Aimed at: Tradespeople, camping boating and outdoor types.
Pros: Super High quality sound, tough build and cordless freedom if needed.
Now transfer the above into the power tools business, where admittedly Panasonic is not one of the “giants”, but it is a very significant player with loyal users who will return again and again to buy Panasonic products. It is acknowledged worldwide as a company whose battery and charging technology is cutting edge.
In my view the 35th anniversary was merely a serendipitous bit of timing to launch a site radio. From what I hear, loyal Panasonic users had long been asking for a site radio at trade fairs and tool shows, but sometimes quality comes slowly.
Designing from scratch and launching a site radio is not an easy process. There are so many things that end users want that seem to cancel each other out. Which is the best – good sound quality from delicate speakers or tough site build quality with less pure sound?
But for Panasonic it was the expectations of their end users – to satisfy them a Panasonic site radio would not only have to have excellent sound quality, but would need to be tough, practical, and as work-site proof as could be made, with several other mod-cons built in as well.
Having now used the Panasonic Site Radio for several days –indoors as my main radio, as well as on site and in the workshop – I think that the Panasonic engineers have done a magnificent job. In my view, loyal Panasonic users will have no qualms about investing in this radio and adding to their haul of Panasonic kit.
It appears that the R and D team started with a clear sheet and also a clear understanding of what was required for a site radio.
For me, and clearly for the designers too, an absolute requirement for a site radio would be toughness and weather and dust sealing. No matter how much care is taken, tools used on site get a hard life. They take unexpected knocks, get rained on and are exposed to all manner of fine dusts and are then chucked into the back of a van at the end of the day if they are lucky.
Panasonic is very familiar with the challenges of protecting power tools via their TOUGH TOOL IP strategy, so it was not too much of a stretch to apply the same sorts of protections to the radio. As a result, the radio has IP64 levels of weather, shock and dust protection.
Like many other site radios the Panasonic is surrounded by a slightly flexible protective “cage” that allows it to be isolated from pools of water and dust, but which also protects it from falls and knocks. The radio should “officially” be proof against a drop of 1.2m onto a hard surface, but from the way I have seen it treated at demos, it will withstand more than that!
To give some idea of the trouble to which Panasonic went to ensure a long-lasting product, the speakers underwent a complete design programme of their own. Where “normal” speaker cones are made of coated bamboo or fabric, this radio has aluminium cones that will not absorb moisture and therefore will not slowly disintegrate. The cones were also mounted in rubber for shock and weather protection.
The speakers are mounted on each side of the radio front for optimum sound quality.
We have become used to good sound quality even from a tiny electronic device that fits into the top pocket, so the Panasonic has a range of adjustments for optimum bass, treble and spoken voice sounds. The simple dual-purpose knob on the right front of the radio is used for tone selection as well as volume control. I assure you that you will be very happy with the sound quality – it is clear and big-hearted.
The left side knob is also dual-purpose and used for tuning and selecting up to 6 each of FM and AM radio programmes. The Panasonic system works well and is a good deal simpler than tuning my car radio for example.
The blue digital display is big, clear and readable – even for me without glasses. It includes a clock that still reads clearly even if the radio is turned off.
Another fantastic feature in my view was the Bluetooth system for connecting phones/iPods etc so that users can stream their own music to the radio. This works at a distance of up to ten metres away from the radio, but the distance is greater if there are no obstacles between the radio and the device.
Having had mixed success with Bluetooth on some of my devices (iPad for example) I was amazed at the clarity and adjustability of the streamed sound on the radio.
Other “usefuls” include a USB phone charging port and three other auxiliary ports located two on each side of the radio.
With a keen eye on other sectors of the radio market, Panasonic has also included a bright LED light into the front of the radio. I am sure that camping and leisure sectors like boating and fishing will also take the EY37A2 B to their bosoms because it has so many of the features they would value.
The radio is powered by a the new standard Panasonic 14.4v or 18v cordless battery pack that should last up to about 24 hours of continuous play depending on volume etc. The battery is slid into a protectively covered compartment at the rear of the casing with a proper locking catch. Or it can be run on mains current via a mains cord supplied as part of the kit.
I think Panasonic can be very proud that it has made a site radio that its regular fans would be happy to invest in – it has all the Panasonic virtues of TOUGH TOOL IP, good design, superb sound quality, up-to-date features and it’s easy to use too.
Having recently celebrated 35 years of making power tools and nearly 100 years making electronic goods, Panasonic has a lot to be proud of and its a huge portfolio of tried, tested and trusted products is enviable. From TVs to cameras, domestic appliances and power tools, Panasonic is considered a leading brand, and is justly well known for the sophistication of its electronic know how. Indeed their Technics brand has recently launched one of the most advanced audio products ever.