Tigerbox and Co.: Music boxes for children: Six current models with mobile sound

Children of the 1980s will still vaguely remember the legendary Walkman.

Tigerbox and Co.: Music boxes for children: Six current models with mobile sound

Children of the 1980s will still vaguely remember the legendary Walkman. Listen to music on the way to school or in the lecture hall. What an innovation. This was followed by the much less successful Discman and later the MP3 player. Millions of people are now lugging all the sounds of the world around on their smartphones. The headphones are wireless. And anyway, listening to music on the go is child's play these days. Not quite. Because those who – like many day-care and elementary school children – do not yet have a smartphone need an alternative. They have been supplying jukeboxes specially tailored to children for a number of years. In addition to the Toniebox, which got the sound rolling as a pioneer of the mobile audio cube, there are a handful of other jukeboxes for children. You can find out what they are and what they can do in the following article.

The facts at a glance

The Hamburg startup Tiger Media launched the first version of its Tigerbox (Bamboo Edition) in 2017. Two years later, in November 2019, a revised version followed, the Tigerbox Touch. Since then, the newcomer has been at the forefront when it comes to jukeboxes for children. The radio play and music cube consists of a coated wood fiber board, which is partially covered with colored fabric. The heart of the Tigerbox Touch is an almost four-inch touch display. In order to get something on the ears, a so-called tiger card is inserted into a slot on the top. About 80 different ones are currently available. From "Bibi

All of the radio plays, which are suitable for children, and all other sounds come from two 2.4-watt speakers. A clear advantage over the competition. Using so-called wildcards, you can record and play your own stories, similar to the creative tonies. Tip and gift idea: grandma and grandpa read their grandchildren's favorite story and save it on a wild card, which the little ones get for their birthday or for Christmas. This collector's album is ideal for collecting and storing the Tigercards.

The starter package includes a Tigercard and a Tigerticket for one month of listening fun.

stern editor Mareike Fangmann tested the Tigerbox Touch.

The facts at a glance

A few years ago, two fathers from Düsseldorf put their heads together to develop a jukebox suitable for children. The result was a square box, which from then on began its triumphal march through children's rooms in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as the Toniebox. The principle is as simple as it is ingenious: the heroes of the hundreds of children's and youth stories are placed on the box. The Toniebox uses an integrated chip to recognize which radio play or song should be played and downloads the audio files from the Toniecloud - regardless of whether it's "Wickie", the "Grüffelo" or "The Little Dragon Coconut". The imaginative plastic figures must be purchased. But they cut a top figure on every children's room shelf and are also suitable for playing.

The Toniebox starter pack comes with a creative Tonie that you can discuss yourself. A smart idea for grandmas and grandpas who rarely see their grandchildren. The battery of the Toniebox should last up to seven hours. At around 600 grams, the music cube weighs neither on train journeys nor on longer car journeys. The inventors have a practical solution for undisturbed enjoyment of radio plays, audio books or music. The Tonie-Laucher with volume limitation, but also other children's headphones, can be plugged in via the headphone socket (3.5 mm jack). The Toniebox does not have a touchscreen. Similar to wireless headphones, you can navigate through the current playlist by tapping the box. Little music lovers can control the volume via the ears on the top.

The facts at a glance

Vtech also relies on a concept for its V-Story radio play box that works without an internet connection or an app. For this purpose, the V-Story radio play box contains more than 75 popular and well-known stories, songs, fairy tales and poems. New content can be uploaded via a USB connection, the supplied cable and its own download manager. As a narrator, the little dog on top of the box accompanies the children through the musical stories while singing. Grandma, grandpa, mum or dad can also record a short fairy tale or bedtime story using a simple recording function. A small light projector also throws animated motifs that match the stories onto the ceiling. A bit of a shame and outdated: The V-Story Box is only available in blue or pink.

The facts at a glance

A smart idea and alternative to the Tonie and Tiger box is the Technifant from TechniSat. For just under 100 euros, the offspring can get an audio player with an integrated night light. Similar to the Tonies and Tigercards, the Technifant has small hats in different colors that ensure the right sound at the right time. A small magnet keeps the cone on the Technifant's back. The green hat with a total of 13 tracks to dream and fall asleep is included. The theme hats in purple (stories), blue (knowledge with fun), orange (children's songs), red (Christmas magic) and turquoise (audio books) can be bought later.

Each cone can be fed with up to 2 GB of audio files from the Technifant Shop via a USB cable. In contrast to the competition, the Technifant does not need WLAN. Playlists from smartphones or tablets, on the other hand, can be transferred and played via Bluetooth. If you want to listen to the audio books or stories undisturbed, you can plug in headphones. The sound experience is controlled via five colored buttons on the front of the little blue musical elephant.

The facts at a glance

The Dogbox could be the inexpensive cross between the Tonie and Tigerbox. Visually, the dog box is much more childlike. The design of the dog probably appeals to small children from the age of two, although the manufacturer only recommends the box for four-year-olds. Striking: The jukebox is the smallest and also the lightest of the ones presented here. A built-in headphone jack saves parents from the 126th repeat of Petterson and Findus. All your favorite audio files are "on the dog" via an SD and USB slot.

A cooperation with Sony Music opens the (unfortunately not free) path to the Ooigo app, which offers a lavish selection of radio plays, playlists and audio books. You can also transfer music from your smartphone via Bluetooth. Impractical and not thought through to the end: USB stick and memory card are not hidden and clearly protrude from the dog box during operation. With smaller children in particular, it should only be a matter of time before the storage media disappears into the depths of the children's room, never to be seen again. The carrying handle, on the other hand, is very practical. In addition, the dog box is robust and child-friendly. The dog's ears and nose are used as operating elements. The little DJs navigate in the playlists using five colored buttons on the top.

The facts at a glance

Already ten years ago, Hörbert was preparing to conquer a place in children's rooms. The wooden box made in Germany is reminiscent of a portable radio from dad's youth. Only without cable. Hörbert draws its energy from four batteries (AA), which should last for around 50 hours of listening pleasure at medium volume. The wood has a sweat-proof finish and is saliva-proof. The sound comes from a speaker on the front of the case. The little DJs can select their own personal playlist using the nine colorful buttons next to it. The buttons are fed from a rewritable SD card that has space for more than 17 hours of radio plays, songs and stories. The forward button and a button to skip back to the beginning are reminiscent of the good old tape recorder.

Nice extra: Hörbert can be ordered with an individual name engraving. New additions to the Hörbert family are barrier-free models for people with disabilities. The inventors at Hörbert deliberately dispensed with an interface for Bluetooth or WLAN and connections to an app. Hörbert comes with more than two hours of children's songs and stories when you buy it. All other audio files must be loaded onto the SD card via PC or laptop. For all parents who are really interested: Hörbert's frame and handle are made of beech wood. Poplar and birch plywood is used for the front and rear walls.

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