Published on April 27th, 2009 | by Greg0
The Ultimate Karaoke Experience Doesn’t Quite Live Up To The Name
Two microphones. A USB mixer and base unit that is easy to setup. Access to over 5,000 karaoke-ready songs. And it’s pretty easy to record yourself singing, if you have a webcam, so you can upload your videos to Youtube and show your friends (or make new enemies). Best of all- it’s only $40! Sounds great, especially for those tired of karaoke machines with the same limited supply of songs.
But the problems are, unfortunately, many. We don’t know about you, but a good part of the fun of karaoke around here is using it in a party- around a TV, not your computer. Sorry, if that’s what you want, you are mostly out of luck with the Ultimate Karaoke Experience. And what about singing to your favorite song? Sorry, a lot of stuff are songs like Amazing Grace or Ave Maria, due to the fact that the songs are licensed legally. There are some great tracks available, and more tracks are added regularly- R.E.M., even Afroman and Ace of Base and Lily Allen and The Killers- but the selection isn’t as amazing as the thousands of songs might indicate. And we haven’t mentioned the monthly fee- actually fairly reasonable, with a very limited ad-supported free service, or a monthly unlimited plan for $10 a month, with a two-month minimum. A $100 a year plan is also available.
The interface is pretty good, even if the equipment itself doesn’t feel all that sturdy or attractive. But the biggest problem for us was Lips (and Rock Band and Guitar Hero to a lesser extent). Sure, you need to have an Xbox 360 (or a PS3 for Singstar), but if you already do, they form a much better all-around platform for karaoke. After having karaoke with wireless mics and fancy videos and fun gameplay, on our big HD screen, with a modern and cover-free music library, it’s hard to go back to old-school karaoke. Where are the pitch guides?! The so-called Ultimate Karaoke Experience fails to live up to the name- strictly entry-level, fun if limited. Available directly online.