Listening to an audiobook before bed is something many of us will be familiar with from when we were children ourselves. But naturally, things have improved over the years. Child-friendly audio players are now a popular purchase for parents everywhere, with two market leaders you may already know. But when it comes to Toniebox vs Yoto Player (3rd Generation), which is the best buy for you and your child? Scroll down to dive into the details.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: the basics
The Yoto Player is a screen-free, interactive audio player for children. It's a modern, technology-driven device that aims to promote storytelling, audio content, and literacy via story cards that are inserted into the audio player. The Yoto Player is intended to be simple and safe to use, without screens, menus, or complicated controls.
Toniebox is a soft, cube-shaped audio player that does not have any screens or complicated controls. Instead, it operates through the use of Tonies, which are physical, hand-painted figurines that represent various characters from popular children's stories or contain specific audio content. Similar to the Yoto Player, the Toniebox aims to encourage storytelling, creativity, and engagement with audio content in a safe and user-friendly way.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: age suitability
The Toniebox and Yoto Player are both advertised as suitable for children from three years up. However, many parents who have used both players find that Toniebox is more suitable for younger children due to both how simple it is to use for little ones and its durability - there's no need to worry about it being thrown around.
Whereas for older children (5 years+), the Yoto Player is recommended as a product that grows with children as once they've grown out of listening to stories and songs, the player can also be used as a Bluetooth player. Many also feel the Yoto Player looks a bit more grown-up than the Toniebox.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: the cost
What does a Yoto Player cost?
The Yoto Player costs £99.99 and in the box, you'll receive the player itself, the USB-C charger and a welcome card required for set up. Yoto cards start from just £1.99 but it's worth noting that the most popular card options tend to cost anywhere between £4.99 and £9.99. For cards with collections of stories and songs, the price naturally ramps up.
What does a Toniebox cost?
A Toniebox costs £79.95 and with this, you'll receive the box of your choice, a charging station and one creative tonie. Tonies figures start from £9.99 although we found most tend to cost £14.99. Creative-Tonies (which you can record your own content onto), all cost £11.99.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: set up and usability
Using a Yoto Player
The device uses physical cards, known as Yoto Cards, that contain specific audio content such as stories, music, educational content, and more. To play their chosen content, simply insert the corresponding card into the Yoto Player, and the audio begins to play. The player has buttons and a knob to control volume and playback.
Using a Toniebox
To use the Toniebox, place a Tonie on top of the device, and the audio content associated with that particular Tonie starts playing. The audio content can include classic fairytales, children's songs, educational content, and more. Each Tonie contains a unique RFID chip that the Toniebox recognizes and uses to start playing the correct content.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: battery life and portability
Both products are very portable and once the audio content has been downloaded on each, your child can enjoy their player wherever they please. You will of course need to make sure the battery is charged sufficiently.
The Toniebox promises 7 hours of battery life whereas the Yoto Player boasts 24 hours. The Toniebox comes with a child-friendly charging station while the Yoto Player has a charging cable that will most likely need adult supervision. Charging both to full takes between 2-3 hours and you can continue to use the audio players as they charge.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: the features
The 3rd Generation of the Yoto Player has a lot of exciting features that we'd say slightly puts it ahead of the Toniebox. As well as a much longer battery life, the Yoto Player has a built-in room thermometer, night light with seven colour choices and an ok-to-wake clock which helps your youngster know when it's time to wake.
While Toniebox doesn't have these features, it's a lot more bump-friendly and with magnetic Tonies that can also double up as play figurines, we'd say it's easier to use and offers more of a fun factor than the Yoto Player.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: the accessories
Excluding the Tonies and Yoto cards, both audio players have a number of additional accessories you can buy separately. Both offer headphones for quiet listening. The Toniebox headphones cost £24.99 while Yoto Player's cost £34.99.
You'll need to buy Yoto Player's charging dock separately for £29.99 while you'll get one included when you buy a Toniebox. The Toniebox also doesn't require anything extra for protection due to the soft, tough outer materials but it is recommended you pick up an Adventure Jacket for the Yoto Player to keep it safe which will set you back £24.99.
Both offer a selection of other accessories such as carry cases and a car organiser for Toniebox and a display protector and card pouch for Yoto Player.
Toniebox vs Yoto Player: the final verdict
Ah, the big question! The answer to this, as you may have guessed, relies entirely on you and your child. We're big fans of both the Toniebox and Yoto Player and for different reasons.
If you're on a budget, the Toniebox is the more affordable option. It is cheaper from the outset and excluding the Tonies, requires fewer extras to buy than the Yoto Player. Alternatively, there is the Yoto Player Mini available as a cheaper alternative.
The Toniebox is a great option for younger children as it can withstand a bit of battering and is extremely easy to use as the Tonies are magnetic. We've found our mini-testers were much more drawn to the Tonies and playing with them as toys than they were to the Yoto cards.
On the flip side, older children are bound to appreciate the Yoto Player more and are likely to get more use out of it as they grow thanks to the likes of the Bluetooth connectivity, radio and podcast additions. It also boasts a fantastic array of extra features such as the night light and room thermometer that will certainly prove useful as a parent.
Emily Gilbert is the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for six years. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.