Best CB Radio 2017 – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
Are you looking for the best CB radio? If you need to know which CB radio is the best based on size, feature set, and value then keep reading this review to find out more.
Most CB radios transmit 4 watts of power, which is required by law, so today we will focus on the features, specification, reviews and price. Don’t worry about radio range.
Are you struggling to find a convenient place to mount the CB radio? Do you not have enough cab space, enough budget or enough knowledge to know which CB radio to buy? Then this review is perfect for you. Knowing all the technical jabber can be confusing, so we will break it down for you and show you five of the best CB radios.
Keep reading to find the best CB radio for your vehicle based on features, price and reviews. If any of the terms seem unfamiliar to you, check out our Buying Guide section below.
We also suggest buying the radio and a quality antenna if we mention the unit you choose does not have the best one, spending the extra cash to get it tunes and peaked professionally and you are good to go! A good rule of thumb is that an inexpensive CB on a good antenna will perform just as well as a high-end CB on a cheap antenna.
Let's Check Top 5 Best CB Radio
Last update on 2017-12-15 PST - Details
Brief Review of Top 5 Best CB Radio
Make your commute and your overall drive a breeze with one of the below CB radios.
The 75-822 40 CB radio by Widway is ideal for those who need a portable radio
They can place in their car but also take out and use outside of the vehicle.
This roaming radio is simple to install and simple to slide out when needed.
All you need to do is slide on a battery pack and connect a rubber walkie-talkie style antenna. Speaking of antennas, this CB radio has a long antenna with a great CB range on a daily basis.
So, you get the best of both worlds with this model because a small antennae is not good on a daily basis, only for roaming purposes. Plus it has a ANL (automatic noise limiter) and squelch control for eliminating noise and improving reception.
What You Pay For:
- Portable CB radio with 40 CB channels
- 10 NOAA channels
- 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
- One-year manufacturer's warranty
Midland 75-822 Handheld CB Radio (Source: youtube.com)
The Cobra 75WXST CB Radio is an all-in-the-microphone unit, giving it a nice compact size.
If you have trouble with finding the space for a quality CB radio then this could be the unit for you, especially useful for Jeep drivers and other 4x4s.
The Cobra 75 has everything built into the oversized microphone.
It also includes weather and channel scanning plus a backlit display.
What’s In the Box:
- 10 NOAA Weather Channel
- Unified design
- 40 CB channels
- 10 NOAA Weather Channels
Cobra 75 WX ST Remote Mount CB Radio Review (Source: youtube.com)
3. Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio
The Cobra 29 LX is one of the best full-sized CB radio units out there, with a trusted brand name as the Cobra 29 series.
We recommend it for pickup truck drivers and those who have the cab space for a full-size radio such as this one.
You get what you pay for with this unit:
- Multi-color display.
- Channel surfing.
- Weather alerts.
- Dimmed lighting option for nighttime driving.
What You Pay for
- Multi-Color display
- Dimmed light setting for night driving
- 10 NOAA Weather Channels; alerts you to severe weather conditions in your area
- Radio Check Diagnostic updates
- PA Capability- Use CB radio as a Public Address System with PA speaker
- Multi-Color display offers information on all radio functions, can be set to one of four colors, and can be dimmed for night driving
Cobra 29 LX CB LCD Selectable 40 Ch CB Radio with Clock (Soure: youtube.com)
4. Uniden 40-Channel CB Radio (PRO505XL)
The Uniden CB Radio is a 40-channel CB radio great for communicating on the road and staying alert when it comes to emergencies and traffic situations due to the instant channel 9 function and PA function. This radio is easy to install in your truck or car, and coming in at under two pounds it is easy to use and handle.
It has a backlit LCD display for day or night time display and Dynamic Squelch Control for the best quality sounds a CB radio can deliver.
This is also due to the external speaker jack that you can use to plug in an external speaker for better sound and the external PA jack that allows connection of a PA speaker.
What You Pay for
- Public Address (PA) Function
- Instant Channel 9 for emergencies
- Signal/RF Power Indicator
- External Speaker Jack which plugs in an external speaker for better sound
- External PA Jack which alllows connection of a PA speaker
Uniden Pro 505XL CB Radio Overview (Source: youtube.com)
5. Uniden BEARCAT CB Radio with Sideband and WeatherBand (980SSB)
High end features is what the Bearcat 980 CB Radio delivers.
With a modern design, the large digital SWR meter makes it really easy to check your levels, plus it has seven different backlight colors so this is a great unit for someone who wants ease of use but also the whole nine yards of features.
- It has an integrated SWR meter.
- Noise canceling microphone.
- NOAA weather alert
- This high visibility unit also has an the integrated SWR gives perfect antenna matching.
It is a simple, sleek unit with all the features you want in a CB radio.
What You’re Paying For
- Weatherband with Alert
- AM/SSB Sideband capability
- Seven Color Selectable Display
- Includes Noise Canceling Microphone, mounting bracket and power cord
- Built in Signal and SWR Meter
- Full Frequency display
- PA Function and Noise Blanker
- Mic and RF Gain controls
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB (Source: youtube.com)
The Ultimate BUYING GUIDE for CB Radios
Use the guide below to navigate the world of CB radio features
Choosing the right unit may still seem like a hassle, even after we have spelled out all the features for you. So, to break it down, we will name some of our favorites.
OUR TOP PICKS
What Each Term Means: What to Shop For
Now all of the terminology may seem like a lot as well. Maybe you understand how many watts of power a CB radio should have and what type of antennae and size but we will break down a few of the most popular features to make choosing a winner a little bit simple.
Here are a few examples.
Squelch Control: Every CB radio you buy should have this. It activates at the precise moment that transmission is received, so you, as the operator, do not have to listen to static all night long.
RF Gain: Most CB units will have this feature, but not all. RF Gain allows you to filter the type of transmission. This means you can receive only the strongest signals and filter out the weak ones, blocking out faint sounds and background noise. Alternatively, you can use this to bring in the weak signals so you can try to get a hold of a weak signal.
PA Capability: A PA horn is required for this to work. It allows the CB radio to transmit for a public address system. Mount the PA horn under the hood for it to work.
ANL (Automatic Noise Limited): As you may notice, some CB radios in this review feature ANL. It filters out static and other interferences. This improves reception signal and engine noise quality plus overall sound quality.
Weather Capabilities: As you may notice, this is a desired feature. The CB radio will be able to access NOAA radio stations and gives you real-time weather updates and weather reports so you know what is ahead of you.
Instant Channel 9: Not as common, but some CB radios will include an instant channel 9. This allows you to jump to the emergency channel when needed most.
Backlit Display: This was briefly mentioned in some CB unit reviews, but a backlit display allows you to see the radio display at night or in dark conditions. It is very handy and considered a luxury feature.
Channel Scanning: You will see this quite often and it is a handy feature to have. Channel scanning is very similar to a normal radio scanner. The CB scanner will scan for activity and only stop once it finds activity such as people talking. This allows you to flip through channels without needing to press anything manually.
SSB (Single Side Band): SSB lets you transmit at 12 watts. As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, the majority of CB radios will transmit at 4 watts. All you need is 4 watt power. However, we will briefly mention that SSB radios let you transmit at 12 which is 3 times the transmission range.
And lastly, do not forget…
Some CB radios are handheld, some are portable and some are full-size and large. It is vital to think about where the CB radio will be mounted and if it will fit.
For example, we mentioned that Jeeps do not have a lot of room in their cabs so they usually need smaller radios. Large truck owners can purchase full-chassis units without an issues.
Finding the best CB Radio to suit your need should now be a breeze.
Whether you have been using a CB radio for 10 years or you are looking to purchase your first CB radio unit, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest features and regulations. CB radios are always changing and yet many brand names stay of top quality throughout the years, like Uniden and and Cobra--so people stick with those brands for years to come.
Whether you know which brand you love or you are keeping your options open, reading up on different units is helpful to find the one that best suits your needs. Thinking about how much you want to spend and what size you need is very important when imagining a new CB radio in your cab. It needs to fit well and be simple to use for you. Some people want a lot of features and fancy-looking units and some people just want sleek designs and minimalistic features. The choice is yours!
From 40 channels, backlit designs, channel surfing and much more--it can be overwhelming to make a decision but hopeful this full review of some of the top CB radios was of some service to your CB radio needs!
Image credits: Amazon.com