You might not be getting the most out of your CB radio if you are using it with a poor-quality CB microphone. Sadly, many of the CB radios that you would buy today do not usually come with the best microphones.
However, you never have to struggle with your radio's stock microphone since there are hundreds of quality CB microphones to choose from.
In this article, we pick out and review 7 of the best CB microphones that we believe will make you enjoy your CB radio more than you ever did.
Our top pick from the seven CB microphones? The Cobra HG M73.
- 1 Comparison Table
- 2 How We Picked These Top 7 CB Radio Mics
- 3 Reviews of 7 Best CB Microphones in 2021
- 4 What to Look for When Buying A CB Mic
- 5 Conclusion
How We Picked These Top 7 CB Radio Mics
For some people, brand goes a long way in helping them know whether a CB radio mic is worth buying or not. On the other hand, others consider the CB microphones features more than anything else. However, we went ahead and considered other factors like durability, design, and user-friendliness while picking the top seven CB radio mics.
In addition, we also considered the reviews that the mics had garnered as this showed us the experiences that other users had. Though we did not want to filter the mics according to prices, we tried to choose CB radio mics that were affordable.
Reviews of 7 Best CB Microphones in 2021
Since quality is paramount to Cobra, the HG M73 had to be nothing less than perfect if Cobra intended it to be the replacement for your stock CB radio microphone. On the surface, this CB microphone simply looks neat and durable, and there are many reasons to back up this.
For one, Cobra went for a durable drop proof ABS housing as well as a rust proof metal mesh grill. Other than giving it a stylish and premium look, it takes the microphone's durability to new heights. The PTT button lies on the left side of the mic and blends in with the ergonomic design of the HG M73 in general.
However, for Cobra, it is not always about looks but performance as well. This is why the dynamic voice coil diaphragm was designed so that the sound quality you get while using the microphone is superior.
The microphone has an impedance of 600 ohms and a frequency response of 150 Hz to 4,000 Hz. It uses a 4-pin female locking ring and you should thus ensure that the device you intend to use it on has a compatible port.
In addition, it includes the 9-foot flexible coil cord for your convenience. It will allow you to use the microphone from a comfortable distance without creating any unnecessary tension on the cord.
For CB radio owners who love classic accessories, the Ranger SRA-198 will be one of the few choices you are likely to come across when shopping for the best CB microphone.
Just like the HG M73, it has a wired 4-pin connector which will be compatible with most popular radios like Cobra, Galaxy, and Uniden. The microphone itself comes in a sturdy black housing to prevent it from getting damaged easily in case you accidentally drop it.
On the other hand, the black mesh screen with a lip bar prevents objects from getting into the microphone. It also does a good job of filtering out some unwanted noises in the environment.
Speaking of noise, it is worth mentioning that this is a noise cancelling microphone with some pretty impressive active noise filters. When paired with the right kind of radio, you can expect decent and effortless performance.
It equally boasts a frequency response of 50-15,000 Hz meaning that you could pick up a lot of different sounds with it. However, you should still place it a few inches from your mouth whenever you want to transmit.
Since the microphone was made with many varied brands in mind, you will also notice that it has an open loop which allows for additional mounting options.
Many are bound to like the Astatic 302-636LB1 because of the thoughtful little features that Astatic included in this mic to make it ideal for any CB radio owner.
This microphone's design was clearly inspired by the shortcomings of many other CB mics that didn't focus on ergonomics or durability. Towards the base of the microphone, Astatic includes a flexible ring to prevent the cord from twisting too much and breaking at that point.
While this might seem like a small thing, it is pretty common to find CB mics that have sustained damage on their cords. You equally needn't worry about comfort while using the microphone since the coiled cord on the unit is flexible enough.
The rugged housing design may also appear basic, but there is a lot going on under the hood. For starters, the microphone itself is kept safe under the steel grid which has polyurethane coating.
The grill, as you've already guessed, prevents unwanted objects from getting inside the microphone and damaging it. It also helps in filtering out environmental noises which would otherwise end up in your transmission.
As it uses a 4-pin connection like most of the other microphones we’ve reviewed, you can use it with either a CB radio or a compatible amateur radio.
If you'd rather own a CB radio microphone without a grill, then the Uniden BC645 is your best bet. It comes in a rugged body which makes the mic comfortable to hold. Its ergonomic design also means that you can use the microphone for a long period of time without your hands getting fatigued.
The coiled cord that this radio comes with is up to 8 feet long. This theoretically means that you could place your radio about 7 feet away from you and still use it normally. However, since you do have to consider other things such as speaker and antenna location, it is safe to say that the 8-foot long cable is more than enough for the job.
In addition, the Uniden BC645 is not remarkably different from the majority of the radios on our list when it comes to the pin connector type. The BC645 features a wired 4-pin connection which is compatible with many of Uniden's own CB radios like the Uniden Pro 520XL and the Uniden Pro 505XL.
Other than the PTT button, one would conclude that the BC645 is a basic microphone, but the quality of the audio it produces proves otherwise. What's interesting about it is that you really don't need to own a Uniden CB radio to see its true benefits.
When it all boils down to design, RoadKing's RK56B may seem like a mash-up between the Ranger SRA-198 and the Astatic 302-636LB1. This is partly because the RK56B has smooth edges similar to the SRA-198 and because it also features a tiny metal mesh grill at the center of the radio just like the Astatic 302-636LB1.
However, one thing you will note about the RoadKing RK56B is that it is made from quality materials and even the coiled cord itself looks slightly thicker.
The cord is also slightly shorter than that of other microphones, but we were impressed that the 6-foot cord came with dual end strain relief. This will ensure that the ends last a little bit longer than they normally would if the strain reliefs were not present.
The microphone's frequency response of 100Hz to 8000Hz is not jaw-dropping, but for what it's worth, you will still get quality audio from the mic thanks to its dynamic noise canceling ability.
RoadKing's RK56B also breaks the norm that many other CB mic manufacturers have been creating over the years. Rather than place the PTT button on the left, the RoadKing decided to place the PTT button on the right. As such, if you aren't particularly comfortable with CB mics that have the PTT on the left, then the RK56B could be a great pick.
Workman's DM507-4 may look a little retro and would almost pass off as a stock microphone. It does have a strong body build and feels firm in the hand. Its PTT button is placed on the left like most of the other microphones which is a bonus since you won’t have to adjust using the PTT on a different side.
In addition, the microphone does not feature a grill. The body of the microphone simply has small openings on the front side from where you are to speak whenever you want to transmit.
While this design has some advantages, you should be careful not to knock the microphone too often as this could lead to damage that will expose the diaphragm of the microphone.
The microphone ships with an 8-foot flexible cord like all the others, but it does lack strain reliefs on the ends. As such, you should ensure you are seated directly in front of your radio before when using the microphone. This will reduce the stress on the ends and improve the longevity of the cord.
It uses the 4-pin connector as well and this means that you are free to use the microphone with just about any CB radio or ham radio that has a compatible 4-pin connector. A few of the radio brands that this CB microphone is perfect for include Uniden, Connex, Cobra, and Galaxy.
Astatic's 302-10187 CB microphone offers a rich blend of performance, durability, and class at the same time. This will probably make it the go-to radio in case you wish to show off your radio setup.
The most striking aspect of the Astatic 302-10187 is its chrome-coated body which gives it a unique and appealing look. From top to bottom, the only elements in the radio that have not been coated are the PTT button and the grill which is still painted black like the Astatic 302-636LB1.
While the main difference that the 302-10187 has over the 302-636LB1 is the chrome-plated housing, it is worth noting that the coating as well as the stainless-steel cord greatly contribute to the microphone's durability.
Additionally, the cord can extend up to 7.5 feet and this means you can use it from a comfortable distance. However, since the cord is enclosed with the super flex stainless steel, this also means that the entire length of the cable will be at your disposal.
You will thus need to find a good enough spot to keep the extra length of cable while you draw and retract the microphone to and fro.
Other than that, you will still enjoy the performance benefits of the microphone. For instance, the microphone features a low impedance element. It will thus offer crystal clear sounds better than your stock CB microphone ever could.
What to Look for When Buying A CB Mic
Based on how we picked these seven CB microphones, you may already have an idea about what to look for in a CB mic if you were to pick one on your own. However, there are usually more other things to consider as well such as:
- Noise cancelling capability
- Sound quality
- Cable length and connector
Noise Cancelling Ability
Background noise is something you would not want whenever you are using your CB radio. A CB radio with noise cancellation can thus filter out background noises whenever you are transmitting a signal. It thus goes without saying that CB microphones with noise cancellation features are far more beneficial.
Of course, CB microphones with sophisticated features such as noise cancellation can be pricier than those without such features.
Today, many microphones are compatible with a wide variety of brands of CB radios. Nonetheless, you need to ensure that the microphone you are purchasing is compatible with the CB radio.
Though most of today's radios use standard connector types, you still need to check if the microphone will be compatible with your radio. This could potentially save you from spending money on a good CB microphone that won't work with your CB radio.
Features such as noise cancellation improve the overall sound quality of the radio. However, it is possible to find very cheap CB mics that claim to have all the fancy features. Because of this, you shouldn't base the sound quality of a CB mic solely on the features it has.
Instead, you need to physically assess the sound quality of the microphone as a whole unit. This will give you an idea of how easy it would be to use the mic and whether it will offer the sound quality you desire.
Cable Length and Connector
You will probably have your CB radio either next to your glovebox or on your dash. This means that the length of your CB's microphone needs to be long enough so that it can comfortably extend to you.
Many CB microphones you will get in the market usually include a 6-9-foot cable. Their cords are also coiled, and this enables you to use them even while standing a few feet away from the radio. 4-pin connectors are common for CB mics, but it is also possible to get 6-pin CB microphones.
You would be constantly lifting the CB mic up and down and pulling it either from left or right depending on where you placed your CB radio. As such, the mic needs to be ergonomic and lightweight at the same time so that it will be comfortable to the end users. You also need to consider the position of the PTT when picking a CB microphone.
CB Power Mic vs a Noise-Cancelling Mic
These happen to be the two main types of CB microphones you can find today. CB power mics are ideal for people who have low voices. On the other hand, you should probably go for a noise cancelling microphone if you will constantly be using the CB radio in a noisy environment.
All in all, it is important to use a good CB microphone with your CB radio. Stock CB mics that came with your radio may be okay for beginners, but true CB radio lovers should definitely consider buying a good CB microphone.
In addition, you also need to pick a CB microphone with features that you will need in the near future. Noise cancellation, for example, is one of the many features that makes CB microphones stand out.
However, we recommend the Cobra HG M73 to anyone who is in search of a 4-pin CB microphone that has great all-round good regardless of radio type.