Yoto Player Review
Table of Contents
About Yoto Player
When it comes to helping your kids learn and develop while also keeping them entertained, many parents have found technologies like TVs and smartphones to be a big help. Others, however, aren’t big fans of their kids having a screen in front of them all the time.
If you’re looking for ways to educate and entertain your children that will also help cut down on screen time, this Yoto Player review might be of interest to you.
Yoto is a brand specializing in fun and educational audio content for kids ages 0-12, available across the globe in a safe and easy-to-use format they call the Yoto Player.
Their Yoto Player is a little box with a built-in speaker and two control knobs that you load like a cassette player. It lets you play audio content ranging from music, to well-loved stories, to podcasts made just for kids. It’s made to teach and inspire kids with nothing but attention-grabbing audio – no screens required.
While the brand is still relatively new, the Yoto Player is already generating a lot of buzz. Yoto has accumulated a respectable social media following on Twitter and Instagram, with a respective 5.8k and 20.8k followers, and are even bigger on Facebook, where they have nearly 22k followers.
The Yoto Player has also been featured in news outlets like BuzzFeed News, Design Boom, Mashable, and PR Newswire. But is this screenless audio player really the screen-free entertainment powerhouse parents are looking for?
That’s the question this Yoto Player review aims to answer by looking at the company’s story, philosophy, best-selling products, promotions, and the feedback from real parents who’ve tried the Yoto Player with their own families.
Overview of Yoto Player
In 2015, co-founders Ben Drury and Filip Denker created Yoto because they were worried about how their kids were going to develop in a society filled with screens that, in their view, could become addictive, lead to sleep disruptions, and possibly impede the development of fine motor skills.
Drury and Denker are far from anti-screen – they did initially meet over a video chat – but are worried about over-exposure and wanted to create a way for kids to play that offered an alternative to screen-based entertainment.
Through sending his kids to a Montessori Nursery, Drury had learned about the Montessori philosophy of child development, which places an emphasis on kids learning and playing with physical, rather than digital, objects, and nurturing their independence.
Inspired by this approach to childhood learning and their collective time working in the music industry, Drury and Denker started working on the first generation of the Yoto Player from their HQ in London, England.
The Yoto Player was invented for the purpose of teaching and entertaining kids through audio and tactile controls, while also nurturing independence through an easy, safe, and fun way for kids to select what they want to listen to.
They finally got an industrial designer to help them smooth out the design in 2016. By 2017, they secured the funding to launch their brand thanks to Kickstarter and found a manufacturing partner in Sheffield, UK. In 2018, the Yoto Player hit the market, selling out its first run in under a year and going strong ever since.
Yoto Player’s mission is to, “help parents inspire creativity and imagination in children through audio… and of course, keeping the little ones away from screens” with the help of an ever-expanding library of children’s audiobooks, music, and much more.
The brand is also focusing greatly on diversity and inclusion in their content, and in their teams of behind-the-scenes workers and content creators. They’re taking feedback from families and want Yoto Player to better represent their customers and make space for underrepresented voices.
Now that we know more about the brand’s history, let’s take a look at the highlights of this Yoto Player review below:
- Safe and secure access to an audio library of over 300+ books, music, and movie retellings for ages 0-12
- Access to family-friendly radio and kids’ podcast
- Create your own content to listen to
- Helps reduce screen exposure while still keeping kids entertained
- Helps kids from ages 3-12 develop fine motor skills
- Ships internationally
- Free continental US shipping on orders over $40
- Great customer reviews
The Yoto library is massive, and the Yoto Mini has certainly made the audio experience much more portable, but for this Yoto Player review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the brand’s best-selling flagship Yoto Player and their Yoto Club.
Yoto Player Review
If you’re worried about excessive screen time or you want to ensure your kids aren’t accidentally finding the more, shall we say, questionable sides of the internet, but still want to give them the freedom of choice and play, the Yoto Player might be your new best friend.
The Yoto Player is a small box with a basic display, a built-in speaker, control knobs, and a card slot.
It’s very simple to use:
- Slot in the audio card you want to play
- Let the player download the file straight from the Yoto server
- Use the knobs to play, control volume, skip tracks, etc.
The controls are made easy for kids of all stages to figure out. There are two knobs, one you twist for volume and another to do things like rewind a chapter in the current book.
If you want the Yoto Daily podcast, just press down on the chapter control knob, and press again for radio. All the while, the pixel display on the front will help indicate which function is being used at any given time.
If your kids prefer to use headphones, they can plug in a pair of 3.5 mm headphones or connect with Bluetooth. And, if they want to listen on the go, the 10-hour battery life and 16 GB of storage will ensure they can listen to great content for hours.
The basic Yoto Player package costs $100, and will get you::
- The Yoto Player
- Magnetic charging dock with a 5.4-foot charging cord
- A blank make-your-own audio card (for recording your own content)
- Set-up guide.
You can also buy add-ons to save money on audio cards. You can buy a 6-card Starter Pack for an additional $10 when you bundle it, instead of the usual $25.
You can also save by adding on some popular titles. Is your little one a fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? If so, you can get the first three books for an additional $25. Or, for an extra $50, you can get 6 movie retellings of some of your favorite PIXAR movies.
According to Amazon, the player is a little less than 11 cm cubed and weighs only 1.35 kg (or just over 2 lbs) – very easy for small kids to carry. But, it gets even easier, and more customizable, with an Adventure Jacket.
The jacket sports a carrying handle for easy grip and comes in either purple, yellow, blue, red, green, orange, or black. It’s normally $30, but you can get it for $25 when bundled.
Yoto Club Review
The Yoto Player works on cards loaded with audio content, much like a cassette or CD. To make assembling a catalogue of Yoto audio to keep your little ones entertained with a variety of content, Yoto Player has the Yoto Club – a subscription that sends you new cards every month.
Any Yoto audio card can cost anywhere on average from $3-$12 (up to $25 in some cases we found while researching for this Yoto Player review).
Plus, the Yoto catalog is huge and always growing, so some parents and kids might find it overwhelming to browse and choose.
If you’re looking to save money and get great recommendations, the Yoto Club subscription is a great way to go. Every month you’ll be able to get 2 exclusive cards that have been pre-selected, or you can swap those out for 2 cards from a changing list of 10 favorites.
It’s a great way to take all the guesswork out of looking through the catalog, and each month’s selection includes something from every audio genre and age range available from Yoto.
Yoto Club is available for the accessible price of $10 a month for a monthly subscription, or $100 for a full year upfront, both of which you can cancel easily at the drop of a hat if you need to.
Not only do you get free shipping on your subscription deliveries, but a Yoto Club membership also gets you automatic free shipping and a 10% discount on everything else you buy from the Yoto website.
If you have curious kids with a hunger for knowledge, stories, or music, Yoto Club is a great way to provide for that need without sacrificing funds.
Who Is Yoto Player For?
My Yoto Player review has found that this brand is perfect for parents who want their kids to learn or be entertained without the use of a screen.
They can access a massive range of audio content that gives them a break from visuals, expanding how they learn and providing a different form of engagement.
The Yoto Player also gives kids the ability to make decisions about their own media, browsing through content themselves without risking their safety or online security, like they might flipping through YouTube videos or other internet content.
Yoto Player is also great for parents of kids who are low vision or legally blind. The simple and tactile control knobs would be easier for some kids than touch controls on a smart device that can at times be hard to see, and is unable to provide any auditory or tactile indication of how the functions are being manipulated.
What Does a Yoto Player Do?
This Yoto Player review found this product can serve several different purposes in terms of audio. It can act as entertainment, or as a tool for well-being, focus, and education.
When paired with the free Yoto App, it can also serve as a way to build routines and schedules for your kids that they will love to participate in.
In terms of pure entertainment, there are, of course, cards that allow kids to download books, stories and music from the server, which they can then take on the go with them. There are also settings to listen to age-appropriate all-day radio and the Yoto Daily podcasts.
Plus, with the brand’s Make Your Own Cards, kids and parents can come up with their own content. This is a great way to record yourself or other familiar voices and sounds, like stories read by a family member or lessons from a tutor.
Then, there are the resources for helping your kids grow. There are audio cards for helping young kids with their ABCs and phonics, cards that teach math, science, languages, and many more subjects for older kids.
There are even cards with tracks to help boost learning and concentration, along with tracks for meditation and physical activity.
The Yoto App gives you access to more advanced functions for the player. Through the app, you can get your Yoto Player to function as an alarm clock, play white noise or night sounds to help them develop good sleep habits, and act as a nightlight for those who are not as keen on sleeping in the dark.
Yoto Player Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
From what this Yoto Player review could find, this brand is as much a hit with parents and kids today as it was when it launched its Kickstarter in 2017. Feedback from customers is, overall, positive, and most complaints that have been brought forward have been addressed by the brand.
The simple controls giving kids the ability to develop their independence and motor skills is definitely a major draw for the brand.
On Facebook, where the brand has a star rating of 4.3 out of 5, one of the 40 Yoto Player reviews says, “The controls are very straightforward – our son uses the player independently and loves choosing which card to have on at bedtime.”
Customers are also pleased with the variety of quality content available for Yoto users. On Amazon, the Yoto Player has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 614 reviews. One Amazon customer says, “We took this on a hospital stay to help soothe our son since we had so many options between stories, music, soothing sounds. We just picked up some educational cards to try out.”
The brand’s customer service is also commendable. One Yoto Player review on TrustPilot, from a shopper who ran into some issues, praises how quickly and thoroughly customer service helped out:
“Can’t speak highly enough about how good Yoto’s product support is and following a prompt, helpful reply, our contact Daniel tried a couple of attempts to investigate whether the issue could be fixed remotely. Sadly this was unsuccessful but I’m delighted to say that without prompting he then offered to replace the player, which we are now awaiting.”
My Yoto Player review found that 114 people on TrustPilot.com have collectively ranked the brand at 4.5 out of 5 stars, another high rating reflective of the public’s general satisfaction with the brand and their inventive device.
Is Yoto Player Worth It?
This Yoto Player review would definitely recommend this brand. There’s a wide variety of adapted and original content for the whole family to enjoy, and it’s easy to recognize how this device can both nurture kids’ curiosity and independence, and cut down on excessive screen time.
The player controls are simple and easy to comprehend for children, and adults are also given a comfortable amount of control themselves with the brand’s integrated app.
Not to mention, the subscription service and other discounts (which you can find below) make it easy to save on purchases, while the accessories make it easier to transport and store your player and card library.
Parents and their kids also seem to love how the Yoto Player can consistently engage their kids and have great things to say about the company. That’s why our Yoto Player review can confidently say go ahead, give it a listen!
Yoto Player Promotions & Discounts
There are many ways to save on purchases and get free shipping, in addition to the Yoto Club.
Yoto regularly has sales on their website – at the time of writing our Yoto Player review, customers could get $20 off any $125+ purchase.
There’s also a rewards program where you can exchange 120 points for $1 in savings or get free shipping for 1,000 points.
Getting points is easy once you’ve made a Yoto account. You’ll get:
- 5 points for every $1 spent
- 300 points for celebrating a birthday
- 50 points for signing up for the newsletter
- 50 points for following Yoto on Instagram
- 50 points for liking Yoto on Facebook
- 50 points for following Yoto on Twitter
- Refer a friend to get them 10% off their first $99+ order, and you get 500 points
Where to Buy Yoto Player
Currently, you can only get the Yoto Player on the brand’s website. Amazon did have it at one point, but it’s unavailable at the moment. You can still get audio cards there, though.
Who owns Yoto Player?
Co-founders Ben Drury and Filip Denker still own the brand. Drury currently acts as the company’s CEO.
Does Yoto Player ship internationally?
The brand has multiple sites for servicing the UK, Europe, Canada, and the US where you can order a Yoto Player. At the time of our Yoto Player review, the Yoto Club is only available in the UK and US.
What is Yoto Player’s Shipping Policy?
Continental US orders over $40 quality for free shipping. Purchases at lower prices are subject to delivery fees calculated at checkout, which change depending on the destination. Outlying US territories pay a flat $15 delivery fee.
Each international store is subject to their own shipping and return policies, which you can find on their respective websites.
Once your order is placed, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Processing normally only takes 1 business day, and delivery can take up to 5 with different UPS or USPS delivery options.
What is Yoto Player’s Return Policy?
Yoto has a 60-day return policy. If you wish to initiate the return of a product in new or good condition, just email customer service to receive a shipping label and RAN code. Then package it properly and send it off.
Once it’s been received, and if it’s in acceptable condition, you can expect a full refund within 7 business days.
Partial refunds will apply to items that are slightly damaged or missing parts. Also, note that products sent via the Yoto Club subscription can not be returned, though they can be replaced if faulty.
If a product is defective due to faulty materials or craftsmanship, it can be returned via the same process within the first 2 years after purchase to be replaced or repaired.
And, Yoto will cover the shipping in these cases on returns coming from a US or Canadian address.
How to Contact Yoto Player
Have any more questions after reading this Yoto Player review? You can get in touch with the Yoto customer service team via email at [email protected]
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