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
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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? Well, a jobsite radio doesn’t need conventional plugs to work. It runs on a battery or any other power source that runs your power tools. Since they are made for outdoor environments, most have good volumes, a great frequency response, and clear sound clarity. Our review provides an insight into some of the best jobsite radios guaranteed to make your workday flow faster. Read on.
- Best OverallDeWalt DWSTO8810 ToughSystem Music PlayerSummarySummaryA Bluetooth-enabled sound player that can play AM/FM radio, music from your smartphone, and other auxiliary storage devices.ProsProsPortable. Water- and dust-resistant. Connects with devices at a range of 100 feet. Includes four full-range tweeters, one assisted bass resonator, and one subwoofer.ConsConsIt comes with a weak handle. Fragile plastic casing. Poor customer service from the manufacturer.
- Best ValueDeWalt DCR018 20V Jobsite RadioSummarySummaryA compact jobsite radio that runs on AC/DC current or 12v, 18v, and 20v MAX batteries. It connects to CDs, MP3s, and has USB ports and AUX inputs.ProsProsAffordable. It has a special compartment for your smartphone. Connects to portable satellite receivers. It has an easy-to-read LED display. Resistant to water, dust, and debris.ConsConsShort battery life. Poor FM radio response. No Bluetooth functionality. Not the best sound quality.
- Honorable MentionBosch PB360C Power Box Jobsite RadioSummarySummaryA Bluetooth power box made of aluminum and a rubber roll cage for all-weather protection and damage resistance.ProsProsPortable. Weatherproof design. Durable. Connects to devices at a range of up to 150 feet. Can stream internet radio.ConsConsThe system may go on lock mode unexpectedly. Phone compartment not big enough for phones above 4.7 inches.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product 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.
Sangean is an electronics manufacturing company based in New Taipei, Taiwan. The company is well-known for its digital radio receivers and shortwave radio receivers that are sold globally. The company has over 45 years in the industry, and some of its top products include shower radios, internet radios, DAB plus radios, HD Radio tuner radios, handheld radios, and work station radios. One of its best job site radios is the Sangean LB-100 Ultra Rugged Compact AM/FM 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 2019
Best Overall: DeWalt DWSTO8810 ToughSystem Music Player
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 DeWalt 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.
Best Value: DeWalt DCR018 20V Jobsite Radio
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 always 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.
Honorable Mention: Bosch PB360C Power Box Jobsite Radio
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 lockdown. In addition, the sound quality of the speakers is reduced when you connect to a device via Bluetooth.
- 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.