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The Top 10 Best SSB CB Radios in 2021 – Buying Guide & Reviews

In this article, we will be giving you our recommendation for the best SSB CB radio.

In addition to this, we will give you a top 10 list of SSB CB radios we would recommend for you to buy, as well as the pros and cons of each and an in-depth review of all of them.

We will also give you all the important factors that you should consider when you’re looking into buying an SSB CB radio for yourself.

By the end of this article, you will have a much better understanding of SSB CB radios, as well as all the information you need to know in order to get one.

What is The Best SSB CB Radio?

Our top pick for the best SSB CB radio goes to the Galaxy DX-959B.

There really just isn’t a better SSB CB radio out there. The Galaxy DX-959B has all the features that anyone would want from an SSB CB radio, and it just does everything better.

Why is The Galaxy DX-959B The Best Brand For an SSB CB Radio?

The Galaxy DX-959B Is the best SSB CB radio for a multitude of different reasons, which will we talk about more in-depth later in this article.

However, to sum up, the Galaxy DX-959B is an extremely high-quality piece of equipment and there are currently no better options out there.

The Comparison Table of Best SSB CB Radio

Brand Details
Galaxy DX-959B
Uniden BEARCAT
President MCKINLEY
Galaxy DX-2547
Galaxy DX-979
AnyTone AT-5555N
Xiegu G90
AnyTone AT-6666
RCI-69VHP
Texas Ranger TRE-797

What You Should Look For When Buying The Best SSB CB Radio

In this section, we will go through a variety of essential factors that you need to consider if you are looking at getting an SSB CB radio, as well as an explanation of why they are important.

It’s vital that you take all of the points we are going to mention into consideration if you are looking into getting an SSB CB radio for yourself so you don’t waste your time and money by buying an SSB CB radio that’s not a good fit for you.

Size

The first crucial factor we are going to discuss is the size of an SSB CB radio.

If you get an SSB CB radio that is too large it may not fit properly anywhere in your vehicle, which would render it useless.

In addition, if you get an SSB CB radio that is too big it could take up too much space or even reduce your visibility while driving, so this is a potentially dangerous factor to miss out.

Although, on the other hand, you don’t want to go and buy the smallest SSB CB radio you can find.

For one, it may be hard to see which means it will take a lot of your concentration to use while driving which can distract you from the road.

Also, smaller radios may be missing a lot of the features that would be offered from a larger radio so you may miss out on some functionally if you go for an SSB CB radio that is too small.

It’s best to get an SSB CB radio that is the perfect size for you. If you have a large vehicle with lots of room, then go ahead and get a larger one.

If you have a small vehicle where space is already an issue, it would be better to get a more compact SSB CB radio.

Brightness

If you are going to be driving at night then it will be of the utmost importance to get a SSB CB radio that has a relatively bright backlight and interface.

This is especially crucial for people who will be driving on unlit roads for a long period of time.

This is because you may not be able to see your SSB CB radio properly if it doesn’t have a good level of brightness, which could render it useless.

However, you also don’t want to get an SSB CB radio that is too bright. If the light produced from your radio dazzles you it can be dangerous, not to mention annoying too.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, it’s best to get a SSB CB radio that is somewhere in the middle. You need some brightness for visibility and functionally, but not too much to wear it dazzles you.

Although, where you will be driving will also be something that changes how bright you will want your radio to be.

If you mostly travel around well-lit cities, then you may want to go with a radio that’s dimly lit.

If you will be traveling on unlit rural roads then it may be a good idea to go with one that offers a bit more umph.

Transmission Quality

The transmission quality is another huge factor, perhaps even the main factor that you need to take into consideration when looking to buy an SSB CB radio.

Lower-end SSB CB radios will have worse audio quality than their higher-end counterparts.

There will be a lot more static, background noise, cracks, hisses, and pops if you get a lower-quality SSB CB radio.

However, you need to decide whether this is an issue for you. If you don’t plan on using your SSB CB radio all that often then transmission quality may not be as big of a factor for you.

On the other hand, if you are going to be constantly using your SSB CB radio then it would probably be better to go for radio with better transmission quality so you don’t get all the unwanted background noise all the time.

In addition to the points mentioned above, some SSB CB radios will allow you to have more control over the transmission quality.

There may be options to enhance the transmission or cut out background noise. So, these will be another thing to look out for if the main thing you want in an SSB CB radio is high-quality transmissions.

Emergency broadcasts

Some SSB CB radios have the option to tune into specific emergency channels and broadcasts.

This can be an important factor for people who need to regularly hear information like this.

If you are a truck driver or delivery driver then this could be useful to know which routes have a lot of traffic or in the case that a road is blocked due to an emergency.

Also, if you have a boat this would be important so you can hear emergency weather forecasts in your area.

There are also some SSB CB radios with dedicated emergency service contact buttons so you can quickly have access to emergency services.

Again, if this is something which you would like then it’s essential to choose an SSB CB radio that has this function.

Looks

Last but not least is how an SSB CB radio looks.

This doesn’t only apply to the actual radio itself but also to the interface and the display.

There are options for backlights, different colors, highlighted words, and many other display options.

There are also a wide variety of styles that SSB CB radios come in. If you prefer a more old-fashioned and vintage look then there are endless options out there.

In contrast, if you want something a little more modern and fresh then there are also options for that too.

It’s important to look for an SSB CB radio that you like the look of. If not, you may quickly grow tired of the aesthetics of your radio.

Top 10 Best SSB CB Radio Reviews

01. Galaxy DX-959B – Best Quality SSB CB Radio

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Five-digit frequency counter
  • Large digits
  • Backlight
  • Variable dimmer control
  • Variable power output control
  • SWR meter and alert

Taking the number one spot on our list is the Galaxy DX-959B.

This is our number for choice for so many reasons. It just offers everything you could want from an SSB CB radio.

It’s the only radio on this list that there were no obvious negatives for, in fact, we had to nit-pick a little to even find a negative to say about the Galaxy DX-959B.

This overall is the most complete radio on this list, and it’s the closest thing to perfection that you could get.

The one and only negative we could find for the Galaxy DX-959B was that the meters were a little hard to read.

Although, compared to all the other SSB CB radios on this list, this is incredibly minor.

Just look at the highlighted features that we listed above; it literally offers everything all in one package.

You don’t have to make any sacrifices with the Galaxy DX-959B, you just get to have it all.

Because of all the reasons mentioned above, there is no wonder why we gave the Galaxy DX-959B the number one spot on our list, it is miles ahead of all of its competitors.

We would recommend the Galaxy DX-959B as the first choice for anyone who is looking to buy an SSB CB radio, whether that be someone who’s looking to get his first radio or someone who’s looking to upgrade their SSB CB radio.

Pros

  • Easy to read
  • Lots of control
  • Very precise frequency tuner
  • SWR meter and alert

Cons

  • Meters can be hard to read

02. Uniden BEARCAT 980

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Illuminated control panel
  • personalized display options
  • Instant emergency channels
  • noise canceling Microphone
  • Compatible with wireless microphones

Up next, coming in at number two is the Uniden BEARCAT 980.

The Uniden BEARCAT 980 has so many amazing features. Just take a look at the features that we have highlighted above.

It has an illuminated control panel which makes it super easy to see even when it’s pitch black.

It has a lot of different display options including a variety of different colors to choose from for the interface.

It also has instant emergency channels for different services such as weather forecasts or traffic delays. It offers all of the above and more.

An interesting feature that the Uniden BEARCAT 980 offers is the ability to connect it to a wireless microphone.

Almost no other SSB CB radios have this ability and it has a range of benefits such as hands-free communication and convivence.

There is only one major flaw that the Uniden BEARCAT 980 has, and that is that it has no built-in SWR meter or SWR alerts.

Unfortunately, this is quite a big negative as it is something that many people will want from an SSB CB radio, as it makes everything much more convenient.

Although, if you don’t mind checking the SWR status from time to time then we would highly recommend this radio. It is high quality and has a plethora of amazing features.

Pros

  • Instant emergency contacts
  • Can be used with wireless microphones
  • Noise-canceling microphone
  • Illuminated display

Cons

  • No built-in SWR meter or alert

03. President MCKINLEY USA SSB 12/24V

 

 

Highlighted features

  • 40 channels
  • Customizable din size
  • Loudspeaker
  • Hand’s free function
  • Three colors to choose from for display

Next up, we have placed President MCKINLEY USA SSB 12/24V for third place.

The President MCKINLEY USA SSB 12/24V has an extremely unique feature that sets it out from the rest. Voice control.

This means that you can make certain adjustments to your SSB CB radio completely hands-free.

This is an amazing feature and it’s one that will sway many people into purchasing the President MCKINLEY USA SSB 12/24V.

Although, there are a few things that bring it down a notch. For one, there’s no SWR meter.

This means that you will have to manually check the SWR which is just a huge inconvenience.

Another problem with the President MCKINLEY USA SSB 12/24V is that the microphone is not noise canceling.

Noise-canceling microphones are something that most other SSB CB radios offer and for the President MCKINLEY USA SSB 12/24V to not have this feature is disappointing.

Pros

  • Loudspeaker
  • VOX control
  • Three color choices for display

Cons

  • No built-in SWR meter
  • Noisy microphone

04. Galaxy DX-2547

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Automatic SWR meter, mic, and RF gain.
  • Variable RF Output Power
  • Customizable Rodger beep
  • Vintage style

For number four we have the Galaxy DX-2547.

There are a plethora of reasons why the Galaxy DX-2547 could have been number 2 or 3 instead of 4.

The Galaxy DX-2547 is the most automated radio on here. It has an automatic SWR meter, an automatic microphone silencer, and an automatic RF gain.

Because of this, for people who don’t like to toy around with their radios much, this may well be the radio for you.

The only real negative that can be said about the Galaxy DX-2547 is that it is not very loud.

So, if the low volume is an issue for you then it may be best to pick another SSB CB radio on our list.

Although, if you aren’t looking for a radio that will blast your eardrums off then this is a great choice.

Pros

  • Automatic
  • Vintage look
  • Customizable Rodger beep
  • Variable power

Cons

  • Not very loud

05. Galaxy DX-979

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Very compact
  • Letters glow in the dark
  • Easy to read the meter
  • Automatic SWR with an alert
  • Variable dimmer control

Taking the number five spot is the Galaxy DX-979.

The Galaxy DX-979 may potentially be one of the best SSB CB radios on our list if power isn’t a big factor for you.

It’s extremely compact and has a lot of bang for its buck. It also has glow-in-the-dark letters which is a cool feature and solve the issue of having a backlight that may be too bright.

One of the best features of the Galaxy DX-979 is the automatic SWR control and alert.

There are not many radios that have this function and it is an amazing feature.

Also, it has a variable dimmer control for the backlight. Something which should be included on every SSB CB radio. It’s such a good feature.

Although, as we mentioned before there are a few downsides.

For one, it’s not the most powerful SSB CB radio, and it also has a relatively noisy microphone due to it not being noise canceling.

However, if you can look past those negatives then this is a truly amazing SSB CB radio.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Glow in dark letters
  • Automatic SWR control
  • SWR alert
  • Dimmer controls

Cons

  • Not very powerful
  • Noisy microphone

06. AnyTone AT-5555N

 

 

Highlighted features

  • High powered
  • Adjustable power output
  • Clear display

Coming in at number 6 we have the AnyTone AT-5555N.

The AnyTone AT-5555N has a good display, it’s powerful, and there’s a number of control options.

Although, there is one big flaw. There is no SWR monitor. Having an SWR monitor is an almost essential component for radios now, as most competitors do have this.

In addition, a SWR just makes life so much easier. This is a major negative to the AnyTone AT-5555N and if it did have AWR monitor it would be much higher up on this list.

However, if you can look past the previously made point, then it is a great SSB CB radio.

Pros

  • Easy to read
  • Powerful
  • Adjustable output

Cons

  • No SWR monitor
  • Noisy microphone

07. Xiegu G90

 

 

Highlighted features

  • 20w of transmitting power
  • Detachable faceplate
  • Bright and colorful display
  • Built-in antenna tuner
  • Free course

For number seven we have the Xiegu G90.

The Xiegu G90 is actually a pretty good choice. It has a lot of features and it’s an all-around good radio.

The only thing that really brings it down is just how bright the display is.

This can either be a positive or negative depending on how bright you would like your radio to be, but the decision to make the display bright cuts the customer base in half.

Furthermore, there are no options to change the brightness of the display which is something that would have been a great addition due to their bold choice.

Also, there is a lack of options when it comes to changing the audio. It is not much you can do to make the quality better.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Bright display
  • Built in SWR monitor
  • Free course included

Cons

  • Noisy Microphone
  • Not many audio controls
  • Bright display

08. AnyTone AT-6666

 

 

Highlighted features

  • High power output
  • A wide array of different colors for display
  • SWR protection
  • Free programming software included

Taking the 8th spot on our list is the AnyTone AT-6666.

The AnyTone AT-6666 has quite a few things going for it. Its powerful, customizable, and comes with free programming software.

However, the fact that it doesn’t have a noise-canceling mic will be an instant no-no for many customers.

This is something that many of the other radios on this list offer and for the AnyTone AT-6666 this is a big downside.

Another complaint from customers is that it is missing a CTCSS board, meaning there is no squelch feature.

Again, this is something that almost every other radio on this list will offer.

In addition to the points we mentioned above, the AnyTone AT-6666 has been recorded to have a maximum range of 10 miles, which is not the best.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Customizable display color
  • SWR monitor
  • Free software

Cons

  • No noise-canceling mic
  • Missing CTCSS board
  • Only 10-mile range

09. RCI-69VHP

 

 

Highlighted features

  • 80+ watts
  • Noise-canceling microphone
  • Vintage design
  • Blue LED display

The RCI-69VHP takes 9th place in our list.

The most notable feature about the RCI-69VHP is that it claims to be extremely powerful, coming in around 80 watts.

It also has a stylish vintage design which is perfect for people who prefer an old-fashioned look.

There is a noticeable drawback to the RCI-69VHP, which is that it needs modifications to actually access CB channels.

This is just extra effort that most people do not want to stress over.

In addition, it’s also pretty quiet. So, for people who are hard of hearing or like to have their radio-loud, this one wouldn’t be the right choice for you.

Pros

  • Very powerful
  • Clear speaking
  • Vintage look
  • Bright LED display

Cons

  • Needs modifications to access CB channels
  • Not very loud

10. Texas Ranger TRE-797

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Compact
  • Black chrome finish
  • Noise-canceling microphone
  • Automatic noise limiter
  • SWR meter

Finally, we get to our 10th and last place on our list, and we have the Texas Ranger TRE-797.

The Texas Ranger TRE-797 is not a terrible pick to go with and it does have some good points.

For one, it’s extremely compact which is great for people who don’t have much space.

It also has an attractive black chrome finish which is a great touch.

Although, the reason why it’s so far down on this list is that it’s lacking a few of the features other radios on this list have to offer.

This is mainly due to its small size so there isn’t space for a wide array of features. Furthermore, the display is hard to read – which is never a plus.

Pros

  • Clear speaking
  • Small
  • Auto noise limiter
  • Built-in SWR meter

Cons

  • Missing additional features
  • Small and hard to read display

FAQ’s of SSB CB Radio

How do you operate an SSB CB radio?

First, you need to install it as well as the microphone mount. After this, you need to find the ideal spot for both your radio and your antenna.

Next, you’ll need to get power to your radio. To do this, connect it to the battery or a cigarette socket

After this, the next thing you’ll have to adjust is the SWR of your antenna.

The ratio should be 1:1. To find out the SWR of your radio you may have to buy an SWR checker, but some radios come with one built-in.

Then, you’ll have to set it to either LSB or USB, which will then allow the SSB to further the radius of your range.

Once you have picked a frequency, you will now be able to receive transmissions.

After you have done this, tune into the same frequency as the person who you wish to contact, if that is what you are aiming to use the radio for. If you are struggling to get into the same frequency, a clarifier will make this much easier.

What’s the difference between a good quality SSB CB radio and a low-quality one?

As a whole, there aren’t too many differences between high- and low-end radios. A lot of them will share the same features, and both will be able to perform their functions.

The main difference between higher and lower range SSB CB radios is the audio quality and how good the reception is.

Lower range radios will usually have a significant amount of background noise such as static, buzzes, cracks, pops, weather interference, and more.

Whereas, a high-quality SSB CB radio will have a much clearer transmission.

What’s the maintenance like?

The main thing you need to look out for with an SSB CB radio is avoiding high SWR levels.

It’s a good idea to check the SWR levels frequently in the case that you will need to adjust the levels.

If you keep the SWR properly adjusted, then you will avoid most of the problems that could arise.

Apart from that, there are a few other things you may need to check or adjust.

The gain of the radio frequency has the function of getting rid of weaker signals while also being able to improve the signal that you are trying to tune into.

It’s important to adjust this accordingly when using your radio if your signal isn’t very good.

Another important tool is the squelch adjuster. The squelch adjuster turns the static off and only turns on the speaker when there is reception.

This can be really useful to use in order to avoid the constant static.

The last thing we want to mention is the Automatic noise limiter. This reduces the interference from alternative sources.

Although, the last three points we mentioned are only quality of life improvements and they are not essential to an SSB CB radio’s function.

They will improve the quality of your experience with an SSB CB radio, but unlike the SWR levels, they will not fix any major issues.

How does an SSB CB radio work?

SSB CB radios work because they don’t need the same bandwidth that AM waves require and they are also correctly directly from the source.

Because of this, the transmissions are able to get to the destination quicker. 

What’s the range of SSB CB radios?

For an AM station, the transmission range will usually be around 3 – 20 miles.

The range depends on the location and the conditions of the terrain. On average, 10 miles is a reachable range no matter where you are.

For SSBs, the range is much larger. They have a rough range of 10 – 60 miles, depending on the surroundings. The average range that is obtainable is around 30 miles.

What does SSB actually mean?

An SSB radio is a radio that has a sidemode function that is only usually found on higher-end CB radios.

CB radios that have an SSB mode will still be able to use the upper and lower bands but they will also have access to an SSB mode.

SSB allows you to tune into a specific frequency and has a much larger transmission range than the other radio modes. 

Conclusion

After reading our article, you will have a much better understanding of how an SSB CB radio works and what factors you should take into consideration when you are looking to buy one.

In addition, the 10 recommendations that we have given you are all great choices if you are looking to get an SSB CB radio.

To make sure you choose the right radio for you, go through all the different things we mentioned in the buying considerations and see what factors are the most important to you.

From there, go through our list again and look for an SSB CB radio that has all of the features you want.

Although, all the SSB CB radios we listed are great choices, and you can’t really go wrong if you pick any one of them.

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