Introducing The Bosch PB360S 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Box Jobsite Radio and Charger
The best jobsite radio from Bosch is also the best jobsite radio from any brand because it has the best sound quality. It also has a charger for your Bosch power tool batteries. How useful would that be? You don’t have to worry about your tools dying in the middle of a job and not being able to charge them.
The downside to the sound power and charging capability of the PB360s is it’s larger/heavier than the other jobsite radios and one of the more expensive units.
It has a subwoofer, 4 speakers, a sturdy protection frame and 4 AC outlets so you don’t need your power bar. If you want that ability to charge your power tools it’s only 1 of 2 radios that do it, and definitely the better sounding of the 2.
Benefits of the PB360S
Here are the 5 main benefits of the best Bosch jobsite radio.
1. Can Charge Your Power Tool Batteries
The Bosch PB360S is only 1 of 2 jobsite radios that is also a battery charger. The DeWalt is the other. This is a huge advantage if you work away from electric outlets and need to charge your cordless drill. You can also use it to charge you smartphone through the DC outlet or via USB plugin.
2. It’s Ultra Durable
Not only is this radio resistant to water splashed on it and dust being swept on it… but also to equipment falling on it and you dropping it. From the pics you can see it has a sturdy aluminium/rubber roll cage to protect it. All these features ensure you can bring it to your worksite and not have to worry about it. It handles its own. I’m sure you could run a car over it like the Ridgid radio can handle, but it’s still super tough.
3. Heavy-duty Sound
This is the only pure jobsite radio that has a subwoofer and 4 speakers. This give surround sound and ensures you feel the lows. The 4 speakers on each corner are vital to ensure the music or radio reaches then entire jobsite and not just what is in front of it.
4. Acts as Your Power Bar
There are 4 AC outlets that can be used as a power bar as long as the radio is also running off mains electrics instead of its batteries. This great because now you won’t have to carry a power bar with you. Just bring the radio and it doubles as a power bar.
5. Play Music From Phone or USB
You can connect you phone or iPod type device via AUX cable that is included. You can also plug a USB stick with MP3 format music on it and control it via the LCD screen on the radio. There’s also an add-on option to play via Bluetooth but you’ll have to get the $15 connector cable extra. If you are dead-set on having Bluetooth built in out of the box, check out: Porter-Cable or Ryobi.
Here are some alternate views of the radio showing you the power bar, charging station and media centre.
1. Power Bar
You can see the outlets are protected with fold down covers to ensure dust and water can’t ingress.
If you’re holding the radio up to your face with your right hand on the right side and left on the left side. The power bar would be where your right hand is and the media centre where your left hand is.
2. Charging Station
The charging station for your Li-ion 14.4-18V batteries is located behind the radio side at the back,
You can see that the opening secures itself at the top and has a red bracket for you to pull and open.
Some of the only complaints this radio gets are around getting the batteries in and out of this space. Many find it tight and hard to angle the batteries in – especially if wearing work gloves.
3. Media Centre
In this area is also a 12V DC adaptor cigarette lighter style.
You can see that on the door panel of this section has a velcro strap to secure your iPod/music playing device while playing music from. Of note is you can only seem to play music from your phone via AUX line and not via the USB line, which is kinda stupid. But yeah the USB is only for charging.
In this video you will see how durable the radio is. You will also see how easy it is to carry around.
What Others Are Saying About The PB360S
If you look at this radio’s rating on Home Depot, Amazon and Lowes you’ll notice it averages around 4.3 / 5 stars, which is really high. Here let’s take a look at some of the more constructive reviews from people who rated it 3 and 4 stars. We’ll stick to the 3 and 4 star because they tend to have the most useful combo of pros and cons.
4-Star Review From John M on Amazon:
“Great sound, one complaint.
Overall, I am greatly pleased with this radio, especially when compared to my Dewalt . The sound and radio reception are clearly superior.
My complaint is that you must set the equalizer setting each time the radio is powered down. Why not have it remember the setting? The sound quality is the main reason that I switched to the Bosch, and the equalizer contributes greatly to this.
As to a previous complaint about the radio draining the Li Ion battery when not plugged in, this is greatly accelerated if the AA batteries that power the clock and radio presets are dead. Then the rechargeable battery takes over and drains quickly. Change your AA’s.”
4-Star Review From Brien of Lehigh Valley, PA on Home Depot’s website:
Bought this radio because I was tired of buying a new radio every couple of months. So far it has turned out to be very tough. Well worth the money I paid on sale.
It could use a couple of tweaks. The USB port is not powered when the unit is turned off. The USB port is recessed so far that it makes it awkward inserting and retrieving a flash drive or cord.The digital media bay is not big enough to hold any device and close the door.
I like the built in charger but when I plug in an external charger it kills the radio.”
3-Star Review From QtheBand on Boschtools.com:
“Excellent with on major shortcoming.
The PB360S is an excellent product…with one very unfortunate flaw. It is durable, well designed in it’s look and functionality and feature rich. The audio (aided by a subwoofer) carries well across a back yard. Despite it’s considerable weight, it’s relatively easy to carry thanks to a well-placed handle.
But now for the flaw. The USB DOES NOT support an iPhone 4S (or comparable devices). It displays a ‘USB error’ when connected. This is both surprising and disappointing considering that HAVING this option would make it an amazing unit. One could both operate and charge their iPhone from the USB input if this was available. But, as it stands, I have to run my iPhone through the auxiliary input for the music (hence offering lower quality audio) and run a power cord ALL THE WAY to the other side of the unit to the 120v AC outlets. This, of course, prevents me from closing the media door to protect my iPhone.
I would willingly give the PB360S five stars if it supported my iPhone. But, as this is one of the main reasons I bought this unit, I can only give it three stars. I realize Bosch is a tool company trying to do electronics but I still think this is possible.”
There’s 3 reviews each with some pros and cons. Let’s review the reviews.
- Sound and radio superior to DeWalt.
- Built in charger.
- Good sound that carries well.
This is what I’ve been saying – the Bosch is the best radio because it has the best sound. Confirmed.
- Annoying how you need AA batteries for the radio presets.
- Media centre is poorly designed.
- USB does not allow you to play music through it – you have to play music through AUX input.
My comment is that it is very strange how the USB connection doesn’t allow you to play through – only charge through. I would probably rather buy the Bluetooth add-on connector instead of playing through AUX, but that’s just me. Here’s the Bluetooth connector I’m talking about: Mpow Streambot Bluetooth 4.0 receiver.
How Does This Bosch Compare To Other Bosch Radios?
In short – it is better than the others but also larger and more expensive.
Here’s what the two others look like compared to the 360S. It’s not 100% obvious in the image but they are much smaller. You 6 or 7 of the PB120s into the volume of the PB360S.
In terms of specs here are the main differences to know about:
PB120 – Good affordable jobsite radio option if you tend to have your radio close by.
The PB120 is the smallest, lightest and most affordable jobsite radio by Bosch. It’s specs are:
- Uses 12V Li-ion battery
- 3.1 pounds
- 2x 5 watt speakers
- 8 hours runtime
PB180 – Great option especially if you value a long runtime on a single battery charge.
- Uses 18V Li-ion battery
- 3.7 pounds
- 2 days runtime
PB360S – Best performing jobsite radio and is also a charger.
- Uses 14.4 or 18V Bosch Li-ion batteries
- Charges 14.4/18V Li-on batteries
- 25 pounds
To Wrap It Up
This jobsite radio lasts. It has an IP rating of 54 meaning it stands up to rain, water being splashed on it (basically anything up to high pressure jets). IP54 also means dust resistant, which is needed for most worksites.
It has surround sound and a subwoofer. It can charge your power tool batteries. It has 4 AC outlets to use like a power bar so you can leave your power bar at home.
If you want a jobsite radio to endure the jobsite environment with ease so you can concentrate on getting the job done instead of worrying if someone is going to drop something on your radio – the Bosch is the jobsite radio with all the protection you need and the best sound to go with it. It often goes on sale for deep discounts so be sure to check out the link.
- BoschTools.com product page for the 360S with full specifications and some more pictures.
- The Home Depot listing for this radio has some good reviews (pulled from Boschtools.com) and some further analysis of the specs and best features of the radio.
- Return to Job site radio reviews at the home page.