The Bosch Power Box 360 Jobsite Radio is built with a muscular exoskeleton of sorts to withstand the abuses of a jobsite. Add in the many features and striking appearance, and you have a radio that can appeal to many situations. With such a lengthy list of positives, Bosch seems to have a clear winner. Or do they?
The Bosch PB360 drew my interest for a few specific reasons:
- When having several Bosch batteries, could the PB360 be used as a short term portable generator, supplying power to the 120V power outlets?
- When in the market for a jobsite or shop radio, the stylish Power Box radio easily tops a list. It screams durability and coolness.
Bosch PB360D vs. PB360S vs. PB360C
This review is based on the Power Box 360D and 360S models, which are discontinued and replaced by the 360C. However, many of the main features remain the same.
The PB360D (deluxe) radio includes all the features of the PB360S, while adding a few more options.
- Remote control
- Sirius radio compatibility
- GFCI rated 120v outlets
What’s changed with the most recent PB360C model, compared to the older PB360D and PB360S.
- GFCI outlets (deleted)
- 12V DC Outlet (deleted)
- 12V DC Fuse (deleted)
- SD/MMC – MP3, WMA Compatible – Card Port (deleted)
- Line Out Port (deleted)
- Bluetooth® connectivity for internet radio and stored music with range of up to 150 feet has replaced the plug-in ports for mobile devices. (added)
Having a radio on the jobsite has made quite the transformation. We have gone from small – lightweight radios that could tune in your favorite channels…to the multi-tasking behemoth you see in this article.
- 14.5″ x 14″ x 13.5″
- 24.2 lbs. (bare radio, no battery or accessories)
The Power Box 360 Jobsite Radio incorporates a brawny cage and shock absorbing design to keep the radio and internal components separated from impacts.
Radio / Tuner
The radios 20 FM / 10 AM Presets are probably more than any user may need, but better than not having enough.
Reception? Finding a strong signal wasn’t any better…or worse…than all the radios I have had over the years. Get too far inside the walls of a home or building, and reception is gone. Stay near exterior windows or have the radio outside, the reception is fine. There is a short (5″) swivel based antenna that tucks neatly away, or can be revealed and adjusted for reception.
The tuner dial isn’t the quickest to scroll through frequencies. I’ve had radios that could span the entire frequency range with a quick spin or two of the dial. The PB360 tuner dial can be turned as fast as you want, but the speed never changes from it’s very slow click-by-click setting.
For a portable jobsite and shop radio, the 4.5″ subwoofer is substantial, and does provide ample bass.
4x speakers surround the top portion of the radio housing for 360° sound.
Volume has a scale of 1 – 20; noticeable distortion begins around the 12-15 mark, depending on music and media type, but still loud enough to annoy any nearby neighbors.
The sound can be fined tuned with 5 Preset Equalizer settings, along with separate Bass & Treble controls.
Digital Media Bay
SD Memory Cards – MP3 & WMA files will be recognized whether in folders or uncategorized. The radio doesn’t recognize individual folders though. All the songs will be listed in order from 1 – to – however many songs are on the card.
USB – Will charge small devices from the AC power or Bosch Lithium-Ion battery.
Apple products compatibility – I couldn’t get any of my Apple products to work with the PB360 and it’s features, and this seems to be a hit or miss from other reviews I have seen. Wanting to use as an emergency back-up to charge an iPhone, or power an iPad in case of an extended power outage? Not an option!
- iPod won’t connect and play music through the radio
- USB port won’t acknowledge and charge an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
My Nikon point-and-shoot camera connected and charged from the USB port with no problem. I just can’t think of why I would ever need to to charge my pocket camera via the radio.
Note: I haven’t purchased and tested the latest PB360C model to confirm if Apple product compatibility is more stable through the USB and if Bluetooth is 100% effective.
AUX 1, AUX 2, and Line Out – With the emergence of bluetooth and other technology, I tossed my converters for these ports some time ago, and was unable to test.
12V Outlet & 120V Power Outlets
The PB360 is not a generator that can supply power to the power outlets from the battery pack. The PB360 only supplies power when plugged into 120v AC power.
Did I expect to work on a jobsite all day and operate power tools? No! But, I was hoping to plug in a Bosch 18V FatPack battery and power my strobes for a handful of remote location photographs, charge a phone if need be, or run some small corded power tools for a short time if I needed portable power.
Not having cordless portable power negated the need for me to have outlets on the Bosch Power Box. My shop is swarming with outlets to plug into, and I already have a heavy duty extension cord with a multiple outlet end for jobsites, which is rated for 15A, compared to the 10A outlets the radio provides.
AC Outlets = 10A
DC Outlets = 1A (fused for protection – replaceable)
A compatible Bosch Lithium-Ion battery only powers the radio and digital media ports when not plugged into a 120V outlet.
When the unit is plugged into a power outlet and a Bosch battery is inserted into the battery bay, you’ll notice:
- The LCD will display the “CHARGING” ICON on the front of the unit. This indicates the battery pack is charging.
- When the word “CHARGING” next to the battery ICON disappears, charging is complete.
Note: The battery bay also includes a small door that houses 2 AA batteries, which are needed to keep current time when unit is not plugged in.
The Bosch Power Box 360 Jobsite Radio is bold, rugged, has premium sound when comparing portable radios, plays music in a variety of ways, and puts a lot of features into one package. My problem was finding an admiration and use for this all-in-one device that fit my lifestyle and needs.