Are you looking for a way to enjoy karaoke in the convenience of your own home with family and friends? You can easily build your karaoke system at home using YouTube for free! We all know that YouTube is the number one source for videos online. You can search for almost any song by any artist and add the word “karaoke” and you’ll be able to find it!
Of course you can use YouTube directly and sing along with it without any additional equipment. Just play the songs from YouTube on your device and sing along.
But this won’t be as fun as being in a group setting and using a microphone.
3 basic things that you need to do to have a great karaoke setup at home
1) Setup a microphone and output the sound of the mic to your home speakers.
2) Output the music of your karaoke source (such as YouTube) to your home speakers. This maybe the same set of speakers used by your mic or another set of speakers.
3) Output the video of your karaoke source (such as YouTube) to your TV.
In the sections below, we will talk about how to set this up in more detail. There are more simple ways of doing karaoke without the need for microphones and TVs such as the use of Apps in your mobile devices or computers. This would depend on how you would want to your karaoke home system to be.
There are many apps available for Karaoke such as Smule, RockIt Karaoke, The Karaoke Channel and Karafun to name a few. These apps can queue songs you choose and many of these apps specialize in recording your sessions, scoring, sharing your videos online with friends or providing offline songs. But you need to pay for subscriptions.
If you just want to have fun and just sing with your family and friends at home, there’s no need to pay any subscriptions. But, you will need the right equipment.
YouTube plus the equipment of your choice such as your home stereo
You can have unlimited song selection from YouTube without monthly subscriptions. If you don’t need to record your songs (most of the time) and you don’t need to have an offline copy of the songs then YouTube would be your karaoke best friend.
You can use your existing equipment at home or you can choose any equipment that can fit the style of your room and your taste for sound quality. Continue reading below to learn how you can connect YouTube from your mobile device or computer to your TV.
5 Things you need to have a great Karaoke Party at Home using YouTube
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, it provides a more reliable connection, VHF mics have a tendency to lose sound intermittently.
Some examples of UHF mics that you can check from Amazon are the PylePro Premier Series UHF microphones and the Professional Dual UHF Handheld Wireless Microphone System – Morr. If you are on a budget (who isn’t?) you can also check out 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 Covers to protect your mics from singer’s spit and to add more color to your karaoke party! These covers are washable and reusable.
I have used my existing home theater speakers (Polk Audio) before for karaoke and noticed that the speakers gave feedback and sometimes had sound distortion depending on how loud the voice of the singer is. I later learned that there is a high risk of damaging my home theater speakers when using a microphone. Home theater speakers are great for recorded sound but not for live sound.
My karaoke sessions with friends can get intense and I really can not control what the singers would do! When one of my friends was singing a heavy metal song, I just could not interrupt his singing moment! I had to adjust the mic volume frequently to avoid damage to the speakers. I got tired of worrying and adjusting the volume every few minutes. So recently, I bought a different set of speakers designed for microphone input.
When checking out speakers for karaoke, remember that PA (public address) or active speakers are more appropriate. These are designed for live performances but can get really expensive.
The LyxPro SPA-8 is an example of a compact PA speaker that can be used. It has a built in amplifier and mixer and it supports many input types – bluetooth, AUX, MIC and RCA. However, it does not have the echo sound effect that provides the signature karaoke sound.
There are also available made for karaoke speakers with built-in amplifier and mixer that you can choose from. The speakers I bought were multimedia speakers with built-in microphone input and echo sound effect. An example of a karaoke speaker is the ION Party Rocker. This speaker has a rechargeable battery and party lights – 2 useful features for a backyard party at home!
My current setup is to output the YouTube music from the TV to my home theater sound system for quality sound and use my karaoke speakers for the microphone output. This way there’s no need to worry about ruining my home theater speakers regardless how wild our singing gets!
You can use a mixer to connect a microphone to your existing speakers that do not have a mic input. You can also use a mixer to output the sound from your karaoke source to your existing speakers or home stereo.
I recommend the Fifine Karaoke Mixer if you plan to use existing speakers or stereo system that does not have any mic input. This mixer includes tone and echo control. If you do not have existing speakers for karaoke use, get speakers with a built-in amplifier and input for Mic.
If you are using a TV device to connect to YouTube such as Chromecast, you can output the sound of your TV to your speakers by using a mixer. Check your TV Audio Out ports and get the appropriate cable to connect your TV to the mixer. Use a 3.5mm to 2RCA Audio Aux Stereo Y Splitter to use your TV’s headphone jack and connect it to the mixer.
4 YouTube Player
This can be a mobile device – phone, tablet, PC/Mac, Smart TV, Apple TV or Google Chromecast –or any device that can play YouTube.
5 Connect your YouTube Device to your TV
There are different ways on how you can connect YouTube from a device to your TV.
Connecting your laptop directly to your TV
To connect your laptop to your TV and project the Youtube Karaoke in your big screen, you can use an HDMI cable. An HDMI cable can transfer both sound and video to your TV. From your TV, you can then output the music to your speakers using a mixer or a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable depending on the input connections of your speakers.
This setup can mirror your laptop’s screen to your TV. You can use this setup to watch movies and play games.
Using your phone, tablet or computer to control YouTube in your TV via WIFI
Your mobile device or computer can connect YouTube wirelessly to your TV through WIFI for the following supported TV devices:
• Smart TVs with the YouTube app
• Android TV
• Google TV
• Playstation 3 and Playstation 4
• Xbox 360 and Xbox One
• Wii U
• Blu-ray Disc Player with the YouTube app installed
• All set-top boxes or cable boxes with the YouTube app installed
Connect your mobile device or computer’s YouTube app to your Smart TV by connecting to the same WIFI network. Install a YouTube app in your Smart TV and link your TV to your device. Select Cast on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Read How to Connect YouTube from your Mobile Device to your TV or follow these instructions – Link your phone, tablet, or computer to watch YouTube on TV.
Using Apple TV for YouTube
The fastest way to use your Apple TV for karaoke at home is to use the Mirroring function of the Apple TV. Apple devices can be mirrored to an Apple TV, so if you are using a Karaoke app or YouTube you can simply mirror it your TV.
However, Apple TV does not support the TV Queueing functionality of YouTube. You will have to manually create a playlist to queue songs. It’s not a seamless experience, there’s a lag between the time when you update your playlist and the time it shows up on your TV.
Using Chromecast as YouTube player for Karaoke
My favorite way of doing karaoke at home via YouTube is through Chromecast. Although YouTube TV Queuing works in other support TV devices (Smart TVs, Roku, Xbox, etc), connecting via Chromecast is a better experience for me – it has no lags and it supports HD videos in YouTube. The quality of connection depends on your TV device. Try connecting YouTube through your Smart TV or other TV device first and if you have issues, get a Chromecast.
Once you have connected your mobile device and control YouTube in your TV, you can queue as many songs as you can! Neighbors, beware! It’s now time for a karaoke party! Remember to add the word “karaoke” for each song title you search in YouTube.
What are your best practices for doing karaoke at home? Do you use YouTube? How do you connect YouTube to your TV? Share your comments below!