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Published on January 23rd, 2012 | by Greg

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Soulo: iPad and iPhone Karaoke Made Easy

Con­fes­sion: most of our staff love singing. None of us will get on Amer­i­can Idol any­time soon, but most of us love grab­bing the mic in Rock Band, and many of our crew have spent quite a bit of time in karaoke par­lors and bars. In a group, it can be a ton of fun- but maybe you don’t love tak­ing turns, or per­haps you want to get in some prac­tice and it feels weird to lack a posse. Al­ter­na­tive­ly, you could just be a bit em­bar­rassed or un­cer­tain about your prowess, or be trav­el­ing on the road and un­able to lug around a lot of gear or find a place to in­dulge your vo­cal fan­tasies.

For each of these sce­nar­ios, the Soulo Dig­i­tal Wire­less Mi­cro­phone for iPhone 4 and 4s and iPad/iPad2 comes in handy. Sim­ply down­load the free app, con­nect the wire­less don­gle, and turn your iDe­vice in­to a per­son­al, portable karaoke ex­pe­ri­ence that works sur­pris­ing­ly well. On one hand, there are oth­er mi­cro­phones out there, as well as oth­er karaoke ap­pli­ca­tions. This one is def­i­nite­ly more ful­ly-fea­tured than oth­ers though, and the pack­age is com­pelling for sev­er­al rea­sons.

An app like this lives and dies on the mu­sic li­brary of course. And there are some great songs here, and more added reg­u­lar­ly, though if you have a fa­vorite track, you stand a good chance of be­ing dis­ap­point­ed. Clas­sics in­clude “Come Sail Away”, “Co­paca­bana”, “Ba­by One More Time”, and “1999″, and ten tracks are in­clud­ed but then of course you’ll need to buy oth­ers. The soft­ware is easy to use and quite re­spon­sive, and we re­al­ly liked the look and feel on the iPad, though the back­grounds and such that ap­pear dur­ing a song are not ex­act­ly im­pres­sive. We liked many of the fea­tures- record­ing via the built-in cam­era, plen­ty of ef­fects like Re­verb, Echo, and a pitch cor­rec­tion that works well. And best of all, you can use your iTunes li­brary and your own songs, and the soft­ware will at­tempt to re­move to vo­cals- it’s nifty, though not per­fect, but a great way to huge­ly ex­pand your li­brary as long as you know the lyrics (or have them in the meta­da­ta) and don’t mind an oc­ca­sion­al glitch or be­ing lim­it­ed to 60 sec­onds of record­ing.

The wire­less mic is sol­id, well-made, and pow­ered by two AA bat­ter­ies (not in­clud­ed). We didn’t have any trou­ble with bat­tery life; ap­par­ent­ly a new set should last you about 20 hours of singing time. A wired ver­sion is al­so avail­able, for about $30 less, should you wish. The wire­less ver­sion does re­quire a don­gle, and isn’t con­nect­ed via Blue­tooth- it us­es the dock con­nec­tor, mean­ing that you can’t dock your phone or iPad at the same time as play­ing. Al­so, you can on­ly use one mic at a time. But over­all, it’s hard to quib­ble. Ev­ery­thing worked well, and though we don’t of­ten feel a deep need to karaoke on a small screen with lim­it­ed sound, it’s pret­ty great from time to time and es­pe­cial­ly with a part­ner. We don’t sug­gest try­ing this on a plane, but even a small apart­ment will have plen­ty of room. At $99, it’s a good deal, and avail­able wide­ly now.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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