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The best CB Radio: Our top 9 to get you talking

Radio is one of the most transformative technologies in our history. 

When we learned how to manipulate radio waves, we discovered a new method of communicating, unlike anything that ever existed before. 

It was radio that first bridged the gap between companies around the world. Radio also gave us our first real form of media entertainment. 

Before talk shows and top forty hits, radio was about connectivity and communication. If you’re a fan of the history of radio, then you might also be interested in things like ham radio and CB connections. 

Although the best CB radio on the market today can only access a tiny amount of power, it can deliver incredible experiences for tech enthusiasts. 

Many companies still use CB radios for supporting better communication between their team members too. Lorry and truck drivers often rely heavily on CB radio. 

Today, we’re going to guide you through the wonderful world of Citizen Broadcast. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll know where to buy some of the top CB radios available, and how you can make the most of your purchase.

Best CB Radio 2

1. Cobra 29NW Professional (best for night-time use)

CB radios are common among truck and lorry drivers that often work through the night and need to stay connected to their team. 

When you’re using your radio in the later hours of the evening, you need to ensure that you can see exactly what channels you’re working with. The Cobra 29NW Professional helps with night-time journeys, offering a fully illuminated front panel display for easier viewing, day, or night. 

The 5WR calibration included with this device ensures that you get a better frequency strength for cleaner communication. It even comes with an antenna warning indicator that takes the guesswork out of checking your information. 

With a range of 40 channels to choose from, the Cobra is versatile and easy to use. 

For a price of around $120, features include:

  • Night watch display with full illumination
  • 5WR calibration for better frequency support
  • Antenna warning indicator
  • Instant emergency channel access
  • 40 channel support
  • Noise blanker to reduce background distortion
  • RF gain to adjust reception sensitivity
  • Heavy-duty adjustable microphone

Great for people who are often in the move in the later hours of the day, the 29NW will help you to discover the benefits of the best CB radio for yourself. 

There’s even a noise blanker included to reduce the amount of distortion in your radio messages. 

One downside is that mounting this product in your car can be a complicated process. The instructions have some inconsistencies that make set-up tough. 

Pros:

  • 40 channels to choose from
  • Emergency channel access
  • Blocks out excess noise
  • Heavy-duty and durable microphone

Cons:

  • Difficult set-up for beginners
  • Mounting can be an issue
Best CB Radio 3

2. Cobra 29LXBT (best with Bluetooth)

A step up from some of the more basic best buy CB radio choices on the market; the Cobra 29LXBT is brimming with ways to amaze and delight customers. 

Rather than just giving you CB radio access, the 29LXBT features Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can connect your phone and take calls hands-free when you’re driving. 

There’s caller ID included, and text-to-speech capabilities so the machine can read your messages to you too! On top of that, you get an easy-to-read LCD screen, ideal for browsing through channels. 

The addition of NOAA weather channels with your radio system also means that you can stay up-to-date on any emergency weather situations. 

The radio check and frequency display automatically run diagnostics for radio frequency and voltage output, with antenna matching included for better signal. 

For a price of around $150, features include:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Hands-free calling with caller ID
  • Text-to-speech functionality
  • Easy-to-read display
  • NOAA weather channels
  • Radio check and frequency display
  • Antenna matching for better signal

The 29LXBT is a fantastic high-performance product, and one of the best CB radios we’ve seen. 

The Bluetooth feature isn’t just a novelty; it means that you can connect with people while you drive without putting others at risk. 

Incoming audio routes through the radio speaker, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. 

One downside is that the volume knob can be difficult to turn. Setting your radio up might be a challenge too. 

Pros:

  • Bluetooth connection
  • Text-to-speech to keep your attention on the road
  • NOAA weather channels included
  • Radio check and frequency display
  • Antenna matching functionality

Cons:

  • Difficult to set up for beginners
  • Knobs and buttons aren’t as intuitive as they could be
Best CB Radio 4

3. Uniden PRO505XL (best display)

Uniden is a popular name for many beginners in search of the best CB radio. 

The PRO505XL is an affordable and intuitive machine that comes with instant emergency channel access, an external speaker jack, and more. 

The large display is another benefit of this device, because it’s easier to see and read at a glance. There’s even a backlight for even better visibility. 

This durable CB radio is also compact enough to fit into any vehicle – not just bigger trucks. 

You can monitor your transmission power and check the strength of incoming signals on the monitor. 

Instant access to emergency channels also helps you to stay safe on the go. This might not be the most advanced option in our list of top CB radios, but it is one of the more affordable. 

For a price of around $35, features include:

  • Compact enough for any vehicle
  • Backlit and large LCD
  • Built-in signal and RF power indicator
  • Excellent immediate emergency channel access
  • Built-in external speaker jack
  • Mounting hardware included
  • Two-year warranty

If you’re looking for an affordable radio that’s easy for beginners, the Uniden PRO505XL is a great choice. 

It’s convenient and compact, with mounting hardware included, and a handy two-year warranty for peace of mind. 

The sound quality isn’t perfect with this device, and the microphone can have a lot of distortion.

Pros:

  • Large and easy-to-read display
  • Built-in RF and signal power indicator
  • External speaker jack
  • Mounting hardware included
  • Great warranty

Cons:

  • Poor sound quality
  • Not a great microphone
Best CB Radio 5

4. President Electronics MC KINLEY  (best manual squelch)

The President Electronics MC KINLEY CB radio is one of the more professional products on the market. 

Features like manual squelch and ASC will give you a better overall audio and transmission experience. 

There’s also a multi-functional LCD with various channels, and memory scanning. For extra peace of mind, users also get access to emergency weather channels. 

With an external loudspeaker jack for extra volume and a dual-watch function, this is a great piece of equipment for intermediate CB users. The price is pretty reasonable too, considering the high quality of the machinery. 

For a cost of around $180, features include:

  • 40 channel options
  • Channel rotary switch
  • Volume adjustment
  • Manual squelch and ASC
  • Multi-functional LCD screen
  • ANL filter with NB and HI-CUT
  • 3 memories 
  • F function key
  • Weather channels

If you’re looking for something easy to use but still versatile enough for people with some CB radio knowledge, this could be the product for you. 

There’s a front microphone plug, so you can easily talk to people without stretching too far. 

The presets and talkback functions are another bonus. 

One issue with this radio is that it does heat up quite a lot during use, which can be a bit worrying. Another possible problem is that the knobs on the device aren’t very durable.

Pros:

  • 40 channel options
  • Manual squelch and ASC
  • Multi-functional LCD
  • ANL filter, NB and Hi-Cut
  • 3 memory options 

Cons:

  • Some parts of the machine feel a bit flimsy
  • Heats up a lot during use
Best CB Radio 6

5. Uniden PC78LTX (best with SWR meter)

Another of the best CB radio options to come from Uniden is the PC78LTX. 

This high-performance product is ideal for those who want customizable performance options. 

You’ll have front mic access, a durable and rugged mic to stand the test of time, and 40 channels to choose from. 

To improve sound quality, you can adjust the microphone settings, including manual squelch control, and noise blanking.

One other big bonus of this device is that it comes with an integrated SWR meter. The meter ensures that you can keep your best CB radio station performing at its best. 

If you’re looking for something durable enough to stand the test of time, but won’t cost a fortune, this is it. 

For a reasonable price of around $75, features include:

  • Tough and powerful performance
  • Rugged microphone
  • 40 channels
  • Noise blanker
  • Screen dim control
  • RF gain control
  • Integrated SWR meter

The Uniden doesn’t have some of the more advanced features in the CB radio market, such as Bluetooth connectivity. 

Access to things like noise-canceling is excellent for any CB radio enthusiast. 

If you need to have detailed conversations on the move, this could be an excellent investment for you. 

There are some issues with static noise if you’re passing other trucks or electricals. 

Pros:

  • Powerful performance
  • SWR meter built-in
  • Noise blanker included
  • Rugged microphone
  • 40 channel options

Cons:

  • Falls victim to static
  • Missing a few advanced features
Best CB Radio 7

6. Radioddity CB-27 (best with removable mic)

Compact, ultra-portable, and ideal for life on the go, the Radioddity CB-27 is one of the top CB radios we’ve seen so far. 

This affordable and lightweight CB radio is ideal for beginners who don’t want to spend a fortune on their new tech. 

There’s access to AM radio included, and manual squelch control with 29 control levels or 9 automatic settings. Blocking out static is a breeze. 

The Radioddity device also comes with instant access to emergency channels, and a backlit display so you can check your frequencies fast. 

Perhaps the most compelling feature of this product is the removable microphone. With no cord to get in the way, there’s less chance of a mess in your car. 

For around $60, features include:

  • Instant emergency channel access
  • Squelch control (manual and automatic)
  • 4-watt power output
  • Backlit display
  • Memory scanning feature
  • Ultra-compact and portable design
  • Removable mic

Offering an excellent entry point to the best CB radio options, the Radioddity CB-27 is a top choice for convenience and performance. 

One possible problem is that the buttons on the machine are a little fiddly. Turning the volume up and down can be a complicated process. This is a problem that most people will be able to live with. 

Pros:

  • Excellent squelch control
  • Memory scanning
  • Removable microphone
  • Fantastic compact design
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Buttons are a bit fiddly
Best CB Radio 8

7. Cobra 29 LX MAX (best with app)

The Cobra 29 LX MAX takes top CB radios to the next level, with its own dedicated app. 

The included iRadar app means that you can receive and report on live police alerts, including road hazards, speed traps, and even red-light cameras. 

There’s a Bluetooth connection on this product, which means that you can answer calls without taking your eyes off the road. 

The noise-canceling microphone even means that your calls can be as crystal-clear as possible. 

Another fantastic feature is the “Say again” option, which allows you to replay the last 10 seconds of audio if you missed something that was said. 

The Cobra 29 LX MAX also comes with access to NOAA channels so that you can keep a closer eye on emergency weather conditions. 

For a price of around $200, features include:

  • iRadar app for live alerts
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Noise-canceling 
  • Rewind “say again” function 
  • NOAA weather channels 
  • Nightwatch LCD screen
  • Emergency channel access
  • 40 CB channels

This is one of the more modern options for the best CB radios that we’ve seen so far. 

With things like RF gain to improve your signal quality and a switchable noise blanker, this device has it all. 

It is one of the more expensive products that we’ve reviewed, but it comes with a lot of great features, including an extra durable microphone. 

One possible problem is that you may need to spend some spare time setting up your radio, as the instructions can be confusing. 

Pros:

  • Excellent app included
  • Rewind functionality
  • Noise-canceling feature
  • NOAA weather channel access
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons:

  • Takes a while to set up
  • Quite expensive
Best CB Radio 9

8. President Electronics BILL (best with function key)

The President Electronics brand is one of the major contenders in the market for the best CB radio position. 

There are plenty of great products available from this company to suit all budgets. One of our favorites is the President Electronics BILL. 

This device is one of the more affordable CB radios that we’ve seen, but it still has a lot of functionality to offer. 

There are 40 channels to explore, and a manual squelch feature for noise management. 

The LCD comes with an ANL filter, Hi-Cut functionality, and a scan function. You can also make sure that you’re always safe on the roads with access to NOAA radio channels. 

There are programmable preset channels, and a time-out timer included. 

Plus, you can use your speakers with the loudspeaker jack. 

For a price of around $90, features include:

  • 40 channels 
  • 12-volt performance
  • USB input
  • Volume adjustment and manual squelch
  • Multi-function LCD display
  • Beep and roger beep function
  • Weather channel access
  • Preset programmable channels
  • TOT timer
  • External loudspeaker jack.

With a USB input and a bunch of ways to add more functionality to your CB radio, the President Electronics model seems to have it all. 

This is one of the leading options for beginners who have a little extra money to spend. 

One downside, however, is that the screen isn’t always the best, and seems to have a few errors at times, switching between channels almost at random.

Pros:

  • Excellent high-voltage
  • Multi-functional display
  • Weather channel access
  • Function key included
  • ANL (active noise canceling)

Cons:

  • The screen has some errors at times
Best CB Radio 10

9. Texas Ranger Elite (best noise canceling)

The Texas Ranger Elite is one of the leading professional options when it comes to choosing the best CB radio on the market. 

This device comes with a durable and lightweight design – ideal for fitting into any vehicle. 

There’s professional 40 channel AM access, and you even get an attractive design with a blue LED screen. 

The microphone included with this product is a mile apart from some of the other CB radios we’ve seen, with fantastic active noise canceling included. 

You can also reduce the noise in your broadcasts too, thanks to the manual noise blanker and noise limiter. 

For a price of around $160, features include:

  • 40 channel AM, CB crossover
  • Noise blanker
  • Automatic noise limiter
  • Excellent compact design
  • Blue LED display
  • SWR meter with circuit
  • Microphone with noise-canceling included

This is one of the newer products on the market, so it hasn’t had a chance to gain as much attention as some of the good CB radio options covered above. 

However, we love the functionality of this product, and its ability to block out unwanted disturbance. 

One downside is that for the price, you might expect to get other features, like Bluetooth connectivity. 

Pros:

  • Excellent noise canceling capacity
  • Automatic noise limiter
  • LED display
  • Microphone includes noise canceling
  • Great performance

Cons:

  • No advanced features
  • Expensive for what you get 

How to choose the best CB radio

Just like choosing any other leading radio, it’s essential to know what you’re looking for when you start your search to buy CB radio products. 

There are a lot of different options out there, and the one that’s right for you might not be the product that appeals to your friends and coworkers. 

With a little luck, our best CB radio reviews above will have given you an insight into some of the features to look for when you’re shopping. 

It might be worth taking some time to make sure that you’re familiar with the options you can get first. For instance, do you need:

  • Squelch control: This sets a break point where your CB radio outputs your signal. It stops you from having to constantly listen to static by just informing you when transmissions are received. This is a common feature of the best CB radios. 
  • ANL: Automatic noise limitation, or automatic noise cancellation filters out the engine noise, static, and other sources of interference that could damage your radio’s sound quality. 
  • Instant access channels: The ability to use a dedicated button to jump between popular channels like channel 9 and 19 is a popular feature. This will save you time when you don’t want to take your eyes off the road. 
  • Weather capabilities: A lot of the top CB radios come with access to NOAA radio channels. This ensures that you can get emergency weather broadcasts, as well as listening out for messages from your team. 
  • Backlit displays: The top CB radios should always feature a backlit display. Whether you’re driving during the day or night, a good display will give you better visibility. You don’t want to squint to see what channel you’re using. 
  • Channel scanning: CB channel scanning works just like a scanner for any other radio. It checks all of the available channels, looking for activity. When it finds someone talking it, stops scanning and lets you decide whether you want to skip to somewhere new. 

Finding a good CB radio

There are plenty of fantastic CB radios on the market today that are perfect for tech enthusiasts, truck drivers, and other professionals alike. 

Finding the product that’s right for you will mean considering all of your options carefully before you buy a CB radio for yourself. 

Before you begin shopping, it might be worth making a list of all the must-have features you want to include in your radio. This will help you to narrow down your choices a lot faster. 

We love the Cobra 29LXBT for its Bluetooth functionality and brilliant text-to-speech functionality. If you’re looking for a device that keeps your attention on the road at all times, this could be it. 

On the other hand, if you need something that delivers a specific display and reliable performance, you can’t go wrong with the Uniden PRO505XL. It’s one of the more affordable products that you can buy right now, and one of the best for beginners. 

Good luck finding the best CB radio for your needs. Don’t forget to check out our other radio reviews for more insights! 

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