Last updated: Mar. 28, 2017
Citizens band radios, or CB radios, is a network of radio communications between individuals commonly on a collection of 40 channels using the 27 MHz band. They are specially designed for transmissions that cover short distances.
Being a two-way radio, it can be shared by many users, though only one station can broadcast at a time and others must wait for each transmission to finish for the channel to be available to them.
One convenient aspect is that CB radios do not require licenses and can thus be used for personal and business-related transmissions. They are very popular among truck drivers, radio enthusiasts and anyone else requiring a means of short‑range radio communication, such as electricians and plumbers who need to be in contact with their head office while on jobs.
Most importantly, as with all two-way radios, they allow for full updates and information regarding weather conditions, emergencies and impending danger.
If you are considering buying a CB radio, then read this article beforehand. We will provide you with a list of the best CB radios on the market today. Let’s get cracking.
Table Of Contents
In this section we review the top 5 CB radios listed in the comparison table above. With the help of these CB radio reviews you should be able to find the best CB radio for your own needs.
The Uniden PRO505XL is a CB radio offering complete 40-channel operation. It is equipped with dynamic squelch control and delivers unmatched sound capabilities. Most importantly, in the case of an emergency, the channel 9 function allows you to set the radio to channel 9 in an instant.
The PRO505XL sports an outer speaker jack for plugging in external speakers, as well as an external PA jack for PA speakers. Moreover, its high-resolution, orange backlit LCD display is easy to read, even when there is little light.
The Uniden PRO505XL is a compact and lightweight CB radio, at less than two pounds. This means that you’ll be having conversations with everyone around in no time, as it can be installed in your truck or car with ease. Large up/down buttons make it easy to change channels while keeping your eyes on the road.
Uniden never seems to disappoint with its array of cutting-edge electrical devices, and the PRO505XL is just another excellent example of why. If you are serious about keeping safe and in-tune with happenings around you, be sure to get your hands on one.
The Uniden PRO401HH is a supreme, versatile CB radio with unprecedented capacities. One of its striking features is the high/low power switch which allows the radio to function on all 40 CB channels. It also enables you to save battery life and extend range by way of the low and high-power setting respectively.
Along with this is the nifty, built-in Condenser Mic that features an incorporated Automatic Noise Limiter for continual audio modulation levels, and Automatic Gain Control for constant, steady audio levels.
Another innovative addition to the Uniden PRO401HH CB radio is the Phase Locked Loop (PLL) synthesizer. This guarantees frequency control of the utmost accuracy and also specifies RF output and received signal strength. The RO401HH has a low distortion IC audio circuit with automatic modulation control.
No necessary accessories have been left out and include a durable belt clip, cigar-plug DC power cable, handy wrist strap, removable 8-inch flexible BNC rubber duck antenna and useful instruction manual. All this, together with its compact, fresh design, make it a sure choice of CB radio.
Midland has really gone the extra mile in terms of efficiency, by integrating every useful radio feature into its 75-822 CB radio.
With 40 CB channels and 10 NOAA channels, you are able to tune into literally every broadcast transmitted within your vicinity.
Its Dual Watch feature allows you to monitor channel 9 and another channel of your choice simultaneously.
Another highlight is the ANL, or automatic noise limiters, which enhances reception and squelch control, strengthening weak signals and diminishing background noise.
The 75-822’s channel scan automatically checks all channels, stopping on any with activity for five seconds and can also store and access up to five channels.
For extra security and convenience, you are provided with the informative channel 19 and an innovative feature which turns on the last channel you selected before powering off.
The Uniden 75-822 is complemented further by its lightweight, portable design, the provision 4 Watts of output power, a AA battery pack and a cigarette lighter adapter.
The Cobra 29 LX is a comprehensive and superbly designed 40-Channel CB Radio. One of its primary features distinguishing it from others is the enormous multi-color display which offers information on all radio functions, can be set to one of four colors, and can be dimmed for night driving.
But along with this comes a wide range of neat extras which include automatic scanning, which alerts you on severe weather conditions in your area, and radio check diagnostics for information on vital aspects such as battery voltage, RF power and antenna condition.
The Cobra 29 LX can be used as a Public Address System with a PA speaker and received signals can be monitored through PA. Moreover, Talk Back control allows for the adjustment of the amount of modulation talk back that is present during broadcasts.
Additionally, the adjustable Dynamike feature boosts your microphone performance and the Delta Tune clarifies incoming signals. To top it all off, the Cobra 29 LX contains adjustable RF gain for area signal optimization.
Cobra makes another entry with the HH 38 WX ST, a top-notch, well-built portable CB radio that also offers instant access to all 40 CB radio channels. It includes complete access to 10 National Weather Channels for the latest weather updates and warnings.
Just like 29 LX, the HH 38 WX ST is stocked will hi-tech features. The Soundtracker Noise Reduction System cuts out 90% of unwanted noise, ensuring loud and clear communication. Its illuminated full-function display provides easy readability for both day and night.
Highly versatile and compact, together and the handy 12 Volt cord, means it can be used in a car to full effect and with no malfunctions. To add to that, Cobra HH 38 WX ST has a Dual Watch feature that allows two pre-selected channels to be monitored simultaneously.
Other valuable extras include a flexible and very tough antenna for maximum range and an omni-directional microphone which allows voices to be picked up from multiple directions.
CB radios of supreme standard will always include a large variety of additional features and accessories. It is vital that these specific features carry out their intended purposes effectively. Therefore, be certain to verify that the Citizens Band radio you are considering enhances and incorporates the following:
Range plays a fundamental role in the all-round capability of radio. What makes CB radios special is that they all transmit 4 watts of power, as required by law, ensuring an exceptional range capacity.
A superior CB radio is made out of strong, durable plastic or metal, such as chrome. What largely sets CB radios apart from others are their array of top-rated features including optimum sound superiority, power enhancement and many more.
A CB radio antenna allows for an increase in the output power of any CB radio, so in simple terms, the stronger the antenna, the greater it’s transmitting power. It is wise to thoroughly research the numerous types available in order to buy the best one.
Automatic Noise Limiter is a nifty feature that comes in very handy when needing to block out noise interference, such as static and traffic. This instantly improves sound and reception quality.
By allowing for transmitting at 12 watts of power, instead of the usual 4, Single Side Band effectively increases transmission range three times over. Be sure to take into consideration that other users need an SSB equipped radio in order hear your broadcasts and reply. But, if you don’t locate any SSB equipped radios users, it can still operate on standard CB channels.
Weather radio capabilities are absolutely imperative and not to be compromised. This allows access to local radio stations for up-to-date weather reports, as well as the ability to access local NOAA radio stations. Double-check that it switches speedily to Channel 9 and Channel 19, for emergencies and trucker communication respectively.
These are definitely invaluable for those who use their CB radio at night. While included in more expensive models, backlit displays are worth the extra investment.
Becoming familiar with all the types of CB radios out there is overwhelming enough, but knowing the various brands is just as important. In this section we list the best CB radio brands.
All devices of the brands in this section incorporate the highest standards of quality, and have a long history of consumer satisfaction. Stick to these brands and you will never go wrong.
Cobra is one of the foremost brands for navigational product design and marketing in the United States, Canada, Europe and the rest of the world. Among its wide range of products are hi-tech radar detectors, innovative navigation systems and exclusive two-way radios.
Cobra CB radios include key features like 40-Channel accessibility, noise-canceling technology for clear communication and NOAA weather radio for multi-channel coverage, as well as the ability to be used as a Public Address System.
Cobra continues its already 50 year old trend by developing first-rate products, suitable for recreational and professional use. To this day, its radios are still durable, high-grade and trustworthy. With Cobra, you simply can’t go wrong.
Midland is renowned for developing top-notch electronic devices, and feedback has shown that users find their products both reliable and affordable.
This includes its CB radios which provide excellent reception and remarkable sound. Midland CB radios are installed with an array of hi-tech features, like handy car chargers, high-resolution LCD’s and top-rate microphones. Users have also noted their durability and long-life as the primary reasons for purchasing.
The Midland brand is synonymous with high standards and top-rate efficiency, and their certified products secure its reputation as a leader in electronic gadgets.
Uniden has long been regarded as a leader in the realm of consumer electronic products. Their products are sold throughout North, Central and South America, securing its established international presence. Consumers have cited their wide range of technologically advanced features as a reason for opting to go with them.
Uniden CB radios are user-friendly and also compact and lightweight, ensuring ease-of-movement. Their exceptional level of excellence and durability has been proven time and time again, after being put through and passing extensive tests.
The Uniden brand is, to this day, synonymous with supreme value and high standards, making it undoubtedly one of the most trusted and steadfast brands in the industry, with products that will last you a lifetime.
Galaxy is another pioneering brand of electrical products. It strives to provide devices of the highest standard and is continually incorporating new, ground-breaking technology into its designs. As a result customers are provided with the peace-of-mind on knowing that they own a product that they can rely on.
Galaxy CB radios are packed with a multitude of features and diagnostics, and are used by many professionals. The size of the radios is smaller than other sideband CB units on the market, yet they have excellent transmitting power. Most models include Factory Talkback which enables you to tailor microphone sound as well, which is a fundamental extra benefit.
You can choose between multiple types of CB radios, such as mobile CB radios, All-in-Handset CB radios, handheld CB radios or even a CB radio base station. Each of these types provides different benefits and advantages. Knowing the specifications of each one will assist you in obtaining the best CB radio for your needs.
This is the most common type of CB radio you will find nowadays. The Mobile CB radio is in effect a small box with numerous dials and an attached microphone. They are usually mounted to the floor, and vehicle dashboards. Thus, if you are purchasing a radio for your vehicle, you will most likely end up with a mobile or all-in-handset radio.
Having a mobile CB radio in your vehicle allows you to receive and exchange information on weather, speed traps and accidents with truckers and other drivers. Moreover, it provides a higher level of safety for road trips, vacations and every day travel by offering a form of communication that doesn't rely on signal towers.
A portable CB radio is a walkie-talkie style unit that usually operates on batteries and is most efficient on land or in a vehicle. Most models come with a cigarette cord to which the antenna cable is attached.
The best handheld CB radio to purchase really depends on individual specifications. They are all highly versatile and reliable. In fact, most consumers purchase two units for multi-vehicle communications when traveling. All CB radios communicate with all other CB radios, but not with UHF, VHF, FRS, GMRS, ham radio or any other type of radio, so keep this in mind.
All-in-handset CB radios are slightly more impressive than a standard CB, mainly due to the incorporation of controls into the handset itself. They are ergonomically designed to allow control with one hand. Its small size and ease of installation differentiates them from other mobile radios significantly and is therefore an ideal option for smaller vehicles.
Furthermore, all-in-handset CB radios have an additional connector box that is fully compatible with all transportation mediums, allowing for head units to be easily moved between vehicles. This especially comes in handy with RV/Tow car applications.
A base station refers to a CB radio with a built-in power supply that can be plugged directly into a wall outlet. This unique radio is intended for indoor use as a home unit. In order to get the most out of it, it is recommended to have the base antenna mounted very high.
However, you won’t find too many of these on the market these days, as demand has slowly diminished over the years. They are expensive with a far smaller market and are no longer a profitable avenue for most manufacturers. If you are considering this option, know that there isn’t a broad variety to choose from.
There you have it guys. All the info on a comprehensive range of top-quality CB radios that guarantee that you will be well-informed, secure and prepared. Take this knowledge with you, it will not only help you with making a confident choice when looking for the best CB radio, but you’ll also be giving others advice in no time. Thanks for reading and take care!