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The best karaoke joints in KL

Kara, kara, karadise!

KL is a karaoke paradise (geddit?), but how good is their sound system, the food, and most importantly, the variety of Queen songs we can sing endlessly to? We rank the city’s best in our list.

If you need ideas on the best karaoke-friendly songs to sing, see our list of the 50 best karaoke songs

1
Loudspeaker
Photo: David Ong/Blink Studio
1/7

Loudspeaker

Best for A consistently pleasant, complaint-free karaoke experience

Song selection 26/30
Plus points for having more than just one song from Death Cab for Cutie, Lucy Rose and Yuna; plus plus points for listing Weezer’s ‘Say It Ain’t So’ on their very extensive, very impressive songbook; and plus plus plus points for having (mostly) original music videos with lyrics, instead of a cringe-worthy, slow motion ’80s montage shot at a Chinese temple. Current and classic hits are available too, from Adele to Aerosmith to ABBA.

Karaoke system 22/25
Loudspeaker has its own Loudspeaker karaoke system (or at least its own logo stamped on the karaoke system). It’s also user-friendly: Artistes are alphabetically arranged, and it was fairly easy to navigate between artistes, songs and the sound enhancements. Plus, there’s a touch screen remote attached to the wall that allows you to fiddle with options – nifty, and it makes up for the fact that there’s no remote control.

Rooms 11/15
It’s clean and cosy; dim, not dark. It has free WiFi. It’s above average.

Food and drink 7/10
The fried rice we had must’ve been made by the God of Fried Rice himself – it was very, very good, as far as karaoke food is concerned. The food and drink menus are detailed and lengthy, with Asian and Western options. There are free refills of selected drinks too.

Staff 7/10
Accommodating and friendly – we were going to pay with a member’s card, but the staff at the counter pointed out that there was a cheaper promotion package available. Aww, you guys.

Price and value 7/10
At less than RM25 per person for three hours on a weekday, it’s a nice, comfortable middle ground between the cheap-but-dingy joints and the fancy-but-expensive establishments.

Final score: 80

Rates from RM7 per pax (Mon-Thu, 11am-2pm), inclusive of one drink.

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Kota Damansara
2
Musizone
2/7

Musizone

Best for People in large groups

Song selection 22/30
Atomic Kitten, Janet Jackson and Maroon 5 for the mainstream man; Bastille, Joy Division and The Weeknd for the pseudo-indie kids; Ferry Corsten, Showtek and Tiësto for the ones who aren’t actually there to karaoke. Your usual suspects, and then some.

Karaoke system 18/25
It’s a standard system shared by a couple of other karaoke places – it’s not rocket science, but if you’re a KTV rookie, it takes getting used to. We weren’t too pleased with the microphone feedback; worse, the sound volume switches between soft, then loud, then soft again on its own. There’s also a timer on the screen that tells you how much, well, time you have left for your session.

Rooms 12/15
The room was clean and cheery – the colour-changing LED lights behind the big painting scored points. Also, as soon as we left the room, a staff member entered with cleaning sprays and wipes, so you know they take hygiene seriously. Located a few doors away from our room, the washroom was squeaky spotless.

Food and drink 6/10
We ordered a plate of snacks which arrived overflowing with fries, hot dogs and popiah, as well as three types of dips. Two thumbs up, Musizone. On the other hand, it only arrived 28 minutes after we ordered during our one-hour session. One thumb down, Musizone.

Staff 7/10
Butler-like, very professional; expect curt nods and stiff lips as they show you to your room, as they take your food and beverage orders, or as they fix your microphone woes (which they do very quickly). When we were down to our last 15 minutes, someone knocked on our door to remind us exactly that: ‘Miss, you now have 15 minutes. Thank you.’

Price and value 7/10
On a weekday, pay less than RM35 per hour for a small room that fits five before 7pm (that’s less than RM7 per pax!). There’s also a happy hour promotion all night long on Wednesdays, as well as free flow for ladies on Thursday nights, and 20 percent off food and drinks on Sundays. All in all, it’s excellent value for money.

Final score: 72

Rates from RM19.90 for two hours for a small room that fits five (weekdays, 12noon-3pm).

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Sri Petaling
3
CEO Neway
Photo: David Ong/Blink Studio
3/7

CEO Neway

Best for Good food and an exclusive, well-rounded karaoke experience

Song selection 28/30
The A-Z list is populated by almost every artist and band imaginable, ranging from karaoke staple Mariah Carey to party-starter Big Bang. Our resident karaoke-goer confirmed that the song selection is constantly updated, including their original music videos so as not to ruin your singing experience. Say hello to the real, super-creepy Bonnie Tyler and her thong-wearing posse in ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’.

Karaoke system 22/25
As expected, CEO Neway didn’t disappoint with their top-notch audio system, although picking the songs was a chore. The remote took a bit of getting used to when we were ploughing through their extensive list of songs. The no-touch-screen karaoke system made things slightly more complicated.

Rooms 13/15
This is definitely the most spacious one we’ve sung at so far, providing ample room for a ‘Saturday Night Fever’ showdown. Ours even came with a private washroom so you can still hear the action outside. The walls and decor are exceptionally shiny – as if a glitter fairy threw up all over the place. More bling for your buck!

Food and drink 9/10
Most of the karaoke joints serve pretty much the generic stuff (fried rice, fries or pasta) but a plate of mushroom spaghetti with actual mushrooms that didn’t feel like it came straight out of a microwave? Instant props. And you also get drinks in a metal mug with a colourful stirrer. How adorable.

Staff 8/10
Courteous people who respond rather quickly at the ring of a phone call. We actually quite like the service but bring us the menu already, okay?

Price and value 8/10
We were at CEO Neway at night and boy, their dinner buffet is the tastiest and most lavish across all karaoke bars. It’s pricey but still worth it if you’re going to spend the wee hours butchering ‘I Will Always Love You’ again and again. Otherwise, the lunch deal with a free meal is good for value.

Final score: 88

Rates from RM12.80 (K Lunch on Mon-Thu) onwards.

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Bukit Bintang
4
Teo Heng KTV Studio
Photo: David Ong/Blink Studio
4/7

Teo Heng KTV Studio

Best for Pay-per-room rate and BYOF (F for food, that is)

Song selection 22/30
With a Chinese name like ‘Teo Heng’, you’d expect the karaoke joint to feature an encyclopaedic selection of Mando-Canto songs. The ‘Four Heavenly Kings’ are thankfully available, but Teo Heng has little love for Leslie Cheung, Ronald Cheng and Khalil Fong. We stuck to the English songs, tackling one cheesy, bikini-laden fake music video at a time.

Karaoke system 18/25
Great audio system with easy-to-use remote controls, although a microphone got a bit wonky at the end. Transition between songs was a bit laggy but the five-second window allows you to catch a breather, especially after belting out a Bon Jovi number at full throttle.

Rooms 10/15
The place smelled strangely like preserved vegetables upon entry, and there was no one manning the check-in desk… until a staff member sauntered through the door ten minutes later with a pack of curry Maggi mee. He led us to a room for a party of five; it was dank inside but wait, are those tambourines and maracas?! ‘Heyyyy… Macarena!’

Food and drink 6/10
Remember that pack of Maggi mee? Little did we know that the staff disappeared earlier to replenish the food supply. The piping hot bowl of Maggi mee – upgraded with a sausage wrapped in omelette – tasted surprisingly good, and the drinks were refillable. We also brought food from Burger King to check if it was truly BYOF here, so we ended up with an instant/fast food party. Very classy.

Staff 6/10
Apart from the earlier no-show, the rest of the karaoke experience was pleasant. Another staff member (there were only two people the whole time) attended to our need for an extra microphone, an extra drink, an extra fork, etc. They might just give you an extra 30-minute singing time too if there aren’t that many customers.

Price and value 7/10
Teo Heng goes by a pay-per-room-per-hour rate, which is excellent for parties and huge crowds, but what’s even better is their (random) lunch promos – the deal we had was RM8 per person for a karaoke time of three hours. You just have to bear with the noisy students next door.

Final score: 69

Rooms from RM12 (small) per hour on weekdays.

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Kota Damansara
5
Redbox Plus
Photo: David Ong/Blink Studio
5/7

Redbox Plus

Best for Exclusivity and a varied selection of booze

Song selection 26/30
Redbox Plus’s giant music catalogue (more than 90,000 tracks) consists of mostly mainstream pop hits. If you’re into One Direction, Ariana Grande or the latest one-hit wonder to emerge from ‘The Voice China’, find them (in all their high-resolution music video glory) here. There’s even a wildcard ‘special occasions’ option for birthdays, Chinese New Year tunes and the like.

Karaoke system 21/25
Serviceable, with four microphones provided for all four of us. Points deducted for the audio system’s frequent ear-splitting feedback, an unforgivable glitch at the premium outlet of one of the largest karaoke companies in the country. On the touch screen, Redbox employs a straightforward system layout with colourful tiles that’s reminiscent of Windows 8.

Rooms 12/15
Pretty cool design with sleek black glass, orange lights and bowls with glowing lights affixed to the walls. The faulty light adjustment switch shows a lack of maintenance though.

Food and drink 5/10
You can use a ‘chef’s choice’ voucher to exchange for one tiny portion of steak, dory or ikan bakar, cooked upon request. Contrary to all the good things we’ve heard, the buffet spread at Redbox is unimpressive. You may be better off ordering from the extensive menu, which has an impressive alcohol list.

Staff 8/10
Three of the microphones were running low on battery, but helpful staff promptly resolved the issue.

Price and value 7/10
Prices are definitely steep at RM33 per hour during lunch, but the package does come with a buffet and free flow soft drinks (comes in handy when you’re all thirsty after ‘Single Ladies’).

Final score: 79

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Bukit Bintang
6
Replay
6/7

Replay

Best for Karaoke with a dancefloor

Song selection 23/30
They have a pretty big list here. The selection features some indie bands, EDM names and classic tunes. However, a high percentage of these songs are guaranteed to come without original music videos, opting instead for distracting footages of lakes, mildly creepy children and temples which, to be honest, detracts from the karaoke experience. A big no for us. Next song, please.

Karaoke system 19/25
Replay employs the same system as some of the other independent karaoke outlets, which requires the use of a remote control to navigate the menu. There’s a ‘remote control tips’ guide provided, which sort of helps.

Rooms 10/15
The design concept at Replay consists of black and red walls, black faux-leather couches and a slab of abstract art on the wall. The tables and couches seemed slightly worn around the edges (probably from overexcited karaoke-goers), but since Replay was in the midst of renovations when we dropped by, hopefully there will be significant upgrades before our next visit.

Food and drink 3/10
The free flow of drinks is a nice touch, with juices, coffee and tea available. Apart from the usual snacks such as instant noodles and chicken nuggets, Replay also offers some Japanese options like tonkatsu rice and udon. Low point: It took 38 minutes for our too-dry tonkatsu to arrive.

Staff 6/10
Staff took the time to lead us to the room, pointed out where we could get drinks, as well as made sure the microphones were working before leaving us. Satisfactory.

Price and value 6/10
RM16 for a room is a pretty good deal, if what you want is just a place to sing after drinking at any of the numerous watering holes at Scott Garden.

Final score: 67

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Kuchai Lama
7
Urban Concept KTV
7/7

Urban Concept KTV

Best for Birthday celebrations and long singing hours

Song selection 20/30
A pretty impressive mix of current Top 40 hits, classic rock anthems, hip hop, Chinese and Malay songs. There’s also a good selection of songs for the indie karaoke-goer ranging from artists like Jamie xx (how do you sing to this?), James Blake and Arctic Monkeys. Some songs don’t have their original music videos and instead came with what looked like homemade movies.

Karaoke system 20/25
We each got a microphone. The touch screen was a bit difficult to navigate; it would have been so much more convenient to punch in the numbers on a remote control. There’s an ‘Applause’ option too, but, unfortunately, it didn’t work. We also experienced quite a bit of feedback from the microphones when we started screaming into them.

Rooms 6/15
Relatively clean but a bit dingy, and the lounge- like seating enables everyone to face the screen. Bear in mind that URBAN Concept allows smoking in every room (they also have shisha). On the plus side, there’s a plug point below the screen if you need to charge your phone.

Food and drink 4/10
The karaoke fee doesn’t come with a free meal (and we weren’t provided with any options either) but you get a complimentary soft drink or mineral water. However, they have birthday packages which include a buffet.

Staff 6/10
The receptionist was knowledgeable when we called to enquire about the rates but the on-site staff were a bit slow with our orders. Plus, no one came when we pressed the ‘Service’ button. Surely the button exists for a reason?

Price and value 7/10
At only RM10 for three hours (morning prices), there really is nothing to complain about. If you have a long break in between classes (we’re looking at you, Taylor’s students), this is definitely the place to be.

Final score: 63

Rates as low as RM10++ per room (morning value) for three hours.

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Hartamas

On a budget?

The best budget karaoke joints in KL

When the need for karaoke calls but pay day is far away, head to these karaoke joints for more wallet-friendly rates. Alternatively, if you wish to sing your heart out in more lush surroundings (with the option of an all-you-can-eat buffet), see our list of best karaoke joints in KL.

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By: Time Out KL editors

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