Best CB Radio Buyers Guide 2017-2018
A Citizens Band (CB) radio may seem like the most obsolete of technologies when it comes to appearance and aesthetics but it remains a vital device, especially in the trucking industry. Truckers use it to locate service stations, organize blockades, and notify drivers of speed traps.
These days, it is also used by radio hobbyist and those in need of short-range radio communications, such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers. Practically anyone who needs to communicate between two end points would have a good use for CB radios. This is why it is continuously manufactured and distributed in stores.
There are three types of CB Radios – Mobile, Handheld or Portable, and All-in-Handset CB Radios, each one with their share of pros and cons.
Along with all the brands and manufacturers available, choosing the right one for your needs may be a bit of a challenge. But check out the guide below for a less stressful shopping experience.
- Check out the range capability of a CB radio. An exceptional range capacity should transmit 4 watts of power as required by law.
- Always go for good quality equipment, made of durable plastic or metal. A CB radio made of chrome and comes with power enhancement, optimum sound, and other features is an excellent choice.
- Choose one with a stronger antenna so you can increase the output power.
- A Single Side Band is a great choice if you want to transmit at 12 watts of power instead of just 4.
- Make sure it has weather capabilities so you can get weather updates from local radio stations.
- A CB radio with a backlit display would come really handy at night.
Best CB radio for truckers
Cobra HH 38 WX ST 4-Watt 40-Channel CB Radio
- SoundTracker System - Cuts noise up to 90% for clearer communications
- NOAA Weather and Emergency Radio - Be prepared for storms and emergencies with built-in NOAA radio receiver
- Channel Scan - Scan all 40 CB channels
- Dual Watch - Monitors two pre-selected channels simultaneously
- 4 Watts Power Output - Maximum power allowed for extended range of communications
This particular product has 40 CB channels and 10 Weather Channels, which leaves little doubt of its weather capabilities. It can perform dual watch and full channel scan, with a communication range of up to 4 miles. Up to 90% of the noise is cut off with the radio’s SoundTracker system.
Running on both battery and DC, you won’t have a problem keeping communication lines open. It is equipped with a high/low power switch that can help reduce power consumption.
The Cobra CB radio comes with a built-in microphone, high-efficiency antenna, 12-volt cigarette lighter plug, belt clip, wrist strap, and an operating manual.
Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio
- Portable CB radio with 40 CB channels, 10 NOAA channels, and 4 Watts of output power
- Power with six AA batteries or included cigarette lighter adapter for mobile use
- Instant access to NOAA Radio, channels 9 and 19; Dual Watch monitors channel 9 and additional channel
- ANL (automatic noise limiter) and squelch control for improving reception and eliminating noise
- One-year manufacturer's warranty
A portable CB radio, use and access of this device are pretty handy. Truckers will be able to use it wherever they are and whenever they want, especially because it supports 40 CB channels and 10 NOAA radio channels. It operates on either six AA batteries or with the use of the cigarette lighter adapter.
Equipped with an automatic noise limiter, noise is eliminated, keeping communication reception clean and clear. It only has 4 watts of output power, which is really what the law requires.
Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio with Instant Access 10 NOAA Weather Stations and Selectable 4 Color Display
- Easy to Read - Daytime and nighttime driving made easy with the selectable 4-color LCD display in blue, red, green and amber. Adjust the color and brightness to enhance your drive.
- NOAA Weather Channels - Be the first to know of incoming hazards or changing weather with instant access to NOAA weather channels 24 hours a day.
- Weather & Alert Scan - Automatically tune into the strongest weather channel and alert tone available to catch every important weather notice. With the 29LX you won't miss important information while scanning through channels.
- Clock & Alarm - Display the current time on screen and keep yourself alert by setting an alarm for anytime during the day to make sure you're always on time.
- Radio Check & Frequency Display - Automatically run diagnostics for voltage and RF output, with antenna matching to ensure that the signal is as strong as possible and working properly. Operating CB and weather frequencies also displayed on screen.
Bigger with better capabilities, the Cobra 29 LX is an exceptional choice for a CB radio. It automatically scans all 40 channels and 10 NOAA weather channels and then stops when an activity or transmission is discovered. It features a multi-color display and a PA capability.
One feature that needs special attention is the radio check diagnostics, which provides you information about the condition of the antenna, battery voltage, and RF power. Before heading out, you can use this feature to check various parts of their radio and ensure they are all in good working condition.
Other features that make this device definitely worth its price point is clock/alarm, nine-foot microphone cord, adjustable Dynamike feature boost, and talk back control.
Best CB radio for cars
Cobra HH ROAD TRIP Hand Held 40 Channel CB Radio with Mobile Antenna, 10 Weather Channels and Soundtracker Noise Reduction
- Magnet Mount Mobile Antenna included - Allows mobile operation from a car.
- Soundtracker - Cuts noise up to 90%for clearer communication.
- NOAA Weather & Emergency Radio - Be prepared for storms and emergencies with built-in NOAA radio receiver.
- Dual Watch - Monitors two pre-selected channels simultaneously.
- Channel Scan - Scan all 40 CB channels.
Designed for use in cars, the HH ROAD TRIP Hand Held CB radio has a magnet mount mobile antenna that you can move anywhere the magnet will stick. In case, you’re looking for a clearer reception, that is. You can scan 40 CB channels and 10 NOAA weather channels with this device, as well as monitor two pre-selected channels at the same time. It is equipped with the SoundTracker that cuts out noise up to 90%.
Cobra 75WXST 40-Channel CB Radio
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Featuring a design that easily fits in your hand, using the Cobra 75WXST 40-Channel CB Radio while driving would feel nothing like juggling. It scans 40 CB channels and 10 NOAA weather channels.
It comes with a Remote Mount System for convenient installation on the dashboard. Combined with the radio’s compact size, it can fit in any vehicle, even when space is limited.
The SoundTracker system, on the other hand, eliminates noise of up to 90% for a clearer reception. This eliminates the possibility of miscommunication.
An illuminated LCD display that provides a bright and clear output completes this CB radio for cars.
President Johnny III USA 40 Channel CB Radio 12 or 24V!
- 40 channels AM, Channel rotary switch, Weather Alert, External loudspeaker jack
- Volume adjustment and ON/OFF, Manual squelch and ASC (Automatic Squelch Control)
- Multi-functions LCD display, S-meter, Vox function (Hands free)
- ANL filter and HI-CUT, RF Gain, Scan, Priority channel memory
- F function key, Beep Function, Roger Beep, Key locking, Front microphone plug
One of the best sellers, the President Johnny III USA 40 Channel CB Radio Is very compact in size but is packed with many features, making it suitable for in-car use. It can easily fit next to a car’s center console.
It comes with a mounting bracket that allows you to hook the radio up to any optional CB antenna. It operates from 12 or 24V and scans 40 channels. Comes with Automatic Squelch Control, WX Alert, noise blanker, Scan RF Gain, Roger Beep, and Multi-color backlit LCD display.
Best CB radios for a budget
Uniden 40-Channel CB Radio (PRO505XL) PRO505XL
- Uniden's Professional Series PRO505XL is a compact and affordable full 40 channel CB radio featuring CB and Public Address functions with an easy-to-read large backlit LCD display.
- This compact durable radio is easy to use and will fit into virtually any vehicle with its compact size.
- Monitor your transmit power and check the relative strength of incoming transmissions with the built-in Signal/RF Power Indicator, and use the public address function to be heard outside your vehicle with an optional external PA speaker.
- The PRO505XL is ideal for CB users seeking an affordable radio with CB and Public Address functionality, Instant Channel 9 Emergency Button, Channel Up/Down Buttons, and S/RF Meter.
- Built-in External Speaker Jack allows connecting to an optional external speaker. Included in the box: CB Radio, 4 Pin Electret Microphone, Mounting Hardware, Mounting Bracket, User's Manual, Two-Year Warranty.
A compact CB radio with a huge chunky display, the Uniden PRO505XL may seem underrated. But that’s what makes it so budget-friendly. For its affordable price point, it transmits 4 watts of legal output across 40 channels, comes with Squelch control for noise elimination, PA system, and instant channel 9 button.
Midland 1001Lwx Full Featured Cb Radio With Weather Scan Technology
This CB radio uses a dual function RF gain and volume control to fit all the necessary buttons and knob that scan full 40 channels. It comes with a bright display that shows clear signal strength. Unlike most CB radios, it has a local WX channel function that scan frequencies of local weather stations. It also updates you to any weather alerts. For its price point, it is definitely worth the investment, especially because it costs less than $70.
Cobra 29LTD 40-Channel CB Radio
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With an SWR Control, the Cobra 29LTD 40-Channel CB Radio allow you to calibrate the antenna to get the best transmission across all 40 channels. This radio has a full 4-watt RF power output, 9-inch microphone cord, front panel mic connector, and Cobra 40CH CB RF gain.
Unlike other radios with controls, this device has more tactile controls, allowing for easy adjustment under little to no light. But only if you memorize which button belongs where.
Other features include Antenna Warning Indicator, Adjustable Dynamike Boost, Delta Tune, Instant Channel 9, PA Capability, Switchable NB/ANL, and Talk Back.
CB radios come in many sizes, features, and capabilities. How you choose one will depend on various factors, including the price. But make sure not to choose entirely on price alone, because something affordable might lack the feature that you need.
Of course, if you are on a budget, make sure the CB radios you’re checking out has the must-haves – noise filters, Squelch control, weather capabilities, and an external speaker jack.