8 Best CB Radios | March 2017

We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When you're on a long midnight haul on deserted roads and the coffee and No-Doze just won't cut it, nothing will keep you awake quite as effectively as a little conversation over the CB radio. Even if you're simply at home with your CB, communicating with those who still invest in this older technology will help remind you that the world hasn't quite passed you by just yet. Skip to the best cb radio on Amazon.
8 Best CB Radios | March 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 3
Best High-End
★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
8
The Midland 75-822 is a 40-channel portable system with a 4-watt output. It includes an automatic noise limiter function, and it can run on battery power or be plugged into a vehicle's cigarette lighter to stay charged up on the road.
7
The AnyTone Smart CB Mobile radio/transceiver is a cost-effective and compact little unit that is a great backup option for the trucker or dispatcher. It also makes a fine choice for someone just getting into this kind of communication.
6
The Uniden BEARCAT 880 is an attractive, affordable unit with a 7-color backlit LED screen. It features radio diagnostic monitoring and a digital SRF/SWR meter, as well as a clear frequency display, so you'll know which channels to use.
5
The Cobra 29LX CAMO is a 40-channel device with attractive styling and a bright, four-color LED readout. It features antenna monitoring and adjustable mic boost, and it can store your ten most commonly used channels for fast access.
  • built-in emergency alert receiver
  • radio diagnostic test feature
  • microphone feels cheap
Brand Cobra
Model 29 LX
Weight 5.7 pounds
4
The Bluetooth compatible Cobra 29 LTD CHR comes in an attractive chrome cabinet that adds both durability and style to the package. It has all the features you'd expect from a quality model, and allows users to control incoming and outgoing calls.
  • routes phones through radio speaker
  • instant access to emergency channels
  • hard to grip some knobs
Brand Cobra
Model CBR29LTDCHR
Weight 5.6 pounds
3
The Stryker SR-655HPC is a feature-loaded, high-power option with a 7-color backlit LED screen. It is PC programmable for extra control, and its Hi-Cut noise filter system stops those unpleasant squelches and squawks along the channels.
  • dimmer reduces glare
  • four 70-watt transistors
  • vfo or traditional band modes
Brand Stryker
Model SR-655HPC
Weight 6.1 pounds
2
The Uniden PC78LTX is a low-cost, 40-channel unit with all of the basic features you'd likely find in much more expensive models, as well as some extra perks, like an integrated public address feature that can connect to a speaker system.
  • large led screen
  • guaranteed for 1 year
  • instant channel 9 feature
Brand Uniden
Model PC78LTX
Weight 4.6 pounds
1
The AnyTone AT-5555N is a top-quality, 10-meter device with a 12-watt AM output and 30-watt FM output. It is designed to work at temperatures from well below freezing up to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal choice for storm chasers.
  • long programmable frequency range
  • superior display
  • 8 ohm built-in speaker
Brand AnyTone
Model AT5555N
Weight 5.5 pounds

What Is A CB Radio?

A citizens band radio, or CB radio, is type of short wave radio frequency that individuals can use to communicate with each other. It has a transmission distance of 40 to 100 miles, depending on your equipment and atmospheric conditions, and can be used for business or personal communications. Users don't need any kind of license to legally transmit over any of its 40 channels. None of the CB radio channels belong to any specific station and instead are shared by all users.

At any given time, only one user, known as a station, may transmit a signal. Other stations must wait for the communication to be over before starting their own transmission. For this reason, it is common for waiting stations to broadcast the word "break" during a period of radio silence. This is to notify the people currently using the channel that others are waiting.

Despite the advent of cell phones for personal communications, there are many consumer groups that still use CB radios on a regular basis. It is common for truckers to use CB radios to communicate with other drivers to keep themselves amused during long rides or to inform others of road conditions.

Many contractors who need to keep in constant communications with workers on other job sites often choose to use a CB radio as opposed to a cell phone as well. There are also a large number of radio hobbyist who enjoy the traditional style and lingo of CB radio communications.

A Brief History Of The CB Radio

The CB radio service was created in the United States in 1945 as one of a number of other personal radio services that were regulated by the FCC. Initially there were two classifications of CB radios, "A" and "B". Both originally operated on the 460–470 MHz UHF band, but Class B radios were limited to a smaller frequency range.

In the late 1940's, a man by the name of Alfred J. Gross started the Citizens Radio Corporation with the intention of producing Class B handheld CB radios for general public use.

Unfortunately, at the time, these UHF radios were not affordable and it wasn't until 1958, with the inception of the Class D radio service that it began to catch on. Class D was created on the 27MHz radio frequency, which had 23 channels. This is what evolved into the popular Citizens Band as we know it today.

Initially CB radios were mostly used by small businesses, truck drivers, and radio hobbyists, but as the cost, weight, and size of the radio devices began to drop in the late 1960's, they started to become popular with the general public. CB slang started to evolve, CB clubs were formed, and the CB 10 codes came about.

How Does One Use A CB Radio?

Operating a CB radio is a simple endeavor that doesn't require any special training or know how. Getting started is as easy as buying a CB radio, mounting your antenna, and tuning into a popular channel.

Channel 19 is a good one to start with as it is most commonly used, so you should hear people talking relatively quickly. Channel 6 is usually jammed up by illegally over-powered pirate radios who broadcast for long periods. You can take some time to explore any of the 40 stations you choose though.

Once you've got yourself tuned in, you can start sending out your own communications. If there are people currently using the station, wait for a pause in the conversation and then broadcast the word "break." This will let the other users know you are waiting for your turn to transmit. Once it is your turn, begin with a radio check. This allows you to check that your transmission is being sent out loud and clear. If no one responds after a minute or two, you can re-issue another radio check.

Once someone responds, you can initiate a conversation, but take note of the other user's tone and attitude. Some operators are chatty hobbyists that can't wait to start a conversation, while others are truck drivers who are at the end of a long shift and may have no interest in talking.

Remember to always be polite and not take up too much time on a crowded channel. You should not broadcast for more than 5 minutes continuously, and then wait at least one or two minutes before starting another transmission. If you want to have a long and drawn out conversation with another user, agree to meet on another less crowded station.



Wiki Statistics and Editorial Log
0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
27
Hours
23,018
Users
30
Revisions

Revision History

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page. For our full ranking methodology, please read 'about this wiki', linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.

Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

advertisement