When you want to keep the dashboard tidy but would like to fit a CB radio in your vehicle one of the easiest ways is to go for a compact CB radio.

The dimensions of these radios are designed to fit where you would usually put a standard sized car stereo allowing you to have a CB set in the car without mounting it on top of the dashboard and deal with trailing wires. With the addition of an external speaker or just wiring the CB up the the existing car speakers your ready to go.

Being compact these CB’s are not loaded with all the bells and whistles that you’ll find on the bigger sets but with a minimum of control panel space there’s not much space to fit more knobs and dials for too many extra features. If your looking for a straight basic 40 channel CB radio that’ll get you on the air and that you can neatly fit into your vehicle these just may be for you.

Pedigree has always meant a lot to us when it comes to our choice of radios and antennas so we looked at two compact CB radios from one of the age old hobby radio producers, Cobra.

Cobra 19DXIV 40 Channel Mobile Compact CB Radio



Cobra 19DXIV mobile CB radio

Cobra 19DXIV CB Radio
Click Picture for Full Details, Customer Reviews and Pricing

With some nice styling and the type of display that’ll make it easy to see exactly whats going with the radio when its dark inside the car, the 19DXIV has a selection of nice big control knobs which are ideal for the mobile operator.

A total width of 9 inches makes it ideal to fit inside the dash where you would normally fit a standard car stereo.

The only downside of this CB radio is the lack of no forward facing speaker so some external arrangement is going to have to be set up for a good audio quality. This is the normal setup with almost every CB (old and new) but a speaker in the front panel would eat into any available front panel space.

Cobra 18WXSTII Mobile CB Radio with Dual Watch



Cobra 18WXSTII mobile CB

Cobra 18WXSTII CB Radio
Click Picture for Full Details, Customer Reviews and Pricing

A few more features to this radio than the first set on this page and this adds an extra bit of money to the price tag of the Cobra 18WXSTII.

Coming with a colored LED display that looks a lot like the old Amstrad 901, the different colors on the signal meter work good in the dark and gives a clear indication of signal strength at a glance.

The forward facing speaker is a nice touch and means this radio can be setup without the need for wiring in speakers but this has taken up a fair chunk of the control panel making the control knobs a little on the small side.

With 10 NOAA Weather Channels and a CB channel scan function the 18WXSTII has a few more tweaks than a basic straight 40 model.

So even if your stuck for space these are 2 basic 40 channel sets that can be quickly and neatly fitted into almost any vehicle.

Need an antenna to complete your mobile setup?, there are some suggestion over in our Best Mobile CB Antenna post.

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2 Responses to Best Compact CB Radios

  1. I’m attempting to find a radio which could be installed in a personal vehicle a 4-door compact car.
    I do not to have much room so I ask? Is it possible to install a CB radio and it {would not} requiring the usage of a CB radio antenna, Question, is it possible to install a workable CB radio without an antenna.

    • rizzer says:

      Not really sure what you attempting to do there Roger so I,ll answer the best i can.

      The CB,s on the page above are about as small as it gets for a full rig type or you could take a look at the Cobra 75WXST CB Radio which has all the CB functions in the microphone itself. This arrangement cuts back on space needed with the added benefit of being able to completely remove the CB from the car quickly and easily.

      Getting to the part about not fitted an antenna? If you mean using a CB without an antenna fitted to the outside of your car then you could always wire up a handheld CB. Although it will work you’ll never get the same performance as an external antenna and it could be a little awkward using it when driving, unless you find a type that allows you to plug a standard mic into it.

      The cars body is always going to be an obstacle to CB signals but 27 MHz does fair better than some of the higher ham radio frequencies.

      My advice would be to try to fit an antenna to your car just for the way it will make your CB work much better. Remember with the range of magnetic mount antennas available it doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture

      Hope this helps

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