With job site radios being the norm, more and more manufacturers are making new products. We’ve evolved from the standard D battery power source and outlet plugs to 12V and 18V Lithium-ion tool batteries. Auxiliary ports and Bluetooth have replaced CD players. USB charging ports are nearly standard now. The Milwaukee M12 Jobsite Speaker (2592-20) continues the trend with a well-rounded product that satisfies a lot of needs.
We’re now seeing models that have ditched the radio altogether. They focus only on the ability to stream music. This is where the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker fits in. It’s compact, runs off of an M12 RedLithium Battery, features Bluetooth connectivity, an auxiliary port, and USB charging.
First Impressions of the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker
I’ve got some pretty high expectations for the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker. It works well for a desk at the office and could even replace those scratchy laptop speakers. It also has more features than the Milwaukee 2590-20 M12 Radio and takes up less room than their larger Milwaukee 2790-20 job site radio. While not its intended use, the addition of a microphone would let you use this as a speakerphone. Again, the size makes it a great candidate for that kind of work, even on the jobsite. That’s where I begin to form some caution with my optimism.
The controls on the Milwaukee 2592-20 speaker work simply and intuitively. One three buttons are required for function. In the middle is a power button that is also used to pair a Bluetooth device. Simply hold the power button down for 3 seconds once you’ve turned it on. This starts it searching for a compatible device. Simple pictorial instructions on the base show you how to pair it with your music source. Volume controls sit to the left and right of the power button. Pressing these rubberized buttons offers a telling “click”. They also seem reasonably well sealed to prevent water damage.
Milwaukee 2592-20 Specifications
- Model 2592-20
- Power Source: Milwaukee M12 RedLithium Battery
- Run Time: Up to 25 hours (using the XC 4.0 AH battery)
- Bluetooth Range: 30 feet
- USB Charging: 2.1 amps
- Auxiliary Port: Standard 3.5 mm jack
- Price: $79 (bare tool)
- Warranty: 1 year
Milwaukee 2592-20 Wireless Speaker Additional Features
- Premium speaker with bass port
- Durable design for dust, water, and drop resistance
- Battery Fuel Gauge
- Integrated hanging loop
Moving toward the back from the controls, you’ll find the USB charging port and auxiliary port. These are protected against water and dust from a rubberized cover. While the cover is a single piece, it is anchored to the housing in the middle so you don’t lose it.
Rubberized protection around the front and top edges protect the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker during a fall. I’d actually like to see that completely cover all of the corners and the curve around the back. Though durable, this plastic looks like it would eventually succumb to cracking at the edges when dropped. The other consideration in that is also how much shock is transferred to the battery. Even vibration proves detrimental to battery life. However, unless you plan on kicking your speaker around the jobsite intentionally, it seems reasonably well-protected.
Using the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker
Briefly pressing the power button turns on the Milwaukee 2592-20 speaker. The battery indicator will give you about 2 seconds to see what kind of life you have remaining. A red light will immediately blink, indicating that the speaker is searching for a connection. When I looked to pair the device with my phone, it was very easy to find since it shows up as “M12 Speaker”. It took all of about 3 seconds for the devices to pair and the blinking red light will now be solid to show it is connected.
When you press the power button to turn the unit off, your device will no longer be paired with the Milwaukee 2592-20 jobsite speaker. Turning it back on will put it back in search mode, but as long as I still had my phone’s Bluetooth on, they automatically paired with each other again. While paired, media will play just to the speaker, but your text indicators and ringtones will play through both the speaker and your phone.
If you hold the power button for 3 seconds while paired with a device, it will disconnect itself and go back into search mode until you tell it which device to pair with.
Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker Sound Quality and Range
These are the two big questions for me: Is is loud enough for the jobsite? Can it maintain sound quality without distortion at the highest volume?
For top-end volume, the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker does pretty well. For residential construction areas, you’ve got a winner here. I was able to clearly hear a room away. Much more than that and I had to strain a little bit. Granted, this was in an empty house with no noise competition. For a jobsite where you’ve got power tools running and people talking, you’re really looking at a system that you need to keep in the same room as you. However, that can be a pretty large room as the sound did travel well when it wasn’t having to bounce around walls and other obstacles.
Comparing to Other Speakers
The sound quality overall is decent. You’ll be able to easily music and talk radio, though the Milwaukee 2592-20 falls short of what you’d expect from Bose or other premium sound companies. There is a little bit of sound quality loss at the top end of the volume scale. It’s not terrible, but you’ll find that your quality improves as you back it off a little.
The range of the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker is listed at 30 feet. We know that Bluetooth can be affected by obstacles but can also be longer when there’s a clear line of sight. Milwaukee’s Bluetooth Speaker is no exception here. Outside with a straight line of sight, I was able to get a clear signal out to a little over 37 feet. Inside I was able to get around doors and walls to a 20-foot radius and as much as 35 feet with a direct line of sight.
Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker Conclusions and Recommendations
For the size that the Milwaukee M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker is and considering the design intent, I’m impressed with the sound quality, volume, and range. With the exception of a slight decrease in sound quality at the top end, expect to enjoy good sound. You’re still going to need to go to a bigger system with more speakers and subwoofers to get a more full-bodied sound. Still, keeping in mind the limitations of a small speaker system like this, it does really well with what it has.
The durability is solid, but there’s still some room for improvement. I wouldn’t expect it to break on the first or even fifth fall. Some additional rubber overmold would help to make it even more durable and offer some shock protection to the battery. Run time is great at 25 hours with a XC 4.0 battery, and I’d expect to get 12+ hours out of the 2.0 AH packs. I love the feature set and simplistic control panel. The pairing instructions on the base are a big plus for those that aren’t tech savvy.
If you’re looking for a jobsite music option for streaming only and you plan on keeping it in the same room, this is an outstanding option. This is also great if you want a solid speaker to use in the office or if you happen to be married to a Milwaukee user and just want to steal it from him for your use. If you’re wanting something that’s going to keep the entire construction site rocking, you’ll want to go for something bigger like the Milwaukee M18 Charging Radio with Bluetooth.