Best CB Radio Reviews 2017

Looking for the perfect CB radio isn’t easy, because there are lots of factors to consider. We’ve got that covered, as we’ve spent many hours researching and picked 5 of the best CB radio brands with some of great options. We’ve featured a product from each brand to give you an idea of what they offer. Rest assured, though, that all the companies represented here will give you value for your money. If you don’t like the featured products, these brands have a wide range of other CB radios for you to choose from.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Power
Range
Modulation
Sensitivity
Our Top Choice
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB CB Radio
Uniden has a reputation of making quality wireless consumer electronics products. The BEARCAT 980 SSB gives you top performance with its 40 AM channels plus SSB.
Easy to install. When used with a good antenna, your range increases significantly. It has LCD that displays SWR calibration and antenna tuning.
LED not bright enough to read in daylight.
Fixed mount
4 watts
Over 80000 meters
AM/SSB
Info NOT provided
Best Value
Cobra 29 LX CB Radio
Cobra Electronics is a leading global designer and marketer of products for mobile communications and navigation. Its feature-rich LX 29 has top performance in a variety of situations.
Radio diagnostics for RF power. Can be used as a public address system if connected to a PA speaker. You can monitor SWR settings.
Does not retain clock setting once turned off. It resets.
Fixed mount
4 watts
20000 meters
AM RF
Info NOT provided
Stryker 10 Meter CB Radio
Stryker has a primary goal of providing customers with effective CB radios at affordable prices. Its SR-655HP 10 Meter Amateur Radio serves that goal.
High-powered for enhanced transmission output. Can be customized through a PC. Its advanced clarifier lets you move through frequencies very quickly.
Quite tricky to program. But once you get past that, you're good to go.
Fixed mount
70+ watts
10 meters
AM / VFO
Info NOT provided
Galaxy DX 959 CB Radio
Galaxy is a manufacturer of CB radios with a commitment to excellence. Its range of products is quite affordable. Its DX-959 CB Radio has an automatic SWR circuit.
Noise filter allows for clarity on weak signals. Great receiver sensitivity to pick up distant signals. The SSB range reaches over 50 miles.
Clarifier not centered on SSB. A basic mod should solve the problem.
Mobile
4 watts
Up to 32000 meters
AM/SSB
AM: 60dB over S9
Midland Portable/Mobile CB Radio
Midland Radio is an industry leader in wireless communications. Its 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio is a great yet affordable CB radio. It can scan automatically for channel activity.
Last channel memory for easier communication. Improves reception for weak signals. Portable and lightweight.
Poor range, but that is not a big problem for some users considering it's not an all-out radio. Adding a good antenna to it improves the range significantly.
Mobile
4 watts
4800 – 8000 meters
Info NOT provided
Info NOT provided

(Updated )

How Do I Choose the Best CB Radio?

One of the scariest things is having an emergency and not being able to reach anyone. We’ve all seen thriller movies where an actor/actress really needs to make a call to get help but cannot make a call because there’s no cell network coverage. There are alternatives that can help in such situations. A CB radio is one such alternative.

The citizen’s band radio popularly known as CB radio is a simple means of radio communication allowed by the FCC for individuals and small businesses. It does not require licensing and has 40 available channels with 9 reserved for emergency services like the police and fire departments. When choosing a CB radio, there are some basic things you need to know.

The first thing to know is that power output isn’t a factor on any CB radio. By law, the maximum power output allowed for CB radios is 4 watts. This is a standard for CB radios so it should not be a consideration. The only exception to this is CB radios that transmit on a single-sideband (SSB) which transmits up to 12 watts. CB radios transmit 4 watts maximum power to 3 channels simultaneously - one main channel and two side channels. When transmitting on a single-sideband, you transmit its entire 12watts to one channel. However, when transmitting on this mode, only other users on that same mode can receive your transmission. For everyone to receive your transmission, you have to transmit on the regular mode at 4watts. If you are concerned about the transmission range, you can always improve this with a CB radio antenna.

There are other features that should be considered. These include: kind of display for day and night visibility, easy access to weather alerts and stations, channel scanning mode - manual or auto, Bluetooth for increased connectivity, SWR meter for proper antenna adjustment, SSB (Single-Sideband) mode, public address system for broadcasting your voice outside your vehicle and size for mounting suitability. Depending on your needs, these will help you choose what will be the best CB radio for you.

It is important that if you are mounting the CB radio in your vehicle, you look at where and how you want to mount it. Look at where the radio’s speaker is located so you don’t mount it in such a way as to block the sound. You could choose to connect the audio to an external speaker or even your car speaker.

If you are new to CB radios, understand that they are not cell phones and don’t have their capacity or range. They are however very useful for disseminating real-time, localized information. This is why truckers use them a lot. They are also great for areas with little or no network coverage.
Price
As with most products, a CB radio with a lot of features will cost more than one with fewer features. Some features affecting the price of a CB radio unit include: quality of build, quality of microphone, in-built SWR meter, quality and size of display, compatibility with other kinds of microphones, connectivity to external speakers, and additional features like Bluetooth.

From our research, we found that with between $70 and $300, you can get a very good CB radio. In fact, you may actually end up getting some of the products we have listed at cheaper rates. The important thing is that you will always be getting value for the money. Bear in mind best value is not always cheapest, and we have not included products which fail to provide adequate quality for users.
Features
There are certain features that will differentiate one CB radio from another. Knowing the features that are important to you will help you choose easily. Features to look out for include:
  • Size – it goes without saying that the radio you pick needs to fit in your vehicle properly
  • Type of display – for day and night visibility
  • Channel scanning mode – automatic or manual
  • SWR meter – for properly setting the antenna
  • Weather alerts – easy access to weather stations
  • Bluetooth – for connectivity options
  • Public address system – for amplifying your voice outside the vehicle
  • Single-sideband mode – for 12 watt output transmission
  • Position of speaker – for best mounting position
Construction and Design
You need a CB radio that is built solidly. Aside from this, you also need to consider where you want to mount it as this will determine the ideal size. A lot of these radios are designed with speakers underneath them. You will need to be sure to either choose one that has its speaker where it won’t be blocked when you mount it or you mount it in such a way as not to block the speaker. If you have to block the speaker, then you may be looking at getting an external speaker so you can hear clearly.
Performance and Ease of Use
There are a few things that can improve the ease of use of your CB radio. A screen that you can easily read from day or night is very important. For those who are affected by the light from the screen especially while driving at night, you will want to get one with lights that dim. Additionally, manually scanning channels may not always be comfortable. If this will be a major issue for you, you should go for one that scans automatically.

If you will be using your unit in a noisy environment, getting one with a noise-cancellation microphone will certainly be very helpful. If you also have certain frequencies you use very often, having a unit that stores emergency channels and frequently used channels will be great so you don’t have to scan every time you want to tune to those channels.

These are few general features that can make choosing and using your CB radio easier.

What is the Best CB Radio?

It’s never really been easy to pick a “best” radio per se, because different people have different tastes. It all comes down to what you really want and what your options are but since you’ve gone through our buying guide that should be a lot easier for you. Furthermore, while picking these CB radio brands, we did our best to cover a wide range of tastes. Let’s have a look at our product picks and see what fits your current needs best.
Our Top Choice
Uniden focuses on performance in the manufacture of its products. That ideal shows in its BEARCAT 980 SSB. It has a noise blanker, frequency display, and access to weather alerts. A similar product that costs less is the BEARCAT 880, which gives you squelch control for signal clarity, a PA/CB switch, and a 6-pin to 4-pin adapter.
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB 40-Channel SSB CB Radio With Sideband, WeatherBand And 7-Color Digital Display – 10 Style Options

Uniden CB Radio BEARCAT 980SSB


Features
Nobody knows CB radio electronics like Uniden does, which is why we chose this brand. With its good blend of quality and affordability, it’s no wonder its products are in popular demand all over the country.

Uniden really outdid itself with the Bearcat 980 (selling for $189.99 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), making it our top-choice radio for you. The Bearcat 980 has the following features:
  • 7-color LCD display with backlit text easily readable in the daytime and at night
  • Has a power of 12 watts and doesn’t veer off frequency
  • Comes with a 6-pin microphone, and a 4-pin to 6-pin adapter for if you don’t have a 6-pin microphone
  • A lightweight radio that can be easily fixed in your car
  • 40 channels and 7 weather station frequencies to choose from
  • RF gain and mic gain controls
  • Dynamic squelch control that provides quality audio
  • Noise-canceling microphone for clear communication
  • PA/CB switch allows you switch to PA mode to make announcements on an external speaker
  • S/RF/SWR Meter lets you easily tune your CB antenna for ideal performance
Best Value
Be sure to get a CB radio made by a manufacturer committed to innovation and performance. The Cobra 29 LX CB Radio gives you powerful features for keeping track of things wherever you are. If you want a powerful CB radio that fits in your hand, try the Cobra 75WXST.
Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio With Instant Access 10 NOAA Weather Stations And Selectable 4 Color Display – Two Color Options

Cobra CB Radio 29 LX


Features
If you’re looking for a big-name brand that sells dependable and affordable CB radios, Cobra is a good choice. For over sixty years, Cobra has diligently delivered great products and terrific service to its customers.

Cobra’s 29 LX CB Radio (selling for $149.95 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a beautiful radio that will suit truckers and drivers alike. This radio is an affordable, top quality product and will last a very long time in your car.Some of its features include:
  • Automatic channel scanning for all 40 channels
  • 4-color LCD radio display
  • 10 NOAA weather channels giving you updated weather information as you travel
  • Lightweight, can be mounted in your car
  • Power output of 4 watts
  • Noise-canceling microphone for clear communication
  • Antenna warning indicator that visually notifies you when the antenna needs to be checked
  • Adjustable Dynamike Boost effectively boosts microphone for better voice clarity
  • Can store up to 10 frequently used channels
  • Immediate access to emergency channel 9 and information channel 19
Stryker is dedicated to creating highly efficient communications equipment. Its commitment to quality and performance shows in its 10 Meter CB Radio, which has receiver filtering and variable power control. A more powerful alternative is the Stryker SR 497 HPC AM\/FM 10M Radio, which peaks at a whopping 90W and can alert you if SWRs are too high.
Stryker SR-655HP 10 Meter Amateur CB Radio With Brilliant 7-Color LED Backlit Face Plate

Stryker CB Radio SR-655HPC


Features
With a blend of innovation and electronic genius, Stryker manufactures some of the most popular radios, making it a top brand. It produces better versions of its radios every year, satisfying the needs of its customers.

Stryker’s 10 Meter CB Radio (selling for $254.99 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) lives up to its name. It's an affordable yet durable product, so this radio is something that will cater to your needs. Some of its features are:
  • 7-color LED display with all text backlit, making it easily readable at night and during the day
  • Up to 70 watts at peak power
  • Customizable with your PC, so you can download latest software on your PC and move it to your radio
  • Special clarifier (hardly ever appears on AM radios) allowing you to move frequency up and down quickly
  • Receiver that works during harshest periods
  • Great transmission and a dimmer function
  • Great talk back
  • PC customizable 6 tone roger beeps
  • Microphone connector in front for easy mounting in small spaces
  • Built-in VOX with sensitivity adjustment
Galaxy has been building superior performance radios for years. The DX-959 AM/SSB Radio sports a proprietary noise filter and a large, legible meter with scales for power output and incoming signals. A similar alternative with the StarLite faceplate is the DX 959B Radio which has talk-back circuit switch and covers a wide range.
Galaxy DX-959 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio With Frequency Counter – Two Style Options, Two Packaging Options

Galaxy CB Radio DX-959


Features
Galaxy makes radios that offer value for money. It uses only the best material to make them. It’s no secret that Galaxy is a popular radio manufacturer with stellar reviews everywhere.

The Galaxy DX 959 (selling for $165 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is an improved version of the 949, with a great many changes that will make you ditch your old phone very quickly. A few of its features include:
  • 5-digit frequency counter with big yellow digits making it easy to see while driving at night
  • Galaxy noise filter that greatly reduces noise
  • Detection of weak-SSB signals at certain distances
  • Variable talk back feature that has an on and off circuit
  • Dimmer that's helpful for people whose eyes are affected by radio lights
  • Two-year warranty
  • Receive gain control and mic gain control
  • LED channel indicator and high SWR LED indicator
There's nothing smarter than buying a product made by a manufacturer of quality and durable items, like Midland. This is reflected in the Midland Portable/Mobile CB Radio, which has a multifunctional display with access to channels 9/19. A more flexible option is the Midland 1001Z, which can connect to a PAS and be used as a mic.
Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio With 40 Channels And Automatic Channel Scanning

Midland CB Radio 75-822


Features
Midland is an American company that has proven to be one of the best in radio productions in terms of quality and cost. Its products have been around for over fifty years, and demand still remains high. If you’re looking for something affordable, simple and effective, Midland is a great choice.

The Midland 75-822 Portable/Mobile CB Radio (selling for $124.95 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a portable, simple and effective radio. It has all the attributes of a fixed mount, but at a lower price. If you’re a trucker, this will prove helpful in emergencies and while you’re on the road. Check out some of its features:
  • 40 channels and automatic channel scanning
  • NOAA weather radio that gives you full information on the weather while on the go
  • Output power of 4 watts, powered by AA batteries
  • Automatic noise limiter (ANL) which effectively reduces static and enhances your reception
  • Push-to-talk action
  • Cigarette lighter adapter that provides power

Get the Best CB Radio of 2017!

We hope we helped you decide on the best radio for you. Note that the CB radios here are just samples from these brands that we think you’ll love. They have other models. So, make your selection and get talking – over!

Our Top Choice
Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB CB Radio
Best Value
Cobra 29 LX CB Radio
Stryker 10 Meter CB Radio
Galaxy DX 959 CB Radio
Midland Portable/Mobile CB Radio