Best CB Radios in 2018 Complete Reviews With Comparison

Driving is boring if you cannot jam to your favorite tunes and, call out for help when in trouble. Among other reasons, we believe that these are the two reasons why CB (Citizen Band) radios were designed and why you have to get the best CB radio!

CB radios are portable transceivers you can use to send and receive messages – you get to utilize the present 40 channels all within the 27MHz band to communicate. Although these nifty CB radios make the difference between a safe and an exceptions trip or exploration, it is challenging to find the best CB radio hence this review; so, you if you are looking for a good CB radio, you are at the right place.

Best CB Radios Reviews 2018

Paramiedic using CB radio, leaning on ambulance

Top 5 CB Radios Comparison Chart

 

Product Description Editor’s Rating Check Price
Galaxy-DX-949 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio Although expensive, the Galaxy-DX-949 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio is feature-packed to meet all your needs.

Uniden BEARCAT 880 Bearcat CB Radio The Uniden BEARCAT 880 Bearcat CB Radio is within the expensive range for Uniden CB radios, but it boasts of a 7-color display and instant connection to channels 9 and 19.

Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio This Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio is the bestselling CB radio that gives you instant access to 10 NOAA weather stations and variable 4-color display. It allows scanning of channels, and it has PA capabilities.

Uniden 40-Channel CB Radio (PRO505XL) This is the lowest-price 40-channel CB radio with PA capabilities and instant access to channel 9.

Uniden PRO520XL 40-Channel CB Radio This is the other low-priced 40-channel CB radio with a built-in automatic noise limiter and an auto-squelch for improved communication.
Reviews Of The Best Cb Radios

Best CB Radios Reviews

Galaxy-DX-949 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio

Galaxy-DX-949 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio

This is the most functional CB radio with a largely scaled meter for power output. The meter is easy to read, so is the automatic SWR circuit, modulation, and the incoming signal. It has a two-digit display whose large yellow digits make it easy to use even in the dark.

The other features include the variable power output, the variable talkback circuit, and the on/off switch. You will also like the SWR alert LED and the Roger Beep with an on and off switch.

For ease of communication, you have the variable dimmer control with a push switch that turns off the display digits and the meter lamp, and the three-position tone switch for receiving. You get to communicate thanks to the CB radio’s proprietary Galaxy Noise Filter (GNF) Circuit which reduces noise aiding in the recovery of weak SSB signals.

Product Highlights

Things we liked
  • Powerful cordless impact
  • Fits into more places
  • Energy efficient
  • Has a ½-inch anvil that makes it easy to make socket changes
  • No wearable components
Things we didn't like
  • You have to buy the frequency counter separately
Check on Amazon.com

 

Uniden BEARCAT 880 Bearcat CB Radio

Uniden BEARCAT 880 Bearcat CB Radio

To answer the question what is the best CB radio out there, you have to look at the device’s ease of use when driving. Looking at this CB radio, you will like that it has seven-color backlighting, a 6-pin noise cancellation Mic, a compatible wireless mic, talk back, and you can run radio diagnostics easily.

It also comes with a digital SWR/ SWR meter, and you can get information about the weather using the NOAA weather.

It also features frequency control, squelch control, a blanker, ANL/ Noise, memory scan, RF Gain and Microphone gain. This CB radio doesn’t come short of its expectations as it also houses a channel indicator, instant channel 9/19, laser etched keys, a dimmer switch, and an extra-long mic cord.

Product Highlights

Things we liked
  • It comes with 6-pin to 4-pin adapter
  • It has a noise cancellation feature.
  • The colorful display enhances visibility.
  • You can scan channels
Things we didn't like
  • It may stop working too fast.
Check on Amazon.com

 

Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio

Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio

This is one of the best CB radios with a large multicolor display offering all the information on all the functions of the radio. You can set the radio to any one of the four available colors, and you can also dim the colors when driving at night.

The radio gives you instant access plus automatic scanning of 10 NOAA weather channels. You also get alerts in case of severe weather conditions.

Another reason for its popularity is the presence of easy channel scanning which automatically scans all the 40 channels for transmissions stopping when activity is found. It also has a radio diagnostics feature that gives all the critical information about critical CB aspects like RF power, battery voltage, and the antenna’s condition.

Finally, it is a favorite because it has PA capabilities so you can use it as a Public Address System with a PA speaker. You can also monitor the received signals using the PA system.

Product Highlights

Things we liked
  • It has PA capabilities.
  • It gives instant weather alerts
  • It has 4-color PA LCD system with a dimmer for use at night.
  • It has great sound, and it is easy to use
Things we didn't like
  • You have to reset the clock every time you switch it on.
Check on Amazon.com

 

Uniden 40-Channel CB Radio (PRO505XL)

Uniden 40-Channel CB Radio (PRO505XL)

This is the cheapest and the best CB radio on the market that offers a public address system. Once connected to an external PA, you get an amplified speaker for announcements using an external PA jack for connecting to a PA speaker.

Uniden Pro 505XL CB Radio also features a speaker jack which you plug in an external speaker for better sound quality. It also offers the full 40-channel operation

It is easy to use and instantly gives you channel 9, the emergency channel. The RF Power indicator lets you check the relative strength of the incoming transmissions.

Product Highlights

Things we liked
  • It is affordable.
  • You can connect it to a PA system.
  • The dynamic squelch control gives high-quality sound.
Things we didn't like
  • You have to purchase an antenna
  • It doesn’t filter out static or electrical interference
Check on Amazon.com

 

Uniden PRO520XL 40-Channel CB Radio

Uniden PRO520XL 40-Channel CB Radio

The 40 channels, 4W audio output, the front mount microphone and the presence of a superheterodyne circuit locked loop for accurate control make this one of the best CB radios out there.

For noise elimination, it has an auto-squelch and a built-in automatic noise limiter. You can use the signal/ RF meter plus the LED indicators to monitor activity and channel 9 to access emergency services.

This CB radio allows you to connect external speakers and to use PA/CB switch as a PA system. It is easy to use thanks to the front positioning of the microphone and the extra-long coiled cord.

Product Highlights

Things we liked
  • You can use it as a PA system.
  • It has a small and compact design
  • The microphone works great
  • It has RF gain control
Things we didn't like
  • It doesn’t filter out static and electrical interference
  • You have to buy an antenna
Check on Amazon.com

 

Value Section

To understand what is the best CB radio out there, you have to know the features and factors to consider when buying a CB radio. Those things to put under consideration include:

Power

Contrary to what you may think, or may have been made to believe, all CB radios have the same transmission power once you open and set them up.

Single-sideband radios.

The single-sideband CB radios, also called SSBs can transmit 12 watts of power since it takes all that power and transfers it into one sideband. On the downside, you only get to communicate with other SSB radios, and you have to switch to the main channel to communicate with those without SSB radios.

Weather alerts.

When traveling, getting weather updates and alerts is important as it keeps you safe and helps your trips hence the presence of a weather alerts feature in all CB radios. Whether you are a cabbie, a boater or a trucker, having a CB radio for weather alerts is an indispensable feature.

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Size

When looking for a CB radio, keep in mind the size of your car and if it will fit in the radio compartment or not because getting feature-ridden CB radio that is too big makes little sense, and it is inconveniencing.

It is safer and more practical to get the small and compact CB radios instead of a large and compact one. You also need a radio that fits in your hand.

 

Are you looking for a CB radio for professional use?

If so, then the radio must have features that allow effective and flawless communication with other truckers or cabbies. Professional CB radios have an SSB feature that makes them strong, sturdy and with expansive displays.

 CB Radio FAQs 

How a CB radio works ?

A CB radio was designed to transmit and receive a circuit. Now when you transmit into the microphone your voice is converted into a radio frequency and it is sent out of the antenna. It is transmitted out the antenna to the receiver that is receiving your signal. The person on the other end with the receiver is receiving your transmitter and the person on your end is receiving their transmitter. As long as the radios are on both frequencies, the radios will communicate with each other. The frequency is very dependent on the time of day and the adjacent channel interference and the geographical area and terrain and so forth.

Ideas for Using a CB Radio?

CB radio’s could be used such as a safety watch, neighborhood crime watch or Halloween patrol where each member would have a CB radio in their automobile and they could talk to the other member. The radios would come in handy to be able to call for assistance, call for help or check on your local neighbors when they are out in the neighborhood looking things over. A CB radio is not difficult to use. They are easy to hook up and for short range communications systems, provide pretty clear reliability.

How to Hook Up a CB Radio?

What you will need on the antenna with CB is using a magnetic antenna with a wire coming in their window which screws into the antenna socket on back of the radio. They then take this antenna and place it on the roof of their vehicle and they can store it in the truck when it is not in use. The other requirement
of the CB is that you hook 12 volts power up to the back of your CB radio; black being the ground wire and red being the power wire. Most CB’ers finds it easy to put a cigarette lighter plug on this connection and plug it into their cigarette lighter so they can unplug it and put the radio in the trunk out of sight when they are not using it. The CB does not require much current and is pretty easy to hook up in the automobile.

How Truckers Use CB Radios?

Truck driver’s use CB radios to stay in touch on the highway so that they know what is coming up ahead of them and behind them. Two trucks can communicate with each other all around the highway, all across America and talk about interesting things and dangerous things that they see on the highway and they need to use caution to beware of their surroundings. Also, they help keep awake.

How to Use the 10-20 CB Radio Code?

What 10-20 means on a CB radio is your location. In other words when you transmit over the CB frequency you would not say where are you, what is your location. You would say 10-20. The 10-20 is the universal code meaning location.

How to Use the 10-7 CB Radio Code?

10-7 is another way of saying that you are not available or you are out of service. So you put pick up your microphone and transmit a 10-7 instead of saying over the air waves that you are not around, not available or not in service. 10-7 is a universal code meaning that you are out of service.

How to Use the 10-4 CB Radio Code?

A code or a code word is a short phrase or number so you do not explain the whole thing you are trying to say over the airways. For example: a code 10-4 means okay. So if you were to use your CB microphone and transmit a 10-4 to the person who just transmitted to you would be saying okay or that you have agreed with them or received their signal.

How to Use the 10-33 CB Radio Code?

A 10-33 code is another way of saying that you have an emergency and you immediate assistance. An example of a 10-33 would be that you have run out of fuel or that you have a boat that is sinking and you need immediate assistance. You would then pick up your microphone and call a 10-33 for general help.

How to Use a CB Radio on a Boat?

Most boats are equipped with a VHF transceiver but a CB will also be a complement radio to backup your other communications equipment to where you may speak with other boaters out in the harbor. Most boaters wanted to reach certain units on a CB and they have a radio that you may call them on. So therefore if you wanted to reach for assistance and your other equipment or cellular phone was not working you would rely on your CB radio. You may possibly even be able to get Coast Guard assistance over a certain frequency on the CB. A CB radio is not very hard to hook up in a boat, you will need an antenna and a power source.

Are you looking for a CB radio for Jeep?

What do you do when you get bored? You sure can’t stop your car and flag down other cars just because you crave some human interaction? So, if you are wondering how to liven up your jeep, check out the best CB radios for Jeep!

Are you looking for a CB radio for Truck Drivers?

Listening to music on a long drive is on top of a truck driver’s to-do list but, learning about other cultures, conversing with other drivers and storytelling create the ultimate fun trip for any driver. Don’t get us wrong, you may like your quiet but when you have thought about everything you can, over and over again, meeting another truck driver over a CB radio is the best thing you can do for your soul.

What’s the best Handheld CB Radio?

Best handheld CB radios are more than just needed to truck drivers, to those who spend a lot of time traveling in a car and for all of you who want to get regular weather updates. Over time, these radios advanced as well, so nowadays we have sophisticated models with a lot of features, impressive design,and even better capabilities. However, there are a lot of them on the market, so which one you actually need?

Conclusion

A CB radio is a crucial companion on the road as it keeps you connected to other truckers and cabbies. The transceivers are portable, and though they may seem outdated in this age of smartphones, they remain necessary travel companions to drivers. How else can you learn about the weather or availability of tuckshops in regions with poor internet connectivity?

Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio
 
In this review, the Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio is our best CB radio, and though the other radios come close, they don’t offer this radio’s level of versatility. It has exceptional transmission clarity, and it keeps you in the loop for weather changes with its instant access to 10 NOAA weather selections; other radios don’t.

It is also the best CB radio because it is easy to use, well-priced for the features it offers, and it has a multi-color display which gives you information on all radio functions. You can also scan the channels automatically, and it has PA connection capabilities.

  • FEATURES
  • COMPATIBILITY
  • EASE OF USE
  • VALUE