The 4 Best Garage Radios – Workshop Radio Reviews 2020

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Photo by Sam Leighton / CC BY

Getting a radio for your garage workshop is a great idea. After all, a garage is the heart of a home for any handyman, motorhead, or do-it-yourselfer. When you’re doing something you love, you want to listen to what you love on the radio!

Today, some electronics just don’t have the durability or volume that you need to listen to your favorite music in a garage. You can’t hear Led Zeppelin over the sound of an air compressor when it’s coming from an iPhone — but you can when it comes from a garage radio. On this page, we’ll take a look at some of the leading garage radios and dive into what makes them a good buy. If one isn’t right for you, don’t worry — you’ll have three others to check out!

Here are our recommendations for the 4 best garage radios on the market:

Best Garage Radio #1: Studebaker Retro Classic

The Studebaker SB2000TS portable AM/FM radio looks like it stepped right out of the 1950s. This is a radio for purists who appreciate that classic, retro American style of times past. But don’t let its appearance fool you — this radio comes equipped with an auxiliary input so you can plug in your smartphone, iPod, or anything else you want to play music.

The whole unit is controlled with two dials, and the radio comes with an external antenna to drive home that classic look while offering superior radio reception. With a strong exterior and a convenient carrying handle, this whole radio weighs practically nothing, making it perfect for a construction site or a handyman on the go. But even though it’s small, the Studebaker has a truly fantastic sound in terms of volume.

Just turn the dial to your favorite morning show, crank the volume, and get to work! It’s a terrific workshop radio.

Studebaker SB2000 AM FM Quick Radio Review Buds.

Best Garage Radio #2: Sangean LB-100 Compact Receiver

Sangean is a brand for the on-site construction worker. Their products are crafted with durability first so that the only maintenance you have to perform is flipping the on/off switch. Designed to resist falls, rain, and even shock, this rugged radio will stand up to just about any punishment you can throw at it.

On top of that, it comes with all the standard features you need to play some music in the background while you work. The industrial-grade exterior comes complete with a roll cage for easy portability and long-lasting strength, and its bright orange color means you’ll be able to spot it from across the garage, even in dim light.

The 10 radio presets make it easy for you to jump among your favorite radio stations, and it comes with an attached nine-foot power cord. There’s even a winder on the back so you can pack it up when you’re done and keep it out of the way without creating a tripping hazard. If you want a garage radio that’s equally at home on a shelf or on a job site, this is the long-term solution you need.

Sangean Utility / Worksite Radios【LUNCHBOX(LB-100)、TOUGHBOX(TB-100)】

Best Garage Radio #3: DEWALT DCR018 Compact Worksite Radio

DEWALT is one of the most trusted brands in hand and power tools in the entire world. Their name is synonymous with quality, and that reputation doesn’t stop with their cordless drills.

The DEWALT DCR018 worksite radio is the ideal radio for a brand-loyal DEWALT user. The trick lies in DEWALT’s universal batteries that you can charge and change among any powered product. This radio runs on the same exact battery that you’d use in a cordless drill, meaning you’ll always have an extra on hand if the radio goes dead. If you only have two batteries and you need to let one charge, that works too! This radio can run equally well on an AC, DC, or even USB outlet for unmatched versatility.

The standard radio settings give this unit excellent AM/FM reception, and there’s also an auxiliary input so you can plug in your MP3 player or smartphone. Better yet, the radio even comes with a convenient compartment that’s sized perfectly to store your fragile electronics while you work. You don’t have to shell out for a new phone case when this great workshop radio has you covered! Best of all, this radio isn’t even 10 pounds. You can pick it up and take it anywhere.

DEWALT Job Site Radio Review DCR018

Best Garage Radio #4: Sangean Rechargeable Digital Tuning Radio

The Sangean BB-100SE is the bigger, stronger brother to the other Sangean model in this list. The features are similar, but this radio comes with a Bluetooth receiver for wireless convenience. You also get the handy digital radio tuner, high-end durability, and convenient roll cage — this model just has some more bells & whistles to satisfy the modern garage hobbyist.

Sangean Dab+ Box Utility Digital Radio

What’s the Right Garage Radio for You?

The best garage radio for your needs is the one that suits your work style.

That’s because garage radios are designed specifically for use in high-noise environments. They’re portable, heavy-duty, and loud enough for you to listen to your favorite songs when you’re under the hood of your car or flipping on your air compressor. As long as you have the batteries (or a decent extension cord), you’ll hear every note of your favorite songs in virtually any condition.

But how do you know which garage radio is the best one for you? After all, each one is designed to have the same basic functions — high-output volume, unmatched durability, and lightweight portability. Aside from the color, is there really a way to tell which garage radio is “best?”

The best way to figure out the garage radio you need is to ask yourself a few questions. We’ll use examples from our list.

Are you constantly in the garage attached to your house? Don’t worry about getting the DEWALT unit — you’d do just fine with Studebaker or Sangean (see full specs). You probably won’t need the equipment that’s made for construction workers on an active job site (unless you want that kind of volume anyway).

Are you planning to restore a car in your driveway over the course of six months? Take a look at the Sangean BB-100SE or even DEWALT model (see full specs) for something that’s a little more portable and reliable. You might be in a garage for most of your work, but you might also need to park your car in the driveway. Plus, this way you can take your radio into your shed to get as much use out of the unit as possible.

And if you plan on taking a radio to a job site, there’s no question — grab the DEWALT and maybe an extra battery to make sure you have a steady stream of good music. (Plus, you won’t break a phone when you’re on the job, thanks to the handy phone compartment.) You can always get this model for residential use as well, but the average homeowner just doesn’t need this kind of volume or durability.

Got a hunch that one of these garage/workshop radios will work better than the others for you? Check it out for yourself! Good luck!

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