What do I want this Father’s Day? Some socks would be nice (no, really). Some locally brewed craft beer would be a pleasant touch too. Perhaps a canvas print of one of my kids’ drawings? How about some quality ‘me time’ where I can just sit and play Fifa 18 at my leisure, or go to the cinema to watch something that isn’t a Dreamworks animation?
To be honest, what I would actually like this Father’s Day is to simply spend some time with my young children and have fun without having to worry about the endless house jobs to attend to the ballooning list of DIY projects. Luckily for me, the lovely folks at ao.com have helped me do just that – by sending me a Roxi Electric Jukebox.
NJ (age 8) and Roo (age 4) love music and are constantly browsing through my Spotify account for their favourite songs so they can have a ‘disco’ in our house (currently The Greatest Showman and, er, Captain Underpants Soundtracks are getting some serious playback). The great thing about the Roxi Electric Jukebox is that it makes music far more accessible and a lot of fun.
The Electric Jukebox is basically like a set-top streaming TV box but for music – you have access to millions of songs, a variety of radio stations and… a karaoke mode. More about that in a bit.
The kit itself is incredibly easy to set up and use – so with two eager children desperate to get singing and dancing, there were no complicated instructions to read. We simply powered it up, plugged it into the TV, added our WIFI code and we were ready to go (there is also a wired connection through the ethernet socket if preferred).
Using the controller is easy to use too. It works exactly the same way as a Nintendo Wii – you point it at the TV screen and click. It also comes with voice control too which is great for my kids who often prefer to talk rather than type and read. I was impressed with the feel and quality of the controller too – it felt solid and likely to withstand being dropped on the floor, but wasn’t too heavy for Roo to wave around when the music got started. You can charge it by plugging it into the main hub with the cable provided so there is no faffing about with batteries either.
Navigation & Features
The menus are clear and easy to navigate. You can either search through the music to find what you want to listen to, browse through a selection of playlists or listen to a variety of radio stations. The device comes with an annual subscription to its music library, so you have access to millions of songs straight away without having to sign up or log into anything.
What the Electric Jukebox does differently to your Spotify or Apple Music account comes with the additional features that are designed to bring people and families together.
Firstly, the karaoke mode! That’s right, the controller doubles up as a microphone so you can sing along to a variety of different tunes. We (I say we, but I really mean the kids) loved scrolling through the kid’s songs which include tracks from Moana and Frozen, as well as The Sound of Music and Beauty & The Beast, and singing along with the lyrics – although Roo was singing from memory, as the words were too fast for her to read – she is only 4 after all.
For those not blessed with a beautiful singing voice (me) there is also a ‘name that tune’ game where you pick a genre, hear the start of a song and have to guess the artist and song name. You can add your score to your home’s leaderboard too so there’s a competitive element as well. Great stuff.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, you can also use the Electric Jukebox to produce a variety of ambient sounds to put on in the background to help with meditation or yoga.
The Electric Jukebox is certainly a lot of fun and we loved using it – it was great to see the kids jump around the living room enjoying music rather than spend ages huddled around my phone scrolling through my YouTube or Spotify account (and flooding my recent play history with Power Rangers theme songs). As far as wanting something to enjoy with the family on Father’s Day and have our own little disco, this certainly ticks all the boxes.
There’s no doubting the quality of the main hub and controller, but I do feel that at £169 it is a little on the expensive side considering the music library can only be accessed through the device and can’t be transferred or accessed remotely. Also, it is worth remembering that once the annual subscription expires another annual pass currently costs £52, but this works out at just £1 a week so is cheaper than Spotify and other streaming services.
However, this is more than just a music player and if you end up using it a lot with the kids, or at parties with friends, this could be a worthwhile investment.
Interested in getting one? I was sent the blue version but it is also available in red and charcoal too and all three can be purchased from the ao.com website.
Disclaimer: I was sent the Roxi Electric Jukebox by AO.com in exchange for a review – all views are genuine and my own. No matter how nicely you ask, I will not post a video of me singing.