We live in a very connected world. By that, I mean we use a lot of devices that are connected to the internet (and if children are involved, usually something with a screen). It used to be that the household PC was the main gateway to the internet and its wealth of education and entertainment, but now so are our phones, watches, radios, televisions, smart speakers, even air fryers, the list is huge. Now there is a new connected device, one for children, the Yoto Mini. The Yoto Mini is a connected mini speaker that allows children to listen to their favourite books or music on the move and we have been lucky enough to have been trying one out.
The Yoto Mini is a handheld Bluetooth speaker and audio player that gives children screen-free entertainment anywhere – at home, in the car, on the bus, at the beach, anywhere you want to be. No screen, no adverts and safe listening. Children can listen to stories, music, podcasts, learn phonics, listen to radio stations (live streaming), and even record your own stories and playlists to blank cards to play on your Yoto player.
- Yoto mini player
- USB-C Cable
- Welcome Card
- Set Up Guide
- Up to 20 hours play time per charge
- 1.3″ TFT Pixel Display
- Sleep sounds, white noise and more
- Parental control via the Yoto app
- USB-C ultra-fast charging cable
- Works with all 3.5mm headphones
- Yoto Mini has Bluetooth support and works as a Bluetooth speaker
- 350 hours / 16Gb of audio storage
Before you can use the Yoto Mini there is some setup required. First you need to download the Yoto app to your phone or tablet. Once downloaded and installed, it is simply a case of following the on-screen instructions and you will be up and running in a few minutes. The app lets you connect to the Yoto Mini and setup the internet connection (this is required to download content) and parental controls as well as accessing podcasts, radio, sleep sounds, make your own stories and even making purchases of other stories.
The Yoto Mini is a child-friendly audio box that enables children to listen to stories or music on the go, accessed by plugging in a story card. These cards are credit card sized and slot neatly into the back of the Yoto Mini.
Overall, we think that the Yoto Mini is excellent. Once set up and connected the children can play different stories by sliding one of their story cards into the player. On first use, the story content will be downloaded from the Yoto servers and stored on the player. Once it has been downloaded whenever that card is inserted the story will start to play – a very easy and simple idea and a way that children can easily listen to a story and without having to access a screen.
The sound from the Yoto Mini is surprising loud and clear from such a small device and there is no problem understanding the audio. Now, everybody may not want to hear the stories being told so you can plug in wired headphones using the 3.5mm jack on the side (Bluetooth support for wireless headphones is coming in 2022 via a software update).
The little audio box (measures 70mm high x 70mm wide x 40mm deep and only weighs 150g) is so simple to use. The power button located on the side is pressed to turn it on and off and the controls are via two orange dials on the face of the player (they turn left and right and push in – left dial is for volume control, right dial is for chapter select and if you push in the right dial a podcast for kids will start to play whilst a second press will play family friendly radio all day and bedtime radio come bedtime). There is even a little display in the bottom that shows the time, pixel characters and shows an icon for every chapter, track and activity.
The 2000mAh Lithium Ion Battery will give you approx. 20 hours of playback per charge when it is not connected to WiFi, approx. 18 hours when it is connected. With WiFi audio streaming on, expect up to 15 hours (at 50% volume, display timeout 15s. 100% volume & display timeout 15s = 10.5 hours and 100% volume & display always on = 6.5 hours). To fully charge (via USB-C) with no audio playing takes approx. 2.5 hours or 4.5 hours if you are playing audio whilst charging.
There are plenty of audio, story and activity cards available to buy, starting from £1.99 each and the cards available are suitable for children from birth to 12 years +. There are story cards featuring titles such as Pixar My First Bedtime Storybook (a 12 minute collection of stories read by Disney and suitable for the 0-5 age range), Father Christmas Needs a Wee (a 13 minute story read by Bernard Cribbins and suitable for the 5-8 age range), The Christmas Selection (a 4 hours 40 minutes collection and suitable for the 0-12 age range) and Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five Collection (8 stories suitable for 5-12+ age range) and many many more. You can also purchase blank cards (one does come with the Yoto Mini player) so that you can record your own stories to play back, ideal for if you were going away so that you could record a bedtime story and the children could still hear you reading to them while you weren’t there).
The Yoto Mini is a portable handheld device and whilst it feels quite solid and durable you can protect the plastic shell with a silicone Adventure Jacket carry case with lanyard (RRP: £16.99) to keep it extra safe from bumps, knocks and drops! This fits snuggly over the Yoto and is available in seven different colours so you can pick your favourite colour. Card pouches and card carry cards are also available.
We love this little entertainment box. It is so easy to use, and the speaker is of very good quality. The cards are durable and simple to use. It is small enough the fit the hands of a young child as well as adults easily, and the controls are simplistic and functional. The quality of the stories are excellent, and the battery life is perfect for a day out, whether that is the car, on a train or even just walking around the park or supermarket.