Tao Music's iKTV Karaoke system
by Mr. Stinkhead made famous by R. Coltrane
Karaoke has been one of my favorite hobbies since as long as I've been drinking alcohol. When I first moved away from the security of a town where I actually knew people, I met new friends by singing karaoke. Of course, all my friends were drunks, and I never saw them in daylight. But I gained some small-town notoriety from it. Nowadays I take every opportunity to sing karaoke at new bars, friends' weddings, the International Toy Fair in NYC, you name it.
So I was at Toy Fair last year with Lando and had a chance to sample Tao Music's iKTV karaoke system. I sang my old stand-by Tainted Love. I tried to get the crowd worked up a bit with the ole, point-the-mic-at-the-crowd during the dah-dah-TAINTED LOVE. It didn't work too well. If you haven't been to Toy Fair, you should know that 99% of the guests are suits there to do business. Everyone was sober too. But I had a great time singing in front of 300+ strangers. If you're throwing a party or moving into a dorm, this is the best karaoke machine to pick up.
The unit is nice... it's compact, around the size of a George Foreman grill, it plugs into your television with included A/V cables, and the controls are built into the microphone. My favorite part is watching the cheesy-good music videos that accompany the words on the screen. This iKTV unit will play any CD, however if you pop in one of the discs from their vast library, you'll get words, optional vocals, and the sweet music videos.
It's very easy to set up, just plug in the unit with their AC adaptor, and use the AV cables to plug into your TV. Then plug up to four microphones into the front jacks. And you're done. Pop in a CD and skip to the song you want to sing. You can also record short bursts of your voice to playback and echo yourself. My girlfriend says I don't need to use this feature again. You can easily turn on and off the back-up vocals with the touch of a button on the mic, so if you're having a hard time hitting the notes, or feel lonely because you're doing karaoke by yourself in your boxers, you can have instant accompaniment.
I like how easy is it to pack it up and take someplace. You can then set up and start singing without any hassle. Also with the four jacks, you can get a couple of friends to join in. I have to say the best feature is that the controls are right there on the mike, you can skip around without having to run up to the unit. If you're anything like me, you need a ten foot radius for all the dancing and scrambling you're doing. Also, I keep mentioning their library, click on the thumbnail to see how sweet that top CD is... the video for You Give Love A Bad Name is classic!
The only thing I wish it had would be an easier way to jack this thing into a stereo for added boost. Right now, this unit is intended for living room activity, and your voice comes through the TV speakers. I don't normally complain about being too quiet, but if I'm going to sing, I want it loud. My recommendation would be one more jack on the back for portable speakers or a boom box mic jack. Luckily my stereo had audio-in jacks, and I even used the mic to assist with my game show at the first annual MPb BBQ.
Before, when I thought of karaoke machines, I thought bulky, expensive, and tough to do anything with. The iKTV unit really changed that perception and... First I ran to you (I ran)... I've found that more friends than I'd originally now I RUN FROM YOU like joining in. They all say they're shy, but put a mic in front of them... TAKE MY TEARS AND THAT'S NOT LIVIN' OHHHHH!
Check out the iKTV in action at the first annual MPb BBQ.