I first spied this product in its early stages a few years ago on a crowdfunding website. It looked interesting but my kid was still a baby, so we weren't quite ready for a music player, I decided to hang back and see how it developed.
Well, now I have my hands on the latest Jooki music player, my kid is five years old and I can say it was definitely worth waiting for!
Jooki is essentially a premium kids music player. It's a bluetooth speaker, a portable music device and its totally screen free and interactive for little ones. The concept is creative and extremely well thought through, the result is a very high quality product that I can see lasting a child from a young age well into their teens. By using a selection of different characters or tokens as the 'disc' children can choose what playlists they want to listen to by selecting the relevant token and placing it on top of the player. Best of all, you can control the overall playlists on each token via your own smartphone.
In the Box
5x Characters (a set of 5 colored figurines)
1x USB charging cable
(Optional Memory Card)
Want to make them a playlist of your own 'must have' hits? No problem, sync it with the figure of your choice via your phone, the fox perhaps? Fancy a whole playlist of audio stories, easy as pie, shove it onto the whale. What if they want to fill an entire playlist with the new Frozen II soundtrack? Well, we all know we are going to have to listen to it to death anyway so why not whack it onto the grey knight?
It’s all so simple, even my tech-phobic husband got to grips with it without a fuss. He really enjoys making up his own playlist (and has hijacked the dragon character!) so him and kiddo can listen together and play along with their own instruments.
In addition to adding your own MPS's, Jooki can work along with a paid version of Spotify or Deezer, you can also stream from a host of internet radio stations. You have the option to purchase a memory card that can be inserted to the base of Jooki to store music on the device itself, handy for a road trip or being out and about, and so is the eight hours battery life. Jooki will still work with existing playlists when in airplane mode. Airplane mode? Yup, it’s in there too!
Bright colours, well made characters as tokens and a parent-proof start up guide had us up and running in no time.
I was smitten with the slick packaging design on arrival. It was like the product itself, fun, simple and well designed. The box slides easily open to reveal the first 4 tokens and the Jooki itself, any kid would be delighted to open that bright box of fun. (A nice touch having the fifth character, the ghost, out of sight with a ‘Boo’ sign outside his hidey hole).
We were impressed at how easy it was to set up with home wifi and with our Spotify account all straight from mobile phones. Once you’ve done the initial set up start up time is around 50 seconds which for my 5 year old feels like an age but that was really the only issue we had with it. I would recommend having it set up before giving to a child for the first time as hell hath no fury like a toe tapping 5 year old, and trying to locate your own wifi code with a desperate child swinging round your ankle aint gunna help things move along any faster.
Having read reviews previous to receiving the product it's clear that the team at Jooki have taken feedback on board to improve and develop the product to its current high level of usability, knowing that a brand listens and responds to its audience is reassuring when investing in a product with a reasonably high price tag.
And it is an expensive player; the sound quality is excellent, you can control the level to protect little ears, it is robust (and splash proof) but looks great, software is updated via the Jooki app when needed, it is carefully considered, cool, well made and its usability scores a 10/10 from us. All that, and I can see us having our Jooki as part of our home for many years to come. I think it will be worth the price tag in the long term.
Controls on the Jooki were so easy to use. We liked that they were simple and lit up whilst Jooki is on and operational. A real bonus for me was that I could also control the player from my phone, overriding the character/token settings (and getting the final say on what was being played and on switch off time!)
It looks great, is easy to hold and carry. It is sturdy and has a weight to it, not too much but enough that the kiddo can tell it's not for flinging around the room.
Headphone jack is a must for us and is easily located on the underside, just beside the USB charging port. Now I don't have to listen to that Frozen II soundtrack quite so much, oh alright then, just one more tune...
Just so you know:
We were gifted this product in exchange for an honest review. I only work with brands I love and that I think you will too.