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I wrote in reviews recently about how we are just back from a holiday with our 10 month old daughter, and given that we had some long car journeys I bought her a handful of new toys to amuse her on these journeys. One such toy was this VTECH sing along microphone, which I paid around £10 for on amazon. Unlike the picture above the microphone that I got for my daughter is actually mainly pink in colour.
I am a fan of Vtech toys as is my daughter, who seems drawn to the singing, music and lights that usually come with these toys, so I was pretty confident that she would like this microphone. When I first produced it on our first long car journey, she spent a long time inspecting it and inspecting the buttons that created the sounds. The great thing about this toy is that it is just the right size for a baby/child to hold in their hand and therefore ideal for the car as there is no need for a table or tray to set the toy on. It is also a good size to slot into my handbag when we are out and about.
Obviously, given the name of this toy, the main feature of it, is the microphone, but to be totally honest, this is probably the weakest feature, as firstly the child needs to have the microphone touching their mouth in order to hear their voice amplified, and even when it is, it isn't very loud, and if we had any soft background music on in the car, there was no way we could hear our daughter. We initially had to show our daughter how to use the microphone, but she caught on to it quickly and since she likes to make a lot of noise, she enjoys babbling into it. It is just a pity it isn't better.
One of my daughter's favourite features of this toy is the rotating animal wheel. Around the base of the microphone part, there are pictures of different animals, and when baby/child turns the wheel around, so it lands on a particular animal, they will then hear the name of the animal and the sound that it makes. My daughter loves animals so she loves moving the wheel around to hear the different noises.
In regards to the other features, well this microphone does offer a good variety of songs for children to listen to and/or sing along to, ranging from Old MacDonald to a choice or rock or classical, however, there is absolutely no way that a child or baby could sing along given the pace that these songs are played or sung at, even an adult like myself struggles to keep up, so I think most children would find it difficult to use this microphone to sing along to the music on offer.
Despite some of these big flaws, however, this doesn't seem to put my daughter off and she would play happily with this microphone on many of the car journeys we made. Sometimes she babbled into it, sometimes she listened to the music when she battered the buttons and sometimes she moved the wheel to hear the animal sounds, so all in all, it did what I had bought it for - to keep my daughter amused on car journeys. It is now a toy that stays in the car as it is a good size and has enough music to keep my daughter happy.
All in all, although I was slightly disappointed with this toy, my daughter wasn;t and surely that it is the main thing!
I bought this toy from Argos on their 2 for £15 offer and gave it to my 15 month old for one of her Christmas presents or at least Santa did! The toy is available in many places such as Tesco and Amazon and costs about £10 when bought on it's own.
The microphone came packaged in a bright blue box which was open at the front allowing you to have a play with the toy before buying it. The box displays the Vtech logo as this is the maker of the toy, the box was sealed with tape at the edges and once open it was easy to remove the microphone by untwisting the plastic covered wires.
The toy is available in orange, yellow and blue or pink, purple and yellow, I bought the pink version for my daughter. The microphone looks like just that a microphone, the main part is pink and is curved to make it easy for your child to hold it, there is a slider to turn it on on the front and there are two different plays options that can be selected microphone or music. On the main part of the microphone there are 4 different buttons and then at the top of the stem before the top of the microphone there is a circle right round with different pictures of animals on it which slides around. The top is the bright yellow and green in colour and has the part for your child to speak into just like a real microphone.
==The Music Setting==
When you first turn the microphone to the music setting the toy immediately launches into the song Old Macdonald, the purple button on the front when pressed replays the song and the button itself flashes whenever there is any sound coming from the toy. The toy keeps playing different little tunes and asking your child to join in if you don't press anything on the toy but then does shut off after a couple of minutes which I like as it isn't constantly playing to itself and wasting the batteries but it plays little things to get your childs attention. One of the side buttons has a picture on it of a little cat and dog and when you press the button there are numerous different animal noise and whichever one you select the microphone plays a song as that animal, have you ever heard a pig sing Old Macdonald! The button on the other side when pressed names different music styles such as classical and rock and roll but I can't hear any difference between the settings to be honest. The slider around the top has 12 different animals drawn on it and when it is twisted around the microphone names each animal. I like this setting as there a numerous different tunes to attract your child to play and it teaches different animals although the pictures of the animals are quite small so I am not sure that my daughter will actually learn animals from there.
==The Microphone Setting==
When in this setting you get a few more sound effects from the toy such as applause and giggling, all of the buttons on the main part of the toy simply set off different tunes when they are pressed in this mode and it doesn't seem that they have any other function, the microphone asks your child to place the microphone and sing along but doesn't tell your child where to place it although my daughter has worked out what she is meant to do with a little encouragement. The slider at the top of the toy provides your child with the noise each of the animals would make and my daughter enjoys this as myself and her sister sit and imitate the animals to her which she giggles at.
This doesn't seem to be one of my daughters favourites but she does play with the toy for short periods so i would have to say it doesn't hold a childs attention for very long. The toy is meant for ages 12 months up and my daughter is 15 months old so the toy is for her age range. My daughter likes when we sing along with the toy and she likes when we make the animal noises so she is learning what animals make what noises from this toy but there isn't much else to learn from this. The toy would be better if there were more flashing lights and if there were more recognisable tunes that we could sing to. I would rate this toy 4 stars as it is a good toy and she does get some enjoyment out of it I just think there are ways this could be improved. The toy needs 3 AAA batteries and these comes included with the toy when you but it which is great especially on Christmas morning when all your child wants is to play with their new toys.
I bought the VTech Sing Along Microphone for my daughter when she was about 15 months old. She'd been playing with it for hours at my friends house and seemed fasinated with it. I bought one second hand off ebay. I'm very glad I didn't pay the full price for it, approx £10, I paid about 99p plus postage.
The microphone is bright orange plastic with the head of the microphone being yellow with a red selector which rotates. Upon the 4 buttons are a 123 symbol/drums and piano symbol/dog with an ice cream and a dog/cat symbol.
The red selector has pictures of animals in blue, red, pink, green, white and orange. At the top of the yellow headed mic is the part to speak (or screech) into. When you press one of the buttons on the side of the microphone as the music is playing you can hear an animal sound and the selected animal will sing along to the music.
My daughters favourite as she got older was to 'sing' on her own without the 'pleasant' musical accompaniement. She didn't like it at first as the sound is distorted and seemed to 'buzz' so I think her answer to that particular problem was to sing or shout louder!
To be honest it was a relief when the microphone ran out of batteries and then I suggested keeping it at Granny's house! Overall I found this a hardwearing, robust toy, but it is very irritating but I think this was because my daughter pressed the same button over and over and over again!
**Who is the VTech Sing Along Microphone suitable for?**
My son, now almost 2 received the Vtech Sing Along Microphone for Christmas. Its age range is from 12 months but my son was 18 months when first had a play. At first he wasn't overly impressed. He seemed to like watching me or his big brother pressing the buttons and pretending to sing into it and the flashing light caught his eye, but it was a bit big and clumpy for such small hands and it has quite a weight to it too. Usually it would end up on the floor!
Now that our lil dood is almost 2, he takes far more interest in it and on average he'll probably pick it up out of his toy boy on and off during the day and at most play with it for about 10 minutes in his high chair. He likes it a lot more now that he is able to switch it on and off himself. I would say therefore that it's more suited for those approaching 2 as they are more able to handle it and work it. My son does still drop it though whilst happily plodding along so the weight is still a bit of a problem. People say it's great for taking out but I'm not so sure. When we've given it to our son out and about, he still ends up throwing it away and if it were to hit somebody, its quite dangerous! Most of the time it's ended up on the pavement or bus floor, but I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it clonking me on the head!
Another thing I would say when considering this toy is the noise factor. It's a sing along mic, so has plenty of tunes and noises that go on and on and onnnnnnn. If you're the sort that is easily annoyed by children's singing toys, this probably isn't the best next buy lol. My son is really musical and loves to sing songs. He's been singing since he was 18 months which really surprised us, so this toy has really encouraged him to keep on singing and dancing! He loves swaying from side to side and ' la la laarrrring along' so if your child is a musical genius like ours lol they will no doubt get some pleasure out of this toy.
The shaft is orange and this holds 4 buttons and the Mic/Off/Music settings. The base of the Mic is where the sound originates from and the circular head of the mic is yellow, with a rotating red selector.
Upon the 4 buttons are a 123 symbol/drums and piano symbol/dog with an ice cream and a dog/cat symbol.
The rotating red selector has pictures all around it in blue, red, pink, green, white and orange. The pictures are of animals.
At the top of the yellow headed mic is an indent which is the part to speak into.
** Sing Along!**
On selecting the musical note option, songs start to play. Right now ' Old McDonald is playing' and it asks baby to take the microphone and sing along. It then repeats to sing along and clap your hands, moving your body to the beat. At the time of doing this, the red 123 button flashes. It then repeats this once more before saying ' ByeBye' (if there has been no response from baby)
**Rock and Roll!**
On pressing the button again, the 123 button flashes bright red again and plays a tune after saying ' Listen to me sing!'. The sound is of a piano, drum and (not sure!). It's quite a relaxing soothing tune. Whilst the song is playing, if you press the drum/piano button it says ' ROCK AND ROLL!!!' and a jazzy song starts to play.
If you press it again it says ' CLASSICAL' before playing a classical tune.
If you press the 123 button and then the dog/cat button, not only does it play a tune, but the sounds of a dog and cat appear. If you press the button in the shape of a dog eating an ice cream, it is the sound of a child laughing.
**Pressing the 123 button and turning the RED selector**
Yet more tunes follow each and every turn of the dial. There are 12 options to select and it will say the name of the animal ' Pig' , then it will make the sound ' Oink', and then it will play a musical tune. Some of them are recognisable such like ' Baa baa black sheep', others are more soothing bedtime kind of songs.
It's actually really very clever and does alot. It has many songs stored (I think 12 animal songs and 15 melodies) and does different things all the time when different buttons are pressed, be it individually or at the same time. I think that's why parents get a bit annoyed by it because if you go crazy pressing all the buttons, it's a whole lot of music and tunes and talking. Personally it doesn't bother me but the animal sounds that sing along with the music if you've pressed the animal button isn't the greatest of sounds and spoils the song really. This microphone is a tad confusing at times as it plays so many random tunes and not always in the order that you're expecting. In a way, that makes it more exciting.
Ok, this part of the toy isn't fantastic. It's not the best of microphones to speak or sing into. It's quite distorted and buzzes and crackles. Still, my son hasn't got the hand of actually saying anything into it yet so I don't have to listen to it, and its not loud anyway even when you do speak into it.
At almost 2 years old my son is easily able to identify with some of the animals he knows. Others he's not too sure of yet, but he says ' pig' when hears oink and when he hears the horse sound he says horsie. I have to admit the sounds of the animals aren't as good as they could be. Infact, they could be a whole heap better. As i'm listening to them now, it's hard to make out what they are if you close your eyes so it just comes across as an annoying high pitched sound. A few of them are ok though, but I think about 5 of them sound like birds and there is only one bird lol
My son likes to name the colours on the microphone so its good for colour recognition. He also says ' on and off' when switching it on and off and says ' all gone' when its off. He also repeats ' bye bye' when the mic says bye bye. He recognises some of the songs, but not many and he interacts with it well (until throws it away)
Most of all he likes dancing along to the music and watching the big red flashing button in a darkened room. ' Lighhhhttttttttttt' ' Lighhhhhhhhhht', is his response!
I think overall, for about £10 from what I've seen, this toy is worth a buy if your child enjoys music. Just be careful with it like i've mentioned due to the weight and fact child likes to throw it!
This is probably one of the most irritating toys we own (and we own a lot). I bought it for my youngest daughter (aged 14 months at the time) for Christmas, and for a few other kids I know (sorry everyone!), thinking it was a great gift because all kids like to hear their own voice magnified and like prancing about 'performing' their songs.
**Music To Sing To**
It has so many different sounds and songs that I still have not quite figured out how it works, I just know that you can turn a dial at the top or press one of the 4 buttons located around the sides of the microphone to activate various noises, mainly music (if you can call it that!)
The ring that you twist at the top has 12 different animal pictures on it and I think as you turn it, the microphone will play a tune relevant to the animal you have selected - for example for the mouse you will hear '3 Blind Mice' - this is the idea anyway, but I cannot always get this to work properly, (I think it depends which button you may or may not have pressed on the other part of the microphone) much to the annoyance of my 3 year who wants to listen to 3 Blind Mice - NOW!
I have just read the manufacturer's information and you have to turn the ring, then press the 'style' button to choose a style of music from 'classical, jazzy or rock and roll' - I'm not sure how they categorise children's nursery rhymes into these 3 areas, but still I suppose it explains something about the toy. But on listening to the music, not a lot of recognisable nursery rhymes are in there anyway, and the ones I have figured out, my children wouldn't recognise in a million years.
Apparently there are 12 animal songs and also 15 melodies to sing along to. I'll take their word for it.
**Animals Can Sing Too**
If you press one of the buttons on the side of the microphone as the music is playing you can activate an animal sound and this animal will sing along to the music. This is *awful* and not recommended, it just sounds wrong, there is no other way to describe it. The music is bad enough but to have some mechanical sounding animal singing along just really takes the biscuit, especially the chicken, what an awful sound!
**Listen To Your Children Sing!**
It is actually a 'real' microphone so your child can sing into it, either along to the songs played or some other favourite song. But when I say 'real' microphone I am actually quoting from the Vtech website, because I wouldn't go so far as to label this as a real microphone. The noise that comes out of the bottom as your child spits, slavers and sings into the microphone is not what I would call pleasant or even tolerable.
It sounds like a bumblebee has got caught up inside a very small box and is buzzing frantically as it tries to escape. When I heard this I was very disappointed; don't get me wrong I am aware of the fact that most kid's microphone toys have quite a bad sound quality, but this is just appalling, and the fact that they have to put their mouths right up against the microphone is terrible and just causes a massive influx of drool into the unit.
The toy claims to teach your baby animals and their sounds, using fun sound effects and sing along songs. I'm sorry but in no way would your baby learn anything from this microphone, sometimes I cannot figure out what the animal sound is, and then once you have worked that out, you then have to link it to the picture on the twisty ring at the top, and these pictures are no masterpieces; it's all just too complex for a baby and it is not a learning aid in the slightest.
I think there is actually a lot more to be done with this toy, but I cannot for the life of my figure out how to activate the different functions. I am quite sure most of it is hit and miss and a bit of luck if you actually achieve hearing the sound you set out to hear. I'll admit my 3 year old has had a certain amount of enjoyment out of it, but she's the type of child who will play with anything and use her imagination to create 'play' with any toy she can get her hands on. Her favourite thing to do with this is to make her teddies dance along to the music.
My 1 year old (who the toy was intended for) has never had any enjoyment from it. She loves to sing into the microphone which is with their keyboard, but will not use this one and I don't think she would even care if I threw it away (something which I am seriously considering).
A poor show from Vtech.
Takes 3 x AAA batteries which come provided with the unit, which is pretty lucky then you won't feel like you had wasted money buying them. I know I won't be replacing the ones we have in ours.
Recommended age 12-36 months.
Available from Amazon for £10.16 or Toys R US £10.99.
The Sing Along microphone is another great toy from VTech and my son received one for Christmas and takes it everywhere with him already. The microphone is designed for kids aged 12 months and over and my son is now nearly 2 years old. I can give it to him the back of car to keep him occupied or just about anywhere and the flashing lights and bright colours keep him amused. You can pick one of these up for just over £10 and I think it is great value for money. You will need to get 3 x AAA batteries to put in it mind you before you can use it.
The Sing along microphone is brightly coloured orange and on the shaft of the microphone are four buttons and three settings in the form of a switch. You can switch off in the middle or activate the microphone part of the musical part. If you turn on the microphone your child will be able to sing into the microphone in time with the music which my son loves to do as he can hear his own voice and noises echoed. Choosing the musical note mode will play music for old mcdonald had a farm for you.
The buttons on the side do different things depending on which mode you are in. There is a drums and organ button that plays those instruments and then there is a green button with the faces of a dog and cat on there that will also play a melody for your child to listen along to. Right in the middle is a flashing red button when turned on that plays melodies again to repeat or listen to. Beneath the switch is a blue dog button that when pressed will make the sound of dog in music mode and growl softly in microphone mode.
Around the top of the microphone you can twist the dial and when a certain animal is on the pointer then in microphone mode the sound of the animal will be made and in music mode the name of the animal will be read out so your child can learn and play at the same time. Along the reel are a duck, frog, cat, dog, mouse, bird, horse, chicken, cow, sheep, rabbit and pig so plenty to choose from.
This microphone has so much packed into it to aid your child's learning that I really feel it is a very useful toy to buy and pretty good value too for the amount you can do with it.
VTECH Grab the microphone and sing-along! The Sing Along Microphone introduces animals and their sounds using fun sound effects and sing-along songs / Baby and preschool toys / 0-3 Years.