Aside from eating, I believe that singing Karaoke would rank highly on a list of Singaporean’s favorite pastimes. As evidenced by the many flourishing KTV joints in Singapore, Singaporeans love their Karaoke. Whether you prefer to belt out emotional Jay Chou songs, sing ballads by Siti Nurhaliza, rock out to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody or maybe Ka Ho Naa Ho is your jam. One thing is clear, Karaoke is enjoyed by almost everyone. Aside from heading to KTVs to get your Karaoke fix, there is the option to get a Karaoke system for your home.
However, getting a proper Karaoke system for your home can be rather complicated. On top of the sound system, wireless microphone set, and amplifier; you will want to find a karaoke console with the latest songs without weird music videos. This is where Popsical comes in.
On the back of their successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015; Popsical has gone from strength to strength offering their product in Singapore and then Malaysia. Simply put, the Popsical is a cloud-based Karaoke system with an extensive up to date music library. Does this system deserve a spot in your house? Read on to find out as we go into an in-depth review of the Popsical Karaoke System; going over the hardware, song library, ease of use and the Popsical Sound Set.
*We would like to thank Popsical for sending us this the Popsical Karaoke system and the Popsical Sound Set for review.
$250 SGD, gets you the base Popsical system which comes with the device, power plug, cable, and remote. (Available on Qoo10 via ShopBack with additional 2% cashback) The device itself is very petite, weighing in at a light 150g and not much bigger than a CD. In addition, the product itself is well designed and would look good on most tv consoles. With its small size and modern design, the Popsical system would not be out of place in most homes. If pink is not your color, the unit comes in mint green as well.
On top of the color options, the Popsical Karaoke system offers up a full range of ports. The I/O includes a 10/100M Ethernet Port, USB Type-C, USB 2.0 OTG, the latest 802.11n/b/g/ac(Pro) Wifi, 3.5mm Aux out and a MicroSD slot. This is more ports than you ever need for a Karaoke system, allowing you to connect to a broad range of TVs and sound systems.
Karaoke Song Library
Arguably, a Karaoke system lives and dies by the song library. You could have the fanciest hardware and best sound system but it is nothing if you don’t have the right songs. At the time of this review, Popsical has over 100,00 songs licensed from RIMSS (Recording Industry Music Services Singapore) and COMPASS (Composer and Authors Society of Singapore). With songs from up to 13 languages, there was a wide variety to chose from.As Popsical licenses the content the songs and music videos require a subscription. When you purchase the system you will be given free access fo the first 30 days and 15 mins a day after that. Otherwise, you will need to pay S$3.99 or S$9.99 per month for 24-hour access with the option to purchase a day pass for $3.99 when your friends come over.
To test this, we sang Karaoke at my friend’s housewarming party. The songs were available in many versions including the original music video, lyric videos, third-party covers and lyric videos. As long as the song has a licensed karaoke version, it will be available on Popsical. I was pleasantly surprised that they had songs like Rich Brian’s Glow Like Dat while my friends could find most of the songs that they wanted. Alternatively, if you are unable to find the song that you want, you can request for the song via the app and Popsical will obtain the song for you. Once the song has been added, you will be notified of its addition.
Ease of Use
Speaking of requesting songs, the process was simple and straightforward. The companion app itself was well designed. Hooking up the Popsical Karaoke system to the TV and Popsical Sound System was not overly complicated. Once we downloaded the companion app and synced it up to the system; we were on to singing Karaoke.
Songs were divided up into Hottest playlists, genres, and artists. On top of that, you could browse for songs with your phone’s chosen keyboard. The user interface was smooth, well designed and we found adding songs to sing a breeze.
Popscial Sound System
In addition to the base unit, you can choose to purchase the Popsical Sound System if you do not have a microphone sound system. On its own, the Popsical sound system costs $250 while it costs $399 when bundled with the Popsical base unit. The build of the Popsical Sound System is reassuringly solid with thick rubber feet to elevate it off surfaces. In terms of inputs, the Popsical Sound System offers up RCA, AUX, co-axial, optical, 3.5mm and Bluetooth 2.1. We would advise you to avoid using Bluetooth audio as performance is rather choppy. In addition, the Popsical Sound System allows you to record audio directly when you insert a memory storage device into the USB A port.
In terms of sound, the Popsical Sound System produces pleasing audio that fills the room. However, it is not as good as more professional karaoke sound systems as the sound produced is not as dynamic. Regardless, it is important to note that an equivalent system without the Popsical base unit costs almost as much as the entire bundle. Moreover, the Popscial Sound System allows you to make adjustments to the bass, treble and even change the key when singing.
As for the mics, they come in red and blue with matching LED lights to indicate power. Build quality is decent but as the mics are made out of plastic, they might crack if dropped. When in use, we found that the mics sounded a bit muffled if our voices were too soft. This was not a problem once we started singing a bit louder. Additionally, there are fun presets you can use to change your voice and adjust mic echo levels as well. Feedback loops were also not a problem as the mics had a noise gate to prevent that from happening.
An important thing to note is that accessories are not included with the Popsical Sound System. This means that you will have to purchase cables and the 2AA batteries required for each mic separately. Thus, the Popsical Sound System offers up good value if you don’t already have a mic sound system.
Overall, the Popsical Karaoke system is a great option if you are considering getting a home Karaoke system. This is due to Its solid hardware, extensive song library, polished UI and ease of setup and use. Plus, we liked the fact that you were able to have multiple app users add songs at the same time with the system’s ‘party’ session. This all comes together in a relatively affordable package that updates the Karaoke experience for the 21st century. Aside from the average sound quality from the Popsical Sound System, we would recommend you to get this if you are big fans of singing Karaoke at home.
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