Best Mobile CB Radios in 2020 Reviewed: A Complete Buying Guide

Best Mobile CB Radios in 2020 Reviewed: A Complete Buying Guide

Best Mobile CB Radios in 2020 Reviewed: A Complete Buying Guide

Citizens Band (CB) radios have many uses. They can be used on long road journeys, commuting to work, UK & European travel, boating, caravanning, camping, hiking and home use.  They are also used extensively by commercial vehicle drivers, farmers and other outdoor professionals. No matter what you’re using it for in 2020, the radios that are currently on the market are better than ever. 

Finding the best CB radio for your needs can be confusing with lots of technical jargon and hundreds of options. Do you want a handheld or car-mounted system? Do you need auto squelch capabilities? Do you want a compact model or one with a larger LCD screen? 

Whether you are a CB enthusiast looking to purchase a new system, or a first-time buyer, our reviews can help you find the exact option for your situation. Read below to find the bestselling, most compact and best value CB radios in 2020!

Best CB Radios in 2020 Reviewed

Moonraker Minor II Plus – Best Selling

This radio makes operation simple while still offering many of the appealing features found in today's top radios. Truck drivers, professionals and radio enthusiasts love the fact that it covers both the UK and European frequencies while remaining compact and easy to use. 

Product Specifications:

●   Channel: 40 (Multi-standard 40 UK & 40 EU)

  • Power: 4 Watts

●   Dual Voltage: 12v/24v

●   Size: 38mm x 115mm x 150mm

Product Features:

●   Command microphone

  • Signal Power Display

●   Auto Squelch & RF Gain dials

●   Up/Down navigation buttons

●   Quick access knob for 9/19 

  • Switch for UK/EU Channels  

Pros:

●   A good mid-range radio that is easily navigable while driving with user-friendly quick controls and simple buttons.  Some great add on features such as the command microphone, RF Gain dial and signal power display meter.

Cons:

●   Whilst this is a compact radio, there are smaller models available and also larger models with more features.

Verdict 

This unit allows users to access quality features and is an ideal choice for anyone spending long hours on the road, especially if you intend to drive in Europe. As a product, it offers many of the best features available in today’s radios, like RF gain, which makes it a bestseller.

Moonraker Micro – Best Value

A good CB radio allows for easy navigation and use. This unit makes that possible, without requiring skyrocketing prices. Pay for the simple things without having to invest in all the extra features you may not need. 

Product Specifications:

●   Channel: 40 (Multi-standard 40 UK & 40 EU)

  • Power - 4 Watts

●   Single Voltage: 13.8Vdc

●   Size: 25mm x 100mm x 110mm 

 Product Features:

  • Simple push-button keys for UK/EU Channels, Auto Scan, Auto Squelch, Emergency Channel and RF Gain control.  

Pros:

●   Great price for high-quality features 

Cons:

  • Only works on 12v so not for commercial vehicles.  
  • Feature buttons take a while to get used to and are not as user friendly as other models.

Verdict 

One of the biggest draws of this product is its price. Users get great value from this radio and can take advantage of the radio’s expansive communication capabilities. While it may not have the same features as a more expensive unit, its price makes up the difference.

TTI TCB-550N – Best Small/Compact

This compact and easy to transport unit is an excellent choice for first time CB user or someone looking for something simple.  It looks great and has the advantage of features like auto squelch. Its volume knob operates with a simple clockwise, counterclockwise motion, similarly to the squelch knob. 

Product Specifications:

●   Channel: 40 (Multi-standard 40 UK & 40 EU)

  • Power - 4 Watts

●   Single Voltage: 13.8Vdc

●   Size: 37.5mm x 124mm x 136mm 

Product Features:

●   Sturdy microphone

  • Back-Lit Display

●   Auto squelch dial

●   Up/Down navigation buttons

●   Button knob for 9/19 

  • Button for UK/EU Channels  

Pros:

●   User-friendly controls and novel auto squelch function

●   Good build quality and blue illuminated display

Cons:

●   Only works on 12v so not for commercial vehicles

  • Lacks some of the features of other units

Verdict 

With easy controls and a high-quality, sturdy plug-in microphone, this is a great compact choice.  It also looks great.

TTI TCB-900 – Best for Durability

Users trust this radio to provide superb audio when you need it. Audio-buffs know how much simple improvements to the audio output can impact the overall clarity of the message. This unit achieves this clarity without compromising on functionality and durability. 

Product Specifications:

●   Channel: 40 (Multi-standard 40 UK & 40 EU)

  • Power: 4 Watts

●   Dual Voltage: 12/24Vdv

●   Size: 51mm x 94mm x 170mm

Product Features:

  • Front-mounted speaker
  • Sturdy microphone
  • Dynamic squelch & channel dial
  • Quick access knob for 9/19 
  • Switch for UK/EU Channels
  • Scan and microphone gain functions
  • Multi-colour backlighting 

Pros:

●   The front-mounted speaker means a high-quality audio output

●   High durable build quality

Cons:

●   More expensive and not as compact as other units 

Verdict 

If you are looking for a good quality durable product with great functionality, this unit is a perfect choice, especially with features like the front-mounted speaker.

President McKinley – Best High Quality

This radio is by far one of the best in terms of quality due to its impressive features that allow for audio customisation. As radios add more functions, it can become difficult to access the options in a user-friendly manner.  The McKinley functionality is simple, and its user interface is impressive.

Product Specifications:

●   Channel: 40 (Multi-standard 40 UK & 40 EU)

●   Power: 4 Watts

●   Dual Voltage: 12/24Vdc

●   Size: 52mm x 150mm x 170mm

Product Features:

●   Three knobs (two are dual controls with inner and outer adjustments) and 5 buttons.  Each button can be used to select 3 different functions.  There is also a digital menu with a further 7 functions including an SWR function. The functions are extensive.

●   Large LCD with seven colour backlight display

Pros:

●   Extremely durable and extensive functions

  • Easy built in SWR testing

Cons:

●   Expensive

  • Microphone could be better for price

Verdict 

This is a higher-end unit, with features to match. It is ideal for anyone that wants crisp audio, easy controls and extreme functionality.  It's a great unit if you can afford the price tag.

President Barry II – Most Iconic

This classic model is what you expect when you look for a radio. It includes many of the features that cause ease of use and precision, including the ability to preset controls, volume adjustment tools, and multi-function LCD. 

Product Specifications:

●   Channel: 40 (Multi-standard 40 UK & 40 EU)

●   Power: 4 Watts

●   Dual Voltage: 12/24Vdc

●   Size: 45 x 125 x 175mm

Product Features:

●   Manual and auto squelch

●   Multi-functions LCD display

  • Automatic noise limiter

●   Public address

●   Programmable presets 

Pros:

●   Great functionality and an established upgraded version of the original President Barry

  • A good price. 

Cons:

●   Lacks some of the functions of the other more expensive President models.

Verdict 

Whether you are buying a CB radio for use on the road or at home, this unit is a classic choice. It functions well and provides audio with high clarity and a good signal. 

How to Choose the Best CB Radio

When you are selecting a radio, you’ll want to consider a few factors. These will ensure that you choose the right product for your needs.

What is your budget?

CB radio comes at a unique price, but the cost is not always an indicator of quality.  Look at the value of each radio in terms of its features and capabilities. This will help you get a great quality radio without having to break your budget.

Many of the top-end radios will include ‘nice to have’ features that you probably won't ever use.  The lower end units are more basic click and go units.  Most units can be ‘upgraded’ with external speakers and meters.  

Where are you going to locate the radio?

On The Road: Typically, a radio will sit on the dashboard of your vehicle. Inspect the space before you select a radio. Each radio typically comes with a mounting kit that will help to secure your device.  However, you may wish to hide your radio, and therefore a compact radio with command microphone may be more appropriate.

At Home: All radio’s can be used at home, although you will need a separate power supply.  If you are radioing from home, you would typically place the unit on your desktop.  At home, you will probably have more space so you should be able to choose one of the bigger units.

What size radio do you want?

Once you have decided where you are going to locate your radio, you need to consider what size works best for you.  Do you want a small, compact radio or a larger unit?  Generally, the larger units will have better displays and more features. 

What features do you ideally want in the radio?

A few of the features you may want to consider when buying a radio include: 

  • Auto Squelch
  • RF Gain
  • Channel scan
  • High-quality speakers 

Auto-Squelch

Automatically adjusts the sensitivity of your CB radio to adjust for whatever signal strength you may be receiving.  Lower squelch levels will allow you to receive transmissions from a greater distance, but these transmissions will contain more background noise. Higher squelch levels reduce the background noise but will eliminate some weaker transmissions.

RF Gain

One of the most valuable features for a CB radio is RF gain.  Allows you to fine-tune the receiver sensitivity to pick up a signal with enough strength, but not too much background noise.

Channel Scan

This feature makes it possible to quickly scan all 40 CB channels for activity (i.e. someone talking). In some models, you can scan a smaller number of pre-selected channels. These channels can be stored in memory.

High-Quality Speaker 

Some radios have better audio clarity than others. Background noise filter and transmit modulation quality are essential for the truly best audio, as well as receive sensitivity.

But don’t forget that most radio’s come with a jack socket for external speakers. This means that you do not necessarily need to rely on the unit’s speaker and instead can utilise an extension speaker. 

What are the basic principles for good performance?

The standard UK output, which is true for every UK-based radio, is 4 watts of power. Every device will follow this standard. When you pay more for the radio, therefore, you are paying for additional features, higher quality components and better build quality. 

Conclusion

Finding the ideal CB radio can be confusing if you don’t know much about features and brands. Use our buyers guide to help you find the right CB radio for you!