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Rugged Jobsite Radio Guide

Updated on September 28, 2014

Jobsite radios that are weatherproof and rugged

I used to work in construction and the thing that always saved the day was music.

Where I live, we have four seasons ranging from hot dusty summers to winter snow that reaches up to your hips.

Needless to say, any technical gear we use outdoors has to be really tough. I would be comfortable using any of the models show on this page at a work site.

Image shows the Bosch PB180 Radio with MP3 Player

There are essentially 2 types of boomboxes that are specially made for job locations.

1) The weatherproof radio that often comes with a weather sealed compartment for connecting your phone.

2) A true boombox ruggedized radio with plenty of features and charger compartments for your power tool batteries.

I would probably choose the second type for a construction site. If it was for my private home improvement project or diy site the simpler model without a dedicated battery charger would be sufficient.

ION Rocker Portable PA - This box is a best-seller

Battery powered sound system
Battery powered sound system

Best selling portable PA system

Here is something a bit different but which I consider to be the best choice of all (unless you work in a really dirty environment). The ION Rocker is a portable PA system primarily designed for street musician performances, as a portable sound system for parties, etc. It therefore contains a battery that offers 75 hours of playback, but also has a power cord for continuous operation.

It isn't super-rugged or waterproof, so why do I think this is one of the best choices? Let's tick off the goodies: LOTS of volume, portable speaker with handle and wheels, slot takes your tab or smartphone which you can stream through bluetooth, it charges your USB devices, built-in AM/FM radio, it even comes with a microphone... Gets my vote!

A boombox built for jobsites

Rugged jobsite radio
Rugged jobsite radio

ION makes a whole series of portable PA systems. All of their products are highly rated and building PA systems has made them a leading authority on how to crank up the volume without grossing the size of the unit.

Now they have taken one of their more popular boomboxes and put it in a hardened cabinet designed to cope with wear and tear of being in tough environments. The ION rugged jobsite radio is new, and comes in hot orange so it won't be forgotten when you move on to the next site.

Weatherproof Milwaukee radio

Milwaukee 2790-20 12-Volt to 28-Volt Jobsite Radio
Milwaukee 2790-20 12-Volt to 28-Volt Jobsite Radio

One of the high rated radios specifically made for work sites. Great sound - and comes with a built-in bottle opener! Runs on Milwaukee tool batteries too.


Stick your phone or media player into this one and it turns into a great little jobsite radio that can handle the roughness of a construction worksite just as well as a day at the beach. It is so weatherproof - it even floats!

The simple design and small size make this unit the perfect portable speaker setup for your mp3 player. Don't be fooled by the 3 inch speaker elements - reviewers are liking the sound quality!

The Grace does not contain a radio or player - it's a rugged, waterproof, IPX-7 spec case. The weather-sealed compartment accepts any kind of smartphone, media and mp3 player.

The Grace Rugged and Waterproof Stereo Boombox can be powered by the included AC cord or through 4c batteries which will provide a maximum of 25 hours of operation.

A complete contractor kit including radio - On sale!

Makita LXT702 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 7-Piece Combo Kit (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Makita LXT702 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 7-Piece Combo Kit (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

If you haven't got a power tool set yet or if it is time to freshen up stock - this 7 piece kit from Makita will set you straight.

The Makita combo kit includes circular saw, impact drill, cutoff grinder and more. The radio that is included in this 18volt offer is the Makita BMR 100W which is waterproof and runs for 16 hours on a single battery, or plug it in to AC. The BMR100 wights just over 9 pounds, has a backlit lcd, presets and is mp3 compatible.


Sangean Small Worksite Utility Radios

Sangean has also managed to provide these with a pretty good speaker. Reviews from customers are positive.

The Sangean radios are becoming very popular on smaller work sites and outdoor offices.

I think this is because the balance between rugged form and price is right.

Listen to Music and Charge your Power Tool Batteries

Listening to music on the construction site is great but it gets even better when it also doubles as a battery charger for power tools.

If you are looking for professional site gear I suggest you choose one of the following depending on what power tool brand you use.

The Bosch jobsite radio is a true location workhorse which has 4 speakers that provide 360 degree sound plus a subwoofer for a rich sound experience.

Bosch PB360S 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Box Jobsite Radio and Charger
Bosch PB360S 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Box Jobsite Radio and Charger

Comes with a awesome feature list: charges Bosch LI-Ion Power Tool Batteries 14.4V to 18V, includes 4-way GFCI power outlets, a 12V DC adapter, and a powered USB port!


Dewalt work radio

The Dewalt Jobsite Radio is extremely popular due to the many worksites that use Dewalt tools.

This is a versatile rugged outdoor radio. The built-in 1 hour charger for 7.2-18 volt DEWALT power tool battery packs uses a 3-stage charging system which maximizes run-time and battery life.

Features include protective frame, aux jack for media players, 3 power outlets, radio into a convenient power connection box.

Sangean FB-100 Fatbox Rugged Industrial AM/FM Radio
Sangean FB-100 Fatbox Rugged Industrial AM/FM Radio

Despite the boxy industrial design, the waterproof Sangean Fatbox has dual 6,5 inch speakers with great sound and power. The Fatbox can also recharge D-size Ni-MH batteries meaning you can run it on battery at job sites without electric power.


The Rugged Fatbox - Weatherproof Rugged Industrial Radio

The Sangean Fatbox is a truly ruggedized radio with industrial design. The rollcage protectors enable it to withstand 6 foot falls and cope with 250 pounds of weight. It also has a waterproof compartment where you can connect your iPod or media player.

This is a chunky, rugged, no-nonense radio that makes some of the others look like toys.

One thing I like about it is how the angular and boxy styling makes it useful as a tool in itself. Since it is rugged, you can use it as a work space, as a step-lader and of course to sit on during lunch breaks .)

Got music at work?

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    • janey126 profile image

      janey126 4 years ago

      Wow what a great info and lens! Just awesome!

    • pauly99 lm profile image

      pauly99 lm 5 years ago

      I oftentimes left my radio on-site (I used to rehab properties that I owned) so I didn't have a use for a rugged radio but some of these radios just look too cool to pass up.

    • dwindhaus lm profile image

      dwindhaus lm 5 years ago

      The Dewalt is a very good jobsite addition. I work construction and it is the most used on the jobsites that I am on.

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 5 years ago

      @James1978: Hi James, many of these jobsite radio brands are available at the UK Amazon shop. I have added a UK shop link above.

    • James1978 profile image

      James1978 5 years ago

      I don't think I've ever seen any of those radios here in the UK.

    • espressoman lm profile image

      espressoman lm 5 years ago

      Those are some tough looking radios

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Some really impressive and rugged radios presented here!

    • profile image

      travelerme 5 years ago

      they look really sturdy

    • harubel profile image

      harubel 5 years ago

      josh............good lens

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Fantastic ... I haven't seen in in the UK yet

    • MamaWise LM profile image

      MamaWise LM 5 years ago

      My husband has had his DeWalt radio for years. It really is a cool and very rugged radio. Thanks for the informative lens!

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      Looks like one of these would come in handy for me! Thanks for the review.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Interesting collection of radios to use on tough jobs! :)

    • profile image

      Dywaz 6 years ago

      Great lens, I have Dewalt laser I in shop I saw dewalt radio :)

    • laughingapple profile image

      laughingapple 6 years ago

      Great lens. I never knew that Dewalt made radios. I like their power tools.