The best garage radios to make working on your car more pleasant

Whether you're performing an engine transplant or simply wiping down the seats, music will make the job more enjoyable.

A man sits in a shed listening to a radio while reading

by Ryan Gilmore |

As The Right Excellent Robyn Rihanna Fenty NH once sang, "please don't stop the music". We think this is a philosophy that should extend into our garages. If you're the owner of an old unreliable car, obsessed with detailing or simply love playing with tools, you'll undoubtedly find yourself spending hours of your free time in the garage or shed. A little gadget as simple as a good radio can make those endless car-chores fly by.

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To help you keep entertained and up-to-date when out in the garage, we've found the best radios and speakers you can place in your hideaway to help pass those hours with your favourite tunes. Whether you're up to date with the latest tech or don't know your Bluetooth from your DAB, we've got the perfect options for you.

The best garage radios

Portable Rechargeable DAB Radio with Bluetooth

The best garage radio and speaker

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Small, well-made and water-resistant (IPX4), we're big fans of this rechargeable radio. It features DAB+ and FM radio, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, AUX port and a convenient carry loop making this a versatile way of listening to music. Because it's so small, it's also really easy to use in the garden, while camping or even in the car.

Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The best garage Bluetooth speaker

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Don't listen to the radio, instead choosing to listen to a 'fire' playlist? There's little point in looking for a device with DAB if you'll never use it so you may as well look for a dedicated speaker instead. We like this waterproof example from Anker because it's waterproof (IPX7), has a decent runtime (), and the rubberised controls are big and easy to use. And if you do get the burning urge to listen to the radio, you can stream the radio from your phone really simply.

Wind Up Emergency Crank Radio

The best garage radio for emergencies

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Have a shed with no power or want something portable? Wind up radios have been around for years and are really handy gadgets to have in the event of a prolonged power cut, or if you enjoy camping away from the world of the three-pin plug. This particular wind-up radio has a huge 4000mAh battery (enough to easily charge a smartphone), both FM and AM radio and a powerful LED flashlight function. It also has a traditional micro-USB charging port and a solar panel for powering summertime tunes.

Makita DMR108 Site Radio with Bluetooth and Mobile USB Charging

The best garage radio for pretty much anything

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Take one look at this Makita radio and you'd be forgiven for thinking it belonged on a building site, not a garage. Fact is, if you're after something that's nearly indestructible then this is a brilliant bet. It's IP64 rated meaning it'll easily deal with dust and splashes of water, while the elastomer bumpers will ensure that the device stays in one piece even if you roughhouse it a bit too much. Aside from the Toyota Hilux levels of protection, this radio also features Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM radio and an AUX port, all good things to have on the radio.

Panasonic 2400DEB-K Portable Radio AM/FM

The best garage radio for technophobes

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If you're not too good when it comes to technology and want a simple radio without all the techy extras, we'd recommend this mono-speaker Panasonic. With simple but clear controls, 47-hour battery life and solid quality, this radio is an ideal garage radio. The only consideration you need to make is that this model isn't rated against water and dust, so it's best left up on a tall shelf as you tinker away.

DEWALT DCR020-GB XR Compact FM/DAB+ Radio

The best garage radio for toughness

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Another ultra-tough option designed for use on building sites more than a semi-detached three-bedroom, the DEWALT DCR020-GB is a tough contender and will probably survive being attacked with a hammer, helpful information if you're a little clumsy. It accepts DAB+, FM and features a 3.5mm jack for streaming music from a phone.

Can't I use a normal radio or speaker in my garage?

It depends on what you're doing, but nothing is stopping you from unplugging the radio in the radio from the kitchen and carrying it through into the garage. The only real considerations relate to what you're doing in your garage.

If you scuttle away to your garage to do some woodworking, the fine dust can cause havoc with electrics so make sure the radio is protected against dust (the first number of an IP rating). If you're lucky enough to be able to wash your car in the garage, you should make the same considerations and look for a waterproof radio. Plus there's no escaping that the faux-industrial look of many garage radios looks the business.

What is IP?

IP stands for ingress protection and is a way of measuring how protected an electrical item is from solids (the first number) and liquids (the second number), which will help you choose the correct radio.

Solid protection:

0 - No protection

1 - Protection against solid objects over 50mm (like your hand)

2 - Protection against solid objects over 12mm (like a finger)

3 - Protection against solid objects over 2.5mm (tools)

4 - Protection against solid objects over 1mm (small tools and wires)

5 - Protection against solid objects and dust protected

6 - Protection against solid objects an totally dust-tight

Liquid protection

0 - No protection

1 - Protection against vertically dripping water

2 - Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees off vertical

3 - Protection against direct sprays of water up to 60 degrees off vertical

4 - Protection against direct sprays in all directions

5 - Protected against low pressure blasts of water in all directions

6 - Protected against powerful pressure blasts of water in all directions

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