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Citizens Band (CB) Radios remain one of the most reliable forms of communication on the road. The reason why these radios are so popular especially among truckers is that you can reach your fellow travelers quickly and efficiently and be part of a network where you can instantly get and share any relevant information from the road.
With radio transmitters, you will never have to worry again about getting stranded in remote areas without cell phone signal. CB radios are ideal for point-to-point contact and although many have moved on in the digital age, the pros still rely on them to get their messages across. If you intend to make a small or large investment into one of these capable devices than you should always strive to choose from the best out there. Need a CB Antenna instead? We wrote an article about that topic, as well as for the best walkie talkies.
Finding the best CB radio can be a difficult work but fortunately, you won’t have to spend hours and hours of research when you can simply look over this article that contains only the most cost-effective options. There are many models that rely on a more traditional or a more modern design or those that offer some basic functions for an affordable price but there are also some that are more advanced. The latter are usually more geared towards the tinkering hobbyist. Regardless of your personal preferences and budget, you’ve got to make your decision only from the best CB radios on the market so without any further introductions here they are.
Best CB Radio for Truckers
Uniden is a highly respected brand in the world of CB radios and one of their most advanced models worth looking at is the Bearcat 880 which comes with many powerful features. Besides the clear reception, the generous range, and its excellent transmissions, this radio also has a very large and colorful display for easier reading of any relevant info.
There are so many features packed in this device that the higher price seems fully justified. The CB radio offers 40 channel operation and a noise canceling microphone which manages to efficiently eliminate the background noise. Uniden added an extra long mic cord and provides dynamic squelch control. Perhaps one of the most attractive features would be the Sideband mode (SSB) that’s rarely found on lower-end CB radios.
Enjoying a crisp connection is possible and for even more freedom the radio can be paired with a wireless microphone. Some other notable features of the Bearcat 880 are the CB/PA switch, instant channel 9/19, radio diagnostics, and a 6-4 PIN mic adapter.
Thanks to its NOAA weather channel access, with this CB radio you’re also able to get updates whenever weather conditions are changing. It can automatically transmit alerts about the severe weather. A public address feature is also present as well as the option for making the emergency channel automatically available if you so choose.
Something that experimented users will definitely appreciate is the colorful display that offers a high level of visibility thanks to its seven-color backlight. Reading and adjusting the settings of the Bearcat is a breeze and you will be able to better focus on your driving. A nice bonus is the dimmer switch that’s extremely helpful at night to lower the intensity of the display to a more comfortable level.
Uniden appears to be quite customer-oriented considering their very comprehensive user manual which will explain in detail all the features of the CB radio. Another thing worth mentioning is the inclusion of an adapter cable in the package which helps for connecting microphones from other brands. The only slight complaint about this radio is the relatively big size.
Uniden’s Bearcat 880 is a great buy in all regards and if you put its multitude of features in balance with the price it’s really not difficult to see that this represents an excellent investment. If you are a big fan of these devices, the Bearcat 880 CB radio will successfully cover all of your needs.
- 40 channels
- Quality microphone materials
- Instant emergency channel action
- Squelch control
- Large display
- Backlit for night viewing
- Digital Meter
Best CB Radio for Car
With a very modern design that will fit nicely in any cab, the 29 LX by Cobra brings an amazing set of features that will please lots of CB radio enthusiasts. Based on the classic platform of the 29 LTD, this model comes with some improvements like the new weather receiver and the Radio Check Diagnostic feature.
One of the most striking features of the 29 LX is the LCD display that comes with four color variations and a dimmer. Viewing operating channel frequency and other relevant data is very comfortable and the experience is highly customizable. You can adjust the color of the display to red, blue, green and amber and set the brightness according to the time of day.
Counting on the Cobra 29 LX for weather alerts is simple thanks to instant access to 10 National Weather Channels. And the good news is that you can access it from all the states 24 hours a day. This feature warns you of threatening weather even if the CB is turned off and the radio is capable of automatically scanning for the strongest weather alert signal to always provide the most relevant local weather news.
In case you want to test and calibrate important functions of the CB radio, Cobra added the Radio Check Diagnostic and the Antenna Calibration features. It’s essential to check the RF power, the status of the antenna and battery voltage before you head out. To ensure maximum performance, the antenna system can be calibrated with the SWR calibration feature.
Cobra implemented a function to store the most frequently used channels in the radio’s memory. A scan feature provides quick access to them and the device also offers a standard channel scan for scanning all 40 channels at once. In the case of emergencies, you’ve got instant access to relevant channels such as the emergency channel 9 and channel 19 which is used for information.
If power is an important factor for you, this CB radio is designed to transmit at 4 Watts which is the maximum allowed by law. Others might look for extra clarity during their communications. It can provide in this area too as it incorporates an adjustable Dynamike feature for increasing the voice clarity of your microphone. To clarify incoming signals, Cobra equipped the radio with Delta Tune and for optimizations in weak or strong signal areas, the user can adjust RF gain with a touch of a knob.
Complete with PA capability, a long microphone cord, talk back feature and a clock/alarm with timer, the Cobra 29 LX is truly an outstanding product that’s sure to please many people in need of a high-quality and reliable CB radio.
- LCD quality Display
- 10 Weather Channels
- Frequency Display
- Radio Check Diagnostic
- Memory Channel Scan
- 4 Watts Power Output
- Noise Canceling Microphone
Best Buy CB Radio
Geared towards drivers who spend long times on the road, the Uniden PRO505XL is a 40-Channel CB Radio that looks very promising. Packing considerable power and many useful features thanks to cutting edge microelectronics technology, this radio was designed to be compact and to have a modern design.
Uniden equipped this device with many interesting capabilities. It can access channel 9 instantly for emergencies and the strength of the incoming transmissions can be easily checked with the help of a signal/RF power indicator. For the best sound quality, this CB radio gives you the ability to connect an external speaker through the placement of an external speaker jack.
The PRO505XL radio provides full 40-channel operation complete with dynamic squelch control to ensure a clearer sound. With so much connectivity freedom, you can keep in touch with other people on the road and tune into all the relevant traffic situations happening in your area. The squelch knob permits the user to adjust the level of the radio’s capability to suppress radio signals that are weaker. This way, you will get a higher quality audio quality for better communications.
The sleek and compact design will be very appreciated as it allows for the radio to fit in almost anywhere. Weighing less than two pounds earns another point in favor of this device as it can be manipulated with ease. Installing it in your truck or car is a breeze as well as getting the hang of it -you will be quickly having crisp conversations in record time.
One aspect that seems to help a lot with the overall user experience and the ease-of-use is the backlit LCD display which comes with optimizations to be viewed comfortably during the day and night. On the screen, the radio will display lots of interesting data such as the current channel or the volume. The large dedicated buttons complement it well and create a very reliable user interface to work with. Changing the channel without taking your eyes off the road becomes simpler.
The Uniden seems to be a smart choice for anyone looking to purchase a solid CB radio for the money. Uniden doesn’t cut corners feature-wise and in terms of quality so for these reasons you will be hard pressed to find a more affordable device in this price bracket that actually delivers on its promises.
- 40 radio channels
- Superior sound quality
- Compact size
- Great signal strength
- Instant Emergency Channel
- Backlit Display
Best CB Radio for the Money
One of the leaders in the industry of wireless communications, Midland is a well-known brand specializing in the development of high-quality radio products. An area where they particularly excel is the CB radio department. The 1001Z is one of Midland’s most cost-effective options in this sector and is intended for those who don’t really need too many fancy features but only want a reliable and affordable CB radio.
Despite the lower price, the 1001Z doesn’t really give off the impression of a cheap product. Seems very sturdily built and its design can fit nicely in many vehicle interiors. Glancing over its list of features can quickly capture your attention. The 4-watt output power will give you the maximum communication range possible considering the law doesn’t allow higher values.
To obtain the best results when tuning the radio, Midland equipped this model with microprocessor controlled PLL circuitry. The 1001Z offers 40 channels for more communication possibilities as well as immediate access to the channel 9 for emergencies. A CB/PA switch has been incorporated for using this CB radio as a Public Adress System coupled with a PA speaker.
Clearer communication requires some tweaking and for making the right adjustments to the reception sensitivity range, Midland added an RF gain feature. For an even crisper sound, using the squelch control will help with the removing of the unnecessary background noise.
On the front panel, it presents many helpful elements that contribute to an overall decent user experience. There’s a locking mic connector which is designed to lock the microphone securely to the radio. Convenient viewing of the incoming signal strength is ensured by the digital power meter which can also display the RF output power. A LED display offers a bright channel readout which can be seen with ease during the time of day or at night.
Controlling the CB radio is no big deal as Midland provides all the needed knobs for volume, squelch, RF gain control as well as the CB/PA and the Instant Channel 9 switches. In terms of jacks and connectors, I’ve already mentioned the locking mic connector but aside from that, the 1001Z has an antenna connector, one for plugging in an external speaker, a PA speaker connector and of course, the DC power cord connector.
An excellent CB radio ideal for novices and advanced users alike, the Midland 1001Z is highly recommended for solid functions and the very user-oriented interface. For this price, this is definitely one of the best CB radios currently to be found on the market.
- 40 Channel
- 4 Watt
- CB/PA switch
- RF Gain
- Simple install
- Instant Channel 9
- Squelch control
Best CB Radio for Jeep
Cobra is among the most important names in the CB Radio industry as they have an impressive number of satisfied customers. A product that was definitely made to be enjoyed by drivers during long trips is the 75WXST which brings crisp radio communications in a super compact package.
A key feature is the Remote Mount System which was designed to give the user the ability to place the device on its dashboard much more conveniently. Installing the radio in this way, you can save a good amount of space. It’s clear that Cobra worked to capture essential CB radio features in the most compact mode possible, in a radio that can easily fit in your hand.
This 40-Channel CB radio is capable of dual-watch and monitoring incoming signals through a performant all channel scan function. It comes with a programmable memory that can store up to 4 channels. For rapidly accessing the channels 9 and 19 in the case of emergencies, Cobra offers a dedicated button for them.
Alerting you of changing weather conditions is another handy feature of the unit. Due to its NOAA radio receiver, it can access all the latest local weather news so you can always be prepared ahead of time. The level of clarity regarding the communication with this device is decent though Cobra integrated a special feature for eliminating up to 90 percent of the noise called SoundTracker System.
The LCD display is enabling you to stay in tune with the basic status of the radio. With a good level of illumination, it’s powerful enough to provide helpful info that’s clearly visible in most light conditions. A slight issue with it would be the difficulty experienced when trying to look at the screen from certain angles. The radio has to be mounted somehow to be facing the driver well enough.
Cobra’s radio is proof that bigger isn’t always better. For those that like a device which doesn’t take up too much space in their vehicle, then this is your safest bet. Being jam-packed with features considering the small size is simply an excellent choice and a smart investment for a high-quality CB radio.
- 40 Radio Channels
- 10 Weather Channels
- Fast Emergency Channel 9
- Remote Mount Installation System
- LCD Display
- Squelch Control
Uniden celebrates the 50th anniversary of a timeless classic – the PC78LTD 40-Channel CB Radio which has gained an impressive reputation among CB radios. Elegantly styled with a sleek black case, shiny chrome controls, and a high-visibility display, the PC78LTD is making a real comeback.
Proving their dedication towards their loyal customers, Uniden has responded to bring back one of the most often requested features. I’m talking about the high-cut filter switch that is now available in this limited-edition series of CB radios. Thanks to this, audio quality will be significantly enhanced.
The SWR meter is one of the best features as it allows for convenient antenna tuning without a lot of hassle. Besides keeping your station in optimal condition with an SWR meter, other important features are the noise blanker and the auto-noise limiter which create a very enjoyable and clear sound.
A sturdy device, it comes with a rugged front mic and includes an RF gain, instant channel 9, and a handy channel selector. There’s also a TX/RX indicator and a control for adjusting the microphone gain and get the right mic sensitivity for you.
Uniden added a lot of customization features and the front panel is also one of them. You have two dimmer options and thanks to the high-contrast of it, visibility is greatly improved to be able to manipulate all the knobs with ease. Speaking of knobs, they feel a bit flimsier than the ones from the older classic model but still, the overall design of the radio is more reliable.
These relatively lightweight CB radios are made in Japan. Bringing the Japanese manufacturing back for this anniversary edition is certainly a good move by Uniden. If you want to avoid cheap Chinese quality and get some premium high-quality, this one is for you.
- 40 channels
- Built-in SWR meter
- Squelch control
- ANL/Noise Blanker
- PA Function
- Mic/RF Gain
For bigger budgets, the Galaxy DX-949 seems like a fitting choice as it looks like it contains everything a CB radio user could possibly need including SSB. A great product for the money, this device offers plenty of value in a stylish design. Even though this is intended for the serious CB operators, newer users can still appreciate it and master its functions in no time.
The first thing you can notice about the DX-949 is how driver friendly has Galaxy designed this radio. With the primary focus on helping the driver keep its eyes concentrated on the road, this unit doesn’t rely too much on the need to look at the display to control it. Each knob is designed to control its own task so you can quickly change any settings without the need to cycle through menus or stuff like that.
Besides the ease-of-use, this model is the ultimate CB radio in terms of features and flexibility. Let’s dig in and see how well does it fare against others in the market. Being a high-end CB radio is not a surprise to see the SSB capability which allows for better long-range performance. It operates on 40 channels and has signal/power/SWR meter which can be easily read at a glance.
Included in its powerful arsenal are talkback control, squelch control, an automatic noise limiter and a noise blanker. The variety of features is truly amazing as the DX-949 has an end-of transmission roger beep, PA mode, Indicator for RX/TX and RF gain control. To help during weak SSB signals, the patented Galaxy Noise Filter Circuit is able to considerably reduce the noise. Galaxy equipped this radio with variable dimmer control and a simple to push switch for disabling the meter lamp and display digits.
This is some incredibly performant gear and for this price, although higher than many other CB radios, it could be a very solid investment if you’re a trucker driving for long periods of time. The mic works great and the sound quality is up to par for such a high-quality product. Absolutely recommended for any CB radio users who want to step up to a professional level.
- Public Address
- Built-in SWR
- Single Side Band
- Dynamike Boost
- Noise Reduction
- RF Gain
- Galaxy Noise Filter Circuit
The Cobra 29 LTD has been announced at the 50th anniversary of the company and it represents the culmination of advancements in the technology of CB radios. An outstanding model that can work without any flaws under any conditions, it has been praised for the solid performance and for its valuable features.
The 29 LTD can accommodate vehicles that have a bit more room as it has a considerably large size. A simple reason why this one makes this list is how it promises a full feature set without any unnecessary gimmicks. It covers all the essential needs for communication for a truck driver especially for one who likes that classic feeling of a CB radio.
On the front panel, you’ll discover six knobs and six controls that are simple and efficient to use. Modern CB radios are cluttered with all kinds of knobs and controls but this one is relying on a more traditional user interface. The knobs control many functions including microphone and RF gain, channel selector and the buttons activate features like the noise blanker and channel scan.
A feature that has become very popular in recent years is the talk back function which allows the user to listen to its own voice. Hearing yourself is important for making the right adjustments to the sound during transmission. Scanning works as expected, there are two modes for looking through all 40 channels at once.
The power output of 4 watts is excellent at providing an extended range of transmissions and Cobra added an SWR calibration function. In order to get the maximum performance from your antenna, SWR calibration is definitely a must-have.
On the LED display you can see the channel number as well as meters for gauging the incoming signal strength. A helpful feature is the PA switch which can be activated to use the radio as a Public Adress System though this requires a PA speaker that’s not included in the package.
Cobra 29 LTD can be tweaked extensively for achieving the best audio quality possible. Making sure your messages are transmitted loud and clear is important obviously so that’s why this CB radio offers a noise blanker, tone control and permits the adjustment of the mic’s sensitivity.
All in all, Cobra managed to revamp the older model without really modifying the classic design that many CB radio fans love. But it’s clear that many improvements have been implemented feature-wise and considering its decent performance, this is a recommended option for the money.
- RF Gain
- Switchable NB/ANL
- Instant Channel for emergency
- Adjustable Dynamike Boost
- PA Capability
- SWR Calibration
- 4 Watts Power Output