One of the primary desires of all human beings is effective communication. Consider how many technological innovations, including CB radio, were designed to meet this most basic of needs.
We all consider it essential to keep in touch with friends and loved ones. The internet, WiFi, and smartphones were all created to fulfill our unchanging need to exchange information with one another. Improvements in communications accessibility help us make sure no one is left behind. Never fully satisfied, communication products and innovations continue to the present day.
CB radio had its big moment in the public spotlight in the 1970s. However, its popularity has never really waned. Consumers continue to shop for the best CB radio at an impressive clip, even those who have long since relied on smartphones as their primary source of information. CB radios connected to satellites offer an effective alternative to smartphones. This can prove critical, especially when other devices fail and phone lines are jammed or go unanswered.
Of course, there are several brands and models to be considered after you’ve decided to invest in CB radio. There is a dizzying array of features and options, so how do you select the equipment that best meets your needs? Listed below are five critical criteria to keep in mind.
1. CB radios should offer ease of use and clarity of function.
One of the major challenges that CB radio production has faced in recent years is its clarity and stability in manufacturing.
In the past, the clarity of CB radio signals decreased in terms of sound quality. Nowadays, however, modern CB radio manufacturers have successfully reduced the issue. They’ve introduced several new features that have helped increase clarity and RF gain.
Ease of use is another factor to focus on when choosing a CB radio. This means that you should look for a device with features like intuitive placements and controls, size and ability to connect with other devices, etc. In an emergency, users probably won’t be thinking clearly or slow down to read a user manual.
2. Pick a CB radio with PA capability.
The basic purpose of CB radios is to enable two-way communication. The capacity to talk and listen is its core function. Most of the time, this level of functionality is sufficient for basic needs.
Every CB radio has a mic and a speaker. However, in an emergency, some level of crowd control might be required. In that instance, you would also appreciate having the option of amplifying your voice to rise above any confusion. Emergency situations typically do not allow you to broadcast your voice clearly. There’s very often so much background noise going on that it can be difficult to communicate.
CB radios are built to overcome the problems associated with background noise. CB radios should have built-in PA capabilities to help you to communicate in emergencies easily.
3. Multi-channel features should facilitate simple, group-specific communication.
On average, the typical CB radio offers the ability to communicate through 40 different channels that include weather and emergency channels. These channels typically prove to be more than enough in most circumstances. The availability of 40 channels can provide you with a helpful communication experience. However, there are some cases where even 40 channels are not enough for you to communicate effectively.
For example, first responders and other professionals might require additional channels to communicate within several small or large groups. Additional channels allow them to avoid the communication load present on local channels.
In these cases, multi-channel CB radios come in handy. They offer the ability to communicate through more than 40 programmable channels. This makes it much easier for you to communicate in groups without interference from unwanted users.
4. Noise reduction makes all the difference.
Background noise on any communication device can make it difficult for you to hear clearly. Noise can also prevent the party on the other end from hearing what you’re trying to say. There are many reasons that background noise could stop the signal from reaching its destination properly.
In the event of an emergency, clarity counts. Background noise can easily confuse friends, loved ones, and emergency personnel. Instead, you want them to receive the important message you’re sending on the first attempt. One helpful feature built into many CB radios is that some specific models come equipped with well-designed noise reduction solutions.
Look for models that address the problem of background noise and can provide you with a crisp and clear listening experience. Choose a CB radio that comes with built-in noise cancelation or other reduction features to block out background noise.
5. Does the CB radio offer single-sideband (SSB) modulation?
One of the reasons people love using CB radios is that they don’t require the user to go through any type of registration process. Consumers can use CB radios easily as they all operate on just 4 watts of power.
This same power usage restricts the ability of CB radios to send signals over different ranges. All consumer-level CB radios have the same range. When you are in the market for a CB radio, make your buying decision based on the size and the price of the unit you’re buying instead of its range.
However, if you want to increase your transmission range three times, you can use the SSB radios. These radios operate on 12 watts so be aware that they cannot communicate with standard CB radios. The ability to switch back to 4 watts of power will increase the number of CB radio users you can reach.