doPi Karaoke and iKaraoke

Leslie Ayers's picture

doPi Karaoke and iKaraoke

The doPi box connects to your TV.


The iKaraoke can connect to your stereo via cable, or transmit your voice to your FM radio over the airwaves.


When you've been dumped, there's nothing quite as cathartic as belting out a rendition of "Love Hurts." In fact, we're pretty sure that's how some of the first-round contestants on American Idol got their start.


You might do it anyway, when you're alone with your iPod, so why not sing out loud in the company of friends with your very own iPod karaoke system? doPi Karaoke and Griffin Technology's iKaraoke give you two options: doPi is a true video karaoke system that connects to your TV and lets you display the lyrics as the music plays. iKaraoke hooks up to a stereo and your iPod, and broadcasts over the stereo's speakers. Both systems are easy to set up, provided your TV and stereo have the necessary connections: composite audio and video jacks for doPi and an audio line-in jack for iKaraoke. Both systems also drain your iPod's battery while in use.


Before you can host a sing-along with the doPi Karaoke system, you also need to add MP4 videos that include the music and onscreen lyrics to your iTunes collection—three downloads come free with the unit, and you can buy additional tracks from doPi's website for $1.99 each. When we searched for all the tracks that feature audio and video lyrics, we got 1,327 results (out of 8,856 total), including "Baby Got Back" and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild."


Once the doPi Karaoke is connected to your TV and iPod with the included composite cables, you need to change a couple of settings on the iPod—most importantly, select Ask under Videos > Video Settings > TV Out. We needed to adjust the sound on all three TV setups we tested the doPi with, which is to be expected. But in every case, the volume of the background music seemed too low—even with the iPod and TV volumes turned way up—especially compared to the mic volume, which, at its lowest setting, was just a tad too loud. Still, compared to other home karaoke systems we've used, doPi Karaoke is not only more affordable (home systems start at around $100), but also more portable, and it offers higher-quality sound and components.


The compact iKaraoke is a much simpler system in that it doesn't offer a video option. The mic is about 30 percent smaller than the doPi's full-size mic, and it fits comfortably in one hand. Strangely, the voice toggle switch (which turns a song's vocals on or off) is directly behind the switch that launches the iKaraoke's setup menu on your iPod, so it's easy to hit one or the other without meaning to. We had zero luck transmitting the sound using the FM frequency option; there are just too many active FM radio stations in our area. And we have to ding Griffin for not including a $2 audio cable (for connecting to a stereo) with the unit. iKaraoke is a simpler system than the doPi Karaoke, but at $49.99, it only costs $10 less.


The bottom line. doPi Karaoke gives you a full-blown home karaoke system - you supply the video camera for the full Idol effect. iKaraoke is a capable and compact system for a very small party - or even a party of one.


doPi Karaoke
PRICE: $59.99
REQUIREMENTS: Video-capable iPod, MP4 player, or DVD player
MP4 videos with music and lyrics cost $1.99 each.
iPod connector sold separately. Emits noticeable background noise. Weak bass.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


COMPANY: Griffin Technology
PRICE: $49.99
REQUIREMENTS: iPod, audio line-out cable (optional)
Portable. Easy to set up. Good sound for small mic.
Short mic cable. FM output not an option in all areas. Expensive.





+ Add a Comment

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.