Cobra CB Radio Reviews & Buying Guide

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These days, our communication has been made that much easier with smartphones and smart devices all around us. However, the need for a good cell signal can throw a wrench into the proceedings, and in times of emergencies, that can be the difference between life and death.

Thankfully, there is a more reliable alternative for the traveller. The use of CB, or Citizens Band, radio first started way back in the 1960s. In a world without the Internet or mobile phones, it was the only way for people to keep in touch while on the road.

This has been particularly vital for emergency services. Rather than count on the reliability of sometimes erratic cell coverage, using CB radios allow these everyday heroes to communicate between each other to ensure no information gets lost in the chaos.

Fast forward to 2020, and CB radios remain a useful tool for medium to long-range communications. Their use have also become more widespread compared to before, despite the advancement in technology.

By combining the likes of the mobile CB radios, handset CB radios, and the more robust base station CB radios, you can cover a lot of ground whether you are stationary at one location or constantly making your round. The peace of mind and ease of communication is something that will be beneficial to anyone looking to have a safety net no matter where you are.

Be it the handheld kind or those car-mounted CB radios, there is something for every kind of user. For a trusted brand, look no further than Cobra Electronics when it comes to your CB radio needs.

Cobra CB Radio Reviews

1. Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio

Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio - Emergency Radio, Travel Essentials, NOAA Weather Channels and Emergency Alert System, Selectable 4-Color LCD, Auto-Scan and Radio Check, Black

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If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to a CB radio, you really can’t go wrong with this Cobra 29LX. This radio is just a head above the rest, with an easy to read display as well as an LCD display that will shine in four available colors depending on what you prefer and what you’d like to look at.

You can even adjust the brightness to enhance your driving, or refer to the weather channels so that you know of any possible incoming hazards that you might encounter on the road. With the weather and alert scan, it’s easy to tune in this radio to all the important channels that you need.

Truly, this radio is unique because of the fact that it has so many extra features even beyond the usual channels and the sturdy mounting on your vehicle. It has a clock and alarm to help you make sure that you’re always on time, as well as a radio display and frequency check to help you run diagnostics.

The diagnostic check is what sets this radio apart, since you’ll be able to ensure that your signal is working as strongly as possible.

Pros

  • It will alarm you with any storm nearby to keep you safe
  • Can pick up signals even from 20 miles away
  • Relatively durable

Cons

It drains your car battery very quickly since it’s always on even when your car is off

2. COBRA 29 LX MAX

Cobra 29 LX MAX Smart Professional CB Radio - Emergency Radio, Travel Essentials, Bluetooth Legal Hands Free, iRadar App Integrated, 4-Color LCD, NOAA Alerts, Rewind-Say-Again, Black & Silver

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It’s possible to sync your phone to this Cobra 29 LX MAX, which means that you can communicate hands-free without struggling through Bluetooth or holding onto your phone when you’re busy driving. You can even instantly update other drivers about how the road is looking, and in this new age of technology, sync your radio and your Cobra to share all of this information right through the cloud.

As a professional driver, there’s no easier way to communicate safely and easily when you’ve got to keep your attention on the road.
What really makes the LX MAX unique is that it has a Rewind-Say-Again feature that will let you play back the last 10 seconds of signals received.

You can also record a 10-second personal memo that you can choose to play back at any time. In addition to this playback feature, you have easy tactile controls, so you shouldn’t struggle when you’re on the radio.

Pros

  • It’s very easy to set up and to use
  • If you have any problems, customer service is extremely helpful
  • You can mount it with ease to any flat surface

Cons

  • The radio might feel a little big for a car

3. COBRA 148 GTL

NEW! COBRA 148 GTL 40 Channel AM 80 SSB Classic Mobile CB Radio 12 Watt Radio

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Some people might care about having all the extra frills on their radio, but if you’re looking for something simple and easy to use, you really can’t go wrong with the Cobra 148 GTL. This radio works long-range, and will continue to work for a long time to come thanks to its durability.

This means that you can continue to use the PA functionality, noise reduction, and RF gain without an issue. It’s nice that it’s easy to look at too, and not imposing.

Mount this Cobra on any flat surface using the U mounting bracket. Since this radio can transmit 12 watts, instead of the usual 4 watts for standard CBs, you have a huge range. You can also communicate on the standard 40 CB channels, as well as with longer range communication if both people have an SSB-equipped radio.

Ultimately, you have tons of flexibility when you purchase this radio.

Pros

  • Works for at least 30 years—very durable
  • Perfect to mount in any truck or van
  • Customer service is impressive if you do have any issues

Cons

  • This model is discontinued. It’s still available for sale but often in limited quantities.

Also Read: 4 Top CB Radios for Truck Drivers

4. Cobra 29 NW

The Cobra 29 NW is one powerful radio. It includes your classic features like nightwatch, which will light up the front panel display so that you’re able to use your radio safely during both the day and the night. Of course, you have the usual 40 channels for CB stations, as well as an emergency channel if you are having any problems.

Just use the switchable noise breaker if you want to get rid of any unwanted interference as you’re going along.

The antennas in this Cobra work well, but if your antenna does need to be checked out, you’ll get a little warning signal in the form of a red light. You really don’t have to guess when it comes to this radio. You can always calibrate the antenna too if you happen to notice that you’re having any problems with the transmission.

Pros

  • It’s high quality and sturdy
  • Easy to install and to use even at night
  • It can be mounted in any vehicle

Cons

  • You might have trouble with the antenna and tweaking it properly

5. Cobra 25 LTD

Cobra 25LTD Professional CB Radio - Emergency Radio, Travel Essentials, Instant Channel 9, 4 Watt Output, Full 40 Channels, 9 Foot Cord, 4 Pin Connector

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You’re not choosing your radio based on price, but if you want something that clocks in at a good price without being cheap or breakable, you’ll want to choose the Cobra 25 LTD. This radio has a 4-watt power output, which provides you with a huge range of communication, with an emergency channel and a 9-foot microphone cord.

You might not need 9 feet, but having it will ensure that this coiled cord can literally reach anywhere and that it won’t get tangled up when you’re making a call. Just like your other options, you have 40 channels that you’re able to access.

What really makes this radio unique though is that you have a 4-pin microphone connector, which is made to be powerful and sturdy, so you’ll never have to worry about where your radio is. You can even install your radio underneath your dash to save space in your vehicle while still having a great radio.

Pros

  • The quality is very high for the price
  • Mounts with a sturdy hold
  • Transmit without any problems

Cons

  • You might need help to fix up the antenna

Also Read: Best Microphones for Cobra 29 CB Radio

Benefits of Cobra CB Radios

There can be many different reasons to consider a CB radio. It is more cost-effective, they are now more efficient in terms of space taken up, and the type of features offered have improved leaps and bounds over the years. Amongst all the potential choices, how does the Cobra Electronics brand stand out?

First founded in Chicago back in 1951, the Cobra brand has found itself a perennial favorite amongst the trucking community. This is largely due to the reliable and innovative products that have propelled the company to become one of the leaders of mobile electronics. So what exactly are those benefits and features so highly touted?

High-Quality Performance

While there are a variety of features on CB radios, Cobra has provided some that are truly amazing. Take the Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio as an example. You can be assured of a good and clear signal, while voice quality is definitely a standout.

For those used to driving in adverse conditions, this particular model can even lock into 10 NOAA weather channels automatically. This provides all the emergency weather alerts you need, and helps warn drivers of bad climatic conditions that they will have to look out for.

If you need to keep tabs on different things at once, the Cobra 18WXSTII CB Radio has a dual watch facility. This allows users to track two preferred channels at the same time. At the same time, it also retains the last channel use, which can be a time-saver.

The in-built SWE meter on the Cobra 29NW Professional CB Radio will help maintain the best antenna performance. In emergency situations, there is also the option of instant Channel 9 and 19 connections, and of course, it covers all 40 CB channels.

Even for the smaller scale CB radios, such as the Cobra C75WXST which consists of the microphone and a small remote connector box, the performance standards remain high. You are getting built-in NOAA weather channels, while audio remains clear and loud throughout all 40 channels.

Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio - Emergency Radio, Travel Essentials, NOAA Weather Channels and Emergency Alert System, Selectable 4-Color LCD, Auto-Scan and Radio Check, Black

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Visual Clarity

Although the main star of the show for CB radios is the audio performance, the Cobra line is also amongst the best when it comes to making sure you know exactly what you are looking at when operating the products.

There are multi-colored displays that can be adjusted to fit whichever situation that may arise, and for those driving in the dark, a dimmer will definitely come in handy. If you would prefer not to strain your eyes trying to see what is on the display, many in the Cobra line also use large and easy-to-read displays.

This extends also to the handheld units, which packs an LCD screen with a backlight that makes for a bright display that ups its visibility as well. You can be sure all the readings can be easily read whenever you are using it.

Bonus Features

As an investment, you would likely expect more out of your newly purchased CB radios. Cobra has you covered in terms of innovations that will enhance the user experience.

Certain models can come with a clock/alarm facility that is useful for those keeping to a schedule. The implementation of weather scanning technology can also give you a heads up about inclement weather, instead of relying on th NOAA. If the need for an emergency address arises, there are also models with PA switching, such as the Cobra 18WXSTII CB Radio.

For those driving in the darkness of night, stop fiddling with the knobs in the dark. The Cobra 29NW Professional CB Radio packs a Nightwatch feature that will give you good visibility even at night. The SoundTracker System on the Cobra C75WXST also helps to reduce background noise by more than 90%, which does great for sound quality.

Cobra 29 LX MAX Smart Professional CB Radio - Emergency Radio, Travel Essentials, Bluetooth Legal Hands Free, iRadar App Integrated, 4-Color LCD, NOAA Alerts, Rewind-Say-Again, Black & Silver

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Different Types of CB Radios

There can be many different kinds of CB radios out there, but they largely fall under these few categories:

Base Station CB Radio

Best suited to indoor use, these bigger sized CB radios usually come with a built-in power supply. Having the base antenna fixed at a good height will usually ensure these units perform to the best of their abilities.

Mobile CB Radio

The common sight when it comes to CB radios, there are a variety of sizes and types that have plenty of features. Sporting a mic attached to a box with dials, they are easy to use and to install. They can be mounted on either over/under dash, or floor mounted, depending on the vehicle. The highly recommended Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio and Cobra 18WXSTII CB Radio are examples of this type of CB radio.

All-in-Handset CB Radio

This particular variant is designed to house everything within the handset, just like the Cobra C75WXST Handheld CB Radio. The result is a larger-than-usual microphone handset. Perfect for one-handed use, this can be an alternative for vehicles that lack the space for a normal mobile CB radio.

HandHeld CB Radio

Akin to walkie-talkies, the handheld CB radio runs on batteries and is extremely useful if you plan on going on foot instead of driving. They can also be utilized in vehicles via adapters, cigarette cords, and the antenna.

Cobra 29 LX MAX Smart Professional CB Radio - Emergency Radio, Travel Essentials, Bluetooth Legal Hands Free, iRadar App Integrated, 4-Color LCD, NOAA Alerts, Rewind-Say-Again, Black & Silver

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How To Choose a CB Radio

Location, Location, Location

Are you using your CB radio on foot or in the vehicle? If so, how large is your vehicle? That can determine which CB radio type you will need to look for. Heavy vehicles will naturally have more space for the bigger sized radios, and so on.

Seeing Everything

Being able to see the different channels and frequencies is very important when using such equipment. For those driving at night, a backlit display is extremely vital. This will make working in the dark easier.

Planning Ahead

For those going through areas that can see different weather conditions, having the ability to receive real-time weather updates will make your journey smoother. Knowing what is ahead of you allows you to prepare adequately.

The Right Frequency

Certain CB radios have the single side band feature, which allows for an increase in the range of the radio and more efficient bandwidth use than before. This can come in handy during emergencies and you need to transmit at a higher power than usual.

Radio Frequency gain, or RF gain can allow users to filter transmissions according to the strength of the signal. This makes isolating the weaker signals much easier, or to help block out background noise.

For recreational users, being able to rely on channel scanning can keep you abreast of all the happenings around you that is being conveyed via CB radios.

Public Speaking

If you are going to need to address large crowds, you can do so via an external public address speaker attached to a compatible system. Whether it’s for fun or for more serious stuff, you can make sure your voice is being heard.

NEW! COBRA 148 GTL 40 Channel AM 80 SSB Classic Mobile CB Radio 12 Watt Radio

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Conclusion

Like most consumer products, the various offerings in the market can cater to all kinds of tastes and needs. For CB radios, knowing how you will be utilizing them, where, and when will help determine just which type you will go for. With your Cobra CB radio, you can be sure it will be a useful addition for all kinds of situations.

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