Built with a muscular exoskeleton to withstand the abuses of a job-site, packed with features, and eye-catching. That’s my first reaction of the Bosch Power Box 360 Jobsite Radio. With so many positives, Bosch looks to have a clear winner. Or do they?
The Bosch PB360 drew my interest for a few reasons:
- When having several Bosch batteries, could the PB360 be a short term portable generator, supplying power to the 120V power outlets? Read on for the answer!
- When in the market for a job-site 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 – both discontinued – and replaced by the 360C model. However, many of the main features remain.
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
As mentioned, the PB360C is the latest Power Box radio, which addresses ever changing technology and a few other details.
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)
Enjoying music and listening to a radio on a job-site has made a big 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 may be more than any user will 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 disappears. Stay near exterior windows or have the radio outside, the reception is fine. There is a short (5″) swivel based antenna that neatly tucks away, or can be extended and adjusted to find better reception.
Are you used to radios that can span the entire frequency range with a quick spin or two of the dial? Not the case with the PB360 tuner dial. You’ll suffer slow click-by-click tuner action.
For a portable jobsite and shop radio, the 4.5″ subwoofer is substantial, and provides 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.
5 Preset Equalizer settings allow fine tuning, 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 long ago, and did not test their usefullness.
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 plugging the Bosch radio into a power outlet – plus, battery inserted in 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: In order for the radio to keep current time when not plugged in, a small door in the battery bay exposes a port for 2x AA batteries.
The Bosch Power Box 360 Jobsite Radio is bold, rugged, premium sound when comparing portable radios, plays music in a variety of ways, and packs many features into one package.
My problem was finding enough admiration and use for this all-in-one device that fit my wants and needs.