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Choosing the Right CB Radio

Updated on March 23, 2009

Choosing the Right CB Radio

Just like anything else, a lot of thought goes into purchasing a CB radio, whether it’s your fist one, or fourth one. Size, price, features, portability, etc.; think about everything that has to do with CB radios. There are a ton of brands to choose from too. Some brands are Cobra, Midland, Uniden, RadioShack, Galaxy, and Texas Ranger just to name a few. CBs come in different forms too, and they are mobile, handheld, and base. Here are some tips and examples of CB radios.

Mobile CB Radios

These are the classic. They are installed into cars with wires and all that good stuff. They have the CB radio itself in a rectangular box with all of the controls on the front, and a separate microphone on a cable with a push-to-talk (PTT) button. The controls on the front always have volume, squelch, channel control, current channel, and backlight. This goes for all of the basic, no frills CB radios that cost anywhere from $40 - $80 usually. More expensive models have more features and fancy knobs that are not always necessary. Some of the additional knobs and buttons include scan, instant channel 9/19, reverb, built-in SWR meter, weather channels, gain control, warning lights, and options for a public address (PA) mode.

Some popular Mobile CB Radios are:

Midland 1001Z Compact 40 Channel CB Radio - $27.99 at RadioShack!

Uniden Pro Series (PRO-538W) 40-Channel CB Radio - $69.95 at Walcott CB!

Uniden Bearcat Pro Series CB Radio PC78XL - $114.99 at RadioShack

Cobra 40-Ch. NightWatch CB Radio w/ SoundTracker - $139.95 at Walcott CB

Cobra 148 GTL CB Radio - $154.99 at RadioShack

Uniden PRO-538W
Uniden PRO-538W
Uniden Bearcat
Uniden Bearcat
Cobra 148 GTL
Cobra 148 GTL

Handheld CB Radios

Handheld CB radios are great for taking places. You can take them camping, in your car, in other peoples cars, in your house, and all kinds of other places and still enjoy CB radio fun. They come with all 40 CB radio channels, a built-in speaker and microphone, a screen telling you which channel you are on, a rubber antenna, and many more features. If it is not possible for you to fit a mobile CB in your car, this is a great alternative. Simply buy an adapter and a new antenna to put on top of your car and you are good to go! Also, you can buy longer antennas that attach directly onto your handheld CB. Handheld CBs cost about $80-$100, which I find a great deal on some, considering the features you get and you don’t have to buy an antenna if you don’t want to. Handheld CB radios generally have the same features as mobile CB radios.

Some Popular Handheld CB Radios:

RadioShack Weather Alert CB Radio (TRC-241) - $99.99 RadioShack

Cobra HH38WXST Handheld CB Radio - $79.95 at Walcott CB

Cobra HHROADTRIP Handheld CB Radio and Magnet Antenna - $89.95 at Walcott CB

Thanks and happy CB-ing! :)


RadioShack CB
RadioShack CB
Cobra HH38WXST
Cobra HH38WXST


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      If you really enjoy CB as a hobby stick with your better quality radios such as the Galaxy Flame Thrower, and buy quality antennas or make your own as I have done, remember that your antenna and your location is 75% of your station ! CB handheld radios or walkie talkies believe me are not very good, range in a large city is 2 miles at the most, get a new 2 meter ht, they have the weather band and offer a much greater range thru a repeater system ! Unless you are on top of a mountain or a tall building, you can call for help on a CB hand held until you are blue in the face and no one will hear you, don't waste your money !

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very true , generally you get what you pay for ! I see lots of used CB's at yard sales , some old 23 channel jobs for $5 and a few times seen some top quality rigs SSB Cobras and Galaxy radios with the extras channels above 40 and below 1 going for $20 ,Years ago while living in Honlulu I purchased a used Galaxy CB and worked the mainland many times using just alittle home brew wire antenna from inside my Waikiki apartment and just 10 watts !

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks for writing my hub for me, but I've got it under control.

    • profile image

      NightCrawler MIAMI 

      8 years ago

      When you purchase a CB radio be sure you do your homework. Ive been a CB'er for many years and believe me,you need to get one that fits your application as well as your budget. Think of it like purchasing a TV set. If you are going to be using it constantly like me, a professional truck driver, or security guard or avid CB enthusiast DONT BUY A CHEAP RADIO! Usually you get what you pay for. I personally use a radio called a FlameThrower. It may bee overkill for some, but when you are in front of it 24/7 it becomes a part of your life, livelyhood and work. So you need to get one that's right for you.I know i learned the hard way struggling with cheap radios that just didnt perform. Hope this helps any readers to make the decision on that new radio companion.

      Nightcrawler FL

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks David!

    • David Harvey profile image

      David Harvey 

      9 years ago from Sydney Australia

      Nice little display of different CB radios you have here. Keep up the good work!

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks I hope you enjoy(ed) them! Haha :)

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks for the info, I will read the other hubs as well.


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