Toniebox (Review)

Finding some cool electronics for children can be difficult. Kids are the best at finding a device’s weaknesses. In most cases, manufactures try their best to prepare their product for child use, but often miss the simplicity of a child’s brain. Toniebox seems to have really hit the sweet spot with their product. Is the Toniebox one of the best kid’s tech I’ve seen?

What is a Toniebox?

Most of my experience with this review was feedback from my own children. They are full of life and love stories, music, and toys. The Toniebox checks all of those boxes.

At its core, a Toniebox is essentially a wireless speaker that uses NFC-like tech to play audio. The device is well crafted and padded to withstand the use of a very young child. The audio tracks help on a toy figure (called tonies) and the figures are magnetically held to the play pad on top. Once tonies are placed on the play pad, music and stories are shared.

The device is wireless, too, so children won’t be yanking cords out of the wall. There is also no digital interface or screen, so children, even kids, who cannot read can play with it too. The tonies are great too because my children would play with them along with their other toys. They are very durable and cute.

How Does It Work?

Placing the tonies on the play pad will automatically begin to play the audio tracks saved. They will even pick up where they left off as well, if they are removed before the track is complete. Skipping forwards and backward is as simple as tilting the Toniebox to the left or right. Skipping the track altogether can be done by slapping the left or right side of the device.

The volume is uniquely implemented. There are small and large ears next to the play pad. Squeezing the ear will adjust the volume. Small for lower, and larger for raising. There is also a 3.5mm audio connection if they want to listen in private.

The Toniebox also uses an easy to clean material. Cleaning it is easy to do with a baby wipe. The charging pad is nice too. Very durable and set up in a way that allows the block to have a secure connection for charging. Its cylinder base fits right into the hole on the bottom, like a cutout block toy.

What Makes It So Great?

That was a question I asked my kids. They loved that they can take it with them anywhere. They loved the stories they could listen to at bedtime. They also loved the bedtime tonies with lullabies, and they wouldn’t go to bed without it. It was a game-changer, and the battery lasts ages too.

I even found my 18-month-old playing with it. Since the controls are so simple, she was able to figure it out quickly and was so excited that she figured it out. There lots of tonies as well, with more to come. We used the Elsa, Simba, and Lightning McQueen often.

There are also customizable tonies. They can hold up to 90 minutes of audio. I recorded the songs that I sing to my children at night and play that for them too. There wasn’t a feature to add audio files that I could find. That might be to prevent copyright issues.

What Could Be Better?

The setup was a bit difficult and requires a Bluetooth device with Android or iOS to setup. It will also require the assistance of an adult to setup. I am not sure why they require it out of the box, but it would be nice to have the basic play features available out of the box.

Once connected to the app, you can change some of the settings, but it is still very limited. The volume dial is only 3-4 intervals. The customizable tonies do not currently allow for file upload. Though, this may be due to the required audio file formats.

I also found that the skipping features were not entirely consistent. On occasion, the Toniebox would not recognize the movement of the box. While there are several tonies available, I do wish there were more options. The options they do have seem a tad bit pricier too ($15 for each pre-loaded tonies).

Final Reaction

My kids love the Toniebox, and they go everywhere and won’t go to bed without it. While it may take a while to setup (it can be difficult with excited children pestering you to play with it), the tonies are fun to use and will provide quality story time.

It is the perfect fusion of child simplicity and cool kid tech. It charges quickly and will last hours. It is reliant on tonies though, and they can be pricey. Losing them can be a real bummer, if it happens.

I am happy with Toniebox and so are my children. I can absolutely recommend this to any family with kids ages 0-10. It may not be as interesting for older children.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

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