The 5 best jobsite radios

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In this article, I review the best jobsite radios.

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here are my recommendations:

I recommend the DEWALT DWST08810 – It’s the best sounding work radio that we reviewed. Furthermore, the battery life is long and it has all the features you need in a jobsite radio (bluetooth, USB ports, battery charger, resistance to water and dust.)

Before I present the detailed reviews of 5 of the best jobsite radios, let’s take a look at some of the things to consider when choosing your radio.

Things to consider when choosing a jobsite radio

Power sources

How the radio is powered is very important to consider. Think about where and how you’ll be using the radio. Can the radio be plugged into a power outlet? If so, how long is the power cord? Will you need an extension? 

Can the radio be powered by battery? Most jobsite radios designed for use on construction sites can be powered by rechargeable batteries. Make sure you check what sort of batteries the radio takes and how the battery can be recharged.  How long does the recharge take? Can the radio be operated while charging?

Loudness and power output

Loudness and power output is measured in watts. More watts = louder.  If the radio doesn’t have enough watts, when you turn the volume right up, the sound will start distorting. If the radio is for a small team of one or two workers who work indoors quite close to each other, then you won’t need much power. 

On the other hand, if the jobsite radio will be serving a large team of workers spread out on a constuction site that is open to the elements, then you’re going to need more power.

Size and weight

A radio with a lot of power is going to be bigger and heavier than a radio with less power.  Size and weight is important if you’re going to be moving the radio around a lot and putting it in compact spaces. Make sure to check the dimensions and weight.

Strength and sturdiness

A jobsite radio needs to be strong and able to withstand being dropped, things falling or spilling on it and all other kinds of accidents. Check to see if the radio is dustproof and/or waterproof.

Smartphone integration

If your workers will want to be able to play music from their smartphones through the radio, then the radio will need to support this feature. Check to see if you can connect smartphones via bluetooth and if there is the possibility to browse/search the music on the smartphone through the radio’s interface. Finally, is there a closed compartment in which to store the smartphone in order to protect it?

USB ports

A USB port is another way to connect external devices (smartphones, tablets, ipods) to the radio. Check to see if it’s possible to play music from one of these external devices connected via USB.

The best jobsite radios

DEWALT DWST08810

The DEWALT DWST08810 Tough System music player is a highly durable, portable music player that can play music from its internal AM/FM radio tuner or wirelessly through Bluetooth connectivity to any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or music device up to 100 feet. It also comes with a charger (see below).

Key features and specifications of the player

  • AM/FM stereo radio with manual/autoscanning and memory preset of stations.
  • Bluetooth connectivity to any smartphone or music device up to 100 feet (30 metres) away.
  • Premium sound with 4 full range tweeters, +1 subwoofer, +1 assisted bass resonator.
  • Auxiliary jack for connecting external audio devices.
  • Large LCD display with backlight.
  • Illuminated, soft-touch buttons.
  • USB power/charging port (5V/1A).
  • IP54 rated for water and dust resistance.
  • Power sources: Able to run on a 12V MAX or 20V MAX DEWALT Li-ion power tool battery (not included), or it can be plugged into a wall outlet with the AC power cord (included).
  • Heavy-duty design.
  • Mounts and locks to the DEWALT DWST08210 ToughSystem L-Cart Carrier.
  • Stackable onto any ToughSystem unit.
  • Power output: 40 watts of power (RMS).
  • Size:  21.4 x 6.6 x 13.9 inches (544 x 168 x 353 mm)
  • Weight: 17.1 pounds ( 7.7 kg)

Included with the music player is the DEWALT DCB102BP charging station which can charge up to 2 DEWALT batteries and also up to 2 devices connected via USB.

Key features and specifications of the charger (included)

  • Quick charging (charge time 90 minutes or less)
  • LED indicator to display charging status, when to replace battery pack, and battery temperature.
  • Simultaneously charges 2x DEWALT 12V – 20V MAX Li-Ion batteries.
  • 2x USB ports to charge compatible devices (1.5 Amp Max Output).

Pros

  • You get sound in every direction when the player is laying flat.
  • Excellent sound quality (probably the best of all radios reviewed)
  • Built in USB charging port.
  • Controls are coated and moisture/dust resistant.
  • Storage compartment on top. You can charge your phone while keeping it protected.
  • Bluetooth connectivity with 100 feet range (30 metres).
  • Battery life is very good. It will last all day with the 20V MAX DEWALT battery.

Cons

  • It’s quite big and heavy.
  • The radio reception drops slightly when using the AC power cord plugged into the mains.
  • The AC power cord is a bit flimsy.

Bosch PB360C

Bluetooth connectivity: The Bosch PB360C jobsite radio features bluetooth connectivity to pair with smart devices in order to stream internet radio and play stored music with range of up to 150 feet.

AM/FM radio with advanced digital tuning and 20 FM and 10 AM presets.

Four-way speakers and a subwoofer project 360° sound. Separate bass and treble controls. Four preset equalizer setting plus equalizer customization.

Illuminated LCD display.

Power output: 26 watts.

Durable : Protective aluminum/rubber roll cage. The radio has a weather and dust-resistant design.

Power sources: The Bosch Power Box can be powered by Bosch 18-Volt Lithium-Ion batteries or by plugging into a 120-Volt outlet. Its built-in battery charger will charge the user’s Lithium-Ion batteries as well. Batteries are sold separately.

The battery life will depend on the volume, functions you are playing (USB, AUX2 etc), how often you are changing functions etc. On average, a slim pack battery on volume 10 and not changing any functions can get approximately 2-4 hours of runtime. The fat pack batteries using same volume of 10 and not changing functions can get approximately 5-8 hours of runtime. Batteries are sold separately.

Power outlets: The radio has four 120-Volt power outlets for connecting tools and other devices.

Free Bosch PB360C App available thru Apple App Store or Google Play.

USB charging port with 5-volt /1.0 Amp rating – for charging Apple and other phones and devices – works when Power Box is powered by a 120V AC outlet or by a Bosch battery. Play your device through auxiliary input port.

Digital media bay – secure storage for most devices.

Size: 14.5 x 14 x 13.5 inches  (368.3 x 355.6 x 343 mm)

Weight: 24 pounds (10.8 kg)

Pros

  • Very rugged and strong design with the roll cage.
  • Bluetooth connectivity means you can play music from your smart phones through the radio.
  • Good sound quality.

Cons

  • The bluetooth sometimes had trouble connecting.
  • At 24 pounds (10.8 kg), it’s quite heavy.

Sangean U4

AM, FM and weather radio

The U4 features a high performance radio with FM, AM, and NOAA Weather bands. There are 20 station presets (5 FM1 / 5 FM2 / 5 AM and 5 Weather Bands)

Clock and alarm features

  • Clock available from FM RBDS-CT
  • Dual alarm timer by radio or buzzer with settable alarm volume.
  • HWS (Humane Wake System) with buzzer and radio.
  • Adjustable nap timer, sleep timer, and snooze function.

LCD Display with Backlight

A large backlit LCD display ensures excellent visibility and displays both clock and radio information. There’s also a dual alarm with snooze function and adjustable sleep timer.

Bluetooth connectivity

The U4 has the Bluetooth version 4 technology allowing you to stream your favorite music or programs from your smart devices. Simply touch to pair your device with NFC technology.  The line of sight range is 30 feet (10 metres).

Auxiliary input and headphone jack

Listen to music from your MP3 player, CD player, and other devices via the auxiliary input. There’s also a headphone jack for private listening.

Power sources and battery information

AC Power: AC 120V / 60Hz / 24W   (The radio comes with a  standard AC cord.)
DC IN: 12V / 1.2A center pin positive
Batteries: 6 x UM-1 (D size) – Batteries are not included.
Back-up Battery: 2 x1.5V Size “AA”/UM-3/LR6
Battery life: The battery life is approx. 50 hours when using alkaline battery(12000mAh) / 4 hours a day.

Dust and splash resistant

The U4 is certified IP64 meaning it is dustproof and splash proof.

Shock Resistant

The radio is built with a protective roll cage. It is shock resistant and ready for any job site.

Built-in Smart Battery and Phone Charger

The U4 features a Smart battery charger that ensures optimal charging of each individual battery. A highly accurate LED indicator will give you the status of your batteries. Plus the U4 has a 12Volt DC jack and USB port that allows you to charge your smartphone. The U4 also has Battery Back up to save your Alarm and station pre-sets.

USB port

You can recharge your phone using the USB port. Maximum supplying power of USB socket: 5V 1A

Power output of speaker

Speaker unit: 6.5 inches 8 ohm 15W, full range

Size and weight

Size: 11.73 x 10.55 x 13.46 inches (298 x 268 x 342 mm)
Weight: 10.69 pounds (4.8 kg)

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality – Despite its power setting of 15 watts, this radio was voted loudest and best-sounding utility radio in 2018 by Mozaw.com
  • Well-built, rugged / ballistic design.
  • Dustproof / Waterproof rating – It has a rating of IP64. This means it’s completely dustproof.  It is not totally waterproof but it is splash proof which means it will keep the rain out.
  • Simple to use and install.

Cons

  • Power / loudness – This unit has one 6.5 inch 15 watt speaker which probably won’t be loud enough for serving very large areas.
  • Size and weight (see dimensions above) – This is quite a big and heavy device.
  • Bluetooth range of 30 feet might not be enough.
  • Only charges phone while radio is OFF even if plugged into the wall.

Sangean LB-100

The Sangean LB-100 is a simple, compact and lightweight AM/FM radio that is designed for outdoor use (dustproof and rainproof). There is no bluetooth or USB to connect a smartphone. There is no auxiliary input or headphone jack. It’s ideal as a basic radio for 1-2 people doing some DIY or for taking to the beach or even camping.

AM/FM radio

PLL Synthesized AM / FM Radio with 12 Station Memory Presets (6 AM, 6 FM) and Dynamic Loudness.  There are also 5 easy touch memory preset buttons for quick access to your favorite AM/FM stations.

LCD Display with Backlight

An easy-to-read LCD display shows you station and time. The segment-style LCD screen measures 2.24″ x 0.98″, and is backlit to be easy to see even across a room.

Power sources and battery information

AC Power: AC 120V   (The radio comes with a  standard AC cord attached to the radio.)
Batteries: 4x C batteries (not included)

Dust and splash resistant

The U4 is certified JIS4. It is dustproof and splash proof (resistant to rain).

Rugged design

Sangean U4 has durable ABS plastic construction that is impact-resistant and adapted to the high demands of a building site.

Power output of speaker

5 watts of power

Size and weight

Size: 11.8 x 7.3 x 9.1 inches (300 x 185 x 231 mm)
Weight: 6 pounds and 9 ounces (3 kg)

Pros

  • Good sound quality for the size.
  • Compact and lightweight. Very easy to carry around.
  • Dustproof and splash proof (resistant to rain.)

Cons

  • No bluetooth, no USB port and no auxiliary input. This is a simple AM/FM radio that is adapted to outdoor use (dustproof and rainproof).
  • 5 watts of power is not enough for a large construction site. This is more suited for a small site.

Makita XRM06B

The Makita XRM06B is a jobsite AM/FM radio with bluetooth / USB connectivity.

AM/FM radio

FM frequency range: 87.50 – 108 MHz (0.1 MHz/step)
AM frequency range: (MW) 520 – 1,710 kHz (10 kHz/step)

Clock and alarm features

The radio has date, time, alarm, snooze and sleep timer functions.

Rugged design

It has protective bumpers and features dust and water resistant construction for increased durability.

Power sources

Lithium-Ion batteries – The radio can be powered by Makita 7.2V, 12V max, 12V max CXT, 14.4V, and 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries (all sold separately). 

These Makita batteries are charged via a separate Makita charger (not included)

A/C adaptor – The Makita XRM06B can also be powered by plugging the AC adaptor (included) into the mains.

1x AA battery for clock (included)

Battery life

It will run up to 35 hours with an 18V LXT battery.

Inputs

One auxiliary port for MP3 compatibility and one USB port for charging your mobile device. You can also play music from devices connected via USB.

Stereo speakers

The radio delivers rich stereo sound from 2x 3 inch side-firing speakers.

Power output of speakers

The power output per speaker depends on the battery used:

7.2 V: 0.5 watts x 2
10.8 V: 1.2 watts x 2
14.4 V: 2.2 watts x 2
18 V: 3.5 watts x 2

Size:  7 x 11.5 x 12.9 inches (178 x 292 x 328 mm)
Weight with battery (battery not included): 10.8 pounds ( 4.9 kg)

In the box

  • Makita XRM06B radio only (battery and charger not included).
  • A/C adaptor.
  • 1x AA battery for clock.

Pros

  • Good sound quality through its 2 speakers.
  • Strong radio reception.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Very portable due to its carrying handle, compact and lightweight design.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • USB port.

Cons

  • The rechargeable battery is not included.
  • It does not charge the battery when plugged in with AC power adaptor. You have to charge the battery with a separate charger (not included).
  • You can’t adjust the bass/treble.

Conclusion

So what is the best jobsite radio?

I recommend the DEWALT DWST08810. – It’s the best sounding, the battery life is long and it has all the features you need in a jobsite radio (bluetooth, USB ports, battery charger, resistance to water and dust.)

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