Lights, Speakers, Action: Portable Light Show Karaoke/DJ PA Systems


Need something to pick up the pace at parties? Everyone knows that music is key, but why not kick it up a notch or two? Snag a sound system with bright lights and a microphone, then make way for a night of killer karaoke; it’s a great way to grab attention, get people involved, have some laughs, and even incite friendly competition. Plus, DJs can bring a bit of the ol’ razzle dazzle to their shows and special events with a properly lit sound system. B&H has plenty of solutions from brands such as 808 Audio, Behringer, ION Audio, LG, and VocoPro, so let’s check them out!

Liven Up the Living Room

When you’re entertaining at home, you don’t need a massive system to fill up the living room with light and sound, but you’ll want something fun. Though small in size, these next two options keep a high priority on pizzazz.

If you want something you can break out at the drop of a hat, the handheld  808 Audio Singsation Solo is perfect for solo performances. Equipped with 4 multicolor light modes, a microphone, and a speaker in one convenient housing, this handheld karaoke system lets you amplify and process your voice while streaming music from your Bluetooth-enabled mobile device. Onboard controls make it easy to adjust the voice volume and add vocal echo. Since it has an internal rechargeable battery that lasts for up to four hours per charge, you don’t have to worry about the party stopping in the middle of a song.

808 Audio Singsation Solo Deluxe Handheld Karaoke System with Wireless Speaker

808 Audio’s Singsation Main Stage is ideal when you desire more power and more fun for two singers at the same time. It includes two wired handheld microphones, a mic stand with a mobile device cradle, and a floor unit that houses a 40W four-speaker stereo system, a multicolor lighting system, and foot pedals for hands-free control of the lights and sounds. Connect the floor unit to a power outlet, plug in the two mics, and stream music from your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth (or hook up a non-Bluetooth music player to the 3.5mm input) to start cranking out the karaoke. With 25 light modes, 60 vocal effects, and 10 sound effects, it exponentially increases the entertainment factor. Another cool feature is its selectable mode for reducing or removing vocals from the music, which is exactly the sort of thing you need to make tracks ready for karaoke action.

808 Audio Singsation Main Stage 40W Karaoke System with Two Mics

Bumpin’ Backyard Bashes

For more sizeable gatherings and backyard get-togethers, consider a PA setup with more “bump” and louder output. The next couple of models offer that extra boost and some features not found on the previously mentioned products. However, they aren’t battery powered, so make sure an AC outlet is nearby.

The Sony SHAKE-X10 is a stereo sound system with separate speaker cabinets (each has a 7.9” woofer and a horn-loaded 1” tweeter), DJ effects, karaoke features, and much more. With key control, a special fader for turning down the vocal level on CDs, and effects such as flanger, pan, and wah, the SHAKE-X10 is quite the all-in-one karaoke machine. Play music from a disc, a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device, a music player hooked up to the RCA input, a USB flash drive or the built-in FM radio. Two 1/4" inputs accommodate two mics or one mic and a guitar for dazzling duets. Use the built-in mixer to enhance your sound by EQing the music and adding echo to the two mic channels, and adjust the overall volume via a dedicated knob. Lastly, the woofers and main control unit are illuminated with LEDs that react to the beat of the music and offer various color patterns.

VocoPro DVD Karaoke System with Display Monitor, Lightshow, and Powered Speaker

Prepare for a wild ride… LG’s OK99 is part PA system, part karaoke machine, part DJ mixer, and part LED light show. With a 12" woofer, two 4" drivers, two 2" tweeters, and 1800W of power, the OK99 will have no problems making its presence known. It can be fed by a music source (audio/MP3/WMA CD, multi-point Bluetooth, two USB devices, FM radio, stereo RCA, stereo 3.5mm, or optical) and up to two microphones (one is included). The tone of your mix can be sweetened via sound presets or manually adjustable 3-band EQ, and a host of effects are built in for the mic signal. When playing music via CD, USB, or Bluetooth, you’re granted access to two special functions—the 9-step Key Changer and the vocal-attenuating Vocal Canceller—designed specifically for karaoke performances.

LG OK99 1800W LOUDR Audio System

Want to get more people involved in the party? While singers are belting out their best lines, someone else can take control of the OK99’s top panel, which sports two platters for DJ-style scratch effects, three pads for triggering sound effects, a loop function, and DJ effects such as flanger, phaser, wah, and delay. The sweet icing on this cake is the Party Accelerator lever; slide it up to simultaneously manipulate the sound effect and LED lighting for a temporarily intensified experience for partygoers.

Shining on Stage

What about karaoke nights on small stages at restaurants and clubs? The answer is to get off the floor and into the air, meaning you should get a system with speakers that can be positioned well above the ground. These last two solutions offer two different approaches to efficiently dispersing sound at ear level.

ION Audio’s Pro Glow Duo takes the traditional route of having two speakers atop stands. Each cabinet boasts a 10" woofer, a horn-loaded tweeter, 400W of amplification, and multicolor LED lights with selectable modes. Not only does the Pro Glow Duo have two separate speaker cabinets, it also comes with two telescoping tripod speaker stands, two remote controls, a wired handheld mic, and a long 1/4" cable to interconnect the two speakers. You’ll not be surprised to know that it supports FM radio, music streaming from Bluetooth-enabled devices, file playback from a flash drive or an SD card, and wired music sources via RCA, 3.5mm, or 1/4" aux inputs. It doesn’t have fancy DJ modes or key control, but it does have mic echo and 2-band mix EQ.

ION Audio Pro Glow Duo 10" 2-Way 800W Stereo PA System with LED Lighting

The Behringer C210 opts for the sleekness of a column array with 200W of Class-D amplification driving an 8" high-excursion subwoofer and four high-frequency drivers hoisted high over the sub. The C210’s LED lights are built into one of the column sections and can be disabled via a dedicated rear-panel switch. Like the Pro Glow Duo, the C210 supports an array of sound sources including Bluetooth devices, USB flash drives, SD cards, FM radio, and analog signals (one line/instrument source and up to two microphones). Other than its physical stature, one of the big perks of the C210 is its DSP, which provides 3-band EQ, echo, and multiple tone-shaping presets. Do note that no microphones are bundled with this PA system, so you’ll have to use your own mics or add a couple to your cart.

Behringer C210 200W Powered Column Loudspeaker with 8" Subwoofer

Ending on a High Note

As you can see, each of these systems has its own particular strengths. So, deciding which one is best for you requires that you figure out what sort of fun you’ll be having most. Since we’re always interested in gear talk, you’re welcome to tell us about your favorite party time speaker systems in the Comments section, below.