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I have only four hard and fast rules in the shop. The first of them is “The music doesn’t stop.” I require a steady stream of tunes wherever I am, and the shop is a favorite place for it. A few years ago when the Power Box was released we thought it was a good idea — later this year its newest incarnation, the Bosch Power Box 360, is simply the next 5-speaker step.

The 360 gets the name from the 360-degree speaker configuration that — you guessed it — pumps music out in 360 degrees — a forehead smacker after you think about. The five-speaker design also features an integrated subwoofer that Bosch says is an industry first among jobsite radios.

We’re guessing the biggest addition we noticed between the 360 and the first box, other than the 360 speaker thing, is the weather-sealed digital media (read: iPod/iPhone) bay that houses protects against moisture, dust, and debris. In one of the brighter moves we’ve seen in this type of rig, Bosch also took the time to slide a built-in SD memory card and USB ports in the compartment so you can play your MP3’s and WMA’s from your SD memory card or USB thumb drive. So your $150 iPod is safe and the $4 thumb drive you don’t give a crap about is prone instead — brilliance.

The 360 has a boatload of other features as well, including the shock-mounted frame and all manner of bells and whistles. What remains clear is Bosch is betting these jobsite radios are not going away anytime soon. We tend to agree.

Press Room [Bosch Power Tools]


16 Responses to Preview: Bosch Power Box 360

  1. Phil says:

    I’ve had the original Bosch CD powerbox for several years now and love it. It goes camping with me as well, and it has been far handier than the typical boombox that used to accompany me. It can get rained on without any issues, the sound is decent, and it’s not as likely to get lifted from my site. I’d like to do an upgrade, this looks damn near perfect, save for the lack of CD player (I know, I’m old fashioned).

  2. DustyPockets says:

    Nice unit but must be used with care, sometimes when it comes to tunes…..less is more.

  3. ttamnoswad says:

    I would lump this design and others with the “roll cage” style into the overly exaggerated “extreme” design style.

    I am getting very bored of excessive bulk in my tool bag, in my truck, or on my work bench. I would rather have a new line of tools called “Slim Max” rather than “Fat Max”. It seems that consumers are so gullible as to actually buy an object because it has been over-molded with too much rubber, added plastic “design features” or like this radio…..a roll cage bolted to it.

    We need more compact designs made from robust materials not more of this hollow plastic junk.

  4. ttamnoswad says:

    Oh I forgot………I expect better of the germans.

    This can’t be same company that came out with The Colt.

  5. Jerry says:

    I have to agree with ttamnoswad on this one. As a personal note, I lost all interest when I read the iPod dock part. Of course, I am very anti-Apple, anti-Steve Jobs. It seems that there are just too many people that have to have every device made just because Jobs makes the thing. We all get to laugh about everything in the tool world getting a laser attached to it and now we can ring in the jokes about iCrap in our tools. What we really need is a circ saw with an iPod dock – maybe we can play the tunes louder than the noise from the saw!

  6. akb427 says:

    We could make the laser in the saw do visual displays based on the ipod audio signal, and if the saw is built with a stepper motor, we could have the music control it so that it emphasizes the beat with the motor noise. I think this iSaw thing has great potential.

  7. Coach James says:

    I think I must be from another planet or something. When I did construction/roofing/painting, I never played a radio at the cistomers house. If the customer wanted to hear music, they could play their own. Forcing them to listen to mine struck me as incredibly rude and unprofessional.

  8. DC says:

    Coach James, you are 100% correct. And it’s not just the customer that is forced to hear it. One time a neighbor of mine a couple of doors down was having roofing work done, and the idiots on the job were playing heavy metal so loud I called the cops on them. Disturbing the peace.

  9. rg says:

    Surely a relatively handy person could cobble something like this together in a plastic milk crate with some old car stereo speakers, an amp, and a cheap-o MP3 player for a lot less than $200.

  10. kyle says:

    I agree rg hell I have most of those parts in my garage!

  11. fred says:

    As usual – Toolmonger delivers a thought-provoking piece. I think that music in the workplace – might help with worker morale – but this may be a generational thing, But, if music is too loud or of offensive content then it certainly does not covey professionalism – and moreover may be inappropriate in residential settings. In business settings – many clients are very sensitive to EEO issues – and inappropriate music may be considered a form of sexual harrasment not to be tolerated. When working in a private home or occupied premises – I’d like to think that a crew boss would ask permission before turning the boom box on – and in no case have it so loud or allow inappropriate contet as to bother the neighbors. I think that we will pay more attention to this issue in the future on jobs where clients are in residency – or neighbors might be disturbed.

  12. ttamnoswad says:

    What’s even worse than too loud music on the job, is the prevalence of ear buds and ipods. I think its a safety concern as much as a “zombies not paying attention to what their doing” issue.

    If I could, I would never hire someone who can’t work without listening to there favorite tunes. Seems very “high school” to me. Problem is that you don’t know that until they start working.

    Oh yeah……I don’t hire smokers either…..or “dippers”. Talk about unprofessionalism. No you cant have another effing smoke break, I don’t care how wired you are, get some work done first.

    but I digress, this radio is a waste of precious truck space.

  13. Jereme Green says:

    This radio is really cool I have a dewalt radio in my shop but it looks like I am going to have to upgrade. I love the Ipod feature

  14. dreamcatcher says:

    Wow, some great discussion here and over something as “simple” as a radio.

    Here’s my $0.02. I feel sorry for those who cannot listen to music during their work day and I have found that 9 out of 10 who simply choose not to listen to music during the day are often grumpier than me. I listen to music on the jobsite – I kinda feel like it’s part of what I offer when clients hire me, part of my carpentry services package (I also don’t smoke or wear cut-off jean shorts).

    Having an iPod allows me to custom pick the music amongst my nearly 15,000 song collection for the job and those around me. If the client or neighbors are near I listen to classical or jazz. If the client or co-workers have expressed an interest in a certain genre then I customize a playlist to that interest. The point is that I can control what is heard. I have had many appreciative comments over my music and have several times gotten into great discussion about who/what was playing. So, my advice is get an iPod or similar device and listen to the music you want to hear, not what someone else wants in between the same five annoying commercial 100 times a day.

    As far as the Bosch radio goes…

    I have the Ridgid and am most displeased that I cannot control my iPod from the outside, forcing me to open the dustproof/waterproof door to change the song. I can’t tell how that works with the Bosch360 but for $200 that’s a make-it-or-break-it for me.

    Also I notice that it CHARGES batteries as well as runs off them. My Ridgid only runs off batteries…no chargie, charge. I recall reading blog posts about my Ridgid radio when it hit the market that said “…..Ridgid can’t make a radio that charges batteries because DeWalt owns the patent on that technology….” so I consider this proof that Ridgid could’ve and should’ve but didn’t and blog posters often don’t know what the heck they are talking about.

    I guess that was more like my $0.12, sorry.

  15. pat lopez says:

    i have owned this little[albeit heavy]miracle for over three years now.some comments;I feel that you would have to pay at least twice it,s price to get speakers alone that sounded as good.stereo imaging and soundstaging are nothing to brag about. but given it,s purpose and compact design it is capable of some amazing dynamics. better in fact than most people have in their home systems . as to usage[misusage?]on the jobsite the homeowners/tenants/neighbors rights should be respected. it is the job of the contractor or his foreman to keep an eye/ear on the volume,in my thirty plus years in home improvement i have never had anyone deny the workers this simple pleasure if kept at a reasonable volume. to those who think its too large.at 25 lbs.it is certainly filled with something that makes it sing so nicely.in closing i,d like to say it is one of the best purchases i have ever made in terms of value and satisfaction.

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