Almost every power tool manufacturer has some type of radio or Bluetooth speaker in their line up. While a lot of them have the theory of “go big or go home”, it’s hard to find a decent small speaker that is durable, sounds decent and still has good runtime. Sure you can pick up a decent small speaker on Amazon, but usually, they aren’t durable enough for the job site or outside, plus you have to plug them in to charge them. Ridgid released a small radio that tries to accomplish these four objectives, portable, durable, good runtime, and quality sound. So how did they do? Let’s check out the Ridgid Compact Radio Review and see.
Ridgid Compact Radio Review Overview
I know a lot of people like the bigger, louder systems, but for me, I like small speakers. Sure if I am in a loud place, I would rather have the loud sound of music over the sounds of saws and impact drivers. But most of the time, I need a smaller speaker.
For me I need it when I am tailgating, camping, hanging out, working in smaller spaces- the list goes on. For the plumbers, electricians, HVAC guys who may be working by themselves, this is a perfect solution because you can toss it in your tool bag, set it up and start rocking quickly.
Ridgid Compact Radio Review Features
The Ridgid radio (R84086) is a small radio that can also play music from your phone. The radio has a single speaker and can be used with the Ridgid App. The size of the radio is fairly small coming in at 8.75″ high and about 6″ deep. One of the pluses for this model is that it is weather resistant to provide protection during use.
The radio is only powered by a Ridgid 18V battery and does not offer an option for a plug to run the radio. I really couldn’t see why someone would want a plug since even with the 2Ah battery the runtime is insane. Now attach a 5Ah battery and you will be rocking for a long time.
There is a single speaker located on the front of the radio.
The top is where you access all the function such as on/off, volume, modes and preset. I think Ridgid did a nice job with the layout of the control panel.
For the modes, you can change it to FM, AM, AUX and Bluetooth with a push of a button.
The radio has a foldable rubber antenna. The antenna folds onto the back of the radio when not in use.
One cool feature is the USB charging port and it also has an auxiliary port for those who don’t have Bluetooth on their phone.
The battery is located on the back of the radio so you can pretty much use any of the Ridgid batteries to power this radio.
Ridgid Compact Radio Review Performance
While this has a radio and presets, I don’t use it for those items. For me, it’s a Bluetooth speaker and that’s it. For those who want the radio, the reception is lacking as we are 40 miles from Chicago and can’t get most stations in my basement. When I go outside, it’s better, but not clear, at least not the stations I listen to, such as rock and country.
The front of the radio is well laid out. I would like to see the volume button protrude more so it’s easier to turn up and down with gloves, but it’s still decent. The Ridgid app is a nice addition as well. If you are listening to the radio, you can change stations and inputs. You can also adjust volume and mute. I am not one to use the app, but it does have two cool features that I would use. First is the microphone, seriously who wouldn’t want to use that. Second is the sleep timer. I would use this if I was camping and just wanted the music to turn off so I am not waking up in the middle of the night to turn it off.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it’s the best Bluetooth speaker in regards to sound because it isn’t. If you’re comparing it to a high-end speakers sound, this probably won’t thrill you. It is plenty enough loud to push the noise level and music far though. Sure it won’t drown out job site noise, but it’s not meant for that use. But for what I use it for, this is the perfect speaker.
I would personally use this for a number of things. From tailgating or at a picnic, to working in smaller areas where it is nice to just have some background noise. If you are using it in these areas, it’s a great system as the runtime is great, it’s weather resistant, small and light to carry around and the sound isn’t too bad for a compact radio. When it comes down to it, I only care about four things in a radio. I look for size, durability, and runtime, and overall sound and this radio fits the bill for all four.
Ridgid Compact Radio Review Value
The radio retails at The Home Depot for about $70. I would be more excited of a price around $50, but it does have a lifetime warranty, I can change the battery instead of plugging it in to charge, it’s rugged and the sound isn’t bad for a radio this size. So I would still be a buyer at $70, but still seems a little high for a Bluetooth speaker. Yes, it has a radio, but who really listens to radio anymore.
Ridgid Compact Radio Review Final Thoughts
Bottom line, this is a great radio. Well, let me back up. I use this as a Bluetooth speaker and that’s all. I don’t use the radio function as the reception isn’t the best. However, I will turn on AM radio to listen to the Cubs game every once in a while. If your part of the Ridgid line, I think it’s a decent buy. For a portable speaker that is rugged, can get wet and dirty, has a lifetime warranty and runs a long time, this is the perfect speaker for tailgating, small areas, camping, picnic, and just hanging out.
After 1 year I’m having trouble with the volume button. It will turn up the volume , but will not turn it down. I have to go to my App on my phone to turn it down. An inconvenience for sure.