Yoto has delighted its ever-growing fanbase with a new generation of its classic Yoto Player. It promises a handful of improvements on the well-loved 2nd generation Yoto Original. The all NEW Yoto Player 3rd Generation keeps all the perks of its predecessor while offering better sound quality, a new charging option, a room thermometer and increased battery life. Read on to find out if the new generation lives up to what it says on the tin and what my kids and I made of it.
NEW Yoto Player 3rd Gen: A superficial look
The Yoto Player is a child-friendly audio speaker that encourages a child’s independence and creativity without using a screen. Its key features include no screen, easy to use for even the smallest of hands and a variety of free audio content. In addition to that the Yoto Player also doubles as a nightlight and alarm clock, and can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker. How is it possible to improve this machine, you ask? I’ll tell you how! But first, let’s take a superficial look at what was in the box.
At a glance, the new Yoto Player looks almost identical. The familiar orange knobs still control volume and content and the display shines bright for each new song or chapter. Looking closely you’ll notice that the pixels are not only more defined and vibrant but the display is surrounded by a small lip. This means the actual display is slightly recessed. I quite like that, as it means the player’s front is a bit more protected even without the Adventure Jacket. Two major cosmetic changes are the relocation of the ON/OFF-Switch and the addition of a USB-C charging port. A minor re-design of the angled back with the nightlight now encircling the smaller rubber middle gives the new 3rd generation a sleeker and more modern look.
The new Player comes with a Welcome Card that includes key information (and doubles as Make Your Own Card), an instruction manual and a long and sturdy USB-C charging cable in Yoto-orange.
No cut corners on sustainable packaging
In my original Yoto Review (2nd generation) I applauded the company for choosing plastic-free, recyclable packaging. And I was pleased to see no changes there. On the contrary, Yoto has renounced the plastic sleeve for the Welcome Card and the Player itself was wrapped in a protective bag made of compostable plastic-like material. Thanks to Yoto for setting an example and staying true to your sustainable packaging.
Yoto Player Review (3rd Gen): The Improvements in Detail
So, let’s have a good look at all the improvements the 3rd generation of Yoto Players brings with it and see how they hold up to what was promised.
- NEW USB-C Charging: This is probably the most anticipated improvement for many. You no longer need a Yoto-specific charger but can simply plug in a USB-C lead (I recommend the cable included as it is super long, sturdy and fast-charging). The player is also set up for wireless charging and if you were a fan of the original magnetic charging base, you can purchase a magnetic wireless charging dock.
- Better Audio: It was the one thing that I – personally, not my kids – always regretted: The audio quality of the original Yoto Player just didn’t compare to other players. It had already made a big jump up with the Yoto Mini. However, the NEW 3rd generation Player has blown them all out of the park. It’s crisp, it’s clear and it holds up even on higher volume.
- Longer battery life: Our 2nd gen Yoto Player never lasted a night, so there were certain functions (nightlight, alarm) that we couldn’t use, as I don’t feel comfortable having devices charging next to my child at night. With the 3rd generation, this is no longer an issue, the battery seems to last significantly longer. As the Yoto Player was used a lot during the review time – and I mean A LOT – I am unable to give a realistic view on how long it would typically last. However, Yoto has stated it is up to 3 times longer than its predecessor and that would seem about right.
- New ON/OFF-Button: Whoooaa!! The new button is so sensitive (if you are used to the old one). One click and it switches on or off. No more pressing it hard or holding it down that sometimes resulted in little minds becoming slightly impatient.
- Built-in display protection: The new Yoto Player doesn’t just feel a bit sturdier and more robust but also looks it. Instead of the display finishing flush with the edge of the player, it is now surrounded by a small lip. This means the display is slightly recessed and if the player falls with the display side down it is less likely to be damaged. That said, I still feel an Adventure Jacket is an absolute must-have for protection and the easy-peasy carrying handle!
- Room Thermometer: This is particularly handy for parents of young children. The player monitors the temperature of the room and displays it in the app at all times. So no need to invest in a separate thermometer for your nursery – the new Yoto Player is the perfect all-in-one solution. Even though my children are a bit older than the age you would like to check the temperature in their room at night, I still find this feature quite handy.
- Other Improvements: In addition to all the above, the new player has a gigantic internal memory capacity of 32GB (more than 600 hours of audio), its nightlight seems to give off a nicer glowy light and the WiFi range has improved by quite a bit. The headphone socket is still in the same place, however, there is also the option of connecting wireless headphones.
Set-up and Features: Things that haven’t changed
If you are a seasoned Yoto fan, you can skip the next paragraph as you will know the set-up process of a Yoto Player and all its awesome features in your sleep! For everyone trying to decide if a Yoto is right for them – read on!
As mentioned, the Yoto Player is an audio-player for children that can be used independently by even very young children. It primarily works with audio cards that are inserted in the card slot on top of the player to play the associated audio. Story and music cards are available in the Yoto Card Store. The bright pixel display shows a relevant image to the story or music that is played and just adds that little factor of play and colour to the otherwise very sleek-looking box. The two orange knobs on both sides of the card slot control the volume, are used to navigate the audio content and to access the free online radio and daily podcast Yoto Daily!
Setting up your player for the first time is super easy. Download the Yoto App – create an account – select ‘set up a new player’ and follow the instructions.
Note: You need to be in the range of your home WiFi (or wherever you want to use your Yoto). Once set up, you are good to go. Slot a card in and listen to your heart’s content.
Yoto Player Know-how: What Can I Listen to?
- Audio Cards: The cards are the main draw to the Yoto Player as they allow your child to select their desired audio and play it all on their own. The Card Store carries an ever-expanding range of story and music cards in different languages and for all ages. Have a look at the latest offers HERE!
- Digital Yoto Cards: Yoto also offers many digital audio files. These can be purchased in the shop and played via the Yoto app or linked to a blank Make Your Own card.
- Yoto Radio and Yoto Daily: Yoto offers a free child-friendly online radio station and a free daily podcast with the beloved Jake. The podcast has cult status in Yoto circles and caters to children of all ages with interesting facts, games, and jokes. These can only be listened to while connected to WiFi.
- Free Content: In the Yoto App you always find some free content. There are for example sleep or relaxation sounds and a huge variety of different podcasts and radio stations.
- Make Your Own Cards: It is also possible to purchase a set of blank cards and fill them with whatever tickles your fancy. Any mp3 file goes. And with that, it’s not just music or audiobooks but also voice recordings from loved ones. You can record yourself or one of your loved ones reading a bedtime story to your child as a special surprise!
More Than Just a Speaker: Yoto’s Features
The Yoto Player (2nd & 3rd generation) comes with a host of handy little features that will enhance any childhood and also makes life easier for us parents!
- Portability: Your Yoto Player is portable! Screen-free, joyful car, train, bus, boat and plane journeys ahead. Just make sure your player had enough time in your home WiFi while it was switched on and connected to the charger, in order to download all the content. You can double-check any outstanding downloads in your player’s settings in the Yoto App.
- Sleep & Alarm Clock: Within the app, you can decide when the pixel display on your Yoto Player is to show a moon for nighttime and a sun for daytime. This will signal even the smallest children when it is time to get up or when it might still be too early to rise. In addition to that, an alarm can be set and customised within the app.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: This is THE feature that will transport the Yoto Player from a children’s device into a teenage speaker (or so I hope!). You can easily connect your phone or tablet and play any content you’d like – even from streaming services like Spotify. If you don’t like your player being able to connect via Bluetooth, simply switch it off in the app and forget about it. For private, wireless listening Bluetooth headphones can also be connected.
- Nightlight: The lovely glowy Yoto nightlight makes the dark less scary and lets sleep come easier. It’s especially handy that intensity as well as the colour of the nightlight can be customised in the Yoto App.
Is the NEW Yoto Player 3rd Generation Worth it?
In short, the answer to this question is definitely YES! While the improvements might sound subtle when listed, they are significant in everyday use. Even for the sound quality alone, I would say the upgrade is worth it. Paired with the longer battery life, the more accessible charging option and the overall sturdier build of the casing the Yoto Player 3rd generation is an absolute winner and a credit to Yoto.
That said, if you already have a Yoto 2nd generation and are happy with it, you might not feel too pushed about upgrading. The core of the device is still the same, the cards and content are – of course – interchangeable and the podcasts, sounds and radio will still be available on any Yoto advice. So while an upgrade will come with improvements and certain perks there is no immediate need to retire our 2nd gen in favour of the new one.
Frequently Asked Questions about Yoto Player
The differences between 2nd and 3rd Generation Yoto Player are mainly in audio quality, battery life, charging method and sturdiness. The Yoto Player 3rd generation also functions as a room thermometer.
Yoto Player is for children of a very young age. Many children can work the main features of the Yoto Player when they are about 2 years old.
Yes, the Yoto Player can be used with Bluetooth. When connected via Bluetooth to a phone, it acts like any regular Bluetooth speaker and plays content stored on your phone or via streaming services like Spotify.
Yes, the Yoto Player can be used with Bluetooth headphones.
Yes, you can play the Yoto without WIFI. Once the audio content is downloaded onto the internal storage of the Yoto Player, it can be played anywhere without internet access.
Yes, you can play Spotify on the Yoto Player, simply connect your phone or tablet via Bluetooth to the Yoto Player and use it as a Bluetooth speaker.