Best CB Radio

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The best CB radio can be a great companion for overlanders and outdoor enthusiasts. For a long period of time, many truckers, RV owners, hobbyists, trail riders, motorcyclists, etc. have been using CB radios all around the world. 

If you are thinking about picking out one for you but getting a hard time making a decision, then this is the post for you. Because we have compiled a list of the best CB radios available out there. 

Now we will be reviewing these top CB radios for you. Along with that, we will also be sharing a detailed buying guide as well.

Best CB Radio

Best CB Radio – Reviews

Review of Uniden 520XL 40-Channel Compact Mobile CB Radio with PA

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Our first pick is the Uniden Pro05XL CB radio. When it comes to CB radios, Uniden is arguably one of the best brands out there

This 40 channel CB radio comes with a heap of features. For example, you will like the backlit LCD display. 

Because of this, the user can operate it even in dark or bad weather conditions. It also features RF Power/Signal indicator, so that you can monitor the strength of incoming transmissions.

Besides, it has the PA (Public Address) function and an external speaker jack. That way, you can connect an external speaker to the CB radio for listening to the broadcast loud and clear. 

Like any other CB radios, it also has an instant channels button for the emergency Channel 9. In the box, you will get the CB Radio, mounting bracket, mounting accessories, and 4 pin electret microphone. 

Even with all these features, it comes with a compact size. So, it can easily be mounted to any type of vehicle without much hassle.  

What Previous Buyers Said?

This is one of the most favorite CB radios of the previous buyers on our list. Most of the buyers have praised the cost to performance ratio of this one. 

They have stated that the compact design makes it easy to fit in any type of vehicles. And, the build quality of the unit is also top-notch according to them.


  • Value for money
  • Compact and easily mountable
  • Comes with LCD backlit display
  • It has 2 years warranty


  • No NOAA weather channels

Cobra 29LTD is one of the most popular CB radios around the world. It comes with the most basic functions of a CB radio. 

This is equipped with features like S/RF, SWR calibration, NB/ANL (Automatic Noise Limiter), PA, instant channels 9 buttons, volume button, dynamic button, RF gain, and more. In addition, it has an antenna warning indicator and an easy to read backlit display.

This 40-channel radio comes with 9 ft. microphone cord, DC power cord, mic and transceiver bracket, and more. 

The net dimension of this Cobra CB radio is 9.25 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches. Plus, the weight is about 3.35 lbs. To be noted, for some vehicles, it could be a bit bigger.

What Previous Buyers Said?

This is one of the most ruggedly built CB radios on our list. According to customers, this one has all the basic must-have features. 

They said it is easy to install and use. Overall, the quality and the performance is good enough for the price.


  • Comes with instant channel 9 feature
  • It has RF gain, SWR calibration, Delta Tune, etc. features
  • Comes with 2 years of limited warranty
  • Robust build quality


  • Could be a bit large for some particular vehicles

This is one of the smaller CB radios on our list. Yet, it comes packed with a ton of features. So, if you are looking for a CB radio that is compact yet full of premium features at an affordable price, then you can check this one out

First off, it has a backlit display where you will be able to view all of the settings and functionalities enabled or selected on the radio in real-time.

You can change the display color to 7 different ones. Some of the notable features of this 40 channel CB radio are ASC, manual squelch control, ANL/NB filter, Beep function, Hi-Cut, Scan function, Roger Beep, weather channel, TOT, external speaker jack, and so on. 

Thus, you can see that it could be one of the top picks if you are on the look for a featureful CB radio.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The majority of the past buyers have praised the feature set of this radio. They have also admired the small size of the device. 

They said it is loud, easy to use, and easily mountable. All in all, for the price, it could be one of the best options out there.


  • Compact and easy to install
  • Has multi-functional easy to read backlit LCD display
  • It has 5V 2.1A USB port and roger beep feature


  • Has 3 watts of output power

This is a handheld CB radio from Midland. Due to its useful features and great cost to performance ratio, it is now one of the best-selling CB radios in the ‘Handheld CB Radios’ category on many online stores. 

This portable CB radio can be powered in two ways via 6 AA batteries or the cigarette lighter plug. The net dimension of the unit is 3.5 x 2.75 x 1.5 inches. 

It weighs just about 0.4 pounds or 181 gm. The Midland 75-822 features instant access to Channel 9, Channel 19, and NOAA radio channels. 

This radio has features like ANL (Automatic Noise Limiter), squelch control, lock, last channel recall, push to talk, and more. Additionally, it also has an easy to read dual watch back-lit LCD display of which you can turn on or off the backlight.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The Midland 75-822 is a fan favorite for sure. The buyers admired the ease of use and build quality of this CB radio. They have also liked that it could be powered by AA-size batteries. 

As well as they have also loved the inclusion of the cigarette lighter plug in this Midland 75-822. 


  • It is a handheld CB radio
  • Comes with 10 NOAA channels
  • It has 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Top-notch build quality


  • It seems to work with only a particular type/brand of rechargeable batteries

This is a classic from Cobra but with a modern design. The size of this radio is 7.25 x 9.25 x 2.25 inches and the weight is about 3.53 lbs. 

It has a back-lit display of which you can change the color and brightness. It also features NOAA weather channels and instant channels as well. 

You will also love the inclusion of the clock, alarm, timer, and weather alert system. These are some of the best features of the Cobra 29Lx: SWR calibration, memory channel, scan, talk-back, public address system (PA) capability, RF gain, and more. 

The build quality of both the handset and the radio is top-class. So, you can’t go wrong with this.  

What Previous Buyers Said?

According to the previous buyers, this is one of the top CB radios from Cobra. It has a great range. 

They have also praised the inclusion of features like clock, timer, alarm, PA, Instant Channels, SWR calibration, and more.


  • Comes with an easy to read 4 color LCD display
  • It has instant NOAA weather channel, Channel 9, and Channel 19 buttons
  • You can set an alarm on this
  • It shows the time on the display with other important information


  • It slowly drains the battery even when all the features are turned off

This is another CB radio from Uniden. Now, it is equipped with the SSB feature. So, it can actually output up to 12 watts of power for better and improved reception and radio range. 

The overall size of the radio is 3.50 x 15.00 x 8.50 inches and it weighs about 4 lbs. It comes with a rugged noise-canceling corded microphone. Your voice will be heard loud and clear from the other end, for sure.

Plus, it can be used with a wireless microphone. This one has a big dual watch display with 7 different colors to choose from. 

Some of the key features of this CB radio from Uniden are Instant Channel 9, NOAA weather channels and alert, PA function, analog S/RF meter, a noise-canceling mic, ANL/Noise limiter, RF gain, and so forth.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The current users of this SSB CB radio are very satisfied with its performance. They liked the ease of use and the total feature set of this radio. 

In addition, they have liked that it could be used with a wireless microphone to use it as a handheld radio.


  • It has a noise-canceling microphone
  • Comes with wireless microphone compatibility
  • It has a multifunctional big backlit display
  • This one is an SSB equipped CB radio


  • The brightness of the display could be a bit higher

Are you looking for a small yet feature-packed CB radio? If that is the case, you should check this one out. Because it weighs about 0.95 lbs. or 340 gm. 

The net dimension of the unit is 4.29 x 4.09 x 0.94 inches. This portable CB radio comes with various important features such as RF gain, instant channel 9 and 19, memory scan, back-lit display, ASQ, AM band, key lock, and more.

The microphone of this radio can be removed while not in use. Also, you will get a cigarette lighter plug, mounting brackets, mounting accessories, etc. with this. 

Although it comes with a loud built-in speaker, you can connect any external speaker to it as well. Overall, this could be a good choice for overlanders.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Maximum buyers are loving this CB radio because of its compact design. They have also admired the ease of use and easy installation system of this radio and the microphone. 

At the same time, the customers also talked positively about the performance, sound quality, and build quality of the radio.


  • Ultra-compact and easy to set up
  • The microphone is removable
  • It has a back-lit display
  • You can connect external speakers to it


  • The microphone could be of better quality

This CB radio from Galaxy is another top-rated CB radio on our list with 40 CB channels. It might not fit everybody’s list. 

But for some, it might be the best match. This one has the microphone jack at the front for ease of use. It also comes with a back-lit display.

Moreover, you will have features like RF gain, dimmer control, SWR calibration, NB (Noise Blanker)/ANL (Automatic Noise Limiter), PA (public address system) function, talk-back, mic gain, manual squelch control, and more. 

You can also adjust the power output of this CB radio with ‘Frequency Counter’. As per other users, this one has a power output range from 2 watts to 18+ watts.

The radio weighs about 4.1 lbs. Besides, the net dimension of this CB radio is 9 x 7.25 x 2.2 inches.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Several previous buyers have complained about the quality of the microphone. Also, some others also said for the price, it should have had weather channels. 

Other than that, there are some happy customers as well, who loved it because of its adjustable power output control and high-performance.


  • Comes with a back-lit display
  • It has a variable power output control function
  • This one comes with talk-back circuit


  • A bit pricey

Are you looking for a multi-functional CB radio? In that case, this one from AnyTone could be a great choice. By default, it comes with the 28.000 to 29.700 MHz. 

But you can change that to 26.065 to 27.405 frequency range for using it like a CB radio in the USA. Now, it has a ton of features. For starters, it comes with multiple modes like AM, FM, SSB, PA, USB, LSB, and more.

In addition, it has various functions like ASQ/SQ function, Echo function, NB/ANL function, programmable RB function, scan function, TOT function, EMG channel function, squelch control, Hi-Cut function, and more. 

The dual watch back-lit display is another great plus. You will get all the installation accessories with it. All in all, this is one of the best multi-mode radios on our list.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Some buyers said the price could be a bit lower. On the other hand, most of the past buyers were very happy with the sound quality and performance of this multi-functional radio. 

They mentioned if anyone is looking for a high-end and feature-rich radio, then they should get this.


  • Comes with multiple modes (FM/SSB/AM/PA)
  • It has a power output adjustable function
  • Comes with 1 year warranty
  • It has power supply voltage protection
  • It comes with key-lock function


  • A bit expensive

Lastly, we have the Andy AM 12/24 Volt 40 CB radio from the famous President Electronics. This one has a very much affordable price tag. The net dimension of this CB radio is 6.89 x 4.93 x 1.77 inches and it weighs about 2 lbs. or 907 grams. 

Due to its smaller size, it can easily fit under the dash of your vehicle. Like other President Electronics products, it also packs a lot of features.

It has power on/off buttons, volume buttons, S-meter, manual squelch control,  ANL (Automatic Noise Limiter) and NB filters, etc. In addition, it is EMG programmable and comes with a beep function and F function key. 

It also has a big LCD screen with 7 different colors. The inclusion of front microphone plug, weather channel with alert function, and public address features makes it one of the best affordable CD radios on our list.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Most past users have praised this CB radio. Almost all of them liked the compact size of this. 

Also, they have talked positively about the build quality of this device. For the price, they are recommending this.


  • Small size
  • Bright and big LCD back-lit screen
  • Comes with beep function, F function key, PA (public address), EMG programmable feature


  • There are no dedicated weather and scan buttons

Buying Guide – Best CB Radios

Types of CB Radios

Like off-road GPS, CB radios also come in multiple variations. Generally, we can categorize it in 3 types such as All-in-One handset CB radio, Mobile CB radio, and Handheld CB radio.

All-in-One Handset CB Radio

The all-in-one handset CB radio is a modern one. In this type of CB radios, the majority of the controls are built into the handset/microphone. Because of that, the handset of these CB radios come in big size. 

However, they are ergonomically designed to fit on your palm effortlessly. So, if you are looking for portable CB radios that don’t take much space on your vehicle, then this type of all-in-one handset CB radio.

Mobile CB radio

Mobile CB radios are the most common ones you will see out there. They have 2 parts. The main part of  a mobile CB radio looks like a small box with buttons and knobs. 

This is the actual radio. You will mount it under your dash or anywhere you would like. Along with that box, it would be equipped with a wired handset. 

All the controls on this type of CB radios would be on the box and the handset will be used for voice dictation.

Handheld CB radio

As the name suggests, this type of CB radios is like a walkie-talkie. So you can take them out of your car to get a better reception and radio range. 

Typically, they come with a USB port or a cigarette lighter cord to charge the device so that you can use that handheld. 

Some of them also can be powered by batteries (Lithium-ion or AA or AAA size). You can also use an external antenna with this type of radios to get a better range if you want to. 

If you are on the look for a versatile and portable CB radio, you should take one of these battery-powered handheld CB radios. 

CB Radio Features

Let’s get familiar with some of the most common CB radio features in this section.

RF Gain

One of the most vital features a CB radio can come with is the RF gain feature. With this feature, you will be able to block out any type of weak signals or faint transmissions. 

As a result, you will be able to adjust the reception sensitivity range for crisp and clear communication.

ANL/Noise Limiter

ANL or ‘Automatic Noise Limiter’ feature helps to filter the static, impulse engine noise from the radio automatically. 

That way it can save both your ear and the speaker of the CB radio. This feature is also known as NB or Noise Blanker.

Instant Channel

There are 2 most popular channels in CB radios among the 40 channels. Those are Channel 9 and Channel 19. Channel 9 is the ‘Emergency’ channel and Channel 19 is dedicated to truckers/highway riders.

Now, if your CB radio comes with the ‘Instant Channel’ feature, you will be able to jump to these specified channels with just a click on the dedicated ‘Instant Channel’ buttons. 

If this feature is not available, you would have to manually scan for a long time to find the emergency channels.

Channel Scan

This is another very significant feature to have on your CB radio. With this feature, your CB radio will scan all the 40 channels automatically in order to find an active (people talking) channel. 

That way you will not have to actively and manually scan the channels. Rather, you can keep your eyes on the road while the radio does its job.

SSB (Single Side Band)

Normal CB radios transmit at 4 watts of power. On the contrary, radios with SSB feature transmit at 12-watt of power. That means this type of radios has 3x the transmission range compared to traditional CB radios.

But there’s a catch. If you are using the SSB feature on your radio, the only people that also have an SSB equipped radio will be able to communicate with you. 

At the same time, you can use an SSB equipped radio as a normal CB radio (at 4 watts). So, it is a great feature to have if you want improved reception and range.

Weather Channel Capabilities

If your CB radio comes with this feature, then you will be able to access local NOAA weather radio channels for updated weather reports.

Backlit Display

If you are going to use your CB radio at night or under bad lighting conditions, you must get one with a back-lit display. This type of CB radios might be a bit pricey for this feature, but your investment would be worth it in the long run.

Benefits of Using a CB Radio

There are many advantages of using a CB radio. And, here are some of the most important ones.


Yes, you don’t need any special licensing from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for using CB radios. And, if you are buying your CB radio from a top brand, you can be sure that it was made complying with the FCC standards. 

So, you can use your CB radio out of the box without any tweaks or licensing. Whereas, to use ham radios or GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service), you would need special licensing.


Back in days, the big size of the CB radios was a problem for the users. As these were very hard to mount because of their oversized design. 

But with the advancement in technology, the size of the CB radios has changed a lot. Nowadays, the top CB radios come with a very compact and portable size. So, you can easily install one on your overlanding rig.


Similar to the size, CB radios have improved a lot in the features department as well. Nowadays, these radios come with innovative features and useful functionalities. 

For instance, some devices come with LCD back-lit displays. Whereas some other comes with Bluetooth connectivity. Similarly, some CB radios also can be synced to your smartphone.


If you look at the list of the best CB radios above, you will notice that these are not that highly-priced electronic devices. 

Rather, you can get one of these without spending a fortune. So, if you want to get a communication device at an affordable price, then a CB radio could be a top pick.


If you have used CB radios before, you know that there are various communities on there. For example, it has separate communities for motorcycle clubs, overlanders, trail raiders, truckers, and other types of users. 

This is a huge advantage of using CB radios as you can communicate with other similar minded people anytime you want to.

During Emergencies

Because of man-made or natural disasters, almost all types of modern connectivity (mobile network towers, TV service, and so on) can be damaged. 

But you know that you can easily communicate with other CB radio users using your CB radio even in the midst of emergencies. 

Also, during emergencies, police forces, emergency volunteers, defense forces, etc. use CB radios to communicate. So, you can get help in those states of emergencies if you have got a CB radio at your disposal.

Frequently Asked Questions about CB Radios

What’s the best CB radio for Trucking?

This is a tough question to ask as there are many parameters in the play. The best CB radios would come with the best set of features. 

At the same time, the build quality of the best CB radios would be top-notch. You should be able to use one for over a decade without any issues. In addition, it should come from a well-reputed brand with a reliable warranty policy.

Uniden, Cobra, President Electronics, etc. are some of the most noteworthy brands that manufacture high-quality best of the best CB radios. 

So, you can choose any of them from those brands that suit you the most. For your convenience, we have shared only the top-rated CB radios in this review post.

How Many Miles Can A CB Radio Transmit?

Typically, a CB radio should cover 1 mile per watt of output power. As you know most of the CB radios available out there come with 4 watts of total output power. So a standard CB radio should be able to transmit over 4 miles on average. 

Although there are some SSB (Single Sideband) equipped radios can operate at 12 watts of power. So, they have a higher radio range. 

But legally, the average radio range would be 4 miles. However, based on the place, terrain, and circumstance, a CB radio can have a range from 3 to 20 miles.

Are Uniden CB Radios Good?

Yes. Uniden has been the champion brand in manufacturing CB radios for a long time. Matter of fact, this Japanese company was established back in 1966. 

And, after a few years, they have begun to manufacture CB radios since the 1970s. Since then, they brought the world some of the best CB radios and accessories. So, you can rely on Uniden products.

What Is A CB Radio?

CB radio is the short form of ‘Citizens Band’ radio. This is a land-based mobile radio system, which allows person-to-person short-distance bidirectional voice communication between the users. 

These radios operate on 40 channels. Aside from that, this type of radios come handy during emergencies and disasters.

Because emergency responders, police, volunteers, etc. use CB radios for communication while there is no other way available. 

Also, most truckers and overlanders use CB radios. Simply put, we think it is one of the ten essentials of overlanding.

best cb radio for offroading

Wrap Up – Best CB Radio

Our main goal was to help you choose the best C B radio for you with this review article. Here we have reviewed 10 of the top CB radios available in the market. 

In the process, we have tried to include all types of CB radios from various price ranges. So we hope you will be able to make your final call with ease based on your preference, budget, and requirements.

Yet, if you are low on the budget yet want a CB radio with all the most important features then you can go with the Uniden PRO505XL 40 Channel CB Radio

On the other hand, if you want the best of the best then you can go with either the Uniden BEARCAT 980 CB Radio or the Cobra 29Lx Professional CB Radio.

Have you checked our post on the Best Handheld Ham Radios as well?

Photo of author
Ferenc Elekes has been a devout Overlanding enthusiast for many years. During that time, Ferenc has explored 75 countries on six continents, with overland travel involved in 40 countries on three continents. From his trusty 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a roof-top tent, he’s blogged about experiences that can only be found in the remotest regions on Earth. Along the way, he's gained in-depth knowledge of the novel challenges overlanders encounter and practical ways to meet them. On his website, he shares informed opinions about everything from the best overland gear to how to get a vehicle unstuck. Ferenc has also written for Ih8mud, the Expedition Portal, the Overland Journal, and he is often invited as a guest to outdoors-related podcasts.
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