Do you lead an active lifestyle? Do you often go hiking and traveling in dangerous areas? Do you live in an area where there are many natural disasters? You might also be an ordinary trucker or a person who thinks about safety in advance.
Therefore, you have good reasons to get the best handheld CB radio and resolve your security issue right now.
Technological development has not bypassed handheld CB. These devices have received many new features and more comfortable design. To be honest, a portable CB is more useful than a smartphone in an emergency.
Best Handheld CB Radios – Quick Comparison
President Randy CB
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Midland 75-822 CB
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Cobra HH50WXST CB
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Uniden PRO401HH CB
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Uniden PRO501TK CB Radio
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Uniden PRO501HH CB Radio
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What are the Best Handheld CB Radios – Quick summery
Handheld CB radio offers numerous benefits, especially during an emergency. Expects suggest it is even more useful in emergencies than smartphones. But the question remains; which is the best quality handheld CB radio? Well, best could be relative. Different radios offer different unique features. Look at this summary to get an idea of what could be your best.
Best Overall: Midland 75-822 Long Range Handheld CB Radio
It has several channels, including NOAA and emergency, and a dual watch that you can use to control two important channels.
Editor’s Choice: Cobra HH 50 WX ST Emergency CB Radio
It gives you great quality sound and frequent weather and emergency updates to keep you safe.
Technologically Advanced: Uniden BC75XLT Handheld UHF CB Radio
It has an RF Call Capture, which detects and tunes nearby transmissions even if they’re not programmed.
Best for Road Trips: Cobra HHRT-50 Road Trip CB Radio
It has an antenna with a magnetic base which can be fixed on top of the car while using the radio inside to give you a great range and signal strength.
Best Sound Quality: Cobra HH 38 WX ST Handheld CB Radio
Its noise reduction system consists of a sound tracker, which reduces noise by 90% to give you clearer and louder communication.
Best Battery Life: Uniden PRO401HH Professional Handheld CB Radio
It has a special feature of choosing low power to conserve the battery but still get a better signal.
Best for Outdoor: Yaesu Original FT-65R Dual Band Handheld CB
Apart from its portability, this radio has an IP54 case that protects it from dust, water, and humidity.
Most Durable: Midland 75-785 Noise Control CB Radio
It is made of solid construction that doesn’t break even with the hardest drop or bang.
Best Handheld CB Radios Buying Guide
Handheld CB has significant advantages. We will discuss the essential features that should be in the handheld CB radio.
Check below for more details.
Factor 1: Transmission Range
Long range handheld CB radio is the best model. Keep in mind the simple rule – the wider the range, the easier it is to connect to the channels. It will be easier to get a clear sound, if the channel range is wider. If you need a radio to send a signal, the maximum possible distance is 10 miles. The sound will remain clear at a given distance. If the distance is increased, there will be noise and interference.
|Midland 75-822 Handheld CB||26.965 – 27.405 MHz|
|Midland 75-785 Handheld CB||26.965 – 27.405 MHz|
|Cobra HH50WXST CB||Up to 4 miles range|
|Uniden BC75XLT CB||25-54 MHz, 108 -174 MHz, 406 -512 MHz|
|Cobra HHRT50 CB Radio||Range vary between 1/2 & 4 miles|
Factor 2: Automatic Noise Reduction
This feature is required. It would be wonderful if we could turn on this feature to get rid of noise in real life. ANR allows you to hear the sound clearly. Some handheld models have this feature (but not all). It is worthwhile to spend a little extra to get this feature.
Depending on the conditions, the sound may be so bad that you cannot hear the signal. The Automatic Noise Reduction function will eliminate this. This feature works automatically.
Factor 3: LCD display and Keypad
Most small CB radio models have an LCD display. This display (especially if it has an LED backlight) will make using the radio much more convenient to use.
A model with a LED display has clearer graphics. The display has a clock and shows the station you hear. The backlight makes the radio convenient to use in the dark. The LCD display and keyboard will be very useful for truckers, who are on the road 24 hours a day. Fans of traveling by car will like this feature.
Factor 4: Portable and Mobility
Handheld CB radio should easy to take with you. When the radio fits in your hand, it is convenient. The small size of the radio allows you to even keep it in your pocket. It is also important that the radio is lightweight. 500 g is the maximum weight of the radio.
Factor 5: Power Output
A very powerful radio is four watts. This is the maximum energy that you can get from this radio. The FCC has set the power limit for a handheld radio at a maximum of four watts. However, there are exceptions. Some radio stations can transmit a signal (especially handheld ssb cb radio) with 12 watts of power.
|Midland 75-822 Handheld CB||4 Watts|
|Midland 75-785 Handheld CB||4 Watts|
|Cobra HH50WXST CB||4 Watts|
|Uniden BC75XLT CB||4 Watts|
|Cobra HHRT50 CB Radio||4 Watts|
Factor 6: Squelch Control
“Squelch Control” is another necessary feature for those who want to receive useful signals and not a collection of different noises. This function clears every bit of noise, so you transmit perfectly clear signals. As a result, another operator will be able to understand you without any problems. Squelch Control is a standard feature that almost all handheld models have.
Factor 7: Channel Scanning
User-friendly good portable CB radio not only can scan channels, but it also does it automatically. This feature allows you to find the desired channel without any extra effort. The channel scanning function works as follows: it scans all the channels and stops when a voice is detected on a channel, so that you can listen.
Factor 8: Battery Life
A portable CB works on batteries, so battery life is very important. You should try to maximize service life. You should try to get 12 hours of battery life. It will work all 12 hours until the battery runs out. There are rechargeable radio models, which is the most economical option. At a minimum, you can save on the purchase of new batteries.
If you have a rechargeable battery, you do not need to look for batteries when the radio is no longer working and you can’t find a store. You just need to find an outlet and recharge the radio.
Factor 9: Design and Quality
It is difficult to find a handheld CB radio whose design is significantly different from the design of other radios. It is not a disadvantage. It doesn’t matter in this case. Quality is most important than design. The small size of the radio does not affect its performance. The quality depends on having a strong case and on the features of the specific model. Even many peoples like vintage CB radio.
Factor 10: Number of channels
The radio you are going to buy will ideally have many channels. The more channels the radio has, the better. A large number of channels will allow you to have great feedback. The number of channels depends on the brand. Therefore, there is no exact number of channels that is the best. It best to select the model with the most channels.
|Midland 75-822 Handheld CB||40 Channels|
|Midland 75-785 Handheld CB||40 Channels|
|Cobra HH50WXST CB||40 Channels|
|Uniden BC75XLT CB||300 Channels|
|Cobra HHRT50 CB Radio||40 Channels|
It is important that the best portable CB radio has several emergency channels. This is not necessary for all radio stations, as well as weather channels (for example, NOAA channels). If we are talking about channels, then it makes sense to talk about the “instant channel”. This function allows you to quickly go to the desired channel.
|Midland 75-822 Handheld CB||10 NOAA channels|
|Midland 75-785 Handheld CB||–|
|Cobra HH50WXST CB||10 NOAA channels|
|Uniden BC75XLT CB||NOAA transmissions|
|Cobra HHRT50 CB Radio||10 NOAA channels|
Factor 11: Antenna and Antenna Tuner
Handheld CB has an antenna which the band depends on. The length of the antenna does not cause a wider range. If you need a large range, you can increase it with an external antenna. Almost all models have an antenna that is approximately two inches long.
Factor 12: Brand
Not every band is good. There are some well-known brand e.g. Cobra, Midland, Uniden, Yaesu, TYT etc. These brands are suitable for both CB radio lovers and professionals.
|Top Brand||Top Model|
Factor 13: Price
There is a wide price range for CB radios. There are several cheap handheld cb radios that can be purchased for as little as $50, while those with more sophisticated models costing between $ 90and $ 150. These are average prices.
Factor 14: Programming
A CB radio will be even better if you can program a radio station. In order to do this, the radio body must have a port for programming. The programming must be done on a PC. The port is needed to connect the radio to the PC. The programming is needed to install the necessary software on the device.
Factor 15: Push to Talk
It is not a lighter, but it is a useful feature. Push to talk increases the power of the radio station. This feature expands the range of radio transmissions. It can be useful for saving battery power.
Factor 16: Amplifier
The amplifier of a CB radio is must on the checklist. The RF gain feature will be ideal, when combined with the squelch control feature. The RF gain function reduces the number of weak transmitted signals, which cause background noise. This feature enhances the receiver, so the signal becomes clear of noise.
Factor 17: SWR Calibration Meter
Keep in mind: this is necessary if you want to set up a portable external antenna. The SWR meter adjusts the signals for smoother reception and transmission. The meter is needed for knowing when tuning the antenna signal is effective.
Factor 18: PA
It is like a speakerphone. This feature will be useful to those who often talk on the speakerphone.
Factor 19: SSB
SSB is a good feature if four W is not enough for you. This is because it is allowed for 12 watts. It means that the signal range of a ssb cb radio will also be higher. However, it will make the charge will go faster. However, you can always reduce the power to four watts.
Factor 20: Delta Tune
Delta tune is a pen that is needed to reduce static electricity. This feature can change the pitch of your voice. If the voice “squeaks” and is unpleasant to hear, you can use this function. Finally, when buying a portable CB, be sure that the radio station works well with other accessories, such as an additional antenna, etc.
Best Handheld CB Radio – Reviews
The CB radio market offers a huge selection of different models from a variety of brands. You do not need to read a lot of handheld CB radio reviews, because all the top models are described below.
1. Midland 75-822 40 Channel Long Range Handheld CB Radio
- Channels: 40
- Weight: 181.43 Grams
- Automatic Noise Limiter
- Power Output: 4 watts
- Squelch Control
- 10 NOAA Channels
Midland 75-822 is a CB radio with an interesting antenna design. This makes this CB radio even more convenient for emergencies, on the road and for traveling, since it does not take up much space.
The antenna is flexible and can be removed for more convenient transportation.
This CB radio has a convenient kit that includes many handy things, such as a battery pack and a lighter adapter.
As for the “inside”, the radio has 40 channels, which are available at a maximum range of four watts. You can scan all the channels automatically to find the one you need. Channel scanning runs within 5 seconds, which is pretty quickly.
The radio has an integrated automatic noise limiter. It improves the reception of weak signals and eliminates background noise.
The Midland 75-822 CB-Way radio has NOAA weather channels and air channels (9 and 19). You can always control what is happening with the double view function.
The radio display has a backlight, so it is convenient to use both during the day and at night. There is also a keypad lock function, so that the settings do not change by being accidentally pressed.
- Midland 75-822 CB radio is powered by six AA batteries, as well as a car power port (battery life can be extended).
- This CB radio operates in the frequency range of 26.965 – 27.405 MHz.
- CB radio has 40 channels, 10 of which are NOAA and 2 emergency channels.
- The Dual Watch feature allows you to always control the two most important channels.
- The Midland 75-822 radio has an ANL function.
- In addition to the radio station, the entire kit includes a wall-mounted AC adapter, a compartment for batteries and for rechargeable batteries, a removable antenna and a mobile adapter.
2. Cobra HH 50 WX ST Emergency CB Radio
- Channels: 40
- Weight: 0.64 Pounds
- Dual watch
- Power Output: 4 watts
- Cutting 90% of noise
- Size: 6.3x2x1.75 inches
Cobra HH50 WXST HH50 is a modern handheld CB radio station with many capabilities. For example, this radio has a function that reduces noise by 90%. It allows you to get a high-quality sound without any effort.
The radio also supports NOAA channels that alert you to weather and emergencies.
So you are always aware of what is happening, Cobra HH50WXST HH50v automatically scan all 40 channels. This greatly facilitates the process of using the radio.
The list of functions includes Dual Watch – a unique feature that allows you to select 2 channels for continuous monitoring. In other words, you choose two channels and you always know the information there.
You can also turn down or add power for a better signal and to save power.
It is a 2-way portable radio which has a simple design, but which is very convenient and useful in many different situations.
- Cobra HH50WXST is a compact radio that is powered by an AA-type NiMH battery, as well as an AC wall charger (not included) or a cigarette lighter in the car.
- This portable CB has a speaker or microphone jack and other optional accessories.
- The signal range varies from ½ to 4 miles and is directly dependent on the landscape.
- The radio station has 10 weather channels and two emergencies, with only 40 channels.
- The body of this CB radio has a high / low power switch.
- The output power of this radio station is four watts.
3. Uniden BC75XLT Handheld UHF CB Radio
- Channels: 300
- Weight: 0.9 Pounds
- Tuner: UHF, VHF
- Narrow band compatible
- NOAA allert
- Size: 1 x 5 x 3 inches
Uniden BC75XLT has the most channels. The radio station is able to program up to 300 channels (30 channels in 10 banks).
It is a handheld CB that will help for survival and travel, road and emergency situations, severe weather, etc.
This CB radio covers bands that are used by amateur operators in emergencies, as well as NOAA weather channels.
Uniden BC75XLT UHF CB radio is very technologically advanced. It has RF Call Capture technology that automatically detects and tunes up the next transmissions (even if it is not programmed).
The radio station also already has pre-programmed service search bands (10 bands).
The BC75XLT CB radio is compatible with narrow bands and can work at different frequencies. It is a pleasure to use this radio.
- It is possible to save 300 channels in 10 programmable search ranges.
- The radio works on VHF low / high frequencies and UHF.
- The Uniden handheld CB radio has a “Do Not Disturb” radio frequency signal capture technology.
- The body of this radio station is equipped with a PC programming port.
- It has free software.
- The Uniden CB radio is compatible with narrow bands.
- There is technology Close Call RF Capture to search and configure the nearest channels.
4. Cobra HHRT-50 Road Trip CB Radio with 40 Channel Access
Cobra HHRT-50 is a cool CB radio for road trip with a mobile antenna on a magnetic base.
It allows you to install a magnetic antenna on the roof of the car, and use the radio inside the car. This antenna allows you to get a greater range.
This radio has a Sound tracker noise reduction system. It reduces noise by up to 90% and gives a clearer connection.
There is a total of 40 available channels,10 of which are NOAA meteorological channels. It has become a tradition for all radio stations.
There are many functions in this CB radio. For example, it is also equipped with the Dual Watch function. It allows you to monitor two channels simultaneously. All 40 channels are available for scanning.
It is convenient to use this Cobra’s portable CB, even at night, because it has a backlit display.
- Cobra HHRT-50 transmits signals over long distances, using a mobile antenna on a magnet.
- It has access to 40 scanned channels.
- There is a function Sound tracker Noise Reduction for a clear signal.
- The radio is equipped with Dual Watch technology for simultaneous monitoring of multiple channels.
- 10 of the 40 channels are NOAA Weather channels. There are also two emergency channels.
5. Cobra HH 38 WX ST 4-Watt 40 Channel Handheld CB Radio
Cobra HH 38 WX 40 channel handheld CB radio operates on four watts allowed by the FCC. A total of 10 of these channels are national weather channels.
If you love devices with many types of useful technology, you should pay attention to the Cobra HH 38 WX ST.
This CB radio has a Sound Tracker system, which reduces the noise level to 90%. Cobra Radio has a channel scanning function and a dual watch for simultaneous control of two different channels.
A cool display is needed at night. The Cobra HH 38 WX ST display is fully featured and backlit.
- This CB radio has 40 channels, 10 of which broadcast the weather 24 hours a day.
- The radio is equipped with a Sound tracker noise reduction system for louder and clearer communication.
- It is possible to scan all 40 channels.
- Cobra HH 38 WX ST has a Dual Watch feature for tracking two of your favorite channels.
- The output power of the radio station is four watts.
- It is possible to use the radio in the car with a cord of 12 volts.
- The case is equipped with a backlit display.
6. Uniden PRO401HH Professional Handheld CB Radio
Uniden PRO401HH is a professional series radio station. However, it also works at four watts of full power and has 40 CB channels.
However, despite the similarities with amateur radio stations, this radio will be useful on and off the road.
First, you get the maximum range and always stay in touch. Second, you have the ability to adjust the power consumption to conserve battery power, as well as high power settings to extend the range.
Third, the Uniden PRO401HH has an automatic noise cancellation feature.
- Rechargeable or alkaline batteries (not included) power the radio station.
- It has 40 CB channels.
- The maximum output power is four watts.
- The Uniden PRO401HH has an automatic noise reduction function.
- There is a choice of high or low power for better signal and battery saving.
- The body of this radio has a DC power adapter, a flexible BNC antenna and a belt clip.
7. Yaesu Original FT-65R Dual Band Handheld CB Transceiver
Yaesu FT-65R handheld cb transceiver is a compact and lightweight radio with a robust design that is perfect for an active life. This CB radio operates in the VHF/UHF bands.
This radio has a durable IP54 protection case. This protects the CB radio from dust and water. You can take this radio to the desert, to areas with high humidity and to the sea.
The Yaesu FT-65R has several power settings: 5W (High), 2.5W (Medium) and 0.5W (Low). You can choose them, based on your conditions.
You can go wherever you want and as far as you want. The lithium-ion battery in this handheld CB can work more than 9 hours without charging.
An additional battery runs for more than 11.5 hours. Surprisingly, even if 20 hours is not enough for you, the kit includes a 3.5-hour charger that quickly replenishes the radio’s power.
- The Yaesu FT-65R has a QRK (shortcut button) with four keys for quick access to the functions that you program in advance.
- The body of this radio station has a white LED flashlight, alarm and quick access to the home channel for an alarm.
- It has universal scanning capabilities, such as programmed VFO scanning, memory scanning, priority channel scanning and weather warning scans.
- WX channels are available with a “harsh weather” warning and VOX operation (including a VOX headphone microphone (SSM-512B)).
- Yaesu FT-65R radio station is programmed using an optional cable on a PC.
- The cabinet also has a front speakerphone that runs on one watt.
- The FT-65R has features, such as busy channel lock (BCLO), battery saver, auto power off (APO), transmitter timeout timer (TOT) and a 48-second wait.
8. Midland 75-785 40-Channel Noise Control CB Radio
- Channels: 40
- Weight: 249.5 Grams
- Frequency: 26.965 – 27.405 MHz
- Power Output: 4 watts
- Squelch Control
- Size: 7×2.12×1.75 inches
Midland 75-785 is a radio station, which is similar to the previous model in several ways. This CB radio is suitable for any place and occasion. Even the most active will not be able to break this radio due to its solid construction.
The 75-785 radio has 40 channels, each of which operates at maximum range. The input power of the radio is seven W, and the output power is four W – which is allowed by the FCC.
It has features, such as automatic noise control, automatic gain control, a bright LED display and a power switch for a higher or lower level.
With this radio in your pocket, you have a device that can transmit enhanced signals without background noise and with crystal clear transmission.
Midland 75-785 is bundled with a charger, power adapter (for a cigarette lighter), a connector (suitable for an external speaker or microphone), and an antenna.
- This model works on 10 alkaline AA batteries and has a charging socket for recharging.
- Midland 75-785 has 40 channels.
- The radio operates at a maximum output power of four watts.
- Powered by 10 AA batteries or by recharging.
- It is possible to recharge nickel-cadmium batteries, while it is inside the radio station.
- Midland 75-785 has the ANL function and the ability to reduce/ increase power.
- It has a durable case equipped with an LED display.
Why Handheld CB Radios?
You can see that there are many handheld portable CB. Each model has a specific list of functions that can be useful in most cases. Handheld CB has many fans around the world. Is it really useful? Yes!
Almost everyone has a smartphone or several smartphones. In addition to the smartphone, we use tablets and many other electronic devices.
Why should we have a handheld CB radio with such an abundance of other devices?
The answer is very simple. Mobile phones, even if there are 10 of them, will be simple plastic bricks in an emergency. When an emergency happens, it destroys the infrastructure. In these conditions, you can forget about the cellular signal.
However, you should not wait for the apocalypse to use a CB radio. If you often drive a car, a handheld portable CB radio should be the main thing that is in your car. You never know what type of road conditions you will encounter. CB radio will help you to contact other motorists in advance and find out what is happening on the road.
Portability is very important, because the radio does not take up much space in the car.
This radio allows you to learn about the weather, dangers and other important information that will be needed on a journey/long working train (if you are a long-distance truck driver), etc..
In many countries, it is forbidden to talk on the phone while driving. CB radio saves you again in this situation, so you do not have to pay a fine. The following are specific advantages of CB radios.
Handheld CB will be a lifeline in areas where natural disasters often occur. This includes everything from tornadoes to tsunamis. The handheld model gives you the opportunity to move, save other people, recognize their location and call for help.
It Is More Convenient
I have already spoken about the prohibition of using cell phones while driving. This restriction does not apply to handheld CB. These radios are very compact and easy to use. You can hold it in your hand. It allows you to stay in touch and to receive important information (weather or emergency). Handheld units do not take up much space, so truckers and motorcyclists must pay attention to this device.
A portable CB gives you all the necessary functions of a mobile phone at a lower price.
Always In Touch
Regardless of the conditions, you can always stay in touch and have the opportunity to maintain contact with “civilization,” if you use an emergency CB radio. I have already said that in serious situations, you cannot depend on a cell phone. This radio leaves you calm and confident in your safety because you can always ask for help.
How Do You Use a Handheld Mobile CB Radio?
Using a handheld mobile radio is easy.
First, you need to tune the radio. This is necessary in order to communicate with other operators at a short distance or in isolated conditions (mountains, deserts). Explore all the channels that are available on your radio station. You should follow a few simple rules:
a) do not say, if you hear that someone is saying, give a signal after, because the signals can coincide and no one will understand anything,
b) the emergency channel should be free from “chatter”.
Your radio has an average of 40 channels. Some of these channels are only for specific information. You must understand this, when you use the radio. If you want to become an advanced listener, you need to know the cb lingo that is being used by CB radio operators.
FAQ’s About Handheld CB
Do I Need An External Antenna To Use a Handheld CB?
It is optional, if you aren’t concerned with good performance. The problem is that the signal will be more difficult to receive without an cb external antenna. Therefore, this device significantly improves the operation of the radio. If you want to connect an external antenna, you must buy an additional adapter for the antenna.
Who Needs A Portable CB Radio?
A portable CB will be useful for those who must interact with many people, like to go hiking or engage in other dangerous travel. A portable radio will be a great “companion” for those who explore nature and care about their safety. This radio is necessary for those who live in areas where natural disasters occur. The radio will help you to contact friends, know about their movements and call for the help of “civilization,” if necessary.
By the way, a long range handheld CB radio will be a great device for tour organizers and other events. With the help of this radio, you can coordinate the movement of the group.
Do You Need A License To Use A Handheld CB?
You do not need a special license to operate a handheld CB. The FCC limited the radio’s power to four watts to prevent excess by the operators. If you use the radio in a similar capacity, you do not need a license.
What is the handheld cb radio range?
There are both short-range and long-range CB radio in the market.
Are handheld CB radios any good?
Yes, there are many reasons to have a handheld CB.
How Far Will a Handheld CB Reach?
It depends on various circumstances. You can easily reach from 1 mile to 15 miles.
As you can see, a portable CB radio is not suitable for everyone. The best handheld CB radio is designed for certain situations: hiking, non-flying weather, extreme situations, the organization of a large team and the coordination of highway traffic within 10 miles. Choose the model of all with the functions that you need.