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Best CB Radios For Truckers & Off-Roading : Reviews

As they say, Where the road ends, the fun begins. You cannot control the urge for off-roading, especially if you own a tourer and have the heart for touring. However, off-roading demands some preparation to waive the challenges that come along. Well, how can the fun be fun without a few challenges?

It is a must to carry proper safety gear, a recovery kit, maxtrax, hand tools, jump starter, tyre repair kit, and an air compressor. We would usually be taking care of most of these, but what most people tend to ignore during our off-roading trips is a good CB radio to ensure proper communication.

A decent CB Radio can be a lifesaver during your off-roading travel trips. It comes in handy in places where your cellphones struggle to find a proper signal. CB radios can help you stay updated with traffic and weather conditions and keep you updated with potential hazards. The other important use case of CB Radios is, they help communicate with other riders in your group with a functional CB radio.

If you are on the hunt for a good CB Radio in the market, you are at the right spot as we have tested out different models to decide on the best CB radio for off-roading. Having intensely tested several models, we have concluded that the Cobra 29 LX MAX is the best CB radio for truckers and off-roading. However, for your perusal, we have also listed out other decent picks for truckers and for other purpose.

Let’s look at the in-depth review of these top rated CB Radios.

Summary

#1. Cobra 29 LX MAX – Best Professional Smart CB Radio

NameCobra 29 LX MAX
Channels40 CB channels.
10 weather channels
Display4 color illuminated LCD
Radio Dimensions9.25” x 7.25” x 2.25”
Weight5.6 lbs
FeaturesCobra iRadar app integration.
Hands-free phone calls.
Text messaging.
10 seconds replay

Cobra 29 LX MAX CB Radio Review

The Cobra 29 LX MAX is a flagship CB radio that offers a professional driver all the features you would typically fall in need of during your trips. With the LX MAX, one can make one-touch activated legal hands-free phone calls and text messaging. It also has a voice caller ID on-screen that helps you directly identify and answer your phone calls using the radio.

The device comes packed decently inside a black cardboard box with its image printed on the front side along with the branding. On the other side, you get to see all the features that the product has to offer. Moving further with unboxing, you will find the Cobra 29XL Max CB radio sitting on the top along with a handheld microphone. The microphone has a standard 4-pin connector and comes with a 9-inch spiral cord. Besides these, the manufacturer also provided mounting brackets along with screws, a fused power cord, and a hanger for the included microphone.

Speaking of the design and build quality, the Cobra 29 LX Max is a full-sized CB radio with a lot of features. The device itself feels a bit larger for a CB radio with the dimensions 9.25” x 7.25” x 2.25”. However, considering the features it has to offer, the size is justified. For the first impressions, the device appeared futuristic with a 4-colored LCD, control knobs, and various buttons at the front.

The radio’s entire body is made up of metal and feels solid and weighs about 5.6 lbs. You get to see the cobra branding at the front. The microphone, on the other hand also feels solid on the quality with several buttons at the front. I liked the tactility of the push-to-talk button present on the microphone. The microphone has a 9-inch spiral cord that connects to the radio using the 6-pin connector.

When it comes to features, the Cobra 29 LX Max is a mine with ample features. It offers 40 CB radio channels and 10 NOAA weather channels. The Bluetooth connectivity is what makes this device stand in its line-up with support to legal hands-free calling. Besides this, you can also make a call, answer a call, or even send a text message by pairing your phone with the radio with the aid of the Bluetooth feature. The radio also displays the caller identity for incoming calls, which makes it convenient for the driver to take important calls legally while not shifting his focus from the road.

The Cobra’s patented Review-Say-Again feature lets you listen to the last 10 seconds of the previous transmission. This comes in handy in noisy environments as you don’t have to ask the sender to repeat what he had spoken. It offers a full 4 watt AM RF power output which is a maximum when it comes to CB radios.

Talking about the microphone quality, the Cobra 29 LX Max has the best-in-class microphone that comes with features like a switchable automatic noise limiter and noise blanker, adjustable dynamike boost, etcetera. This makes the microphone function effectively even over a noisy engine. Also, the speaker on this device is loud and clear.

The Cobra 29 LX Max is compatible with iRadar, the world’s most extensive community-based radar/laser/camera detection system. With the aid of iRadar support, users can share and receive alerts in real-time with iRadar users across the globe. This includes timely weather updates, police alerts, work zones, road hazards, speed traps, accidents, traffic jams, detours, etcetera.

On the other hand, the device also offers some of the standard features seen on most other CB radios on the market. These include channel frequency read-out, radio check diagnostics, clock/timer/alarm, RF gain adjustment, external microphone jack, external PTT and external speaker connection, etcetera.

Pros of Cobra 29 LX MAX

  • Caller ID and hands-free calling
  • iRadio support
  • Decent build quality and performance
  • Excellent signal reception
  • Review-Say-Again feature
  • Noise-canceling microphone

Cons of Cobra 29 LX MAX

  • Bigger compared to most CB radios.
  • Costly

Verdict of Cobra 29 LX MAX

The 29 LX Max is a feature-rich offering from Cobra. It has everything that you would typically look for in a professional CB radio. Answering phone calls, sending and receiving text messages is made more accessible, thanks to Bluetooth integration. The microphone on the other hand is also very convenient to use with an easy-to-access PTT button to its side. The manufacturer inside the package itself provides brackets and screws for mounting.

Besides these, the device has support for iRadio through which one can receive timely alerts regarding the weather conditions, traffic conditions, speed traps etcetera. The device itself feels a little bigger than most other radios on the market. If you happen to have a bigger space in your truck’s cabin, go for the Cobra LX Max 29 without a second thought.

#2. Midland 75-822 – Best Portable CB Radio

NameMidland 75-822 CB-Way radio
Channels40 CB channels.
10 weather channels.
5 memory channels.
Power output4 watts
Display TypeClear LCD Display with backlight
Radio Dimensions9.4 x 2.6 x 6.7 inches
Weight181.43 Grams
Power Type6 AA batteries,
Included cigarette lighter adapter for mobile use

Midland 75-822 Portable CB Radio Review

If you are in the market looking for something compact and portable, you have a way with the Midland 75-822 CB Radio. It can be powered either by using six AA batteries or with the cigarette lighter port on your vehicle using the included cable. The LCD makes it more intuitive for operation on-the-go.

The box packaging is not the most premium that we have seen. It came in a colorful box made out of cheap cardboard stock with the Midland branding and the model number printed on the top. Opening the package, we have the radio itself, a battery pack with 6 alkaline AA batteries, a rubber ducky antenna, a wrist strap, an adapter to power the device using the cigarette lighter port, and some paperwork, the manual, and the quick setup guide. Surprisingly you also see an included hollow battery pack holder that takes in up to 8 AA batteries, a power adapter to charge the included battery pack.

If you are looking to buy a portable CB Radio then have a look at our Best Handheld CB Radios to buy article. It will focus only on Handheld CB Radios.

Getting to the design and build quality, though it is entirely made up of plastic, it still feels extremely sturdy. The device also doubles up as a hand-held CB radio if you choose to power it with the included AA batteries. It feels pretty compact with its dimensions being 9.25” x 7.25” x 2.25” and weighs about 181.43 grams. The LCD on the device is not the fancier one but does its job well. It also features a backlight on the LCD screen making it visible even in darker environments. There is a button at the front which when pressed, enables the backlight.

To the front side of the radio, there are several keys with various functions assigned to them. You get to see two knobs on the top. One of them is a volume control knob which also doubles up as an on/off switch while the other knob corresponds to squelch adjustment. To the left side of the radio, you find three buttons of which two are for changing channels while the other is a push-to-talk (PTT) button.

The Midland 75-822 can be used as a handheld portable radio by attaching the rubber ducky antenna and the battery pack provided. However, suppose you wish to use it mounted in your vehicle. In that case, you can still do that by removing the battery pack and attaching the included adapter to the radio while plugging the power connector into the cigarette lighter port on your vehicle. However, you need to connect another firestick antenna to the provision on the adapter.

Operating the radio is pretty much straightforward with most of the buttons on the device are self-explanatory. The LCD screen on the device adds up to the ease, thanks to the backlight on it. It also comes with a keypad lock feature that helps prevent accidental keypress. The flexible antenna can be attached or detached easily. However, you cannot expect long-range from your device because it is a CB radio. The power output on the CB radios is limited to 4 Watt only.

The auto channel selection feature on this device is handy and can help you find an active channel of your choice without distracting from the road. It freezes on all active channels for about five seconds. You can store up to five channels in the memory and switch between them with a keypress. This radio supports up to 40 channels and 10 NOAA weather channels.

Speaking of the quality, the speaker on this device is loud and clear with no distortion even at the maximum volume. The microphone quality on the other hand is pretty dope with effective reduction of surrounding noise. 

The squelch control and Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) on this device ensure the received and transmitted signal is free from unwanted noise. This effectively improves the audio quality of this device.

Pros of Midland 75-822 Portable CB Radio

  • Versatile
  • Decent build quality
  • Portable
  • Provision for external antenna
  • Excellent speaker and mic quality

Cons of Midland 75-822 Portable CB Radio

  • The range on the included antenna is subpar.

Verdict of Midland 75-822 Portable CB Radio

The Midland 75-822 is a decent option available on the market with competitive pricing and an impressive feature set. What makes this device stand among its competitors is its versatility of being a hand-held radio as well to be used in truckers and offroaders. Operating the device doesn’t demand any prior knowledge as most of the radio is self-explanatory.

The screen on this device is also a decent add-on with a backlight to help operate the device in darker environments. However, the included rubber ducky antenna is not the best when it comes to signal reception. You should invest in an external antenna for better reception. The included mobile adapter has another function: you could use it to attach a standard PL259 antenna via the SO239 socket on it.

#3. Uniden Pro505XL CB Radio – Best Cheap CB Radio

Radio NameUniden Pro505XL
Channels40 CB channels, 10 weather channels, 5 memory channels
Power output4 watts
Display TypeClear LCD Display with backlight
Radio Dimensions12.88 x 6.03 x 2.31 inches
Weight2 pounds
Power Type12v DC

Uniden Pro505XL CB Radio Review

The Uniden Pro505XL can be a decent choice especially if you are in the market for a cheap, simple, compact yet effective CB Radio. It comes with minimalistic design aesthetics and has a simple, not so futuristic-looking display that does its job. If you are an admirer of minimalistic stuff, you cannot cherish this compact CB Radio enough.

Speaking of the packaging and contents, the device came inside a blue cardboard box with the Uniden branding on the top. You also get to see the device model number and the pictorial representation of the device. Besides the device, you also get to see an accessory box and some paperwork. The accessory box includes a microphone mount, mounting brackets for the radio, the microphone unit itself, and some screws.

Having used a lot of bulkier and fancy CB radios in the past, I started to admire the design and compactness of the Uniden Pro505XL. It is an ideal choice for those with smaller cabin space in their vehicles. On the front side of the radio, you get to see a switch that can be used to switch between Citizen Band (CB) mode and PA. Below the switch is a standard 4-pin microphone to plug-in an external microphone.

The center portion has an LCD with a backlight for easier operations in low lighting or no light conditions. Below the display are three buttons, the first of which is the dedicated button to switch to channel 9 instantly, and the other two are used to increment and decrement the channels. To the right are two knobs of which the upper knob is dedicated to volume control and the lower knob is for squelch adjustment. The volume knob on this device also doubles up as a power on/off switch.

On the back portion of the radio, you get to see a connector for attaching an external antenna to the device. To the right of the antenna connector, there are two ports, one is for connecting an external speaker while the other is for connecting a PA speaker to use the PA mode on the radio. The power cable on this device is not detachable. To help protect the device from higher voltages, there is an inline fuse attached to the power cable. The device runs on 12V DC and can be powered by the battery inside your vehicle. Setting up the device and getting it running is a cakewalk and can be done by anyone without expert intervention.

Speaking of the range on this device, one cannot expect longer ranges on CB radios as their power capabilities are limited to match FCC guidelines. As far as we have tested, the Uniden Pro505XL yields a better signal range. However, we have heard users in our community reporting an impressive range of three miles even when there are lots of obstacles to obstruct the reception.

When it comes to audio quality on this device, Uniden had done a pretty decent job here. During our testing, we heard the transmissions loud and clear. Though the quality of the internal speaker of this device is commendable, we would still recommend connecting an external speaker to the CB radio for an enhanced audio experience. The microphone quality on the other side is also pretty impressive.

The squelch control on this device is yet another impressive feature as it is used to adjust the amplifier’s gain thereby effectively reducing the noise levels. The addition of a dedicated button for an emergency channel comes in very handy during emergency conditions.

When it comes to pricing on this device, it is one of the most affordable CB Radios in the market with the effective price being under 50 USD.

Pros of Uniden Pro505XL CB Radio

  • Compact
  • Simple design
  • Decent build quality
  • Dynamic squelch control
  • Cheap

Cons of Uniden Pro505XL CB Radio

  • The built-in speaker could have been louder

Verdict of Uniden Pro505XL CB Radio

The Uniden Pro505XL is a pretty impressive entry-level CB Radio in the market. If you own a smaller cabin space in your truck, the Pro505XL can be the best fit. The speaker and the microphone quality on this device are very decent. However, the speaker could have been a little louder. Nevertheless, the device also comes with the provision for plugging in an external speaker.

The device can be switched between CB and PA modes using the switch on the radio itself. All and all, the Uniden Pro505XL is the cheapest CB Radio choice you can make today, especially if you are on a budget constraint and have very little space inside your truck’s cabin.

#4. Uniden PRO520XL Pro Series – Best Compact CB Radio

ProductUniden PRO520XL Pro Series
Channels40 CB channels
Power output4 watts
Selectivity6 dB @ 7kHz, 70 dB @ 10kHz typical
Display TypeNumeric Digital LED Display
Radio Dimensions4.5 x 6.75 x 1.38 inches
Weight1.63 Pounds
Power Type13.8 V DC nom. (+ or – ground)

Review of Uniden PRO520XL Pro CB Radio

Gone are the days when we used to spend a fortune on unreliable radio sets. Now we have several manufacturers producing many reliable CB Radios in much affordable price brackets. One such innovation is the Uniden PRO520XL Pro. It is one of the most compacts yet affordable CB Radios that we have ever reviewed. In terms of specs, it ain’t a super-premium device but a simple machine that does its job effectively.

The box packaging includes a Radio, a 4-pin microphone, necessary screws and mounting brackets, a two-wire power cord, and a hanger for the microphone. It can be powered by 12V DC power from your truck’s internal battery. Mounting the device is a cakewalk with the provided mounting hardware. The cord on the microphone is lengthy enough to comfortably hold it close to you even if you are a few feet away from the radio.

The device comes in a pretty compact form factor and can sit comfortably in your car, making it an ideal choice for cars with lesser cabin space. On the build quality note, the device comes in a metal enclosure which feels sturdy and should last a while. The front panel of the board runs busy with the display, a microphone connector, few switches, and control knobs.

It supports PA mode on the device, however, you will have to have an external speaker connected to the device to access this feature. The noise blanker on this device works like charm. There is a dedicated switch for instantly switching to the emergency channel (channel 9). Like on most CB Radios for trucks, the volume knob on this device doubles up as a power on/off switch. You also get to see a squelch control know, an RF gain controller, and a channel selector knob.

On the back of the device, you get to see a PA speaker connector, a connector for plugging in an external speaker, an antenna connector, and the power wires attached internally. There is an inline fuse attached to the power wire to protect the device from damages due to high voltages.

The built-in speaker on the device is loud enough for normal operation. However, in extremely noisy environments, it is advised to attach an external speaker or pair it with your car’s speakers. The included microphone is surprisingly good and can fetch audio even when spoken in low tones.

Pros of Uniden PRO520XL Pro CB Radio

  • Decent build quality
  • Compact design
  • Durable
  • Excellent speaker and mic quality
  • Can work as a PA amplifier

Cons of Uniden PRO520XL Pro CB Radio

  • The Speaker sound is a bit low
  • No weather channels

Verdict of Uniden PRO520XL Pro CB Radio

The Uniden PRO520XL Pro is one of the most compact CB Radios available in the market. Besides being very compact, the device offers decent performance. It can also be used as a PA amplifier, the feature that most CB Radios lack. The speaker and microphone quality on the Uniden PRO520XL is pretty good.

The volume on the built-in speaker is fine for operation in normal conditions. If you plan to use it in noisy environments, it is advised to have an external speaker attached to this CB Radio. Nevertheless, this can still be the best CB Radio for the price you are paying.

#5. Cobra 29LTD – Best Affordable CB Radio

ProductCobra 29LTD professional CB Radio
Channels40 CB channels
Output Power4 watt
Radio Dimensions2.49″ (6.32cm) x 7.60″ (19.30cm) x 8.60″ (21.84cm) (HxWxD)
Weight4.50 lbs. (2041.16g)
FeaturesDynamic Boost, Noise Reduction (NB/ANL), Public Address, Delta Tune, Built-in SWR, High SWR Indicator, Instant Channel 9/19, RF Gain, Tactile Controls
Input power13.8 V DC nom. (+ or – ground)

Cobra 29LTD Classic CB Radio Review

The Cobra 29LTD has a rugged build with a metal body. It comes with an SWR meter built-in. The radio controls are very tactile, and you can feel it as you turn the knob or press a button. Probably the downside of this radio is its size. This is a pretty big radio, if you have a small vehicle with lesser cabin space, the 29LTD is not for you. However, if your truck/car can accommodate it, it is the best professional CB Radio that you can ever have.

Cobra 29LTD Classic comes neatly packed inside a carton with the actual radio inside the box. It also comes with a few accessories and some paperwork. The accessories include a CA73 microphone, a power cable, a mounting bracket, a set of screws for mounting, and a microphone hanger.

Speaking of the build quality on the Cobra 29LTD, it is one of the best that we have ever seen so far. The entire body is made of metal and feels very rigid from the outside. However, the radio itself feels a bit bulkier and is not meant for people with less cabin space. Nevertheless, this is a power-packed device with a lot of premium functionality.

The front panel of the device hosts an SWR monitor with a backlight for better visibility. There is a 4-pin microphone port that takes in a CA73 standard microphone. The microphone port’s right are different control knobs the first of which is the volume control knob which also doubles up as a power on/off switch. Next to it are the microphone gain, RF gain, delta tune, and the SWR calibrator knobs. The bigger knob to the right is the channel selector. I loved the tactility of the control knobs on this device.

Above the control, knobs are five switches that help switch between different functionalities of the device. The first switch can be used to switch between the RF, SWR, and SWR calibration modes. Next to the SWR calibrator switch is a noise blanker switch with three-mode selections – high, medium, and off. The third can be used to switch between CB and PA modes. Next to it is the bright and dim switcher which technically dims the lighting on the radio. The last switch on the line-up is the emergency channel switcher, it technically switches between the current channel and the emergency (channel 9) channel on the radio.

Setting the device up is easy, mount the body of your radio using the provided mounting bracket and included screws. Then plug the included power cable into the radio device and connect the other end of wires to the positive and negative terminals of your vehicle’s battery. Also, plug the included microphone into the four-pin microphone jack present on the radio and you are good to go.

The factory microphone that came with the radio is exceptionally good. To my surprise, the microphone and the speaker quality turned out to be good. However, you can also opt for the built-in noise blanker feature if the quality ever gets quirky. The gain adjustment (Dynamike boost) on this device is also pretty helpful in noisy conditions. Also, the display on this device does its job well. However, the display seems very bright and annoying at night even in the dimmed mode.

There are two LED indicators on the device of which the first one indicates the transmission and reception of the signals while the other indicator is the antenna warning indicator. This alerts the user if the antenna is not installed properly, or if it doesn’t have good ground, or if you are experiencing higher SWR levels.

Pros of Cobra 29LTD Classic CB Radio

  • Excellent build quality
  • Clear and loud audio output
  • Decent microphone quality 
  • SWR monitor on-board
  • 9-foot cord
  • Excellent signal reception

Cons of Cobra 29LTD Classic CB Radio

  • Bulkier
  • Lights on the radio are brighter at night

Verdict of Cobra 29LTD Classic CB Radio

If you are looking for something durable, solid, and reliable, the Cobra 29LTD can be the best CB Radio that you can ever have. The device is priced reasonably for what it has to offer. Be it in speaker and microphone quality or the signal reception, the 29LTD leads it all. This CB radio is not for everyone as it comes with larger footprints and might not fit in comfortably with small cars or jeeps. However, if you own a truck with large cabin space, this can be your go-to option. This device can also function as a PA (public address) system, the feature which most budget CB Radio lacks. However, you will have to connect an external speaker to the radio to make use of the PA feature.

#6. President Electronics BILL – Best Mid-range Option

ProductPresident Electronics BILL
Channels40 CB channels, 7 weather channels
Power output4 watts
Sensitivityminimum 0.2 microvolts – 120 dBm, maximum 1 mV to 47 dBm
Display TypeMultifunction LCD Display
Radio Dimensions9 x 6.3 x 2.5 inches
Weight1.9 Pounds
Power Type13.8 V DC nom. (+ or – ground)

Review of President Electronics BILL Citizens Band Radio

The President Electronics BILL is one of the most underrated CB Radio in the market. It is a pretty compact device with a 7-colored LCD. The coolest thing is that the channel up/down buttons are embedded on the microphone itself for better user convenience.

Upon opening the package, you will find the radio along with an accessory box and some paperwork. The accessory box includes a microphone, mounting brackets, and screws. Setting the device up and running is a fairly easy process with most of it being self-explanatory.

Speaking of the initial impressions, the device appeared extremely tiny compared to most other CB radios that we have tested so far. However, it isn’t the lightest out there, the metal body should be blamed here. The microphone, however, feels extremely lighter in the hands and has the channel selection keys embedded right on its body.

It comes with a multifunction LED at the front. Surprisingly the channel up and down buttons are embedded below the display. You also find a 6 pin microphone connector on the radio. There are buttons on all corners of the device. The button on the left top corner is used to shuffle between noise block and high-cut functions while the bottom button corresponds to the Roger key. To the right, the top key is used to switch between CB channels and weather channels, while the bottom key is used to switch to emergency channels instantly.

You only get to see a single control knob for controlling the volume and the squelch on the radio, which also doubles up as an on/off switch. To the bottom of the device, you get to see a speaker grill. The speaker on this device is pretty loud, which I didn’t expect given the radio’s size. The microphone on this device also exhibits decent reception quality and could pick the tone even in noisy environments.

The range on the device isn’t the greatest compared to ham radios. However, considering the 4-watt output power restriction on the CB radios, the radio does the job well. You must consider having a decent firestick antenna to make the most out of this tiny CB Radio. The USB port on the front has an output of 5V 2.1Amp, which is ideal for charging your phones.

Pros of President Electronics BILL

  • The Display
  • Noise block, Hi-Cut filter
  • Manual squelch control
  • Extremely compact
  • Metal construction, Durable
  • Channel control buttons on the microphone

Cons of President Electronics BILL

  • Priced little high comparatively
  • Short-range

Verdict of President Electronics BILL

The President Electronics BILL is one of the best compact CB Radios that we have ever got our hands-on. Despite being compact, it is still a decent performer. The speaker on the device is loud and clear with adequate volume levels for operation, even in noisy environments. Though there is not so much real estate on the radio’s front panel, President Electronics has cleverly managed to accommodate all the controls. What impressed me the most is the channel selection keys placement on the device. The screen on this device is crisp and comes with seven changeable backlight colors. What makes this device the best CB radio for truckers and off-roading are the manual squelch control, weather channels, instant emergency channel switch, ANL filter, NB, and Hi-Cut feature.

#7. Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB – Best High-End CB Radio

ProductUniden BEARCAT 980
Channels40 CB channels, 7 NOAA weather channels
Power output4 watts / 12 watts SSB
Operating TemperatureMinimum -22 °F, maximum 140 °F
Display Type7 colored digital display
Radio Dimensions3.5 x 15 x 8.5 inches
Weight4 Pounds
Power Type13.8 V DC nom. (+ or – ground)

Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB CB Radio Review

The Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB CB Radio has an elegant and modern look. Despite being very compact, it offers a whole bunch of features that you would find in most flagship models. The build quality on this device is pretty dope with rugged design aesthetics.

Quickly unboxing the device from its black and white cardboard box, you get the very obvious stuff. It has the radio, the microphone, some mounting hardware, a microphone hanger, a standard 6-pin to 4-pin mic adapter, 2 wire power connectors, and the paperwork of course. Setting the device up is easy even if you do not have prior hands-on expertise with CB radios. Mount the brackets in place, attach the radio, connect the microphone to the radio, attach one end of the power cord to the radio and the other to a cigarette lighter adapter and plug it in its respective port. You are good to go!

I’m pretty impressed by the design and build quality of this device. For the first impressions, the device felt extremely robust and should last a while. The front side of the radio hosts a few controls, buttons, and a display. Speaking specifically of the controls on the device, we have the power on/off button which is also used to control the volume. The inner ring of the volume control can be used to control the squelch. Below is a microphone connector with a six-pin configuration. However, you can still use a 4-pin microphone with the aid of the included adapter.

The device has quite a larger display compared to most CB Radios that we have tested so far. If we look into the display, the signal and RF meter constitute most of it. You also get to choose the SWR function and the display becomes an SWR meter. The right portion of the display has the channel indicator that displays the current channel number. You get to see the frequency of the channel right below the channel number.

The right top control knob lets you switch between channels and also doubles up as a menu navigator when pushed inside. To the bottom of the channel selector knob, you will find the clarifier knob. The outer ring acts as a coarse clarifier while the inner ring works as a fine clarifier.

You also get to see several buttons with multiple functionalities assigned to them. We suggest you refer to the user’s manual before laying your hands on the radio, as each function is made accessible with a key combination. 

Speaking of the speaker quality, the Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB CB Radio comes with a powerful 16  Ohms impedance. It is loud enough to be heard even in the noisier environments. The microphone on the other hand, does its job well. It comes with a noise-canceling feature to make that helps reduce the background noise. This feature comes in handy in extremely noisy environments. The device also features a PA mode. However, you will have to connect an external speaker to use this feature.

The Uniden Citizens band radio offers a 5 -8 watts AM peak and a 10-12 watts SSB peak out of the box. However, you can tune the device to spike this up by a little to 10 watts on AM and 15 watts on SSB.

Verdict of of Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB Citizens band Radio

The Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB is a nearly perfect CB radio that you can get for your off-roading trips. It comes with an automatic noise limiter and noise blanker to help communicate effectively even in boisterous environments. Though Uniden boasts about the microphone’s design and performance, I feel that it still needs to be refined. Though the radio comes with a 6 pin microphone, it is thoughtful of Uniden to include a 6-pin to 4-pin microphone adapter in the package. The display on this device is awe-inspiring with more real estate and larger characters. Also, the display backlight can be switched between 7 different colors.

Pros of Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB Citizens band Radio

  • Easy to use
  • 40 CB channels and NOAA Weather channels
  • Noise cancellation
  • Illumination on the control panel
  • 7 colored display
  • Compact

Cons of Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB Citizens band Radio

  • Annoying loud beep sound when switching between channels
  • Priced high

CB Radios – Everything You should know

What is a CB Radio?

A CB radio is an acronym for Citizens Band Radio is one of the many types of radio communication under the Personal Radio Service category. It is covered under Part 95 of the FCC rules and is intended for both business and consumer use. CB channels and frequencies are not assigned to any specific organizations or individuals. They are free to use by any individual. However, there are a few regulations imposed by the FCC in terms of power and channels. CB operates on 40 shared channels in AM mode or Single SideBand (SSB) mode. The maximum transmitted power levels are different for different modes. If you are operating in the AM transmission mode, the maximum power you can transmit is four watts. However, if you are using SSB, 12 watts of Peak Envelope Power (PEP) is permitted.

Best CB Radios : CB Radio Reviews

Who uses CB Radios?

CB Radio services are intended for short-range, local communications only. They are mostly equipped inside trucks and cars to communicate with fellow riders, especially in bands. Truckers use CB radios to learn traffic information. During times of emergency, CB radios come in really handy to communicate and seek help. As most Citizens band radios in the market come equipped with NOAA weather channels, it helps offroaders stay updated with timely weather information and road conditions.

Do I need a license for operating a CB Radio?

You do not need a license to operate CB radio. CB radio channels and frequencies are not assigned to any individual or organization. However, you must operate in the legally permitted CB range imposed by FCC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it essential to have a CB Radio during offroading?

During your off-roading trips, a CB radio can be very essential as the mobile networks are unreliable, especially if you go on a trek to remote places. A CB Radio helps you stay updated with the traffic and weather information in such cases. Besides this, it comes in handy in emergencies like accidents and natural hazards, etcetera.

What is the best CB Radio for truckers and off-roading?

The Cobra 29 LX MAX is by far the best CB radio for truckers and offroading vehicles as it offers a decent feature set, including BlueTooth functionality. It also depends on the price range and features you’re looking for. Read our in-depth CB Radio Reviews article.

Which is the best cheap CB Radio?

The Uniden Pro505XL CB Radio is the cheapest yet the powerful CB Radio that you can find on the market today under the 50$ price bracket. Also, there are some other good options for around hundred US dollars. Read our top budget CB Radio reviews.

Which is the smallest CB Radio on the market?

The Uniden PRO520XL Pro Series is the most compact CB Radio that your money can afford in 2021.

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