Singing Machine iSM1028Xa Review

Singing Machine iSM1028Xa ReviewThe Singing Machine iSM1028Xa is a great karaoke system for both casual and avid users. It’s got everything you’d expect from a karaoke machine plus more.

The Singing Machine iSM1028Xa comes with 2 wired microphones (each with separate volume controls), a pair of 7-watt tower speakers, RCA cables, an AC cord, and a demo disc.

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Setting up the Singing Machine iSM1028Xa is easy and finding and loading up tunes even easier. The system includes a standard CD/CD+ Graphics player and an AM/FM radio but music can also be played through an iPod and/or iPhone (except iPhone 5). All karaoke apps can be used on these devices and free karaoke videos can be found on YouTube and elsewhere online. Singing Machine also offers 5 free Karaoke downloads upon purchase to get you started (store.singingmachine.com).

You have the option of displaying song lyrics either on the built-in 7-inch color LCD monitor or a TV using the supplied RCA cables. The resolution of the LCD monitor, however, is somewhat fuzzy which makes reading lyrics while singing a bit difficult.

[wp-review] PROS:
Lots of useful features; Easy to use

CONS:
Sound quality of microphones are average at best; Grainy monitor and video quality

The Singing Machine iSM1028Xa also comes installed with the Karaokevision video camera so you can watch yourself singing in real-time. This feature alone sets itself apart from many other karaoke machines in the same price bracket. Having said that, the picture quality of the camera is grainy but passable. Equally acceptable but not outstanding is the sound quality of the towers.

The Singing Machine iSM1028Xa offers several ways to manipulate the audio including balance and echo controls, audio voice control, and digital key control to customize performances.

The design of the Singing Machine iSM1028Xa looks quite sleek from afar but the plastic chassis looks a bit cheap when you’re up close. Still, for the price, it’s hard to complain.

We noticed that the height of the iSM1028Xa (29.1″) is a few inches less than Singing Machine’s previous model—the iSM-1028 N (37.9″). That’s good news for those on the shorter side. With the iSM1028N model, you practically had to be on top of the machine in order to be picked up by the camera.

A common issue among many of the more affordable karaoke machines is the poor quality of microphones. They’re usually not sensitive enough to pick up voices which is precisely the problem with the iSM1028Xa microphones. Rather than shouting yourself hoarse to be heard, we’d recommend shelling out a few more dollars to get a better karaoke microphone such as the Pyle-Pro PDMIC58. If you decide to go this route, make sure that the microphone cables are long enough for your room, otherwise add on a couple of cable extensions.

>> Read more reviews for the Singing Machine iSM1028Xa on Amazon <<

Lastly, while the following list aren’t deal breakers, we’d like to see Singing Machine include these features in future models:Singing Machine iSM1028Xa Review

  • The ability to accommodate iPads, not just iPods and iPhones. The recently reviewed Memorex MKS-SS2 SingStand 2 is an example of a karaoke machine that includes this feature.
  • The ability to store music directly on the machine to cue up later for easy access.
  • The ability to record karaoke jams with the video camera.
  • The ability to zoom in/out with the video camera.

If you’re looking for a karaoke machine that offers iPod/iPhone connectivity, a monitor to view lyrics, and a basic video camera, then the Singing Machine iSM1028Xa is a good choice. Furthermore, Singing Machine—the first company to sell home karaoke products in the United States—has a pretty solid reputation for selling well regarded and affordable karaoke machines. We therefore give this product a thumbs up.

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