Looking for a music system for children? A screen-free alternative for audio books for kids? Look no further than the Yoto Player. In this Yoto Player review we’ll share the best and worst bits of the increasingly popular 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 Yoto Player. We’ll answer questions like ‘Is a Yoto Player worth it?’ and ‘Is A Yoto Player any good?’. We bought a Yoto Player for our daughter having also owned a Tonies Box for our son, after using it daily for nearing six months and having bought a second one for our son, we’re confident we can answer all the questions you’ve thought of, and more… just scroll down to our Yoto Player review section!
What Is A Yoto Player?
A Yoto Player is a screen-free audio player for kids. A small box shaped device, the Yoto Player plays cards that are inserted through a slot in the top allowing your child to listen to a number of audio books, songs, stories and lots more by using Yoto Cards. The Yoto Player has a nightlight functionality, a clock and can be used to stream an informative, funny podcast each day. Control is managed via two small red knobs on the top of the device that allow you to adjust volume, track listing or turn it on and off. It’s cute, quirky and really well designed for children of various ages.
What Age Is Yoto Player For?
Yoto Player is suitable for any age thanks to it’s ease of use and the parental control settings managed by a phone app. Is three too young for a Yoto Player? We don’t think so! Our three year old loves her Yoto Player and understands how to swap Yoto Cards and turn it on and off as well as falling asleep to Yoto Sleep Radio. Our six year old enjoys the more detailed stories and audio books, every morning he listens to the Yoto Daily podcast (which we quite enjoy as well). 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?
A Yoto Player retails for around £89.99 with cards varying in price from £5.99 upward; we’ve found the majority of ones we would use are £7.99 or £9.99. The Yoto Player comes with a charger 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.
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 thanks to the large range that they offer and the points that you can build up and then redeem.
Yoto Player Review
We’ve had a Yoto Player for five months and use it every single day so I feel that we’re well placed to give you a thorough Yoto Player review! We bought a Yoto Player for our three and a half year old to use in her room at bedtime. Our reasons for this were that we wanted something that could help soothe her to sleep, she loves books and music and we really loved the nightlight functionality. We have a Tonies player for our son (you can find a separate review for this coming soon) and felt that the functionality and greater amount of content would provide a more flexible product as she grows.
Setting Up A Yoto Player
The Yoto Player is easy to set up and very intuitive. You’ll need internet connection to get things going but once your cards have been selected and you’re all set up, the Yoto Player doesn’t require wifi which means it can be taken anywhere. The instructions are clear, easy to follow and mean that you can be up and running in around ten minutes, if that! The unit charges by sitting on a small, round, magnetised base which holds in place well. Our unit arrived with enough charge to allow us to set it up but we put it on charge immediately. We opted for an adventure jacket to go onto our unit, just to give a little extra protection and personality to it – the lilac fits in perfectly with a very pink bedroom! 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 Yoto Player Work?
We use the Yoto Player primarily for nighttime so it tends to sit on its charging port on our daughters bedside table. When she’s taken it away with her, battery life is good for car journeys and use around the house but we’ve never pushed it too far, tending to take the charger with us if she’s away.
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 bottom, 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, just in case she decides she wants to party at 3am!
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 daughter understands immediately that one colour means it’s still night time and the other day. We really liked the ability to adjust the colour of the nightlight away from white, opting for red light which we felt was a less disturbing colour should she wake in the night.
Using Yoto Cards
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 Yoto Player Worth It? What We Love About Our Yoto Player
We love the simple styling, the cute display and the ease of usage. The adventure jacket makes it easier for little hands to handle and puts my mind at ease when they’re moving it around the house. There’s a good range of cards for various ages and I feel happy that I can easily continue to update our selection of cards as she gets older. 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 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. I love the ease to use the controls and the fact that I can quickly adjust settings on my phone, turning it on or off as needed. The overnight sleep sounds has really helped us with her sleep during the first few hours of the night!
But What Could Be Better On Our 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. The charger, whilst secure, does have a small filament sticking up and our charger did get damaged quite quickly. I couldn’t fault Yoto for their support and we were quickly sent a replacement entire unit as well as having to return our damaged one – it was well handled and aside from taking a while to answer the initial customer service email, the whole issue was quickly resolved. Things I would like to see better – maybe more music on the cards, some of the options are a little limiting, especially for older users, and I was surprised that they don’t offer bluetooth functionality for headphones which would make it much easier for use at home and out and about. Other than that, we really do like it!
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 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 It?
At £89.99 it’s not a cheap purchase but if you add up the different elements within it then it quickly becomes a little more palatable. 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.
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.
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!