15 Years Between Models - Sonken SA-700 and SA-710 - Karaoke Home Entertainment

Time almost stood still for this model; it was the very first model in the series from Sonken Australia.

The Sonken SA-700 Karaoke Mixing Amplifier and it was so popular and reliable over the years that little did it change in looks and functionality over its 15 years of being on sale.

The SA-700R was released a few years later, the R was for the included Remote Control which enabled you to make adjustments for music volume, microphone master volume, source input A or B and change key.

It had one very unique feature over other amplifiers at the time apart from the very reasonable selling price and that was key control, so you could step up and down the key of the song being played to suit your singing style and a lot of singers gravitated to this model for this specific feature.

But it was limited to only two RCA Stereo Audio inputs for a Karaoke Machine to be connected for the most part of entire existence, until the last version was released, which was the Sonken SA-700RB the added B in the model number was for a then ground breaking audio streaming technology called Bluetooth, and yes that was a big deal back then, streaming audio from your phone was in the early stages back then compared to today everything has Bluetooth almost by default.

Today I would call the SA-700 a classic model, in-fact I call it the legacy model from where everything else in the Sonken range has grown from.

It still amazes me when customers call up asking about this model their friend has which they are still happily using it today, we still get referrals asking for this model.

With many customers coming back today having decided it’s time to upgrade to the now Sonken SA-710 model given the SA-700RB was retired a few years back, passing on the old working model to another family member to get them started in the world of karaoke singing.

For Sonken it was just time for a change, almost forgotten about given its success, why change something that’s doing so well, and of course Sonken had released other models during this time, like the SA-720, short lived SA-730 and the 2018 release of the SA-760 with pioneering 4.3" LCD Screen and HDMI Input and Music and Vocal Record feature and its replacement the current model the SA-767 which took the brand up another level once again.

Sonken Karaoke Mixing Amplifier SA-767

Plus, Sonken also launched a budget range of Karaoke Amplifiers (KA) which has spanned 7 models now with the current incarnation the Limited Editon KA-13. This series on its own was incredibly popular, feature packed and not only priced well but performed just as good and two models even featured the vocal and music recording feature back to USB which a feature which was generally handled by an expensive external recorder.

But that brings us to the long, long awaited Sonken SA-710 model which was released with little fan fair in mid-2019 we didn't even know it as coming, it just arrived!

It's fair to say though that many people in upgrading have jumped the replacement model altogether to take on something more adventurous like a SA-720 or SA-760/SA-767.

So, the sales of the SA-710 initially where slower than the previous model it replaced as a result.

Many of the sales came from first time customers to Karaoke Mixing Amplifier market who were opting for something which was a step-up from the entry level KA series.

The SA-710 Karaoke Mixing Amplifier has been well received and the feedback from our customers they are more than happy with the features and performance it delivers. Sonken currently have 3 speaker options which suit the SA-710 the CS-450, CS-600 and CS-612.

Sonken Karaoke Mixing Amplifier SA-710 Package Deal

The first two have a 10" Woofer with the CS-612 which houses a 12" Woofer, both the CS-600/612 models feature four 3" Tweeters and are presented in a premium black timber case with rose gold trim with a black grill and is capable of 350 Watts (RMS) power input.

With the slightly smaller CS-450 (pictured above) which is presented in an all-black finish producing 300 Watts (RMS) from its 10" Woofer with two 3" Woofers, and all three options are very nice and capable speakers.

If you’re looking for a beautiful bass response even at low volumes, then spend a little more and pick either one of the premium speakers being the CS-600 or CS-612 there is a noticeable difference even between these two.

I have had the pleasure of having all models at my house for several months starting with the CS-450 to get a true user experience. It’s fair to say each on their own are great, but when you move from one model to the next model is when you truly notice and very quickly the difference between the CS-450 to the CS-600.

It’s like a totally different musical experience but it’s the same amplifier (SA-710) but it’s a richer sound and the bass response it like WOW and difference is there at low volume long before I start turning up the volume and that’s when you start saying OH WOW.

Even in our showroom this is more than evident as we do a demonstration not changing the volume or editing any of the EQ settings other than switching from CS-450's to the CS-600's, and I must say customers are really enjoying the sound of the CS-450's but that flick of the switch is more than noticeable when they hear the difference and that gets them thinking really fast can we spend a little extra.

And then the CS-612 comes along, this model is not always available and there was a gap of 6 months where you couldn't get them, and we only had the other two models.

It's slightly larger in its physical size and weight too but this speaker just lifts the experience to another level again and I can't stress enough it’s not just about volume, yes which is phenomenal but the sound it produces is WOW.

The bigger timber boxes give more bass depth and you can feel it, literally with the air that comes pumping out the rear vents and if you can place them against a wall with around 20cm gap in-between and you'll notice an even different experience with the air pumping, its surreal and you can do this with the CS-600's as well.

Really impressive, the clarity the highs and lows and yes, the deep bass it delivers is outstanding and I have seen other brands offering similar specification speakers for near $1500 more is a true testament to Sonken in continuing to offer outstanding performance at an more than reasonable price.

I was really impressed last month (April 2024) when I was in Vietnam and discovered the CS-600 and CS-612 Models in several Karaoke Stores branded none other than JBL.

Sonken Speakers Branded JBL in Vietnam
Sonken CS-612 Premium Speakers

If money is no object then choose the CS-612 especially if you have big open room, if you’re in a standard size lounge or family room then I would personally stretch to the CS-600 over that of the CS-450's but only because I know how great they sound and admittedly the look of the CS-600 Series is top self.

The rose gold trim and high black gloss grill especially went over very nice with my wife, with its modern stylish looks they will suit any decor, not one to normally comment on my sound equipment, apart from frequent "Hey! turn it down", she noticed them and said, oh they look really nice!

Bonus, I just got the tick of spouse approval :)

So then we come full circle back to the future with the SA-710 now with a 12 band graphic equalizer so you can really fine tune the music highs and lows for each speaker, where as previously you had only a 3 button low, mid and high volume control, simple yes but compared with the SA-710 you can really hear the difference and in my opinion is a welcomed change on this model.

You now have many different source inputs including the standard stereo rca connections along with Optical Audio Input for your smart TV, that lets you grab the audio from the TV and feed it through the SA-710 so you can sing-along to whatever you are watching on the TV.

Rear of the Sonken Karaoke Mixing Amplifier SA-710

Bluetooth is also included and that opens your SA-710 to connect to a Smart TV, Phone, Laptop, or Tablet so again you can stream the audio. You also have a dedicate sub-woofer output though personally if you’re getting either the CS-600 or CS-612 speakers I would save your money you don't need it and if you’re thinking of getting the CS-450 and adding a Sub-Woofer just spend the money and go for the CS-612's if they are available, you won't regret it, it will save you money in the long run because if the sub doesn’t have at least a 10" woofer and is 150 Watts your just wasting your time.

Sonken had a sub-woofer with those specifications, but I never recommended them for either the SA-710, SA-720 or SA-767 models especially if you had the premium Sonken speakers like the predecessor to that of the CS-612's the CS-800's or FSK-10's.

The sub-woofer was better suited with the KA Series as then you could really appreciate the difference the sub made and it boosted the output provided by the CS-450 Speakers sold with the KA Series.

The SA-710 certainly looks different and that’s first major thing you seen especially when looking back at the SA-700 it still has the Key Control feature and the basic remote control, but to get down and dirty with all the settings and adjustments you'll need to get up and off the couch and use your fingers to fine tune the sound just the way you like it.

It may have been 15 years in the making and maybe the model number should have been SA-715 but either way the SA-710 has delivered beautifully, building on the legacy that the SA-700 spent years in cultivating.

Enjoy everything the SA-710 has to offer it's an instant classic in my book.


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