LAST UPDATED: July 7, 2019
Best Jobsite Radios: Listen to Music When You Work Outdoors
Enjoy loud music when working at a construction site, in the garage, or when camping with our top picks for the best jobsite radios
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON July 7, 2019
Are you looking for a solid audio system that can add a little bit of entertainment to your worksite? A jobsite radio doesn’t need conventional plugs to work. It runs on a battery or power sources that run your power tools. Since they are made for outdoor environments, most have good volume, a great frequency response, and clear sound clarity. Our buying guide provides insight into some of the best jobsite radios to make your workday go faster.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of a Jobsite Radio
- Connect multiple devices. Most jobsite radios can connect and play audio files from MP3 players, smartphones, and other smart devices. Moreover, most audio systems come with multiple USB ports that can charge devices when there's no power outlet available.
- Flexibility. Jobsite radios are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They are made to withstand the tough conditions of a jobsite as they are water- and dust-resistant. The systems also produce a loud volume suitable for the outdoors.
- Multiple entertainment options. Jobsite radios are not only good for playing AM/FM radio, but they can also stream online music, and play music files from secondary storage devices like CDs, and other USB and AUX compatible devices.
- Communicate with your team. Most jobsite radios feature built-in Bluetooth connectivity that wirelessly connects to your phone or walkie-talkie. You can use the system’s loudspeakers to pass crucial information to your groundsmen, managers, or team members.
DeWalt is a leading manufacturer of power tools and hand tools suitable for the manufacturing, woodworking, and construction industry. The company was founded 95 years ago, and is currently a subsidiary company of Stanley Black & Decker. It has its headquarters in Towson, Maryland, and is recognized by over 70 percent of tradesmen all over the world. Some of its best-selling worksite radios are the DeWalt DWSTO8810 ToughSystem Music Player and the DeWalt DCR018 20V Jobsite Radio.
Bosch is a German-based engineering company that manufactures consumer goods, hardware, and software tools. As of 2015, the company ventured into manufacturing health care tools. Robert Bosch founded the company in 1886, and the business has a legion of loyal customers all over the world. One of its loudest jobsite radios is the Bosch PB360C Power Box Jobsite Radio.
Porter-Cable has long been a well-known name in the tool world. Founded in 1907 in an upstate New York garage, it now calls Jackson, Tennessee home. Porter-Cable produces a wide range of power tools, from cordless impact drivers, drills, and saws to jobsite radios like the PCC771B Bluetooth Radio.
Best Jobsite Radio Pricing
- Below $100: Jobsite radios within this price range come with a basic AM/FM digital tuner with a few preset channels. Most don’t have Bluetooth functionality, but they do have USB ports, AUX inputs, and an SD card reader. They may not have the strongest construction, but most are dust- and water-resistant.
- $100 to $200: This price level is for mid-range products that include some of the best work radios. Most units here support FM stations, can play music from auxiliary storage devices and can stream online music. The units can blast loud music 360 degrees, and most products are backed by a one to three-year warranty.
- Above $200: A high price tag is not a guarantee that the product will deliver at the maximum level. However, a few features you can expect from the heavy-duty systems here is portability, a tough construction, long-lasting and rechargeable built-in batteries, and over 20 preset radio stations. The units also come with additional sound system components such as tweeters and a subwoofer.
Go for a model with high-quality speakers, and an external antenna to boost the sound quality of the radio waves. Speakers with an RMS rating of five watts and above are capable of producing high-quality sound. Some units come with additional tweeters and a woofer to deliver the best low, mid, and high frequencies.
Most jobsite radios have Bluetooth technology. You can connect your smartphone to the system and play music even when you are 100 feet away. You won't have to constantly monitor the sound system as you can manipulate the sound quality from your phone, as long as the unit's battery doesn't run out.
Look into how long the radio model can last before it runs out of power. Consider its runtime on a single charge when it's playing music or when it's charging your power tools. The system should at least have a five-hour runtime. This feature doesn't apply to radios powered by a 120-volt power supply.
A radio model with a built-in charger charges your radio when it's connected to a 120-volt supply. If it doesn't have that feature, you'll have to remove the battery and charge it externally, which means that you would have to forego getting entertainment when the radio is charging.
- Casing: Manufacturers make jobsite radio casings with either rubber or plastic. Plastic casings are cheap and more resistant to heat than rubber, but they can be easily damaged by knocks and bumps.
- Charging Capability: Go for a jobsite radio that can charge the batteries of your power tools and smartphone when connected. Also, ensure that the radio is compatible with your cordless power tools.
- Portability: Consider buying a compact radio that's easy to transfer from one place to another. This feature will come in handy when changing duty stations or camping sites. It would also be great if it came with carrying handles for convenience.
Best Jobsite Radio Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The DeWalt DWSTO8810 earns our top spot due to its stylish design and premium sound quality. It’s a portable device that’s IP54-rated for dust and water resistance. The unit is also weather-resistant and can be locked to prevent unauthorized access. The system provides a great balance of sound with four full-range tweeters and one subwoofer with an assisted bass resonator.
The system runs on 12- and 20-volt MAX lithium-ion batteries and can also be plugged into a wall socket. The batteries charge in less than 90 minutes. It connects to Bluetooth-compatible devices at a range of 100 feet and has two USB ports. The system delivers loud sound with minimum distortion. In addition, an LED indicator displays the battery status: charging, charged, replace pack, and battery temperature.
Although the product is backed by a three-year limited warranty, you may have a hard time getting in touch with the manufacturer for a refund. Another drawback of the product is that it comes with a weak handle that can’t support the system’s 15.95-pound weight. Moreover, its outer casing is made of fragile plastic that breaks easily when you drop or knock the system.
The DeWalt DCR018 is an affordable, compact, lightweight, and portable jobsite radio perfect for job sites and camping. The unit can run on a 16-volt lithium-ion battery or large battery systems like the 20-volt MAX batteries. The radio also has an AC powering option and comes with a detachable cord for easy storage. In addition, a built-in storage box protects the device from dust and debris.
Its backlit LCD-display displays five AM/FM presets a clock, and a digital tuner. The radio connects and charges USB compatible devices on its wall outlet and has auxiliary ports that connect to most digital audio devices. The unit has a 0.14-inch auxiliary input and a specialized compartment for storing your smartphone when playing audio files or charging it. It can play CDs, MP3 files, and connects to portable satellite receivers.
A major drawback of the product is that it doesn’t have Bluetooth functionality, which means that you have to get close to the device or use cords to play music. Its battery drains fast especially when its charging power tools and at the same time playing music. Moreover, it has poor FM radio response and comes with poor-quality speakers.
The Bosch PB360C is a well-built radio that’s designed with a protective aluminum shield that resists water, dust, and other debris. A rubber roll cage fortifies the unit with protective bumpers that prevent the radio from being damaged by impact in case it falls. The unit features Bluetooth technology that connects to smartphones, MP3 players, and other smart devices within a range of 150 feet. It also allows you to stream internet radio.
The unit features a pair of speakers, each located at either side of the unit, and a subwoofer that transmits sound in a 360-degree range. The sound system also has an equalizer function that allows you to adjust the bass and treble levels. The radio runs on 18-volt batteries and can be plugged into a 120-volt AC outlet. Its hardy and portable design makes it suitable for the workplace and camping sites.
What you may not like about the product is that the unit may go on an automatic lock mode. When that happens, the manual may not be of much help as the reset system may not work. You would have to wait out the lock down. In addition, the sound quality of the speakers is reduced when you connect to a device via Bluetooth.
We had to include another Dewalt radio on our list due to its convenient design and outstanding performance. This particular device offers a power output of 20V and works on batteries and electric current. You can either plug it in the nearest wall outlet or switch to the battery mode when you're working outdoors.
With 20 watts per each woofer and tweeter, the Dewalt radio delivers rich and clear sound. The device comes with a powerful Bluetooth connection you can use from 100 feet away. There are also auxiliary and 2.1-amp USB charging ports for plugging in your phone and similar devices. You get a remote control to operate the device from a distance, which is rather convenient while working on large job sites.
The main drawback of this product is the price. You have to pay a few more bucks to get such a powerful and sturdy stereo system. Also, the heavy-duty design comes at the expense of portability. This Dewalt radio is quite large and bulky, and you might not be able to carry it around that easily.
Those who are always changing their locations, working from one jobsite to another, know how important it is to have a compact and lightweight radio. A portable radio allows you to carry entertainment with you and always work in a pleasant atmosphere. Porter-Cable offers just the perfect little radio you can take with you no matter where you go. Because it works on batteries, you can use the device both indoors and outdoors.
The Porter-Cable radio has two built-in speakers with an equalizer. They deliver clean and crisp sound for a pleasant music experience and prove to be quite durable. The radio allows you to play AM or FM or use a Bluetooth connection and stream music from any smart device you have. Additionally, it proves to be quite sturdy and durable, so you'll most certainly use it for a while.
However, a compact device like this is not very loud. If you're looking for something to rock your favorite songs on a large jobsite, the Porter-Cable radio may not be the best option. Another downside to this radio is the fragile cord. Considering it's a jobsite radio, the device should have a sturdier and more durable cord to withstand daily abuse.
The Milwaukee radio is designed to withstand daily abuse and is resistant to impacts, water, and dust. The sturdy roll cage, reinforced side caps, and the grill make the radio super durable.
Along with sturdy construction, the radio proves to be quite powerful. It's a corded device that comes with a 100-foot-long cord and an auxiliary port. You can also use a Bluetooth connection to stream the music wirelessly from your other smart devices. The sound quality is outstanding, and you'll hear the music clearly in a noisy working environment.
The downside to this radio is the price—those who are on a tight budget might want to check out some other options on our list. If you decide to get the radio, keep in mind that it might be a little heavy. It's portable enough to be transported from one jobsite to another, just not that compact and lightweight to be easily carried around.
This is a highly popular jobsite radio that features a compact and lightweight design. The device weighs only 1.7 pounds and offers a continuous performance of 30 hours. The impressive working ability makes the Makita radio perfect for those who are always on the go and want to take their music with them.
The Makita radio has two built-in speakers and an intuitive interface. There's also an auxiliary port for connecting it with your phone, MP3, iPod, or other smart devices. Therefore, along with AM and FM radio, you can enjoy personal playlists by streaming music from your devices. You can even plug in your earphones and listen to your favorite songs in private. We also like the built-in rotating hook that allows you to hang the device in a convenient place.
All in all, if you need a compact radio to hang on your toolbelt and carry around the worksite, this is a perfect option for you. Still, don't expect too much from it—the device is very small and doesn't provide a lot of power. We also recommend double-checking whether you have a 12V battery because this radio doesn't use regular 18V ones.
This Makita radio has a lot to offer. First of all, the device is built with durability in mind. It offers heavy-duty construction and a long lifespan. Secondly, the radio is quite powerful and able to deliver clean and crisp sounds. We find it ideal for outdoor conditions that demand more power and resistance.
This particular model has two powerful speakers that work on 18V batteries for up to 35 hours. It's compatible with all smart devices, starting with iPods and MP3 players. Even more important, the radio is built to withstand demanding conditions on the jobsite. It has protective bumpers to resist damage from falls and impacts and is resistant to water, dirt, and dust.
When it comes to heavy-duty construction and protection from damage, this Makita radio is hard to beat. However, the device doesn't have some of the modern features such as Bluetooth or a phone charger. If you need these when working on the jobsite, you might want to consider other options.
Craftsman made a compact 20V radio to make your projects more fun. This little device has two stereo speakers that produce a quality sound and ensure more entertainment on the jobsite. All you need to do is get a battery or plug the device in an outlet and rock your favorite songs.
The radio offers Bluetooth compatibility and an auxiliary output. You can connect your other smart devices with the radio and stream whatever song or playlist you want. The radio is simple, easy to use, and proves to be quite durable. You'll even get a three-year warranty just in case.
It's still good to keep in mind that some buyers weren't satisfied with the sound quality. For the price, the radio delivers decent but not crystal clear sound. The tones might get muffled on the lowest volume. If you want something more powerful, we recommend checking out other options on our list.
If you have a few more bucks to spend on your new jobsite radio, this Ridgid device might be perfect for you. It works on 18V batteries or plugs into a power outlet, providing reliable performance indoors and outdoors. The overall sound quality is outstanding, and you'll be able to enjoy full and rich sound while working on your projects.
You can play your favorite songs by connecting your smart devices to the radio via Bluetooth or an auxiliary cable. There's also an option to listen to AM or FM radio. Along with versatile features, the radio offers sturdy construction and a user-friendly design. The device is compact enough to pack easily and has an ergonomic handle for convenient transportation.
As we mentioned above, you do have to spend some extra cash on this radio. It's a smart investment, but some people won't be able to afford it. When it comes to the device itself, the only drawback comes from the Bluetooth connection. It sometimes lags, especially when pairing iPods and iPhones.
- For reference, 60 decibels represents the sound level of normal conversations in a standard work environment. On the other hand, 90 decibels represents a noisy work environment where everyone has to shout. In that case, you should go for a 10-watt speaker that gives off a loud sound that goes above the noise levels at work.
- If you are buying a radio for workers at a construction site, ensure that its volume is not too loud that it drowns out the voices of the workers. It could be a safety hazard if you couldn’t hear workers calling out for help.
- Maintain a safe work environment by placing the radio at a raised position away from stairs, walkways, and ladders. Also, wrap the power chords and store them safely when they are not in use. Secure wires to the floor when the system is being used for power.
Q: Can I charge my smartphone with a jobsite radio?
A: Yes, you can. If the worksite radio is compatible with your cordless device, then it can charge it. However, the charging device may drain your radio's battery faster if it's doing multiple things at the same time like playing loud music, charging your power tools, and smartphone.
Q: Are all jobsite radios waterproof?
A: Most devices aren’t waterproof, but they are often water-resistant. This means that they may not survive being dunked in a pool of water, but will do their best to prevent water from damaging the internal components when it’s raining. Go for marine-style speakers if you are looking for a waterproof system.
Q: Do they make jobsite radios with control buttons?
A: Yes, most manufacturers make workstation radios with radio controls and buttons for user-convenience. Most units feature large and user-friendly rubberized buttons or dials that are easy to push, even when you have gloves on.
Our top pick is the DeWalt DWSTO8810 ToughSystem Music Player since it is one of the best sounding jobsite radios, all thanks to the additional speaker components that come with the unit. It also a Bluetooth radio that supports a variety of auxiliary storage devices.
The DeWalt DCR018 20V Jobsite Radio is a budget-friendly jobsite radio that delivers great value for the money.