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How to Use Apple Music Sing & Do a Karaoke Party at Home

Photo by Brandi Alexandra / Unsplash

In 2022, Apple Music introduced quite an interesting feature. It’s called Sing, and, long story short, it allows you to sing along to your favorite songs in real time. However, it’s not that simple — that’s why we’re introducing this guide.

Keep reading to learn how to use Apple Music Sing and troubleshoot if it’s not working.

What is Apple Music Sing feature?

Apple Music Sing is essentially the karaoke mode you can enable on Apple Music while listening to a song. The makeshift “karaoke” includes:

  • Song lyrics. The “regular” mode on Apple Music also has those, but the Sing feature puts a twist on them. When you turn on the feature, song lyrics are animated in sync with the music. Never miss your line again!
A GIF demonstrating animated lyrics in the Apple Music Sing mode on Apple TV
This is what the animated lyrics look like on Apple TV devices. Source: AppleInsider on YouTube
  • Vocal volume adjustment. This is the key difference between Apple Music Sing and just browsing lyrics on Apple Music — you can decrease the volume of the original vocal track and be the star of the show. And, if you set the volume to 0, you’ll effectively create a backing track on the spot.
  • Background and duet vocal animations for lyrics. What if the song is performed by two or more singers who sing different lines simultaneously? Apple Music Sing displays and animates these parts separately. Same goes for non-simultaneous parts performed by different singers. So, with Apple Music Sing, you can sing along in a duo with your friend — or put on a choir performance at a house party.

Apple Music Sing: Compatible devices

Not all iOS devices support Apple Music Sing. Here’s a list of Apple devices that allow you to use the feature:

  • Smartphones: iPhone 11 and later or iPhone SE (3rd generation), powered by iOS 16.2 or later
  • Tablets: iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad Air (4th generation and later), iPad Mini (6th generation), iPad (9th generation and later), powered by iPadOS 16.2 and later
  • TVs: Apple TV 4K (3rd generation)

Keep in mind that Apple Music Sing is only available for Apple Music subscribers. So, if you’re a free user, you won’t be able to access the feature even if your device is compatible. Also, if you’re a paid user but you listen to Apple Music on an Android device, Apple Music Sing won’t be available to you as well.

And, before you ask us, no, Apple Music Sing is not supported on MacBooks.

Alt=r/AppleMusic screenshot of a post where a user complains about Apple Music Sing not being available on Mac devices
We’d love to know the answer too, dear u/DIeG03rr3. Source: Reddit

How to turn on Apple Music Sing on all iOS devices

The interface of Apple Music is pretty much the same across all iOS devices. So, whether you’re using a smartphone, a tablet, or a TV, you can turn on karaoke on Apple Music following the same steps. Now, here’s how to use Sing on Apple Music:

  1. Go to Apple Music and play any song.
  2. Enable the full screen view by clicking on the Now Playing bar.
  3. Tap the Lyrics button to see the song lyrics.
Apple Music screenshot that demonstrates the Lyrics button in the full screen view
Source: Apple Support

4. See the little drawing of a microphone on Apple Music in the full screen mode? This is the button that will turn on Apple Music Sing. Click the Microphone icon to enable it.

Apple Music Sing turning on tutorial: screen shots with Lyrics and Microphone buttons highlighted in red
Source: 9to5Mac

5. Use the volume buttons on your phone to control the volume of the original vocals. Once you enable Sing, the microphone button will change its shape and turn into a volume scale. When you change the volume, the scale will decrease or increase.

A screenshot of an Apple Support video tutorial on Apple Music Sing, the vocal track volume scale is highlighted in red
Source: Apple Support

Does Apple Music Sing work with all songs?

That’s an interesting question! In the official press release, Apple Music claims that Sing is available for “millions of songs”, which is quite a vague statement — “millions” is a lot but the catalog of the platform is probably way larger. Here’s where problems may arise:

  • Instrumental music. The karaoke mode on Apple Music is only applicable to songs. So, if you like singing along to your favorite jazz tunes, at least come up with your own set of scat syllables.
  • Songs with no lyrics uploaded. Apple Music gets lyrics from artists, record labels, and Musixmatch — the latter is also partnering with Spotify. The problem is, when artists or labels decide not to share the lyrics with Apple Music or upload those on Musixmatch, there will be no lyrics. And when there’s no lyrics, Sing won’t be available either. There is a dedicated team trying to fix the issue though.
  • Songs uploaded by you. Sing only works on tracks that belong to Apple Music. So, if you’re listening to your own MP3s using Apple Music as a player, you won’t get Sing.
  • It’s just random. Sometimes it’s just not supported for no apparent reason. For example, this Reddit user suggests that machine learning capabilities of Sing don’t allow it to create isolated instrumentals for some songs in the catalog. So, even though Apple Music Sing

However, sometimes the Sing feature won’t show up not because a certain song doesn’t support it but because of minor bugs you can easily fix.

How to fix Apple Music Sing not showing up

If your device is compatible and you’re a paid Apple Music subscriber but you still have no access to Sing, here are some ways to resolve the issue:

  1. Update your OS. Apple Music Sing only works on iOS/iPadOS/tvOS 16.2 and later. So, even if you have the right device but your OS version is older than that, Apple Music Sing won’t work. You can update your device manually in Settings > General.
General settings iPhone screenshot with the Software Update feature highlighted in blue, and the red “1” number indicates that a new version is available
Source: What is my browser?

2. Disable Low Power Mode. Low Power Mode allows your phone battery to last as long as possible. However, to save the battery, it blocks some app features and notifications, including Apple Music Sing. Once you disable it, you’ll get access to the full functionality of all apps.

To do so, go to Battery in Settings and turn off Low Power mode.

iPhone screenshots showing how to disable Low Power Mode in Battery Settings
Source: DRmare

3. Reinstall or relaunch Apple Music. Sing has been released in 2022 but it still may have unknown bugs that can be eliminated via reinstalling the app — in a similar fashion to fixing Spotify DJ not showing up. Force quitting and relaunching can also work — try this one first.

Apple Music Sing alternatives: AI stem splitters

Apple Music Sing is an interesting tool for karaoke parties in the comfort of your own home — however, it has its drawbacks. For example, some people complain about poor quality audio when removing vocals. Also, you can’t download the makeshift “backing tracks”— you can only use them on Apple Music. And, if you try looking for readymade backing tracks online, you may have trouble finding obscure songs. Or you’ll end up finding lots and lots of poorly made backing tracks, tracks in incorrect keys, or tracks with arrangements too different from the original songs.

One solution for karaoke parties, backing tracks for learning to sing and rehearsing, and other purposes is using third-party AI stem splitters. There are a lot of those on the market, like LALAL.AI, Voice.AI, Splitter.AI, and so on. These tools also allow you to remove or isolate not just vocals but also instrumental melodies, which is a great feature for transcribing or playing by ear.

Good to know

How does Apple Music Sing work?

Apple Music Sing uses AI to create karaoke backing tracks on the spot. It works in a similar fashion other AI stem splitters do but it only isolates vocals.

How to turn off Sing on Apple Music?

The same way you turn it on! Tap the microphone icon that turns into a slider when Sing is on. Once you do it, you’ll be left with just lyrics showing up on your screen.

What is Voice on Apple Music?

Apple Music Voice is a feature that allows you to access the entire Apple Music catalog via Siri. Unlike Apple Music Sing, you need to pay for it separately.