Many times, the sound of drills or other power tools will be the background “music” of your jobsite. Many other times, though, you will be doing relatively silent work. It’s those times that having a durable jobsite radio or Bluetooth speaker will make your work much more enjoyable. After all, most activities are more enjoyable when done with your favorite tunes playing in the background.
With a large number of products available at both hardware stores as well as online stores like Amazon, it can be pretty challenging to make a choice and hit the buy button. To help you with that, I compiled this guide that not only briefly reviews what I think are some of the best jobsite radios and Bluetooth speakers, but that also tells you what to look for when looking for the right one for you.
Before jumping into the article itself, though, here is a brief overview of what I think are the three best jobsite radios.
TOP PICK: DeWalt DCR018 Radio
Compact size but delivering quality stereo audio. Can be used with DeWalt 12-, 18-, and 20-volt batteries.
Bosch PB120 AM/FM Radio
Can be dropped from more than 6 feet. Two 5-Watt speakers provide decent sound.
Makita RM02 12V Compact Jobsite Radio
The smallest radio on the list. Equipped with a hook that you can use for attaching to ladders, etc.
And, in case you don’t need a tuner and only need something to connect your smartphone to, below are the three best jobsite Bluetooth speakers.
TOP PICK: Milwaukee 2891-20 Speaker
The most elegant yet very durable product on this list. Delivers quality stereo sound.
Klein Tools AEPJS1 Wireless Speaker
Has a compact design with a built-in battery. Equipped with a magnet and a tripod mount.
7 Best Jobsite Radios
Let’s start with radios – devices that have a tuner that lets you listen to actual radio stations rather than just whatever music you have on your phone. These, just like the speakers in the next section are in no particular order.
1. Bosch PB360C Bluetooth Power Box
The Bosch Bluetooth Power Box PB360C is a beast. It can tune into both AM and FM frequencies to and so you can use it to listen to any of your favorite radio stations. Alternatively, you can pair it up with your smartphone via Bluetooth that has a range of up to 150 feet.
What sets the Power Box apart from the other devices in this article are its four-way speakers and a subwoofer. Thanks to those, you can place this radio in the middle of your worksite and get great sound quality throughout. It also lets you easily adjust bass and treble levels – and even customize the equalizer.
You can power this device either via a standard power outlet or using an 18V battery. When plugged in, you can use the Power Box to charge batteries. It’s also equipped with four standard power outlets that – if the device is plugged in – you can use to power your tools for example. There’s a separate USB port as well.
The one downside of this device is its portability. At 14.5 x 14x 13.5 inches and 24 pounds, it is the bulkiest jobsite radio on this list. While that is understandable given that it’s feature-packed, if you are looking for something compact, you should skip this product.
2. DeWalt DCR018 Compact Radio
You should consider the DeWalt DCR018 mainly if you already own some 12V, 18V, or 20V DeWalt batteries as you will be able to power this radio with them. Alternatively, the radio can also be plugged into a standard power outlet.
This radio can also be used as a speaker. Before buying it, though, keep in mind that it is not equipped with Bluetooth. Instead, you will have to connect your device using a standard 3.5 mm audio jack. On some devices like the newer iPhones, that might require a converter.
If you have this device plugged in, you can also use its USB port to charge your phone. And, to protect it from getting damaged at the worksite, you can place it in the radio’s device storage box.
Another downside of this radio – other than the fact that it lacks Bluetooth – is the fact that even though it can be plugged into a standard outlet, it doesn’t work as a charger. Other than that, though, it’s a great compact jobsite radio well worth considering.
3. Makita XRM05 18V LXT Radio
The Makita XRM05, made by the well-known Japanese tool manufacturer, is a great option if you are looking for an affordable but durable jobsite radio. It features two 3-inch speakers on either side and a simple control panel on the front.
When powered using Makita’s 18V LXT 5.0Ah battery, it can run for up to 35 hours at a time. If you use other Makita tools, you should also keep in mind the fact that this radio might be compatible with the batteries you already have. Namely, it can use Makita’s 7.2V, 12V max, 12V max CXT, 14.4V, and 18V LXT batteries.
Unfortunately, while you can connect any device to this radio using a 3.5 mm input, it’s not equipped with Bluetooth. If you want Bluetooth, then you should consider the XRM06B – that one cannot tune into AM stations, though. It’s also black instead of the signature Makita green if that’s something you care about.
4. DeWalt DWST17510 TSTAK Jobsite Radio & Charger
The DeWalt TSTAK construction site radio and battery charger is, in a way, a slightly toned down version of the Bosch Power Box.
While it doesn’t serve as a power strip, it can – in addition to being a radio and a Bluetooth speaker – charge all DeWalt 12V max, 20V max, and flexvolt 20V/60V max batteries. It can also run on any of those batteries in addition to being able to run off the grid.
In terms of sound quality, this radio is equipped with four full-range speaker and a subwoofer in addition to a brass resonator. The device can be controlled using a color touchscreen, and it’s equipped with a USB port for charging your devices and a 3.5 mm audio input for listening to music on devices without Bluetooth.
Being part of DeWalts TSTAK system, it can be easily stacked with other products in the series. Alternatively, you can carry it like a suitcase.
Like with the Power Box, the downside of this radio is its weight and size. At 20.9 x 15.6 x 6.6 inches and 17 pounds, it’s quite bulky.
5. Milwaukee 2890-20 18V Dual Chemistry M18 Radio
If you are looking for a fairly compact jobsite radio, the Milwaukee 2890-20 is a good option. Its simple red design hides most of the features you will need. It can tune into both AM and FM radio stations and save 10 of those into preset channels. And, it can play music from external sources connected via a 3.5 mm jack. Unfortunately, though, it lacks Bluetooth.
Other than that, this radio is equipped with a storage box with a USB port in which you can keep your device safe and charged.
The radio has rubber caps on both ends that help absorb any shocks it might encounter on the construction site or while being moved from one place to another. It’s also designed in a way that allows for easy stacking.
It can be powered using a standard power outlet or one of Milwaukee’s many 18-volt batteries. It’s not able to charge those batteries, though, and so you will need a separate charger.
6. Makita RM02 12V Compact Jobsite Radio
At just 3.4 x 5.9 x 11.4 inches and one pound, the Makita RM02 is the smallest and lightest jobsite radio on this list. As such, just like some of its users noted, its sound quality is not as good as that of the larger models on this list.
However, if you are looking for mobility then certainly consider getting it. It’s not only small, but it also comes equipped with a hook that you can use to hang the radio on a ladder for example.
It is compatible with all Makita’s 12V max batteries, and with a 4.0Ah one it can run for up to 30 hours straight. While it doesn’t come with Bluetooth functionality, you can connect audio devices to it using a cable with 3.5 mm jacks.
7. Bosch PB120 12-Volt Max Compact AM/FM Radio
The last radio I will mention in this list – the Bosch PB120 – is quite compact as well. It weighs 3.1 pounds and measures 12.1 x 2.8 x 7.5 inches. It can be powered either using an included adapter or using Bosch’s 12-volt batteries which are sold separately. With a 1.5Ah battery, it can run for about eight hours.
The PB120 is enclosed in shock-absorbing housing which helps keep the device safe even when dropped from heights of as much as two meters. It’s equipped with two 5 Watt speakers and can tune into both AM and FM frequencies.
While it does not have Bluetooth, you can connect your audio devices to it via an AUX port. Last thing worth noting is that the radio has a built-in storage box that you can use for the power adapter.
4 Best Jobsite Bluetooth Speakers
If you don’t need an AM/FM tuner – and instead want just a speaker that will play the music or podcasts you have on your smartphone – then you might be better off getting a simple jobsite Bluetooth speaker. Below are the four that I think are worth looking at if you are considering getting one.
1. DeWalt DCR010 20V Max Bluetooth Speaker
If you are looking for a quality jobsite Bluetooth speaker, you can’t go wrong with the DeWalt DCR010. Especially so if you happen to have some spare DeWalt 20V batteries with which – in addition to a regular power adapter – it can be powered.
The speaker offers good stereo sound, and it can connect to your device either via Bluetooth (with a range of up to 100 feet) or AUX port. If you use Bluetooth, you will also be able to switch between tracks on compatible devices using the speaker’s controls.
The product is equipped with a carry handle as well as a phone holder and so it’s quite convenient to use. In addition to that, being just 4.1 x 8.6 x 5.8 inches and weighing just 3 pounds, it’s quite compact.
2. Milwaukee 2891-20 Wireless Jobsite Speaker
If you are looking for simple yet durable design and great sound quality, then consider the Milwaukee 2891-20 Wireless Jobsite Speaker. The water, dust, and impact resistant device weighs 5.3 pounds without a battery and measures 7.5 x 13.75 x 6.5 inches.
It can run either using power from an AC outlet or Milwaukee M18 (and M12) batteries. In either mode, it delivers 40-watt stereo sound.
You can connect your smartphone or music player to this speaker either via Bluetooth – in which case it offers up to 100 feet of range – or via a standard 3.5 mm wired connection.
3. Makita XRM08B 18V/12V Bluetooth Speaker
The Makita XRM08B is a nice compact speaker that will be safe at even harsher construction sites. It can be powered both using an AC power adapter as well as using Makita’s 18- or 12-volt batteries. With higher capacity 18V batteries, it can run for more than 30 hours.
Just like most other similar devices, you can connect your audio source to this speaker using Bluetooth or standard AUX cable. While the manufacturer doesn’t state the Bluetooth range, some users have reported being able to connect their phones from as far as 100 (unobstructed) feet.
This water and dust resistant speaker also comes equipped with a USB port that you can use to charge your phone.
4. Klein Tools AEPJS1 Wireless Speaker
At just 0.7 pounds and 3.9 x 2.1 x 3.5 inches, the Klein Tools AEPJS1 is the smallest jobsite speaker on this list. It is still able to deliver decent sound from devices connected via Bluetooth or AUX input, though. The speaker is water and dust resistant according to IP45 standards, and can even be safely dropped from up to 6.6 feet.
What makes this speaker unique besides its compact size are its mounting options. On its bottom, you can find a threaded tripod mount. And, on its back, you can find a magnet that you can use to attach the speaker to any metal surfaces like ducts, steel pillars, etc. In addition to that, you can also use the speaker to answer your calls hands-free.
Finally, unlike the other speakers and radios in this list that can either be used with an AC adapter or a separately purchased battery, this one comes with a built-in battery that lasts up to 10 hours and can be charged through USB.
The one downside of this speaker is that its Bluetooth range is – about 32 feet – quite limited. That said because this is a fairly small speaker, chances are you will be within that range most of the time anyway.
What to Consider When Buying a Jobsite Radio or Bluetooth Speaker
To help you with choosing the right device for you – either from the list above or from the many other available in hardware stores and online – I compiled a list of things that you should be considering.
What makes a radio or a speaker “jobsite” is its durability. Unlike standard radios and speakers, they are generally water and dust resistant. They are also often covered in select parts with rubber to increase their resistance to impacts. In fact, some of these devices can be dropped from as high as six or seven feet and survive without a scratch.
As such, one of the first things you will want to look at is whether and to what extent the one that you are about to buy is water and dust resistant. And, if you plan to use it in environments where it could potentially be dropped, you will also want to check what the maximum height that you can drop it safely from is.
With the primary purpose of both radios and speakers being listening to music (or other audio), the sound quality that they can deliver is another important factor to consider.
The things to look for include – among other – whether the one you choose offers stereo sound (or even 360-degree sound with multiple speakers), what the wattage of the speakers is, and whether there is a separate subwoofer.
Roughly speaking, there are two things you can listen to – AM/FM radio frequencies and audio played on your devices such as on your phone. While a jobsite radio will let you do both of those, jobsite speakers only have the capability to do the latter.
When it comes to connecting your smartphone or other audio player to the radio or speaker, it’s possible either wirelessly via Bluetooth or using a standard 3.5 mm cable. Most of the products in the list above are equipped with the latter, however, there are a few that lack Bluetooth.
If you will go for a Bluetooth-equipped radio or speaker, make sure to also check what its range is. In other words, how far from the speaker you can go with your phone without the wireless connection breaking.
Power & Battery Compatibility
Most of the radios made by the well-known power tool manufacturers come packaged with an AC adapter that you can use to power the radio via a standard outlet. And, most of them are also compatible with each manufacturer’s batteries used in other tools. However, most of them do not come packaged with a battery and a charger.
Since those two items can get fairly expensive, you will likely want to – more than anything – get a radio or a speaker made by the brand of which you already own some other power tools.
Finally, when considering which speaker or radio to get, look at the variety of features it offers as well.
Some offer USB ports for charging your smartphone, others even offer power outlets and serve as power strips. Many of the radios are also equipped with storage boxes that come handy for keeping your phone safe even at construction sites.
While you could certainly just take a normal radio to a construction site or into your workshop, chances are it won’t last long because of all the dust and potential impacts. As such, you are better off getting a dedicated jobsite radio or speaker.
If you want to listen to both radio stations as well as music on your phone, you will want to get a jobsite radio. While the right one for you will depend on a variety of factors including what brand of power tools you use, one of my favorite ones is the DeWalt DCR018.
On the other hand, if you don’t need to tune into radio stations and only want to listen to whatever is on your audio device, then a jobsite speaker will be a great addition to your equipment collection. Here, my favorite is the Milwaukee 2891-20.