audiobook · yoto · yoto player ·
Review: Yoto Audiobook Player
I was a hesitant customer of the Yoto audiobook player for two reasons:
1. It's not cheap.
2. My kids have never been big audiobook fans.
Turns out, the Yoto has completely surprised me and has been 100% worth the investment... and I want to share why.
But first, if you're not familiar with the Yoto audiobook player, it's a screen-free way for kids to play audiobooks. Kids have control over volume and chapters, and you can take the Yoto completely "offline" so it's great for road trips, too! You purchase cards with individual audiobooks on them, and can play them through speakers or with headphones.
Here are the pros for us so far:
- Even little ones are able to operate the Yoto player. We got one mini player for each of our kids (ages 4, 5, 8, and 10), and they are used every day.
- There are so many options for great books!
- You can use the built-in speaker or headphones.
- The Yoto players can go into "offline" mode at any time (great for road trips!), but still work to listen to the desired audiobook. We generally keep the Wifi on long enough to download the cards, then disconnect the players.
- I can control volume limits and other settings from an app on my phone.
- When you order the cards from Yoto, they immediately download into your Yoto app so I can send them to the kids' Yoto players even before the physical cards arrive in the mail.
- You can also use the Yoto as a Bluetooth speaker, so you can play books through it, even if they aren't part of your Yoto card collection.
- The audiobooks are the very best quality. We haven't encountered an annoying or dull voice. They are all produced with excellence and come through the speakers very clearly.
Here are the cons:
- It's pricey. The mini players have the same functionality as the larger players, so we chose the Yoto minis due to price... but still, the books are also expensive.* I do think if you have multiple kids, you'd probably (eventually) want multiple players. If your kids love these as much as mine do, they'll be listening all the time. Also, you can purchase cards for less on Facebook buy/sell/trade groups. So make sure to check that out!
- You *can* record or upload your own MP3s to blank cards, but the process can be a bit tedious.
*Becoming a member of the Yoto club is an economical way to get more books! It's $10/month and you get to pick 2 cards from a brand new collection of cards. Plus you get 10% off and free shipping on every order as a club member.
Bottom line: Our kids - all four of them - love listening and will listen for hours. As it turns out, they didn't dislike audiobooks. We just didn't have a great way to listen to them. Until now! This has been a worthwhile investment for us and would make a wonderful gift. You could even ask grandparents to purchase some cards for you! These are also perfect for road trips as they can go completely offline and the kids will happily listen to a book of their choice for hours.
Side note: It's been helpful for us to keep all the cards in one place. I found this $10 credit card holder from Amazon that fits the cards perfectly (up to 96 of them!) and keeps them from getting lost. Also, we love these headphones for kids.
If you use my affiliate link to purchase a Yoto player, you'll receive 10% off!
Here are our favorite cards that we own and I would recommend. I've denoted my personal favorites with a *:
- My First Classical Music collection* - all four kids love listening to these cards while they read other books or during rest time.
- The Boxcar Children collection
- The Henry Huggins collection
- Stuart Little by E. B. White
- Charlotte's Web by E. B. White* (narrated by Meryl Streep)
- Finding Nemo
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- Stories from Shakespeare
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery*
- Heidi by Johanna Spyri
- The Magic Tree House books (all are wonderful, and the kids love reading along with their paperback books)
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
For littles (our 4- and 5-year-old love these!):
- The Three Little Pigs
- The Beatrix Potter Collection*
- Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne*
- A Sick Day for Amos McGee*
- Frog and Toad collection by Arnold Lobel
- Are You My Mother?
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
- Miss Rumphius
- The Little Engine collection
- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood 5-Minute Stories
- Corduroy collection
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories by Eric Carle
- Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman
**In the photo at the top, Liam is listening to The Hodgeheg (and other stories) by Dick King-Smith. He loved the first few books on the card, but there was questionable material (which touched on divorce and some gender confusion) in the final book on this card, which is why I do not recommend it on our list. This is the only questionable material we've encountered on the cards we've purchased.