We were invited to attend a VTech event with Cece Sammy, voice coach on Pop Idol and The Voice among others, to learn more about their brand new Kidi Super Star Karaoke microphone and stand. The Kidi Super Star gives kids who love music an opportunity to sing and perform. The "Music Magic" button, reduces the volume of the vocals, so kids can sing to the music and even record your own voices. Cece Sammy shared her tips and tricks for becoming a singing super star!
Disclaimer: VTech gave us a Kidi Super Star set to continue to try out at home, after their promotional event. As always our opinions are our own.
At Tech Age Kids we think digital music offer a wide range of opportunities for kids to explore their interest in music. Not every music lover will become a pop star, although Cece Sammy gave us some great tips to get started.
Cultivating a child's love for music, and enabling them with programming skills opens a world of opportunities in the digital music industry. Projects like, The Sonic Pi Live and Coding Project, for example, demonstrates how music can even be a pathway into computing and coding.
Make your own digital music:
So what did we make of the VTech Kidi Super Star?
Getting StartedThe toy only comes in bright pink and purple, and we really hope this doesn't put off boys, because my boys (ages 5 and 8) thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Kidi Super Star.
Not only can you sing and record your voice (up to 4 min), there are musical games to play and a glowing light to create a disco atmosphere.
The karaoke machine comes with a plastic stand, which is easy to put together. We found it a bit tall, but then removed one tube to adjust the height. My boys mostly used the machine off the stand.
It's really simple to operate, with a dial to change options but unfortunately doesn't have a touch screen, like the VTech Smartwatch.
VTech Kidi Super Star is currently available in the UK retailing at £49.99.
You can also use an AC/DC Jack, however VTech recommends you use a VTech AC/DC 7.5V 400mA adaptor and removing the batteries when you use it.
You can play external music on the Kidi Super Star using the 3.5mm jack included. We tested it with our old fashioned CD player and a mobile device.
The Magic Music button cancels out or softens the main vocals of the external music, so kids can sing the main vocals through the microphone.
It worked really well with music played from Spotify and Youtube. The main vocals were still fairly audible when we tested it with the CD player.
The Kidi Super Star also has 8 built-in songs, which with the Music Magic button cancels out all vocals, creating a great backing track to sing over. We thought adding scrolling words would be great feature to help kids learn the words to the songs. (Words to the songs are included in the user manual)
Games and More
My kids favourite games are Beat Catcher, Beat Boxer and Play that Instrument where you blow into the microphone to make the instrument sound.
You can also change how your voice sounds, which the boys really liked. They did interviews with each other using the robot voice and told scary stories with the echo voice.
Our VerdictAt first I didn't think my boys would like the Kidi Super Star, but I've been pleasantly surprised. They didn't mind the bright pink, although we do think it would be more appealing for boys with better colour choices.
The kids really enjoyed the voice recording feature, and mostly used it to record themselves interviewing each other. My eight year old loved the musical games.
There's a small holder for a mobile device on the stand, which is very convenient when you are using the external music connection through a mobile phone.
VTech recommends the Kidi Super Star for ages 6+. At the VTech event much younger children also enjoyed playing with the toy.
Here's what my 5 year old's thoughts on it:
External Music was from Youtube - The Polkadots: Technology Song for Kids