Yoto Player review: How does it compare to the tonies Toniebox?

Kids' stuff
The Yoto Player is brilliant - much more than just an audio player.
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Kids' star rating
5

Summary

Similar to the tonies Toniebox, the Yoto Player is a box-shaped speaker system which plays audio content from pre-loaded cards. So what did we think, and which one would we recommend? Read on!

Disclaimer: I was sent this Yoto Player free of charge for an honest review, but words and pictures are mine. The tonies Toniebox which I have compared it to was also gifted for a previous review. This post contains affiliate links, see more information here. Post first written in September 2020 and updated November 2021.

Recently there has been an explosion of intuitive, screen-free audio players for children on the market. We have reviewed several of these; the tonies Toniebox, the Jooki and the Timio. The latest is the Yoto Player.

Similar to the tonies Toniebox, the Yoto Player is a box-shaped speaker system which plays audio content from pre-loaded cards. So what did we think, and which one would we recommend? Read on!

You can find a review of the Yoto Mini HERE.

First impressions of the Yoto Player

Yoto player box speaker review: Is the yoto any good? Yes!

The Yoto Player box is fairly compact, made from hard plastic with a rubber bottom and a simple pixel display on the front. It can be positioned in a number of ways – on the base, tilted or down on its front as above.

It comes with a magnetic charger which connects to the charging port easily with a pleasing snap.

The Yoto Player can be used whilst charging and once fully charged the battery will last approximately eight hours.

The Yoto Player is easy to set up; switch it on, pop in the credit-card sized ‘welcome card’ and listen to the instructions which will lead you through the different features (in a pleasingly British accent – I’m not a huge fan of toys which come with American voices so I liked this!). There’s an app which gives you step by step instructions for pairing it to your home wifi and we managed this first time.

Features of the Yoto Player

YOTO PLAYER review

The Yoto Player has cards which come pre-loaded with stories, music and sounds. To listen, pop the card in the slot at the top. As long as the Yoto Player is connected to the internet, it will download the content and play it automatically. It does not need to be connected to the internet to play once content has been downloaded and has space for up to 140 hours of audio – there is a headphone jack so it can be used on the go.

Which is better - the Yoto Player or tonies Toniebox?

Simply remove the card to pause play. Even a very young child will be able to do this on their own giving them a sense of being in charge, which they’ll love.

Cards can be purchased via the website and cost between a few pounds and £9 per story, which is roughly similar or even cheaper than an Audible download (for instance The Witches is currently available from Yoto Play here for £8.99, it is currently priced at £15.75 on Audible).

Yoto cards

You can buy blank cards to load with your own content; these cost £8.99 for five cards and can be bought from the shop.

The Yoto Player is extremely easy for children to use as there are just three buttons; an on/off button on the side, and two on the top which you use to adjust the volume and move between chapters.

The Yoto Player App

The Yoto Player can be used a nightlight by placing it on its ‘face’. You can alter the colour of the nightlight in the Yoto App.

When switched on, it will show the time and daytime (sun and cloud) or nighttime (moon). It will switch off if not plugged in depending on the settings but if attached to the charger it will display this indefinitely. You can set the unit’s bedtime and wake up time and it will change the display accordingly, so it can be used as a more grown up version of the toddler favourite Gro Clock!

The Yoto App

Like the Jooki, the Yoto Player can be used as a bluetooth speaker to play music from a streaming service such as Spotify or Deezer via your mobile device or tablet.

Yoto Player as a Bluetooth speaker

You access the Bluetooth speaker by changing the settings in the Yoto Player app to allow bluetooth pairing and following the instructions (press left hand button in for three seconds to pair).

You can also use the app change the volume and display settings, visit the card store, read news and troubleshoot. Your library is stored in your app so that if you happen to lose or snap a card (I would imagine this is very hard as they’re similar to credit cards, but you know kids…) you can play it directly from the app.

The Yoto App is improving all the time with new content being added to it. You don’t actually need to purchase your own Yoto Player to use the app – so if you want to try it out, you can! It is available here on Android and here on the App Store.

Radio and daily podcast

One of my favourite features, unique to the Yoto Player, is the additional free content. The daily podcast and Yoto Radio can be accessed by one or two presses of the right hand button when the card slot is empty. (You can change how this is access via the app).

Press once for the daily podcast. It’s is only a few minutes long but it’s a nice touch and the kids enjoy listening to the riddles and child-friendly content which changes every day.

Press the button twice for Yoto Radio, their in-house music station playing all sorts of music from the 70s and 80s right up to date. You can be sure that it is all fun, safe, advert-free curated content. I’ve been listening to it myself actually, writing this and singing along to everything from Huey Lewis and the News and Smash Mouth to Lewis Capaldi.

Is the Yoto Club any good?

There is also a club that you can join. Yoto Club costs £9.99 a month (or £99.99 if you sign up for a year) and you get two cards a month (from a choice of ten, or leave it as a surprise!).

Members also get 10% off in the Yoto shop and free shipping. We have been paying subscribers for a year now and I can recommend it wholeheartedly; there is always something exciting inside each month and now you can swap things out and choose what you’d prefer!

How does the Yoto Player compare to the tonies Toniebox?

How does the Yoto Player compare to the tonies Toniebox? Tonies v Yoto player

We love the tonies Toniebox, and have recommended it as a great gift for toddlers and young kids. But how does the new Yoto Player compare to the tonies, and which one would be a better purchase?

This a question that has been asked in my parenting group, so I thought I’d answer it here as well as I can!

Firstly, they come in similar price brackets. The Toniebox starter set costs £69.95 for the box and one Creative Tonie, with most tonies costing around £15. The Yoto Player, which comes with an overwriteable welcome card, has an RRP of £79.99. The story cards for the Yoto Player cost up to around £9.

How does the Yoto Player speaker compare to the tonies Toniebox?

The Yoto Player has a good range of story cards available, and more are released on a regular basis. This includes stories for older children up to ten years old, including classics such as Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. The kids have also particularly liked ‘The Week Junior Podcast‘ – a topical podcast. You can listen for free online but the Yoto Card, which costs £1.99, gives easy access to the weekly podcast.

Although the cards might not be as cute and collectible as the tonies characters, they are around half the price per story as well as being easier to store.

Both ‘boxes’ are easy to use and intuitive for smaller kids. The toniebox is softer, so good for toddlers. It also looks nice and comes in a range of colours to suit any child’s bedroom.

How does the Yoto Player compare to the tonies Toniebox? Yoto v tonies yoto review

However the Yoto Player does everything that the toniebox does, and more.

It can also be used a nightlight, as a clock with day and night mode (which is exceptionally handy as the next stage after a gro clock) and as a bluetooth speaker connected to a phone or tablet to stream music. The free content (radio station and daily podcast) are great features which my kids have really enjoyed.

The longevity puts the Yoto Player above the toniebox for all but very young children in my personal opinion.

The software is constantly being updated and improved meaning it should get better over time, for free – and last a lot longer, growing with your child.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them, and have done to my own family and friends.

If you want to buy the Yoto Player, you can do so via their online shop here.

The units are also available to buy on Amazon.

You can find out more on the Yoto website, and follow for updates on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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