In addition to the Toniebox, there are now a few alternatives when it comes to radio play boxes for children. A popular variant is the Tigerbox Touch or Tigerbox Touch Plus. But what makes it different from the Toniebox? And what can be improved? The test revealed advantages and disadvantages.
The Tigerbox Touch is an 11.5 centimeter radio play box with which children can click through the world of radio plays independently. The box must first be set up by the parents, but then the little ones can operate it independently using the touch display. With a so-called “Tiger Ticket,” which works like a streaming subscription, young listeners have access to thousands of ad-free radio plays and songs. There are also more than 80 “Tigercards” with individual radio plays. The Tigerbox Touch is suitable for children between two and twelve years old. In addition to the accessories (instructions, charging cable and tips), the starter set also includes a radio play and a “tiger ticket” with a free month of streaming.
Visually, the box makes a very good impression: it is attractive and modern and not at all kitschy. The LED strips, which offer a subtle light show adapted to the audio playback, are also appealing. There is also a night light so that the kids can listen comfortably in the evening. There is knotted fabric around the box, it has a bamboo front and is otherwise very simple. There is a single button to turn the box on and off. My son was also immediately impressed by the display and the selection. After setting it up, he was able to work with it himself straight away. But it took a little while to get to that point.
As with the Toniebox, the Tigerbox Touch must first be set up with the help of parents. However, it's not that easy. First it has to be connected to the WiFi. And it took three attempts, at least for us, until it worked - even if the box tries to guide the user step by step: You have to download the app and connect to the WLAN and the smartphone. However, once you've done that, the rest is self-explanatory and fun for the little ones too: There's music and audio books to click through and the user can already orientate themselves using the covers and easily switch back and forth. You can also insert a “Tigercard” and make the box sound. There is also a “wildcard” with which you can play self-recorded messages, mp3 files or stories from the “Tigertones” library.
Setting up the Tigerbox Touch was a little more complicated than with the Toniebox, but overall the operation is easier to understand at first: you know exactly where to click. With the Toniebox you first had to get used to tilting, slapping and operating it. However, operating the Tigerbox's touch display is not ideal for very small children.
For both providers, the parent area in the respective apps is very helpful. There you can make settings: for example, to limit the volume or playback time of the Tigerbox Touch or Toniebox. The “Tigertones” app also has cool extras, such as an Advent calendar at Christmas time with jokes, stories or Christmas music.
While the Toniebox works via figures that you place on the box, with the Tigerbox you either need a card that you insert into the slot provided. Once the “Tigercard” is inserted into the box, the contents are downloaded and saved on the device. Or you can use the streaming subscription via the so-called “Tiger Ticket”, which is available to buy for three, six or twelve months. This allows children to stream thousands of radio plays or songs – without any advertising.
The cards are not as visually appealing as the Tonies, which can also be used as game pieces. But they are cheaper: they cost between around six euros and ten euros - Tonies, on the other hand, usually cost between around twelve and 16 euros.
A big advantage of the Tigerbox Touch is its sound. It is very clear and the real wood provides a really great sound experience. This is particularly noticeable for adults and older children and is certainly not as important for smaller children.
In addition to the Tigerbox Touch, there has been an upgrade since 2023: the Tigerbox Touch Plus. This scores with a longer battery life (20 percent more than the previous model) and a Bluetooth function for headphones. There are also visual improvements - namely more choice: Kids can choose between a box in purple, green, yellow, gray, black or blue.
Compared to the Tigerbox Touch, the Toniebox is very soft and completely covered with a water-repellent fabric. All edges are rounded, making it ideal for small children as it can survive even serious falls without damage. It has two "ears": a small one to turn the sound down and a large one to turn it up and turn the speaker on. The Tonies ensure that music or radio plays are played. You just place the cute figures on the small field and off you go. To fast forward or rewind, you tilt the box; a tap takes you to the next chapter or song: back to the left, a tap to the right lets the listener jump forward. It's very easy and most children really enjoy it. And collecting the figures is also fun for many children.
In the end, both boxes are definitely recommended, but in my opinion the Tigerbox Touch (Plus) is a little ahead of the Toniebox - also because I find it so visually appealing and high quality. My son is thrilled by the sound, loves clicking through the selection of music and radio plays and also listens to new stories or formats if the cover appeals to him. Since he is almost four years old, he has no problems with switching or fast forwarding. However, I find the Toniebox more suitable for smaller children and I think it's great that they can also play with the Tonies like toy figures and collect them.
Tigercards (individual radio plays/songs)
Wildcards (playable cards)
Tonies (played figures)
Kreativtonies (playable figures)
Approx. 20,000 audio books/songs in subscription
ca. 100 Tigercards
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