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When it comes to choosing a device to provide music and daytime radio for the workplace to accompany your workday, the possibilities really are endless. Given the weighty task of providing workers with audio relief from the stresses and redundant conversation of the workplace, it follows that several factors need to be taken into account before purchasing your jobsite radio, and the wide variety of products available matches this.
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In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
1. Bosch PB360S Power Box Jobsite Radio
Not so Good
When it comes to both product and sound quality, the Bosch PB360S radio the top choice. No matter what kind of noise the workplace might assault on your eardrums, the Bosch PB360S is guaranteed to soothe the senses with 4 speakers and subwoofer built in. If you’re like us and value sound quality over practicality, this radio is your best option, however, the price tag may prove a bone of contention for those reluctant to part with funds in favor of top class audio quality. It really is a question of weighing up your needs.
More pros include an array of connectivity options, and an extremely durable exterior, with the negative side-effect of this meaning it’s very heavy. Not the most portable option, but certainly in terms of audio quality, it is the most aurally appealing job site radio by far. Heavy-duty means heavy-duty, and while this radio is perfect for a permanent or long-term position in a noisy workplace environment, the more nomadic workers among you may find the solid weight of the Bosch PB360S radio to be substantially less practical than desired. However, it does feature a ‘roll-cage’ to protect from falls, which solidifies its durability even more.
A huge selling point of this device is its built-in charger and reliable battery life, which has ultimately outlasted several of the other radios we’ve looked at. Overall though in terms of positives and negative qualities, the Bosch PB360S came out on top of our list of worksite radios.
2. DEWALT DCR018 Compact Worksite Radio
Not so Good
Value for Money
If you’re searching for value, you can safely halt the search here. The Dewalt DCR01 jobsite radio provides quality playback and reception, AUX cable device and Bluetooth connectivity, whilst also being waterproof and durable to the point of being indestructible. A great feature on this radio is the storage space for any connected devices, ensuring they too are protected from any harsh external environments.
Strong and Sturdy
The heavy-duty design makes it perfect for withstanding busy, dirty, and active job sites, with the only downside, is the lack of included charger. This proves a minor inconvenience, however, as the fully-charged battery runs for 8+ hours when disconnected, and the quality of all other features really outweigh this one minor fault.
Very compact and also easily portable, this radio will take you from one job to the next all with the accompaniment of your favorite tunes. What keeps it from the top spot on our list is the fact that it does not come with a battery unless you purchase the 20V version, which many users fail to notice on initial purchase.
3. Sangean LB-100 Compact Jobsite Radio
Not so Good
In terms of budget-friendly jobsite radios that won’t disappoint in quality and durability, the Sangean LB-100 ‘Lunchbox’ is top of the list. Although simple in features, with an AM/FM radio and 10 preset-able channels, the sturdy exterior is rain, dust, and heat resistant, making it a force to be reckoned with and solid choice of device to use alongside noisy and heavy machinery.
Locked up til Lunch
Volume limits are higher than many of the other options we’ve listed here, again securing the Sangean LB-100 Compact it’s spot further up on this list. Many users have noted the design quality and expressed their satisfaction with this ‘lunchbox’ radio. It’s a necessity to keep you fueled through your day, and we found it difficult to find anything negative about it.
Simplicity is Key
The lack of AUX cable input or Bluetooth setting is the only real fault we could find here, yet in fear of taking away from the high quality of the radio function and durability of the device as a whole, it’s probably worth not having them there. Simplicity being the ultimate goal here, the Sangean Lunchbox is a solid and reliable budget-friendly device that will withstand rough treatment and continue to provide quality-sounding radio – even the antenna is flexible!
4. Makita XRM04B Cordless Job Site Radio
Not so Good
The Makita XRM04B provides an impressive balance between high-quality sound and top-end features such as AUX cable and input, AM/FM settings with LED screen to display current playback, and a durable hard plastic shell to ensure protection from any workplace. This radio features ‘protective bumpers’ to ensure durability and a rather random inclusion of an alarm clock. For those who like to sleep on the job, maybe?
No Cord, no problem!
Regardless of redundant features, the Makita XRM04B proves a solid choice again at a higher range price, for those who wish to invest slightly more in their work radio, but not go overboard on chunky or flashy devices. Questionable compatibility, but with a battery life that outlasts the time it takes to charge it, this radio is perfect for an environment which is not likely to provide a power source. Cordless too, the size and mobility of this device are very attractive features.
Charge and Go
The radio charges your devices while connected to them, meaning you can leave work safe in the knowledge that your phone won’t be in its final moments after playing music all day. A con to this is that the charger comes separately and if you don’t already possess one you’ll have to spend another $20 on it. But, in this case, we feel it’s worth it.
5. DEWALT DC012 Worksite Radio
Not so Good
This device is a more expensive yet altogether more satisfactory product, offering both AM/FM radio functionality and added in charger to accompany it. It will charge all DEWALT 7.2V – 18V battery packs, all whilst still performing as a radio, and so we feel the price tag here is fair.
AUX port for audios devices also adds to the appeal, as does the sturdy exterior and durable structuring which proves effective against everyday wear and tear and also the more extreme of workplace environments. Although slightly heavier than the other products we’ve investigated, the inclusion of a multi-functional charger in this radio makes up for any misgivings and is a great option for those who require both radio and charge port for other equipment, but who do not wish to break the bank.
Dewalt’s overall reliability is epitomized here as the rugged exterior and satisfactory sound quality combine to make an altogether pleasurable audio experience. Note we said ‘satisfactory’ sound quality. The treble and bass settings could be a little higher, and the radio reception isn’t quite as reliable as we would like, but overall it’s a general win as all the settings and functions are easy to use and clearly intended for use in a busy workplace environment.
Reach of the volume far surpasses any products yet to be listed here, making this heavy-duty worksite radio a great choice for those who strain to hear their radio over the din of noisy workplaces and worksites. It also has proven itself for use during outdoor gatherings and performance is not limited by exposure to the elements. A strong contender on the list of portable audio devices, the only negative here being the unnecessary inclusion of the device charger for those simply seeking a speaker.
6. Sangean TB-100 Toughbox Jobsite Radio
Not so Good
The key is in the name here, with the Sangean TB-100 ‘Toughbox’ proving itself to be as durable a mobile radio as you could ever hope to purchase. With rain, shock, and dust resistant features this jobsite radio should possibly rank a little bit higher on the list, proving itself a reliable and durable option for both indoor and outdoor workplaces. The ‘impact-resistant’ external shell will suit building worksites and those with a higher level of ‘damage-risk’ activity.
With an emphasis on heavy bass to ensure optimum music experience the audio quality has been disputed only by those who regularly listen to talk shows and spoken content. For those intent on experiencing beats and the heavy music which they may need to get through their workday, the Sangean Toughbox is a solid (literally) choice!
Another bonus feature is the connectivity – the AUX cable allows for connectivity to any iPod, iPhone or portable device, a feature the earlier model (priced at $60) lacks. Because of this, several users have noted the fair price tag of the ‘Toughbox’ ($80), as features combined with durability prove this option to be a popular choice amongst those whose jobsite is regularly exposed to the elements.
This intended purpose is supported by the long battery life, which lasts for hours without needing to be recharged, however, it calls into question the limited volume height. As it is intended to be used outside, the Toughbox could possibly do with a higher volume limit to ensure maximum reach, however, if used in close proximity this may not cause a problem.
There have been questionable reports however of the battery-life gradually decreasing in sustainability over time, something which we did not have the chance to experience. For this reason, the Sangean ‘Toughbox’ radio is still only number 6!
7. PORTER-CABLE PCC771B Jobsite Radio
Not so Good
Simple, effective product with two high-quality speakers which provide very clear reception and playback. Users have praised this radio for including both Bluetooth and AUX option for device connectivity, and also for the mobility of this compact product.
The sound of this device is what makes it so great – at such a small size the PORTER-CABLE PCC771B job site radio runs the risk of sounding only as mediocre, as many other products of this size have come to disappoint expectant buyers. However, the independent bass and treble options prove that this product is a small but sturdy force to be reckoned with in terms of audio quality.
Bluetooth connectivity functions well, yet as with the previous product, this device provides a higher level of satisfaction if considered in terms of being a radio speaker first with added Bluetooth function, instead of a primarily Bluetooth device.
Price Tag Promise
The price tag of the PORTER-CABLE PCC771B is yet another attractive feature, ensuring you won’t need to break the bank in order to fuel your jobsite audio-requirements. Again, because of its small size this product is best suited to small-medium sized job sites, as the reach of the volume control can’t be guaranteed to extend over extensively noisy spaces.
But how noisy can a jobsite really get?
Several users noted the benefit of owning a the Porter Cable 20v batteries already when using this device, as it only comes with an AC adaptor.
Overall a light and satisfying speaker device which is easy to use and will be sure to add an element of subtle class to any work environment.
8. Ryobi P742 ONE+ Compact Cordless Radio
Not so Good
On the lower end of the price scale, this micro music-maker was met with very mixed reviews varying from extremely satisfied to quite disgruntled altogether.
In our opinion, this radio with its built-in Bluetooth streaming feature, secure cables and AUX for connecting devices proves more effective for use as a portable speaker for your devices than as a radio, with the AM/FM feature purely an added bonus to a fairly average-functioning speaker.
A positive however is that it charges your device during playback, which with a battery life that lasts up to 6 hours for Bluetooth streaming, and a mere 2 hours for radio (we’re not sure how this makes sense, but there you have it) actually works in favour of the ‘speaker’ idea.
Turn it Up?
One negative is that the volume only reaches a certain level before it becomes easily drowned out, so we’re not sure how it would fare on noisier job sites or around loud machinery. Also, the Ryobi batteries must be purchased separately as they do not come with the device, which depending on the size required could potentially set you back almost as much as this speaker itself in the first place. Not cool, Ryobi. Still, it’s difficult to argue against a product which retails at such an affordable price, and for those who already possess a compatible battery charger and Bluetooth compatible music device, it’s a no-brainer.
Know Your Workplace
This product is a lot smaller than many of the other speakers on the list (considerably so), so it makes sense that the sound quality and volume range would follow suit. In a similar case to the Milwaukee M12, this speaker is perfect for those seeking a simple, basic radio at an affordable price and for use in a (not too noisy) workplace. Knowing what kind of environment you’re going to be working with really is key here when purchasing this jobsite radio.
9. Milwaukee M12 Jobsite Radio
Not so Good
‘Worst’ in this sense simply meaning the least attractive option on a strong list of contenders, the Milwaukee M12 Cordless jobsite radio is a small and more compact radio than many of the other radios we’ve investigated. However, this seems to work against the Milwaukee M12, as the size limits the capacity for higher functioning features such as a built-in charger.
Effective at providing simple AM/FM radio broadcasts and with satisfactory sound quality too, the brightly colored Milwaukee M12 seems on first glance and listen to be a simple and fairly decent product.
Cord or Not?
While the M12 batteries work well, we did, however, note reports of very short battery life, and the necessity of the clumpy, awkward wall-adaptor seems to be a bone of contention for many users of this (advertised as) “cordless” radio.
The dated design also features a dock for iPods and phones, but since the Milwaukee M12 was released several years ago it fails to support the newer releases and large phones such as the iPhone 6, 6s, and Samsung Galaxy models – another con that bumped this model down the list.
The price tag reflects a slightly more satisfactory radio, however, if you know you’re not seeking anything too flashy or complicated in terms of quality, and if mobility is an important factor for you this model might just do the job. Its brightly colored exterior means it won’t go missing amidst a messy workplace, and where it falls down on device compatibility it makes up for in radio quality and ability to tune into difficult frequencies.
An option for the less tech-savvy gadget enthusiasts in your workplace, the Milwaukee M12 will ultimately provide the desired result for anyone not too particular about sound quality or flashy features.
These are some things to take into consideration when purchasing your job site radio. Prospective buyers would be wise to take into account all aspects of their workplace environment, musical and audio preferences, and budget considerations before making the purchase in order to ensure optimal satisfaction and value for money.
Here’s a brief run-through of several factors which will assist buyers.
Where will it be used?
When faced with the prospect of buying a radio for the workplace, it’s understandable that several environmental factors may be overlooked in favor of audio quality/ brand preferences. If you know your radio will be used in a loud workplace environment exposed to the elements and noisy machinery, then it stands to reason the slickest new micro-speaker with dual connectivity and high-tech, fancy features may not quite suit your needs. Therefore it would be wise to consider a more heavy duty and durable option, even though it might not provide the same kind of aesthetic pleasure.
Function over fashion here, people!
Several options for those in a loud jobsite environment might include:
- Sangean LB-100
- The Bosch PB360S
- Sangean TB-100
Features & functions
Again, this may seem like a fairly straightforward thing to take into consideration, yet still, plenty of buyers fail to read the packaging and ensure their product of choice includes what they require from a jobsite radio. By simply making oneself aware of the available features and advantages/disadvantages of the availability of such a function, buyers will be able to more effectively purchase a satisfactory product. What do you seek in yours? Is it audio quality? Device connectivity? Mobility? Cheap and cheerful?
Some such features to take into consideration are:
- AUX Cable/Device connectivity
- Audio Qualilty
- Bluetooth compatibility
- AC Charger/Battery inclusion
- Basic AM/FM Functionality
- Battery life
- Volume reach
- Charging during playback
- Weight of product
For device connectivity, it’s important to ensure your device will connect successfully to your new radio, and many users fail to ensure their device/s are compatible with their new purchase prior to taking it home. These products from our list which provide connectivity with a range of most if not all of the new and older models of iPhone, iPod and Android devices. For device connectivity, we’d recommend:
- PORTER-CABLE PCC771B
- DEWALT DCR018
- DEWALT DC012
For audio quality, many people who purchase their’s online will remain unsettled until after that first tentative listen to the plugged in device, and even if you don’t purchase online, a store environment is inherently different to whatever workplace environment it will ultimately be used in, and so gauging audio experience can also prove inaccurate until taken home. It’s extremely difficult to accurately gauge or understand a device’s audio quality via the internet or a clinical, noisy shopfront, and so this is why reviewers comments are valuable. With this in mind, for the audio quality we’d recommend:
- The Bosch PB360S
- DEWALT DCR018
- Makita XRM04B
Battery life is another rather ambiguous element of purchases such as these, as most frequent users do not discover a fault or weakness in their device’s battery life until well after they have made their purchase. This is another reason it can be useful for us to read online reviews and compare devices based on other users’ experience with them. As well as this, it’s not uncommon for devices such as job site radios to become less durable over time, with battery life decreasing as age increases.
We have tried to take these factors into account and so, for battery life, we’d recommend:
- Sangean TB-100
- Sangean LB-100
- The Bosch PB360S
What is your budget?
This is possibly the most obvious and outstanding factor which most people consider when making a purchase such as a jobsite radio. However be mindful that not all price tags will reflect quality or product satisfaction, as many brands simply produce ‘new’ versions of their products with an increase in price purely to reflect the newer models, which may, in fact, be very similar to products already available with only slight ‘improvements’ or small contrasts in features.
Though most of us don’t want to break the bank, for many music enthusiasts intent on a high-quality audio experience, they will be willing to overlook a large price tag in favor of some good beats and satisfactory, long-lasting quality audio. It all comes down to figuring out what you want from it, really.
Here are our top picks that are budget friendly:
- Sangean LB-100
- Milwaukee M12
There you have it. Everything from top-quality audio, to questionable battery life, budget-breaking beats and overly ambitious and frankly futile features, the realm of job site radios really is quite as diverse as our job sites themselves.
The best way to navigate through the endless pages of ill-informed reviewers or products and their features is to really just take into consideration your own workplace, your own preferences, and your own budget.
While it can be difficult to really gauge a product over the internet, when armed with the exact knowledge and information of what you seek in your device, you will at least be able to clearly search for the right product, make a purchase, and hope it turns out to be everything it promises to be.