When Sound Quality Matters, the Makita XRM11 Bluetooth Speaker Delivers
We’re used to a big difference in sound quality between small-form and large-form jobsite speakers and radios. Of course, the larger models are usually on the better side of that quality. The Makita XRM11 Bluetooth speaker is challenging that assumption and completely changed the way we think about this speaker class. It also bears almost no resemblance to the Makita XRM10 charging radio.
- Ability to pair up to 10 speakers together
- Get true stereo sound by pairing two speakers
- Perfect syncing
- Outstanding sound quality
- Room-filling volume that doesn’t distort
- Control all speakers from the parent or individually
- IP65 ingress rating
- Runs on 12V CXT or 18V LXT batteries, or AC power
- No radio
- Does not charge batteries
Editor’s Note: Check out our best jobsite radio article for our top picks.
Makita XRM11 Bluetooth Speaker: Mic Dropping the Competition
Setup and Cool Features
You can link up to 10 Makita XRM11 speakers together. If you use two of them, they transmit true left/right stereo sound. If you use 3 or more, they revert to individual efforts.
The first thing that struck us was how easy it was to sync the speakers. One speaker acts as the parent, or source, while the others are child speakers.
We connected a total of 4 speakers in our shop and they synced up perfectly. There wasn’t a hint of delay coming from any of them. Even when we got close to the edge of a speaker’s range, the sound would cut out, but not delay.
One Speaker To Rule Them All… Unless You Don’t Want It To
One cool feature Makita built in is the volume control. From the parent speaker, you can adjust the volume of all the child speakers at one time. If one of your coworkers isn’t quite as interested in the 1:00 first pitch, you can also control the child speaker volumes independently without affecting the others.
While you have Bluetooth and a 3.5mm auxiliary connection, you don’t have an actual radio. That might be a deal-breaker for some folks, but keep in mind that you can download your favorite station’s app to listen live or even download a radio app and listen to multiple stations throughout the day.
For charging your devices, there’s a USB port onboard.
Three Power Options
No matter if you’re on Makita’s 18V LXT or 12V CXT system, your battery packs power XRM11 speakers. Even if you don’t have extra batteries, there’s an AC cord that comes with each one.
You can use either battery type, but they won’t fit in the compartment at the same time. You’ll need to choose one or the other.
What you can fit in the battery compartment is the power cord. With a 5.0Ah battery in the 18V slot, we were able to get the charging cord in and close the latch without an issue.
Even though there’s an AC cord, this isn’t a charging speaker. You’ll need to charge your batteries on a separate charger.
- IP65 rating: there’s no need to worry about dust and rain
- Beefy protective bumpers: this speaker doesn’t need a babysitter
- Storage slot: though it isn’t weather-proof, it’s a great place to slide your phone
When we first saw and heard these speakers at World of Concrete, we were impressed by the feature set. However, it wasn’t an ideal setting to hear what they’re capable of. Once we got them to our shop, we began to understand how special they are.
Individually, these speakers have an impressively full sound. It comes from a combination of a 4-inch woofer with passive radiator and 1.4-inch tweeter.
Often, we find small-form speakers make a trade-off on the highs and lows to get vocals through more clearly, but the XRM11 seems to find a good balance across the entire range.
Switching over two speakers for a stereo sound, it got even better. The sound coming from the pair was as good as some of the best full-size jobsite radios we have.
Then we paired the other two speakers and set each one up in a different corner of our 40 x 60 shop, turned it up, and listened in awe. Makita’s perfect syncing and room-filling sound was more than just enjoyable to listen to—it was an immersive experience.
The max volume was more than enough for the space we were in. Like we’ve seen from Makita’s last couple of speakers, the design team knew where to cap it before it started to distort or get muddy. Even outside at full volume, the sound is clear and crisp.
Makita XRM11 Bluetooth Speaker Price
The Makita XRM11 Bluetooth Speaker runs $139.99 as a bare tool. That’s more than other small-form speakers and radios currently run. It’s not a surprise, though, considering what all Makita packs into it.
The Bottom Line
By the time we got done listening through a wide range of music types and considering the quality of what Makita put together, Tom Gaige and I simply looked at each other with wide eyes. The Makita XRM11 Bluetooth speaker just mic dropped the small-form speaker world and dared everyone else to try and do better.
Makita 18V Bluetooth Speaker
- Model: Makita XRM11
- Voltage: 12V – 18V
- USB Power Port: 1
- Mp3 Compatible: Yes
- AC Adapter Included: Yes
- Backlit LCD Display: Yes
- Auxiliary Port: Yes
- Weight: 6 lbs (without battery)
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 8-1/2″ x 8-1/8″ x 7-7/8″
- Warranty: 3-year
- Price: $139.99