There is nothing like jamming out to your favorite tunes when working. If you are like Dan he loves listening to Michael Bolton, well lucky for me I am not like him. Personally, I like rock and country. But whatever your flavor of music might be, one thing is certain, you need a radio that is tough, loud and has some cool features. Which brings me to the Ryobi P745 Toughtunes job site radio. So let’s see how it stacks up.
Ryobi has one of the largest 18V lines which makes adding a job site radio to the line up a perfect fit. This radio is powered by one 18V Lithium-ion or one Ni-Cad battery. But wait, that’s not all. The radio will also charge a battery when plugged in. It will charge the older version or the Ryobi one battery. Charge time is one hour or less depending upon the battery. Speaking of power cords, the Ryobi power cord can easily be stored under the radio. One cool feature is even when the radio is running off the battery, it will still charge your phone when plugged into the USB port located in the storage compartment. As you can see by the picture, the radio is protected by a hard plastic case which is protected by a plastic roll cage. So I would have to say Ryobi did plan on this thing getting beat up on the job site.
So how is the sound quality? Well it depends. If you are listening to the radio, I have to say the reception isn’t good. We live about 40 miles west of Chicago and it was hard to pick up some of the common radio stations. The good news is, when we plugged our phone into the headphone jack and listened to the music on our phone, it was great. The radio has very good sound quality to it, plus you can crank it loud. I guess the radio reception isn’t as big of a deal as it has been in the past since you have Pandora and other apps to listen to music.
Now the one downside. As noted above you can charge your phone off the radio. One annoying thing we discovered was a winding noise when charging your phone. In order for your phone to charge, the power button has to be on. If you’re listening to music, well you can’t hear the winding noise and it works fine. The problem is if you don’t want to listen to music and still have the radio on, that’s where you hear this noise. Again, not a huge deal because you have other options to charge your phone and how many times do you have the music off?
This isn’t just a plain radio. As you have learned it charges batteries, has a USB plug and you can listen to your phone or mp3 player. Another cool feature is the ability to put your phone in a compartment and protect it. Now the compartment isn’t waterproof, but I am pretty sure it does a great job protecting it against the main elements you would encounter on a daily basis.
One downside is the headphone cord is integrated into the unit. It would have been nice to use my own cable for a couple of different reasons. First, I could make the cord longer so I can set it on the ground in front of the radio. The current set up is a little short, so the phone will just hang there. The second and what I see as the biggest problem is if you damage the cord. How do you replace it? Instead of just unplugging the cord, now you have to take it in to be fixed. Not a huge fan of this set up.
The radio also allows a user to have 20 presets, which is nice if you can find a radio station that comes in.
If you are looking for a radio and don’t have a line of batteries, I still think nothing beats the Bosch PowerBox. If you own or have any of the Ryobi 18V tools or batteries, the Ryobi is a nice pick up. If you are looking to have a great radio with some cool features and a loud, clear sound, Ryobi won’t disappoint you.