Looking for a music system for children? A screen-free alternative for audio books for kids? Look no further than the NEW 3rd Generation Yoto Player. In this Yoto Player review we’ll share the best and worst bits of the new Yoto Player and Yoto Cards, take a look at some of our favourite elements and share tips that will help you get the best from your brand newYoto Player. We’ll answer questions like ‘Is a Yoto Player worth it?’ and ‘Is A Yoto Player any good?’.
Here’s a bit of background for you… In 2020 we bought a Yoto Player for our daughter, she was two and a half. Having owned a Tonies Box for our eldest, we wanted to try something new. Six months later, having used it daily, we bought a second Yoto Player for our eldest. Since then, we’ve also been fortunate enough to work with the lovely team at Yoto and have added a Yoto Mini to our collection. And now, they’ve kindly offered us a brand new, 3rd generation Yoto Player to review and share with you! It couldn’t have come at a better time because our youngest (now aged two) tries to steal his sibling’s ones on a nightly basis.
What does that mean for you? We’re SUPER pro’s at all things Yoto these days, and we’re here to share it all with you. We’ve used it from babies, all the way through to our seven year old (and we even love a sneaky bedtime listen as adults!). We’ll answer all the questions you’ve thought of, and the ones you haven’t… just scroll down to our 3rd Generation Yoto Player review section.
Anything else before we start?! Oh yes, we have a discount code just for you, scroll down to the bottom for more information!
What Is A Yoto Player?
A Yoto Player is a screen-free audio player for kids. That’s right, no microphone, no camera, no adverts. A small, box-shaped device, all Yoto Players work on the same concept; you insert a credit card sized card (known as a Yoto Card) into a slot on the top. This will download the audio books, songs, stories or any other audio file that’d on there, onto the Yoto Player so that they can be listened to whenever the mood takes!
The new Yoto Player has a nightlight functionality, clock (with sleep trainer ‘ok-to-wake’ settings if needed) and a simple room thermometer. Your Yoto Player comes with a Make Your Own card, allowing you to add your own audio via the app. You buy more Yoto Cards from Yoto’s online store, or you can access plenty of free content such as free sleep sounds (including white noise) and even a free daily podcast. You can even join the Yoto Space community (read our review here to find out everything you need to know) which brings Yoto users together to share original content and ideas – fab!
Your Yoto Player is controlled via two small knobs on the top of the device that allow you to adjust volume (or nightlight brightness), track listing or turn it on and off. Overall, it’s simply designed, quirky and really easy for children of all ages to use.
What Age Is Yoto Player For?
Yoto Player is suitable for any age although much of the content is aimed at three years upward. It’s easy to use and there are parental control settings that you can manage by a phone app, such as the volume. We’ve used Yoto Players at all ages, so we’ve shared a little run through below of the features that work well for us with each stage…
Is a Yoto Player suitable for a baby? We think so; the newest model; the 3rd Generation Yoto Player, takes into consideration the needs parents of a younger child may have, by including the room thermometer. Between the thermometer, the nightlight (fab for low level light for night feeds) and the various free sleep sounds (hello brown noise, our latest find that seems to make every snooze that bit longer!), there’s plenty for the littlest members of the family.
Is three too young for a Yoto Player? We don’t think it is! Our daughter had hers at three and could easily understand how to swap the cards and turn it on and off. Our youngest is currently two and doesn’t quite get it yet, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy a good listen to a night-time story on there before bed each night
How about a Yoto Player for a five year old? We’re currently rocking the five year old stage with our middle-child and she LOVES a nighttime story on the Yoto Player (big fans of the Rainbow Fairy cards right now). She also listens to the free radio; sleep radio, every night without fail – I can hear it playing down the hall to help her drift back to sleep when she wakes. She can’t tell the time yet so the ‘ok-to-wake’ nightlight settings are great for telling her when it’s time to get up – particularly helpful during the summer when it’s so light so early. I found we outgrew the Tonie Box by five, but with the Yoto Player she’s just hitting her stride.
And older children? Does the Yoto Player work for them? Our eldest is seven, so for him, he uses his Yoto Player as a clock in his room, as a nightlight still and as a way to wake up listening to the infamous Yoto Daily podcast (possibly our favourite Yoto feature). He likes the audio books to help calm his mind before bed and I’ll often hear him going off to sleep to a sleep meditation. The vast range of different Yoto Cards available mean you can select content suited for your child’s age, making it a very flexible system.
How Much Is A Yoto Player?
The New Yoto Player retails for £99.99 with cards varying in price from £5.99 upward. We’ve found the majority of cards that we listen to are either £7.99 or £9.99. The Yoto Player comes with a charger (although you’ll need a USB-A plug if you want to plug it into the wall) and a make your own card so you’re ready to go without additional purchases. We also purchased an Adventure Jacket (protective case) retailing for £24.99 and a card holder to keep cards in which was also £24.99.
Is a Yoto player worth the money? At less than £100 and with all the free content available, we think so! If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Yoto Mini offers much the same functionality just without the thermometer and nightlight for just £59.99.
Where To Buy A Yoto Player…
You can purchase a Yoto Player directly from Yoto or from a number of distributors. Our preference is dealing directly with Yoto. Yoto offer a points based loyalty system where you build up points each time you purchase and you can redeem them against any Yoto purchases on their site – with bonuses for referring friends, it’s a great way to quickly add to your Yoto set-up without the cost!
Yoto Player (3rd Generation) Review
It’s been two months since we added the new Yoto Player (3rd Generation) to our family. We use it every single day, so I’m confident we’re in a good place to offer you a well-balanced and thorough review! Whilst we were kindly gifted this Yoto Player, we were planning on buying one as his Christmas gift, so it’s absolutely something that we would invest in.
Why now? Our youngest is two and enjoys listening to his older siblings’ players (especially dancing along). I was running through batteries for the white noise sheep at a rate of knots and knowing that we’re about to transition him to a big boy bed, we wanted a ‘sleep clock’. We’re well aware of how much our older children use theirs so we were confident it would get daily use and that the full player would be the best for his bedroom set up.
Setting Up A Yoto Player
The Yoto Player is easy to set up and very intuitive. You’ll need to have wifi in order to set it up, but once you’re up and running, the Yoto Player doesn’t need wifi – it can be taken anywhere. It takes two minutes (literally) to set up, even quicker if you already have the phone app. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, you’ll be led through the process by the hand the whole time.
You’ll need to pop your Yoto Player on charge via the USB cable, and you’ll need either a USB plug or to use a laptop to do so as no wall-plug is provided. The old Yoto Player came with a wireless charging dock as standard, this can now be purchased separately if you need one. We’d recommend it if your child is likely to want to take their player for a wander around the house. We opted for an adventure jacket to go onto our unit, just to give a little extra protection and personality to it – we love the bright colours available, we now have a red, a lilac and now a blue one in the house – great for defining who owns which one!
To control your child’s Yoto Player, you will need a phone that can handle the app. The app is easy to use, allows you to play cards directly from your phone and lets you manage more than one player at a time, should you need to. Adventure jacket on, unit charged, app downloaded and we were ready to go!
How Does A Yoto Player Work?
We use the Yoto Player primarily for nighttime so it tends to sit plugged in in the bedroom. Yoto have improved the battery life so that the Yoto Player now has 24 hours battery life, making it great for car journeys and use around the house.
How does Yoto Player work? The Yoto Player is really intuitive to use. Sit the player on the side, press the left hand button to wake it and adjust the volume, the right hand knob to change between chapters or songs before pressing it in slightly to select. There’s a small on/off button on the side that we use if we’re putting it into a bag or case. Charging port is on the side, speaker and a headphone port on the side that’s unobtrusive. You can set the controls including the max volumes on the app – we have our nighttime sound volumes set lower than during the ‘day’ hours, purely because we know what kids can be like!
Once turned on, the Yoto Player will play either for the duration of the inserted card or podcast, or, if on radio/sounds, it will play until you turn it off. This means that the Yoto Player will run all night if left on sleep radio or a sound such as white noise. This makes it great for children who go through waking or unsettled periods. It’s also really handy for covering household sounds such as entertaining or the television!
You can turn on the Yoto Daily podcast by pressing the right hand knob once – this updates every day and is actually really well done! Both my husband and I really enjoy the mini podcast episode when we happen to put it on. I think this is aimed at slightly older kids and it’s rare that our three year old will select this but we do get it occasionally.
Top tip: during the ‘night mode’ selected hours, you can tap the right hand knob for a second time and it will take you out of the podcast and into a ‘sleep sounds’ selection which will run all night. This comprises of music, sounds and generally soothing things that are lovely to sleep to. This is great if you have a child that suffers with disturbed sleep – we love it!
The in built nightlight/sleep training clock is well configured and simple yet effective. Our children all understood immediately that one colour means it’s night time and the other day. It also has a variety of colours to choose from so that the nightlight colour suits your need; we have red because we didn’t want blue or white light in the bedroom at night should they wake.
What Are Yoto Cards and How Do You Use Them?
We have a variety of different Yoto Cards and there are a few that we really love. Yoto Cards come at all different price points and we felt that they’re quite reasonably priced for what you get. We have some basic ones such as ‘Songs for the Playground’ and ‘Lullabies’ which are played most days as well as a couple of selections of Disney short stories, Peppa pig bits etc etc. There are lots of older books which our son likes and we’ll update the selection as she grows.
To access the content, you link the card to your device and then you can use it either on the device or on your phone through the app. You can get blank cards which allow you to upload and create your own cards, stream podcasts to them or use them for songs, books or white noise. These can be re-recorded as many times as you need them to be, allowing you to constantly be updating their collection based upon their likes and needs.
Yoto Cards are pretty indestructable, credit card sized cards which you insert into the top of the player. Images will show on the device display and the content will begin playing – it’s honestly a really simple concept and whilst we were worried about sturdiness of the system, it’s proven to work really well so far despite our children giving it a good bashing!
Is A Yoto Player Worth The Money? What We Love About Our Yoto Player (3rd Generation)
What do we love about the Yoto Player? It’s cute, easy to use and hard to destroy (trust me, it will take a good bashing!). The Adventure Jacket makes it easier for little hands and puts my mind at ease when it’s being moved around. Card choice is brilliant and seems to be growing by the day – the volume of audio cards there are now blows my mind! I’m confident there’s a good range that will see us through the years as we go in and out of stages. The cards aren’t cheap but they’re more affordable than the Tonies and you can use the blank cards to give more flexibility for content at less cost.
The Yoto App is really well thought out. Control is good and the units are quickly responsive, allowing you to turn it on or off remotely via your phone. You also get access to all of the free content and all of your cards, so if you’re out and about, you can play the content they’re used to. The nightlight and sleep training clock really help the Yoto Player to stand out and the digital display, whilst very simple gives them a clock in their room during the day as well as a day or night visual. The overnight sleep sounds has really helped us with her sleep during the first few hours of the night! For our youngest, we love the ability to check if the room is too hot or cold as well, entering the room to check would be a guaranteed wake up so the remote elements of this is perfect.
Honestly, we think the Yoto Player is worth it just for the nightlight and the free content alone (especially sleep radio and the free daily podcast). We use ours every night which makes it brilliant value for money.
Why shouldn’t I get a Yoto Player?
It’s hard because I really do think that Yoto Player and the Yoto Cards are well designed for little people of all ages. After all, we now have a number of them! Things I would say to look out for; the previous model had a wireless dock as standard and it was really helpful. However, ours got damaged easily and whilst Yoto’s customer service was fab, I can see why they’ve changed it. The new cable charger is good but I’d like to have seen a plug socket with it, it feels like a bit of a cut corner and given that it’s designed to be used overnight, it’s most likely to need to be plugged in to a wall.
All of our previous quibbles have been resolved; there are now wireless headphones available (GREAT!) and the card options are huge… honestly, that’s pretty much everything we ever thought could need improving!
Yoto Player and Yoto Card Tips & Tricks
Understanding how to get the best from your Yoto Player will help unlock some of the different elements of functionality that you can use. Whilst they’re not hidden, I don’t think Yoto shout about some of these bits enough! Firstly, setting up the nightlight to be different for day and night, it’s easy to do and about a million times more reliable that other sleep training products that we’ve tried (and failed with!). I’ve shared how to set this up in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Secondly, the continuous sleep radio. It took us 4.5 months and an absolute fluke to find out that this even existed and yet nine times out of ten now our daughter will opt for this instead of the Lullaby Card. It’s a relaxing blend of different calming music and sound (very classical sounding) and the fact that it will continue throughout the night is invaluable.
The additional functionality on the Yoto App. There are various other sounds (mostly sleep sounds) on the Yoto App that you can play through your phone, including things like white noise, pink noise etc. This is on top of all of the Yoto Cards that you can play. We were only using the Yoto app to manage the player but increasingly we’ve found ourselves reaching for it instead of white noise apps for the baby. You can also link podcasts and certain sounds to your plain Yoto Cards so that you can use them on the Yoto Player.
Did you know that you can collect points on your purchases which then add up to discount codes? Every time you make a purchase you’ll gain points which you can then redeem on later purchases. You can also gain points by following Yoto on social media and referring friends – hurrah!
Yoto Player & Yoto Cards Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions we’ve been asked by friends and family since owning a Yoto Player. If there’s something we haven’t covered and you’re itching to know, please pop it in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer!
Does Yoto Player Need Wifi?
No, you do not need wifi or an internet connection to use a Yoto Player, but you do need one to set it up in the first place. If you’re in a place without wifi, you could always use your phone to create an internet hotspot and do it from there. Once the content is up and running with each card, you’re fine to use it without internet coverage.
Does Yoto Player Have A Nightlight?
Yoto Player has an inbuilt nightlight. To activate it, turn the unit so that the display is face down on your work surface. You’ll quickly see a light come on that runs around the back of the unit. As a default, the nightlight is set to be white but you can alter its colour in the parental controls on your phone app as well as setting up the sleep training clock functionality.
Can Yoto Player Play All Night?
Yes! Your Yoto Player will play all night if you leave it on a noise or on sleep radio. If it’s playing a card or the podcast, it will naturally turn off at the end of the content.
Can Yoto Player Be Used As A Sleep Training Clock?
Yes! The nightlight on a Yoto Player can be configured to allow you to use it as a sleep training clock. To do this, you’ll need to access parental controls for the player on your phone app. Open the app, click on ‘Players’ at the bottom and tap the cog symbol next to the player you want to configure. Under ‘Day Mode’ you’ll need to set the time that you’re happy for your little one to wake up and set the morning light colour. For ease, ours is set to apple green colour (we’ve opted for red = stay in bed, green = good to get up!). Scroll further down to ‘Night Mode’ and select what time bedtime is and the colour you’d like the nightlight to go then. We’ve selected tambourine red and for it to turn on slightly earlier than bedtime to give us a little flexibility. The front clock will also adjust from a sun image to a nighttime image once you pass the ‘night time’ that you’ve set.
The app updates really quickly so if you’re wanting an early night or a lay in, simply adjust the time in your phone and you’ll find that the Yoto Player adjusts almost instantly – perfect for those nights where you want to sneak them into bed early!
Is A Yoto Player Worth The Money?
At £99.99 it’s not a cheap purchase but if you add up the different elements it’s worth it. For example, a sleep training clock without any audio capabilities is around £30 on its own. Consider purchasing it for younger children and allowing it to grow with them. Then there’s the app functionality, the podcast, the wealth of different audio available not to mention the ability to make your own content up.There are a couple of different screen-free audio systems for kids out there and we think that this is one of the more flexible, especially given the ages that it will cover.
Can You Make Your Own Cards?
Yes, you get one make your own card with the starter unit and you can purchase more blank cards if you want to from the Yoto Card shop. It’s really simple to add your own content to the card, allowing you to add music, books or even podcasts.
Can You Play A Yoto Player Without Cards?
You can play the Yoto Player without Yoto cards in it. You can either use it as a speaker using the app on your phone to play content, you can use it as a normal bluetooth speaker, or you’ll have access to Yoto radio, Yoto podcast and sleep radio all without cards in your player.
How To Pause Yoto Player?
To pause your Yoto Player, press the power button. This is a small white button located on the right hand side of the box if it is facing you. Press once to pause or resume.
My Yoto Player Is Having Problems Charging
Yoto have a really good help section on their website that will help give you some ideas about how to do a factory reset. If that fails, their Customer Service team are very helpful and quickly resolved the issue that we had.
What Yoto Cards Are Available?
There’s a huge range of Yoto Cards available for the Yoto Player. It ranges from Peppa Pig and Peter Rabbit through to Enid Blyton, Horrid Henry and factual books as well.
Can I Use My Yoto Player As A Bluetooth Speaker?
Yes! You can do this by accessing the settings for the player in the phone app. Scroll down to the ‘advanced’ section and turn on bluetooth pairing. Push the left hand button down on your Yoto Player until the display shows a bluetooth symbol. The device should now be visible for pairing with your phone/computer.
Is The Yoto Player Good For Travel?
The Yoto Player does work well for travel but Yoto have also released a Yoto Mini which is designed to be used more on the go. This is a smaller, more scaled down version that’s still packed with functionality.
Yoto Player vs Yoto Mini – Which Is Better?
Both Yoto Player and Yoto Mini use the same software and have similar functionality so it really depends on your wants and needs. Yoto Mini does not have a nightlight or clock function which is something that we wanted, hence opting for the larger player. If you’re looking for something to take on car journeys or more around the house and aren’t worried about it having a large display or light then the Yoto Mini looks to be a great (and cheaper alternative).
Do I Need To Buy An Adventure Jacket For My Yoto?
Even if you’re not intending on taking it anywhere, we would recommend that you buy a case for your Yoto Player. The brightly coloured adventure jacket helps to protect your Yoto Player from the bumps, knocks and drops that always happen with children around. If your child’s older, you’re less likely to need it but the cases do look pretty funky! Do you need to buy an adventure jacket for your Yoto? No, it’s not absolutely necessary, but it’ll help preserve it and it’ll look the part as well.
Do You Have A Yoto Mini Review?
We do! You can read our comprehensive Yoto Mini review by clicking on the link. Yoto kindly got in touch with us to see if we would like to review their Yoto Mini and we leapt at the chance. Don’t worry though, you’ll still find us being just as honest and open as before about the system and how it works. Not sure which you want between the Yoto Player and the Yoto Mini? You can find out the differences here with our comparison post and advice for which would suit you best.
Yoto Player and Yoto Mini Discount Code!
We have a discount code!! Buy from Yoto and use the code AFF-DEVONMAMA5 for 5% off of your Yoto Player or Yoto Mini!
Did We Convince You?
If you’ve found this review helpful and would like to buy a Yoto Player, you can do so by clicking here. This is an affiliate link which means we get a small payment each time someone orders using our links – it doesn’t affect the price you pay at all but it helps us to maintain this site and keep creating great content, so thanks!