- by Daniel
The Best Jobsite Radio To Take Your Mind Off Back Pain As You Work
Having some music on as you work isn't just great for your morale, it can also distract your mind away from any aches and pains you may be experiencing.
My Top Pick
The best jobsite radio
This is a beast of a jobsite radio with enough volume to fill the biggest of sites, great connectivity options, and it's rugged and durable enough to survive the harshest of work environments.
Having the radio on while I paint and hang wallpaper is absolutely essential to me.
Because not only does it give me something to listen to and follow throughout the day, it also keeps me company on jobs where I'm working alone.
Which makes the working day pass quicker.
And I can choose the music to suit my mood, whether that be something upbeat when I'm needing an energy boost, or something more mellow when I want to chill and wind down a bit.
So for me it's one of the most important items in my tool kit.
And if you're like me and were ever in any doubt about how reliant you are your jobsite radio, just wait until the day when you forget to load it onto the van in the morning.
As the sound of silence all day is deafening!
So a decent jobsite radio should be high on the list of priorities for any tradesman in my opinion.
But did you know that having a jobsite radio can be even more important and valuable for workers that suffer from back pain?
This is because research has shown that listening to music can distract people's minds away from the sensation of pain.
And as a consequence they become less likely to feel this pain as they work if they have music on in the background.
Which is pretty cool right?
So you can enjoy your favourite tunes, give yourself a lift, make the day go faster, and stay out of pain's way by investing in a jobsite radio.
And here is my selection of the best ones to check out:
But before I go on to explain the benefits of these radios in detail, here's what you need to know about jobsite radios to be able to pick out a winner.
Which Features Does A Good Jobsite Radio Need?
When you're buying a radio to use on site, it needs to have certain features if it's going to survive and give you good value.
So look out for the following when making your choice.
Is it durable enough?
Construction sites are harsh environments that don't mix well with expensive and delicate electronical equipment.
Fortunately the makers of jobsite radios are well aware of this, so they build them to withstand any of the hazards that you're likely to come across, such as:
So work out which kind of conditions you are usually faced with on your work site and find a jobsite radio that can stand up to them.
What's the sound quality like?
Not all jobsite radios are built the same, so much like buying any kind of music player, you need to find one that suits your own listening preferences.
As some will have more bass than others, while others will give you a sharper and crisper sound.
Volume and reach will differ too, which is an important factor to consider if you work on a large and open site or in a small, confined space such as someone's home or a workshop.
So it's all about working out how and where you'll use your radio, and making the right choice to fit your needs.
Can it play your own music too?
Jobsite radios have come a long way since the days when all you could do was tune in the radio.
As nowadays they come with a variety of connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB slots, and AUX ports.
Which is great, as it means you can connect your phone or MP3 player to the radio and you can play your own music through it (or podcasts and audiobooks if you're the thinking man's tradesman!).
So make sure the radio is compatible with your devices when making your selection.
And if you plan on using the AUX or USB ports, make sure the jobsite radio comes with a safe compartment to keep your phone/iPod/MP3 player safe and protected.
Can it charge and run your power tools?
Many larger jobsite radios come with power sockets that allow you to charge and run your power tools on site.
Which is a great feature that means you'll never run out of juice or be waiting for a battery pack to charge before getting on with what you need to do.
However if you are going to use this feature, you need to make sure that your jobsite radio is the same make as your power tools, or they won't charge the batteries otherwise.
So if you already favour a certain brand of power tool (Bosch, Makita, Dewalt, etc), then it's a good idea to get a jobsite radio from the same brand.
And for this reason I've included jobsite radios from all of these main tool manufacturers in my list of recommended radios.
Do you need to carry it around?
Jobsite radios come in all shapes and sizes.
So there are some absolute beasts that are big, heavy, and would fill a nightclub with pumping bass, as well as ones that are light, compact, and provide a gentler and crisper sound.
And which shape and size of radio you go for will depend on where you work and the tasks you do during the day.
So for instance, if you work in a large open space where the radio will be a permanent fixture, then a bigger jobsite radio is fine, as you won't need to move it and you may need the extra volume one of these provides.
However if you need a radio to carry around with you from job to job, or room to room, then get yourself something more light and portable instead.
Fortunately I've got you covered with both of these options among my selections below.
The Best Jobsite Radios For Large Construction Sites
Many construction sites are vastly spaced-out, busy and extremely noisy places.
So if you're working on a big site with lots of noise, you'll need a radio with plenty of punch if it's going to be able to make itself heard over such a large area and the incessant whine of power tools and machinery.
Which is where this selection of powerful jobsite radios come in.
As the following examples have enough guts to be heard on even the biggest and noisiest of sites.
Bosch PB360C Power Box Jobsite Radio
The Bosch PB360C Power Box Jobsite Radio is the daddy of radios if you're looking for power, great sound, ruggedness, and connectivity on a big construction site.
It really is a beast!
This radio has a square 'box' design with a speaker on each side, so the music pumps out of it from every angle.
Which means you get 360 degree sound (at 26 watts output) that spreads across your whole working area.
There's also a subwoofer built into the base that really adds to the power of the sound, giving you more bass, depth and volume.
And you can fine-tune this sound to match your own tastes by individually adjusting the bass, treble and equaliser settings.
The Bosch Power Box comes with 30 preset radio slots (20 FM and 10 AM) so you can save all your favourite stations, and there is also an AUX cable so you can attach your phone and music devices.
However the big winner in this jobsite radio is the Bluetooth connectivity.
Because this means you can link it up to your phone or mp3 player and play your own music or internet radio stations without needing to connect them manually.
And as it has a reach of 150 feet it'll stay connected as you move around while working.
This radio is also designed to be as rugged and tough as it can be, with an aluminium and rubber roll cage that will protect it from any accidents or bumps.
And it's dust and weather resistant too, so perfect for withstanding life on site in all seasons and conditions.
It runs on Bosch 18-Volt Lithium Ion batteries, although these aren't included so you'd need to buy one if you haven't got one already.
Alternatively you can connect it and run it from the mains via the 120-Volt AC adapter.
There is also a built-in battery charger with the Bosch Power Box, which is great for keeping your power tool batteries charged throughout the day.
This consists of 4 x 120-Volt power sockets on this radio, which you can also use to run your tools directly from the Power Box.
And finally there is a USB socket which can charge your phone as you work, and a protective compartment to keep it protected while it's charging.
So all in all I'd thoroughly recommend the Bosch Power Box jobsite radio for anyone working on a large and noisy construction site.
As you'd struggle to find one with a more powerful sound, better connectivity options, and durability.
So check out the video below to see for yourself what it's really made of.
Dewalt DCR025 Bluetooth Charger Radio
The Dewalt DCR025 Bluetooth Charger Radio is another great option for large site use.
As this radio comes with a variety of speakers that make a serious amount of noise.
This includes woofers on the bottom to capture low-pitched sounds and bass, and tweeters on the top for high-pitched sounds and treble.
The result is a clear and full sound that will retain it's quality even when played at a high volume, so perfect for filling a large construction site.
You can also get it sounding just right for you by individually adjusting the bass and treble levels.
The radio has 15 preset slots for you to program in your favourite stations (10 FM and 5 AM), and you can also connect your devices to play your own music via Bluetooth.
And this has a range of 100 feet which means you can move around freely without worrying about losing connection.
Alternatively you can connect your device via an AUX lead, and there is a device storage box (with USB port for charging) that is larger than on most other jobsite radios and will protect even the largest of phones.
Dewalt have also added a really cool feature they call 'Audio Visual Remote Control Protocol' , which is a bit of a mouthful but allows you to skip or repeat songs played from your device directly from the radio dashboard.
So no more having to remove gloves or fiddling around with your phone or mp3 player with dirty hands.
The Dewalt DCR025 runs on 20-Volt or 60-Volt MAX and FLEXVOLT Dewalt Lithium Ion Batteries, as well as an 120-Volt AC adapter that you can plug into the mains.
And it has a built-in 3-amp charger that will charge these batteries quickly when the radio is plugged in.
There are also 2 AC power outlets on the side where you can run your tools and chargers from.
And as you'd expect, this jobsite radio has been very solidly built to withstand the rigours of heavy site use, with solid casing and a heavy duty roll cage to protect it from shocks, drops and knocks.
And as a nice finishing touch there is even a built-in bottle opener on the side, so you can treat yourself to a cold beer at the end of a hard days work!
So in my opinion you won't go wrong with the Dewalt DCR025 jobsite radio if you're looking for a radio that can fill a large site or workshop with your favourite tunes.
Sangean FB-100 Fatbox Industrial Radio
The Sangean FB-100 Fatbox Industrial Radio is probably the most rugged and indestructible of all the jobsite radios I've recommended here.
In fact you'd have to go out of your way to damage it, as it can withstand falls from 6ft high and sustain weight on top of it of up to 250 lbs.
So it would take some serious amount of falling debris to cause the Fatbox any problems!
It also has a heavy duty roll cage made from ABS plastic, and every important component such as the speakers, buttons and battery charger, are sealed against water and dust.
This makes it rain, water and dust resistant, perfect for life on sites and for both interior and exterior jobs.
And it boasts great sound quality that can fill a large site too, with two dual high-powered 6.5" speakers pumping out 7 watts of output each.
There is also a dynamic bass boost that converts low pitched sounds to give the volume more guts.
And there are 6 preset equaliser settings (flat, pop, rock, news, indoor, outdoor) to tailor the sound to your listening tastes.
There is a digital PLL tuner that delivers super clear FM sound quality, and you have 6 AM and 6 FM presets to save your favourite stations.
And there are two AUX ports where you can connect your phone or mp3 player to play your own music too, with one being inside a media storage compartment to keep your phone protected.
The Sangean Fatbox can be run by plugging it into the mains, or by inserting 6 D-size Ni-MH batteries.
And if these batteries are rechargeable ones, they can be recharged with the built-in battery charger when the unit is plugged into the mains.
So for an extremely tough jobsite radio with great sound quality, the Fatbox is a really good choice.
However it is missing a couple of features that may be important for workmen.
Firstly there is no USB port, so you can't charge your phone with this radio on site.
Also it doesn't work as a tool charger as there are no ports to plug them in to.
And finally this lacks the Bluetooth connectivity that makes playing your own music through the radio so much easier than doing so via AUX cables.
But if those drawbacks are not important to you, then don't hesitate to check the Fatbox out.
The Best Portable Jobsite Radios For Smaller Sites
While the jobsite radios featured in the previous section are all fantastic for big construction sites, they might be too overpowering for tradesmen that work in smaller, more confined areas.
And they are also too heavy and bulky to be constantly carrying around from room to room.
So if you carry out work in people's homes and need a more portable, 'neighbour-friendly' radio to accompany you during the day, check out the following compact jobsite radios instead.
Bosch PB180 Compact Radio
The Bosch PB180 Jobsite Radio is the ideal choice for tradesmen that need a portable, light and compact radio.
As weighing in at only 4 lbs and measuring 12 inches in length, it's super easy to carry around with you on site.
In fact it's among the lightest on the market and due to it's compact size it won't take up too much room once you reach your destination either.
However if you do need the extra floor space there are screw mount slots in the back of the radio so you can easily hang it up on a wall.
But don't let the small size fool you, because this radio still packs a punch when it comes to sound quality, as it's neodymium speakers give out great sound clarity and volume.
It also comes with 10 radio presets (5 FM and 5 AM) so you can save your favourite stations, while there is an AUX cable to connect and play your own devices through it.
And a really cool feature is that it has a big mute button right on it's face, perfect for silencing the radio quickly when you need to talk to a client or take a phone call.
It's sturdy too, coming with a shock absorbing casing that means it'll survive minor bumps and tumbles on site.
And it runs on 18-Volt Bosch Lithium Ion batteries, although this radio won't charge them, so you'll need to buy a charger if you haven't already got one.
Alternatively you can run it through the mains with the AC adapter that is included, which is ideal for most residential work.
So all in all I'd recommend the Bosch PB180 as my top choice for portable jobsite radios because of its compactness, lightness, and great sound quality.
Dewalt DCR018 Compact Worksite Radio
The Dewalt DCR018 Compact Worksite Radio is another solid choice for a radio to carry around with you when working on site.
As it comes with a handle and is compact and light, weighing in at just 6 pounds.
And it sounds pretty good too, with a 4" speaker and AB amplifier ensuring you get both decent sound quality and volume.
You can connect it up to play your own music from your devices with the AUX cable, and there is a phone storage box with a USB charger to keep your device safe while you are doing this.
The radio is easy to tune in with 5 FM and 5 AM presets to store your favourite stations, and the reception is pretty good too especially when working outside.
And speaking of working outside, this radio is sturdily built and will be able to withstand knocks and bumps due to the protective roll cage that surrounds it.
However this roll cage doesn't protect certain batteries when plugged in to the back of the radio, so you need to be mindful of that.
But despite this, a plus point for this jobsite radio remains it's battery compatability.
As it can be run on older 18-Volt NiCad or Lithium Ion batteries, as well as the newer 12-Volt Max and 20-Volt Max Dewalt batteries.
These batteries are not supplied so you'll need to buy your own, and the radio doesn't charge them either so you'll need a separate charger too.
But it does come with a cord that you can plug into the mains, so it's no problem when you're working inside.
So overall I'd say the Dewalt DCR018 is a great choice for anyone looking for a portable but sturdy jobsite radio.
Makita XRM06B Compact Cordless Jobsite Radio
The Makita XRM06B Jobsite Radio is a great looking jobsite radio that sounds as good as it looks.
As it has 3.5" speakers in either side of the radio that ensure the sound quality and volume remain on point.
There are also the usual radio preset slots (5 for FM and 5 for AM), and the Bluetooth connectivity and AUX port allow you to play music from your own devices through it as well.
But coming in at just over 10.8 lbs, it's a heavier radio than the other two I've featured here.
However, the shape, design, and handle mean it's still a very portable option.
And the great design continues through to it's ruggedness, with a protective bumper guarding against construction site hazards.
It's also water resistant, which is a good feature for smaller radios.
But where this one beats it's competitors is with it's battery life.
As it can run continuously for between 14 to 35 hours at a time (depending on the battery used), which is more than enough for even the hardest working tradesmen!
So, if you want a compact jobsite radio with great sound that will keep going right through the working day, check out the Makita XRM06B.
I hope this article has helped you to learn more about jobsite radios and their benefits.
Because not only is it great to have music on to work to throughout the day, it can also distract your brain away from the pain signals that your body may be trying to send.
Which will leave you feeling a whole lot better.
So give one of these jobsite radios a try if you haven't got one already and see if it makes a difference for you.
Just be careful not to put your back out from dancing around too much!