The Good: solid, heavy duty, weather-resistant protection against tough jobsite conditions, great sound
The Bad: large and heavy, awkward to lift and carry
Probably the most significant thing you’ll notice about the Bosch PB360D Deluxe or Bosch PB360S Basic jobsite radio won’t become apparent until you lift it out of the box. At 25 pounds it’s a beast. Compared to the Makita radio, the price is a bit of a beast too.
Is it worth the extra? Fine Homebuilding magazine considers it to have, “far and away, the best audio quality of any of the jobsite radios”. So assuming that you bought this Bosch radio because you wanted a durable high quality sound system that would stand up to the rigors of outdoor use, then yes it is good value.
How Tough is the Bosch Radio?
Both models of the Bosch PowerBox 360 have an identical rubber coated aluminum rollbar for protection and both models are resistant to dust and rain.
So do the roll bars and shock proofing give adequate protection? I would say yes, they do….
Aside from the 30 preset AM and FM radio stations you can input your tunes through the two Aux inputs from your phone, mp3 player, satellite radio (deluxe version only), CD players, tape decks or whatever else you can come up with. One of these Aux inputs is also an output so that you can run a feed to additional speakers if so desired. There is also a DC outlet enabling you to operate or charge any low amperage 12v stuff like cell phones and the like. All three of these inputs/outlets are on the outside of the radio and have flip up covers to keep dust and moisture out when not in use.
On one side of the Bosch radio there is weather and dust proof media bay which houses a SD card slot and a powered USB slot for flash drives and devices that charge via USB. There is also a cradle with an adjustable strap to securely hold a cell phone or mp3 device. There is also a third AUX input inside.
You can toggle through all of these input choices with the large source button on the front of the radio for instant flexibility. When using a flash drive or SD card as a music source you can control them (play, pause, fast forward, stop, skip) from the front control panel as well. One thing to note though, if you are using an mp3 player it can only be controlled from its own interface.
At the opposite end from the media bay is the battery bay. A single 14.4 – 18v battery can be plugged in here to run the radio or, if the radio is plugged in to 110v and the battery is below full charge, the battery charger will kick in and bring the battery up to full charge.
Both the Bosch PB360D and PB360S deliver their impressive 360 degree sound through four speakers mounted on top and a 5” subwoofer on the bottom of the unit. As you can see from the video, they are shock proof and well protected by the roll bar.
The PB360S puts out 26 watts of power, which is enough for a large work site or beach area or deck. The PB360D has almost twice the power output (50 watts) of the base model. The 50 watt PB360D certainly puts the “BOOM” in this box. If you need a radio for a large outdoor area it might be worth the extra $50. for the deluxe model and not have to have the volume cranked to the max all the time.
The other notable differences between the two radios are the remote control, the backlit control panel and the SIRIUS satellite doc/playport on the deluxe model.
Both models operate on 110v, three prong AC power (6 foot cord) or any of the 14.4 – 18v Bosch lithium ion batteries used to power their extensive line of cordless tools. There are no batteries included with either unit.
One of the most asked questions is how long the Bosch radio will run on a single fully charged 18v battery. For the base model (PB360S ) this can vary from about 2 ½ hours with the volume set to near maximum to 6 or 7 hours indoors with the volume at about 1/3. Of course it stands to reason that if you are using the Bosch PB360D outdoors at full volume you can expect less run time as it is putting out nearly double the volume.
Overall the Bosch PB360D (Deluxe) and Bosch PB360S (Standard) are rugged, well designed jobsite radios with awesome sound quality.