Radios have long been a workplace staple for boosting employee morale, especially for those working long hours in physically demanding jobs such as building and construction sites. If you’re looking to upgrade your job site radio for your staff, it’s best to invest in something a little sturdier than your typical office radio. It needs to be tough enough to withstand the elements of your work environment and have a clear crisp sound quality to reach everyone on the job site.
A good contender for your next job site radio could be the DEWALT 20V MAX/12V Jobsite Radio and Battery Charger (DCR015). It is encased in a super sturdy roll cage to protect it from any knocks and drops on the job and produces a high quality sound (with the option to connect your smartphone, MP3 or other audio device to extend your music playlist possibilities!).
We’ll be reviewing a number of job site radios that are currently available to buy, before rounding up our overall winner. Whichever job site radio you go for, be sure it ticks all the boxes for your staff and your work environment and remember – function over fashion! Here are the 14 radios we’ll be reviewing:
- DEWALT 20V MAX/12V Jobsite Radio and Battery Charger (DCR015)
- PORTER-CABLE PCC771B Bluetooth Radio
- Sangean TB-100 (Toughbox) AM/FM/AUX-in Ultra Rugged Digital PLL Tuning Rechargeable Radio (Special Edition Black)
- Ryobi P746 One+ 18-Volt Lithium Ion / AC Dual-Powered AM/FM Stereo System with USB and Bluetooth Technology (Battery, Charger, and Extension Cord Not Included / Radio Only)
- TSTAK Portable Bluetooth Radio + Charger
- Bosch Bluetooth Power Box Jobsite AM/FM Radio/Charger/Digital Media Stereo PB360C
- DEWALT 7.2V-18V Radio and Battery Charger (DC012)
- Milwaukee M12 Cordless Job-Site Radio 2590-20 (Tool Only)
- Bosch 18-Volt or 120V Compact AM/FM Radio with MP3 Player Connection Bay PB180
- Sangean LB-100 Ultra Rugged Compact AM / FM Radio
- Sangean U4 AM/FM-RBDS/Weather Alert/Bluetooth/Aux-in Ultra Rugged Rechargeable Digital Tuning Radio
- Milwaukee, 2792-20, Battery Charger/Radio, 18.0V, 120VAC
- Milwaukee 2890-20 18V Dual Chemistry M18 Jobsite Radio with Shock Absorbing End Caps, USB 2.1A Smartphone Charging, and 3.5mm Aux Jack
- Makita XRM08B 18V LXT / 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Bluetooth Job Site Speaker, Tool Only
14 Best Job Site Radios Reviews
This DeWALT job site radio and charger may not possess every last one of the hi-tech features shared by some of its competitors, but the sheer solid quality of the build and its functions are hard to beat if you need a work site radio you can rely on for years to come. First off, the Class D amplifier, woofers and tweeters provide you with the full range of low-high sound, helped along by impressive volume levels that can give most construction site noise a run for its money!
Secondly, this DCR015 DeWALT model is just so darned well constructed. Its super tough roll cage design was made to absorb shocks and knocks without compromising the sound quality (the cage handles make it super easy to transport from site to site too). Unlike some other clunky designs, the bulk of this DeWALT model isn’t merely for protection – Compartments on the side of the box safely store and charge your electronics to shield your phone or MP3 players from debris and occupational hazards.
- Class D amplifier for improved sound
- High visibility LCD display
- Great volume levels
- Rigid, durable roll cage design
- Fast battery charger
- USB port charges devices, but can’t play music
- FM reception is poor when charging
This impressive Bluetooth radio by PORTER-CABLE resembles your average teen bedroom speakers but with added heft, and don’t let the size or wallet-friendly price tag fool you – this is a job site radio that has a lot going for it. The quality of the audio output is surprisingly good for a radio of this size, and while it can’t claim the best volume reach out there, the majority of small to medium sized work sites will have no problems bopping along thanks to the independent bass and treble options.
It’s also refreshingly versatile for a budget radio, giving you the option between radio tuning and streaming music from your phone or other electronic device via bluetooth or connecting via AUX line-in. This may be drowned out at noisier large scale building sites, but this isn’t what this PORTER-CABLE PCC771B model was built for. If the purse strings are a little tight, this is a perfectly fine radio for mid-noise level work sites with a portable and user-friendly design.
- Dual bluetooth and AUX connectivity
- High quality speakers
- Impressive sound for its size
- Tough outer cage, portable build
- Pretty simple to use
- Not best for especially noisy work sites
- Clock function isn’t always reliable
- Batteries are not included
Unlike many of the bulkier job site radios on our list, this TB-100 ‘Toughbox’ model by Sangean is not just rugged in appearance, it more than lives up to its name by also being water-resistant, dust-resistant and shock-absorbing in its design, making it perfect for most job site environments whether it is outdoors or facing incoming debris from indoor renovations.
And just as every good job site radio should be, it’s rugged appearance is complemented nicely by its flexible power source, since it can run on both regular and rechargeable C cell batteries – and once it is topped up with juice, the battery life won’t let you down in a hurry. This is a great value radio if you’re looking for a durable basic tool that does the job. If you’re seeking extra features such as a USB charging port and excellent sound quality, then the Toughbox may disappoint, but you can’t expect the earth from this budget-friendly radio.
- Compact, highly portable design
- Ultra-resistant ‘Toughbox’ build
- Long battery life
- Good value option
- Runs on rechargeable C cell batteries
- Lacks a USB port
- Mono sound
- Speakers could be better quality
Looking less like a caged boom box and more like classic party speakers back in the day, this Ryobi P746 One+ stereo system has a sturdy handle for easy transportation and a familiar user-friendly control panel compared to some job site radio models. The sound quality isn’t the best, but the Ryobi radio has features that many of your on-site staff would find pretty helpful in their work radio.
For starters, the impressive 30 hours of playback time will have them entertained for several shifts before needing to be recharged. Second of all is the super fast charging station which puts out 2 AMPS of power to charge employee phones and devices at a faster rate than most other job site radios on the market. The Ryobi’s less than durable structure means it may not be suited to every job site environment like the sturdy cage designs of its rival radio models, but if you’re searching for a decent radio with the helping hand of fast charging ports then this is a good buy.
- Impressive 30 hours playback time
- Fast 2A USB ports for speedy charging
- Built-in media tray
- AUX-out option
- Lightweight design
- Poor bluetooth range
- Not the most durable build
- Sound quality could be improved
Most job site radios on the market tend to hold on to a radio-like style, but this portable radio by TSTAK truly looks like it could blend in with a toolbox or briefcase on a construction site. This unique case like structure makes it perfectly stackable with other TSTAK radio models and makes it so easy to store away too. It can also charge DeWALT batteries which is always handy if you need to recharge any DeWALT power tools on site.
Despite its briefcase like size, much of the space is clearly taken up by the speakers and mechanism because customers have complained that the storage compartment for devices is far too small – this is no huge deal, but a bit surprising since many smaller job site radios are built with adequate compartment space for your electronic devices. For the purposes of a job site radio, this TSTAK model is fairly expensive, but the uniquely sleek and modular design will win many over.
- Stackable with other TSTAK models
- Sleek, highly portable design
- Great sound quality
- IP54 dust and water-resistant rating
- Can charge DeWALT batteries
- Quite expensive
- Construction isn’t as durable as others
- Storage compartment for phones/MP3 devices is too small
This Bosch Power Box radio may be one of the more expensive job site radios on our list, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more for top sound quality then this is one to invest in. If you know your work site to have consistently loud background noise then the Bosch PB360C could be more than a match for it – as its name suggests, it boasts premium 360 degrees sound quality and features 4 speakers in total with a built-in subwoofer to provide the sharp loud sound needed to cut through the construction work din.
Built in an ultra tough roll cage cube means this thing is also protected from all the knocks and falls of a work site environment, and because of this it is a fairly heavy weight piece of equipment. But if you’re after something rugged which puts the ‘heavy’ in heavy duty, then this is the way to go. Also bluetooth music streamers will be impressed by the 150 foot range of this thing – a pricey but versatile job site radio.
- Super durable metal/rubber roll cage
- Powerful 360 degrees sound
- Impressive 150 feet bluetooth range
- Doubles as a power strip
- Various ways to stream music
- Fairly heavy
- Batteries are expensive
This DC012 radio and charger by DeWALT is on the higher end of the price range, but those with the right budget will find much to appreciate about this classically designed work site speaker. First is the option to use this radio with or without a power cord which is great on work sites where space and power outlets can be invariably limited. It also has an impressive volume reach and a powerful bass response, so that even the noisiest of sites will hear their favorite tunes above the drone.
Unlike like quite a few job site radios on the market, this DeWALT DC012 model also has the very convenient function of simultaneous playback and charging, so workers can charge their phones or other devices when they’re low on juice without having to sacrifice their music for the privilege. Add to this a tough weather-resistant exterior and a fast charging facility for DeWALT batteries and this DCo12 radio model really begins to earn its steep price tag. The only other snag is a lack of USB or bluetooth connectivity.
- Classic simple design
- Powerful Bass response
- Simultaneous charge and playback feature
- Weatherproof exterior
- Fast for charging DeWALT batteries
- 3 electrical outlets
- Quite high priced
- No USB or bluetooth connectivity
The slimmed down compact size of this Milwaukee M12 radio makes it a great portable option for taking from site to site and it will be so easy to store when it’s not in use. The vintage amp style of the casing may also appeal to many looking for a change from the rough and rugged styles of other job site radios. As compact and attractive as the Milwaukee M12 may be, however, its smaller than average size also means it’s deprived of helpful features such as a charging port or USB connectivity.
The sound quality when playing through traditional AM/FM tuning is decent enough and to its credit, the Milwaukee M12 model tries to keep up with more modern job site radio models by including a built-in dock for phones and iPods, but this may not support newer phone models. Quite a few customers sadly reported on the very short battery life of the M12 too, which may lead to you using the clunky wall adaptor more often than as its intended function as a ‘cordless’ radio.
- Very compact, portable design
- Weatherproof aluminum speakers
- Rugged cage construction
- Impressive sound for the price
- Built-in bass and treble adjustment
- No USB port
- Batteries aren’t included
- Battery life could be better
This lightweight and highly portable style of job site radio by Bosch is a lot tougher than it looks. According to the manufacturer, this Bosch PB180 model can survive a 2 meter drop and still function perfectly (although we wouldn’t recommend testing this theory!). It’s just good to know this is a radio that won’t let you down in perilous or high-traffic work environments. As resilient as it may be against falls though, this radio isn’t weather-resistant, so you may be limited to using this in indoor work sites only.
What it lacks in full-on weatherproof versatility, it makes up for in impressively clear AM and FM radio reception thanks to a fully 360 degree rotating antenna and 5-watt speakers for a great performance. The Bosch PB180 may not have the far volume reach of larger competitors on the list, but a moderately sized work space will find the sound quality more than satisfactory for their needs.
- Very lightweight
- Ultra durable construction
- Crystal clear FM/AM signal
- Compact, portable design
- AUX connectivity option
- Not weather-resistant
- Lower volume levels compared to bigger radios
Very similar in design to the Sangean Toughbox model, this ‘lunch box’ LB-100 radio by Sangean is perfect if you’re looking for a reliable work site radio that does the basics on a budget. Like your work lunch box, this is built to be a perfectly compact and easy to carry tool on a work site and despite its small stature, this is a mightily impressive little radio for the price.
The budget-friendly price tag means you will have to go without the AUX, USB or Bluetooth connectivity options of flashier job site radios, but this Sangean LB-100 was built fits and foremost as a reliable, high-performance AM/FM radio and it excels at this. The sound quality is powerful, it features a long power cord for maximum reach and is constructed to rugged industrial grade standards for increased durability. All in all, this is a great value radio for the price if capable and compact is what you’re seeking.
- Budget-friendly option
- Small and compact build
- Tough, waterproof construction
- Long power cord
- Strong sound for the size
- Fixed antenna (doesn’t fold down)
- No AUX, USB or bluetooth connectivity
- Mono sound
This Sangean U4 radio is perfect for those wanting a little more from their average job site radio. Less tech-savvy users may find this powerful little radio a bit overwhelming, as it has extensive music streaming settings, treble and bass controls, an alarm clock and even a program that alerts you of hazardous weather patterns! Radio geeks will have a field day with this due to the variety of features alone, but the top notch sound quality should be reason enough for anyone to get excited about this.
Having said that, the volume is sadly below the average levels of most job site radios of this size, so for all its fancy playback features and adjustments, the disappointing volume levels may make this a let down for particularly noisy job sites. All in all though, this is a sturdy and durable radio with decent enough volume for most work sites.
- Ultra rigid cube cage construction
- Various playback features and settings
- Great sound quality
- Can charge D size batteries
- NOAA weather radio
- Quite heavy and clunky
- The volume could be vastly improved
If you value your storage compartment space in job site radios, then this boxy Milwaukee 2792-20 model could be right up your street. The cute amp like design leaves ample room for a large speaker and control panel of course, but also plenty of space for your electronic devices at the top, so even bigger phones and MP3 players should be able to fit safely on top while charging (or streaming your music playlists).
As much as it looks like a mini amp, it’s close to weighing as much as a regular sized one, since at 17 pounds, this radio is one of the heaviest designs out there! Thankfully it is built with 3 carry handles to make transporting it around a little easier. Combined with its weight, the sturdy roll cage of this Milwaukee radio also makes it a good door stop (although this may be impractical on some work sites!). It even has a built-in bottle opener too! Good news if you plan to work long summer hours with this quirky little radio.
- 3 carry handles for easy transportation
- Boxy design for simple storage
- Various streaming options
- Built-in charger for Milwaukee tool batteries
- Large internal drawer for storing devices
- Average audio quality
- Comes with no AC outlets
Essentially a mini boom box – but made of much tougher stuff – this is a great value job site radio by Milwaukee. While it doesn’t offer bluetooth connectivity, the combination of an AUX jack with a USB plug in provides excellent streaming variety for a radio at this price and the USB charging port is super fast too – using 2.1 amps of power, it can have your phone or music device refueled in next to no time (and it can even keep charging while you stream your music too!)
This Milwaukee 2890-20 does all it can to provide a user-friendly experience for those on a budget. The large central rotary control makes this simple to use when working with thick work gloves and the sturdy shock absorbing end caps make it ideal for the risks of work site environments. For the money, this is a pretty impressive and stylish radio.
- Sturdy, well-made construction
- Locking feature for battery
- Portable design and easy to store
- Affordable price range
- Compatible with Milwaukee tool batteries
- Smartphone charging port
- Not suited to very loud work environments
It’s important to note straight away that this is a speaker, not a radio. Larger models in the Makita range have a built-in radio tuner, but this is a simple speaker with bluetooth and AUX line-in features that still make it possible to stream music in various ways other than radio tuning. Some customers have viewed this as a negative point of this compact Mikita unit, but you should really know what you’re getting before you judge on these supposed limitations.
This XRMO8B may not technically be a job site ‘radio’, but there’s plenty of entertainment value to be found in this cute and compact cordless speaker that most work sites would be happy to have. On the face of it, you have a perfect travel size speaker with a simple control panel featuring large button pads so that even heavy-gloved workers can operate it. The Mikita XRMO8B also sports a USB charging port which is rare for speakers of this modest size and gives you the option to stream music via bluetooth or the AUX line in from your phone or music device.
- Compact, convenient travel size
- Bluetooth connectivity
- USB charging port
- Rugged durable casing
- Simple control panel
- Compatible with Makita Lithium Ion batteries
- Doesn’t charge batteries
Things to Consider Before Buy
Corded VS Cordless
It’s nice to have the option of a cordless as well as a corded radio on a job site for greater portability and safety for preventing tripping hazards or entanglement with other tools or equipment etc. Cordless may be more convenient if you have limited space and power outlets on site for your much-needed tools. Traditional corded radios at least provide reliable and consistent power, but if you go with a corded job site radio, just be sure it has a long enough reach!
Job site radios tend to be heavy-duty and rugged by nature to keep them protected against weather elements and workplace conditions, so this results in a more solid weight product compared to normal radios. Many modern designs can be both tough and lightweight, but if you prefer a heavy-duty model, these can come with carry handles and bars to make them easier to transport around your work.
You need to be able to hear your favorite tunes over the sound of noisy power tools, so loud and clear audio quality is a must! Radios with amplifiers and woofers can deliver top sound quality on most work sites, but these tend to cost a little more – it all depends on your budget and the noise levels/size of your work environment.
Some cheaper radio models may sacrifice slightly lower volume levels and quality for the inclusion of added perks such as multiple USB outlets to charge devices or bluetooth connectivity. It really comes down to striking a balance between far-reaching, high sound quality and the perks of versatile connectivity options. If you simply want a radio with unbeatable sound quality, then you should be prepared to do without the extra stuff.
Some higher budget job site radios feature USB charging ports so you can keep your phone and other devices topped up on the job. There are even some radio models that can charge power tools if they are made by the same manufacturer as the radio. While charging ports are no doubt a handy feature to have, they can affect the sound quality and in some cases, charging devices may only be possible when the radio is switched off.
It may not be essential for everyone, but the option of bluetooth connectivity with your job site radio makes for a much more versatile experience. The option of connecting your phone or music device without adding extra cables or cords into the mix adds is a safe and attractive feature – just be aware that bluetooth connections may not always be reliable on lower priced radios.
Depending on how long your typical working day is on site, you’ll want your radio to see you through many hours without dying on you. Good quality cordless radios can provide anything between 8 and 20 hours playback time when fully charged, but this can vary between models and battery types.
Some radios will charge during playback when plugged into the mains, although this has been known to affect sound quality as we mentioned earlier. It’s really up to you to decide how vital a long runtime is based on your working hours on the job, your budget, battery preferences and availability etc.
After much consideration, we’ve highlighted the DEWALT 20V MAX/12V Jobsite Radio and Battery Charger (DCR015) as our pick of the best job site radio on the list. On balance, the DeWALT DCR015 ticks most of the boxes of a perfect job site radio – it’s lightweight, delivers a crisp, high-quality stereo sound and still has enough power left over to keep your tools and other devices charged. This all comes in an attractive and robustly built package that is highly portable, making this a joy to use on all manner of work sites.
This DeWALT model has been routinely tested on work sites with generators and compressors running loudly and still this speaker held its own and produced a loud clear quality audio for workers to enjoy. A well-lit display and glove-friendly control panel also make this a simple yet powerful accessory that no job site should be without.
Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare