Singing Machine ISM-1028Xa Review

Updated February 28, 2014
Singing Machine ISM-1028Xa
Bottom Line

The Singing Machine ISM-1028Xa is a more sophisticated karaoke system than the top-rated Electrohome EAKAR300 (Est. $70) . It includes a built-in screen, dual microphones and two powerful external speakers. While it has more features than the Electrohome, it also gets more complaints about durability, despite its higher price tag. Also, while it has a dock for an iPod or iPhone, it lacks an auxiliary port to connect other types of MP3 players.


Feature packed. The ISM-1028Xa offers a wealth of features, including dual speakers, a built-in monitor, two microphones and separate volume controls for vocals and backing tracks. There are also various voice modulation options, such as echo control, digital key adjustment and auto voice control (AVC). However, it's not as versatile as some other players. It can play CD+Gs and stream music from an iPod or iPhone, but there's no way to connect any other type of MP3 player. Note that you'll need an adapter for the latest Apple mobile devices, which use a Lightning connector. Also, though the ISM-1028Xa has a built-in radio, you can't sing along with it; all karaoke features automatically switch off when the radio goes on.

  • Built-in screen
  • Dual microphones
  • Lots of features
  • Easy to use
  • No auxiliary port
  • Some durability complaints

Setup and use

Sound performer. Reviewers generally describe the ISM-1028Xa as very easy to set up and use. Owners are particularly pleased at how easy it is to stream YouTube videos via the karaoke machine's iPod/iPhone dock. Thanks to this feature, reports one satisfied owner at, "I have yet to need to buy any of the CD+G disks." Most reviewers also say this machine delivers good overall sound quality and volume, though some warn that it's not really professional quality. The ISM-1028Xa's weakest point seems to be the microphones; some users say their gain is poor and you must get very close to them for the vocals to be audible.


A bit flimsy. The reviewer at says that the machine's mostly plastic construction is "a bit of a bummer," though everything still worked on their machine. Not all users were so lucky, however: Many reviewers at and say the machine either stopped working soon after purchase or never worked properly at all. It's backed by a 90-day warranty that covers "defects in material and workmanship," but that won't protect you if the machine gets knocked over -- which some owners say is quite likely to happen, as it's very top-heavy.

Our Sources


Singing Machine iSM1028Xa, Editors of, Not Dated

The Singing Machine ISM-1028Xa is one of the top three home karaoke players at, with an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. The reviewer praises its sound performance and great features, but notes that it's hampered by the lack of an auxiliary input jack.


Singing Machine iSM1028Xa 7-Inch Color TFT Display CDG Karaoke Player, Contributors to, As of March 2014

There are over 80 reviews for the Singing Machine ISM-1028Xa at, with ratings averaging 3.6 stars out of 5. Owners praise the karaoke machine's sound quality, and they love how easy it is to view YouTube videos on it. However, there are quite a few complaints about durability.


The Singing Machine iSM1028Xa Pedestal CD+G Karaoke Player, Contributors to, As of March 2014

The Singing Machine ISM-1028Xa has about 50 reviews at, with an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. Owners say the machine sounds good and is very easy to assemble and use. However, we also saw many complaints that it's unreliable and the mikes are of poor quality.


Singing Machine iSM-1028 Review, Editors of, June 8, 2013

Editors at say the Singing Machine ISM-1028Xa is "the karaoke machine to get." They love its features and find it very easy to set up and use. It's not clear why they award the machine only 4 stars when others on the site get 5.