Hey gang, Valkor here. We cover a lot of audio products here at TOV; Mainly for the adults, but occasionally we'll get something that the little ones can appreciate. So, coming to the TechView main stage, we're introducing a new company called Jooki, whose next-generation, kid-friendly Wi-Fi speaker may be a hit in some homes, but setting it up takes a little work. Is it worth the effort? Let's find out!
From the outset, the Jooki 2 speaker has a simple design with an eye-pleasing color scheme; The front features all the controls such as a power button, a knob that changes tracks, and another that controls the volume. At the bottom is your USB-C charging port. To complete the look, the speaker has a loop on the top right that you can attach a rope or lanyard to carry around. The core set, which I received to review, contains two tokens that you can link to a playlist (more on that later). But you can also purchase a set that includes figurines for additional interactivity. So how does Jooki work?
The basic setup is straightforward, but you'll need to download an app to help you get started. You're almost ready to go once you've completed all the steps and updates. After that, insert one of your tokens into the Jooki sign that's in the center of the speaker, and music will begin to play. Music is pre-installed on these tokens. However, you can end up deleting them like I did. Jooki can play MP3s, so you can listen to your favorite music through the speaker. However, you must first install an app on your desktop or laptop before transferring your music to Jooki. You can create playlists that will link to one of your tokens from the desktop app. What if you don’t have MP3s? Jooki has a Spotify option, allowing you to link up to the service.
Before we get into my impressions of the Jooki speaker, I’ll give a quick review from my little ones (niece and nephew), whom I wanted to gauge their interest. And, mostly, they loved it. They were hip to the design, and I got them vibing to some of their favorite tunes. I had to do a little work to get songs they like, but worth it to see if they’ll enjoy the speaker or not. And they dug it! Now, on with the TOV Breakdown!
Jooki scores a win with their Wi-Fi speaker. From the jump, the colors drew me. But from there, it was all about the sound. And the Jooki speaker keeps things at a decent volume level so it doesn’t blow out the eardrums of the little ones. But if you want to pump up the jams, you can turn off the volume limit through the desktop app. Next, the two-step setup (if you have MP3s you want to add) is a process. But it’s not all that bad, and it’s quick to set up a playlist, transfer music, and adjust the controls. And that brings me to a big plus–the controls. The Jooki apps work great in how you control the device, whether you’re close by or the little ones are playing/sleeping in another room. If things get too rowdy, you can lower the volume or stop the tunes completely. If the kids need more music, you can slip some in no problem. And you have plenty of room on board (5 GB) to add a plethora of content to keep the youngins occupied throughout the day. So, if you’re in the market for a speaker that looks good, plays well, and brings all the fun, then you need look no further than Jooki Generation 2 Wi-Fi speaker.
First and foremost, I would have loved the speaker to be totally Bluetooth, with all controls handled by a smartphone rather than requiring the speaker to be connected via Wi-Fi. However, I can see how it is a benefit, as it is all about the parental controls. On the down side, it simply means that you must connect the device wherever you are. And you can't do that if you're outside without access to the internet. Or at a location with limited Wi-Fi. As a result, having Bluetooth as a secondary (or primary) connection is desirable. Next, I wasn't hip having to connect to my PC to upload MP3s to the speaker when I already had plenty on my phone. I believe this is something I believe Jooki might change with a software update. In short, whatever I can do on my desktop, I should be able to do on my smartphone. Finally, and I’m sure this may be another feature that could be added later on, but rather than Spotify, there should also be other app options for streaming audio other than Spotify.
Ultimately, I welcomed Jooki into the cave, and it was time well spent as the Jooki Generation 2 Wi-Fi speaker surpassed my expectations. It's a cool speaker for kids that's interactive and enjoyable. And parents receive the pleasure of watching their children interact with a fun product. So, out of a TOV 5 stars, I give the Jooki Wi-Fi speaker a 4.