5 Good 40 Channel CB Radios 2015
The Growth of CB Radio Enthusiasts
Recently, I installed a tower in my 80 Year-old Father's yard so that we could communicate from Boston to Indianapolis. He's a great example of the growth of CB radio enthusiasts over the last several years.
CB or Citizens band radio has been around in the United States since 1940 and continues to be a lot of fun for both hobbyists and amateurs. It's a great way to get to know other people like you with similar interests.
Below, I'll review a few good CB radios and give you my thoughts on the pros and cons of each.
5 Good Value CB Radio Options Under $100
Cobra 29 LX CB Radio
The most convenient feature of this radio was the weather receiver that scans automatically to the next clear channel when driving across the country; this keeps you from having to search on your own for a clear channel.
If there is really bad weather nearby, the device will alert you even if the CB is turned off. That added safety was very nice when we were camping. The display lets you monitor the RF output, SWR setting and battery voltage which gives you more control.
Not that this is important to everyone, but the display color can be changed to red, blue, green or amber depending on your preference, as well as the brightness of the display. It also saves up to 10 of your most frequently used channels for quick access; this is something that I really love since many other CB's don't offer this feature.
The device also boasts a clock/alarm and an on-duty timer; this is more useful for professional drivers but we have used it periodically. The clarity is truly amazing and the range was quite big, even in city areas. I was able to get transmission as far away as about 5 miles.
There is a little drawback to this radio, and that would be the volume and power knob that is very small. I do have small hands so it wasn't as much of an issue for me as it was for my husband.
Cobra 75WST CB Radio
For a sleek and compact radio, this is a pretty good option for those looking for convenience. The LCD screen is very easy and clear to read; it shows channel, signal strength and RE power output, or CB channel readout. It includes 10 NOAA channels for weather monitoring.
I really liked how the microphone and radio are designed into one single piece which makes it easy to fit in vehicles that don't have a lot of space. However, I am a woman and have very small hands; it was kind of awkward to use. Most guys should find it just a perfect fit, however.
Being able to have the base mounted under the front seat but being able to change the channels from the handset was very nice. I also liked that it came with a Dual Watch function that allowed me to monitor 2 channels at the same time. For the price, I was disappointed that it picks up a lot of noise that comes out as static on some channels.
Transmission was still pretty good though. The sound from the speaker should also have been better in my opinion. Installation was a piece of cake and took less than 30 minutes.
Midland 750822 40 Channel CB Radio
This is a pretty highly rated radio on the market right now. It comes with a battery pack and a cigarette lighter adapter for use in your car. Having the cigarette lighter adapter was very nice; I didn't want to have to buy one separately. You have the option of 40 channels with 10 NOAA channels.
The screen is a small LCD display that gives you your current channel, signal strength and other appropriate information. I found that being able to monitor the weather was a nice feature for when we use them outdoors for camping, hiking, etc. It's a pretty easy-to-use radio that seems to be made with durable materials.
The battery life is pretty good actually, and it isn't too cumbersome or heavy. The only drawback with this radio is the range; the short antenna doesn't give you a lot. It was rare to get a transmission more than three fourths to 1 mile away. I ended up purchasing a different, and longer, antenna from Midland that made the range much, much better. There are good features that make this nice for the price, but I feel that the transmissions could be a lot more clear for the price.
Cobra HHROADTRIP CB Radio
With a declaration of a four mile range, 10 NOAA weather channels and 40 CB channels, this radio is also pretty highly rated. I will say that I rarely got the four miles and only around 2 on good days. It has been made with a SoundTracker system that reduces noise and interference. This feature did seem to make it better than some of the other radios on the market, but probably not as good as you would expect.
A feature that I really did like was the option power switch; you choose either high or low depending on your needs and you can save battery power on the low setting. It will operate on 9 AA batteries or Ni-Cd batteries, or even with the supplied DC cord with cigarette lighter plug. The antenna is magnetically attached. I noticed that the car adapter did not deliver the best quality as the batteries did. If you solely want this for your vehicle, you might want to look elsewhere. This device was also heavier than the others I've tried but it does feel like it is a sturdy piece of equipment. The weather channels were clearly transmitted and it is very easy to set up and start using.
Midland 1001Z CB Radio
This is a very nice compact radio that is super easy to install. Some features include an emergency channel, PA speaker jacks and external speaker. This is good for seasoned CB users or beginners, though I would probably recommend this more for the amateur.
I found that this had pretty good transmission most of the time but there were many instances that it was not as clear as I would have hoped. For one of the cheaper radios we are discussing, this still is a good value for the money.
Your connectors include 4 pin locking mic, antenna, external speaker, PA speaker and DC power cord connectivity. Something that was a bit frustrating was the fact that when I turned my radio on, a channel is randomly picked so I would have to change it to my preferred channel every time.
Sometimes I was slow to transmit and I did have issues with ignition noise from time to time. The microphone is really quite good, the radio is small and compact, and the receiver was better than I had expected.