Cobra 29 LTD CHR 40-Channel CB Radio
If you want to be able to communicate with others over short distances very quickly when there is network signal, you may want to invest in the best CB radio. CB radio stands for citizen band radio with a range of frequencies around 27 MHz and allows ordinary citizens to access and broadcast in these frequencies without a license from the FCC. This means anyone with a two-way radio can broadcast and transmit over CB radio as long as they are within the broadcast range.
CB radios are great for communication between truck drivers, off roaders, and people who want to communicate with themselves in rural areas. Because anyone can just dial into the frequency, be careful what you say as others can listen in. If you are going on a road trip with multiple cars or going out in the wilderness, it maybe easier to carry around CB radios for quick communication.
There are many benefits of using a CB radio and many of you reading this probably aren’t even aware of these benefits. First of all, CB radios are cost effective, mainly because you never really have to upgrade them and they don’t require an ongoing fee to communicate. You can also learn the road conditions in your area by tuning in with your BC radio. You can also ask for directions with users within range of you as well as get traffic alerts and safety updates. When shopping for the best CB radio for your needs, you need to consider size and feature set. There are more features to consider and we have outlined most of them below in our buying guide.
Best CB Radio Reviews
- Cobra 29 LTD CHR 40-Channel CB Radio With PA Capability (Top Pick)
- Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio
- Uniden BEARCAT CB Radio
Cobra 29 LTD CHR 40-Channel CB Radio With PA Capability
If you want the best CB radio that delivers great value for the dollar, you definitely need the Cobra 29 LTD CHR. Cobra has been around in the radio equipment game for a over 50 years and they definitely know what they are doing. The 29 LTD Classic is one of their best-selling CB radios because it strikes a great balance between performance, features, durability and price.
The best feature of this device is probably the SWR Calibration, which allows you to monitor and adjust the antenna system to maximize performance. The system even has an antenna warning indicator that pops on when your antenna needs to be checked for the right placement and calibration.
There is also RF Gain and Dynamike boost, which are handy features to allow you to get a better and more clear signals and allows for easier communication. And of course you have 40 CB channels so full coverage and a channel 9 instant button to switch over for emergencies. For the techno geeks out there, there is also an analog signal meter that shows you the level of incoming to outgoing transmission signals and displays the standing wave ratio of the antenna. This CB radio has been the gold standard of the industry for years and is a reliable workhorse. The 29 series LTD comes with the basic features, but if you want more features, you can get the LX or BT or ST models.
Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio
If you want the best CB radio that is portable, you should look at the Midland 75-822 Radio. This is one of the better portable CB radios out there because of its reliability along with extended range. Usually CB radios with long quality antennas are not portable, so if you want portability, you will be sacrificing performance. Despite having smaller size antennas, the Midland 75-822 does an unbelievable job picking up signal and reaching near maximum range. This type of portable CB radio is great for those who are hunting or off roading outdoors and need to communicate to others around them.
It comes with your standard 40 CB channels and 10 NOAA channels and gives you instant access to channels 9 and 19. You can power this unit with 6 AA batteries or in the cigarette lighter adapter. In terms of important features to consider, you have squelch control for getting rid of static and white noise and automatic noise limiter for getting rid of background noise. Additionally, you can store and access up to 5 channels out of memory. This Midland 75-822 CB radio is the way to go if you want portability that is affordable.
Uniden BEARCAT CB Radio
If you are looking for the best CB radio and want a heavy duty workhorse, you should definitely consider the Uniden Bearcat. Uniden is a resected brand name in the industry and this CB radio comes fully loaded with all sorts of features and goodies. First of all, there is a digital meter that shows you the S/RF and SWR ratios so you can constantly monitor your signal strength.
There is a noise cancelling mic, RF gain, automatic noise limiter, and ANL noise blanker, all which help you eliminate background noise, static, white noise, and allow your signal to be clear and accurate. This unit has a lush 7 color display for easy viewing and a brightness level adjuster.
The integrated SWR allows you to match your antenna perfectly so you always get a good signal. The microphone is very clear when you speak into it and eliminates a lot of background sounds. The mic has a nice and comfortable grip and is built quite durable. Basically, the Uniden Bearcat comes fully loade and with all of the features you will ever need. It is a solid piece of machinery and built to last. You can just buy this unit and never worry about having to upgrade it again, because in the CB radio world, it just can’t get much better.
Best CB Radio Buying Guide
There are around 40 channels that use the 27 MHz band for radio communication between common citizens. Because it is a two way radio, many people can shared the channel although only one station can broadcast at a time and you must wait for each transmission to finish in order for you to broadcast.
Most CB radio can fit into your headboard space. Before deciding on the best CB radio, you should probably be aware of some of the etiquette involved in using a CB radio. If you are not ok with these rules, do the community a favor a please don’t buy a CB radio. For starters, don’t use any foul or dirty language and don’t speak over other transmissions.
Speak into the local channel only if it is important and necessary. Definitely don’t start meaningless conversations and use slang nobody is familiar with. If you want to begin a conversation, please state the channel number first and also try to ask for permission before joining a conversation. Now that we have the general rules and etiquette out of the way, please see below for some feature to consider in a CB radio.
Power and Range: Don’t worry about the power and range specifications of proper CB radios. They are all required by law to be set to 4 Watts of power, which ensures a great range as well. There are some exceptions such as SSB equipped radios that transmit at 12 watts and give you more transmit range. However, for normal CB radios, the main difference between the various sets on the market is not in power or range, but in size and features.
Size: Some BC radios are nice and compact while others are big and bulky. The nice and compact BC radios usually have limited features and just allow for the basic operations. Big and bulky CB radios are great if you can mount them in your car and not have to worry about carrying them around. These bulkier BC radios are usually loaded with useful features.
Features: The slew of features is what differentiates one CB radio from another. We have outlined and described some below.
Squelch Control: This is a pretty standard feature on most CB radios. Without any squelch control, whenever you don’t hear a transmission, there will be very annoying static in the background. Squelch control eliminates the static white noise over frequencies by shutting off your speakers until some signal comes in.
Instant Channel: This is a very useful feature that lets you instantly flip between a few preset channels without having to dial them manually. This is quite similar to a normal FM radio where you have preset channels that you like to listen to.
Weather Capability: Some CB radios have a switch that lets you instantly go between weather broadcast stations so that you can hear the latest news on incoming weather reports.
PA Capability: There are some CB radios that let you speak into a microphone and have your voice go through loudspeakers. This also requires you to get a stand-alone PA speaker that usually doesn’t come with the radio.
Automatic Noise Limiting: This feature helps you filter out background noise from transmission including but not limited to rain, snow, thunder, engine noise, and honking. It is a very nice premium feature to have.
RF Gain: This feature lets you filter out weaker signals from more distant stations and boost the signal of any given channel.
Backlit Display: This feature basically lights up the CB radio buttons at night so that you can easily see what you are pressing. This is a very useful feature to have and we recommend you get a CB radio with backlight display.