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 radios. These devices have received many new features and a more comfortable design. To be honest, a portable radio is more useful than a phone in an emergency.
Our Top Picks
Midland 75-785 40
Best Handheld CB Radio In 2020
The mobile portable 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 best models are described below. Do you want to get more theoretical knowledge that is theoretical? All of this information is discussed below.
1. Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way Radio
Midland 75-822 is a portable 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 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 portable 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. Midland 75-785 40-Channel CB Radio
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.
3. Cobra HH 50 WX ST Hand Held CB Radio Review
Cobra HH50 WXST HH50 is a modern handheld portable 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 radio 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 portable radio has a high / low power switch.
- The output power of this radio station is four watts.
4. Uniden BC75XLT 300-Channel Handheld CB Radio
Uniden BC75XLT – it has the most channels. The radio station is able to program up to 300 channels (30 channels in 10 banks).
It is a portable radio 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.
The device 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 handheld 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.
5. Cobra HH 38 WX ST 4-Watt 40-Channel CB Radio Review
Cobra HH 38 WX ST is a good radio station that operates on four watts allowed by the FCC. When using this portable radio, you have access to 40 common channels. 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 portable 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 portable 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 Series 40 Channel 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 portable CB radio 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. Cobra HHRT-50 RoadTrip CB Radio 40-Channel Access
Cobra HHRT-50 RoadTrip is a cool radio station 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 portable 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 radio, 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.
8. Retevis RT82 Dual Band DMR Digital 2 Way Radio Waterproof
The Retevis RT82 has a unique case. It is the first portable radio station that has a waterproof case.
This radio station has GPS DMR digital radio frequency range and can store up to 3000 channels and 10 thousand contacts. These characteristics are amazing.
You can use this radio anywhere, since RT82 will work for 8-12 hours without a break, and the standby mode lasts for 150 hours.
Like many other radio stations, this has Dual Band monitoring technology. If you have a similar radio station from Retevis, you have access to a double-time interval for point-to-point communication.
You can make two group calls. Group calls are useful, in that they allow calls without group restrictions.
RT82 CB radio has a recording function of up to eight hours, which will help you to record all the necessary content. You can also program this radio station manually or on a PC using a code plug-in.
- The radio has a battery capacity of 2200 mAh for 8-12-hoursof continuous operation.
- There is the possibility of manual programming and programming on a PC and updating the installed software.
- 10,000 contacts list can be imported/exported from the device.
- The radio station supports the text function with the ability to edit messages in digital mode.
- The RT82 has 16 basic encryption groups and eight advanced encryption groups, as well as a support number and letter-mixed encryption.
- Retevis RT82 supports auto alert interval.
- This radio has a CTCSS / DCS Monitor and VOX alarm.
9. Yaesu Original FT-65 FT-65R 144/440 Dual-Band Handheld Transceiver
Yaesu FT-65R 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 portable 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 portable radio 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.
Overview of The Best Handheld CB Radios
You can see that there are many handheld portable CB radios. Each model has a specific list of functions that can be useful in most cases. Handheld CB radio has many fans around the world. Is it really useful? Yes!
Why Handheld Portable CB Radios?
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 portable 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. Handheld 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.
Portable radio will be a lifeline in areas where natural disasters often occur. This includes everything from tornadoes to tsunamis. Portable radio 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 radio. 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 CB radios do not take up much space, so truckers and motorcyclists must pay attention to this device.
A portable CB radio 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 a handheld 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.
Best Portable CB Radios Buying Guide
Handheld CB radio has significant advantages. It does not mean that you need to go to the store right now and buy the first available model. We will discuss the essential features that should be in the best handheld CB radio.
Factor 1: Transmission Range
The best radio model should have a wide range. 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.
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 portable radio 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
Portable 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 portable 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 portable radio at a maximum of four watts. However, there are exceptions. Some radio stations can transmit a signal (especially SSB radio) with 12 watts of power.
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 CB radio models have.
Factor 7: Channel Scanning
The best portable 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 radio works on batteries, so battery life is very important. You should try to maximize the 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 portable 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 and not design is most important. The small size of the radio station does not affect its performance. The quality depends on having a strong case and on the features of the specific model.
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.
It is important that the 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.
Factor 11: Antenna and Antenna Tuner
Handheld CB radio 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
This brand is a leader in market. When you are looking for the best portable radio station, you will often see this brand. The Cobra portable CB radio has many features, such as a booster signal, antenna and magnetic base body. It is an ideal option for drivers and truckers.
The Midland brand is also very popular. Its popularity is due to a large number of different functions: cigarette lighter, two power options, automatic noise silencer and automatic installation on any channel.
The Uniden brand makes standard radio stations that operate on 40 channels. The brand equips radio stations with a low power consumption function and a high-power consumption mode. In addition, the Uniden radio is small and easy to use.
The Yaesu brand is suitable for both CB radio lovers and professionals. The Yaesu portable radio allows you to use any frequency. The brand makes radios with rechargeable batteries, although these radios can also work on regular batteries.
TYT makes portable 4th generation CB radios. These radios operate at a power of 10W with a multichannel replay function. The brand performs many modern functions, although it has an “ancient Greek” appearance.
Factor 13: Price
There is a wide price range for portable CB radio s. There are several simple models 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 handheld 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 radio, be sure that the radio station works well with other accessories, such as an additional antenna, etc..
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 lingo that is being used by portable radio operators.
Do I Need An External Antenna To Use a Handheld CB Radio?
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 radio 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 Portable CB Radio?
You do not need a special license to operate a portable radio. 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.
As you can see, a portable 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. It will be your best bet.