The Good Karaoke kit for iPad boasts wireless Bluetooth microphone and speaker; free StarMaker app handles karaoke functionality onscreen.
The Bad Without an adapter, 30-pin dock connector only works with iPad 3 and older iPads; voice delays from the Bluetooth microphone reduce the fun; there are better-sounding wireless speakers for half the price; you can't use your existing song library -- each song must be purchased separately.
The Bottom Line The Philips AEA7100 Wireless Speaker and Microphone might be worth the bucks for hard-core karaoke fans, but $180 is a lot to ask for an accessory that takes a back seat to the free StarMaker karaoke app.
Philips karaoke kit doesn't hit the right notes
All those plastic guitars and drum kits from Rock Band and Guitar Hero games of years past may be gathering dust in millions of basements, but karaoke remains. Plenty of bars still let folks get liquored up and belt out an endless supply of tunes -- and plenty of people never realize that "Gimme Shelter" is best left to the pros until it's far too late.
Now, however, there's an app for that: StarMaker: Karaoke + Auto-Tune offers over 500 song choices ranging in genre and decade with crowdsourced competitions for real prizes, while different single and multiplayer battle modes keep the momentum of the virtual stage. And to amplify the home StarMaker experience, Philips has created karaoke hardware: the AEA7100 Wireless Speaker Dock and Bluetooth Microphone. Here's my problem with it, though: a couple of puny 5-watt speakers and a plastic battery-powered microphone might be acceptable specs for a children's toy, but it's a tough sell at $180 -- especially after I tell you that the songs are all sold separately.
Strip away the fun of the StarMaker app (which you can download for free from iTunes and use with any iOS device anyway) and the AEA7100 struggles to justify its price tag, especially compared with other Bluetooth speakers that offer a rechargeable battery or built-in speakerphone, neither of which is found here.
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