Top 3 Best Uniden CB Radios For 2024


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Searching for the best Uniden CB radios?

Uniden CB radios stand out in the crowded field of ham radio communications, offering a unique blend of affordability, functionality, and durability.

In this article, we’ll navigate through the features that make Uniden radios stand out in a saturated market. From discussing the fine balance between cost and performance to examining how these radios fare in real-world scenarios, we aim to provide you with the insights you need. 

Stay tuned as we delve into the specifics, helping you make an informed choice in the realm of CB radios, where clarity and reliability are paramount.

Our Top Picks

Why Should You Trust Us?

At WhollyOutdoor, our commitment to delivering unbiased and honest reviews is at the core of everything we do. Founded and led by Paul Dudley, a seasoned enthusiast of ham radios and the great outdoors, our team is driven by a genuine passion for the products we review. 

Paul’s hands-on experience with ham radios, combined with his love for outdoor adventures, ensures that each review is grounded in real-world usage and practical knowledge.

We understand that choosing the right CB radio can significantly impact your outdoor experiences. That’s why we delve deep into each product, scrutinizing every feature, performance metric, and user feedback to provide you with the most accurate and helpful information. 

Our reviews are more than just assessments; they’re a reflection of our dedication to helping you make informed decisions with confidence. When you read our recommendations on the best Uniden CB radios, you’re not just getting expert opinions; you’re getting advice from a team that cares deeply about your outdoor communication needs.

How We Choose the Best Uniden CB Radios

Selecting the top Uniden CB radios isn’t a task we take lightly. Our process is thorough and reader-centric, ensuring that every recommendation we make aligns with your needs and expectations. Here’s how we break down the selection criteria:

  1. Performance and Reliability: The core of a great CB radio lies in its performance. We prioritize models that offer clear audio, strong signal reception, and consistent transmission. Reliability in various conditions is a must.
  2. Features and Functionality: A good Uniden radio should have a mix of essential and advanced features. We look for models with user-friendly interfaces, effective noise reduction capabilities, and additional functions like weather alerts, emergency channels, and PA system compatibility.
  3. Build Quality and Durability: Durability is key, especially for users who are often on the road. We examine the build quality, focusing on radios that can withstand regular use and the occasional bump or drop.
  4. User Feedback and Reviews: Real-world experiences tell us a lot. We comb through customer reviews and feedback, paying close attention to common praises and complaints, ensuring the radios live up to their claims.
  5. Value for Money: We balance features and quality against cost. Our goal is to recommend radios that offer the best return on investment, whether they’re budget-friendly models or higher-end options.
  6. Brand Reputation and Support: Uniden’s reputation for quality is well-known, but we also consider the level of customer support and warranty services offered by the brand.

By adhering to these criteria, we ensure that our recommendations are not only top-notch in quality and functionality but also align with what you, the reader, are seeking in a Uniden CB radio. Stay tuned as we dive into each model’s specifics, helping you find the perfect match for your communication needs.

3 Best Uniden CB Radios Reviews

1. Uniden Bearcat 880FM – Our Top Choice

Uniden Bearcat 880FM CB Radio provides an excellent mix of features and quality. It has a nice look, which balances rather well with the overall quality and features. That’s why it’s my top choice for the best Unden CB radio.

This model is an upgrade on the conventional Uniden Bearcat 880 CB Radio. The difference, as the name implies, lies with the addition of FM to the radio. 

Frequency Modulation for CB radio transmission allows a better and clearer signal over the conventional AM. Uniden has added a button here to allow for easy switching between AM and FM modes. 

It’s worth remembering that older AM-only models will not be able to receive or transmit communication with FM. However, FM and the AM/FM combo are the future of CB radios, so this model is certainly superior when compared to the original.

Visually, the most striking feature of the CB radio is its large display. It’s a clean and crisp display with more than enough room to show relevant information, including channel and mode.

The LCD offers seven colors, so you can set it to your preference.

Changing the intensity of the display backlight is also a great feature, whether driving during the day or night.

Buttons and knobs find their place around the display, offering easy access to various features.

The dial at the top left of the radio offers volume control, manual squelch, and switches the radio on/off.

Just below that is the six-pin port for the mic. Thankfully, the company also includes a six-pin to four-pin converter in the box, should you choose to use a different microphone. And there’s a good chance you will want to use a different mic.

Uniden includes its usual noise-canceling microphone in the box. It looks average, and feels okay in the hands, but isn’t nearly good where  performance is concerned. Rather than being noise-canceling, the mic performs more as sound-dimming, negatively affecting the quality of

the transmission.

On that note, the 6-pin mic connector is compatible with Uniden’s 6-pin connector wireless microphones. If you intend to use the company’s wireless microphones, this should be a great pick.

Other buttons around the display and their relevant features include CB/PA, automatic noise limiter (ANL)/ Noise Blocker (NB), memory and scan, easy switch between channels 9/19/ and normal, RF gain, talkback, and weather.

Uniden Bearcat 880FM can receive all seven NOAA weather channels, so you can

remain aware of the weather conditions. It also has access to all 40 CB channels and offers a maximum 4 Watt of RF output, which is the maximum mandated by the FCC.

Overall, Uniden Bearcat 880 FM is a feature-rich CB radio that balances its features quite nicely. While the default microphone leaves something to be desired, the radio performance itself is pretty solid.

Besides, the support for Uniden wireless microphones adds more possibilities and features to this radio. However, this isn’t a compact unit, so make sure you have enough room in the vehicle to install it!

To sum up, what I like is the…

  • Good looks and design
  • AM and FM compatible
  • Good Tx and Rx signal quality
  • Supports Uniden 6-pin wireless microphone
  • Adapter to switch 4-pin and 6-pin mic
  • Color and intensity options for display
  • Easy to use.

On the downside…

  • The stock mic is flimsy and offers poor performance for transmitting

Our Ratings

  • Features: 9/10
  • Build Quality: 9/10
  • Signal Quality: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 8.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

2. Uniden BEARTRACKER 885 – Best Premium Uniden CB Radio

Uniden BEARTRACKER 885 is a premium CB radio with interesting features. It’s the only hybrid on the market that combines the functions of a CB and a scanner radio. 

The feature-rich device is full-sized, so make sure you have enough room in the dashboard to install it. In any case, it’s a great pick for anyone who needs a scanner and a CB radio, so rather than keeping two devices, you can work with one. 

Another benefit of the hybrid style is that the unit has more room for both operations. It offers a better build, better features, and better cooling. 

The transceiver has a somewhat boxy look, which is a departure from the smooth and curvy looks we are accustomed to. Yet, it is fairly easy on the eyes. I like the display and it is crisp with a lot of room to show information.

This is a color display with seven color options and some brightness settings that users can customize. This way, it stays visible during the day and easy on the eyes at night. At the bottom and towards the right side of the screen, you’ll see several buttons. All important features of the transceiver are just a button push away.

To the left of the display is the volume/squelch control knob followed by the mic connector. Uniden has included their standard microphone with this transceiver. It looks okay and feels good in the hand, but it leaves much to be desired for function. Well, the Beartracker 885 also supports Uniden’s wireless microphone, which works like a charm.

Other notable features on the CB radio side of things include PA mode, 40 channels, talkback, NOAA weather with alerts, SWR meter, RF gain, mic gain, and more.

The scanner side of things works nicely as well. The scanner looks for known signals for fire, police, ambulance, and DOT radio traffic in the US and Canada. It can keep track of your location thanks to the included GPS and automatically move to (or monitor) local frequencies.

This function works off a nationwide scanner database with free weekly updates. The database information can be stored in an SD card and placed into the transceiver. As things stand, the scanner function is very reliant on this database. 

Uniden Beartracker 885 works off a conventional CB radio antenna, so the actual scanning function is very limited. The database is where it gets most of its information. Therefore, it won’t be as effective as a conventional scanner, but it remains a decent choice for the hobbyist.

Overall, Uniden Beartracker 885 is a well-built CB radio and scanner hybrid that offers a good mix of features. It works well as a CB radio and offers decent, but database-dependent use for the scanner.

To sum up, what I like is the…

  • CB radio and scanner hybrid functionality
  • Good build quality
  • Multiple color and brightness options for display
  • Good audio quality
  • Supports Uniden wireless mic
  • Includes GPS
  • Access to NOAA weather channels with alerts
  • Good scanner function.

On the downside…

  • Scanner function is largely dependent on database
  • Included mic is below average

Our Ratings

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

3. Uniden PRO520XL – Best Budget Uniden CB Radio

Usually, when we hear “XL”, we think extra large. Uniden PRO520XL beats that convention. This is a price-conscious, compact cb radio that stays on the no-frills route. 

Though this radio stays on a budget, it includes some of the most desirable functions. These features include a PA option, Automatic Noise Limiter, quick switch to Channel 9, and RF gain. Of course, it also offers conventional features like volume, squelch control, and simple channel scanning.

It is possible to find cheaper radios but that would involve going into the domain of bareboned options. For example, the slightly cheaper Uniden 510XL is quite similar to the 520XL, but the only convenience feature it offers is the ANL. 

Slipping further on the price range, you’ll find the Uniden PRO505XL. This radio has the basic volume, squelch, and channel switching features. The only additional feature here is a switch that shifts the radio between CB and PA.

All these radios are from the same series, so their user interface is very similar. For the most part, the difference is the switches or knobs for the included features. In that sense, Uniden PRO 520XL keeps the price low while maintaining several features.

Uniden PRO520XL makes excellent use of the limited space available on this compact radio. The left side of the radio hosts the 4-pin connector for the microphone, while the right has a large dial to select channels. A small, backlit screen shows the channel, signal strength, and transmit indicator.  It’s a simple yet useful function.

Overall Uniden PRO520XL is a decent choice for the budget-conscious buyer. It skips the bells and whistles but manages to be one of the best Uniden cb radios. It offers the most-desired features in a compact, pocket-friendly package. 


  • Good signal clarity and precise frequency control
  • Public address functionality
  • Expandable frequency output range
  • Easy to install compact CB radio
  • Super affordable


  • Doesn’t come with a 12v plug
  • No backlit control buttons

Our Rating

  • Functionality: 8/10
  • Voice Clarity: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 9.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What features should I look for in a Uniden CB radio for off-road use? For off-road use, prioritize durability, vibration resistance, and clear audio quality. Also, look for models with integrated SWR meters for easy antenna tuning.
  2. How important is the size of a Uniden CB radio for vehicle installation? Size is crucial for vehicle installations. Compact models are preferable for smaller spaces, while larger models might offer more features but require more installation space.
  3. Are there Uniden CB radios with Bluetooth connectivity? Some Uniden models offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for hands-free operation and smartphone integration, which can be a significant advantage for frequent drivers.
  4. What’s the difference between Uniden’s entry-level and premium CB radios? Premium models often have advanced features like integrated SWR meters, NOAA weather channels, and higher build quality. Entry-level models are more budget-friendly with basic functionalities.
  5. How do Uniden CB radios perform in urban environments with high interference? Uniden radios with features like Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) and Noise Blanker (NB) are better suited for urban environments to minimize interference.
  6. Can I upgrade the antenna on a Uniden CB radio for better range? Yes, upgrading the antenna can significantly improve the range and reception quality of your Uniden CB radio.
  7. What warranty period is typical for Uniden CB radios? Warranty periods vary, but most Uniden CB radios come with a one to two-year warranty. Always check the specific model for warranty details.
  8. How user-friendly are Uniden CB radios for beginners? Uniden offers several models that are user-friendly with simple controls and easy installation, ideal for beginners.
  9. Is it worth getting a Uniden CB radio with NOAA weather channels? If you frequently travel or live in areas prone to severe weather, a model with NOAA weather channels can be invaluable for real-time weather updates.
  10. Do Uniden CB radios come with built-in SWR meters? Some higher-end Uniden models come with built-in SWR meters for convenient antenna tuning, while others may require an external meter.
  11. Do Uniden CB radios come with a warranty? Yes, Uniden typically offers a warranty on their CB radios, but the length and terms vary by model. Always check the warranty details before purchasing.
  • December 4, 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