Makita has launched a new cordless jobsite radio, XRM10, and it’s priced at a whopping $319. Yes, that’s right, more than $300 for a jobsite radio. The new Makita XRM10 jobsite radio is compatible with 18V and 12V Max CXT batteries. It is NOT compatible with their XGT 40V Max batteries. It features Bluetooth connectivity, (2) 3.5″ side-firing speakers, AM/FM tuner, and USB power ports.
The new Makita radio comes with an AC adapter and also functions as a battery charger, which is presumably why the radio costs so much. Makita says that it can recharge an 18V 5.0Ah battery in 80 minutes. Makita’s standard DC18RC charger can recharge an 18V 5.0Ah battery in just 45 minutes.
Discussion and Comparisons
The new Makita XRM10 largely resembles previous iterations, with a similar form factor, overall design, and user interface. For contrast, the Milwaukee Packout Bluetooth radio, which retails for $299, features 10 speakers for 360° sound. It has 4x tweeters, 4x full-range speakers, a subwoofer, and a passive resonator. The Makita XRM10 has 2x 3.5″ speakers.
The Makita XRM06B and XRM09B both feature Bluetooth connectivity and are also compatible with their 18V and 12V Max CXT batteries. The XRM06B appears to be largely similar to the new XRM10, but without the built-in charger. The XRM06B is priced at $159, or less than half the price of the new model. It is not clear to me how else the XRM10 might differ from the XRM06B. Except for the built-in charger, what else justifies the XRM10 being priced at twice as much as the XRM06B? There is also the XRM09B, which features a more premium speaker configuration, with 2x 2.5″ side-firing speakers and a 4″ bottom-firing subwoofer. The XRM09B is priced at $179.
It seems that Makita also launched three new XGT-compatible jobsite radios, GRM01, GRM02, GRM03, with all of them being compatible with 36V XGT, 12V Max CXT, and 18V batteries. Makita GRM01 ($119) is the basic jobsite radio model, with AM/FM tuner and auxiliary input port. Makita GRM02 ($169) is the next step up, adding Bluetooth connectivity. Makita GRM03 ($199) is the highest priced XGT/18V/12V Max CXT option, with Makita describing it as delivering “premium sound quality for an enhanced audio experience.”
Would you spend $319 on a jobsite radio?
Or, for the same money, you can buy one of the XGT and 18V radios, plus a standalone charger, power strip, and a milk crate to keep everything together for storage and transport. Keep in mind, you do need a power outlet for the charger to function. Alternatively, you could even buy one of the top of the line Makita XGT or 18V Bluetooth radios, plus one of their $99 holiday season special drill or impact driver kits, which would also give you a battery and a charger, and still have money left over for a power strip.
Makita 18V Radios Compared
In addition to the aforementioned XGT radios, which are also compatible with 18V batteries, Makita now has 5 jobsite cordless radios that are very similar appearance.
- Makita XRM05/XRM05W – AM/FM radio with auxiliary port and 3″ speakers.
- Makita XRM06B – AM/FM radio, aux port, Bluetooth, and 3.5″ speakers.
- Makita XRM09B – AM/FM radio, aux port, Bluetooth, “Premium sound” with 2.5″ speakers and 4″ subwoofer.
- Makita XRM10 – AM/FM radio, aux port, Bluetooth, 3.5″ speakers, 18V/12V CXT charger.
- The XGT GRM01, GRM02, and GRM03 models appear to be similar to XRM05, XRM06, and XRM09 models, further adding to the confusion.