Indian music label Saregama’s Carvaan series of portable music players is now an established brand, popular among people across generations for its timeless collection of songs. The series has been upgraded with new features several times, and the latest entrant brings karaoke features with built-in screen and about 1,000 karaoke tracks to choose from. Named Saregama Carvaan Karaoke, the music player still looks pretty, quite like the previous generation Carvaan 2.0 (review). But it has gained a little bit of weight – not too much, just a little.
Starting with the Karaoke-related features first, the Saregama Carvaan Karaoke has a built-in screen, and it comes with a pair of wireless microphones. Besides, the music player now comes with an HDMI out port, in addition to USB 2.0 and AUX-in ports. While the placement of buttons and ports remains mostly the same as in Saregama Carvaan 2.0, the top side of the Carvaan Karaoke houses its pop-up screen module, which comes out in the Karaoke mode. It is a colour screen with no support for touch operations. Nevertheless, the screen is big enough to stay readable even from a distance. It, however, lacks the brightness to stay legible in outdoors.
The screen shows information related to karaoke track collection, making it easy to browse through the catalogue and find songs of choice. Once a song is selected, the screen shows the lyrics (Hindi and English) in bold letters with a highlight function to keep you in sync with the audio track. The highlight feature is colour coded – sky blue for parts in the lyrics sung by a male voice and purple for female. Thanks to the HDMI out port, you can connect the Carvaan Karaoke with a supported screen or projector. The HDMI connection, however, only projects the lyrics on the connected screen and does not bypass audio. Speaking of the audio output, the Carvaan Karaoke’s speakers boast a good volume level but are not able to keep up well in terms of quality. The speakers are tuned for vocals which works for karaoke tracks but not otherwise. The speakers lack bass depth, and the treble is misguided.
Coming back to karaoke-related features, the Saregama Carvaan Karaoke comes with two full-sized wireless mics. The mics are heavy (with batteries) and do not match the quality of the music player. From a weird silver-black colour theme to paint chipping off and tight rubber buttons, the mics look cheap and out of place. They, however, work fine for the singalong utility.
Though an upgrade, the karaoke model does not take away any of the fundamental features of Saregama Carvaan. It still comes pre-loaded with 5,000 songs, including a thorough collection of everlasting audio tracks that date back to the mid ’90s. The songs can be classified by singer, music director, lyricist, or even mood. The availability of connectivity options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi add a modern touch to this otherwise retro-themed music player. While Bluetooth lets you turn the music player into a wireless speaker, Wi-Fi allows you to stream songs, podcasts, and even news. The Wi-Fi channels update regularly, bringing something new to the table every time you turn to Saregama Carvaan Karaoke to lift your mood.
From connectivity options to a wide pool of built-in songs, the Saregama Carvaan Karaoke is as good as any of its previous iterations. The addition of the mic-in feature makes the music player somewhat better. Priced at Rs 19,990, the Carvaan Karaoke is aimed at the niche market of people with interest in music. For others, it might seem more on the expensive side.