Technology is changing at a rapid pace, what worked yesterday is obsolete today and what works today would be useful tomorrow. Hence, it makes sense that you want to know if people still use CB Radios.
In this article we’ll tell you what a CB Radio is and answer the ‘do people still use CB radios’ question.
- 1 What is a CB Radio?
- 2 Do People Still Use CB Radios?
- 3 Who Uses CB Radios?
- 4 Benefits of Using a CB Radio
- 5 Best CB Radios: Reviews
- 6 Conclusion
What is a CB Radio?
Citizen Band Radio (CB Radio) is a type of radio communication that is often categorized under ‘Personal Radio Service’. Why? Because similar to other types of Personal Radio Services, such as Multi-Use Radio Service(MURS), Family Radio Service (FRS), and Low Power Radio Service (LPRS), a CB Radio does not require a special license for operation.
This makes it very flexible as it can be used by anyone whether for personal or business reasons. This land mobile system allows short-distance bidirectional communication. It uses two way radios operating on a total of 30 channels near 27 MHz.
The frequencies are open for all; however, some are for specific purposes:
- Channel 9 - emergency
- Channel 19 - traffic conditions
Do People Still Use CB Radios?
Despite the discovery of many alternative options such as smartphones, CB Radios remain just as relevant today as they were back in the ‘40s.
This may come as a surprise to most people, but they come in handy on multiple occasions, especially in remote areas where it is difficult to receive phone transmissions.
Police officers and first responders also use CB radios, especially during emergency situations.
Who Uses CB Radios?
Now that we know CB Radios are still used in today’s day and age, let’s discuss who uses them and for what reasons.
1. Truck Drivers
Out of the 3.5 million truck drivers in the US, almost 90% of them believe that CB Radios are an essential tool and about 75% of them use CB radios almost every single day.
Truck drivers mostly use CB Radios because not only do they have an incredibly long range but because they also work on remote highways. This allows truck drivers to use CB Radios for the purpose of both communication and safety while driving.
Drivers can communicate with other drivers without the need to exchange contact numbers. As mentioned earlier, there is a special channel for drivers, which is in the middle of the band and almost always has good signals.
Checkout Best CB Radios for Truckers
2. Camping or Hiking in Remote Areas
As mentioned before, CB Radios are extremely beneficial when it comes to ease of communication in remote areas.
People who prefer camping or hiking in remote areas can use a handheld CB Radio to communicate with others in case of an emergency.
This is extremely beneficial for those who go on long or unfamiliar hikes.
3. Men and Women in Uniform
Police officers, hospital staff, and emergency responders use CB radios to stay in touch with each other. They can be very useful in case of a natural disaster as well. The radio can be used to keep volunteers updated about the latest happenings.
Police also use CB radios to stay connected with each other as they may have to go in remote regions behind criminals where phone signals might not be available.
Survivalists are people who prepare and plan for events that could disrupt the world. These events include political tension, apocalypse, and natural disasters.
For such people, CB Radios can prove to be extremely beneficial as they are preparing for instances where innovative communication technologies cease to exist.
Even when phones fail, CB radios will still work.
Benefits of Using a CB Radio
Despite the introduction of communication devices such as mobile phones, CB Radios are still bought by people even today.
Introduced in the ‘70s, CB Radios have gone from being bulky and heavy to being light-weight and slightly sleeker. However, the design isn’t their main pro, here’s why they’re still being used:
1. No License Required
As opposed to other channels, using a CB Radio does not require any special license and is still legal to use in most parts of the world.
This is the main reason why CB Radios have been widely accepted by people. You don't have to worry about licenses or red tape. Buy one and get started.
2. Efficient Communication Device
CB Radio is an extremely efficient communication device that works in all regions including areas with no phone signals.
You can use it to stay updated while you are on the go. The radio can make your journeys safer and allow you to stay in touch with others on the road.
CB Radios are incredibly cheap. Buying them is no hassle and even better, they are readily available. You can buy one online or offline. We’ll cover some of the best CB radios later in this article.
Additionally, setting up one for your own personal use is a simple task. You will not have to make any additional purchases.
Thanks to their affordable price, CB Radios are a great alternative for people who are low on budget.
4. Advancements in Shape and Size
CB Radios have gone through their fair share of advancements. Over the years, they have lost their bulky shape and have become slimmer and easy to carry.
This compact size allows CB Radios to be fitted inside any vehicle whether it is a large truck or a small car. Some CB Radios are even the size of an ordinary mobile phone.
Additionally, CB Radios are now available in a lot of variants. Despite their traditional look, they are user-friendly. You can even find some waterproof options. Those who travel in the dark can even find an option that glows in the dark.
5. Innovative Features
Besides the noticeable change in size, CB Radios have now been equipped with the latest features as well.
You can take advantage of these innovative features at less than half the price of what people in the 70’s would have to.
Here are a few features that have really placed CB Radios ahead of other communicating devices:
- Noise Blanker (NB) for noise reduction and reduced static.
- Fine tune option for tuning away from channels that may interfere.
- Voice output booster for clear communication.
- PA Switch to allow external speakers to be connected to the radio.
- SWR Warning Indicator works on giving a warning in case of a tuning problem in the antenna.
Have the benefits above convinced you to take a trip back to the ‘70s and invest in a CB Radio? Let's take a look at some of the best CB Radios that are available on the market.
Best CB Radios: Reviews
This CB Radio has held on to its traditional, bulky size but has gone through numerous changes that have placed it number one on our list.
For ease of in-dash installation, the radio has been equipped with a front panel mic connector. You will have no problem installing it.
Besides its output of 4 watts, the radio also allows you to access more than 40 channels. In addition to this, you can access channel 9 for emergencies.
The best thing about this CB Radio is its SWR Calibration feature. With this option, you will not have to worry about positioning the antenna. The system will automatically set it to ensure clear communication.
Another great thing is the Antenna Warning Indicator. This indicator keeps your CB Radio in check and gives you a warning in the form of a red light in case something needs to be checked and fixed. This is a great tool as it makes management easier.
The 4-watt output of this radio provides you with clear-cut communication on the road and is also the maximum output that is allowed by the law for radios.
Once you get this CB Radio, you will not have to make any additional purchases because it comes equipped with a heavy duty microphone. that is built to last for years.
Another great highlight is the Noise Blanker. It can remove both static and unwanted electrical sounds.
If you want a CB Radio that comes in its original, box-shaped form but packs all the innovative features then the Cobra 29LTD Professional CB Radio can be the best option.
Not only is this CB Radio compact and ready to carry, it is also packed full of innovative features that make it a must-have for anyone.
This CB Radio gives you access to more than 40 channels, in addition to channel 9 for emergencies. Additionally, you can also access weather channels that are especially beneficial when it comes to driving in remote areas in bad weather conditions.
The radio is equipped with a squelch controller that works on controlling the noise coming through the filter. In case of continuous noise on a specific channel, the squelch controller will automatically turn off the receiver’s audio.
When it comes to noise reduction, this radio definitely does not disappoint, thanks to its ANL Noise Filter and the special noise canceling microphone that is unique to the radio.
This microphone has been paired with an extra long cord so you can communicate easily without having to lean over in an uncomfortable way.
What makes this CB Radio a winner and a must-have is its special digital display that shows all the channels and noise levels in large fonts and also provides the option of various backlighting options so you can customize and change them according to your preference.
The CB Radio by BEARCAT becomes a long-term investment thanks to its 2-year warranty that guarantees long life.
The Uniden BEARCAT 880 CB Radio can be a good option for users who want a CB Radio that is not only affordable but also technologically advanced.
This radio looks smaller than the traditional CB Radio at a glance, but packs a full punch.
It is powered by six AA batteries but also gives you the option of powering it using a cigarette lighter adapter in case you want to install it into your vehicle.
Even with its small size, the radio lets you access more than 40 channels. This is more than what other CB Radios have to offer. The additional channels include special emergency channels as well as others that can make your drive in remote areas much more convenient.
The best thing about this radio is its dual display that lets you keep track of any channels trying to communicate with you. Additionally, in case you want to reconnect to the last channel you had connected with, this portable radio also has a special ‘Last Channel Recall’ button that allows you to do just that.
The best thing about this radio is that it automatically removes any noise disturbance or other static noise over the mic. With this feature, all you get is clear communication.
Another great quality of this radio is its lightweight that makes it incredibly portable and easy to use. You will not get tired having to hold it for long hours.
If you want a portable and affordable CB Radio then the Midland 75-822 CB Radio can be a great option with its half pound weight and extremely low price.
To answer your question, yes people still use CB Radios. If you visit remote areas for any purpose, you should also consider having one.
The Cobra 29LTD Professional CB Radio is the best option for those who want a traditional CB Radio.
If you are in search of a less-bulky sized CB Radio that has a more modern look to it then the Uniden BEARCAT 880 CB Radio might be a good option.
And finally, if you want a mobile phone sized CB Radio that still has a good number of features then the Midland 75-822 CB Radio can be the right one for you.
All these options are great. Pick one that suits your requirements so that you can enjoy all the benefits of CB Radios.
They may look antique and out-dated, but with recent advancements they have become relevant and handy even in today's day and age. Don’t expect to have any trouble setting these up as they’re easy to use.