Top 5 Best SSB CB Radio Reviews: Buying Guide 2020
- ‘Hey Carl, can you hear me? Carl…. I’m losing you man…. Are you there? I need a backup.’
You hear nothing but a static buzzing sound on your radio. I don't know about your friend, but at least he isn't going to make those weird noises while you need him for an emergency, right?
The last time I talked like this, I probably was on Skype while my network was dropping. However, I've fixed it, so it's time for you to fix your SSB CB radio, don't you think?
If you have the best SSB radio installed in your vehicle, you wouldn’t have to experience this buzzing bummer during emergencies. Gosh, what if you’re a cop and you need backup to pull you out of a gangster zone.
Well, cop or not, to win against all the odds during emergencies, you should use the perfect SSB radio in your vehicle. And I’m here for you with the top 5.
What Is an SSB CB Radio?
SSB or shall I say single-sideband are mostly used for transmitting and receiving standard channels along with the lower ones and the upper sideband channels. It basically gives you a wide range of channels to operate.
This radio sends information by using radio waves, which obviously is an amplitude modulation. On top of that, with SSB radios, you get to use the bandwidth and transmitter power more efficiently.
Our Best SSB CB Radio Reviews
Below are the top 5 SSB CB radios I've been talking about. Get yourself one of these, and you'll know how it feels like to have your safety zone confirmed.
1. Uniden Bearcat 98040 SSB CB Radio
The Bearcat 98040 may not be your personal bodyguard, but it can maintain your security when you're in trouble, and you need help. No more static sound with this high-performing beast in your vehicle.
If you have already used a good quality antenna in your system, the Bearcat from Uniden will take care of the rest. As you receive the signals, you’ll receive them with much more clarity than you ever did.
Besides, the noise-canceling microphone it comes with eliminates all those buzzing sounds, for which, when you talk to someone, you’ll not feel any difference in his/her voice. The microphone keeps it that natural.
But here's the center of attention, though. Talking about its display. Trust me, display matters a lot, even if it's often overlooked. If you're someone who drives a truck at night, you'll know how display matters to you.
Most of the time, you can't even read what's on the screen. Get rid of all those not-so-well CB radios and get your hands on the Uniden Bearcat instead. The display it comes with will give you a much clearer, easy-to-read screen.
Its control panel, on the other hand, is completely illuminated. So, you won’t have any problem reading the displays even when it’s dark.
If, however, you’ve got eye issues, you can switch from color options. The radio comes with no less than 7 color personalized display options. You’ll love the fact that the fonts are pretty large in it as well.
During emergencies, you can shift to channel 9 instantly with this radio in your rig. You can also try different stations and taste the wide versatilities. It has got 40 different channels to choose from.
The best part? This Bearcat radio has got a strong RF-gain, which helps you get signals easily from distances even if you leave town. So, when you're traveling to a place that gives you a nowhere-feel, you'll have security 24/7.
2. Galaxy Audio DX95940
If you want to taste what if feels like to communicate with someone with the best SSB radio, you should get your hands on the DX95940 with your eyes closed. Now, this beast right here will make sure you have everything right in your hands.
First off, this is not just a perfect radio for experts but also beginners as well. It’s something which you can master easily. The user-friendly radio function will allow you to grab the know-hows in no time.
Its controls, unlike the mainstreams, come as knobs and buttons, for which it becomes super-easy for you to take over. It doesn't matter if you have to keep your eyes on the road all the time; there's no need for you to keep an eye on the displays.
Speaking of the devil, the display it comes with is pretty large in size. You don't have to take your eyes close to it to see its reading. Besides, the fonts it uses are also extra-large in size. Easy to read and easy to understand; this is what I call a user-friendly package.
Setting and tuning the antenna every once in a while can give you a hard time. Only if you have a radio with SWR meter, it would be much easier for you to get the hang of it.
Galaxy Audio manufacturers understand what you need. This is why they didn't fail to include a built-in SWR meter that takes care of all the settings and tuning. You'll also have the ON and OFF circuit, which just makes the tasks simpler.
And guess what? If you have the proclivity to drive your vehicle at night, what could be better than this radio? You’ll get LED lighting backing you up with the illumination you need.
The digits come in yellow color, which will be easy for your eyes to catch. You don't have to keep fumbling through the knobs.
Most importantly, as you talk, you can send and receive a clearer sound, thanks to the noise-reduction system that suppresses the background sound.
Also, let’s not forget about the strong RF-gain, which lets you grab the signals from distant places. So even if you leave your town and go for somewhere else, there’s no way you’re losing signals.
3. Cobra 29LTD Professional CB Radio
The Cobra 29LTD never fails to amaze me with what it offers in its rig. This one can be a small radio, but it certainly is functional enough to meet your demands.
As you take a look at it, the premium aesthetics will do the durability-talk. It's heavy-duty, and above all, it's strong enough to withstand all the beatings.
Accidentally if the radio gets detached and falls off after you’ve taken your car in a reckless spin, simply reattach it. No, it won’t break that easily.
This time Cobra made some improvements in its new 29LTD, though. It comes with a front-panel microphone-connector, which you'll find very cinchy to install in a dash.
Speaking of which, the set offers you a dynamic microphone that is easy to adjust and easy to use. This model has used greater sensitivity in its microphone, so you’ll have increased voice-clarity.
From now on, you don’t have to go ‘Hey, I can’t hear you’ every time you talk to someone over the microphone.
The seamless clarity will make you go, wow. Besides, even the microphone is heavy-duty, so you're getting a whole package of durability and clarity. Awesome!
Microphones are one thing for clear sound. But you should have a powerful communication system as well, right?
Cobra 29LTD offers you the SWR calibration, which will make sure the antenna system you're having is giving its full-strength to dedicate maximum performance.
If somehow, the antenna drops the signal or let’s say it simply gets an issue out of the blue, the radio will tell you there’s something wrong with the automatic illumination system.
As you travel to terrains out of the town or in a distant area, you need to make sure you can have a wide area covered by your radio. Thanks to the 4-watt output the 29LTD comes with, you get to the best communication range along with maximum power.
During emergencies, you can switch to channel 9 within a snap. Which obviously brings me to the channel now. You’ll get no less than 40 different channels to swipe. Getting full coverage is just a snap now.
4. President Electronics MC Kinley CB Radio
When you say 'best SSB CB radio,' I can't just stop sharing about the MC Kinley from President Electronics. It's that good!
First off, the MC Kinley is super strong and durable enough to last for years. But that doesn’t speak of its mind-boggling features. Well, let me break them down to you then.
It comes with a manual squelch, meaning you can control the hissing noise manually whenever you want to. Just simply use the knobs whenever your radio is getting the signals, and eventually, you'll have a clearer sound.
Squelch may help you eliminate the hissing noise, but you can’t just get rid of the constant honking in roads, right? Well, before they get on your nerves, try using the microphone that has got a noise-limiter in it.
As you talk to someone, this noise-limiter will decrease the sound of the traffic and honks while the person talking to you receives a clear message from you.
On top of that, the loudspeaker gives you a seamless digital sound. So, rather than checking your ears, make sure you have a good set of speakers like this.
That was all about waving off the noise. How about capturing the signal you need? If you travel to a distant place where getting the signals is struggling, you’ll end up having a low-end network.
Thanks to the strong RF-gain it comes with, you won’t have to worry about capturing distant signals. From now on, with this radio in your arsenal, you can travel to anywhere anytime and still communicate with your friends.
As for the display, it has a wider and larger LED display, which will make sure you have your comfort zone confirmed. Whenever you want to check the digits, just simply look at your display, and you'll find the large fonts pretty easy to read. Just a single glance will do.
While you drive at night, the LED light won't give your eyes a hard time to focus, though. It offers you 3 amazing color options to choose from; amber, blue, and green. All the LED colors will blend in perfectly with your eyes while you get to read what's in the display clearly.
5. Anytone AT555N SSB CB Radio
I’m going to close the SSB CB radio reviews with the AT555N from Anytone. Performance, durability, and user comfort, this one is the perfect combination of top-notch features. Here's why.
This radio from Anytone comes with an easy-to-read display with extra-large fonts. While the typical SSB CB radios used to give you a hard time reading the digits, you won't face such issues at all with this radio in your arsenal.
At night as you drive, the red fonts don’t black you out when you roll your eyes on them. The color adjusts with your eyes seamlessly without causing any discomfort.
It also comes with a manual squelch system that lets you adjust and tune the radio manually while you eliminate all those buzzing sounds once and for all.
You can adjust the noise reduction system in your background. While talking, simply use this feature to suppress all those disturbing noises and experience a comfortable chit-chat with your friend on the other side.
More on the chit-chat, I can't skip the heavy-duty microphone it comes with. It does not just talk strength, but it's much more functional than you think it is. Also, it receives your voice perfectly while keeping it natural.
As you receive the call, you're going to hear the crystal-clear sound. Yes, it's not 'DOLBY DIGITAL,' and I'm not going to say it will be more like home-theatre stuff, but thanks to the built-in 8 ohms speakers, you get to hear clearer sound than ever.
While traveling to a place you probably didn't visit before, you won't have to get all those goosebumps. Maybe you had a bad experience with the radio you've used before, but this one will simply leave you awe-stuck.
Thanks to the super-strong RF-gain, you can grab the signals, and it's just a walk in the park. So, you've got good squelch control, microphone, speakers, and RF-gain, what more can you get?
To be honest, there's more, and this is probably the best part here. You see, this CB radio doesn't just work with SSB mode, no. AM, FM, LSB, PA, USB, you name it, this one covers all these modes in one go.
On top of that, it offers you a dual-watch, for which you can check if you’re in your destination right on time.
What to Look for Before Buying?
If you're ignorant about what features to look for in SSB CB radio, you might get your hands on the wrong product. The last time you had a low-end one, and you don't want to repeat that mistake. Well, it's time for you to look for the things you need to consider before buying the best CB radio with SSB.
Does It Come with Large Display?
Typical CB radios have one problem in common. They don’t have a wider and larger display. For which, if you try to read the digits, you give your eyes a hard time.
So, no matter which one you’re going to go for, make sure you buy the radio that has a big display and the fonts are large as well.
The backlight color on the LED display should be such with which you won’t face any eye-issue. Few colors can make you blackout. So, always go for a radio that comes with a lighter LED backlight color. You can try blue, yellow, amber or red.
As a result, when you drive your car at night, you won’t face any problem at all.
Noise Reduction System
If your SSB CB radio doesn’t have a noise reduction system, then that one needs to go. I don’t expect you to use your CB radio at your home. Of course, you’ll use it while in traffic. If the radio doesn’t have a noise reduction system, the person speaking to you won’t hear you clearly.
This is why get yourself a CB radio that has got a noise reduction feature. Surely, this will help you to get rid of those loud background noise as you talk.
The stronger the RF-gain, the better signals you’ll be able to get from distant places. So, whenever you’re going to buy a CB radio, make sure the RF-gain is a strong one.
What good is a radio if you can't tune into a versatile number of channels? You'll need to talk to your fellow drivers now and then, and if you don't have access to a lot of stations, you don't stand a good chance to find them for communication.
You'll need to switch to weather broadcasts, and maybe you just want to know what's on the news. Whatever the case, the multi-channel features will keep you updated with the latest. The more the channels, the better.
A good microphone always comes handy when you want to talk crystal-clear. Unfortunately, not all the CB radios will come with a good microphone set. So, before getting your hands on a product, make sure you test the microphone and see if it works well.
Getting the signals correctly won’t stop the hissing noise unless you adjust your radio using a squelch control. That’s right, the squelch will allow you to eliminate the hissing noises while you end up having a clearer sound wave in the radio.
Try to buy the radio that has got a manual squelch control system. With this in your vehicle, you’ll be able to adjust and eliminate the buzzing sound according to your convenience.
How to Use SSB CB Radio?
Now that you've bought your SSB CB radio, I have two judgments for you. Either you know how to operate it, or maybe you don't.
If you know, that's well and good. However, if you're a newbie and you want to know to get the hang of this radio, you should follow these steps.
1. Play the Channels
Most radios come with 40 channels altogether. So, before you test anything else, you should check if the stations are running correctly. In each station, there’ll be someone for you to communicate with.
As you speak, make sure you keep the notes of the CB radio codes the users are using.
2. It’s Time to Talk into the Speaker
After you’ve chosen the channel, it’s time for you to speak into the speaker and wait for the response. If someone’s speaking to you, you better let him finish talking first.
If you find a distinct break, make sure you do a radio check and afterward, wait for the response.
3. Try Talking to Your Co-Workers
So, now you should prepare yourself to communicate with your fellow drivers. For better communication, you can have a trucking fleet installed in your vehicle (if you’re a trucker).
First, you have to choose a channel and make sure it doesn’t have a lot of people talking with each other using it. Tell your fellow driver to tune into that channel while assigning a phrase of code.
You can try saying ‘Little Johhny tripped over the horse’ or something like that. Once your co-driver uses the phrase, you’ll know who it is (the code, remember?). Now, do a radio check and talk back.
If somehow, you’re experiencing a bad signal, you’ll find the RF-gain pretty handy to amplify the message for you.
4. Try the Emergency Channel
For emergencies like a car accident or a gangster ambush (happens if you’re a cop), you can simply tune into the emergency channel. Most radios will shift you to channel 9.
As you switch to channel 9, make sure you issue a radio check. Afterward, you’ll have to wait for the response. If someone contacts you, briefly tell him/her about the situation you’re in and also don’t forget to mention the location.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will it be possible for me to contact my fellow driver while I’m on desolate roads?
Sure, you can. However, the distance you two have between each other will matter as well. If you're far away from each other, interpreting the message can give you a hard time.
So, make sure you have a built-in advancement for which you’ll be able to have clearer reception.
2. Where should I install my CB radio?
Well, you can install the CB radio on the dashboard of your vehicle. Plus, make sure you buy a compact-sized radio so that you can have an easy installation process.
3. What’s this emergency channel 9?
It's a channel that is monitored by the enforcement of your vicinity, and when I say about monitoring, they do it very strictly. If you're within their radius and you call out for help, they'll be able to receive the message and reach out to you.
4. Do I need to use any permit if I want to use a CB radio?
Not necessarily. However, if you work in a federal government or in a foreign government, you won't be allowed to use one.
5. Will I get notified about the harsh weather on my radio?
Well, if your radio has that feature, and it most likely will, of course, you'll be notified about the harsh weather.
Now that you have read all the reviews, I don't think you'll have a hard time choosing the best SSB CB radio for you. Despite a few of the drawbacks, each radio has got its own uniqueness.
So, rather than wasting time using your brain, get yourself one of these radios and take your ride for a spin. You’ll have your security with you.