Top 3 Best Compact CB Radios For 2024


As an Amazon Influencer, we earn from qualifying purchases you might make if you click any of the links on this page.

Searching for the best Compact CB Radio?

Compact CB radios offer a perfect blend of functionality and convenience for communication enthusiasts. Their size allows easy installation in tight spaces, making them ideal for vehicles where space is a premium. 

Despite their compact design, they don’t compromise on power, adhering to FCC limits and covering all CB channels. The simplicity of use, clear displays, and advanced features like Bluetooth connectivity make these radios not just practical, but a smart choice for modern communication needs. 

Join us as we explore the best options for a compact CB radio.

Our Top Picks

Why Should You Trust Us?

At WhollyOutdoor, our commitment to authenticity and informed perspectives sets us apart. Our founder and editor, Paul Dudley, channels his passion for ham radios and the great outdoors into every review and piece of content. 

This personal investment and expertise in outdoor gear, especially in communication devices like CB radios, provide a unique, hands-on understanding of what works in real-life scenarios. We don’t just review products; we immerse ourselves in the experience to give you honest, unbiased insights.

Since 2018, WhollyOutdoor has been a trusted voice in outdoor gear reviews. Our approach is grounded in a blend of thorough research, firsthand testing, and a keen understanding of what our readers seek. 

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or a newcomer, you can rely on our reviews to be straightforward, detailed, and focused on your needs. With WhollyOutdoor, you’re not just reading another review; you’re gaining a partner in making informed choices for your outdoor adventures.

Check These:

How We Choose the Best Compact CB Radios

Selecting the best compact CB radios involves a meticulous process that considers several key factors. Our approach is grounded in real-world applicability and user needs. Here’s how we ensure that our recommendations stand out:

  1. Size and Installation Ease: The primary appeal of a compact CB radio is its size. We look for models that are small enough to fit in various vehicle spaces. Easy installation is also crucial, as it adds to the user’s convenience.
  2. Channel Coverage and Power Compliance: It’s essential that these radios cover all 40 CB channels. We also ensure they comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) power output limits for consistency and legality in communication.
  3. User Interface and Controls: A user-friendly interface is key. We prefer radios with intuitive controls and clear, legible displays. This makes them accessible even to CB radio novices.
  4. Build Quality and Durability: Durability is a must, considering the varied environments in which these radios are used. We assess build quality to ensure they can withstand regular use in different settings.
  5. Advanced Features: While maintaining compactness, we don’t overlook advanced features. Bluetooth connectivity, weather alerts, and AM/FM switchability are some of the modern functionalities we consider.
  6. Price and Value for Money: We strive to find products that offer the best balance between cost and features. Our goal is to recommend radios that provide the most value for your investment.
  7. Consumer Feedback and Reviews: Real user experiences play a crucial role in our selection. We scour through customer reviews and feedback to gauge the performance and reliability of each model.
  8. Brand Reputation and Support: A good brand reputation and reliable customer support are important, especially for technical products like CB radios. We factor in the manufacturer’s history and support services.

By considering these aspects, we aim to provide a well-rounded view of the best compact CB radios available. Whether you’re a seasoned CB radio user or new to this world, our selections are designed to meet a wide range of needs and preferences. Keep reading to find out our top picks for the year.

3 Best Compact CB Radios Reviews

1. Uniden CMX760 Bearcat – Our Top Choice

Uniden CMX760 Bearcat is the best compact cb radio overall. It’s a rugged CB radio that is suitable for most vehicles, including trucks, cars, and even boats.  At dimensions of only 4x4x1 inches, this compact radio offers easy installation. It skips controls on the main body and transfers them to the mic.

As the controls move to the mic, they open the path to creativity in deciding where to place the radio. It’s possible to install the radio under the car seat, behind the glovebox, on the dashboard, or wherever your creativity and requirements want it. This is very useful for vehicles with limited cabin space.

The setup and functions of Uniden CMX760 Bearcat often work better than its competitors like the Midland 75-822 CB radio. While the CMX760 remains attached to the vehicle, the Midland radio goes more into the territory of handheld CB radios. Even so, the Midland radio works best when connected to a 12V power outlet on the vehicle. 

Due to this setup, Midland 75-822 feels much heavier in the hand and the buttons are tiny. Arguably, it has a better quality speaker, but Uniden CMX760 does way better on controls and management.

Since the mic is all-important for Uniden Bearcat CMX760, it’s worth a closer look. A small backlit screen on the mic displays important information like channel and frequency. The same backlight also illuminates the buttons placed under the screen. The radio works with seven backlight colors customizable to user preferences.

The buttons on the mic offer conventional features including squelch control, NOAA weather channels with alerts, channel scanning, and one-touch access to channel 9/19. It doesn’t have an RF gain setting but it supports local and DX modes for better signal reception.

A built-in speaker is available on the mic. It does its job but isn’t the best at it. Uniden recommends using an external speaker like the BC15 speaker, though any compatible speaker will do.

I suspect this is partly because there’s so much going on in the mic that they sacrificed speaker quality. 

Overall Uniden CMX760 Bearcat is compact, easy to install, and rugged enough to take a beating from off-roading. All these make it the best compact CB radio I reviewed.


  • Very compact mobile CB radio.
  • Rugged design to handle off-road environments.
  • On-mic controls give more freedom for unit placement.
  • Backlight for mic and buttons.
  • Color-customizable 7-color LCD on the mic.


  • Below-average heat dissipation and management.
  • Needs to hook up to an external speaker for better voice quality.
  • No option to adjust RF.

2. Cobra 75 All Road – Best Premium Compact CB Radio

The compact Cobra 75 All Road is our premium choice for this category considering the range of useful features and functions it offers. If you can justify the price tag, you’ll find that this CB radio can take on even full-featured CB radios and go beyond compact CB radios.

Its appearance is fairly simple. The transceiver is a small, plain box, while the microphone has a small display and control buttons. 

This arrangement gives you a lot of flexibility in installing the CB radio.

Since the user doesn’t need to interact with the transceiver often, you can place it out of the way without sacrificing any space in the dash. You could install it in the boot if you’re so inclined, just make sure you can readily access the microphone.

Though the display on the microphone is small, it is crisp with a good backlight and shows the information in an orderly style. The microphone feels good in the hands and the PTT button has a nice and satisfying push.

Controls for the radio are right below the display and remain manageable while using one hand.

The radio offers decent audio quality, digital noise cancellation, squelch at four levels, NOAA weather stations, VOX, 4W transmit power, and easy channel 9/19 switch.

Then there are the stars of the show with Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM switch, and IP66 rating. The IP66 rating means that the radio is dustproof and water-resistant, capable of handling jets of water directed at it. The device can survive most water exposure, short of being submerged.

All this truly puts into perspective the freedom of installing the Cobra 75 All Road out of the way.

Additionally, the radio can easily switch between AM/FM for its modulation. Conventional CB radios only work with AM, but the FCC has recently allowed FM as well. Using FM can offer better signal quality, a slightly longer range, and overall better experience.

Of course, the radios communicating should all be able to work with FM. Since FM is relatively new here, older CB radios (or conventional AM-only radios) will not work with this mode. 

Many new CB radios do offer FM functions, so availability is improving.

Enhancing the radio’s capabilities and features further is Bluetooth connectivity. The transceiver has built-in Bluetooth that can work with compatible accessories.

The simplest of these is the Bluetooth PTT button that Cobra offers, allowing hands-free use of the transceiver. Should you desire more features, you can use more advanced Bluetooth headsets with better features including audio quality and handling of the PTT button.

Overall, Cobra 75 All Road is a remarkable CB radio that brings a good cache of conventional and new features to CB radios. All of that comes at a price, but this radio is worth the investment!


  • Compact and clean design
  • Flexibility in installing the transceiver where you want it
  • IP66 protection rating
  • Switch between AM/FM (modulation only) for Tx and Rx
  • NOAA channels receive
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Microphone feels good in hands
  • Easily accessible controls
  • Crisp and clear display


  • Expensive


  • Features: 9.5/10
  • Build Quality: 9/10
  • Audio Quality: 7.5/10
  • Value for Money: 7.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

3. Uniden PRO505XL – Best Budget Compact CB Radio

Uniden PRO505XL is a wonderfully budget compact CB radio. This model puts its focus on value and keeps things rather straightforward. 

It comes bearing Uniden’s ‘Bearcat’ brand, which once meant something, but is now in the category of any other branding or product. That’s not to say that there’s something wrong with the brand or the radios, it just makes little to no difference in the Uniden lineup.

That doesn’t take away the fact that this is a remarkable radio. Uniden PRO505XL is tiny, which gives it the freedom for placement during installation. Full-sized radios need proper mounting. 

It can be set up in a lot of places, including the dash and the side of your seat. The small size is useful if you want to conserve space in your cab, although, since the display and controls are on the radio’s body, you’ll have to place it somewhere where it’s clearly visible and easily accessible.

To be honest, there isn’t much going on with the controls. They’re as bareboned as you can get. 

There’s a switch to move between CB and public announcement (PA), volume, squelch, instant channel 9, and channel switching. The display is backlit and rather crisp. It doesn’t have much to show, so it can show the numbers and signal strength with more gusto.

Uniden offers other similar CB radios if you want to shake things up, or want more features. Uniden PRO510XL offers a slightly refined design. It skips the buttons and simplifies controls to only include knobs for volume, squelch, and switching channels. 

While Uniden PRO505XL has a dedicated button for PA, the 510XL gets rid of the button in favor of an Automatic Noise Limiter. It still supports public address systems, it just doesn’t include a dedicated button. 

It’s worth noting that while all these CB radios are small, they work quite well. Modern technology is miniaturized enough that a fully functional radio doesn’t necessarily need the same space as the older ones. Although, many modern radios are built to traditional sizes, often to allow ease of mounting, or they may include additional features like SSB or SWR meters.

Uniden PRO505XL transmits on all 40 CB channels and can put out 4 Watts of power, which is the maximum allowed for CB radios by the FCC.

Pair it with the right antenna and this CB radio will not leave you wanting for sound clarity. Also, the microphone uses the conventional 4-pin jack. This makes it easy to swap it for the mic you prefer. To be clear, though this mic isn’t ideal, it does its job fairly well for its price range.

Lastly the radio package includes mounting hardware for convenient installation. 

  • December 8, 2023
Paul Dudley

Paul is the owner and founder of . His passion for ham radios and fishing lead him to create this site. He loves playing with his radios and doing many other outdoor activities