Updated: Mar 6
Which audio player is the right choice for you and your family?
You may have noticed we recently started stocking Yoto players! Since then we have been inundated with questions asking about the similarities and differences between the Yoto player and the Toniebox. Although we stock the Yoto player, I wanted to do a 100% impartial overview of the two, so that parents can make up their own mind about which one they want to choose, so here we go!
Let’s start with the TonieBox.
The TonieBox comes in a variety of different colours and is padded on all sides, meaning it can withstand those little drops and bumps that are bound to happen with children. It plays audio when you place a little character figure on top. These are really cute and visual so perfect for younger children, especially when they recognise a beloved character such as the Gruffalo. You control the TonieBox by slapping it on either side to move forward and back within the tracks and by pinching the ‘ears’ on top to control volume.
Setup is simple with a free downloadable app which links to your TonieBox. Each TonieBox comes with a ‘creative’ Tonie which is a blank character allowing you to record your own voice or music. This is great to record bedtime stories for your little ones or to record their favourite music.
Padded sides make it feel strong and durable.
A range of colour choices.
Some familiar characters such as the Gruffalo & Little Red Riding Hood.
Figures are attractive and are easy to place on top of the TonieBox.
The TonieBox is £10 cheaper than the Yoto Player.
The TonieBox is larger than the Yoto Player.
The familiar figures can invite little hands to play, meaning they end up lost around the house.
Tonie figures are more expensive, typically £15 per figure vs Yoto Players £5.
You cannot play audio directly through the speaker without adding it to a Creative Tonie first.
Now let’s move onto the Yoto Player!
The Yoto player is solid and durable meaning it too can withstand the rough and tumble of family life. It has two round buttons on top which are pressed to move for
wards and back between tracks. They can also be turned to control the volume. Instead of figures, the Yoto Player uses cards which look a bit like credit cards. While they aren’t as nice to look at as the Tonie characters, they are significantly cheaper with most coming in at around £6 (compared to £15 for Tonie figures) and are easy to store for travel or moving between rooms.
As with the TonieBox, set up was really simple. The matching app is free to download and can be used to program the editable Yoto Card which comes included in the box. As with the Creative Tonie, the editable card can be programmed with absolutely any information you fancy such as grandparents reading a bedtime story or favourite songs from YouTube.
The Yoto Player has several additional features including a pixel screen at the front. This shows an image relating to the content playing so pre-readers can select content easily. It also displays the time and a picture of a sun which changes to a moon in the evening. The timings can be altered on the app which is great for sleep training. For example: the moon is showing so it must be bed time! Or, the sun isn’t showing yet so get back into bed!
In addition, the Yoto Player can be leaned onto it’s side, turning the back into a nightlight. You can set the light to any colour using the app.
Another feature of the Yoto Player is it can be used as a Bluetooth speaker. This means you can play audio directly from your phone through the speaker without adding it to a card first. This is great for playing music from places like Spotify or Apple Music in the garden, park or beach or if you want to play audio directly from a YouTube video etc.
The Yoto Player has lots of free content which is added daily including a podcast with jokes, activities and interesting facts. Each podcast starts with an announcement of the day and month and they even allow you to send in a message for your child’s birthday which they will play live on the daily podcast show! The app also contains a variety of family friendly radio stations which will play automatically if you double click the right orange button.
You can also play sleep radio, calming sounds and a selection of white noise from the Yoto app which is great for bedtime routines and means the Yoto is great from birth.
Cards are significantly cheaper.
Can be used as a Bluetooth speaker.
Contains a colour changeable night light.
Displays the time and sun/moon image.
Lots of free content available and updated daily on the Yoto app.
Broader range of content especially as children grown (such as Roald Dahl, Shakespeare, Enid Blyton etc.)
White noise & sleep radio free content on the app.
Only available in white*
Cards aren’t as nice to look at.
*Edited to update: Since originally writing this blog post, Yoto have now launched a range of 'jackets' for the Yoto meaning you can now change the colour and design! Similar to a phone case, you choose the one you like and pop it on!
But what about the Yoto Mini?!
Initially the Yoto only came in one, standard size. However just before Christmas, they released a mini Yoto player. This one is super affordable (with a price tag of just £49.99) and while that does mean losing some of the standard Yoto figures, it still works as a fully functioning audio player and is a great budget option.
So what are the features?
The Yoto mini is designed to be an easily transportable version of the Yoto, meaning you can carry it around with you and listen to your favourite cards on the go.
It is much smaller than the original Yoto (as you can see in the above image)
The Yoto mini does not have a night light like the standard version.
They both play the same cards, so you could have a standard which stays at home and a mini for on the go without having to buy duplicate cards.
The mini has a pixel display just like the standard version. This allows pre-readers to select tracks easily by looking at the pictures.
20 hours of play time per charge.
You can still access sleep sounds, white noise and more from the Yoto mini, meaning it is still perfect right from birth.
So, there you have it! A full break down of all the features available in both the Yoto player, Yoto Mini and Toniebox.
I hope this helps you make an informed choice about which one fits your families requirements!