Last updated: May 1, 2018
How do you find the best compact CB radio? Today's market offers some amazing older models that have been selling off the shelves for generations as well as more modern models with innovative features.
It can take time to gain an understanding of all CB radios currently offered and then select the one that best fits your individual needs. This guide is designed to speed up the process by delivering a few honest CB radio reviews alongside valuable information that will help you find a quality compact radio in as little time as possible.
Our compact CB radio reviews are designed to highlight the pros and cons for some of the leading radios on the market today. Use this information to identify the best compact CB radio for your intended use.
If you want to take compact to the extreme without moving to a handheld CB radio, select the Cobra 75WXST model. Rather than being composed of a radio box and microphone, the radio is contained entirely within the microphone.
If you're guessing that you sacrifice some features if you select this super compact design, you're right. The sacrifices are a much smaller display and a lower quality speaker than you would get with a larger model.
Users willing to accept those limitations are rewarded with crystal clear reception and transmission. This ease of communication is what really matters with any radio, so this unit is still in the running for the best compact CB radio.
Even though the Uniden PRO505XL is a compact radio that weighs just two pounds, it has an oversized display that is easy to read. It doesn't offer the 10 weather alert channels that are offered on many larger CB radios, but it does allow you to quickly tune into channel nine, which is the designated emergency alert channel for CB radios.
We were impressed with the extra speaker jacks offered on this unit. The built-in speaker isn't all that great, but you can plug in a higher-quality speaker to improve your sound quality. You can also plug in a public-address speaker if you want to turn your compact CB radio into a public announcement system.
There are also a few advanced features on this Uniden CB radio, including squelch control to keep static to a minimum. You can also check the strength of incoming transmissions, and the radio offers an indicator light for this feature.
The Midland 75-822 is a handheld model that could easily win a contest for the top rated compact CB radio. It comes with a battery pack that holds six AA batteries as well as an adapter that allows you to charge your radio from your vehicle.
There are other CB radios that offer more impressive reception quality, but this is a feature-packed radio that weighs just over six ounces. It comes with a squelch feature to cut down on static, and the noise-limiting feature helps as well.
When you turn this radio off, the last channel that you listen to is saved so that you pick up where you left off for your next radio session. You can use the scan feature to sort through the channels, stopping for a few seconds when activity is detected. For fast access to your favorite channels, you can store five of them right on the radio.
While the best compact CB radios will take up much less space than other models, it should still offer the features that you need for effective functionality. What are those features? It depends on how you intend to use your radio.
For casual use, you may look for an easy-to-use CB radio that offers the full range of 40 channels. The reception and ability to control static and background interference is also important because you want to make sure that you clearly hear all incoming transmissions.
If you're a truck driver or will otherwise use your radio for professional purposes, you may look for some advanced features like RF gain control. You may also look for a compact radio that comes with a high-quality microphone and a jack that allows you to plug in a public-announcement speaker.
There are some basic rules that you should follow once you start using your CB radio and start transmitting messages:
Now that you understand compact CB radios a bit more, it's time to read our CB radio reviews and decide which radio is best for you.
If we had to pick the best compact CB radio on the market today, we would select the Cobra 75WXST. It's one of the smallest radios available and offers impressive reception and transmission sound quality.
We've create a buyer's guide that will tell you everything you need to know to buy the best CB radio.