Although they used to only serve professionals working in the emergency services back in the day, CB radios have become far more widespread since. They are nowadays used as a replacement for more than a handful of communication devices that people used to employ. Similar to walkie-talkies in many ways, these intricate radios possess capabilities that far exceed what’s expected of regular radios. Maybe not as versatile as mobile phones, but they can still be used for medium to long range communication, or in a pinch, even for summoning help. With that in mind, let us take a look at the ten best CB radios the market has to offer at this point in time.
Best CB Radios – Reviews
10Cobra HHRT50 Road Trip CB Radio
This is a fairly popular CB radio by most standards, one that performs frequency changes very fast and without complicating things. What’s interesting about this lightweight radio is that it can be set to memorize certain frequencies to be used later on at the user’s convenience. Not just that but it can also switch between emergency channels and regular medium/long-range frequencies. Overall, it is one of the most practical yet compact CB radios out there.
9Cobra 25 LTD 40-Channel Radio
A quite widespread model if we are to believe the reviews, this particular CB radio from Cobra is used worldwide by amateurs and professionals alike for its quick frequency switches. It also stands out for its solid build and expected durability, a standard that goes beyond what other CB radios in this price range tend to offer. At the same time, it does a good job at accessing no less than 40 channels without a smidge of static or distortion. Then again, this is precisely what you should expect from any decent CB radio regardless of the price tag.
8President McKinley USA 40-Channel CB Radio
This ingenious CB radio is known for its capacity to access AM and SSB modes, which isn’t something you can expect from low-end CB radios. You see, this radio features a crystal-clear LED display that can be viewed at any time of day regardless of the weather conditions or the visibility. Furthermore, it benefits from a presentation feature designed to point out the exact channel you’re operating along with a 5-digit recurrence counter for good measure. This is intended to give you a lot more freedom when operating the device in areas with a lot of interference.
7Cobra-29NW Professional Radio
Cobra-29NW stands out for its well-engineered design that enables you to operate the device using just your thumb. Tech-wise, it provides a single direct band configuration to enable you to aim towards specific flags short-term. This is intended to give you all the assistance you need so as to focus your attention someplace else. Not just that but the device also boasts a presentation screen with a complete indicator for some of the most viable channels, a much-needed feature whenever you find yourself in an emergency.
6Midland-1001Z 40-Channel CB-Radio
It is important for a CB radio to be just as maneuverable as it is versatile, which is precisely what makes the Midland-1001Z so special. This interesting radio can be used across a wide spectrum, employing VHF, UHF, and FM radio signals with no limitations whatsoever. Furthermore, its ingenious design allows you to access its many useful features just by moving your thumb across its user-friendly interface. Also worth mentioning is the inbuilt speaker in the center of the radio, a speaker that boasts a numeric keypad to give you full control over whatever band you’re using at the time.
5Cobra-29-LX Professional Selectible Radio
This CB radio is equipped with a dynamic channel scanning feature that allows you to access any of the 40 channels it can reach with relative ease. Equipped with an impressive 13-mile range, this ingenious radio can be considered one of the strongest in the industry. Interestingly enough, the radio also features 10 NOAA climate channels and includes alarms for quickly changing weather conditions. What’s more, it boasts a multi-color presentation feature that points to the transmission level, the recurrence level, and the battery charge of the device.
4Cobra-75WXST Handheld CB Radio
Although not exactly cheap, this well-engineered CB radio from Cobra fully justifies the price tag with its ingenious features. Among them, the ability to efficiently slide on the board or carry along as a portable version. You will also find it to be very efficient at switching between channels in a timely fashion, many thanks to the adaptable interface and the responsiveness of its controls. A handheld model at its core, its versatile nature makes it more than capable of acting as a stand-alone long-range radio.
This is the type of CB radio that one uses if they’re looking for power in a reasonably small package. Speaking of size, this lightweight radio can fit into the mounting section of virtually any truck or emergency vehicle in existence. Not just that but it also works swimmingly well with regular vehicles due to its accommodating accessories. On its performance, we need to point out the40 accessible channels, the NOAA climate alarms, and the wide range of effectiveness that stretches for more than six miles. Furthermore, it also boasts an impressively long cord for the receiver.
2Uniden-PRO505XL CB Radio
PRO505XL from Uniden is seen as one of the most reliable CB radios out there in times of emergency, which may explain its current popularity. This well-engineered CB radio with a surprisingly user-friendly interface stands out for its compact design and ease of use. To be more precise, this device weighs less than 2 lbs, which makes it one of the lightest in the industry. Feature-wise, it boasts a 40-channel range including a channel 9 feature and PA functions that you will surely find a use for long-term. Not just that but it is also very easy to mount on virtually any type of vehicle.
1Midland-75-822 CB Way Radio
This is without a doubt one of the very best CB radios ever made, one that constantly receives positive reviews from satisfied users. The main reason why people like it due to many installation options to choose from, a versatility that’s surely well received by truckers and emergency services operators. Interestingly enough, this radio looks a lot like a standard walkie-talkie in terms of its shape and form, yet its functionality is on a whole different level. Among its many features, we find an illuminated backlit display that offers perfect visibility in all lighting conditions, a 40-channel frequency range, 10 NOAA channels, and an impressively compact design to top it all off. Last but not least, we should also point out that it features a double-channel function for emergency situations.
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What To Look For In A CB Radio
The first thing people generally find out about CB radios is that they aren’t regulated by broadband restrictions like other communication devices. This way, people get to enjoy a great deal of freedom when tapping into frequencies across the channel spectrum. CB radios or ‘Citizens Band Radios’ as they are also known, can be used by pretty much anyone with no real limitations whatsoever. With no less than 40 authorized channels to choose from, you get the capacity to tap into any AM or SSB capabilities your device may have at will. Even so, you should perhaps take the time to better understand what CB radios are all about before committing on a purchase.
Benefits Of Using CB Radios
The main reason people use CB radios is for a more alternative approach to medium and long-range communication. While it used to be that only professionals used them back in the day, the many additional functionalities that modern versions possess make them far more accessible overall. Due to how versatile these devices are, they can serve both as stand-alone radios or as veritable alternatives to mobile phones. Not just that but seeing how many of these radios can also provide you with weather updates and emergency services, you should definitely see one as an investment into your own safety, especially because they can:
- Get Constant Updates – One of the greatest features CB radios have is the capacity to get regular updates about pretty much anything. Whether you’re interested in traffic updates, travel information, or weather reports, it is more than likely that even a medium-range CB radio will be able to satisfy your curiosity. This should come rather handy long-term, especially if you’re someone who spends a lot of time on the road.
- Operate At A Low Frequency – Another great thing about CB radios is that they operate at a 151 MHz signal, which is high enough for the device to behave more or less like a car phone. It needs to be said that regular radios have no such capacity and that they simply cannot function in narrowband conditions. The capacity to operate at a low frequency makes it a whole lot easier to engage in short-range communication with anyone you see fit.
- Help With Emergencies – Not many people realize this but a decent CB radio can definitely save your life in an emergency. This is because CB radios are equipped with emergency functions that enable users to ask for help if they ever find themselves in peril. In fact, they provide quite a reliable form of communication in situations such as those, when perhaps no other communication device works.
Types Of CB Radios
Even though CB radios are mostly designed to meet the same operational standards, the degree to which they perform varies from one manufacturer to another. Given the sheer magnitude of what the market has in store, you should perhaps take the time to learn as much as you possibly can about what makes a CB radio and what characteristics to look for when buying one. You simply cannot go by visuals alone with such a purchase because appearances can be quite deceiving with devices such as these. Due to how versatile they are, even mobile with some models, you definitely want to first figure out exactly what type of CB radio you need.
- Base Station CB Radios – These radios are built to operate according to regular CB radio standards with the added notion that they generally use their own power supplies. In other words, they take all the juice straight from the outlet, which means that they aren’t as portable as other models. Even so, they tend to operate at an impressively high frequency with perfect accuracy as long as you connect them to a decent base antenna.
- Mobile CB Radios – These are quite different from Base Station models on account of their mobility and portability. Just like the name suggests, mobile CB radios are built to be as portable as possible without losing any of their capabilities. Design-wise, they often stand out for their peculiar shape and form that most people feel comfortable with. On average, these type of CB radios make use of a lot more knobs and gauges than other models, along with a microphone for good measure.
- All-in-Handset CB Radios – A bit more peculiar in shape, these type of CB radios employ a handset design that makes them rather ergonomic and easy to install. Due to how tightly packed all their controls are, you can very well operate them using just a thumb, which is bound to save you a lot of discomfort in the long run. Needless to say, these type of radios are perfect for when you want to use a CB radio but do not want to make any permanent tweaks to the inside of your car.
- Handheld CB Radios – With handheld CB radios, you get the most compact and maneuverable solution for all your CB radio needs. Small in size yet reasonably reliable performance-wise, handheld CB radios are mostly powered by batteries and they resemble walkie-talkies in many ways. Interestingly enough, these type of radios can also be powered through cigarette lighter cords and car adapters of all kinds. Given their reduced proportions, they are sometimes used as stand-alone car radios, even though that’s not exactly why they were built for.