Makita DMR106 Job Site Radios - Now With Bluetooth Connectivity
Posted by Mark Hunter - April 01, 2015
Makita's done job site radios for ages, and they've done them well. On our travels we regularly see the blue and black boomboxes, even some white ones, on job sites proving that they're a popular choice for on-site tunes, especially if you're already packing Makita's battery packs.
The DMR106 radios mark a slight evolution in Makita's offerings, and in this article we'll take a look at what's on offer from them and why you should consider upgrading.
At first glance, as you'll see in our video below, the Makita DMR106 keeps a familiar form factor previously found in such radios as the DMR104. Tall, strong and elegant, with speakers outputting your tunes on each side.
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However, those speakers are just a little bit larger now, giving the DMR106 more output than previous models. If you're running it off an 18v battery it'll give you 3.5W per channel.
Another improvement is the antenna. Obviously the built in digital tuner needs an antenna to pick up the radiowaves, however a problem with these can be their vulnerability; you'll lugging the radio around with your boxes of tools, it's can be easy to accidentally break it off.
Makita has tackled this issue by making the antenna on the DMR106 retractable. It folds back into the body of the radio near the handle, protecting it from knocks and bashes in transit.
All round the DMR106 are signs that its designed to take a knock, from the elastomer bumperson all the corners, to the fact that it'll survive a shower of rain (up to 5 minutes), ideal for when you're working outside in the sunshine. You'll have enough time to rescue it form the enivitable British summer shower...And should you, in your panic to get it out of the rain, drop it, it'll survive up to a 1m fall...
Makita DMR106 - What's the Connectivity Like
As mentioned above, the DMR106 benefits from a digital tuner, helping you quickly and easily find and store in its memory your favourite radio stations. It also has an auxiliar-in jack, so if you're rocking an old school iPod or mp3 player, you can plug it directly into the DMR106 and blast your own favourite play lists.
This has been moved inside the rear battery case now, so you need to unlatch the cover, fold it back, and you'll find it next to the starred battery terminal.
With regards to running it from your Makita batteries, again you slot them in via this panel on the rear of the radio. As mentioned, it takes 18v lithium-ion - all capacities, but also 10.8v, 14.4v and even the 7.2v batteries found on the more DIY-focused Makita power tools. And it even comes with a power cord when you want to run it from the mains (but it won't charge your batteries).
However, it will charge any USB device thanks to the inclusion of a USB charging port, so you're running out of juice on your phone, plug it in and give it a top up...
Now, we've already seen comments lamenting the lack of DAB on the DMR106. And yes, it's true, this in one feature missing from it. For DAB capability you're going to need to go for the DMR104.
Makita DMR106 - Bluetooth Enabled - Why This Matters
However, the DMR106 is clearly aimed at those of you who want to listen to your own choice of music, playlists and podcasts while you work, rather than the traditional radio station offerings. So, as well as the aux-in, the DMR106 benefits from Bluetooth connectivity.
We're seeing this more and more all over the place, from the stereo systems in our kitchens, to the ICE in our cars or vans.
So it's great to see Makita building this functionality straight into their latest jobsite radio. The ability to pair your smart phone or tablet via Bluetooth to the radio means you can keep your device on your person rather than hoping it'll be safe and sound in the radio's little device compartment.
Bear in mind, though, that Bluetooth has limited range, and the DMR106 promises a range of around 10m, which is fairly standard.
However, we think this will open up a world of possibilities for you using the DMR106 away from the jobsite! For example, what about as a soundbar for when you're watching movies on your tablet or bluetooth enabled TV? Genius!
Makita DMR106 - How to Connect Your Device Using Bluetooth
Connecting up your phone or tablet via Bluetooth to the DMR106 is really easy. Use the mode select button to get to "BT", press and hold it. Once it's ready, press the number 1 button and scan on your devices' Bluetooth settings until "DMR106" shows up. Tap to connect. Sorted.
Whenever your device is within range of the radio, it'll be connected, as long as the DMR106 is in Bluetooth mode.
We've got a quick video showing you these steps on Toolstop TV.
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What happens if you get a call on your phone while you're connected to the DMR106?
Well, the music you're playing will pause, but you'll obviously need to answer the call on your phone. Once the call's over, the music will restart automatically.
And finally, we were intrigiued to see that Makita has two versions of the DMR106. Yes, they've got the traditional blue and black model, but they've also released a black version called the which in our opinion looks the business. DMR106BCheck it out here.
What's your thoughts on Makita's DMR106; a worthy upgrade? Is the lack of DAB a problem for you, or do you see the built-in Bluetooth connectivity as being a god-send?
Let us know in the comments section below.
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