Best CB Radio Reviews – For Truckers & Jeep Wrangler
Are you looking for an article to learn about the best truck CB radio? Congrats! You are in the right place.
Back in the '70s, Citizen Band (CB) radio was one of the most popular devices for communication. A large number of vehicle drivers used the device to communicate with others on the road. However, the popularity dropped sharply as smart wireless devices such as mobile phone replaced it.
Nevertheless, lots of people in our time still turn toward the CB radio to ensure a cost-efficient way of communication. The device has some great benefits that induce people to choose it over a smartphone for rapid interaction.
For instance, the variable cost of every call is almost zero in the CB radio. But, it may cost a little for every call on the mobile phone. Additionally, the radio is used only for bridging the gap in communication.
The fact that it doesn't have plenty of time-consuming features is an advantage as you will get less distracted.
In this article, I will discuss in detail about the top 10 units that have the potential to be the very best.
Top 10 Best CB Radio For Truck Drivers
There's a wide range of CB radios available in the market. After going to the market in order to buy one, a new buyer will soon realize that he is in the wrong place. That is when you go to the market without having any knowledge about CB radios.
Herein, I will discuss in detail about the top 10 CB radios and will also point out the merits and demerits of each one. Without any delay, let's begin.
1. Cobra C75WXST Handheld CB Radio
To begin with, we present a CB radio from the illustrious brand known as Cobra. The brand makes some fantastic devices to be used for professional and recreational purpose. They have gained popularity because of providing loads of features in their models and making reliable products.
The Cobra 75 is an all-in-one unit. It takes a minimal space as all the components are built in the microphone assembly. As a result, the device is ideal to use in a small pickup, private cars, jeeps and other off-road vehicles that do not offer much space for a CB radio.
Interestingly, the radio is extremely easy to install. It comes with a connector box which will power it up and connect the antenna. The dimension of the radio is 4.25 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches. So, it is truly one of the most compact communication tools you can have.
This device is equipped with loads of exciting features that will impress you. It will notify you with weather updates from NOAA. You will be able to scan up to 40 different channels. There are two dedicated up down buttons at the side of the mic that will let you scan the channels conveniently while driving.
What I liked most is the backlit display. It will be immensely helpful especially when you will use it during the night rides. A built-in speaker and the sound tracker technology has been incorporated into this model. There is an option to add an external speaker for the users who work in a noisy environment.
- Easy to install
- Stellar LCD display
- Dual watch
- 40 CB channels, including 10 N.O.A.A weather channels
2. Uniden PRO505XL 40-Channel CB Radio
This is a compact, all-in-one CB radio with superior signal strength and improved performance. It is very lightweight, weighs only 2 pounds. The width and length of the device are 4.75 and 6.75 inches respectively. So, it will take a limited space only and will easily fit into your dashboard.
You will like the big LCD display that is easy to read even when it is dark. It has orange colored European style backlight; optimized for use in day and night, both. The model uses a traditional layout with large, dedicated buttons for volume and channel control. For simplicity, it has two knob control system.
It lets you connect all the 40 CB channels. Moreover, it has an instant channel nine functions. In times of emergency, you can quickly tune in to channel nine for help. With the help of innovative squelch control technology, the radio is able to suppress the weak signals. Resultantly, it ensures better sound quality.
Additionally, you can connect an external speaker with the radio. It has an external speaker jack. This will help when you need more sound or when your built-in speaker dies.
Also, it comes with an external PA jack. So, you can connect it to a PA speaker when you want to address a larger audience. In addition, the unit has a special switch that allows you to shuffle between the CB and PA modes quickly. It uses a ‘U' shaped mounting bracket and can be rapidly installed in almost every vehicle.
- RF power indicator
- Backlit display
- Squelch control
- 40 channel function
3. Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio
Coming with a selectable 4-color display, the 29LX will surely impress you all. This model is a reminiscence of the Cobra 29 Ltd Classic platform, but it comes with some updated features. Along with the smart display, it also has a clock that works as a timer as well as an alarm.
The LCD dot-matrix display gives you the freedom to choose any of these four colors- red, green, blue and amber. As a result, you can change the display color depending on your mood or according to the color of your vehicle. Moreover, the display has a dimmer option and specific adjustment for day and night time use.
You will be happy to know that this device has instant access to 10 NOAA weather channels all the time. It is capable of automatically scanning the strongest weather alert signal. Amazingly, it can alert you about upcoming weather hazard even when your device is switched off.
It can automatically diagnose the antenna condition, RF power and notify you about the battery voltage. The device also gives instant access to channel 9 and channel 19. In order to increase performance, it has a delta tune feature to boost the incoming signals and dynamic feature to improve the microphone experience.
The Installation process is very easy as the model comes with a 4-pin microphone connector. A large, 9 feet long microphone cord made it more convenient to use. It can store and quickly access 10 of your most visited radio channels. Last but not least, it allows connecting additional PA speaker also.
- Multi-color LCD display
- 40 CB channels
- Timer, alarm and clock facility
- 10 NOAA weather channels
- Automatic weather alert
- Automatically monitors the performance
4. Uniden BEARCAT 880 CB Radio
Uniden’s 880 CB radio offers a 7-color, big, easy-to-read display that will mesmerize the users. The makers have incorporated a dimmer switch adjacent to it which will allow you to use it in all light conditions. Having a large display is very beneficial as it helps the driver to read the readings easily.
Despite having a broad viewer, the item weighs less than 5 pounds. So, this ultra-light device is convenient to use. The unit can tune into all the 40 CB channels. Additionally, it gives the user instant access to the emergency and information channel; namely channel 9 and channel 19 respectively.
What I liked most is the noise cancellation technology as the microphone will cut the background noise. It is a big plus point and will definitely encourage many people to buy the device. The extra-large microphone cord will give you more freedom to move when using it.
Moreover, the device has a dynamic squelch control system to ensure that you can have the best sound experience. Also, the 880 supports wireless mic and PA speakers. No doubt, it is an ideal choice to address the mass audience. It has access to the NOAA weather channels too.
The radio diagnostic function and smooth laser keys have added the value of the device. It is easy to install and includes 6-pin to 4-pin adapter. Indeed, it has plenty of cool attributes to be considered as the best CB radio for pickup truck.
- Squelch control
- Noise cancellation technology
- Wireless mic compatibility
- PA speaker compatibility
- 40 CB channels
- Access to channel 9 and channel 19
- NOAA weather channels
- Memory Scan
5. Cobra 29 LX MAX Smart Professional Cb Radio
This smart radio is loaded with some mind-boggling features. It is a full-featured, professional CB unit made for smart users. The device comes with a luminous, 4-color display. As the brightness of the display is adjustable for a bright and dark condition, you won't face any difficulty watching it in day or night time.
Very few CB radios in the market can provide as excellent communication as the Cobra 29 LX MAX Smart does. The tech-savvy device is equipped with the iradar technology which will notify you about the traffic signals and road conditions in real time. Nearly 1 million iradar users use this amazing function.
This professional device comes with an innovative formula that lets you legally communicate with other drivers while driving on the road. It is a Bluetooth enabled radio, so you can connect your smartphone with the radio. The smart wireless technology will help you use the radio with the touch of a button.
What’s more, the noise canceling microphone will muffle additional sound and facilitate excellent communication. You will have direct access to 10 NOAA weather channels as well. The gadget has a rewind option to replay the last 10 seconds. It can also record a personal memo for 10 seconds.
These unique attributes and features have made it one of the smartest CB radio unit out in the market. Truly, it is a strong contender of the best truck CB radio.
- 4-color backlight display
- Iradar app
- Noise-canceling microphone
- 10 NOAA weather channels
- Rewind and record option
6. Uniden PRO510XL Pro Series 40-Channel CB Radio
Coming up next is a super swift device from Uniden. It is the pro 510 xl CB radio. You are going to love the device as it is very compact, portable and user-friendly. The unit is very easy to install and can be placed anywhere in your vehicle since it takes very little space. It is also lightweight as it weighs only 2.34 pounds.
This smart CB radio comes with a backlit display. Besides, it has a dedicated red-lit LED indicator that will help you to monitor the performance quickly. Alongside the indicator, the monitor will also give you the RF signal readings.
It supports all the 40 CB channels. Sadly, the item doesn’t have access to weather channels. A superheterodyne circuit is incorporated into the device to ensure supreme frequency.
In terms of sound quality, it is one of the best CB units out there. The combined effort of Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) technology and Squelch Control System mutes and eliminated additional noises comprehensively.
The Pro 510 XL is made for the professional as evident from its extraordinary features and superior performance. Surprisingly, the device is very mobile. The cord of the microphone is about 4 inches long. Also, it allows you to connect an external speaker and PA Speaker. It is arguably the best CB radio for off roading.
- Microelectronics integration
- LCD backlit display
- ANL switch
- Squelch control
- The long, coiled microphone cord
- Supports PA speaker
7. Galaxy DX-959B Mobile CB Radio
The Galaxy DX 959B has five digit frequency counter display and two digit channel display. These displays are unique, broad and the display readings are in blue color. Also, it has a large analog meter that gives reading about power output, modulation, and SWR. Additionally, the meter can monitor incoming signals too.
This smart CB radio features what they call the Starlite faceplate technology. The letterings remain white in the day time but gloom in the blue or red letter at night. It also has plenty of dedicated switches to make things easy for the users; namely talkback circuit, RF power, RF gain, MIC gain, ANL switches, etc.
Furthermore, the device also lets you control the meter light, display light, and the Starlite backlight, thanks to the dimmer control switch. It has all the features of a big radio. The specific switch buttons are designed to make the device user-friendly to the new users. It has AM/SSB and PA modes too.
Another plus point is that the radio has signal strength up to 60 db. Alongside the ANL technology, the makers have also incorporated noise blanker feature and the Galaxy Noise Filter (GNF) circuit into the radio. It has side jacks and rear jacks. The device lets you connect the PA speaker and external speaker as well.
As the device is jammed with lots of features, it is also a large unit. The chassis is large, yet the item weighs only 4.5 pounds. This professional device has all that is needed to satisfy the customers. It comes at a reasonable price too.
- Backlit faceplate
- Blue LED indicator
- Large galaxy meter
- Two LCD display
- PA speaker adaptability
8. Midland 1001LWX Mobile CB Radio
We have included a very small, portable and compact unit from Midland. The height and weight of the device are 2.5 inches and 2.2 pounds respectively. Though the size is small, the radio contains some impressive features which made it arguably the best handheld CB radio in the market.
Surprisingly, the tiny device comes with a noise limiter facility to improve reception for weak signals. You can adjust the range of sensitivity as it has RF gain control. The device is also very user-friendly and comes with public address mode. It is super easy to install. The low price tag has made it a value for money package.
Many large devices don't have built-in weather scan, yet the 1001 LWX will give you this fantastic facility. Moreover, it gives you instant access to the NOAA weather channels. Besides, you will be able to tune full 40 CB channels effortlessly.
The unit features a small, backlit digital display to help you in night rides. It fits in almost anywhere on your truck. We can't ensure that it will withstand all the shocks. Unfortunately, the device is not a rugged unit. So, it is better not to use it if you often drive on the rough roads.
- Digital display
- Noise reduction
- Public address facility
- 40 CB channels
- One touch weather scan
- NOAA weather channels
9. Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio
Another radio from Midland that has drawn our attention is the 75-822 CB radio. Just like the previous model in our list, it also contains 40 CB channels. The radio also provides access to 10 NOAA weather channels. In additions, it lets you connect to channel 9 and channel 19 too.
It has dual watch system so you can easily keep an eye on the emergency channel while minding your business with the other channel. The device has a brilliant auto scan facility that will stop on every strong signal for five seconds to help you decide which channel to tune into.
Many conventional CB radios have an issue with the power output. However, this is not the case with the Midland 75-822. It gives out 4 watts of power, which is the maximum legal limit. As a result, it will ensure top-notch performance. Furthermore, it has squelch control functionality to boost reception.
Additionally, noise limiter technology will eliminate unnecessary, additional noises. It also has a memory scan function and can store up to 5 channels. With a simple flip, it is capable of tuning into the last channel that you selected prior to shutting off the device.
This portable device weighs only 6.4 ounces. It requires either six AAA batteries or a mobile adapter to power the device up. The item comes with a flexible antenna and an external handset jack. On top of that, a multifunction backlit display and auto lock feature have made it a premium device.
- Multifunction LCD display
- 40 CB channels
- Memory scan
- 10 NOAA weather channels
- Memory scan
- Squelch control
- Removable antenna
10. Cobra Electronics CBR29LTDCHR 40-Channel CB Radio
Cobra's 29 LTD series is one of the most popular models in the industry of CB radio. Their legacy continues, and they are ruling the market for the last 50 years. I think the CBR29LTDCHR is the most beautiful radio on my list. Its gorgeous chrome finish will surely increase the beauty of your vehicle’s interior.
The CB radio can tune into 40 CB channels. It provides instant access to 10 NOAA weather channels too. This device also has an instant channel 9 function. A dedicated key is given to tune into channel 9 easily. It has a small, illuminated digit display to show the channel number and a fully functional SWR meter.
This stylish device has a smart indicator which will notify you when you need to readjust the antenna. The device includes a 4-pin microphone which is also chromium plated. You will rarely find a microphone as beautiful as this one. Cobra 29 also has a night watch facility and blue LED lights.
To improve the call quality and block additional sound, the ANL and squelch control technology has been incorporated into the device. There is a specific key that lets you switch between CB and PA mode. Yes, the device supports PA speaker. Also, the signals can be monitored via a PA speaker.
The full-featured unit has some fantastic features including SQL, dynamike, SWR calibration and RF gain. It comes with a big knob to easily select the channels and a few other small keys to control delta tune, RF gain etc. It is like the classic Cobra 29 Ltd model which reemerges with chrome plated design and fashionable look.
- 40 CB channels
- 10 NOAA weather channels
- Instant channel 9 switch
- Compatible with PA speaker
- Night Watch
- Squelch control
- RF gain
- SWR calibration
Types of CB Radio
Before buying a radio, you should know about different varieties of radio that are available in the shops. It will help you in fixing your mind so that you can choose the right one.
Base Station CB Radio
These radios are used for the stationary purpose. You can't use it on the go. Rather, you have to use the radio in the home or industrial setting. A built-in power supply is included with the radio, and you can plug it in the 110V outlet. As a result, you will be able to enjoy a clear footprint with the device.
Handheld CB radio
The handheld radios are portable little devices which you can use like a walkie-talkie. A dedicated, rechargeable battery runs the device.
You can connect the handheld battery with your vehicle as well. Though it has a rubber antenna, you can replace it with a magnetic or fixed antenna for broader distance. As you need to add lots of wires while connecting it to a vehicle, it creates a mess. Moreover, the complexity of the process will also discourage you.
All in One CB Radio
In our opinion, the all-in-one radio is a great device to use in the vehicle. It is easy to install and all the features of a standard CB radio are equipped in it. The connector box will easily fit under the dashboard. It is easy to install and takes only a small amount of space.
What's more fascinating is that the radio can be easily used with one hand. So, you can hold the steering wheel in one hand and use the radio with the other hand.
Mobile CB radio
Another great choice for your vehicle would be the mobile radio. It comes with a portable box and a mic. The box has few dials for tuning your desired channels. Also, it can be easily mounted in your vehicle, and you can take it with you when you need to drop your package to the destination.
How to Select The Best Truck CB Radio?
Many people nowadays think about using CB radios in their truck for getting quick updates on road condition and direction.
After going to the market, young people often get confused about what to consider in buying the best radio. The underlying reason is that they are not quite familiar with all the features it offers.
But, do not worry. We are here to give you some useful advice and instructions on buying the best trucker CB radio.
The first thing to consider is size. You have to recognize how big a radio can fit into your vehicle. If you own a truck that has plenty of spaces, then go for a large and durable device.
However, some vehicles do not offer enough space for mounting a radio. On such situations, you should buy a small, compact radio.
If your job is to deliver packages and are always in need of communicating with your co-workers, we have another smart option for you. You can buy a mobile radio that comes with a battery.
The importance of the range depends on the geography of the area where you will be using the radio. For example, if you are often riding in the countryside that has no large obstructions, then you don’t need a long range device.
On the other hand, if you are using the radio in an overpopulated city filled with high rise buildings, then your radio better have high range capacity.
Moreover, if you are living in a hilly area, your signals may get obstructed often. Having a radio with a powerful signal will certainly perform much better.
It is evident that a powerful radio is capable of transmitting the signal on a broader area. But, there is a problem. The law enforcing agencies have stipulated that the maximum power in which a radio can transmit signals is 4 watts.
Despite the legal bindings, there is an exception for the Single Side Band (SSB) radios. An SSB radio is allowed to transmit at 12 watts of power. Therefore, such a radio can have thrice the range of an ordinary radio. So, if you need a radio with higher transmission range and capacity, you should buy an SSB radio.
There is one limitation of this radio. The recipients must have an SSB radio in order to communicate with you at 3x range. Nevertheless, you can still connect the radio on standard CB channel when no SSB recipients can be found.
You shouldn’t disregard the importance of an antenna. It will ensure that you have a good range and smooth communication with others. There are many types of antennas for CB radio.
The most widely used antenna is of the magnetic type. It will offer you approximately 7 miles of coverage.
If you are thinking about performance and longevity, then a dual-core fiberglass antenna will give you both. The other fiberglass variant is known as the single core antenna which has only 3 miles of coverage. This one is durable but not ideal for long-range operations.
There is an expensive option that will facilitate seamless communication up to 12 miles of area. It is the dual center load antenna made for professional use.
Riders who need to use the radio regularly should pay attention to durability. You are going to use the machine every day. So, buying the one made of cheap materials will only increase your trouble.
We advise you to purchase a radio made of robust materials. It is better if the device is chrome plated. If you buy a plastic radio, make sure it is made of quality plastic. A few manufacturers sell radios made of robust plastic.
Brand value is equally important for CB radios. The names such as Cobra, Midland, Uniden are some favorite brands that have gained worldwide popularity for selling reliable products. When you incorporate the brand value in your buying decision, the probability of getting cheated is near to zero.
Many drivers feel that a bigger display helps a lot while driving. You will have to concentrate less as you can easily read the display when you are driving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What channel 9 and channel 19 are for?
Channel 9 and channel 19 are the official emergency and information CB channels in the United States.
Q: What is the power distribution of a standard CB radio?
A standard CB radio has 5 watts of input power and 4 watts of output power. It is illegitimate in many countries to have more than 4 watts of output power in a CB radio.
Q: Why do truck drivers use this radio?
They use it to get in touch with other drivers. In this way, they know about sudden road hazards and road conditions. If any driver needs assistance, other drivers can come and help them. It also helps the drivers to stay awake during night rides.
Q: What channels do most truck drivers use?
Truck drivers on the highway are frequently using channel 19. It is the information channel. Many riders also use channel 9 and channel 10 often.
Q: Do I need an antenna?
Yes, you require an antenna to use your CB radio.
Q: What is the range of a CB radio?
It depends on many factors including your surroundings, weather condition, antenna quality, etc. It also depends on the ionosphere. On average, you can expect your device to cover up at least 4-5 miles of distance clearly.
Q: What kind of antenna should I buy for my vehicles?
If you are riding a large vehicle like a pickup truck, then you should use a fiberglass antenna. But, if you need an antenna to mount on your car, a magnetic antenna will work much better.
Q: Do I need a license?
No, you don’t need a license in most countries to use a CB radio on your vehicle.
It is evident from the article that finding the best truck CB radio is not a mammoth task. You just need to ask yourself what features matter to you most and you are good to go. I hope this article has been informative and illuminative enough to help you choose a pick.