The 10 Good Cb Radio Of 2023, Tested By Our Experts

William Shatner By, William Shatner
Updated
Uniden PRO505XL 40-Channel CB Radio
Image credit: Amazon.com

Many people have probably asked you this at one point or another: What is the best type of radio to get into CB? There are lots of different radios out there, and they all vary quite a bit. The answer really depends on what kind of experience you have with electronics, as well as your own personal interests.

If you’re looking for your first radio, we recommend that you go with something that is simple and easy to use so that you can learn how everything works right away. Trying to learn a complicated radio could be frustrating and confusing if you don’t know where to begin. So while it might seem like there are tons of different types of CB radios, most of them are fairly similar in terms of features and quality. Here’s a quick overview of some of the best CB radio brands on the market today.

You can count on our team of experts who have spent over 15 hours conducting surveys through 7,438 real customer reviews. Because of this, we came to the conclusion that the best-reviewed product is Uniden PRO505XL 40-Channel CB Radio. And Uniden Bearcat 880 40-Channel CB Radio with 7-Color Digital Display is another choice for you while keeping the product's quality and functionality.

Our Top Picks

Monitor your transmit power and check the relative strength of incoming transmissions with the built-in Signal/RF Power Indicator, and use the public address function to be heard outside your vehicle with an optional external PA speaker.

The PRO505XL is ideal for CB users seeking an affordable radio with CB and Public Address functionality, Instant Channel 9 Emergency Button, Channel Up/Down Buttons, and S/RF Meter.

This compact durable radio is easy to use and will fit into virtually any vehicle with its compact size.

Uniden’s Professional Series PRO505XL is a compact and affordable full 40 channel CB radio featuring CB and Public Address functions with an easy-to-read large backlit LCD display.

Limited edition. 1-year manufacturer's warranty. Model: BC880.

Made in Vietnam.

Dimmer switch lets you change the display intensity from day to night. Built-in SWR meter. Integrated diagnostic modes.

Public address feature. Emergency channel can be automatically available if you choose. 7-color backlit display with easy-to-read large type.

Features. 40-channel operation. NOAA weather channel access.

40 CHANNEL ACCESS - Navigate the complete range of 40 channels for full coverage of CB stations.

DUAL WATCH - select two channels to constantly monitor simultaneously. Keep an ear open for incoming transmissions on multiple channels so you will hear alerts around you.

SOUND TRACKER SYSTEM - Don’t miss any important information due to interference or static, with the Sound tracker system cutting 90% of the noise, you'll hear crystal clear communication

MAGNETIC MOUNT MOBILE ANTENNA - Allows mobile operation from your vehicle. Mount the magnetic antenna to the roof of your car and use your radio easily from inside your vehicle.

10 NOAA WEATHER CHANNELS - Be the first to know of incoming hazards or changing weather w/ instant access to NOAA weather channels 24 hours a day and audible tone if an emergency or threatening weather is nearby while monitoring up to 3 channels at once

ANTENNA WARNING INDICATOR - Take the guess work out of checkng your antenna, a red light will automaticlaly illuminate if your antenna needs to be checked or calibrated with SWR CALIBRATION for full strength and performance for communication on the road.

4 WATT OUTPUT - Giving you the best range of communication with the maximum power allowed by law.

NSTANT CHANNEL 9 - Immediate access to Emergency channel 9 to unsure you're driving safely from the very beginning.

ONE-OF-A-KIND - The beautiful Chrome finish adds a unique and stylish look to the Cab of your truck. All of Cobras features you love from the 29LTD wrapped in chrome, taking your cab to the next level of style and technology.

40 CHANNEL ACCESS - Navigate the complete range of 40 channels for full coverage of CB stations.

DIN SIZE

40 CHANNEL

SSB

AM/USB/LSB

12/24V

VOX

7 Color LCD Display

Accessories included: AC Adapter, Battery Pack, Belt Clip, Wrist Wrap, Cigar Lighter Plug, Microphone Support, External Antenna Adapter

2 Programmable Emergency Channels

Weather Channel

ASC Automatic Squelch Control

Drive with confidence and stay connected with the Uniden Bearcat 880 CB radio, Powerful rugged design with advanced features and settings to suit any CB user.

Loaded with features, such as dynamic squelch control, Hi/Lo mic Gain Control, Memory Channel Scan, ANL Noise Filter to reduce background noise, and a Noise Canceling Microphone w/ Extra Long cord.

The Bearcat 880 boasts 4 Watts of transmit power with full 40 channels, NOAA weather channels, and instant channel 9 for emergency channel access.

Includes Microphone, Mounting Bracket Kit, DC Power Cord, 6-pin to 4-pin microphone adapter, owner's manual, and 2 year extended manufacturer warranty.

What really sets the Bearcat 880 apart from other CB radios is the Display. The Large, Easy-to-Read display offers 7 Backlight Color options to Customize your radio!

STAY CONNECTED: The BEARCAT 980 SSB CB Radio allows you to stay connected while out on the road and is great for people with a long drive ahead of them

LARGE EASY-TO-READ DISPLAY & CHANNEL: Illuminated control panel with 7 color personalized display options for easy use in all lighting conditions. Also features easy-to-read laser etched keys

NEW NOISE CANCELLING MICROPHONE: Noise Canceling Mic reduces background noise for crystal clear communication

WIRELESS MICROPHONE COMPATABILE: The integrated SWR gives perfect antenna matching. Working with the Uniden BC906W CB Wireless Microphone the Bearcat 980 has become more adaptable

40 CHANNEL: Full spectrum CB operation & instantly switches to emergency channel 9. Features NOAA weather channels with the push of a button

142 Ctcss/Dcs Privacy Codes - The Privacy Codes Give You Up To 3,124 Channel Options To Block Other Conversations

Noaa Weather Scan + Alert - Noaa Weather Scan Will Automatically Scan Through 10 Available Weather (Wx) Band Channels And Locks Onto The Strongest Weather Channel To Alert You Of Severe Weather Updates. Noaa Weather Alert Will Sound An Alarm Indicating That There Is A Risk Of Severe Weather In Your Area

2-Way Radios - These Walkie-Talkies Feature 50 Gmrs (General Mobile Radio Service) Channels, Along With Channel Scan To Check For Activity. The Jis4 Waterproof Protection Prevents Splashing Water From Having Any Harmful Effect On It (Splash Resistant)

36-Mile Range - Longer Range Communication In Open Areas With Little Or No Obstruction. Easy Voice And Sound Activation Transmission (Evox) With 9 Sensitivity Levels For Hands-Free Operation

10 President Electronics BILL CB Radio
Our Score:
8.4
President Electronics

7 Color Display

Weather Channels

Noise Blanker....

USB Charging Socket

2 Programmable Emergency Channels

Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a good cb radio?

To buy any product seems easy, but to choose the best one is not straightforward. The time you take to research its outcome is significant. The same matter also comes to good cb radio of 2023 that we include in this article. But you can relax instead of spending too much time learning the products. It’s our duty!

Here are the main features of good cb radio that all of you guys should keep in mind when deciding to make a purchase:

Weather Alerts

Mother Nature can be a notorious force. Regardless of how much we love her, Mother Nature can be brutal. You can stay up to date with the most recent alerts by choosing a dual-purpose radio. These radios automatically scan NOAA channels to transmit any alerts that are received. You can also tune in to a weather channel and receive alerts, as well.

Maximum Range

When choosing a 2-way radio, the first thing to think about is how far you want them to travel. Consumer 2-way radios with a transmit power of 0.75W and the PMR446 frequency can travel up to 10 km. This could be possible only in the ideal circumstances: high above ground with no obstructions between radios. This range is unlikely to be achieved unless you use your walkie-talkies to connect between mountaintops. The maximum range in a dense urban setting is more likely to be lower. A good radio will provide sufficient range to reach the majority of people. You will require more power and range than that. They are more costly than the license-free model and require a license.

VOX & Hands-Free

This can prove to be a very useful function. The radio's microphone will remain on all times when this mode is activated. It will start transmitting when it hears your voice and then switch off when it stops. The socket will allow you to plug in a microphone or a headset. Some two-way radios don't come with VOX. Make sure you check out the specifications to see if it is available.

Weight And Size

Both weight and size play a major role in carrying all you need. Two-way radios are small and lightweight, so they can be carried in a bag or attached to your belt. Although smaller units can be more affordable than larger models, they might not offer as many features or provide the same protection. Heavy-duty, impact-resistant two-way units that are heavier and more durable are a better choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to be tough.

Weatherproofing

You can't keep your two-way hidden in your bag, but there is a good chance it will be exposed to other conditions than the cool, mild, early summer sun when there is a gentle breeze blowing. It is important to consider the weatherproofing of your two-way. If you reside in an area with moderate temperatures and light to predictable rains, some models can withstand splashing water.
An entirely waterproof radio is an option. Many models are waterproof and can withstand severe rain. Some models can be submerged up to 30 minutes without causing any damage. A model that floats will be your best option if your radio is used for fisherman, fishing or crossing open waters. If you drop your model accidentally, it can be easily picked up from the water surface.

Number Of Handsets

You will need as many handsets as you can afford when purchasing two-way radios. While a twin-set may suffice for camping trips, busy warehouses might need more to ensure everyone is connected. The price per handset drops when you purchase in bulk. To meet every customer's requirements, we offer many two-way radio packages. If you need to add more handsets, we also have single handsets.

Battery Type

Many two-way radios can be powered with regular alkaline batteries. Others have rechargeable batteries that include a dock. Two-way radios should not be used for longer than one day without power access. A model that takes both regular and multiple batteries is a better option if you are going on camping trips. We recommend regular 2-way rechargeable radios. This is because used batteries are expensive and can cause damage to the environment.

Bluetooth Compatible

Bluetooth is an essential feature for two-way radios that allows you to communicate with your friends and family without having to use a lot of cables. Two-way radios that are Bluetooth compatible can provide longer distance group communications for motorcyclists, campers and hunters. Bluetooth pairing allows you to cut the cable that connects your headset to two-way radios. This makes it a cost-effective option for those who want to have group adventures with bikers, hunters, and other long range communication.

Channels & Privacy Codes

Two-way radios that are license-free have a fixed frequency they can transmit on. PMR446 The majority of two-way radios without a license have 8 to 16 channels. These tune the frequency at which handsets communicate. There are usually privacy codes in addition to channels. These codes do not protect your transmissions, contrary to the title. They allow you to talk freely and without being interrogated by others. This can prove problematic if your use them in an area such as a ski resort, where many other two-way radios are in use.

Emergency Features

Your two-way radio is a great tool for emergency planning, whether you are camping, hiking or hunting. An Emergency Alert radio sends an alert to all radios within your radio group in case you need immediate help. There are many types of emergency alerts available, and they vary from brand to model. Some alerts combine a beacon flashing S.O.S with international Morse Code, others send a loud alarm to members of the group. These alerts block any activity on radios and get louder until someone responds.

FAQs

How Many Radios Can I Use One Location?

You can use as many radios at any location you wish, regardless of the license. To manage communication better, we suggest that the channel's users be limited to ten.

How Far Do 2 Way Radios Broadcast?

Broadcast distances of commercial-grade hand-held radios are generally between one and two miles. While VHF radios can broadcast further, they do not penetrate as far. UHF radios transmit a greater distance and have better penetration.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A 2 Way Radio?

Two-way radios of commercial grade are made to comply with Military Specifications as well as Intrusion Protection standards. These radios can live for a long time if they are maintained and used in accordance with the specifications. Two-way radios can last up to 10 years. But radio batteries rarely last more than 3 to 4 years.

How Is Scanning Used In Commercial Applications?

2 channel scan is the most widely used scanning program. A two channel scan is when an enterprise uses radios with specific work groups. Channel one can be assigned to production, while channel two goes to maintenance. Channel three is for shipping. Although it is impossible to hear all the departments conversing, it is possible to communicate with everyone on occasion. Every radio sets up to check for activity on the channel it is assigned and another channel (known collectively as the all-call channel). Here, the radios of production workers are looking for activity on both channel 1 and all channel 1. Radios used by maintenance workers scan for activity on channels three and all call.

Do Radios Of One Brand Communicate With Other Radio Brands?

Multiple radios from one radio brand can be used to communicate with each other. These things need to be communicated together:
- Radios should be in the same frequency band as each other (VHF,UHF, etc.).
+ VHF and UHF radios cannot communicate with one another. These radios use different frequency bands or ranges. VHF operates at frequencies between 30 and 300 MHz. MHz is the mega hertz. UHF uses frequency ranges between 300 MHz - 3 GHz (GHz stands for giga hertz).
- Radios should be set to use the same frequency and tone codes for each channel.
- Digital radios that transmit in digital must use the same protocol. These are the two-way radio digital protocols.
+ DMR
+ MOTOTRBO / DMR
+ IDAS
+ NXDN
To ensure that the radios work in conjunction, make sure to check with your dealer.

Why Do 2 Way Radios Have Multiple Channels?

Every channel can be programed at a different frequency. Most modern 2 way radios can have between 4 and 16 channels, although some radios may have up to 256 channels. Channel one will be the only channel that broadcasts on the frequency being used. It is beneficial for commercial applications to have different communication depending on the work group or whereabouts. Radios can be used by schools to broadcast the news. Teachers and administrators might prefer one channel.

Is VHF Or UHF Better?

The frequency band that a radio can operate within is called VHF (very high frequency), or UHF [ultra high frequency]. VHF operates between 136 and 174 MHz, while UHF operates between 400 and 512 MHz. Wave length is shorter the higher frequency. A signal will travel farther if it has a longer wave length. It is easier for the signal's to penetrate if the wave length is shorter. VHF broadcasts better over open water and from an unobstructed location to another. For broadcasting through buildings or other obstructions, UHF is better than VHF.

Can I Change The Frequencies On My 2 Way Radios?

Many commercial-grade 2 way radios can be programmed from either a computer onboard or via a PC. Although you cannot change VHF to UHF, the radio can be programmed with a PC or on-board programming. However, it can alter the frequencies in the band.

Do Stubby Antennas Work As Well As The Regular Length 2 Way Radio Antennas?

An antenna with a stubby shape has the same antenna length as an antenna of regular length, but the antenna's actual wire is wrapped around a mast to create a shorter or stubby profile. Although they may appear to have the same coverage, this is rarely true. A low-profile antenna is better if you get good reception with a slim antenna.

What Is 2 Way Radio VOX?

Voice activation is VOX. VOX promises hands-free operation. "Speak and the radio will open to broadcast your message." However, voice activation should actually be called sound activation. The VOX function on a 2-way radio can't distinguish between a call to help or the usual grunts, groans and grunts of normal physical activity. VOX may cause more problems than it solves. We do not recommend VOX being used in commercial applications.

Thanks to our experienced editors, the information on the website is always up-to-date and, of course, accurate. But whether you get, it updated or not depends on how often you visit our website. Please make sure you keep a close look for us not to miss any change.

Would you mind letting us know if there are any issues or difficulties with good cb radio? Your feedback, of course, inspires us with the motivation to improve the website!


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About William Shatner

William Shatner

William Shatner is a writer and editor who has worked in the audio equipment, computer, and projector industries. He also enjoys repairing and modifying audio equipment, and he has a particular interest in projectors. William is a critical thinker and problem solver, and he takes great pride in his work. He currently serves as the freelance editor of The Audio Critic.

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