Karaoke can be a lot of fun, but the one thing needed is being able to practice it whenever you can. That’s why so many people wish they had a karaoke machine at home — but having to pay a lot, no way! Isn’t there an alternative to be able to use what you already have at home to make it work just as well and more affordable? That’s the idea behind VocoPro’s HD-Oke Karaoke Add-On For Sound Bars and Home Theater Systems with HDMI Connections in a nutshell.
So there’s a lot going on in that name, but what seems obvious is that it expects you to use your sound bar or home theater audio system (amplifier and speakers). Fair enough. But there’s two other things you need for a karaoke system and that’s the audio source (i.e., the songs) and a way to sing along (i.e., a microphone). So there has got to be a way to choose songs and see lyrics; there’s got to be a microphone to sing into; there’s got to be a way to connect that microphone to a sound system that can play both the music as well as letting you hear the person now performing.
HD-Oke works by integrating with what you already have: the songs/lyrics are available on the Internet (there’s a huge number of Karaoke tracks) as well as Karaoke channels available through a cable/satellite provider. HD-Oke is designed to accept up to 2 wired microphones (included) and has an HDMI input to take the video/audio signal coming from a cable/satellite box or a streaming device (like an AppleTV or a Roku, etc.) or it could even be a video player (i.e., Blu-ray player). The HD-Oke mixes the audio it receives with the microphone audio and then sends it on to the soundbar or AV Receiver and of course that includes video going to a display too (i.e., a TV). There is also the option of using an analog in/out instead (via a 1/8th” input/output) so as to allow the use of audio devices such as MP3 players and the like.
Getting connected to the HD-Oke is easy since HDMI is used for receiving the audio signal and then sending it on its way to the soundbar or AV Receiver. The two microphone inputs allow for duets and are both affected equally by a series of controls. These include the obvious volume control, but also a 5 level Echo control for enhancing voices (with accompanying LEDs on the front mounted display). There’s also a Vocal Eliminator which reduces/muffles lead vocals from non-Karaoke tracks so as to allow the opportunity of any song being used. Because of the way the HD-Oke operates, the microphones can not be used without a track, but why would you?
Of course the most important thing is that there’s low-latency of the audio from the microphones converted into digital and mixed in with the already existing digital signal. Or to simplify, when you’re singing, what you hear coming out from the speakers isn’t out of sync to where it sounds bad. Some latency is unavoidable, so as it varies depending on the device, the best results will come from using an AV Receiver as the recipient of the digital signal (the TV itself being the least best to use).