guests cast videos to your Chromecast using their own devices!
5 Browse in YouTube for songs, artists – add the keyword “karaoke” after each song or artist name. Add selected songs to your queue.
6 Have a karaoke party!
7 Check our article on Karaoke Tips for Chromecast users to know how you can make your karaoke party more fun!
Using a Mixer
By default, the audio from the chromecast will be heard from the TV and the sound from the mic will be heard from your sound system. If you want to combine both TV sound and mic to output to your sound system speakers then you would need to use a mixer. See below example on how you would put it all together. This sample is combining the sound from TV-chromecast and mic to output to your speakers.
The BEHRINGER XENYX 302USB is universal mixer that you can use for your other audio needs. It produces a clean sound but does not have any sound effects feature. It is very compact and uses a USB connection. You can use it for recording with your computer.
To get the reverb/echo effect that you typically have on karaoke bars, you would need a mixer with an echo effect. I recommend the ammoon Karaoke Sound Mixer. This is an affordable compact size karaoke specific mixer. It is small, you will easily be able to integrate and hide it within your existing TV/multimedia shelf. Other mixers are too big and expensive for this use.
TIP: Use your TV headphone 3.5mm output jack, and use a 3.5mm to 2 RCA Audio Aux Stereo Y Splitter Cable to connect it with the mixer. This cable is usually included with the mixer.
Using the Karaoke Echo Sound Mixer
Connect your TV sound output to the mixer in MUSIC IN and connect MUSIC OUT to your speakers. Connect your microphone to either MIC 1 or MIC 2. Since the Chromecast is connected directly to the TV, no need to use the VIDEO IN. Use the ECHO effect to make you feel you are in a karaoke bar!
Using the Behringer Mixer
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Share in the comments section, the most number of songs you and your friends can come up in your queue! Our record is 72 songs, what’s yours?