May 18, 2024

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Toniebox review: Greatest naptime tunes participant for kids

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My best instant with the Toniebox audio participant occurred when I was not even listening to it. Portion of the testing occurred during a seashore 7 days with my brother’s relatives, and one particular night I went to seize a beverage in our rental residence wherever I noticed my 3.5-year-outdated daughter, 6-12 months-outdated nephew, and 7-yr-previous niece huddled on the ground completely engaged around the Toniebox. As any mother or father appreciates, display screen-cost-free leisure can be challenging to sustain. And display screen-free of charge enjoyment that works for a vary of ages is approximately difficult. But, at that moment at least, the Toniebox had pulled off the miraculous. 

Of program, the Toniebox is by no signifies a ideal products when put below an adult’s crucial eye (and ear). Its seem quality is fairly tinny, and the whimsical Tonie figurines that are important to all of the material are bound to get shed, or stepped on. Nonetheless, my 3-year-outdated carried her audio box about all week, subbing out the Elsa Tonie for the Lightning McQueen Tonie at a price that undoubtedly frustrated her more mature, substantially more client cousins. My daughter even cried when we advised her she couldn’t convey the new music participant to the true beach. When we at some point bought again residence and hung out with close friends in the community, she proudly introduced her Toniebox and declared it 1 of her most effective toys ever.

What is the Toniebox? 


Created in 2014 by fathers Patric Faßbender and Marcus Stahl, the Toniebox is a purposefully simplistic moveable speaker and storyteller that debuted internationally in 2016 in advance of arriving in the U.S. in 2020. Looking at that the Toniebox is enriching, instructional, entertaining, and engrossing—all devoid of any incessant, disruptive blinking or blue light—it’s no shock that it was designed by dad and mom. 

The 4.7- x 4.7- x 4.7-inch cube is a little bit more substantial than the outsized fuzzy dice you have viewed hanging from rearview mirrors, and the colourful padded material makes the speaker truly feel just about as gentle. However this new music participant for young ones is shockproof, water-resistant, and very durable—ours endured no ill effects even following various drops by my daughter. 

At the time it is set up, the Toniebox is simple to use. As a substitute of relying on out-of-date discs or a Bluetooth-linked phone to feed it content material, the audio and stories are downloaded by placing hand-painted Tonies people atop the box. People people put content immediately into the box, permitting you pay attention wirelessly—perfect for car trips. Also fantastic for car outings, the Toniebox attributes a conventional 3.5mm audio jack for headphones or earbuds. But these earphones just can’t be wireless—the box presents no Bluetooth connection. 

The $99.99 starter kit we obtained [now discontinued and replaced by a Playtime Puppie Tonie set] consists of a Resourceful-Tonie but no preloaded content material Tonie—I’ll get into the distinctions underneath. Our Toniebox was pink, but you can choose from a spectrum of six decisions, together with fireplace engine crimson, sky blue, grass green, purple, and gray.

Location up the Toniebox

Applying the Toniebox is so easy even a 3-12 months-aged can do it. I observed evidence. Placing it up, on the other hand, necessitates an adult—or at the very least another person who understands how to connect a system to WiFi. Get started by downloading the MyTonies app to your Android or iOS smart product. You will have to make a no cost profile for your Toniebox on the app. Then keep each triangular “ears” on the box for 5 seconds until eventually the LED lights on top rated of the tunes player flash. The lights will blink for about 20 seconds. When you listen to a chime, press “continue” on the app. Decide on your wireless community, type in your password, and you’re completely ready to enable your preschooler engage in deejay. Take note that the Toniebox is ideal set up inside of near proximity to your router. My original attempt from the other facet of the seaside home failed, placing off a short-term tantrum from my daughter.

The Tonie characters attach magnetically to the prime of the box, which they talk to by a around-discipline conversation chip. When in area, they start participating in right away. Alter the quantity by pressing the ears and alter tracks by slapping the box on its left or appropriate facet. Really don’t be scared to strike it difficult! In actuality, you have to have a really strong strike to modify chapters. To rapid forward or rewind in tracks, simply tilt the box remaining or proper. If you want to pay attention to something totally various, swap out the Tonie on major. As soon as you set a new figure on top rated, the Tonie will often start at the starting of its preloaded written content. The temptation to swap these people out frequently is genuine. In fact, it was quite a few times into our tests ahead of we truly performed any Tonies all the way via their information.    

Critical characteristics of the Toniebox

Really don’t expect the Toniebox to swap a wi-fi speaker. For a single matter, it does not have Bluetooth connectivity, so your written content is constrained to what is accessible specifically from Toniebox. And though the audio is properly clear—and is especially good if you and the young children are belting the lyrics to “Part of Your World” on prime of the music—it can arrive across a touch smooth, even with the quantity turned all the way up. It is got a rated electrical power listing of 3W/5W, frequency selection of 180 to 15 kHz, and common audio pressure of 80 dB. What this suggests is the Toniebox will by no means attain piercing, most likely dangerous degrees. It also indicates audiophiles-in-teaching won’t crow about the audio top quality. But seeing how young ones never repeatedly inquire to hear that tale about how significantly treble a speaker has, there’s just a ton to like about the Toniebox. Here are some of the important options.

Material is king

Elsa Toniebox figurine
The Toniebox was these a hit with our young tester that she did not want to allow it go. Andrew Waite

The Disney princesses and cartoon collectible figurines that go on best of the Toniebox are what give the kids’ tunes player its character. The hand-painted Tonies come preloaded with anywhere from 15 minutes to about an hour of content material, offering a combine of tunes, stories, and video games. We cherished singing “Let it Go” with Elsa and listening as Peppa Pig’s relatives went skiing—though when the a few kids had been listening at after, arguments about which Tonie really should go on major following inevitably ensued. That made for wonderful classes in sharing on leading of the classes of self-self-confidence and difficulty-resolving the tunes and stories imparted.

Toniebox now partners with Disney, Pixar, Common Audio Group, Scholastic, and Macmillan Children’s Guides to offer people and content material that children will find common. Additional than 30 Tonies—from Winnie the Pooh to Woody to Stick Man—sell separately for $14.99 (about what I applied to pay out for DVDs, and I wasn’t always as passionate about them as the children and their tales). Dropping the Tonies, nonetheless, is a greater hazard. Compared with a mundane CD or Blu-ray disc that at worst gets pushed to the again of a shelf, the Tonies are basically begging to be played with. My 3.5-year-previous pushed Lightning McQueen all around as if he were being a Hotwheels car—and Hotwheels cars seem to be to often come across their way under the sofa. And misplacing Tonies is an issue because without them the content goes away.

Every single Toniebox also arrives with a Artistic-Tonie that lets you to file 90 minutes of written content. When you are done recording by way of the application or a personal computer, maintain down just one of the Toniebox’s ears for 3 seconds to sync the file. Times later, you can listen to yourself singing in the exact way you had just been listening to Ariel or Aladdin. We recorded a minor “Happy Birthday” and also manufactured up a tale about a turtle who didn’t know how to swim. 

When storytime and playtime are carried out, you can use the Sleepy Time Tonies to perform calming new music for children, white noise, or character appears for nap time.

Rolls with the punches

Made in Germany and designed in China, the shockproof speaker appears just about indestructible. The textured fabric is stitched all around squishy foam that tends to make this portable music participant feel nearer to 1 of your kids’ amazing toys. I rolled the tunes participant across the picket floor, dropped it though standing, and enable it tumble down the slide. Even now, the defeat went on. I even drew on it with a felt tip pen and simply washed the mark off with a flick of my finger and a rapid wipe. 

A great deal of playtime

The Toniebox comes with a wall charger that will allow the songs player to easily nest on major. Toniebox expenditures up to 7 several hours of playtime, but we received an orange LED light—signaling very low battery power—a couple several hours in. Granted, we experienced the songs participant on total blast and switched Tonies probably additional than sensible. On the charger, the Toniebox is again to entire ability in about 3 hours. 

So, who ought to purchase the Toniebox? 

toniebox with packaging
The Toniebox, effectively, box. Andrew Waite

In this age of too much screens, by some means audio articles is on the increase. Podcasts are attracting additional marketing bucks, and smartphones have specified new everyday living to audiobooks. Potentially it’s evidence that practically nothing really replaces the timeless storytelling and singing that originated close to prehistoric campfires. The Toniebox delivers some of that timeless entertainment in a exciting and engaging way thanks to its colourful cloth and hand-painted people. That is why parents who are on the lookout to maintain their preschool- by elementary university-aged children engaged without relying on screens should think about obtaining the Toniebox. 

The colourful Tonies that go on top are more than enough to inspire youngsters to want to use the new music participant and the loaded information that comes with all those characters—most of whom your kids will now know—is plenty of to retain them coming back again. You can look ahead to answering the question, “Is there these types of a factor as too numerous ‘Let it Go’ or ‘Under the Sea’ singalongs?” 

Mom and dad with older children may contemplate the $99 Yoto Participant, which characteristics content material cards as a substitute of characters and has extra publishing household partnerships, meaning it offers more experienced titles like “The Magic formula Garden.” And dad and mom who want even far more stories upfront may possibly look at the Lunii My Incredible Storyteller, which incorporates 48 developed-in adventures with additional obtainable for download—though most tales are lesser-recognized. Meanwhile, moms and dads who would rather their baby be equipped to hear to just about anything that can participate in on a smartphone can forgo committed songs gamers for a Bluetooth speaker. The waterproof and dustproof UE Wonderboom 3 may be a fantastic option for youngsters. 
But if you are seeking a monitor-absolutely free storytelling equipment that the youngsters will basically play with, the Toniebox audio participant may perhaps be the most effective moveable audio participant for children. These great toys will have them singing and have you singing its praises.