Best DAB Job Site Radios (UK 2019)

What’s the best site radio with DAB in 2019?

The majority of job site radios on the market are still AM/FM radios, but we’ve researched the market and selected what we consider to be the top 8 job site DAB radios currently available in the UK.

These radios are all designed to be used on building sites and other worksites and are built to be rugged and withstand the elements.

Best DAB Site Radios (UK 2019)

1. Makita DMR104

Made by respected Japanese power tool brand Makita, the DMR104 is an FM/DAB radio specially designed for using on worksites.

One great thing about this radio is that if you already have a Makita drill battery pack, you can use it to power this radio.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Showerproof with a water resistance rating of IPX4
  • Anti-shock speaker system
  • Aux-in
  • Runs on mains power or Makita rechargeable batteries
  • Carrying handle
  • LCD display

Dimensions: 34 x 30 x 17.8 cm
Weight: 4 kg

Pros

  • Very tough and robust
  • Nice-looking design
  • Good sound quality (though a bit heavy on the bass)
  • Good DAB reception

Cons

  • Battery pack isn’t included
  • Bass level is quite high, and can’t be reduced

Verdict

As you’d expect from Makita, the DMR104 is very sturdy and well made. It’s quite heavy but can still be carried around with the comfortable handle.

The radio is tough, has good sound quality and has an attractive masculine design.

Overall, it’s probably the best DAB site radio for most people. Read our full review of the Makita DMR104 here.

2. DeWalt DWST1-81079-GB TSTAK Radio

The DeWalt DWST1-81079-GB TSTAK is an expensive product, but it’s one of the most rugged and feature-rich DAB job site radios on the market.

This product has lots of useful features that make it ideal for using on site, such as a USB port for charging your phone and the ability to charge DeWalt XR and FlexVolt batteries.

Features

  • AM/FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • XR/FlexVolt battery charger
  • 45-watt output
  • Rubber shock absorbers
  • Bluetooth
  • Can be controlled from a phone using the DEWALT Mobile App
  • Aux cable
  • USB port for charging a phone
  • IP54 water and dust resistance rating
  • Can be powered by the mains or a 10.8 or 18V DeWalt battery
  • Adjustable EQ

Dimensions: 52 x 40 x 18 cm
Weight: 7.5 kg

Pros

  • Plenty of volume and good sound quality
  • Easy to use Bluetooth
  • You can control the radio wirelessly via an app
  • Both water- and dust-resistant

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Summary

The DeWalt DWST1-81079-GB TSTAK is an excellent radio. However, it’s very pricey, so it’s not ideal for those on a budget.

If you don’t mind investing a bit more in a site radio, this is one of the best you can buy. Like with most site radios, batteries aren’t included.

3. DeWalt DCR020-GB

The DCR020-GB is a specially made jobsite DAB radio from US power tool manufacturer DeWalt. It’s quite a small radio that offers a more compact and easily portable alternative to the Makita DMR104 reviewed above. Despite being small, the DCR020-GB is strong, and has a roll cage to protect it from impacts.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Can take 10.8V, 14.4V and 18V li-ion batteries, which aren’t included
  • 3.5 mm auxiliary port
  • USB charging point for charging a phone

Weight: 3.2 kg
Dimensions: 25.8 x 25 x 18.8 cm

Pros

  • Easy to carry around
  • Can be used to charge your phone
  • Good amount of volume
  • Feels strong and robust

Cons

  • No battery included
  • Doesn’t save preset stations
  • Seems to be less reliable than the Makita DMR104

Verdict

The DeWalt DCR020-GB is a great jobsite radio overall, especially if you want something small and light. It appears to be a bit less reliable than the Makita DMR104, which is why it’s the runner up in this list.

4. Dewalt DWST1-75663 TOUGHSYSTEM

The DeWALT DWST1-75663 TOUGHSYSTEM is a bit different to most of the other radios here. In addition to offering FM/DAB/DAB+, it also works as a battery charger for DeWALT batteries. This is a large and heavy radio that might be a good choice for bigger job sites.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Works as a DeWALT battery charger
  • IP54 dust and water protection rating
  • USB port for charging phones
  • Aux input

Dimensions: 55.8 x 38.4 x 16.4 cm
Weight: 8.6 kg

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Useful battery and phone charging functions
  • Plenty of volume
  • Very robust

Cons

  • DAB reception can be poor
  • Quite heavy
  • Expensive
  • No clock display

Summary

The DeWALT DWST1-75663 is a very useful radio for site workers as you can use it to charge DeWALT batteries or your phone while the radio is playing.

The sound quality is great and it delivers plenty of volume, though the DAB reception can be weak and it’s a shame there’s no clock display.

5. Makita DMR109

The Makita DMR109 is essentially a newer version of the Makita DMR104 reviewed above. It has very similar features and a similar price tag.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • 2 built-in speakers
  • Protective bumpers
  • Saves 10 preset stations (5 on FM and 5 on DAB)
  • IP64 dust- and shower-resistance rating
  • Compatible with 10.8V, 14.4V and 18V Li-ion Slide batteries as well as 7.2V and 10.8V Li-ion stick batteries
  • Aux-in port

Dimensions: 35 x 30 x 17 cm
Weight: 4.6 kg

Pros

  • Plenty of bass
  • Water resistant
  • Highest possible dust protection rating (IP64)
  • Batteries last a long time
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Sound is too bassy for some people
  • No Bluetooth

Verdict

Like the Makita DMR104 reviewed above, the Makita DMR109 is a well made and sturdy DAB site radio. It could do with an equaliser as the bass level is quite high, but otherwise this is a fine product.

6. UEME Job Site DAB and FM Radio Stereo

This radio from UEME is one of the cheapest DAB site radios on the market. It’s also one of the few site radios to offer both DAB radio and Bluetooth.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Saves 20 preset stations (10 on FM and 10 on DAB)
  • Bluetooth
  • Can be powered by the mains or 4 x C batteries
  • 2 x 2.5W speakers
  • Splash-proof

Dimensions: 31.8 x 17.8 x 10 cm
Weight: 1.3 kg (boxed)

Pros

  • Good amount of volume given its size and price
  • Can be powered by regular batteries
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Occasional interference when using Bluetooth
  • Aerial breaks easily
  • Battery life is quite poor—about 8 hours

Verdict

As long as you don’t need something particularly heavy duty, this radio is a good budget site radio.

The build quality could be higher, and the aerial in particular is quite flimsy. It would also be useful to have a battery charger for C-size batteries as the batteries might not last a full working day.

7. Hitachi UR18DSDL Cordless Site Radio

The Hitachi UR18DSDL is a modern site radio with DAB/DAB+, Bluetooth and a USB port for charging a phone.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ Radio
  • IPX4 water resistance level
  • Bluetooth
  • Shock-absorbing end caps
  • Aux-input
  • Customisable EQ
  • Saves 10 preset stations
  • USB charging point

Dimensions: 46.8 x 36.8 x 30.8 cm
Weight: 6 kg

Pros

  • Good range of useful features
  • Can be used to charge a phone
  • Tough and robust design

Cons

  • No battery included

Verdict

The Hitachi UR18DSDL has great features, especially for charging a smartphone and streaming music from it via Bluetooth. It also has a rugged design and should hold up well when used on work sites or in the garden.

8. Labgear PI00506/14 6 W DAB Worksite Radio

This radio from aerial manufacturer Labgear is smaller than the other radios reviewed here, making it a good choice if you want something that’s easy to carry around.

It’s also the cheapest radio on this list (at the time of writing), so it’s worth considering if you want something affordable.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • 6-watt output
  • IP44 water-resistance rating
  • Powered by mains or 4 x C batteries
  • Rubber bumpers to resist impacts
  • Saves 20 preset stations
  • Aux-in port

Dimensions: 24.3 x 18.2 x 17.3 cm

Pros

  • Relatively cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Robust design with rubber bumpers
  • Compact and easy to carry

Cons

  • Takes C batteries, which is less convenient than a rechargeable built-in battery
  • Limited features
  • Not as loud as other site radios

Summary

If you want something for a small workshop, this radio is a good choice. It might not be powerful enough for large work sites, but it’s a good budget option for less noisy environments.

It’s best used plugged into the mains otherwise you will need to replace or recharge the C-size batteries it takes frequently.

What to Look for in a DAB Site Radio

Choosing a radio to use on a building site, factory or other place of work is completely different to choosing one for your kitchen or lounge. Here are some of the key things to consider:

  • Ruggedness: A site radio needs to be ultra-tough and capable of withstanding shocks as well as light rain. Look for shock-absorbing bumpers around the edge of the radio, and check its IP rating to see how well it can cope with water and dust exposure.
  • Volume: A site radio needs to be very loud to be heard over the noise of drills and other machinery.
  • Bluetooth: This is a useful feature to have for streaming audio from a phone or other device. Bluetooth will allow you to play music or other audio from your phone through the radio’s speakers. One alternative to using Bluetooth is to connect the phone via a cable to the radio’s aux-in port, if it has one.
  • USB charging point: This will allow you to charge a phone or other device.
  • Battery type: Some of the radios reviewed here such as the Makita DMR104 are compatible with power tool batteries, which can be quite convenient if you’re working on a job site. These batteries are also likely to last longer than regular batteries.

 

Which DAB Site Radios Have Bluetooth?

There aren’t many site radios with both Bluetooth and DAB—lots of radios have AM/FM radio and Bluetooth or have DAB radio but no Bluetooth. Here’s a list of site radios with both DAB and Bluetooth:

  • UEME Job Site DAB and FM Radio Stereo
  • Hitachi HITUR18DSDL
  • Sangean U4DBT

When a radio has Bluetooth, this means it has a Bluetooth receiver rather than a transmitter. You can connect the radio to your phone to play music through the radio’s speakers, but you can’t connect a Bluetooth radio to Bluetooth headphones.

 

Do DAB Site Radios Come with a Battery and Charger?

Site radios usually don’t come with a battery or batteries. Radios from Makita and DeWalt use those brands’ batteries and chargers which need to be bought separately.

Some site radio such as the UEME Job Site DAB and FM Radio Stereo use regular C batteries, which aren’t included. Most site radios come with a mains adapter so you can use them without batteries.

 

Can You Get a Job Site Radio with a Built-In CD Player?

We don’t know of any specially designed site radio that comes with a built-in CD player. There aren’t any products from site radio brands such as Makita, Bosch or DeWalt that come with a CD player.

If you want to listen to CDs, your best bet is to use a portable CD boombox such as the Roberts Zoombox 3.

 

Cheap DAB Site Radios

A good site radio usually costs at least £80. However, there are a few options available for about £50 or less. Some of the cheapest DAB site radios include the following:

  • UEME Job Site DAB and FM Radio Stereo
  • Labgear DAB Radio

 

AM/FM Site Radios

If having digital radio isn’t particularly important, you might want to consider one of the FM site radios reviewed below.

Makita DMR107 Job Site Radio

The Makita DMR107 is essentially the same as the Makita DMR104 reviewed above except that it only has AM/FM radio rather than FM/DAB radio.

The Makita DMR107 and DMR104 have the same design and are the same size. As you might expect, the DMR107 is a bit cheaper as it doesn’t have DAB radio.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Takes 10.8V, 14.4V or 18V Li-ion batteries
  • Saves 10 preset stations (5 on AM and 5 on FM)
  • IP64 rated (shower- and dustproof)
  • Aux-in port
  • LCD display
  • 2 alarm timers

Dimensions: 32.5 x 29.5 x 17.5 cm
Weight: 4.83 kg

Pros

  • Sturdy and robust
  • Good amount of weight (not too light or too heavy)
  • Good sound quality
  • Cheaper than DAB alternatives

Cons

  • No DAB radio

Summary

The Makita DMR107 is one of the best AM/FM site radios on the market. However, bear in mind that it doesn’t have DAB radio or Bluetooth.

 

Bosch Professional GML SoundBoxx Cordless Jobsite Radio

This compact jobsite radio slots perfectly into one half of a Bosch L-BOXX toolbox, making it easy to carry around.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Aux-in port
  • Saves 10 preset stations (5 on AM and 5 on FM)
  • Adjustable treble & bass
  • 2 x 5-watt speakers
  • Carrying handle
  • Mains or 14.4v/18v battery powered

Weight: 2 kg

Pros

  • Tough and rugged
  • Good reception
  • Compact and easy to carry around
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • No DAB
  • Expensive given its features

Summary

This is a very tough little radio that’s easy to carry around and has good sound quality. However, it’s quite limited by today’s standards (no Bluetooth or DAB), and it isn’t cheap.

 

Conclusion

If we had to recommend just one of these products it would be the Makita DMR104, which is one of the most popular DAB site radios in the UK.

While it’s not a very flashy model, it’s a good all-rounder with a robust design, plenty of volume and decent sound quality. It’s also quite affordable at the time of writing.

2 thoughts on “Best DAB Job Site Radios (UK 2019)”

  1. just bought the Dewalt DCR020-GB. was going to buy the Dewalt dab radio with a charger for £50 more, but realised I can get a spare charger for £20. if I find I need one. the DCR020-GB is a lot more compact also

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