Best Handheld CB Radio Reviews (Updated 2020)
Looking for the best handheld cb radio?
- Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio– Best Handheld CB Radio
- Cobra HH 38 WX ST 4-Watt 40-Channel CB Radio-Best Portable
- Midland 75-785 40-Channel CB Radio-Best CB Radio for RVers
- Uniden PRO401HH Professional Series 40 Channel Handheld CB Radio– Best Cheap CB Radio
- Uniden PRO501HH Professional Series 40-Channel Portable Handheld CB Radio-Most Compact
- Cobra HH50WXST Hand Held CB Radio – Emergency Radio-Best for Hikers
- Cobra HHRT50 Road Trip CB Radio– Best for Truckers
CB radios are lightweight, compact, and easy to use and are useful for updates on road conditions, prevailing weather, and any emergency. However, not all CB radios are endowed with unique features. You should, therefore, identify the essential features to get the best handheld CB radio.
The CB (Citizens band) radio services began in 1945 in the U.S, where the Federal Communications Commission regulated it but they became popular in the 1970s due to a combination of pop-culture exposure and cheaper equipment. They are still popular today due to the low cost, and no license is required.
Initially, the use of CB radio needed a license for the FCC. Luckily, that requirement was abolished, and today, anyone can use it.
Who needs a Portable CB Radio?
CB radios are popular with off-roaders, motorcyclists, RV owners, and hobbyists. They’re useful in keeping a team organized and informing each other of any necessary information. Some drivers use these appliances to identify speed traps. You can use a CB radio to find an alternative route to beat traffic jams, get real-time weather reports, get a warning of road blockages, and information about severe weather warnings. So who needs a portable CB radio?
a) Truckers – Truckers still rely on CB radios to convey or get vital information about the road. It can warm them about adverse weather, including winds, snow, low visibility, and rain. Drivers get information about any slowdowns such as accidents, congestions, and construction zones. A CB radio gives truckers essential tips in areas such as sales, opportunities, and critical businesses. It is also effective when communicating with weigh stations and scales.
b) Hiking, Fishing, and Hunting – Hunters go deep back in the forests where there is no network. The handheld CB radio becomes an ultimate choice, especially when contacting emergency services and keeping in touch with hunting buddies.
Hikers will significantly benefit from CB radio in communicating with fellow hikers, or in the event of an emergency. It’s also ideal for backpackers and hikers who have lost their trails.
Fishers can also use the CB radios to communicate about their whereabouts in a river.
c) Motorcyclists and RVers – Motorcyclists and RVers can benefit from truckers’ information on the highway since they’re prone to some kind of hazards. RVers can call for help where cell phone services are poor. For motorcyclists, CB radios are helpful, especially when coordinating a large group of riders.
d) Off–Roading– Cruising where there are no roads can be quite risky. Anything can happen, and cell phone services might not be working. For instance, desert drives are enthralling, but in case of an emergency, a CB radio can help you get the necessary help. It’s fun to communicate with fellow roaders, challenge each other, and pass brags.
7 Top Best Handheld CB Radios Reviews
1. Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio– Best Handheld CB Radio
Having a reliable CB radio while traveling becomes an essential tool for emergencies and communication. If you’re looking for the best portable CB radio, Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio makes the best choice. The receiver comes with everything you require to get started in a hurry, including a pack of batteries and a cigarette lighter adapter.
The Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio offers 40 separate communication channels, which deliver the maximum CB communication range with the only 4W of power output. The channel scan can check all the activities, stopping on any active channel for about five seconds. Interestingly, you can automatically access five of your favorite channels in memory. The gadget is fitted with a built-in automatic noise limiter to enhance reception for weak signals. The ANL squelch control further minimizes background noise. This ensures you get crystal clear communication.
The Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio is endowed with instant access to NOAA weather radio to inform you about weather conditions and other hazards in your area 24/7. You will also get immediate access to informational channel 19 and emergency channel 9.
The product boasts of a large, backlit, and multifunctional LCD for easy reading even at night. By reading the midland 75 822 reviews, you’ll realize that most users are satisfied with features. The keypad features a locks-in setting to prevent any change. The flexible antenna with BNC connector is easily removed is removed for smooth transport. For hand’s free use, the 75-822 40 features an external headset jack.
You can power this device with six AAA batteries, complete with a battery life extender features.
- Lightweight and compact for easy handling
- You can use a fire antenna with this unit
- Highly versatile
- Great quality
- Excellent performance
- Hard to get replacement parts
- Some users claim it transmits signal poorly
*Check out Most Powerful CB Radios Reviews
2. Cobra HH 38 WX ST 4-Watt 40-Channel CB Radio-Best Portable
Do you want to stay connected with your friends and workers? Buying Cobra HH 38 WX ST 4-Watt 40-Channel CB Radio is a viable choice. The device comes with multiple functional buttons for smooth operation. There is an off and on button, push and talk, and sound tracker keys. This durable gadget is fitted with SoundTracker to boot the sound quality of reception and transmission of signals. It doesn’t matter how far you’re or deep into the woods; you’ll be able to communicate effectively with your colleagues.
When on the road, you’d frequently want to get weather alerts and reports, this will help you maneuver easily and know when to stop. The Cobra HH 38 WX ST 4-Watt 40-Channel CB Radio comes with 10 distinguishable channels, each with a minute weather information for twenty-four hours a day, seven days.
The Dual Watch feature allows synchronized control of the two channels. It offers a full range of 40CB channels. It’s fitted with a high/low power switch that minimizes power consumption at about 75%. This also extends the battery life. With channel 19, you are guaranteed to get instant information. The DC power cord enables you to the gadget in the vehicle.
Other additional features include a recharging jack to ensure the batteries get charged with an AC wall hanger. This adds convenience and comfort. The omni-directional microphone picks up voice from various directions.
Cobra HH 38 WX ST is an NOAA weather and emergency radio to prepare for storms and other emergencies. More so, it comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.
- It’s lightweight and compact to help you carry it easily
- The handheld radio is ruggedly built for added durability
- It offers excellent signal transmission
- You’ll get a good range
- Suitable when camping, hiking and for emergencies
- Easy to use
- Batteries might not last for long
3. Midland 75-785 40-Channel CB Radio-Best CB Radio for RVers
Midland is a reliable and reputable company with high-quality products, and Midland 75-785 40-Channel CB Radio is no exception. The gadget is designed for mobility. This is a compact 40-channel CB radio featuring an easy-to-read LCD display. You can manage to read emergency alerts, weather, and road conditions without straining. This CB radio comes with 7-watts of input and 4-watts of output. This is still under allowable features by the FCC. The sleek and slim long-range handheld CB radio is 33% smaller than its predecessor, meaning you’ll find it easy to handle.
The Midland 75-785 40-Channel CB Radio provides 40 separates communication channels, providing maximum CB communication range with 4-watts of output power. With the on-board PLL channel selection, you’ll find it easy to tune in with pinpoint accuracy. While communicating, the built-in automatic noise limiter boost reception for weak signals. Furthermore, squelch eliminates background noise for clear communication. Transmissions on your end to be crystal clear due to the built-in electrostat microphone.
You can power this powerful CB radio with nine AA alkaline batteries. This is especially suitable if you’re always on the go. The battery will last several hours, making you have an easy time communicating without worrying about the radio going off. Alternatively, fill the device with rechargeable knuckle cadmium AAs, and use the charge jack provided to charge the batteries without removing them from the CB radio.
More so, a charger is included to be used with power adapters in trucks, cars, and boats. With the dimensions of 7 x 2.25 x 2 inches and 0.55 lbs in weight, this gadget is both lightweight and compact to enable you to carry it with ease.
- It’s a long-range CB radio
- NOAA weather + 40 channels
- Built-in automatic noise limiter for excellent transmission of the signal
- Some reviews show that the radio might not last you for long
*Check out CB Radio Beginners Guide
4. Uniden PRO401HH Professional Series 40 Channel Handheld CB Radio– Best Cheap CB Radio
The Uniden PRO401HH Professional Series 40 Channel Handheld CB Radio is the best cheap CB radio that every truck driver would need. It delivers the convenience of a handheld CB radio with the longest range possible to ensure you stay in touch. The low-power setting helps in conserving the battery life while the high-power setting extends your range when needed. Designed for use in the CB radio service, the PRO401HH portable radio will operate on any of the given 40 CB frequencies authorized by the Federal Communications Commission. These channels let you tune in to the action channels or break away to do your own stuff.
Whether you’re camping, hiking, hunting, or on the road, getting weather alerts is quite essential. Getting informed of the approaching storms or severe weather conditions will help you take shelter in the safest places or simply stop moving into that direction. That’s why PRO401HH is the NOAA weather feature to keep you informed of severe weather hazards. With a dual watch feature, you can talk on one channel and keep the ear on another exciting channel.
Whether you’re in a van, bike, car, or truck, the high-performance PRO401HH will always keep you in touch. It’s lightweight and compact, weighing about 1 pound and measuring 4.33 x 2.76 x 8.66 inches, making it easy to operate with one hand. The ergonomic design features strategically placed controls and jacks on all sides.
The Uniden PRO401HH Professional Series 40 Channel Handheld CB Radio uses rechargeable 9 AA Ni-MH or 9 AA alkaline batteries. The package comes with a DC power cable to the AA Ni-MH batteries. There is a switch inside the battery compartment to help you select the battery type.
- Compact and lightweight to operate
- Comes at a competitive price
- Has a long-range
- Suitable for jeep events
- NOAA Weather to keep you updated of weather conditions
- It might not last for long
If you’re looking for the most compact and lightweight handheld CB radio, Uniden PRO501HH Professional Series 40-Channel, Portable Handheld CB Radio remains the best option. It’s endowed with amazing features that will make your communication easy, fast, and crystal clear. This gadget offers high-performance with a full 40 channel operation. It also includes 10 weather channels in a rugged handheld design for durability. It’s extremely popular for industrial commercial and off-road use. The device uses high power to punch out the strongest signal and low power to preserve battery life.
Off-roading can be exciting. Hitting different levels of driving skills will leave you happy. However, it’s crucial to get weather alerts to help you maneuver easily or take shelter where needed. With NOAA weather, you’ll be updated when severe weather threatens. The dual watch feature enables you to talk on one channel and keep an ear on another channel.
The PRO501HH is also fitted with a built-in automatic noise limiter and squelch control fine-tune performance. These features help in eliminating unnecessary noise to help you receive signals clearly. It also features external speaker jack and mic jack. The large backlit LCD display is easy to read day or night.
The package includes 9 AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, an antenna with bnc connector, and an owner’s manual. The cigarette plug adapter is for charging the batteries.
- It’s among the lightest CB radios on the market
- Suitable from industrial commercial and off-roading
- Comes with 9 AA rechargeable batteries
- Solidly built for durability
- Reasonably priced
- Might not transmit signals for a long-range
6. Cobra HH50WXST Hand Held CB Radio – Emergency Radio-Best for Hikers
Cobra brand is known for its high-quality truck units. The company has been doing for years, making it earn a rich reputation. And to add more to its high-end units, the manufacturer came up with Cobra HH50WXST Hand Held CB Radio – Emergency Radio. This is one of the most portable CB radio you’ll come across. It’s fitted with a sound tracker system to ensure you don’t miss any vital information due to static or interference.
Staying informed about the weather will keep you out of danger where necessary. The NOAA alerts for weather and emergencies will keep you posted on weather hazards. It’s built into the radio so you can be prepared for anything. With 40 channels, you can find the channel with the best signal automatically. You won’t have to search for a strong signal again manually. More so, this can be tiring.
Cobra HH50WXST Hand Held CB Radio – Emergency Radio comes with a dual watch feature. It helps you select two channels to monitor simultaneously constantly. With this, you will keep the ear open for incoming transmission on various channels to hear alerts around you.
The CB has standard 40 channels with a high/low power switch. By switching to low power, you will save your battery life, while the high power switch will make you hear the long-distance conversation without straining.
With a recharging jack, you will charge the Ni-MH AA batteries in the unit with an AC wall charger. It has 4watts of power output, which is allowed by the law.
- Omni-directional microphone allows the voice to be picked from various directions
- It has a range of up to 4 miles
- Solidly built for added durability
- Easy to operate
- The battery might not last for long
7. Cobra HHRT50 Road Trip CB Radio– Best for Truckers
We cannot conclude the handheld CB radio reviews without mentioning Cobra HHRT50 Road Trip CB Radio. This compact radio is fitted with a magnetic mount mobile antenna to allow mobile operation from your vehicle. Mount the antenna to the rooftop of your car and use the radio easily from inside the car. To ensure you dint miss any vital information, the radio is fitted with a sound tracker system. Hence, the signal will not get interfered with. This system will cut 90% of the noise to ensure you get crystal clear communication.
This CB radio delivers convenience and comfort you’ll need. With 10 NOAA weather channels, be the first to know of incoming hazards such as storms. Get instant updates on changing weather 24 hours a day. You’ll experience audible tone if an emergency or threatening weather while monitoring up to three channels at once.
With dual watch features, you can select two channels to monitor simultaneously. Keep an ear to multiple channels and incoming transmissions as well. You’ll gain 40 channel access. It includes a detachable antenna for easy portability. It’s also compatible with vehicle antennas from the Cobra line of products.
The full, illuminated LCD display makes it easy for you to read the reports. Other features include a DC vehicle power cord, owner’s manual, and a belt clip.
- It has a decent range with a magnetic antenna
- Excellent quality for the price
- Easy to install and use
- A bit fragile
Buyers Guide – Best Handheld CB Radio Reviews
A good handheld CB radio is a vital tool for communication while on the road. It provides essential information on safety risks, accidents, traffic jams, severe weather conditions, and crashes. With a CB radio, you can communicate with fellow hikers, hunters, or backpackers. However, choosing the most potent handheld CB might be confusing. This is due to a plethora of brands on the market. Surprisingly, not all gadgets function as praised.
To avoid buying a substandard CB radio, you need to pay attention to several factors.
Undoubtedly, CB radios walkie talkies are inexpensive, compact, and lightweight. But these are not the only features you should pay attention to when choosing one. Most people will get into a shop and pick just any item. They later get disappointed, and some give up. But the trick is in choosing a product fitted with the right features to suit your needs. If you’re a trucker, consider getting a radio with channel 19 and 9.
Here are the essential features you’ll find in the most reliable CB radios.
a) Size Considerations
Size is one of the essential features that is overlooked. CB radios are available in a range of sizes from handheld units, small, to full-chassis units. You should, therefore, pick a unit that’s easy to handle. Size does not compromise the functionality. All you need is convenience. Choose an item that can fit in your pocket or small compartments in the bag. For instance, off-road and jeep vehicle owners usually have a small room in the cabs, making them use smaller radios. For truckers and RVers, they have ample room so they can choose a broad spectrum of radios.
b) Radio Frequency Gain
CB radio gives you control to choose the best frequency. There will be a time when you get a strong signal, and some days, the signal will be slow, or low. The radio frequency is a vital feature that enables you to filter transmission you receive according to its strength. The feature is ideal for separating a weak signal from a stringer one. It can also block the background noise.
c) Channel Scanning
According to rules and regulations by the Federal Communications Commission, there is a 40-channel limit to follow. Channel scanning enables you to search and scan the available CB channels for activity automatically. This ensures you know everything happening on the frequencies. The most popular channels include channel 19 to update truckers on traffic happenings and channel nine, which is for emergency updates.
d) Automatic Noise Limiter
For clear communication, a CB must be endowed with an ANL. This feature guarantees excellent quality of the radio reception. The ANL minimizes unnecessary sounds such as static, engine, and background noise. When you’re on the road, there might be some sort of interfering noises disrupting the signals.
e) Backlit Displays
Off-roading, hunting, hiking, or driving can be done at any time of the day. Most fishers conduct fishing activities during the night. If you happen to be in any of these groups, then consider buying a CB radio with a backlit display. This feature illuminates the display for seamless operation in dark conditions or at night.
f) Built-in Meters
The most reliable and higher-end CB radios are designed with a meter to display reception and transmission strength. It also displays the SWR (Standing Wave radio) readings.
g) Weather Detection Capabilities
Storms and bad weather can hinder you from driving safely. As for hikers, hazard weather conditions can be dangerous. Long and high tides in the ocean might lead to drowning. Thus, you need a product that will alert you about severe cases. A CB radio is designed to allow users to get up-to-date weather alerts and reports via NOAA radio stations and channels. Therefore, ensure you secure a device equipped with this feature for extra safety.
h) Choose the Vendor
Despite checking on various necessary features, ensure you buy the CB radio from a reliable vendor. There are several walkie talkies, including fake ones. Unscrupulous vendors are still in large. You should then be cautious and buy from Amazon or authorized retailers.
What Are the Benefits of CB Radios?
CB radios offer a myriad of benefits including;
- Size – A few decades ago, CB radios were huge, occupying a large room under the dash. Fortunately, technology advancement has led to the creation of compact CB radios for easy handling and storage.
- Cost – CB radios are affordable gadgets for communication. Today, you can find this device with less than $10.
- Community – Today, social media is seen as the only medium of interacting with friends and community. However, CB radios have popular users such as trail riders, truckers, fishers, hunters, motorcycle clubs, and hikers.
- Lightweight – a CB radio is not only small in size but light as well. Meaning you carry it in your pocket without feeling bulky.
- Licensing– If you want to use ham radios and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), you must have a special license from FCC. This is not the case with CBs since professional manufacturers are designing the products to attain the FCC standards. So, you only buy on and enjoy it.
that said and done, the market is flooded with great CB radios to make your communication effortless, even in places with poor service network. Luckily, you don’t have to rummage from one vendor to another looking for the best handheld CB radio. Above-reviewed products will suit your needs. Now, the ball is on your side to secure a gadget you’ll like the most.