The Best Handheld CB Radios For Beginners And Pros
Finding the best handheld CB radio can be a challenge, but when you find one that suits your needs, you’ll find it’s a great investment for a dedicated hobbyist.
Handheld CB radios are great for those who love experimenting with radio frequencies, as well as for those who want to keep walkie-talkies. This technology has been around since the 1970s and continues to be popular today.
Modern handheld CB radios come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. The best ones are easy to use and compact for carrying around. Many have special features, such as insights into weather and road conditions.
Finding the right one that suits your needs can be a little overwhelming. So, to make it easy for you, we have reviewed some of the best handheld CB radios so that you can make a better-informed decision.
What Are Handheld CB Radios?
The CB stands for “citizens band.” It’s a personal radio service that uses two-way radios, and it’s still often used by truck drivers today.
Handheld CB radios are one of the best forms of mobile communication. Whether you are traveling alone or stuck in peak hour traffic, an easy-to-use and reliable CB radio will keep you connected to those around you until you reach your destination.
Travel Smart With a Reliable CB Radio
For emergency responders, law enforcement officials, and ham radio enthusiasts, the citizen band (CB) radio has long been a means of quick contact.
This two-way radio remains the top choice for on-the-road communication for road warrior truckers, campers, 4WD adventures, motor-home vacationers, survivalists, farmers, or boating enthusiasts.
Despite the fact that a CB radio’s signal is shorter than that of a walkie-talkie, there are numerous benefits to owning one.
- You do not require any operator’s license to operate the two-way radio in the U.S.
- A CB radio is easy to install in your home, office, or vehicle.
- You’ll have complete control over the radio’s signal, audio quality, and sound.
- Keep connected with other radio users nearby while you’re on the road or out doing maintenance to your property.
- It is more reliable than other forms of communication as it does not depend on cell towers.
- There are no specific age restrictions for using this radio.
Top 10 Best Handheld CB radios of 2022
This handheld CB radio is considered high power and can save you from many troubles while traveling, and is a great tool to have on hand during emergencies. It has 40 channels, so you can be sure you’ll be able to communicate effectively when you need it. It also includes an Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) built-in, which improves reception for weak signals and clarity by filtering out background noise.
The Midland 75-822 radio is a long-range CB radio with a power output of 4 watts. It features a channel scan feature that checks all channels for activity and stops for five seconds at any active channel. Five of your favorite channels can be saved on the radio and accessed as quickly as possible. You can also listen to NOAA weather radio to stay up to date on current weather conditions.
Pros And Cons of Midland 75-822
- Its compact size and design are perfect for those who want a radio with a long-range.
- The large numerical LCD is easily read in various lighting conditions.
- It has long-range network capability
- The cord not as long as you might think, limiting the range of where you can bring the the radio.
- Some reviewers have complained that the built-in antenna quality is not as great as it could be.
Cobra is one of the best handheld CB radio brands, known for its great range and compact design. The Cobra HH50WXST is a powerful handheld radio with one of the most well-rounded handsets. It has a long-range, is rather compact (6.3 x 2 x 1.75 inches), and can last up to a month on nine AA batteries.
You gain access to all of the functions of a CB radio, including 40 channels and NOAA weather frequencies. A channel scan, dual watch, and a sound tracker that minimizes noise by 90% are all included. It also boasts a fully lit LCD with all of the necessary information.
Its power output is capped at 4 watts, requiring line-of-sight transmission, like all CB radios.
Pros and Cons of Cobra HH50WXST
- This CB radio has a compact design.
- It offers a dual watch feature and automatic channel scanning.
- It has integrated technology that helps in removing 90% of the noise.
- It can remember the last channel you used.
- It requires nine batteries, which can be cumbersome.
- The antenna is not as powerful as other models.
The Cobra HHRT50 is equipped with a ‘Sound Tracker System,’ which can eliminate up to 90% of background noise for crystal-clear frequency transmission. Static noise or interference are examples of noise that the system filters out. It also has a feature called ‘Dual Watch,’ which allows you to monitor two channels simultaneously in order to stay abreast of road hazards and weather conditions, for example.
The maximum power output of this handheld CB radio is 4 watts. However, there are two power output options: high and low. You may switch between the two effortlessly to get a 75 percent gain in battery life, which is handy in a pinch.
The Cobra HHRT50 is powered by AA rechargeable batteries, which last a long time. The batteries can be recharged using the included DC power cord and charge tip. In addition, the accompanying DC power cord can be plugged directly into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
You can also use an AC wall charger to charge the batteries. However, the AC wall charger is not included in the box.
Pros and Cons of Cobra HHRT50
- This handheld CB radio allows 40 channels covering the full spectrum of the radio.
- Includes an external magnetic antenna mount and dual watch.
- It supports an external speaker jack and an external microphone.
- This radio comes with rechargeable batteries.
- The external antenna mount is not very long.
- Does not include wall charger for rechargeable batteries.
Although the Uniden Pro PRO501HH confronts significant competition in its price bracket, it is a good choice for a Handheld CB radios, especially in terms of fidelity. The Uniden Pro sounds amazing in ideal listening conditions, especially when you insert a pair of earbuds into the external speaker jack next to the external mic jack. Given that signal quality is nearly entirely reliant on line-of-sight and atmospheric circumstances.
With the original rubber duck antenna, the PRO501HH transmits clearly, and an upgraded antenna, such as a 3-foot FireStik, will bring it on par with any high-end radio. All 40 CB channels, as well as 10 NOAA weather channels, are available. You can scan them for activity with a single button press or switch to the Channel 9 emergency line. This handheld radio lacks a memory bank, but it does have a better-backlit LCD display than the Midland 75-822.
Pros and Cons of Uniden Pro50hh
- This handheld CB radio is featured with a dual watch and channel scan.
- It can operate 40 channels, including NOAA weather channels.
- It has a built-in automatic noise limiter.
- It comes with a bulky design.
- The antenna should be upgraded.
Yaesu Ft-70 is a dual-band amateur ham radio with a solid set of features that will keep you in touch while you are on the road. This handheld CB radio is capable of receiving coverage of 108-580MHz. Other handy features include an alphanumeric display, lighted keypads, and scan mode.
This handheld CB radio is compatible with several accessories. You will find a battery charger, belt clip, and antenna mount in the package.
Pros and Cons of Yaesu FT-70
- This handheld CB radio comes with remarkably good transmit audio.
- It has an excellent build quality.
- It comes with a programming cable.
- It has a good overall signal quality.
- It does not include a drop-in charger.
The newly improved Cobra 29LTD Professional CB Radio is amongst the most popular CB radios. It is ideal for semis, pick-up trucks and professional drivers, or even a dispatch office operator.
This high-tech radio with 4-watt power output ranges from 2 to 5 miles. The robust, elegant chrome interface will offer a distinctive touch of beauty to your vehicle or office and be functional.
The 4-pin microphone has a futuristic design that comfortably fits your hand, and its front panel connector enables easy in-dash installation. In addition, its extra-long 9-foot cord allows you to easily access your controls from any location inside your vehicle.
With tactile controls, you can rapidly travel between the 40 channels and alter the functionality. In addition, your station selection is shown on an improved LCD channel display that can be adjusted for day or night driving.
You have immediate access to emergency channel 9 and information channel 19 to assist you in driving safely. In addition, the signal strength meter swings appropriately to match the signal levels of incoming receive and outgoing transmit.
The new features include a built-in a PA function button, SWR calibration system and an antenna alert light
The Noise Reduction (NB/ANL) and RF Gain (with Dynamic Boost) buttons reduce static and improve sound clarity. A Talkback button allows you to fine-tune the sound during transmissions for precise modulation. All CB antennas are compatible with the 29LTD.
Pros and Cons of Cobra 29LTD Professional CB Radio
- This handheld CB radio provides reliable communication.
- It provides immediate access to emergency channels while you’re on the road.
- Its 4W output gives the best range of communication.
- Some reviewers have complained about the mounting hardware.
The clever AnyTone CB Radio may be used as an AM/FM radio and a CB radio. Moreover, this small radio can be converted into a two-way radio, making it extremely flexible.
There are up to 40 channels available, including the emergency channel and channel 19 (information). The channels and signal strength information are shown on the bright orange LCD screen, which is easy to read.
This fantastic small CB radio offers a 12-watt output and a plethora of user-friendly features. Although the AnyTone generates a very loud and clear sound, you can minimize static or other noise by turning the RF boost or squelch slider. In addition, it has a channel scan button, memory button, keypad lock button, large power on/off button, dual watch, and a large power on/off button.
Communication can be done easily through this CB radio with its front-facing microphone jack. This microphone has a push-to-talk button. Also, you can attach a speaker and use it as a PA system.
This CB radio is featured with a mobile mounting bracket, long power cord, and installation hardware.
Pros and Cons of AnyTone CB Radio
- This handheld CB radio offers very loud and clear volume.
- Its signal information and channels can be displayed on the LCD screen.
- It is perfectly suitable for long road trips and everyday use.
- It can be easily used as a PA system.
- It might not be suitable for professional use.
For SUV wilderness adventurers or pilot vehicle drivers, the President MCKINLEY USA CB Radio is a piece of superb mobile communication equipment.
The sleek AM/SSB 12/24-volt CB radio has a compact form, yet it doesn’t skimp on must-have functions if you have limited space in your cab.
It boasts a dual watch function and a huge LCD-lit presentation that is simple to read day or night. You can also change the screen’s color to one of three options: orange, green, or blue. With a 4-watt output signal that can reach up to 5 – 6 miles, you can stay connected while you’re on the road. There are 40 channels on the CB radio, a weather alert button, a preset emergency channel 9, and an information channel 19. A channel scan button is also available with a 3-memory scan function.
With President MCKINLEY USA CB Radio, you can achieve a crystal clear sound with automatic and manual squelch control, an RF power button, or a microphone gain.
The other user-friendly features are an on/off volume control, a switchable talkback button, and an inbuilt SWR meter for 24/7 system transmission diagnostics.
Because the CB radio includes a VOX capability, you can use it hands-free. In addition, the radio transforms into a powerful PA system when you need to rally your team.
A comfortable microphone with a standard 3-pin power wire, which plugs into the front of the machine, is also included by PRESIDENT ELECTRONICS. A mounting bracket and tools are included with the CB radio for easy installation.
Pros and Cons of President MCKINLEY USA CB Radio
- This handheld CB radio features a bright, large 3-color LCD screen with a dual watch function.
- It can easily be used as a PA system.
- It is easy to use and install.
- It is featured with a comfortable microphone and standard 3-pin cord.
- Its dual-style buttons might be difficult to use for beginners.
- It is expensive as compared to other CB radios.
The Radioddity CB-27 Mini CB Radio will keep you in touch, whether you’re a newbie handheld CB radio user or a ham radio expert.
The CB-27 is inexpensive, has all the communication functions you’ll need for safe journeys, and is really simple to operate.
It has a long power cord, a push-to-talk button, up and down volume buttons, and a handy hanging hook for easy storage. It has a powerful 4-watt power output and an ergonomic removable microphone that provides very good, clear sound. It also has a long power cord, a push-to-talk button, up and down volume buttons, and a handy hanging hook for easy storage.
On the radio, each button has a white label that stands out against the black background. The channels are displayed on a 40-channel LCD panel.
With the squelch control and the RF boost button, you may easily modify the sound to eliminate unwanted static. In addition, there’s a big on/off volume dial, a channel scanning button, a keypad lock for emergency channel 9/19, and an external speaker jack for a PA system.
The Radioddity CB-27 comes in a practical ultra-compact size if your vehicle, such as a truck or a bus, has a limited dashboard area, and you need a smaller radio that won’t take up too much room. In addition, the radio is very easy to transfer from your house or office to your vehicle because it fits in the palm of your hand.
A a power cord, universal mounting bracket with an in-car charger, and two batteries are included with this Radioddity unit.
Pros and cons of Radioddity CB-27 Mini CB Radio
- This handheld CB radio is very easy to use and install.
- It can be used on a property or in a vehicle.
- It comes with easy-to-read buttons with white labels for quick navigation, even while driving.
- It can be easily used as a PA system.
- This handheld CB radios is not recommended for heavy-duty or industrial use.
A wonderful communication device for a jeep, truck, or motor home is the Midland 1001LWX Mobile CB Radio.
The basic control panel is well-suited for CB radio beginners or advanced operators who need easy access to the buttons, and its compact size fits most automobiles.
For speedy connectivity, the extremely responsive 40-channel digital tuner locks onto your chosen channel ACCURATELY. With a 4-watt power, the CB radio has a maximum signal range of up to 5 miles.
The ultra-bright orange LCD panel illumination is not adjustable, yet it provides good sight, especially at night. The microphone handset is conveniently situated on the front of the machine and fits pleasantly in your hand.
The strongest signal from the NOAA weather station is locked onto by smart weather scan technology. You can also tune in to channel 9 for emergencies and channel 19 for information.
To improve a weak signal, RF gains control and adjusts reception sensitivity. In addition, squelch control and an automatic noise limiter reduces undesirable background noise or static to ensure crystal clear sound.
The public address system and the standard CB operating button are easily accessible.
Although the handheld CB radio does not come with an antenna, it is compatible with most handheld CB radio antennae. It can also be used with the external antenna already attached to your car.
The handheld CB radio comes with all the necessary mounting hardware and a bracket.
Pros and Cons of Midland 1001LWX Mobile CB Radio
- It is perfect for motors, trucks, and jeeps.
- It has a clear and loud output.
- It is ideal for experienced CB users and beginners.
- It is compatible with most the antenna mount.
- This radio’s weather channel signal strength depends largely on the antenna power.
- The cycling through various NOAA weather channels can be pretty annoying.
Takeaway: Choose the One That Suits Your Needs
Choosing the best handheld CB radio isn’t easy. It can be a daunting task to even begin looking through the options, especially because many CB radios looks similar at first glance. CB radio is your best friend while you are on the road. Therefore, choosing the one that completely suits your needs is a must!
We’ve listed the best ten handheld CB radios to make your task easier in choosing the right one. Consider transmission range, sound quality, durability, LCD, channel scanning, programming, and battery life while choosing your handheld CB radio.
The more portable your radio is, the easier it will be for you to take it on all types of adventures.