I must confess, when I’m working at my “indoor job site” – in front of the keyboard – I usually prefer silence. It allows me to focus and find the right words. But it seems I’m in the minority as many people, regardless of their workplace, prefer to have some music or background chatter. Not only does it make the workday more enjoyable, but it also boosts productivity. Thanks to modern options like the Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker, time flies by faster.
Now, let me clarify one thing: the rest of the time, I’m always Sonicsurfing. Whether I’m getting ready for the gym, tinkering in my workshop, or winding down before bed, music is a constant companion. So, when I got my hands on the sleek Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker (which also comes with an AC adapter), I couldn’t resist breaking the silence at the jobsite and taking the speakers with me.
First Impression: A Design That Strikes a Chord
The Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker is a hexagonal box with a distinctive and eye-catching design. The hexagonal frame reinforcement behind the honeycomb covering half of the exterior immediately draws attention. Additionally, a vibrant Milwaukee red strip runs from the front of the speaker and forms a functional handle on the right side, adding to its appeal.
Interestingly, while many would assume that Milwaukee’s impressive team designed both their tools and speakers, they actually turned to an external source – Anvil Studios. Their expertise in cycling design caught Milwaukee’s attention, as top-tier bikes require lightweight, strong, and aerodynamic construction. Anvil utilized this knowledge to help Milwaukee create a speaker that maximizes premium sound performance while maintaining durability and functionality.
On top of the device, you’ll find five control buttons: power, Bluetooth, secondary, and two volume buttons. When powered on, the power button, Bluetooth button, and secondary button light up, while the volume buttons do not. The back of the speaker houses a Milwaukee 18V or 12V battery along with an AC adapter jack, a headphone jack, and a USB port for connecting auxiliary devices – all neatly tucked away beneath a small rectangular cover.
Whether you’re running on battery or AC power, the speaker’s 2.1-amp USB port can charge your phone or other electronic devices. Most devices already come with charging ports, but the 2.1 amps of the Milwaukee M18/M12 speaker ensure a faster charging experience.
Is It Eleven: Testing the Speaker’s Mettle
To put the Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker to the test, I inserted a freshly charged M18 4.0Ah battery, powered on the speaker, and activated the Bluetooth pairing mode by holding down the Bluetooth button until it blinked. Simultaneously, I let my phone search for nearby Bluetooth devices. Within seconds, the speaker and my phone found each other, effortlessly syncing up like two Bluetooth-enabled devices meant to be together. In a quest to improve my metaphor-writing skills, I immediately searched for a podcast on the subject.
Impressed with the seamless pairing experience, I started using the speaker at work, playing the “chill” channel from Google Play Music. I was blown away by the crystal-clear sound quality and the perfect balance of the music. To put the speaker through its paces, I turned up the volume, expecting some distortion. Surprisingly, there was none. But I didn’t stop there – I hadn’t reached the highest volume yet.
To test the speaker’s capabilities in an outdoor setting, I took it with me while working on a backyard project. Cranking up the volume to a level that would normally annoy neighbors, I was thrilled to hear the crisp sound fill the air with no loss in quality.
Bluetooth range is often a concern, but the Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker has got you covered. Even when I strayed about 40 feet away from the speaker, the sound didn’t drop out. Milwaukee claims a range of 100 feet, and after putting it to the test, I found it consistently reliable at around 70 feet – without any obstacles in between. While it may not be the longest range on the market, it certainly exceeds the capabilities of many other speakers.
To maintain control, I discovered that setting the speaker volume to the maximum and adjusting the overall volume using my phone was the most convenient method. Each volume level produced a pleasant beep until it reached the maximum, where it emitted a higher-pitched beep to indicate the limit.
Even if you’re not an audiophile, you’ll appreciate that the Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker offers a remarkable sound experience. While it may not rival high-end brands like Bose, the speaker’s sound is well-balanced and delivers acceptable low-end, despite some claims that it may be lacking in bass. I must note that I used to be in a band (a long time ago), so my expectations may differ. Of course, for true audio enthusiasts, a receiver and more fine-tuning may be necessary. But for the majority of us, this speaker offers a vast improvement over other job site options.
While the speaker’s design is solid and durable, I can’t help but feel that some rubber covers on the ends would be a welcomed addition. With its roll cage and reinforced frame, the speaker can withstand impact, but adding overmolding would provide an extra layer of protection between the composite plastic material and concrete surfaces, preventing scuffing.
The Bottom Line: A Speaker that Packs a Punch
The Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker, powered by M18 and M12 batteries or the AC adapter, stands out as a Bluetooth-enabled powerhouse. It features a USB input, allowing direct connection to electronic devices for charging – a thoughtful touch. With six speakers, including two high-definition mid-woofers, two tweeters, two passive radiators, and a 40-watt digital amplifier, this speaker delivers an impressive sound experience. Its IP54 rating ensures protection against dust and water, and the roll cage adds durability for the toughest environments.
Pairing with other devices is quick and hassle-free. The sound quality is exceptional, with crisp and clear audio. Even at high volume levels, the sound remains distortion-free. The mid and high frequencies are particularly impressive, although some may question the bass intensity. However, for the majority of listeners, the speaker delivers more than enough bass.
While the speaker’s build quality is commendable, the lack of overmolding on the end caps is a minor drawback. Although the composite plastic material is impact-resistant, it can easily scuff on concrete surfaces. Adding bumper-like materials would not only enhance impact resistance but also extend the speaker’s exterior lifespan.
Price: An Investment Worth Making
At a price point of $179, the Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker may sit at the higher end of the spectrum. However, the exceptional sound quality, clarity, and balanced output make it well worth the investment. With its waterproof and dustproof design, the speaker’s protective shell ensures long-lasting performance. If you’re already invested in the Milwaukee M12 or M18 platform, I highly recommend adding this speaker to your arsenal.
Key Features of the Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker:
- Provides the loudest and cleanest sound system in the industry
- Wirelessly streams HD music via Bluetooth from a range of over 100 feet
- Compatible with over 200 tools in the M18 and M12 systems, or can be powered by the AC adapter
- Features dual passive radiators for maximized bass clarity and volume
- Equipped with dual HD mid-woofers for optimal clarity at maximum volume
- Includes two high-range tweeters for a wider range of highs
- Boasts an IP54 rating for waterproof and dustproof protection
- Features a shock-resistant roll cage for enhanced durability
- Provides a convenient 2.1A USB power socket and 3.5mm aux input
Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker Specifications
- Model: Milwaukee 2891-20
- Power source: Milwaukee M18 battery, M12 battery, or AC power
- Bluetooth range: 100 feet
- Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.28%
- Amplifier: 40W, (2) 20W channels
- USB Charger Output: 2.1 Amps
- Length: 7.5 inches
- Height: 6.5 inches
- Width: 13.75 inches
- Weight: 5.3 lbs
- Price: $179
With the Milwaukee M18/M12 Wireless Worksite Speaker, you can enjoy a productive day at work while immersing yourself in high-quality audio. Say goodbye to boring silence or mediocre speakers and welcome the powerful sound that this speaker delivers. Invest in the future of your work environment and let the music flow!