Does the very thought of karaoke make you cringe? I feel the same, or at least I used to until this past weekend when I hosted not one but two karaoke jams powered by the IMGadgets PrtyRckr Portable Karaoke! If you’re looking for an awesome way to bring some serious fun to your holiday gatherings this year, you have check out the PrtyRckr. Read on and I’ll tell you why.
What’s in the box?
Before I go any further, I do want to express my one major gripe with the PrtyRckr karaoke machine. When I hear the words “karaoke machine,” I expect to find everything I need for a karaoke session, including music and a screen to display lyrics. And this is what the PrtyRckr lacks. It is essentially a portable speaker with two microphones. You need to figure out the lyrics and music part yourself. But honestly, that wasn’t such a big deal in the end as I just downloaded a free karaoke app that had tonnes of great music on it. More about that later.
The PrtyRckr comes pre-assembled, and in my case pre-charged. Aside from the two wireless microphones, you get the charge cord and an audio cable. One of the great things about the PrtyRckr is that it is truly portable. It has an internal rechargeable battery that lasts for hours and a retractable handle and wheels to make it even easier to truck around, although it’s light enough to carry too. I make a habit of plugging my rechargeable devices in whenever I can, so I generally kept the PrtyRckr plugged in when it was close to an outlet. The charge cord is only about three feet long though, and I feel like five feet would make it a little more useful.
How to set up the IMGadgets PrtyRckr
Setting up the PrtyRckr is as easy as pie. All you need to do is power it up, switch on the mics, and you’re almost ready for your karaoke jam. At this point, you could sing acapella, or you can connect your device to the PrtyRckr either by Bluetooth or using the supplied audio cable. I decided to use the Bluetooth option because I wanted to read the lyrics from my phone. The nice thing about the microphones is that you don’t need to connect them—as soon as you power everything up, the sound comes right through.
As I mentioned earlier, I found a free app that had tonnes of great songs on it, but my daughter preferred to use Spotify because she wanted to sing along rather than be the lead vocalist. My in-laws preferred to screen mirror their iPhones on our Samsung Smart TV and find the lyrics to their favourite songs online. I had two problems with that approach, however. Firstly, you don’t get an indication of which words you’re supposed to be singing, and secondly, the sound runs through the TV instead of the PrtyRckr, and the audio quality is not as good. Good luck explaining that to my in-laws though!
The PrtyRckr takes microSD cards
There is another way to get music onto your PrtyRckr using a microSD card. You can pack many, many MP3s onto a microSD card, so you’ll have tonnes of songs to sing along to. But unless you have the instrumental versions, you won’t be able to be the lead singer, and of course, you’ll have to figure out how to get the lyrics if you don’t know them.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways to set your PrtyRckr up for your karaoke jam, which is actually an advantage in my book because it offers you greater flexibility. I also just discovered that there are a bunch of karaoke songs with lyrics on YouTube, so that’s another option. The biggest difficulty for me was trying to get the lyrics on a screen bigger than my iPhone while running the music through the PrtyRckr. Not a biggie, but it meant I had to hold my phone in my spare hand while I was “performing,” which was a bit of a limitation on my artistic expression. In the end, I figured out that I could just attach the PrtyRckr to my smart TV via Bluetooth and play those YouTube karaoke tracks.
Sound and build quality
The sound quality out of the PrtyRckr is ok—nothing spectacular, and certainly not as good as my Ultimate Ears Megaboom. I found it a little bit flat and unable to perform well across the entire frequency range. But for the purposes of having fun at a party it’s fine, and you can turn it up pretty loud. A simple way to improve the sound would be to place it on a table so that the sound is less muffled at floor level.
In terms of build quality, the PrtyRckr is mostly plastic (which doesn’t inspire too much confidence), although the handle is made of metal. Provided you are fairly careful with it, however, I don’t see why you shouldn’t get a few years use out of it. The microphones, on the other hand, might not last very long (as they don’t appear to be that durable and are going to get a lot of use and abuse as they are passed around). The power button on one of mine actually broke after just a few days use, and if I had actually bought the PrtyRckr, I would return it to get that replaced. So fair warning—NO MIC DROPS!
One of the best things about our time with the PrtyRckr was watching my daughter get the opportunity to perform in front of others. I was surprised at first by how shy she was (because she loves to sing in the car), but I guess standing up in front of a crowd is a different matter. Singing karaoke with the PrtyRckr was the perfect way to give her exposure to that discomfort, and I could visibly see her confidence grow the more she practiced.
While the sound and build quality leave something to be desired, I think that the PrtyRckr is good value, and for the amount of fun we had using it, I would have to give it the thumbs up. Definitely a great way to amp up your holiday gatherings this year.