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Testing the Toniebox Starter Set: Our Honest Review! (2024)

Toniebox Review 2024

Last updated: 03.02.2024 Reading time: 8 Min.

Gone are the days when you had to deal with messy tapes and scratched CDs in your child's room.

Now there's the Toniebox, an incredibly smart little box that will change the way children listen to stories and music. 💡

This compact audio cube has replaced the old cassette and CD players in many children's rooms.

So we were curious: Is the Toniebox as easy and safe for children to use as claimed?

We tested the Toniebox thoroughly to answer these questions.

Read our review to determine if it's the perfect choice for your child. 🧐

Toniebox review 2024
  • Simple for kids to use
  • Very durable
  • Safe for young children
  • Over 400 figure bundles to choose from
  • Add your own custom recordings and audio plays to Creative-Tonie
  • Access to a large audio library with additional episodes
  • Easy control with the Tonie app
  • Lacks a sleep timer
  • Can't be manually turned off
  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Requires Wi-Fi and a smartphone or laptop for setup
  • Tilting causes unintended fast-forwarding or rewinding

Most important points at a glance

  • Very easy to use for young kids.
  • The Toniebox is sturdy and safe.
  • Tonie figures are attractive and well-crafted, doubling as toys.
  • Creative Tonies allow for custom content, adding a personal touch.

How does the Toniebox work?

Ever curious about what makes the Tonies Toniebox starter set a must-have in your child's room? We took a closer look at this little cube.

Forget old-fashioned cassettes and MP3 players - the Toniebox is the new must-have for children's audio fun.

Toniebox radio cube

The Toniebox is characterised by its simplicity.

It's a cube that plays stories and songs without screens or complicated buttons.

Quite a change in today's tech-savvy world, isn't it? 👂

You need 'Tonies' - special audio system figures with an inbuilt NFC chip to make it work.

Toniebox figures - tonies

Simply place them on the Toniebox, and it'll begin playing your chosen story or music.

There is a wide selection from classics such as 'Pippi Longstocking' to 'The Jungle Book'.

Toniebox multiple figures - tonies

It's fun for kids and a nostalgic trip for parents. 💬

The Toniebox is super easy to use.

Just place a Tonie on top, press the ear of the cube, and you're done.

It's so easy that even toddlers can do it, with no screens to distract them.

Interacting with the Toniebox is done with simple gestures – a tap, shake or squeeze. It's as simple as it sounds.

Who invented the Toniebox?

The Toniebox, a popular audio player for children, was created by two fathers, Patrick Fassbender and Marcus Stahl. They came up with the idea and started their company, Boxine GmbH, in 2016. In 2021, the company went public and changed its name to Tonies SE.
By the end of 2021, the two fathers had sold an impressive 2.4 million Tonie boxes! This shows how their simple but innovative idea became a huge success and made the Toniebox a common sight in many children's rooms.

How do you set up the Toniebox?

Have you got a Toniebox? Here, you can find out how to get it up and running. 🙋

Follow these three simple steps to set it up:

Step 1: Open the "Mytonies" app

The app is available for both Apple and Android or visit Tonie's website.

Mytonies app

A Tonie will guide you step by step through setting up your box.

Step 2: Create an account

You'll need the Toniebox ID, which you can find under the box.

Toniebox customer id

Step 3: Listen for a cheer

If you have entered everything correctly, you'll hear a "hurrah" from the box - this means that it's ready.

Toniebox set up

To use the box, press one of its 'ears'.

These 'ears' are also used to adjust the volume: the small ear for lower, the big ear for louder.

Toniebox volume adjustment

The Toniebox switches itself off if your child stops listening for 10 minutes or if you remove the figure.

You can't turn off the box, not even with the app, but that's not a big issue.

The box also works offline, so it's ideal for trips in the car, at the beach or even at Grandma's house. 🚗

Switching off the Toniebox

The battery lasts up to 7 hours, perfect for long listening sessions.

How long does it take for the box to charge fully?

If your Toniebox battery is completely drained, recharge will take about three hours.

However, if you're in a hurry, you can take the Toniebox off the charger earlier, especially if you're not planning a seven-hour audiobook marathon.

It can even be used while charging.

Using the Toniebox while charging

One thing we would have liked to see is a sleep timer.

Without it, the story will keep playing unless you take the Tonie off.

Testing the Toniebox volume

When we test products for children, we always pay attention to safety, especially when it comes to noise levels.

Kids often like to turn up music or stories out loud.

According to the maker Boxine, the volume of the Toniebox averages 80 +/- 3 decibels.

So, what's safe, according to health experts?

The World Health Organisation recommends a maximum value of 75 decibels - the Toniebox is just about there. 👏

This means it's not too loud for your child's ears.

And if you need it quieter, there is a handy option.

You can reduce the volume by 75% in the app settings.

Maximum volume of the Toniebox
Maximum volume on the Toniebox. Image: © Smart Home Fox
Reduced volume of the Toniebox
Reduced volume on the Toniebox. Image: © Smart Home Fox

With this function, you can ensure that the sound is pleasant and safe for your child while they listen to their favourite audio.

Can kids use the Toniebox with headphones? Is it safe?

Imagine the following scenario: You're on a car journey with two children and two Tonieboxes. That can get pretty loud! 😱

And you might think, when can you enjoy your favourite John Lennon songs at full blast again?

Well, the Toniebox has a solution: it comes with a headphone jack.

Toniebox headphone jack

This means you can plug in any standard pair of headphones.

There is also a special option - the 'Tonie headphones".

These headphones are limited to 85 dB, but our tests show that the volume usually remains below 75 dB.

Before your child uses the headphones with the Toniebox, you should test the volume.

You can easily adjust it in the app to ensure it's not too loud.

What's the sound quality like on the Toniebox?

The Toniebox does a great job with the sound of audiobooks. 👏

Speakers are clear and distinct, so children can easily understand every word of the stories.

The sound is usually good with music, but sometimes it's not perfect.

This seems more of a problem for the parents than the children, who usually don't mind.

Setting up a new Tonie - What to do?

Has your child just been given a new Tonie, and you're wondering what to do next?

Toniebox new tonie

Let's break it down for you.

Firstly, you must ensure your Toniebox is connected to the wifi. 🛜

Look for a blue light when you place a new Tonie on the box.

Toniebox blue light

This means that it's downloading the story or music from the Toniecloud.

Wait a few minutes; the download is complete when the Tonie light turns green.

Toniebox green light

The Tonie is now ready to play and can also be used offline.

It's really simple, just like a child's play!

And a little tip: If you're giving away Tonies you've already used a lot, don't forget to delete them from your app first.

Creative-Tonies: Tell your children your own story

How magical would it be for your child to hear a bedtime story from their grandma that they can listen to repeatedly? This is precisely where the Creative-Tonie comes into play!

Toniebox new creative tonie
Creative tonie by Toniebox

These are special Tonies that can hold up to 90 minutes of recordings.

So Auntie can sing a song, Grandma can read a special story, or you can download audiobooks and songs from the library (I'll explain more about this soon).

However, there are a few limitations.

Creative-Tonies cannot play all types of audio files.

For example, you cannot use iTunes files because they have copy protection.

But that's a small problem in the grand scheme of things! 🤷‍♂️

The cool thing about Creative-Tonies is you can keep updating them with new recordings.

If Aunt Isabell has a new song, she can simply upload it via the "My Tonies" app.

Once uploaded, press and hold the 'little ear' on the Toniebox for three seconds to play the new story or song.

Toniebox creative tonie playing

And the new song is ready to play!

Mytonies audio library: What is it?

There's a new feature for Toniebox users – you can now add new episodes from an audio library to your Tonies.

This is useful, especially if your kid loves characters like Bibi Blocksberg.

You don't have to buy a new Tonie every time. Just download a new Bibi Blocksberg adventure directly from the media library.

This way, new episodes only cost £3.99 and are much cheaper than buying a new Tonie for £14.99.

The library's pretty big, with around 1400 episodes, and it's still growing. 💗

A quick tip: You might be able to borrow Tonies from your local library. It's worth asking!

Is the Toniebox starter set durable and safe for kids?

The Toniebox has a neat, simple look and comes in many colours. You can choose between cool options like berry or light blue to find your favourite.

The material the Tonies are made of resembles popular children's toys, which kids like.

Toniebox paw patrol tonie

Don't worry if your child takes the Toniebox into the bath when brushing their teeth – the water-resistant cover won't slip.

Toniebox water resistant cover

But it's not designed for the bathtub! 🛁

Wondering if it's robust enough? The Toniebox is well protected with its thick padding, so it's safe from bumps and knocks.

Child throwing the Toniebox on the floor

The lid is also soft so that children don't bump into it.

We have tested it. It can withstand falling off the bed or accidentally hitting a wall. It's robust! 💪

Toniebox falling on the floor

The 'ears' are also bendy, so they don't snap off easily.

Toniebox falling ears down on the floor

The Toniebox is quite light, weighing only 600 grams.

It is recommended for children 3 years and older, but we have found that even 2-year-olds can use it easily and have a lot of fun.

To summarise, the Toniebox is compact, handy and robust – a good choice for little listeners.

Check Amazon*

When is the right age to get a Toniebox?

Thinking about when to buy a Toniebox for your child?

Our hands-on experience shows that the Toniebox is suitable for children of all ages and that you'll enjoy it for a long time.

There is something for everyone, whether it's Disney stories, Peppa Pig or CoComelon.

Toniebox tonies

And with the creative Tonies, with which you can record your own stories or songs, it becomes even more special.

Imagine Grandma recording her story – this could be a fun and unique addition to your child's learning journey!

Toniebox accessories: Are they just for show or truly helpful?

Check out our top 3 picks for Toniebox accessories.👇

Toniebox-compatible headphones

Tired of hearing the same Tonie story over and over again? 🙉

Tonie headphones are the perfect solution. They're great for kids and parents alike.

Toniebox compatible headphones

These headphones are available in different colours that match the Toniebox and have good sound quality.

They also have a safety function that limits the volume to 85 decibels.

Here's a tip: If 85 dB is too loud for you, you can use the app to lower the volume even further.

The headphones are adjustable in size and comfortably padded, and the ear cups are easy to adjust.

This means they can be used as long as your child enjoys their Toniebox.

Toniebox Carry Case for Tonies

Wondering how to transport your growing collection of Tonie figures? There's a handy solution for that.

The Tonie Carry Case matches the Toniebox and is ideal for travelling. It holds up to 20 Tonies in eight mesh pockets.

Toniebox carry case

The case is sturdy, so your Tonies are safe and well-protected.

And with the easy-to-hold handle, even small children can carry their Tonies. 👧🏼

Tonie Shelf - Perfect for organising children's rooms

Have you ever heard the question: "Mum, where's my Lion King Tonie?" which leads to people searching everywhere, from under the bed to the living room couch? 🛋

The Tonie shelf can solve this problem.

It holds up to 52 Tonies, keeps them tidy, is easy to find, and looks great.

Toniebox shelf

Made of wood and metal, it is well-built and durable.

It even has a magnetic strip to keep the Tonies in place.

And the best thing about it is that there is a special place on the shelf just for the Toniebox!

How much does the Toniebox cost?

Want to know how much you need to spend on a Toniebox?

You can buy the starter set for around £80, and it's often on sale on Amazon, so it's worth checking there.

What do you get in the starter set?

The starter set includes the Toniebox, a charging station, a Creative-Tonie for your recordings, a UK plug and a simple instruction manual.

Toniebox starter set

Looking for deals on the Tonie figures?

Watch for occasional discounts like 10% off or 'buy 4, get the 5th free' offers in online shops. 🛍️

Toniebox offer

How sustainable is the Toniebox?

The people behind the Toniebox are always trying to make it more eco-friendly.

Here's what we know.

When a Toniebox breaks, they often just repair the broken part instead of replacing the whole thing. 🔧

If a Toniebox needs to be replaced, the parts of the broken Toniebox are reused.

The figures, called Tonies, are usually made of PVC (about 90%).

Despite the company's efforts to find a more eco-friendly option, it seems that PVC's durability cannot be topped.

The company is also trying to reduce its ecological footprint.

They travel by train in Germany, sort their waste in the office, and let their employees work from home to save on travelling. 🏡

It looks like they're trying to be more environmentally friendly while keeping their products strong and durable.

Final thoughts on the Toniebox's value and performance

After trying out the Toniebox, we give it a big thumbs up! 👍

It's something special with its super easy-to-use system. Wow!

Our tests have shown that even young children find it easy and fun to use.

It's a hit, even if the Tonies are only used as a toy.

The Toniebox battery lasts up to 7 hours, which is especially handy for outings.

It's a product that grows with your child. They can start with stories like Conni at age 2, move on to Paw Patrol at 5, and enjoy TKKG tales at 7.

So not only is it fun, it's also a good investment for years of entertainment.

Frequently asked questions

  • Which audio formats are supported by the Creative-Tonies?

    The following audio formats are supported by the Creative-Tonies:

    • AAC
    • AIFF
    • FLAC
    • MP3
    • M4A
    • M4B
    • OGA
    • OGG
    • OPUS
    • WAV
    • WMA

    You can find more information on this on the Tonie support page.



After finishing my Masters in Journalism, I found a new interest in copywriting. That’s when I figured how smart home gadgets can make life easier. Now, I love to explore new tech for SmartHomeFox and share what I find with our readers. When I’m not working with gadgets, you’ll find me capturing fleeting moments in the mountains or experimenting with new recipes that may or may not be edible.

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