I am a believer that music makes the day go by faster. Put on some head-banging 80s hair band, country, or techno, and many guys will tell you that when you raise the beat the work pace will increase. A radio should fill the area with sound, but it should not inhibit communication (This is why I hate headphones/earbuds and never let my guys have them on my jobsites). So what’s one of the best ways to have jobsite tunes? The Ridgid R84087 Gen5X Jobsite Radio is a new option to consider. This Bluetooth-equipped radio ditches the extra fluff that most contractors will quickly appreciate.
Editor’s Note: Check out our best jobsite radio article for our top picks.
Unlike the unboxing of other things that come in for review, the Ridgid Gen5X Jobsite Radio was probably one of the fastest. Open the box, pull out the radio, plug it in! All joking aside, the simplicity of the design is one of my favorite features.
There is a decent heft to the radio at almost 10 pounds and it’s not going to be mistaken for compact. A centrally located top handle makes transport easy and the handle is split down the middle so you can wedge your smartphone in the slot above it.
The whole Ridgid R84087 radio is shrouded in a gray plastic cage that protects the main body. On the back is a rubber-shrouded battery compartment that will accept any Ridgid 18V lithium-ion battery pack (compact or full size). The reason for the rubber battery cover is that the whole radio is designed to be weather resistant. Should it get some rain while you are running around picking up your other critical tools, the Ridgid Gen5X Jobsite Radio will be fine.
On the top of the Ridgid R84087 is a rotatable, flat-folding rubber-armored antenna. While short, it doesn’t have any trouble locking on to my favorite country station located over 30 miles away in nearby Tampa.
On the right side of the radio body is a 3.5 mm auxiliary port where you can plug in the included 6-inch cord. Next to this is a USB port that can be used for charging your devices. While the radio is plugged into 120V A/C power it will not act as a battery charger for the 18V battery packs that it supports. But no matter if it’s plugged in or running on battery power, it will charge your electronic device via the USB port.
Conveniently on the back around the battery compartment is where you’ll find the cord wrap. It really does a good job of keeping things tidy when not on AC power.
Moving to the front, the Ridgid R84087 hides the speakers behind a durable metal grille. The main control panel is found on the top front. The large size on/off and volume control knob combo is on the left. Next to this are four input section buttons and radio controls.
A large display is on the right side with the tuner and preset buttons below. All the buttons are large, clearly labeled, and rubber-covered. Manipulating the controls – even with gloves on – is easy. The Ridgid Gen5X Jobsite Radio has four different modes for delivering music – FM and AM radio, 3.5 mm Aux in, and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.
All in all, Ridgid built their R84087 radio on the solid foundation of their Ridgid R84083 radio. The features we loved are still present with a modern design and a few extras.
Ridgid Gen5x Jobsite Radio Specifications
- Model: R84087
- Power: 120V Corded and 18V Cordless
- Battery: 18V Lithion-ion (not included)
- Modes: FM, AM, Aux, Bluetooth
- Depth: 18.35 in.
- Height: 9.49 in.
- Width: 9.21 in.
- Weight: 9.66 lb.
- Warranty: 3-Year with Lifetime Service Agreement
- Street Price: $129.00
Testing and Use
What’s in an App?
So this brings up another question that I have seen pop up online: does this radio come with a remote control? That answer is yes – depending on your point of view. In the box, Ridgid does not give you one, but if you connect to the radio to your phone via Bluetooth and use the Ridgid Radio app (which is available free of charge for both Apple and Android), you are able to control the major features of the radio from your smartphone including:
- 20 Presets
- Check Battery Life
I found that connecting my iPhone 6 with the Ridgid Gen5X Jobsite Radio was simple and trouble-free. Once I paired my phone using Bluetooth, I had about 90 -100 feet of range (direct line of sight) before the signal would drop out. I did notice that if I went into a different room, that the reception distance was cut to roughly half or less.
As for battery consumption, I did all of my testing with the 4.0 Ah battery packs and found that running the radio and charging my device at the same time gave me service all day long (6-7 hours) with 2 of 4 battery bars left. With intermittent use in my garage, I’ve been able to get several weeks’ use on a single charge.
Off the Clock
Even though this is a “jobsite” radio, I found that I like to include it in many of my after-hours and weekend adventures. One Saturday a few weeks ago we took a family trip to Fort Desoto, which is located in the mouth of Tampa Bay. The beaches here are never busy and the Florida Gulf Coast water is fantastic. We spent the afternoon playing in the sand and surfing while we jammed out to some of the best of Jimmy Buffet.
Another place we appreciated the benefits of this radio was at the Silver Moon drive-in theater here in Lakeland to catch an evening movie. While many sit in their cars with their radio tuned into the sound for the movie, we take it a step further and bring blankets, lawn chairs, a cooler filled with good things to drink, and our sound system centerpiece – the Ridgid Gen5X Jobsite Radio!
As to the sound quality of the radio, it’s not quite up to the specs of your home theater. But in perspective, this radio sounds awesome out in my garage, on a jobsite, or on the beach.
It’s able to get loud too, and with the ability to adjust the bass and treble, there is some ability to tweak how sound comes through the speakers. Only in a few instances at full volume did I notice that the music was beginning to distort. The sound quality is much better than other jobsite radios I’ve listened to, and it blows my wife’s little Bluetooth speaker out of the water!
Bottom Line and Conclusion
Whether you’re an outside guy, a contractor, or just want some good sound in your garage, the Ridgid Gen5X Jobsite Radio with Bluetooth is an easy recommendation. If you’re already in the Ridgid 18V battery system, this is a logical purchase as a peripheral item.
Even if you don’t have other Ridgid cordless tools, as a plugged-in radio option, it’s still worth a look and might convince you to pull the trigger on something like the Ridgid cordless trim router.
The bottom line is that if you don’t have a radio or are looking to upgrade, you won’t be disappointed with this option. I like it for its rugged build, easy to use features, and great sound.