Speakers are the one thing you really have to appreciate in a CB radio. When all is said and done about a CB radio's power, range, and even the features, it all boils down to how clearly your speaker sounds and whether it is audible enough.
Unfortunately, the CB speakers that ship with CB radios are far from the best. You will thus be better off with a CB external speaker that will complement the power and features of your CB radio.
With many external speakers to choose from, we found it wise to review seven of the best CB external speakers that you can find in the market. If in a hurry, we suggest looking at our top pick – the Cobra HG S500 CB speaker.
- 1 Why Do You Need a CB External Speaker?
- 2 How We Picked These 7 Best CB External Speakers
- 3 Comparison Table
- 4 Reviews of Top 7 Best CB External Speakers
- 5 What to Consider Before Buying CB External Speakers
- 6 Conclusion
Why Do You Need a CB External Speaker?
Inbuilt CB speakers may not be loud enough for some people. This is especially true if you did not go for a high-end CB radio. The situation becomes even worse when you find yourself in a noisy environment.
However, with a CB external speaker, you can get better audio quality so that you won't have to bother other drivers with a 10-1 CB code. CB external speakers could also be used for various other purposes compared to inbuilt speakers.
How We Picked These 7 Best CB External Speakers
Sound quality was by far the most important aspect we considered while selecting these seven best CB external speakers. This is because the essence of getting external speakers in the first place was so that you can get better audio quality.
In addition, we were also keen on the reviews of the CB external speakers, their designs, and how easy it was to install them.
Reviews of Top 7 Best CB External Speakers
You can expect nothing but top performance from the Cobra HG S500, and part of the reason is because the S500 CB speaker comes from a top CB manufacturer.
The Cobra HighGear S500 is a speaker unlike many others we've come across as it has great features like noise filters and talk-back which are all aimed at providing you with exceptional sound quality.
For starters, you should note that the HG S500 CB speaker is not a CB horn. As such, its audio output may not be the same as that of a CB horn which should be your preferred choice for PA functionality.
Nevertheless, the HG S500 comes with a high-quality noise cancelling filter which ensures you get clear and quality audio whenever you wish to amplify the audio coming from your radio.
In addition, the Cobra HG S500 comes with talk-back which may at times be difficult to find with stock CB speakers. Variable talk-back lets you monitor your voice while transmitting so that you can be sure your voice is clear and audible enough for the other party.
While the strong and rugged design will make the speaker last longer, the power you get from this speaker will impress you.
Astatic may not be a CB radio manufacturer like Cobra, but it is committed to creating high quality CB radio accessories like antennas and CB radio speakers. As such, including the Astatic 302-VS4 on this list is no surprise because the speaker happens to be one of the most sought after when it comes to simplicity and compactness.
The Astatic 302-VS4 may be one of the most compact CB radio external speakers you can find on the market. Its small and compact size means that you can find several locations to install the speaker without ruining the look of your vehicle's interior.
It does have a lower power rating of 5W, but for its price and its size, we couldn't help but overlook it. In addition, a speaker with a 5W power rating would still sound great, but only if you also try to stick to less noisy environments.
The speaker equally comes with a free 10' power cord along with a 3.5mm mini plug. Since many newer CB radios are coming with the 3.5mm jack, the Astatic 302-VS4 could be a smart choice since the installation process would be a simple plug and play process.
If you need a bigger and slightly more audible CB external speaker, then perhaps RoadPro's RPSP-15 CB speaker might be an appropriate choice. It is almost twice the size of the Astatic 302-VS4, and this can already give you a clue about the audio quality to expect from this speaker.
The design of the RoadPro RPSP-15 is appealing and you are less likely to think that it is a CB external speaker. It has a durable metal mesh grill on the front to protect the actual speaker from coming into contact with objects that would otherwise damage the speaker's diaphragm.
On the same note, it does have a larger speaker than the one on the Astatic 302-VS4 and the one on the HG S500. However, it still has the same power rating as the 302-VS4 of 5W.
As it comes with a 3.5mm plug, you can use the speaker with a wide variety of other devices, and this makes it a great CB external speaker to own. The 8' power cord also lets you install the speaker at a convenient spot in your vehicle.
Speaking of installation, since the speaker comes with a swivel bracket, you won't have any trouble installing the speaker in your vehicle. It is also worth mentioning that the RPSP-15 is lightweight as it only weighs around 8.8 ounces.
The size of the Uniden BC23A is almost the same as that of the Astatic 302-VS4, but when it comes to performance, the two are entirely different CB external speakers. Just like Cobra, Uniden also manufactures great CB radios, and you can thus expect above average performance from this well-designed CB external speaker.
The BC23A offers nothing but clear audio whenever you need it, and this is evidenced right from its design to the small but useful features it has. It offers 15W of amplified power which means that you get rich audio quality at the end of the day. This speaker can thus come in handy if you often find yourself in noisy environments.
In addition to the power of the speaker, we were also amazed that Uniden took the time to include a noise filter button. One press of the button and you will be able to remove unwanted background noise that somehow made it to the speaker.
Like the other speakers we've reviewed so far, the 3.5-inch Uniden BC23A also comes with a 3.5mm plug for your convenience.
It equally features something that other speakers may not have – a volume control knob. This may be a small and insignificant feature if you have the speaker right next to the CB. However, if you intend to place the CB external speaker away from the CB radio itself, then a volume control knob can come in handy.
Since the name "Midland" is also popular among CB radio owners, you can already tell that the Midland 21-406 will be a CB external speaker worth owning. It is smaller in size compared to a speaker like the RoadPro RPSP-15.
Midland's 21-406 is an equally impressive CB external speaker that is almost the same size as the Uniden BC23A. It has a 15W power rating which means that it is able to deliver clear and crisp sounds. Worth noting, however, is that the speaker lacks a metal mesh grill.
The Topmys TM-E608 falls in the same category as the Midland 21-406 and the Uniden BC23A when it comes to size. The main difference that the TM-E608 brings on the table is the fact that Topmys does not build CB radios, yet they still managed to make an amazingly powerful CB external speaker.
For its size, a power rating of 10W is something to smile about because you will be getting good quality audio without spending too much. The TM-E608 is thus a speaker you'd want to get for your CB radio or ham radio if you occasionally go to moderately noisy areas.
It has a durable metal mesh grill which gives the speaker a solid feel and makes the speaker last longer compared to CB speakers that simply use plastic around their whole body.
For those who are loyal to Uniden but sought an average CB external speaker that won't be too overkill, the Uniden BC7 is a perfect choice right from design to performance.
The power rating of the BC7 places it in between a speaker like the TM-E608 and the RoadPro RPSP-15 which has a 5W power rating.
While it may be difficult to pick up the difference in audio quality between the two radios, you should consider the BC7 because of its high-quality finishing and the fact that it comes with its own mounting bracket and hardware.
One look at the Vectorcom TRD550 and you will instantly relate it with the RoadPro RPSP-15 because they are both physically bigger than nearly all CB external speakers we've looked at so far. Apart from having a slightly different look though, its performance is almost the same as that of the RSP-15.
Despite having a lower power rating compared to smaller speakers like Astatic's 302-VS4, you will find that the Vectorcom TRD550 has a richer and fuller sound because it has a larger speaker.
Additionally, since it comes with a 3.5mm plug, you can use the speaker with any other compatible device apart from your CB radio.
This CB external speaker has a unique design and will instantly stand out to anyone who is not a fan of metal mesh grills. The Barjan 36016 Diesel has two internal speakers and comes with a power handling of 6W.
While it can only manage 6W, we found the Barjan 36016 Diesel impressive because it is the only radio to feature dual speakers. This means that the stereo audio quality of this CB external speaker will not only be richer, but it may very well outperform the audio quality of other CB speakers within its category.
What to Consider Before Buying CB External Speakers
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when shopping for CB external speakers. While some people believe that the process simply involves grabbing the most powerful speaker, the truth is that the process can be far more intricate.
Below are thus a few of the things you should remember before picking a CB external speaker of choice.
You need to have a clear purpose for a CB external speaker before you go out and look for them. CB external speakers usually come with different specifications which make them ideal for certain situations.
Ideally, there are usually two kinds of CB external speakers:
- CB extension speakers
- PA speakers / PA horns
CB extension speakers are the ones you would normally have inside your vehicle. They give you better sound quality than your inbuilt speakers. On the other hand, PA speakers simply amplify your sound output. These types of speakers are located outside the vehicle.
It beats logic to buy a CB external speaker with poor sound quality. As such, you should only consider speakers that have good sound quality.
Naturally, large speakers usually have a deeper tone than small speakers which only deliver high tones. However, the power rating of the speaker is equally a good indicator of the sound quality you can expect from them. A 10W speaker, for instance will offer good sound quality at optimum volume compared to a 5W speaker.
Ease of Mounting
The last thing you would want in your vehicle's interior is untidiness. CB external speakers that come with swivel brackets not only make them easy to install but are far better compared to those that don’t have swivel brackets.
External CB speakers should be easy to install by default because they are simply accessories that make you have a better experience with your CB radio. More expensive external CB speakers come with more sophisticated accessories that make installation relatively easier.
We earlier mentioned that CB external speakers with a high power rating usually have better audio quality. However, you need to be careful not to pick speakers with an extremely high power rating because there are chances it could be a marketing gimmick.
This is especially true if the speaker does not have analogs anywhere. Such speakers will produce less power than the one advertised. 10W of power is enough for decent sound quality.
A CB external speaker that has the talkback feature easily lets you control the clarity of voice. Not all speakers come with this feature and those that do may be a little pricey. However, it is a feature worth having if you have some extra cash to spare.
In all honesty, CB external speakers are not must-haves since CB radios come with internal speakers, but external speakers can provide you a far richer CB radio experience. As there are plenty of CB external speakers to choose from, you should mainly look out for CB external speakers that meet your needs and have good sound quality like the Cobra HG S500 CB Speaker.