Choosing a CB radio can be quite hard if you do not know what features to look for in a unit. CB radios function similarly but its convenience and effectiveness vary on how its features function. There are CB Radios that have a lot of features but which are less useful; some out there have few but extremely useful ones. Many users do a lot of research before purchasing important equipment to avoid buying the wrong product. If you do not want to waste money buying a CB radio you will soon discard, make sure you have some knowledge on the features to look for in an efficient model. Since CB radios are extremely helpful in critical situations, it is best to have the best radio you can afford.
As there are actually quite a lot of models to choose from, there are also quite a lot of things to consider when buying it. Aside from the main technical features, there are other things such as the size, so it fits to where it will be mounted. You may also consider the ease of access to controls such as buttons, tuning keys, etc.
How to choose the best CB radio
Before going into the technical features of a good CB Radio, here are characteristics that make the best CB radio units. The best CB radios are always:
Even if you pick the most expensive unit with the most features available, all these would be useless if you do not know how to operate them. It is important that your CB radio is easy to use and not complicated. The tuning methods and combination settings should be simple to set up and adjust. Sometimes, if there are too many things to adjust, it becomes harder to get the right tuning. It would be great if your chosen unit has few automatic adjusting buttons that could do the job for you.
CB Radios are often used while driving because they are commonly installed for vehicle and travel use. With that, it is important that the hardware is made to serve easy. The unit should not have buttons that are not small, so that users with large fingers won’t find it hard to press the right buttons. It should have a good LCD light display screen so the user can do adjustments properly, even at night or in dark conditions. And since CB Radios are mounted into cars, it should not be heavy or too big, or else it is at the risk of falling and getting broken when the vehicle goes over bumpy roads. It should be durable and heavy-duty.
Complete with necessary features
A unit cannot be the best CB radio if it is not efficient in its features and functions. If you are on quite a tight budget, there is no need to get the most expensive model. It is just important that you have a unit that has the basic functions up and working well. The features we are talking about will be explained later in this article.
You don’t need to have all the features on your unit. Most of the latest features of a CB radio are actually not that useful. If an additional feature makes the product so expensive, you can choose not to pick it. Anyway, as long as the basic vital functions are there, your unit won’t be of less quality and function without the additional features. Save money and pay only for the important features you need.
What to look for in a good CB radio
If you are planning to buy a CB radio, this information might help you buy the best product you can afford. These are the features that you should look for if you want to have a functional and high-quality unit:
- Channel 9 and 19 instant access—Not all units have this feature. It is important that you find a unit that has this feature and lets you access the emergency and highway channels instantly. This is most useful especially when you need a fast response and emergency services.
- Weather capabilities—This feature will save you from hassles and problems. The best CB radios always have this feature. It lets the user have access to local NOAA stations and be warned with weather alerts by real up-to-date weather reports.
- RF gain—This is a common, yet important, feature. It is important that your unit has an excellent gain adjustment. This filters the transmission received by your radio and adjusts the reception based on the signal of other radios, and eliminates unnecessary background noise to keep sound clearly coming through.
- RF power—Contrary to the previous feature, this one isn’t common and can be found mostly on high-end models. It works on the transmission of sound waves and allows the user to transmit to nearby users. One can also choose to turn this feature on or off to conserve energy.
- Integrated SWR Cal Meter—A Standing Wave Ratio is where you will see the effects of SWR calibration. It will let you see if it is tuned well and lets you make adjustments, based on your preference. The antenna can be used to adjust the tuning until you find the best reception.
- Antenna warning indicator—If the SWR Cal Meter is not adjusted properly, this will alert you and inform you if your transceiver is at risk of burning. Usually through a red alert light, this feature will help you be aware of your unit’s status.
- ANL—Automatic Noise Listening basically reduces noise and cuts low-level noise on airwaves. Interference from engine and static noise are reduced so sound quality is clear and improved.
You will actually find a lot more features on the market. But a model with the highest number of features doesn’t guarantee satisfaction. The features above are those necessary to be present and serve the main purposes of a CB radio. But if you are into the most high-tech and up-to-date models, there are additional features, such as Bluetooth, to connect to a cellular phone and sideband to widen the range of scope of networks on your unit. Nonetheless, as long as the unit is excellent with the mentioned important features, you are good to go even without the additional items.
Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio with Instant Access 10 NOAA Weather Stations and Selectable 4 Color Display
The Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio is the citizen band radio that offers you the most vital functions you need. It transmits and delivers voice loud and clear even over longer distances. It comes with a modern look but maintains being user friendly. Most importantly, Cobra Digital competently showcases its weather detection user alert with its most competent access to the local NOAAstation. Avoid hassle with up-to-date weather reports using the Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radio with Instant Access 10 NOAA Weather Stations and Selectable 4 Color Display.
- It is a 40-channel limited edition chromed CB Radio.
- Can give up-to-date weather pattern information
- Best set-up for optimized performance is achieved by the SWR Calibration
- Usability—It has the modern features of a CB, but still remains user friendly.
- Weather alert—It interrupts the shared channel or lights up when it is turned off when important weather information has to be transmitted. Whether it is heavy traffic or a severe storm, the Cobra Digital will save you from hassles with its reliable detector Information is fast and your voice goes through loud and clear. With the proper calibration and adjustment, you will find that this radio can go out up to 23 miles and still receive and transmit an excellent signal.
- User friendly—Cobra Digital sets up fast and it is easy to calibrate. You won’t have to be the one to do the adjustments because it allows you to be creative and customize your own setting preference.
Digital Chrome is functions well but also has its setbacks. According to some sources, this radio has a VR6 spot for SWR that is quite sensitive and needs careful handling.
Overall, the Cobra 29 LX 40-Channel CB Radiois priced appropriately and seems to be a wise pick when it comes to CBs. It has the necessary useful functions, such as weather alert and the best SWR Calibration set-up.
The Uniden BEARCAT CB Radio With Sideband And WeatherBand (980SSB) is designed for those who want to use CW-way radio communication on the road with a slightly better reach, as opposed to that of a normal portable CB radio.
- Color changing LCD display (backlight included)
- Noise cancelling microphone
- RF gain control
- 40 channel AM operation
- Memory scan
- Display adjustability—It has a colorchanging LCD display that allows the user to change colors so that the user can see the data better in different situations.
- Sound quality—Its speakers are loud and make for a decent PA system. It has a noise-cancelling microphone that is just as good as an amplified mic. Reviews have stated that with the right settings and a good tweak, users have gotten positive feedback on their audio quality.
One of the most common things mentioned in reviews is the unit’s lack of accessories. A review cited that this model is a hassle because for it to perform you have to buy an antenna and a cable.
To sum it up, it may not have met the expectations of veterans but unit is good for constant CB users, especially those who travel at night. The Uniden BEARCAT CB Radio With Sideband And WeatherBand (980SSB) presents good quality audio and has a decent reach.
The Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio is designed for those who would like to use CB-way radio communication on the road. It has a cable that charges from a car port and can be taken outside the car as well since it uses batteries when needed.
- Dual watch monitors
- 10 NOAA channels with instant access
- Automatic noise limiter
- Squelch control
- User friendly—perfect for short range two way communication and is sustainable. It has all the features of a classic CB Way radio in a small, portable and easy-to-maintain unit.
- Sustainability—the unit has three power sources: a 6-battery compartment (for non-rechargeable AA batteries), an 8-battery compartment with a separate pluggable AC charger (for rechargeable AA batteries), and an all-in-one snap-on unit which attaches to a cigarettelightertype 12v connector (for car use), an external antenna cable and a connector. When stretched, the cable reaches27 inches.
According to reviews and sources, the Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio has failed to meet their expectations with regards to its range, battery charging abilities, and other presupposed functions.
The Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio performs well. If you’re a casual CB radio user or a first timer, this radio offers all the basics. However, for its price of $74, it can be considered somewhat steep. There are CB radios that offer the basics and more for the same price, or less, though we can’t vouch for the other products’ quality.
The Cobra 75WXST 40-Channel CB Radio allows the user to have access of all control in one handheld radio. Its size did not hinder its ability to be very useful to the user with its added features (Last 3 channels, scan, dual scan, lock control, and volume). For those who are always on the road, this radio might serve you best.
- 10 NOAA weather channels
- Unified design; CB fits in your hand
- 40 CB channels
- Clearer transmissions and less-noisy reception
- Remote mount system
- SoundTracker System
- Dual scan feature—The unit’s set of controls is probably its most discussed aspect. It has lock control so that it doesn’t reset by accident. It also has scan and dual scan for the user to constantly have two channels to switch between. Last 3 channels is also an option in the unit. It allows the user to look at the last three channels he/she accessed and go back to them.
- PA and SoundTracker feature—Audio-wise, the Cobra 75WXST 40-Channel CB Radio has it covered. It can be used as a PA system but can also be plugged into external speakers for those who want more volume. Other than that, the user can also use the volume control that can be found on the handheld CB radio’s side to adjust the volume. The SoundTracker is its most prominent feature as it allows the audio to have less background noise so that it comes out cleaner and more understandable.
Overheating, was what one user complained about in his review of the unit. Because it is made to be used in vehicles, its use as a base station is not recommended.
The Cobra 75WXST 40-Channel CB Radio is a pretty solid unit. Overall, this small, yet inclusive and cleverly packaged CB radio unit is promising. If the buyer is not opposed to putting in more money than usual for this unit, it is highly recommended.
Because there are many different types of professionals all over the globe, manufacturers have designed a wide variety of tools and equipment that can be used to accomplish a diversity of job duties on a daily basis. One of the biggest factors in keeping any operation running smoothly and effectively is in the area of communications.
Since advancements in technologies have caused the need for communications to be must faster and clearer, every device that is made must take this and more into consideration during development.
The Galaxy DX-959 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio with Frequency Counter can help you get from place to place, keeping you in touch with others on the road or with the weather channels to warn you of impending storms.
Here is some information about this product that can assist you when you are looking to buy a CB radio. That said, here are the features that you can use to compare to other models when searching for the model that will suit your needs.
- Device has been designed with large, easy-to-read meters
- 5-digit frequency counters that display yellow 2-digit channels
- Variable talkback circuitry with on and off switch and variable power output control
- Variable dimmer control and 3-position tone switch
- Includes (GNF) proprietary Galaxy noise filter feature that reduces noise
- Loaded with features that are only found in some of the much more expensive models
- Highly recommended because it can pick up frequencies from 1,500 miles away
- Loud punch clean audio
- Consumers reported problems with some of the units
- Jumps frequencies from time to time
Even though there are many different types of mobile CB Radio with frequency counter systems available on the market today, some are more reliable and effective than others. This is true of the Galaxy DX-959 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio with Frequency Counter because it has features that many consumers look for.
From offering a good quality, superior experience when talking to others at far distances, to making it easy to read the display to operate it efficiently, the manufacturers have worked to design this CB radio so that you can be satisfied with the product you buy.
Overall, consumers are giving this product great reviews because it is a good buy for the price that you pay. It is also important to note that this unit gets good reception while on the road and off, and has also earned complimentary feedback from those who receive communications from far distances.
Most consumers appreciate the fact that this unit is equipped with a large digital meter display that makes it easy to read both at night and during the day.