The 4 Best Bluetooth Jobsite Radios: Features Worth Paying For

It's not exactly breaking news that Bluetooth speakers are a really convenient way to listen to music without wires getting in the way. Finding an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker that does the job isn't very difficult, but it can often feel like the market is completely saturated with less-than-stellar options. In the world of almost-infinite speaker choices for casual use, one area of the market is relatively underserved. That's the world of Bluetooth jobsite radios.

These radios provide a little more utility over the average speaker. Jobsite radios are made with durability in mind, and are well-suited for harsh working environments. They're often made out of thick plastic and rubber for impact protection, and designed to continue producing clear sound in a dust-heavy environment. For years, jobsite radios were little more than battery powered AM/FM radios contained within a metal cage. It was often powered by the same heavy and inefficient Nickel-Cadmium battery that powered cordless drill and impact drivers from over a decade ago. 

Much like power tools themselves, jobsite radios have evolved from providing the bare minimum of features to an almost essential part of a tool repertoire. And these radios aren't just for a professional contractor or tradesman either, as there are a few current models of Bluetooth jobsite radios that can provide utility to even the most casual DIY-er.

Milwaukee M12 Bluetooth/AM/FM Jobsite Radio

Milwaukee has been making tools for almost a century, and professionals from all over the world rely on the brand's tools to get the job done (via Milwaukee Tool). The brand often represents the higher end of the tool market, and enjoys a loyal fanbase. The brand's M12 line of tools all use the same 12-volt lithium-ion battery, and offers everything from a simple drill to a portable wet/dry vacuum.

The M12 Bluetooth radio can not only charge all of those batteries if it's plugged into the wall, but it can also be powered by those same batteries, completely eliminating wires altogether. According to Milwaukee's product listing, the speaker offers AM/FM radio, Bluetooth 4.2 capability, IP54 water resistance, and 10 hours of runtime with an M12 2.0 amp-hour battery. That runtime can be extended to well over a full day with an M12 6.0 amp-hour battery. There's also a USB port to keep your phone's battery topped up. As with most offerings from Milwaukee, the price is on the higher side at $165-170 from most online retailers. However, that price often drops during holiday sales. 

Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt Bluetooth Speaker

Ryobi's 18-volt product lineup is more geared towards DIY-ers and makers, as the battery system can not only power the run of the mill impact drivers and reciprocating saws, but also soldering irons, lighted magnifiers, and literally hundreds of other tools. The brand's offerings are typically less expensive than Milwaukee or DeWalt, but can offer the most bang for the buck. Ryobi's 18-volt Bluetooth speaker may not offer as many features as a more expensive speaker, and most of the brand's tools are lime green.

Sheer value is where the Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt shines. The speaker retails for $89 at most major retailers, but often goes on sale for a deep discount throughout the year. Plus, Ryobi's own factory outlet often sells refurbished or factory blemished speakers for significantly less at retail. While the speaker can't charge batteries, it offers 10 hours of runtime on a 4.0 amp-hour 18-volt battery, 125 feet of Bluetooth range, and a 2.1-amp USB port for charging all your devices.

DeWalt 12-Volt/18-Volt Bluetooth Jobsite Radio

DeWalt and Milwaukee could be compared to Ford and Chevy trucks, in that both brands are constantly competing to be the go-to tool brand for professionals. Like almost every other tool brand on the market, DeWalt has its own line of batteries that power an entire warehouse worth of tools. DeWalt's Bluetooth radio looks like it checked a dune buggy for styling cues, as it's covered in a roll cage, allowing it to be tossed in the back of a truck for transport. It boasts 100 feet of Bluetooth range, and dual 3.5-inch woofers with 1-inch tweeters to deliver sound over the noise of whatever home improvement project is occurring.

It can be powered by a 12-volt, 20-volt, or 60-volt DeWalt battery, as well as receive power from an AC wall adapter. For sound, the DeWalt has not only Bluetooth for streaming, but also an AM/FM radio, and a 3.5 mm auxiliary port. It retails for around $179 from most big box retailers. 

Ryobi ONE+ 18-volt compact speaker

Weighing in at a scant 8 ounces without a battery, Ryobi's compact offering is dwarfed by most other jobsite radios. At under $30, it's the cheapest by far. It offers 75 feet of Bluetooth range, and is powered by Ryobi's 18-volt battery system like its big brother. What it lacks in features, it makes up for in portability. Its compact size allows it to go in places where space is at a premium, like the engine bay of a car, or a crawl space.

Its diminutive size and long battery life makes it a perfect candidate for picnics, beach trips, and other outings. With a fresh 2.0 amp-hour battery, it'll run for over 20 hours and considerably longer with Ryobi's beefer batteries. Plus, when you're done listening to music, you can remove the battery, slap it into a power tool, and keep working.