Posted on March 8, 2019
After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 6 best construction radios available on the market.
My favorite is the Makita DMR108 which is both practical and modern, and the Bosch Wireless PRA Multipower given the features it offers for its price. But all radios in this selection stand up well against the competition.
You will find at the end of this article a buying guide to help you choose a radio that can animate your building sites!
Bosch Wireless PRA Multipower
Bosch GML 20 Professional
Bosch Wireless PRA Multipower
Bosch GML 20 Professional
The best cheap construction radios
Whether working on a construction site or tinkering in the garden, a radio to listen to your favorite shows or music can be very useful. For less than 100 euros, do not expect to shake the site, but some radios will already do very well job!
Bosch Wireless PRA Multipower: the best cheap price
2 x AA batteries and charger included
The power of Bluetooth sound is sometimes low
To motivate the troops, nothing like a construction radio! With quality equipment, it's even better, so I decided to start this selection with the Bosch Wireless PRA Multipower. Bosch is a renowned brand in the field, known for the quality of its materials and its reliability.
The Bosch Wireless PRA Multipower is a radio that can be connected to mains, powered by 10.8 V, 14.4 V and 18 V batteries or batteries.
You have the possibility to connect your radio to other devices thanks to Bluetooth, technology rarely integrated in this price range! You also have an AUX input to connect an iPod for example, with an included cable.
To store your equipment, you have a small slot at the front and back of the radio. A little more security level! It is indeed sometimes more prudent not to leave his phone in his pockets to work …
With a reasonable power of 7W (2 x 3.5W speakers), your radio may not be able to cover the sound of the machines in the environment in which you work, but you will still get a good sound.
It is also a robust radio that has several shock-proof handles for easy transport. Solid, it resists shocks (and falls less than 2 meters), splashing water and dust. Essential on a construction site!
The triangular shape of this radio will certainly be appreciated by some, and more surprising for others, but its format facilitates its transport. Especially since it weighs only 2.9 kg!
In short, it is a radio for the general public, which differs clearly from the competition in terms of the features it offers for its price. And if you already have other Bosch home appliances with a Lithium-ion battery, you can use them for your radio because it works wirelessly.
Metabo 600777850: a very compact radio
For small work sites
The Metabo is a compact AM / FM building radio that you can connect in Bluetooth to listen to your music from your smartphone or tablet. Again, this is one of the few models to offer this feature in this price range.
At less than 100 euros, it is a radio that, in my opinion, deserves its place in this selection: the Metabo radio is one of the most accessible radios in this area!
The Metabo 600777850 has a bright LCD screen that is very readable by users. Very light (just 1.85 kg without the battery) and equipped with two handles, you can easily carry it. Practical if you intend to use it in different places, on the move, at work, or just to tinker in the garden!
It is particularly intended for small sites where the environment is not too noisy. The radio is equipped with a metal protection grille on its main face and the sides are reinforced to better withstand shocks.
The loudspeaker works on mains or wireless thanks to Metabo slide batteries from 12 V to 18 V. If you already have Metabo equipment, this is obviously the model you need!
Do not rely solely on its small size, because the quality is there. According to users, it is an easy-to-use radio (the menu is clear). By cons, when using Bluetooth, do not hesitate to turn up the volume because the range is a little lower.
It's just a shame that a battery is not included … This is the main drawback, but it's not a unique case, you will have the same inconvenience with most construction radios. Remember, however, that it is compatible with all Metabo 12 to 18 V battery packs.
The best midrange construction radios
For less than 200 euros, you will have more robust radios, and a more sophisticated design. The following two brands, Makita and Hitachi, are recognized brands in the field of tools and DIY, and therefore, safe!
Makita DMR108: the best mid-range
Does not allow reading of USB stick
Big sister of the Mikita DMR107, the black and blue Makita DMR108 construction radio has a very modern look, and has a Bluetooth function with a range of 10 meters, a USB port, and 2 ports jack (for MP3 player or iPod). She receives, unsurprisingly, FM / AM radio. Its large central wheel allows intuitive operation for manual search stations.
This radio can be mains powered, or used with Makita batteries from 7.2 V to 18 V (batteries not supplied again …) These batteries offer a range that spans 30 hours if you listen to the radio, but do not try to compete, you will certainly be tired before it falls flat! But expect a reduced battery life at 20 hours if it runs via Bluetooth with a battery of 5Ah.
Its two speakers with a power of 7 W RMS provide quality sound. Robust, it is equipped with dampers on the corners to mitigate any shocks. Metal tubes protect the control panel.
It is resistant to splashing water, dust and shock (it can – normally – continue to work after falling to 1 meter). So do not panic if it rained …
A little heavier than previous radios with its 4.3 kg, it remains easily transportable with its carrying handle.
It is a radio that offers a very good value for money. According to users, it is simple to use: convenient and readable screen, easy connection to Bluetooth, etc. You also have an AUX input and a USB 2.0 port.
What is also appreciated is the fact that you can charge your smartphone on the battery of the radio. But that's not all, you also have an alarm, a clock, and an alarm clock. The names of broadcast stations and music are displayed on the screen.
However, you can not read a USB key. This is the only small problem with the battery that is to buy extra. On the other hand, you pay for what you receive: a rugged and shockproof, dustproof and waterproof radio with an IP64 protection rating. It's a good investment to work on your sites!
This is not the lightest of all, but its robustness makes it a stable and solid radio in the long run. The AM band is between 522 and 1.629 kHz and the FM band 87.5, and according to users, it captures very well the different frequencies. And when you find the stations that are right for you, you can save them. The best of the best!
Hitachi UR18DSDL: an original radio
The Hitachi radio stands out for its originality, its design is the first thing that stands out. It weighs 4 kg, but it is still handy thanks to its integrated handles. And its dimensions are small compared to other construction radios of our selection!
Connectivity level, you have a USB port that allows you to connect your smartphone if it falls flat, but also a Bluetooth connection with a range of 10 meters and a storage compartment.
With its two 7W speakers and a high frequency amplifier that reduces static noise, you can animate your building sites for sure! You can store your phone or other small items in its resealable and waterproof compartment.
The radio also displays the time, and you have the option to set an alarm. It is a radio that combines design, robustness and practicality, with a special resin housing equipped with rubber dampers. It supports shocks and small falls, and it is not afraid of splashing water (protection IPX4).
An AC adapter is supplied, but it can also work with Hitachi 14.4 V and 18 V batteries (not included).
A radio with a modern look, and resistant! According to users, it is a radio that captures the different frequencies and sources (FM / AM radio, DAB, Bluetooth, AUX In), and offers quality sound.
You will be able to find the frequencies that you like thanks to the buttons of preselection. Equipped with a battery of 5Ah, it offers a battery life of 19 hours if you listen to the radio!
It is therefore a device that I recommend for small and medium sized sites, less for large environments because its power is not extreme. There would be more than one battery included for the pack to be perfect!
The best high-end construction radios
If your budget allows you, I highly recommend you take a look at the radios in this range. They offer you a higher sound power, and some additional features.
They are as suitable for large as small jobsites, and believe me, they will not let go any time soon!
Bosch GML 20 Professional: the best high-end
Equipped with an aluminum protective frame, a reinforced plastic shell, and a carrying handle, the cubic shape it sports is quite fun. It is designed to adapt to different environments, whether you are exposed to dust, water, wind … It is able to withstand falls of less than 3 meters.
It is distinguished by its features: it offers a 360 ° sound thanks to its many speakers and its built-in subwoofer that gives it good acoustics by obscuring the background noise.
The Bosch GML 20 Professional has nothing to envy to other models, except a Bluetooth connection. However, it incorporates two 230 V sockets for you to connect your wired devices easily. You have a USB port, an SD drive, a 12V socket, 2 AUX in, and an output. In short, all you need!
The backlit digital display shows the time, the frequency of the station, and the battery charge level, which I find very convenient. The controls are also illuminated for comfort. You also have the possibility of storing some business in its protected compartment.
It delivers good quality sound with its four 5W speakers, and its different volume adjustment positions. You can store up to 20 FM stations and 10 AM stations (so you can listen to what you like!).
It can be powered either by mains or by 14.4 or 18V Lithium-Ion batteries. You can use the batteries of your Bosch tools, and this radio can be used as a socket block. It is a robust device, but its robustness at a price: its weight of 11 kg!
The Bosch brand does not lack resources in its field. Ideal for all sites, it only needed the Bluetooth connection for this radio is perfect. Professional equipment!
For people who want extreme sound power, you have the model above, the Bosch Professional GML50, equipped with 4 speakers with integrated subwoofer of 50 W. Even surrounded (e) a symphony of noises on the construction site, you will hear your music.
DeWalt DCR017: a 2 in 1 radio
2 sockets for connecting other devices
Battery charging function
AUX input for external audio players
As the DCR018's big sister, the DeWalt DCR017 radio is more complete with a battery charging system.
It has 2 sockets to power the XR lithium batteries (it is compatible with all XR batteries: 10.8, 14.4 and 18V) and allow the charging of tools with a charge indicator. You also have a USB port, always useful!
A DeWalt battery has an 8-hour battery life when you listen to the radio, handy when working on scaffolding and do not want to get cluttered with a cable!
It is a radio that is resistant to shocks. It is strong enough, thanks to its reinforced rubber shock bar. It weighs about 5.9 kg. It is not the lightest, but it is not the heaviest either.
In addition, it incorporates a convenient winder for its cable of 2 meters. And it also offers storage space for you to leave the accessories.
It's an interesting high-end radio. You have an AM / FM radio tuner with 10 preprogrammed FM stations, and 5 preprogrammed AM stations.
Users only regret the inability to connect via Bluetooth. And the fact that it does not have an alarm function.
It is therefore a versatile radio that, despite its size, has the advantage of not being too heavy. This is not the most recent model of this selection, but it remains practical and convincing for its solidity.
The products of my selection on offer at the moment
A construction radio can brighten up a day's work! But for that, the material must be waterproof, shockproof and dustproof, while offering some interesting features that allow you to listen to your music as you see fit. A quality radio must be robust and solid.
To help you choose a quality construction radio, I will mention a few features that you should be aware of when buying.
Strength and materials used
To listen to music on a construction site, you need robust and reliable equipment that resists both the weather and the dust! But also to falls – do not you ever know!
Some radios can continue to work after a fall of about ten meters! But this is not the case for all, some can withstand 1, 2 or 3 meters at most.
What is also important is the resistance to splashing water and dust. For that, do not hesitate to consult the IP classification and to verify the index of protection of the material which you wish to acquire. Because, your radio will be used outside and thus exposed to various dangers.
At the manufacturing level, the materials used are often aluminum and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) for the hull. Some radios are reinforced with rubber to limit shocks.
The range and power of the speakers
If you work on a construction site, you need a good sound quality, especially if you want to hear your radio despite machine noises!
If you listen to your music in Bluetooth, check the signal range (usually 10 meters for the radios in this comparison), and choose a sound power of at least 7 W. The power is expressed in watts or RMS watts ( RMS power is preferred if you want to compare different devices).
Your choice will depend on the environment in which or where you work and your expectations in terms of performance. If you work on a construction site, see bigger!
Ideally, use built-in speakers in all directions for 360 ° sound diffusion. Very practical if you are brought to move everywhere!
Construction radios usually have between 2 and 4 speakers, sometimes even a subwoofer (for better bass) as with the Bosch GML 20 Professional.
The type of diet
The construction radios often operate on mains or on battery. For ease of use, the battery is an interesting choice. You have lithium-ion batteries of 7.2 to 18 V interchangeable with those of your drill-type power tools.
There are also construction radios that work with batteries. But if you use the battery, remember to always charge it before you go, especially before the first use (to increase its life). Even though the batteries are designed to be durable, avoid shock as much as possible, and leave it in a secure place if you work at height.
If you already have a range of tools of the same brand, know that some radios have the distinction of being able to operate with the same batteries as your tools (drills, sanders and other heat gun). The batteries are interchangeable! Convenient, especially when you see that most manufacturers unfortunately do not provide any for purchase or you will drive up the price …
Finally, note that some radios operate only wired, others on internal batteries or removable batteries. Again, it is your usage that will determine the type of radio you need. To work at home, a wired radio may not be annoying, but against a construction site …
Construction radios are, as you can already imagine, more imposing than conventional radios for home use. But the size and weight of each radio varies, so feel free to check the format before you decide.
Weight can be a disadvantage if you are often displaced. But a too light model can also be less resistant to the hazards of a building site … On the contrary, if you are alone on the site, it may be enough. Up to you !
But always prefer a model with handle – rare are the radios that do not have – and a radio that has interesting features.
Newer radios are full of features. In addition to the FM / AM radio, some models have AUX in or AUX out jacks so you can connect a CD player or MP3 player.
The memory function can store 10 to 30 different stations. Some are equipped with a Bluetooth function to connect to your phone and a USB port, which can always be very useful!
Most radios come with an LCD screen that makes it easy to use and lets you see the info or adjust the controls in the dark. Among the information you can consult, some radios display the time, the date, the station listened to, the title of a music broadcast. Some even offer you the possibility to set an alarm.
Integrated commands are also important. From the big control wheel to the small buttons discrete but harder to reach, there is something for everyone. Also consider the ease of switching from a station to the water or browsing your playlists.
For remote use, a radio with remote control can be convenient.
In conclusion, which radio station to choose?
Even if all the models of this selection are distinguished, my preference is the Bosch Wireless PRA Multipower which offers features that defy all competition for its price! It is certainly one of the models that I recommend the most for home use or on a small building site.
However, for professional use or more demanding, I recommend the Bosch GML 20 Professional for its quality and its ability to withstand shocks.
I also advise you in the same range the Makita DMR108, a modern radio that will allow you to listen to your favorite tracks (radio or Bluetooth) while working.
If you are brought to make several trips, it is a radio like the Metabo 600777850 that I advise you for its compact character that makes it easily transportable.
Finally, for those who want a unique radio that stands out for its design, it is the Hitachi UR18DSDL both stylish and practical that I propose!
In addition, I have selected in this comparison that radios with LCD for simple and functional use (time display, etc.)
Makita LED Torch Light with AM / FM Radio: it is a construction radio that does not lack originality: it combines both a radio and a flashlight! To combine the useful with the pleasant …
Dewalt DCR006-XJ: DeWalt brand recognizable thanks to its famous yellow and black design, offers a radio to listen to music via an audio player or your smartphone via Bluetooth. The only problem, in my opinion, is the lack of an LCD screen.
Metronic 477208: With a power of 2 x 10 W, you can hear your favorite music from afar. Its strong frame protects it from falls and shocks, and its silicone tips protect your radio splash water. You can connect in Bluetooth. And if you ever run out of battery, you can charge your smartphone via the USB port.
Bosch Professional GML 10.8 V: The Bosch Professional GML 10.8 V radio can work with either a 10.8 V battery or mains. It offers good sound quality with 2 speakers of 5 W and 20 positions of volume control. You can also memorize 5 stations. It is easily transportable (1.41 kg). The only missing element is a possibility of Bluetooth connection!
Duramaxx 862-BT-WH: it is a resistant radio (IP44 protection) with built-in battery, and a Bluetooth function, you can connect your devices in USB or use the SD card reader. You have 20 preprogrammed stations. And what's more, she weighs only 3 kg.
Milwaukee 4933446639: The Milwaukee 4933446639 is a construction radio that is also a charger, and offers a 40 W amplifier, and a range of 30 meters to work freely on a construction site. You have a USB port to charge your external audio players, an AUX input, and a storage compartment. By cons, it is a mastodon that weighs more than 7 kg.