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Best CB Radios of 2020

Many CB radios promise great transmission, RF gain, and other advanced features on paper, but you’ll really never know their capacity until you try them yourself. It’s extremely disappointing to end up with a radio that would break and fail during an emergency. To avoid that, check out this list of tried and tested best CB radios that won’t let you down.

Best for Clear Communication
Galaxy DX-959
Overall Best CB Radio
Cobra 29 LX
Best Under $100
Cobra 25LTD
Galaxy DX-959 SSB : CB Radio
Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio
CBR 29LTD
This CB radio features noise reducing Proprietary CNF Circuit and a crisp-sounding speaker to ensure that you enjoy a clear communication while using the radio.
The Cobra 29 LX gives a fully convenient service with its LCD Display, Weather & Alert Scan, Radio Frequency Display, Clock, and Alarm, all packed into a sleek and reasonably priced CB radio.
With the Cobra 25LTD, you won't need to spend more than 100 bucks for a radio that can access 40 channels, has an instant emergency channel, and offers a 4 watts of power output.
Best for Clear Communication
Galaxy DX-959
Galaxy DX-959 SSB : CB Radio
This CB radio features noise reducing Proprietary CNF Circuit and a crisp-sounding speaker to ensure that you enjoy a clear communication while using the radio.
Overall Best CB Radio
Cobra 29 LX
Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio
The Cobra 29 LX gives a fully convenient service with its LCD Display, Weather & Alert Scan, Radio Frequency Display, Clock, and Alarm, all packed into a sleek and reasonably priced CB radio.
Best Under $100
Cobra 25LTD
CBR 29LTD
With the Cobra 25LTD, you won't need to spend more than 100 bucks for a radio that can access 40 channels, has an instant emergency channel, and offers a 4 watts of power output.

Top 8 CB Radios – Reviews & Comparison

1 – Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio

The Cobra 29 LX offers over 40 CB channels to tune into, which makes it one of the best to stand up against its strong competition of best types of CB radios. Amongst them are 10 NOAA weather channels and channel 19 for information and sound alerts.

This mobile CB radio looks like a small box. It has a big screen on the front that adjusts in different lighting conditions. This display shows the current channel, time, SWR meter, S/RF amongst others, plus the alarm clock/timer option for speakers when using the device’s drivers.

PROS:
  • Full Multicolor Display
  • Clear Reception and good range
  • Maximum Output Power
  • Easy to use mobile cb radio
  • 10 NOAA weather channels available
  • Price offer is justified

CONS:
  • It might be too large for small vehicles

The radio check diagnostic system lets you test important radio functions such as RF power, long antenna connection, and battery voltage directly from the CB radio. This helps troubleshoot and fix issues before finally hitting the road, especially for truckers and professional drivers.

It also has 4 watts of power that’s within the professional limit as required by the law for electrical modulation.

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2 – Galaxy DX-959 SSB / CB Radio

Galaxy DX-959 SSB : CB Radio

The Galaxy DX-959 CB radio is a high-quality radio that has 40 CB channels and has SSB (Single Side Band) and AM modes. With SSB, you can legally transmit at 12 watts.

This radio consists of a 5 digit frequency counter on the front. Its talkback performs efficiently, and the variable control is an effective option, especially when you need minimal talkback when the CB radio is used as a base.

PROS:
  • Full Illuminated LED Display on the front
  • RF Gain
  • Galaxy Noise Filter
  • Great Audio Speaker
  • Great range for truckers

CONS:
  • Frequency counter doesn’t perform well with SSB

The Galaxy DX-959 mobile CB Radio may not be one of the many popular models available in the market, but it has a good and effective receiver. It can help truckers and other users find channel frequencies outside of the current range. It is a 40 channel radio, making it more versatile than other top-rated CB radios antennas in terms of performance.

Transmission-wise, the DX 959 has a loud audio speaker that has a good sound quality for incoming signals. There’s a galaxy noise filter to reduce background noise.

The SSB radio sounds loud and clear even with its AMC is turned to the highest setting in the speaker. Check our full review of Galaxy 959 here.

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3 – Cobra Electronics CB Radio CBR 29LTD

Cobra Electronics CB Radio CBR 29LTD

The Cobra CBR 29 LTD Radio is another compact radio with over 40 channels. A popular brand like Uniden, this Cobra Electronics product is easy to use and reliable without having to continuously modify components.

It provides the basic and best attributes most CB Radios and two way radios have. It consists of a microphone gain for loud and clear communication and RF gain control for outstanding reception even on extended distances.

PROS:
  • Great features and value for money
  • Compact size
  • Well-spaced knobs you can turn for best accessibility
  • Can fine-tune the CB Audio
  • ANL switch reduces noise
  • Antenna warning indicator and SWR meter
  • Easy to use and mount in your vehicle

CONS:
  • Its traditional look makes it look like an inexpensive model
  • The display does not dim once set

It also has delta tune, 2 mode channel selector, automatic noise limiter ANL/NB switch. Some of these modes have a talkback function that allows you to listen to your voice before the radio transmits it. It also works to filter out static.

The Cobra Electronics CB Radio CBR 29LTD has an antenna warning indicator, and its SWR  Meter functions work to ensure that the antenna functions correctly to provide a maximum range.

The Cobra CBR 20 LTD is actually a popular classic choice, but the unit still works well with today’s vehicles. For another Cobra CB radio, see our review here of the Cobra 75 WX ST.

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4 – Midland 1001LWX CB Radio

Midland 1001LWX CB Radio

Midland is a popular choice when it comes to radio models. It’s right up there with brands like Uniden.

Midland 1001LWX CB Radio has a small and portable build, categorizing it with CB radios that are compact. The design has a 40-channel/station turner that’s amazing with reception.

First, this makes it easier to scan active signal channels faster. Second, users can lock in their preferred radio channels during transmission. The Midland 100LWX automatically scans, detects, and transmits the best weather signal in your area easily.

PROS:
  • Backlit display for improved night operation
  • Easy to install
  • Compact Size Radio Unit
  • Admirable signal strength
  • Solid microphone
  • Doubles as public address system in your vehicle
  • Automatic Noise Limiter effectively reduces background noise

CONS:
  • Offers mostly just basic CB Radio features

This is a perfect handy feature for professional truckers and when traveling not only with a truck but any vehicle, and you have real-time information on the weather conditions and emergency channel info.

Other available features allow the user to read and hear everything produced by the radio unit while on transmission. These include squelch control, RF gains controls, and Automatic Noise Limiter to lessen static. It can also double as a public address system.

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5 – President McKinley USA SSB 12/24V CB Radio

President McKinley USA

The President McKinley USA SSB 12/24V mobile CB Radio offers a weather band, good reach, and excellent audio speaker.

President McKinley USA radio offers you high-quality communication. It operates smoothly and has 7 NOAA weather channels, for much-needed weather alerts.

The product weighs 4 pounds 8 ounces with dimensions of 3.5 x 15 x 8.5, making it portable and easy to mount onto your vehicle. It also allows customization of its color-changing LCD display, which may be needed at certain times of the day.

PROS:
  • Good microphone communication
  • Color-changing LCD display
  • Small and Compact size
  • Easy to mount
  • Basic to operate and great for truckers
  • Weather alerts
  • NOAA weather channels available
  • Abundant in features to transmit without noise
  • SSB means you can transmit at 12 watts

CONS:
  • Might be more helpful if it comes with more accessories
  • No Bluetooth

This radio also provides two features – the Noise Blanker and Noise Filter. The Noise Blanker reduces interference from your car’s ignition system while the Noise Limiter removes any external or background noise and engine static.

The built-in selector knob makes it easy to choose from the available menu modes, channels, change scans, talkback volume, and RF gain control. It also comes complete with a mount bracket kit, DC power cord, and a microphone.

Read more here.

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6 – Anytone AT-5555N

Anytone AT-5555N

The Anytone AT-555N is a high-end CB radio that has a HAM receiver (like other Ham & CB radios). This product has some of the best qualities parallel to popular models like Uniden, but they are easier for truckers getting into CB radio for the first time.

Having an export receiver is different from the average CB radio because it doesn’t meet the FCC standards so they will have more power and components than standard CB radios.

PROS:
  • Automatic gain control
  • 40 programmable channels
  • 8-ohm Speaker
  • Converts to a 10-meter radio unit
  • With SSB
  • Good range and features

CONS:
  • The receiver is used for the United States only

It does feature an FM, SSB (single side band), and an AM radio, with a range from 28-29.7 MHz. It has a push to talk microphone and a Frequency Control Phase Loop Synthesizer.

The AnyTone AT-5555N has a huge screen that helps see controls in dim light. It has AM, USB, SSB, PA, and LSB modes. Because of these, it is easier to tweak the CB radio based on needs, making it an outstanding choice if you want utility and better range.

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7 – Midland 75-822 CB Radio

Midland 75-822

We recommend the Midland 75-822 CB Radio for travelers who need handheld CB radios for multiple vehicles.

You’ll love its multiple features such as instant Channel 9 (instant emergency access) and 19 plus Weather Channels, giving you quick access and enough options to choose from.

The Midland 75-822 is easy to operate and it allows storing of preferred settings with its keypad lock feature. The backlit display in this handheld choice is easily readable too.

PROS:
  • Handheld cb radio
  • Use on and off the road
  • Clear communication
  • Instant channel 9 access
  • Multiple weather channels available, including NOAA

CONS:
  • Small size antenna

If you want to use the device hands-free, just connect a headset inside of the built-in jack.

It is considered one of the best handheld CB radios for its portability, sound quality, added features, seamless transmission and access to multiple weather and emergency channels.

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8 – Stryker SR655HPC

Stryker SR655HPC

Last on our list is the Stryker SR-655hpc. It’s ideally designed for personal usage and amateur radio operators like truckers, but has pro characteristics for serious broadcasting.

Although not the cheapest, this multi-functional mobile CB radio has four MOSFETs that produce 70W PEP. Thus making it a powerful mobile CB radio for your vehicle.

PROS:
  • Highly customizable radio – used through software
  • Provides outstanding receiving quality
  • Provide clean output with little distortion
  • Easy to use controls; easy to install in a vehicle

CONS:
  • Extra setup is needed when used for trucks
  • External mic that comes with it isn’t that high-quality

The CB radio’s dashboard features a dimmer control to help you manage the device’s backlight. Plus, it has options for an Echo function, output power settings, talkback settings, and PC programmable settings. All of these features are correctly distanced from each other.

Users like the seamless conversion of this CB radio. It sounds awesome out of the box and can cancel out loud sounds with its in-built background noise cancellation. It also outputs the human voice with no distortion for a crisp and solid sound.

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Frequently Asked Questions

cb radio on the road

How Far Can My CB Radio Transmit?

Your CB radio can transmit differently depending on the output power. A CB radio can generally pump out one mile for every watt of power. The maximum allowed output of 4 watts is the norm for most CB radios, so you are looking at a transmit range of 4 miles.

What is the Best Antenna for My CB Radio?

The best antenna for your CB radio would depend on your individual needs. You want an antenna made of sturdy materials that are tough enough to withstand the elements, since the antenna will be primarily located outside. You also want one tall enough for good reception but not make your movement limited.

Common Terms

Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) 

The ANL is imperative to reduce noise from incoming signals. If you ever experienced ear-piercing noise, that won’t happen with the ANL in your CB radio. This can not only protect your ears, but also protect your speakers as well.

Channel Scanning

CB radios can scan up to 40 CB channels for activity. The channel scan feature will automatically sift through all the channels for people talking so you can safely keep your eye on the road while your CB radio does the rest.

features of a cb radio

Bluetooth

Not all CB radios come with Bluetooth, but ones that do can be synced to your mobile device. This will allow users to make phone calls through their radio and have what is displayed on your phone screen transferred to your CB radio display. 

CAL

CAL means to calibrate. The meter that is included on some CB radios will allow you to calibrate the antenna to optimize performance and signal reception.

Clarifier

The clarifier does what the name suggests, which is to tune the signal and frequency more.

Delta Tune

This is also a feature that you can’t get in many CB radios. They are actually seen on older models. The delta tune makes it easy to fine-tune your frequency. A lot of CB radios are more stable nowadays and don’t have much need for delta tune.

Dimmer

The dimmer refers to dimming radio lights. This is to lessen the glare during low light conditions. Some dimmers have an on/off switch to make it easier to control.

DSC – Digital Selective Calling

This feature helps the user send distress calls. If caught in an emergency the DSC will automatically issue distress signals.

Dynamic/Mic Gain

This feature helps the user adjust their voice output. Th mic gain is useful if you are softspoken or if you have a louder voice. The CB radio with this feature will make a way to adjust to your natural tones.

External Speaker Connection

This is a feature available in most CB radios like Uniden models. You can find an external speaker jack at the back of your radio which allows you to add an extra speaker for a much better signal reception and sound quality.

FIPS – Federal Information Processing Standard

The FIPS are location codes that sort of serve as country codes. 

GPS

GPS – Global Positioning System

One can be familiar with GPS as it can be found in cars, to phones to watches. It’s a global positioning system that allows you to track your location and whereabouts. You can get GPS in a lot of two way radios like Uniden models.

Hi-Cut Filter

This filter will weed out all the higher frequencies for much better sound quality in radios without ear-piercing noise.

Instant Emergency Channels

The emergency channels on a mobile or handheld CB radio are channel 9 and channel 19, with channel 9 as the one designated for only emergencies. If your CB radio has access to instant emergency channels, you can get someone to respond to you in no time.

Lights 

The lights are the backlit lights or LED indicators on a CB radio. You might see them in a features section under the names Starlight or Nightwatch. No matter what fancy name it comes with, it has one purpose – to make the display easier to read in your vehicle at night.

You can even get many colors, dimmer switches along with an on/off switch with this feature on your radio.

NB Noise Blanker 

The noise blanker in radios can help increase the quality of the audio even more by reducing noise and other factors to transmit without static.

PA

The PA system or public address system in models allows your voice to be amplified across a certain distance from your vehicle or truck. You can switch back easily from the radio speaker to the PA horn that is most likely mounted on your vehicle.

You may connect two speakers as well to make the PA system reach a great volume.

RF Gain

This is arguably in the top 5 features of a standard CB radio. Not only does it give people a much better reception for further distances, but it also substitutes using the squelch control to keep the radio silent for a quieter ride in your truck or vehicle.

parts of a cb radio

Roger Beep

Instead of having to say “roger” or “out” at the end of every transmission, there will be a subtle beep every time you release the microphone. This will allow truckers or the person on the other end to understand your transmission has ended.

Squelch

You may find the squelch control on any CB radio. What it does is it tunes out the weaker signals to give way to the stronger ones and also minimizes the static in the background.

S/RF Meter 

This meter that could be included on your radio will inform you of the power and signal strength.

SSB Operation

This allows you transmit in a different way. Your signal will ride a different wave and have a different power output – 12 watts to be exact.

SWR

The SWR, or the Standing Wave Ratio, gives you up to date displays on the antenna and radio system to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Talkback

This is a handy feature in radios if you ever need to hear your own transmissions played back to you. You could need this when trying to adjust the microphone gain.

Weather – WX 

Certain types of CB radios will give you the option of picking up NOAA weather channels which can give you real-time weather alerts on what’s going on with the elements. Some CB radios are capable of switching this feature on automatically.

Our Top Pick – Cobra 29 LX

Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio

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The winning choice in this list is the Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio because of its extremely impressive features and service for a reasonable price.

While other CB radios plainly offer basic features, this model takes it to another level with its maximum output, full multicolor display, beginner-friendly operation, and clear reception. The wide options of over 40 channels, including weather channels add plus points, too.

Overall, with the excellent functionality paired with user experience and a justified price point, Cobra 29 LX is the best cb radio that you can get on the market today.

William