A Yoto Player or Tonies Box - Which one should you choose?

Yoto player or Tonie Box?

This question comes up a lot, and with the choice between two audio players that both have so much to offer, we can understand why! So you're looking for a children's audio player, and are stuck between deciding on a Yoto player or a Tonie Box - with first hand knowledge of both, we can certainly help with making that decision a little easier.

In recent years, audio players designed specifically with children in mind have gained significant popularity. The fact that they put children in control of their learning and listening in an independent, yet safe way is a key part of their appeal. There is never a need to worry about a microphone listening in, or your kids wandering into another app online. Both the Yoto player and the Tonies box offer this benefit, but each offer unique features that make the choice between them a matter of personal preference and specific needs. Let's delve into the specifics and compare the two audio players to help you decide which one might be the best fit for your family.

Yoto Player VS Toniebox - Appeal

Yoto and Tonies - appeal

As we know, both the Yoto and the Tonies offer screen-free audio time, in a safe and appealing format for children. But both systems have been designed in different ways, and do offer varied appeal. The Yoto is all about longevity, providing an audio solution that will grow with children, right through to the teens potentially. The Yoto audio library also offers a great deal of diversity, with music, podcasts and educational content being extensive. New content is added regularly, ensuring that there is always fresh and engaging material to explore.

The Tonies in contrast has clearly been designed to appeal to the early years stages- it is colourful, bold, durable and easy to use for even the smallest of hands.

The format of the audio content itself reflects this difference in an obvious way. Whereas the Yoto cards are simple and mature in their design, the Tonies characters are playful, engaging, and can extend to a range of play possibilities. 

Both the Yoto and the Tonies audio systems have a great deal to offer for children of all ages, and the Tonies do currently have 34 titles in their 5+ audio library, but the appeal of both systems does vary slightly depending on who you're buying it for. 

Yoto Player VS Toniebox - Usability

Yoto and Tonie Box - which is easier to use

Both audio systems put the child firmly in control, allowing for children to enjoy the freedom to select what they want to listen to, and when they want to listen to it. By putting the child in control, they learn about responsibility with their own device- and it means that parents and caregivers can get their phones back!

The Yoto Player is operated with Yoto Cards that slot into the top of the player, and to skip to the next chapter or song you'd control the knobs on the box. With the Tonie Box, the audio characters are placed on top of the player (these are magnetised) and playback will begin almost straight away. Both systems are quick  and responsive.

For young listeners, the Tonie Box probably just tips the balance for being super easy to use. Because it has less features than the Yoto, the "ears" on the top of the box serve simply to adjust the volume, and to navigate their way through the songs and stories, kids can simply tap, squeeze or tilt the box. 

Yoto Vs Tonies - Cards VS Characters

Yoto cards or Tonie figures? Which is best?

This is a key point of difference between to the two audio players, and for many, can be the exact point of difference that leads to a decision between the systems. Whilst each Yoto Card or Tonies Character represents a different story, activity, or piece of educational content, the format that these are presented in varies significantly.

The Yoto Cards range from £5.95 - £9.95 for a single card, and can also be purchased in bundle packs, such as the best selling Gruffalo and Friends collection. The cards are slim and compact, making them small and easy enough to store, and to take with you whilst travelling. The Yoto Travel Cases are a great way to pack everything in neatly, and the Yoto Card Case offers a great solution to storing all of your cards (up to 64 in fact!), helping to make your audio adventures a whole lot tidier!

You can also purchase "Make your own cards", allowing you to upload a range of audio from recordings and to re-use your stored digital content should a card go awol. 

Tonies figures cost £14.99 each, so are the dearer option. However, they do offer extended play possibilities. Children can create their own narratives and imaginative worlds with their characters, and can collect and swap their Tonies also. The Tonies character figurines may not offer the easy portability of the Yoto cards, but they can serve as interesting and decorative display features, and also bridge the gap between the audio and physical worlds. 

Like Yoto, Tonies also offer the opportunity to record and upload your own content via the "Creative Tonies".

So, whilst both systems offer a similar functionality, you can see that each offers unique benefits depending on what your priorities are.

Yoto VS Tonies -The App

Yoto and Tonies Apps, which is best?

Both audio systems require you to create an account and download the respective app. For this you'll need to be connected to WiFi, that you'll need to connect your player to also. Once connected, you'll be able to control various settings on the player (such as volume, and LED brightness) as well as to curate a personalised library of content suitable for their child's age and interests.

Within the app itself, the Yoto does offer more functionality. The Yoto Player 3rd Gen includes a room thermometer, and the app allows you to view the room temperature. You can also set alarms, customise both day and night modes in terms of volume levels and display colour/brightness, and a sleep timer.

Check out the 5 Yoto Tips & Tricks we think you'll love blog for some extra cool features within the Yoto App.

So, a bit like the player itself, you will find that the Yoto app offers a more comprehensive level of functions, whereas the Tonies keeps things super simple and straightforward.

Yoto VS Tonies - The Content

Yoto or Tonies - content comparison

With a focus on promoting interactive storytelling, the Tonies character collection spans multiple genres and themes, ensuring there is something for every young listener. Because each Tonie character represents a specific story, song or audiobook, this makes it easy for children to visually and tactilely associate their favourite characters with the content they love. Whether they're exploring the magical world of Disney, embarking on the classic adventures of Roald Dahl, or enjoying modern popular icons, such as Paw Patrol and Octonauts, they're sure to find hours of entertainment with Tonies. Although they are delving more into the world of educational content, the playful nature of the Tonies system is reflected in the fact that most of the character range is based around stories and popular tales.

The Yoto cards on the other hand do offer greater diversity in terms of the type of content available. You'll find all of the authors and stories you'd expect, including Disney, Julia Donaldson, classic tales and modern character icons - however there is a lot more to explore. Educational content includes the themes of the solar system, human body, phonics, languages and meditations. There really is something for all ages.

Both the Yoto and the Tonies offer free additional content resources - for example, kids can tune into the Yoto Daily Podcast, or Yoto Radio every day. Similarly, Tonies has recently launched "Today with Tonies", which is a podcast-style show packed with games, silly challenges, jokes, and learning in disguise- a bit like Yoto Daily. 

So content wise, both systems have a great deal to offer, there is no arguing with that!

So, which one to choose - Yoto or Tonies?

For us, the decision ultimately comes down to age. Tonies is such a excellent, and appealing choice for children 5 and under- but as we know, things can suddenly become "uncool" or "babyish", particularly once they hit the school years. The Yoto does have a more "grown up" appeal, and this system can be relied on to provide that extra longevity of your audio player system. 

But both systems have stacks to offer, and the concept of a children's audio player is one that we are huge fans of. They promote the love of stories, learning and imagination in a safe, appealing and interactive way, and we're here for it! 

You can find both the Yoto player and cards, and the Tonies player and characters here at The Kid Collective, and can read real user reviews over on the product pages. So, which will you choose?




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