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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > Phones & Communication > CB Radio

CB Radio Cost

How Much Does a CB Radio Cost?

low costMobile Handheld Units: $50-$100average costMobile (Vehicle-Installed) Units: $100-$200high costCB Radio Base Stations: $100-$400
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Used for short to medium distance radio communication, a Citizens' Band or CB radio uses 40 channels within a single band, usually 27 MHz. Since a CB radio does not require a license, it remains a popular way for truck drivers, RV owners, hunters and rural inhabitants to communicate with each other within a local area. CB radios are available as handheld units, as large base units for use at a home or office and, most commonly, as mobile units in a vehicle.

Typical costs:

  • Mobile handheld CB radios generally cost $50-$100. These units offer short range operation of a mile or two and tend to operate more noisily than a higher end unit. An example of a basic mobile CB radio for use at home or in a vehicle is the Midland 75-820[1] mobile CB radio, which sells for $71 on Amazon.
  • Mobile CB radios are larger than the handheld variety and are often installed in vehicles. Mobile CB radios typically cost $100-$200 and tend to have a broader range than mobile handheld units. For example, Cobra[2] , a leading manufacturer of mobile communications, sells a variety of mobile CB radios for $70-$190.
  • Large CB radio base stations for use in home and offices typically cost $100-$400. The popular Galaxy DX-2547[3] is available from Amazon for $302 and offers a range of special features including a six-digit frequency counter, a talkback circuit, a front microphone jack and a noise filter for weaker signals.
Related articles: Stereo Receiver, Car Alarm Installation

What should be included:
  • All CB radios are limited to 40 channels and 4 watts of output power; don't be tempted by any unit that promises more.
  • A basic mobile CB radio will include a microphone with hanger, power cord and a mounting bracket and screws for installation in a vehicle. Standard CB radio features include a volume control, a dial for changing channels, a squelch control and RF gain.
  • If a CB radio is to be used for short distance communication only, look for an ANL or noise reduction feature to eliminate unwanted reception noise.
Additional costs:
  • Perhaps the most important factor in the performance of a CB radio is the antenna used for transmission and reception. Antennas are sold separately and range in price from under $15 for a fiberglass antenna up to $125 for a magnetic mount antenna. HowStuffWorks[4] offers a guide to the role of the antenna in CB radio communication and Right Channel Radios[5] provides a guide to choosing the right antenna. Radio Shack[6] sells a variety of CB radio antennas from $20-$70, although many of the models are only available online.
  • Antenna mounts are available for $5-$20 from retailers such as Radio Shack[7] and Amazon[8] . Alternately, many auto shops or national chains will handle the installation. Expect to pay $50- $100 depending on geographic location and the size and type of antenna.
  • While even a basic CB radio will include a microphone, one may want to upgrade to a power microphone or noise-canceling mic. Expect to pay $30 to $100 for a noise-canceling microphone. Amazon sells a noise-cancelling mic[9] for $38.
Shopping for a cb radio:
  • Right Channel Radios offers a guide to CB radio features[10] .
  • Online retailers such as Amazon[11] stock a range of CB radios and provide handy user reviews. Also check prices at specialist online dealers such as CB Radios Plus[12] .
  • If buying in person, some retailers such as Best Buy[13] and Radio Shack[14] stock a small number of the most popular CB radios, although there are often broader selections available online. In addition, a selection of units can be found in many local auto parts stores.
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