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Handheld CB radios are the most useful CB radios you can get.
Ever thought what makes these portable CB radios stand out from other CBs?
- They’re highly compact CBs
- Great user interface
- Best for Motorcycles and SUVs
- Moderate price
But finding the best handheld CB radio is not a smooth business.
Otherwise, you wouldn’t have been here searching for the top ones.
You don’t have to lose your hope. We have reviewed some of the long-range handheld CB radios in this article.
A nice handheld CB radio should give you the most pleasing user experience. They are designed for the convenience of moving it around.
Here are the top handheld CB radios in the market:
Table of Contents
- 1 Most Powerful Handheld CB Radios in 2019
- 2 Who Should Get a Portable CB Radio?
- 3 Best Handheld CB Radio Reviews
- 3.1 #1. Uniden PRO520XL: Best & Long-range Handheld CB
- 3.2 #2. Midland 75-822: Most bought Portable CB
- 3.3 #3. Cobra HH 38 WXST: Cheapest of them!
- 3.4 #4.Midland 75 785: Amazingly Rugged Portable CB for Harsh Weather
- 3.5 #5. Uniden PRO401HH: Lightweight Portable CB
- 3.6 #6. Cobra HH Road Trip: Another High-Performance Handheld CB from Cobra
- 4 Buying a High-Performance Handheld CB Radio: Buying Guide
- 5 Best Mobile CB Antennas
- 6 Did you get a Quality Portable CB Radio?
Most Powerful Handheld CB Radios in 2019
Who Should Get a Portable CB Radio?
Yes, there are different types of CB radios available in the market. But who really needs a portable or handheld CB?
- Camping and Hiking: Yes, you heard it right. Handheld CBs are the perfect choice when it comes to camping and hiking. With its compact nature, you will find it very convenient exploring in the woods without losing signals. This means you can stay connected with your friends throughout the day.
- Best for Drivers who use CB Frequently: If you use your CB constantly, it’s time to change to handheld options. Why? Handheld ones are easy to hold. You will not feel the pain of holding your microphone often.
- Remote Areas: The portable CB radio is perfect for adventures having emergency risks and weak signal coverage. With CB radio, you can easily notify on an emergency channel in case of a displeasing moment. You can also keep track of your friends, and easily search them in case they go missing.
- Best CB for Tour Organizers: It’s a must-have gadget for every tour organizer as these radios can help with easy, fast and cheap communication.
Best Handheld CB Radio Reviews
There are two things you should focus on when it comes to a handheld CB radio.
- Compact size and user-friendly design
- Features: Weather forecast, emergency channels, Noise filters, etc.
Yeah, it is very obvious that you should have your gaze glued to the specification, reviews, and appeal. But in most of the times, these qualities are not evenly found across products.
This is why it is essential you know which one will render the best features and user experience for you.
This is exactly what we had in our minds while penning the handheld CB radio reviews.
#1. Uniden PRO520XL: Best & Long-range Handheld CB
The top one in our list of portable CB radios is from none other than Undien’s PRO series. Uniden Pro520XL is one of the pocket-friendly, yet amazing handheld CB you can get in 2019.
You will get a strong reception/transmission with this device. Moreover, the ultra-compact handheld CB radio is designed to last long. You will easily get 3-5 years of great performance out of this CB.
The radio has a front-positioned microphone with an extra-long coiled cord. This enables retracting the cord to a longer distance for relaxed communication. The CB is built on a superheterodyne circuit, ensuring precise control.
‘Automatic Noise Limiter’ and ‘Auto-Squelch’ ensure you get noise-free signals. Yeah, it ensures a clear reception.
You can monitor your radio’s activity by glancing over Signal/RF meter and LED indicators. It is one of the best long-range handheld CB radios available in the market now. I am damn sure that the 3-4 miles range it offers will delight you.
This is one of the best well built CB out there. You will not need a replacement mic. Your sound quality at the other end will be amazing with the stock itself.
The device has a PA/CB switch and external speaker connection PA mode. You will love the smooth switching happens. There won’t be any beep-beep sound, making it a noisy-free affair.
Other features worth mentioning are:
- S/RF LED meter
- Instant emergency channel 9
- Transmit indicator lights
- Automatic Noise Limiter switch
- Public Address switch
- Volume control
In conclusion, Uniden PRO520XL is the perfect hand-held device which favors easy installation and operation with just a little amount of money. It’s designed perfectly for industrial and commercial uses.
If you want to read the complete review of the product, you can read it here:
#2. Midland 75-822: Most bought Portable CB
Midland 75-822 is the second-best on our list. But you should know that this is the most bought handheld Citizen band radio in the market.
These features make it a customer’s favorite:
- 10 NOAA channels
- Power with six AA batteries/cigarette lighter adapter
- Instant access to NOAA Radio, channels 9 and 19
- Dual Watch monitors
- ANL (automatic noise limiter) and squelch control
- One-year manufacturer’s warranty
The Midland CB provides Channel Scan feature for monitoring activities of all channels.
The cool memory feature is something that makes this one a big deal among other competitors. This feature helps in storing your top 5 channels. You can also switch to the last channel tuned before shutting down the radio. With ‘Dual Watch’ feature, you can monitor any channel of your choice.
You can enjoy a noise-free transmission and reception with this portable CB. Thanks to the ANL and Squelch control features. Yeah, they work amazingly well in this CB.
For powering your system, it supports six AA batteries having battery life extender feature. For easy usage, it comes with a mobile adapter for powering it through vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
The impressive multifunctional backlit LCD display is another feature worth mentioning. It helps in both day and night reading.
Midland 75-822 encases ‘hands-free mode’ and ‘locking’ feature. With the latter, you can lock your settings to disable messing it up by mistake.
#3. Cobra HH 38 WXST: Cheapest of them!
There can’t be any article on CB radio without mentioning Cobra. Cobra HH 38 WX ST is known for its affordable price tag and outstanding performance. We recommend this CB for occasional users. It works best for weekend travelers and hikers.
The CB features dual watch and full-channel scan, providing the customers with full 10 weather channels. Runs on battery or DC operation, it exhibits 4 watts power (maximum) with 4 miles range. The highlighting aspect of this wonderful handheld CB is none other than its transmission power. I’m damn sure it will exceed your expectation.
This hand-held CB radio has a built-in microphone with ‘SoundTracker’ system. This function provides exceptional sound by cutting up the noise to 90 percent.
The radio has a removable belt clip, wrist strap, and high-efficiency antenna. It also provides a 12V cigarette lighter plug and an operating manual. You will love the High/low power switch which helps in reducing power consumption.
With the availability of channel 9, you can notify others in an emergency, driving your motorbike. One of the major issue with this CB is that it doesn’t have a good CB antenna. You can achieve a moderate performance with the default antenna. But, I would ask you to get one of the best CB antennas in the market to get maximum out 38 WXST.
#4.Midland 75 785: Amazingly Rugged Portable CB for Harsh Weather
If you’re looking for a powerful handheld CB radio for harsh weather conditions, this is what you need.
Midland 75 785 works amazingly best for small distance communication. It is one of the best handheld devices you can use for hunting and camping.
The radio possesses a 7W input and a maximum output of 4W. This ensures that you can extend your coverage beyond the usual reach when looking to remain connected from a farther range.
The sleek and slim design is the most highlighting feature of this portable CB radio. Midland says 75-785 is 33% smaller than it’s predecessors.
The Midland 78 handheld comes with 40 channels to keep you engaged and informed. Also, there is the ANL and squelch control feature that ensures truckers get the best quality when it comes to reception and noise elimination
You have got three options to power up the CB:
- Nine AA alkaline batteries for use on the go.
- Rechargeable nickel-cadmium AAs
- DC charger is included for use with “cigarette lighter” power adapters
Remember Midland 75-785 is the perfect solution for harsh conditions, but the range it offers is less than 1-mile range. We recommend getting a quality external CB antenna to get maximum out of this precious piece.
#5. Uniden PRO401HH: Lightweight Portable CB
Uniden PRO401HH is one of the best and well built cheap handheld CB radio you can get.
Two of the main reasons that make truckers love it are:
- The main reason is that it is designed to fit perfectly within your grip. It’s very lightweight, making the operation sweet and smooth.
- Moreover, it has a vast connection range and is of good quality at the affordable price it offers.
When looking at the physical components of this communication device, it presents a battery that lasts pretty long. The Uniden handheld CB comes with a high and low power switch to help conserve the live-cells further. Through the high-power settings, users have the chance to boost their transmitting range.
Uniden PRO401HH is equipped with the ability to offer truckers access to all 40 CB channels. Coupled with its extended connection range feature, truck drivers who purchase this item have a long-term friend of value.
I can’t complete this review without mentioning its solid construction. You don’t necessarily have to purchase additional accessories to boost up its performance. The stock mic works fine and will give you good sound quality.
This is not the device for long-distance communication. However, it is one of the best options for close communication and we definitely recommend it.
#6. Cobra HH Road Trip: Another High-Performance Handheld CB from Cobra
The Cobra Handheld ROAD TRIP 40-Channel is known by truckers to be more reliable in weather emergencies. The device comes with a Sound Tracker system. This unique lineament helps its users’ curb background noise affect up to 90%. Hence, its operators can have excellent conversations.
This is an upgraded version of Uniden’s HH WXST.
When it comes to physical components of this device, the Cobra HH Road Trip, holds a live-cell that stays pretty long. The magnetic mount CB antenna ensures you have amazing long-range communication.
Other features of the portable CB are:
- 10 NOAA Weather Channels
- Instant access to NOAA weather channels 24 hours a day.
- Dual watch for continuous monitoring of two CB channels
- NOAA All-Weather Emergency Radio
Buying a High-Performance Handheld CB Radio: Buying Guide
We have pointed out the handheld CB we feel are the best. However, the decision is still yours.
The chance of you liking all the things we listen to are rarely. That’s why we are trying to give you an honest buying guide on handheld CB radios.
Handheld CB radios are bit different from the traditional CB radios you have seen. But most of the features remain the same.
We are outlining what you should check in a handheld CB radio to get a high performance one:
- Consider the portability: You should consider how easy the product is to use. You should feel comfortable using it. Normal handheld CB radios weigh less than .5lbs. Keep this in mind!Give attention to weight. There is no meaning in buying a handheld CB which is too heavy.
- ANL features― Though all the devices we have highlighted in this article houses Automatic Noise Limiter feature, not all Handheld possesses it.I think you already know this feature is essential to help you understand the person at the other end of the line.
- Does it work well with other accessories― This is a question that can be answered through online reviews or by asking around. This point for consideration is important because sometimes you might need an extra antenna to boost the range further.If I get a quality portable CB radio, I wouldn’t mind getting an external antenna to boost it’s performance further.The choice is entirely yours!
- Range: You need to ensure that the handheld CB offers enough range. Finding a good long-range handheld CB is not that easy.Due to the small size, most of these devices are good for closed communication.
Do You Really Need a Handheld CB Radio?
Let us go through the features that make handheld CB radios one of the most bought in the market.
1. Best CB Device for Motorcyclists and SUVs
The small size and portability make handheld CB radios more or less like a mobile phone. It can be used to communicate with any other CB. Hence, when you purchase a Handheld radio device, you are not only getting a secured line for conversing, you are also getting some of the essential facilities of a mobile phone for a low cost.
With the compact size, these mobile CB radios offer you the freedom of keeping it at any place you want. If you own a motorcycle or SUV, handheld CB is what you need.
2. The Affordable Price Tag
Even the most powerful handheld CB radios in the market don’t cost much. You can easily buy these CBs for almost half the price of other radios.
Isn’t that great?
3. Wider Coverage and Safety
There is nothing more calming than being assured of safety. With that point stressed, be reminded that one of the reasons we purchase a communication device is to ensure we are updated and connected, both for security reasons and important communication.
With a handheld device in hand, you can go off the road without the fear of losing communication signal. A handheld provides secured and broader coverage to you as opposed to your mobile phone.
When all fails, and a CB handheld radio is close by, you can breathe in an air of relief. Safety is another crucial reason to be in possession of a handheld. When your phone fails you, it won’t fail you, because it has a secured line and wide coverage.
Best Mobile CB Antennas
Your quest for best handheld CB device won’t end up with merely a radio. You need to get a compact and portable CB antenna to achieve your task.
For this reason, we have highlighted some ideal, great mobile antennas manufactured by top brands.
1. Wilson 880-200152B:
This antenna from Wilson comes with 62’ whip. It is a Magnet mount CB antenna made from high-impact thermoplastic. The mobile CB antenna does not require peaking or tuning and gives a great SWR straight out of the box.
This well-received antenna by the customers has a 17-7 stainless steel whip. The 5000W antenna provided by Wilson is ideal for big radios as well. It votes for easy installation and setup along with excellent clarity and outmatched peak.
2. Midland 18-2442: Perfectly Portable CB Radio
With the addition of a plastic-coated magnetic base, the antenna is protected from rust or corrosion. The CB antenna comes pre-wired with the cable and the connector.
The relief spring attached to the whip limits the damage done to it in the form of constant beating. The perfectly compatible with all Mobile CB radios manufactured by none other than reputed Midland.
What’s the range of handheld CB radio?
A handheld CB radio can easily reach up to 10 miles range in a controlled environment. However, the range might differ based on your topography ant antenna you use.
How to Tune a Handheld CB radio?
Tuning a portable CB is similar to that of normal CB radio. You can refer to this article from RightChannelRadios.
Are portable CB radios worthy?
Of course, they are fantastic CB devices for short-range communications.
Did you get a Quality Portable CB Radio?
A portable CB radio is perfect for someone who wishes to go on trips without ruining their prepaid account. The handheld CB radios provide easy installation and incredible feasibility.
Moreover, it’s one hell if an experience talking in a CB radio. And you should experience it!
Whether you are someone from touring organization or an admirer of risky adventures, mobile CB radios work best. Good portable CB radios shoot up the range giving great SWR.
Although they are not huge in size, they never compromise on their performance. High performance and long-range communication is never a problem with these handheld CBs.