A CB Radio is like a major part of the lifestyle and an important tool for truckers, campers, trail runners and many others. The Citizens Band Radios have been a useful tool since the 70s by helping truckers stay informed about any event which might have occurred, get news regarding traffic over highways and call for help if something unfortunate happens.
Well CB radios are not just meant for road truckers. Many RV owners and motorcyclists use them as well to stay safe and informed.
- Benefits of CB Radio
- Type of CB Radio
- 10 Best CB Radio
- 1. Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio
- 2. Cobra 25LT D CB Radio
- 3. Uniden Bearcat 980 40-Channel SSB CB Radio
- 4. Uniden PRO510XL 40-Channel CB Radio
- 5. Galaxy DX 959 40 Channel
- 6. Uniden PRO 505 XL
- 7. Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio
- 8. Midland 1001LWX 40 Channel
- 9. Texas Ranger Elite TRE-936FFB
- 10. Cobra HH50WXST
- Top CB Radio Brands
Benefits of CB Radio
- Size: Hearing the term ‘CB Radio’, you may think of a big heavy machine. But it’s the opposite, technology has developed at a fast rate and has reduced the sizes of CB Radios. They weigh around three to five pounds generally. Do not worry, CB Radio is made to fit in perfectly.
- Price: Earlier CB Radio used to cost quite a lot of bucks. Due to technology development, they don’t cost you a fortune these days. You can get a good CB Radio for around $100.
- Many Features: Nowadays, CB Radios are filled with many features apart from radio. They come with all sorts of features such as wireless support, noise cancellation, amazing mic quality as well as the ability to increase antenna range.
You also get amazing community support from CB Radio’s large community of truck drivers, motorbike clubs and others. You also don’t need to worry about the licenses for using CB Radio. Manufacturers take care of that and make the product according to standard use.
Type of CB Radio
There are different types of CB Radio available online. Each CB Radio is designed in its way to suit its users’ needs.
There are Mobile CB Radios, Handheld CB Radios, All-in-Handset CB Radios, and Base Station CB Radio. These are the main types of CB Radios you will find in the market. You should choose the one which suits your needs best.
All-in-Handset CB Radios are designed in a compact manner to feature all the controls and make it easy to use just with one hand. It is well suited for smaller vehicles or for places where you can’t mount a full-size CB Radio.
Mobile CB Radio is the most common type of CB Radio and comes in different sizes depending upon brand and model. Whereas, Handheld CB Radios are like a walkie-talkie which runs on batteries. Some models come with rechargeable batteries as well. Even if they don’t, you will have the option to connect and use it in your vehicle.
Choose the Best CB Radio
The confusion starts when you try to choose a CB Radio. There are so many CB Radios with different features available on the market that you cannot decide. We know with this much information choosing what will be best for you is difficult.
Let us help you in choosing the best CB Radio
10 Best CB Radio
The first product on our list comes from one of the most trustable brands, Cobra Electronics. The Cobra 29LX comes packed with many exciting and useful features such as wireless connectivity, talkback and many more.
The Cobra 29LX is available in three types: Basic 29 LX Variant, 29 LX BT Variant, and 29 LX MAX Variant. These three variants have the same main specs but they do differ with some features. The 29 LX MAX is the best option out of these 3 and costs you $50 more compared to the 29 LX and 29 LX BT, who cost almost the same.
You get to use Bluetooth with this CB Radio which lets you use your smartphone to answer or place a call easily. The Cobra 29 LX comes with an amazing noise cancellation technology to let you hear the voice without any disturbance. It comes with a fully illuminated customizable LCD Display which helps you to read the screen clearly in broad daylight. You will also receive weather updates 24 hours a day due to the NOAA Weather Channels so that you will always stay notified of any weather changes.
With the 29 LX MAX Variant, you will receive the exclusive iRadar App which makes this CB Radio stand out from others. With this app, you can tune in and receive live updates from police channels about things like road accidents, red-light cameras, and speed traps.
There are some user complains as well regarding the microphone cable durability and high battery usage even when the radio is turned off. Also, you cannot turn off the weather alarm even when the radio is off. This can be irritating for some people. The Cobra 29 LX CB Radio also costs more compared to other CB Radio in our list.
Cobra 25LTD CB Radio is another excellent product from Cobra Electronics. It comes with all the classic old CB Radio design and features like 40 CB Radio channels, 4 WATT POWER OUTPUT, RF meter, an easy-to-read LCD screen and many more. Even with the old look, the 25LTD keeps up with the current new technologies and features all of them.
You receive full access to 40 CB channels as well as immediate access to Emergency Channel 9 so that you stay safe. Some CB Radios do not provide a long enough cord for the microphone. That’s not an issue with the Cobra 25LTD, you will receive a long 9-foot microphone cord to communicate comfortably which is probably just enough for most people. It is very easy to install you don’t need to have the technical expertise to install it.
The Cobra 25LTD comes with a built-in SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) Calibration. For the readers who don’t know about it, SWR calibration helps to improve antenna reception. It makes tuning very easy to do. Some CB Radios don’t come with an SWR so we had to buy it separately but you don’t need to do that in this CB radio.
You can adjust the RF gain to assure that the voice is clear by reducing the background noises. You can also boost your voice with the microphone booster to make sure everyone is listening to you. It also includes other useful features such as switchable noise blanker, volume control, a signal strength meter, dimmer control.
Nothing’s perfect. There are some minor issues with the Cobra 25LTD as well. It has support for Bluetooth but you cannot use it straight out of the box. To use the Bluetooth feature, you will have to send it to the factory for a firmware update. Also, some customers have reported that the talkback feature stops working or doesn’t work at all.
Next on our recommendation list, we have a brilliant product from the Japanese brand, Uniden. The Uniden Bearcat 980 is one of the best SSB CB Radio available in the market. The Bearcat 980 is available in five different types/patterns. Each of them comes with different additions to the base variant. Depending on your usage, select any one of these: only radio, radio + antenna kit, radio + cable, radio + converter, or radio + microphone and speaker.
The Bearcat 980 comes with an advanced colour display which is easy to read in all types of lighting conditions and its brightness can be adjusted as well. It has a modern look and feels due to its large display. It comes with mounting brackets for easy installation in professional vehicles but it can be used in your average vehicle too.
With Bearcat 980 CB Radio, you receive a large colour-changing display with adjustable backlight display. It also comes with an extra-long microphone making it comfortable to use when you are a little far away from the radio. You also get the basic CB Radio features such as 40 available channels, NOAA Weather Alerts, RF Gain control, noise blanker, noise limiter, etc. The noise cancellation technology is great in this out and gives clear voice output.
You need to be careful while using it though. Rough usage may loosen the knobs and make it unusable. There are complaints regarding power output as well. You may get less output than 4 watts. So keep that in mind while buying.
Another fully-featured CB radio from Uniden, the PRO510XL is a great option to choose if you are looking for a heavy-duty CB Radio and are tight on a budget. It is popular for Industrial, Commercial, and Off-Road use. It is a super-compact model ready to fit in every size and type of vehicle easily. If you are new into CB radios and don’t want to invest too much then the Uniden PRO510XL is the best choice for you.
You get almost all the popular features which other CB radios have at a much lower price. It comes with 40 channel support but you don’t get the NOAA weather alert system with this CB radio. It is compact but still has a fair enough display to use. The display shows you which one of the 40 channels is available along with its signal strength. You also get a built-in automatic noise limiter which does a good enough job to reduce background noise. It is not filled with many knobs making it easy to use. The transmission of signals is amazing and provides a good range of signal when tuned properly.
It also lacks some features such as Weather Alert, instant channel 9/19, SWR meter, etc. It functions only with an external antenna. The PRO510XL is a budget-oriented so the company didn’t make it too flashy or good looking. It is made to just get the work done while not costing the customer too much. There are few reports of radio giving less than 4 watts of output and not lasting for a long time. Well this CB radio is not meant for constant heavy usage. The company still gives you a 2-year warranty so you can claim it in-case something happens.
The Galaxy DX 959 is surely one of the costly CB Radios costing you nearly twice compared to other CB radios on our recommendation list, but the Galaxy company has made it worth the price. Galaxy Company is also very popular for making great long-lasting CB radios. The Galaxy DX 959 is one of the top-rated long range CB radio providing you with amazing long-distance signal reception.
This CB radio is designed in a driver-friendly manner. It can utilize both AM and SSB modes. The unique SSB features give you a long-range performance. The DX 959 is available in two variants: Green LEDs and Blue LEDs with Starlight Faceplate. If you face problem in seeing the display in dark, then you can choose the Blue LEDs which comes with the starlight feature. The Blue LED model is very bright so it might cause a problem while driving at night. They can choose the green LED instead it’s decent enough. Having the backlit display makes it more easy-to-read.
Like other CB radios, it has 40 channels available, RF gain, adjustable RF power, etc. It comes with the efficient Galaxy Noise Filter [SSB only] which reduces noise to help with low signals. You also get the automatic noise limiter to stop the irritating static noise. The DX 959 also supports the talkback feature.
There are very few cons to this product when compared to others. There are issues with microphones if you receive a faulty one you can get it replaced, the service is quite reliable with this brand. The knobs are kind of cheap looking as well and don’t give that premium feel which you would expect.
Uniden PRO 505 XL is the best replacement for PRO 510 XL if you are not able to buy that one. It is among the best affordable CB radios available out there. The PRO 505XL comes packed with almost all features which a modern-day CB radio has. You receive full 40 channels available, emergency channel 9 support, an easy-to-read orange backlit LCD display and more.
In the front, you have a small display which shows you the channel number and signal strength of that channel. You also have a squelch knob below the on/off knob to adjust and improve the sound quality. This model supports the PA (Public Address) mode. You can switch between CB and PA mode with the knob provided. Uniden PRO505XL is designed to be friendly and easy to use. It has large buttons and knobs and arrow pointing on the channel up and down buttons. It also has a dedicated button to switch instantly to the emergency channel 9.
The sound quality is not very good. If it feels unusable to you then plug in an external speaker. Also, the mic is not of very good quality but it is quite a long coil. If you are a beginner and not a CB enthusiastic then this CB radio is okay and worth having. The cost is reasonable and it gets the job done. You will have to take care of it, since its not very durable.
Midland 75-822 is the first product on our list from the Midland Brand. Midland 75-822 is a portable CB radio which means you can take it with yourself and it takes very less space. Don’t worry, despite looking just like a walkie-talkie, it still has all the important features of a CB Radio.
The Midland 75-822 comes with 40 CB channels, 10 NOAA Weather Alert channels, and 4 watts of output. You also get a dedicated channel 9 for emergencies and channel 19 for information. This CB radio runs on batteries. It is powered by 6 AA batteries. You can also connect it to your vehicle’s “cigarette lighter” with the mobile adapter (included) and use it. Also, you can use the battery efficiently by switching to its battery saver feature. Midland also provides us with a squelch control to assure strong signal and Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) to reduce that irritating and undesirable static noises.
It is good enough CB radio considering its handheld and cost. There is an issue with its range. If you are looking for a CB radio with a long-range, then avoid this. The antenna is small and kind of useless you don’t get a good range with it.
Next, we have another product from Midland, Midland 1001LWX is a compact-sized radio which is a great combination of price and features. It comes packed with all type of features even though its so compact. This CB radio is suitable for all types of users from beginners to professionals.
You get all 40 standard available channels, NOAA Weather Alert System giving you local weather updates, 4 Watt Output power up to a range of five miles. You have RF gain to increase reception and an automatic noise limiter with this radio.
Midland 1001LWX is an affordable CB radio which has most of the features you will need in a CB radio. But, the company had to manage somewhere for giving all these features at such a low price. The build quality isn’t that great. So you have to take care of it while using it
Ranger Communication has been into manufacturing CB radio for around 40 years and makes one of the finest CB radios. Texas Ranger Elite TRE-936FFB is the only CB radio from the Ranger on our list. Due to its large size, it holds all the important and useful features easily. Its design is a little different from the other traditional CB radios.
You get 40 available CB channels, a blue LED display which shows you the channel number and frequency, S/RF/SWR meter and more. Like most CB radios, this model also comes with a noise blanker and an automatic noise limiter to provide a good sound experience. You also get a particular noise-cancelling microphone with this model.
Despite, its modern look, TRE-936FBB lacks some latest features. The automatic tuning is not available in this model. Also, it is quite large compared to other CB radios and cannot be installed in all types of vehicles. It almost weighs six pounds which is a lot more than others.
10. Cobra HH50WXST
Last on our list, we have the highly durable and performing handheld CB radio from Cobra Electronics, Cobra HH50WXST. Even though it looks small, you will find all the features you will need it in a CB radio at an affordable price.
Like any other traditional CB radios, you receive 40 channels support with the automatic scan feature, NOAA Weather Alert access, and 4 Watt power output. The sound quality is amazing and clear. It has a useful sound tracker system so that you receive clear sound. Dual watch feature allows you to use two channels at the same time. Also with the automatic scan, you can easily find a strong signal. It runs on a rechargeable battery so you won’t have to stay connected all the time.
Handheld CB radios do have a range problem. This model also doesn’t have a good range. Since its battery-powered, it may run out of charge at the moment when you need it. Also, the display is very small so you might face a problem reading it in dark.
Top CB Radio Brands
When it comes to Mobile Electronics, Cobra is one of the leading manufactures. It is one of the top choices of many truck drivers since its foundation back in 1951. Cobra Electronics has an amazing line of electronic products ranging from radar detectors to marine electronics. They are famous for making great quality CB Radios for a long time.
Midland Radio is one of the oldest manufacturers of CB Radio. It has over 50 years of experience in making a variety of products such as two-way radios, weather-alert radios, marine radios and CB radios. CB radios made by Midland Radio are one of the best available in the market.
Unlike others mentioned above, Uniden is a Japanese electronics company which specializes in home and mobile electronics. The Company kept growing since it rose to popularity back in the 1970s by manufacturing millions of CB Radios. The company manufactures cordless phones, radio scanners, radar detectors and one of the best CB radios.
The best choice for buying a complete CB radio is Cobra 29LX. Overall, it is the best in all terms and a perfect choice for a CB radio professional. If you are a beginner and don’t want to invest a lot then you should go for either Midland 1001LWX and Uniden PRO510XL. For handheld users, Midland 75-822 is the perfect CB radio they can get and is affordable as well.