Despite the ever-growing use of mobile phones, CB radios are still the preferred method of communication among many motorists. They are extremely effective and very reliable, which is the main reason why police officers, firefighters, paramedics and trucker drivers still depend on them.
Whether you work in a field that demands reliable communication while travelling, or you take frequent road trips and you want to stay abreast of the latest traffic and road conditions, if you’re looking for a good CB Radio you’ll want to ensure that you get the best you can for you money.
In this guide, we review the top 10 CB radios currently on the market.
There are a lot of CB radios on the market, which can make choosing the right option difficult. How do you know which radio is the best?
We’ve conducted extensive research and comparisons, and we have determined that the following CB radios are pretty much the best of the best.
The Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB radio offers a wide range of features that both professionals and us casual drivers will find useful. The black body with hints of chrome gives this radio a sleek look. And the four color LCD display can be adjusted for easy reading, no matter what type of environment you are in.
Other features that the Cobra 29 LX offers include:
- 40 CB channels, plus 10 weather channels and access to all emergency channels
- NOAA weather channel scanning and a weather alert which works even when it’s turned off so you’ll always be in the know when dangerous weather is about to strike.
- Public announcement capabilities – just hook it up to a PA speaker.
- Built-in clock and timer with an alarm function and a programmable snooze function.
- A 9-foot microphone cord
- Dynamike Boost for exceptional clarity
- An SWR calibration meter and tactile controls
At the time of writing, 658 people had reviewed it on Amazon and 69 percent gave it a 5 star rating. The clarity, ease of use, and functionality of this CB radio give it a big thumbs up.
If you’re looking to get a reliable CB radio and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Uniden 40-Channel PRO 505XL CB radio is an excellent choice. It is a high quality unit that you can rely on without breaking the budget.
It doesn’t have all of the elaborate features that some other CB radios offer, but it does have just what you need to efficiently communicate with other drivers. The small body will fit virtually anywhere and the black body gives it a professional look.
Notable features of the Uniden 40-Channel PRO 505XL CB Radio include:
- Public address functionality; just connect the radio to an external PA speaker via the external PA jack.
- External speaker jack so you can connect external speakers and get enhanced sound quality.
- Easy to ready LCD display that illuminates in orange and can be adjusted for easy viewing in any type of lighting.
- Instant access to channel 9, the emergency channel.
- Signal power indicator so you can keep tabs on the strength of incoming transmissions.
At the time of writing, 987 customers had reviewed this CB radio on Amazon. Of those reviewers, 66 percent gave it a 5 star rating. The ease of use, small size and PA ability are what people like the most about this device.
If you’re on the market for a simple CB radio that offers everything you need, is easy to operate and offers great reception, the Midland 1001Z 40-Channel CB Radio is a great option. It’s very affordable, yet it doesn’t skimp in quality.
In fact, the features are comparable to higher priced radios, which is why we like it so much.
Among the handy features that the Midland 1001Z offers include:
- A brightly lit LED display that can easily be read no matter what the interior lighting of your vehicle is like.
- RF gain, which allows for super clear communication.
- Instant access to channel 9, the emergency channel.
- Easy to access controls, including volume, RF gain and channel tuning.
- PA functionality
At the time of writing this review the Midland 1001Z CB Radio had a 4 star rating on Amazon. A total of 372 people had reviewed it; 57 percent of the reviewers gave it 5 stars. People like that it’s basic, yet is of high-quality and offers all of the essential features.
For reliable communication that isn’t complicated, the Cobra 29 LTD 40-Channel CB Radio easily fits the bill. It isn’t as fancy as other Cobra CB radios, but that’s just fine because it gives you all of the features that you need for a clear signal and easy communication.
The features offered on the Cobra 20 LTD include:
- Easy to use controls for volume and channel tuning so you can achieve the ideal settings for your needs.
- Dyamike Boost for outstanding sound quality.
- SWR calibration for the best performance from your antenna system.
- Large display for easy viewing.
- A microphone connector on the front panel.
- 9 foot microphone cord.
When we wrote this review, the Cobra 29 LTD CB Radio had a 4 star rating on Amazon. Of the 332 people who reviewed it, 72 percent gave it a 5 star rating. What people like most about it is that it is easy to set up, offers great reception and sound quality, and that it is very easy to use.
This CB radio is a bit pricier than others on our list, but there’s a very good reason for the higher price tag: it offers outstanding features and incredible clarity. If you’re looking for a CB radio that offers virtually every feature possible and you want a connection that you can depend on no matter what, this is the right choice for you.
Some of the most notable features that the Cobra 29 NW Classic CB Radio offers include the following:
- SWR calibration, so you can calibrate the antenna system so that it offers the best performance possible.
- NightWatch Electroluminescent Front Panel, which completely lights up the function settings on the display for easy viewing no matter what the lighting conditions in your vehicle may be.
- An Antenna Warning Indicator, which lights up to alert you when the antenna needs to be checked.
- Instant access to channel 9, the emergency channel, and channel 19, the information channel.
- Full coverage to all 40 CB channels.
- A fused power cord.
- Dyanmike Boost for exceptional sound quality.
- Noise eliminator.
- RG gain
- Public address capabilities
- Built-in SWR
When we wrote this review, the Cobra 29 NW Classic NightWatch Illuminated CB Radio had an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Of the 89 people who reviewed it, 72 percent gave it 5 stars. Users like all of the features that it offers, especially the NightWatch Illumination, as well as the exceptional sound quality, the design (it looks like a classic CB radio from the 1970s!) and that it is easy to install.
If you want a CB radio that offers everything you could possibly want and then some, the Uniden BEARCAT with Side Band and Weather Band (model 980SSB) will certainly meet (and exceed) your expectations.
This CB radio is outfitted with all of the basic features you’d expect, but it also includes some extras that make it stand out from the crowd.
Among the fantastic features that the BEARCAT 980SSB CB Radio offers include:
- Access to all 40 CB channels
- Instant access to channel 9, the emergency channel
- A large digital S/ RF/ SWR meter allows you to instantly see your levels with a quick glance.
- A noise canceling microphone so you can make sure that your transmissions aren’t disturbed by background noise.
- Constant scanning of NOAA weather channels and an instant weather alert, so you always be in the know when bad weather is in the forecast.
- A very large and easy to read display.
- An LED backlight that can be adjusted to allow for easy viewing in any type of light setting.
- Squelch control for outstanding signal clarity.
- Memory scan of your most used channels
- A super long cord for the microphone
At the time of writing this review, the BEARCAT CB Radio from Uniden had an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. A total of 699 people reviewed the CB radio and of those people, 66 percent gave it a rating of 5 stars.
Reviewers were very impressed with the noise reduction feature, the powerful reception and the very clear transmission that this radio offers. They were also pleased with the display and the ease of operation and installation, as well as the automatic weather scanning and alerts from NOAA that this radio provides.
Hunters, motorcyclists, hikers or anyone else who is on the go and wants to stay connected with ease will find the Midland 75 – 785 40-Channel CB Radio the perfect choice. This handheld CB is compact and lightweight so you can easily carry it with you wherever you are going.
The rugged design is built to withstand the wear and tear of harsh conditions and the short-range transmission will keep you in close contact with your group. The Midland handheld CB radio has a sleek design and a comfortable grip so that it fits comfortably and securely in your hand.
This handheld CB radio may be small in size, but it certainly isn’t small on features. Some of the most notable features that it offers include:
- A 7 Watt input
- A 4 Watt output
- Access to all 40 CB channels
- A flexible antenna that provides crystal clear transmission
- A noise eliminator and squelch control to block out any background noise and improve reception to ensure all of your input and output transmissions will be clearly received.
- Multiple powering abilities, including a DC adapter, triple A batteries, and rechargeable NiCad batteries.
- A 3.5 mm accessory plug that can be used to attach a standard set of headphones, making it even easier to hear what is being transmitted over this handheld radio.
- Automatic gain control
- A bright LED display so you can easily see in any lighting condition.
Is it the best CB Radio around? When we wrote this review, the Midland handheld CB radio had a 3.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.com. There were a total of 509 reviews, and of the people who reviewed the product, 41 percent awarded it 5 stars.
What people seem to really like about it is that this CB radio is lightweight, compact, and easy to grip, making it easy to use when you’re on the go. The durable design and the clear reception are other points that users stated they really liked about this radio.
The Cobra 75 WXST 40-Channel CB Radio is a compact, all-in-one unit that is super easy to install and can be used in virtually any vehicle, thanks to the low-profile design. If you are looking for a space-saving CB radio that is easy to use and will keep you in close contact, this is a great choice.
This high performance CB radio offers the following features:
- Active channel scanning so you can find the optimal channel for communication.
- A backlit LCD display that can be adjusted so you can see in any type of lighting condition.
- Access to all 40 CB channels, including instant access to emergency channel 9 and information channel 19.
- Scanning of weather channels and automatic weather alerts from NOAA so you can find out when bad weather will strike and prepare for it ahead of time.
- Sound Tracker System, which cuts out up to 90 percent of noise, allowing for super clear communication.
- A Remote Mount System, which makes dashboard installation a breeze.
When writing this review, the Cobra 75WXST 40-Channel CB Radio had a 4.1 star rating out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. A total of 570 people had reviewed this radio, and 57 percent gave it 5 stars. Reviewers noted that they were very impressed with its easy installation, the compact size, the clear reception and the easy to read display that this CB offers.
While this is one of the most expensive CB radios on our list, it offers state-of-the-art features and exceptional reception, so it’s easy to see why the price is higher than some of the other options. If you are looking for a radio that you can truly rely on, the higher price is certainly worth the investment.
The Galaxy DX – 959B Mobile CB Radio is outfitted with some outstanding features, including:
- A Galaxy StarLite Faceplate, which boasts back lighting on white faceplate lettering in blue and red. During daylight hours, the lettering remains white, and when the sun sets, the lighting becomes blue or red. This allows for viewing that is easy on the eyes at all times.
- A large meter that is easy to read and boasts scales for modulation, power output, SWR and incoming signals.
- Dimmer control of lighting and a power off switch so you can turn the meter lamp, the display lights and the Star Lite back lighting off when you want to.
- Galaxy Noise Filter Circuits, which reduce noise and provide recover when SSB signals are weak.
- Access to all 40 CB channels, including instant access to emergency and information channels.
- A compact and easy to grip microphone.
At the time of writing this review, this radio had a 4 star rating on Amazon’s 5 star rating scale. Of the 237 people who reviewed it, 67 percent gave it 5 stars. Users noted that they were impressed with the clarity of sound, the easy controls and the easy to read lighting.
This CB radio is both a handheld and mobile all-in-one. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a radio that can be used in multiple vehicles.
It comes with a car kit so you can easily mount the radio to your vehicle and add an externally mounted antenna for maximum range when you’re on the road. It also comes with a battery pack and a walkie-talkie antenna so you can go mobile if you want too!
Other features that the Midland 75 – 822 40-Channel CB Radio offers include:
- Access to all 40 CB channels, 10 NOAA channels and an instant NOAA weather alert
- An automatic noise limiter and squelch control, which provides great reception and reduces background noise.
- Channel scanning so you can easily find active channels.
- Ability to power with AA batteries or a power port in your vehicle.
It’s the best cb radio for multiple vehicles. At the time of writing this review, 1,207 people reviewed this product and it had a 3.8 star rating on Amazon. A total of 52 percent of reviewers gave it 5 stars. Users really liked how easy this CB is to use and that it can be mobile too!
A CB radio is one of the most reliable communication tools when you’re travelling; however, not all CB radios are the same. If you want one that you can really rely on and that will make staying in touch a breeze, you can’t go wrong with one of the 10 that are featured on our list.
Factors and Features to Consider When Buying a CB Radio
Every motorist has different needs. In order to choose the best CB radio, there are certain factors and features that you are going to want to take into consideration in order to ensure the device fits your specific needs.
Here’s a look at some important things to consider before you choose a CB radio.
- How will it be used? What are you planning on using a CB radio for? Will you be using it frequently and to communicate over long distances? If so, you’ll want one that offers powerful transmission and a strong antenna. However, if you will only be using it occasionally to learn about traffic and road conditions, a basic radio might suit you well.
- The size. CB radios come in various sizes. Determine where you want to position it to work out the sizes that you’ll be able to work with.
- Effective display lighting. The lighting within a vehicle changes constantly. You want to make sure you choose a CB radio that either has display lights you can adjust, or that has lights that respond to the environment.
- Multi-channels. Most standard CB radios offer 40 channels, including weather and emergency channels. However, if you need to communicate with small groups, a multichannel radio might suit you well, as you’ll get the standard 40 channels, as well as programmable channels.
- SSB. If you want to use channels at the high end of the range, you’ll want a radio that allows single side band modulation (SSB). This alternative to AM radio transmission offers longer range communication, which can output 12 watts of power.
- ANL. There’s a lot of noise in a vehicle. A CB radio that is outfitted with an Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) will filter out background noise, such as traffic, the vehicle’s engine and static.
- PA. If you want to use your CB radio to make announcements to the public, look for a CB radio that is outfitted with a PA (public address) system.
Considering these factors and features before you purchase a CB radio will help to ensure that you choose a device that best suits your particular needs.
Did that help you decide which is the best cb radio for you? We hope so.
Do you have a favorite? let us know below.
Want more info? Read this.
Here’s a handy overview of how to use a cb radio.
Or why not check out our new post on the best dash cams for trucks. If you drive a truck and don’t have one you should give getting one some serious consideration. Not only are they cheap, and easy to use, their footage could also prevent you from having to put your hand in your pocket to cover the costs of an accident that wasn’t your fault.