Choosing the Best Small, Low Profile CB Radios & Antennas
Whether you’re shopping for a small CB radio or small CB antenna because you have a small vehicle with limited installation space, or you prefer a “stealth” installation for security or aesthetic reasons, you’ll need accurate, reliable and up-to-date information from a trusted advisor like CB World. In this article, we break down your best options to help you make the right decision, the first time. Let's dive in.
Uniden Pro 510XL CB Radio
The Uniden Pro 510XL is compact, simple, easy to operate and popular with off roaders and for use in farm vehicles. Some call it a workhorse. This low profile CB radio measures a mere 1 3/8” H, 4 ½” W, 6 3/4” D and weighs only 1 pound 9 oz.
What you get in that small package: squelch, an ANL switch, front microphone jack and antenna connector and 40 AM channels. In the box, you’ll get the radio, mic, mounting bracket and hardware. That’s it, but it could be almost all you need. If you’re mounting this small CB radio in the dash, you will need an external CB speaker. A word to the wise: the Uniden Pro 510XL has the power cord permanently attached to the rear of the set, so you’ll have to route the cord to the power source.
For your convenience, CB World carries an in-dash mounting kit for the Uniden Pro 510XL. If you want to learn everything there is to know about this Uniden model, you can download a PDF of the owner’s manual.
Video Demo of the Uniden Pro 510XL Professional Mobile Radio
Uniden Pro 505XL CB Radio
The Uniden Pro 505XL small CB radio is a little larger than its 510XL older brother and has many of the same features but adds a CB/PA switch and a button for instant channel 19.
Static control relies on using the squelch. This model has channel up and down buttons rather than a dial.
It’s a good low profile CB radio choice for compact cars and small pickup trucks.
Like the 510XL, this radio comes in the box with a microphone, mounting bracket and hardware. For additional specifications, refer to the owner’s manual.
Video Demo of the Uniden Pro 505XL
Cobra 75WXST CB Radio
Some consider the Cobra 75WXST to be the best small CB radio for a number of reasons. Although it’s a bit more expensive than the Unidens already described, this compact CB radio can go where others cannot. Owners of small cars all the way up to those who drive RVs swear by the Cobra 75WXST, which has stood the test of time.
You don’t have to worry about finding a spot under the dash to place it, as the radio and controls are contained in the handset. There’s only a small footprint, low profile connector box that could be mounted almost anywhere to connect your radio with power and a small CB antenna.
Another surprising advantage for this small CB radio is the number of features it has. It’s easy to stay focused on your driving instead of your CB with the full 40 channel scan, the channel up and down button and the four memory channels. Just set those for your favorite channels and go to them instantly. You won’t have to dedicate a memory slot for an emergency channel, as this Cobra all-in-the-handset compact CB radio also includes an instant emergency channel button. You’ll be aware of weather conditions while on the road with the included 10 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather channels at your fingertips.
Cobra 19DXIV CB Radio
The Cobra 19DXIV is another cheap Cobra 40 channel low profile CB radio with very good audio that deserves a closer look. It features a CB/PA switch that, coupled with a horn mounted under the hood (not included), can turn your CB into a public address system. Although the NOAA weather channels are not included, this Cobra has an instant emergency channel. The RF gain feature allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the receiver to match incoming calls: you can decrease sensitivity for strong signals, and increase it for weak ones. Another feature that you’ll enjoy, especially at night, is the easy to read, illuminated LED display.
This Cobra is especially low profile, with a height under 2” and width and depth of under 7”. It weighs just 1 lb., 3.9 oz. If you want a standard, cheap small CB radio and don’t require all the bells and whistles, this is a unit that is designed to fit in almost anywhere. Just be aware that, like the Uniden Pro 510XL, the power cord of this model is permanently attached to the back of the unit, so you’ll have to mount it in a spot where you can run the cord to the power source.
Video Demo of the Cobra 19DXIV CB Radio
Midland 75-822 Ultra-Compact CB Radio
The Midland 75-822 handheld, the most popular CB radio model at CB World, should be named the “versatile.” It can be powered by six AA alkaline batteries, eight AA NiCad batteries or the 12 V DC mobile vehicle adapter that comes in the box. You can connect with a low profile coaxial cable to an external antenna such as the Firestik II tunable tip, earphone, microphone designed for CB radios, headset, or an external speaker.
Although this Midland small CB radio is a handheld, it has many desirable features, such as 40-channel scan, instant emergency channel, memory functions, and the NOAA weather channels.
Small CB Radio Antennas
CB World carries a variety of small CB radio antennas that pair well with a number of the small CB radios we carry. Let's review some of the better options.
Firestik II FS CB Antenna
The most popular antenna is the fiberglass 5/8th wave, Firestik II FS tunable tip CB antenna. One reason for its popularity is that it doesn’t need to be cut; instead, you can tune it by simply removing the waterproofed tip and turning the screw underneath. This 100% American made antenna is available in lengths of 2’ to 5’ in one-foot increments. The Firestik II FS is compatible with all vehicles that have a metallic ground plane, including motorcycles. It’s also compatible with NOAA weather channels and comes with a generous 5-year warranty.
Video Demo of the Firestik II FS CB Antenna
Even at 40% less weight than the Firestik II, the Firestik FireFly also has a convenient tunable tip. It’s compatible with NOAA weather channels. Like the previous Firestik, this low profile cb antenna is 100% American made and backed up by a five-year warranty. It comes in 3’ and 4’ lengths and colors: black, white and sporty red. It’s hard to go wrong with this small CB radio antenna.
Larsen NMO 27C
This base-loaded NMO, ¼ wave small CB radio antenna (http://www.wearecb.com/larsen-nmo27c-low-band-27-30-mhz-cb-antenna.html) is the same type used on law enforcement vehicles. This stainless steel whip antenna can handle up to 150 W of power, much more than the FCC limits for CB transmitting power of 4 W and receiving power of 10 W. If you want to make this 52.5” max antenna lower profile, you can get a whip tie-down such as the Kalibur K101X CB antenna steel whip tie down so you can keep your profile low.
If you’d like to know more about antenna types and mounts, read our article about choosing the best CB antenna for your needs. If you still can’t decide on a small CB radio or antenna, give us a call. We'll give you some helpful hints and answer any questions that you may have.
Why Should You Shop at CB World?
- If you want to learn everything there is to know about a particular compact CB radio, you can download a PDF of the owner’s manual at CB World.
- You can see videos of small CB radios on our mobile CB radios page.
- CB World carries a variety of low profile cb antennas that will match our small CB radios.
- CB World carries mounting kits, hardware, external speakers and low profile coaxial cable to complete your system all at one site for one-stop shopping.
- CB World carries the hardware that you’ll need to connect your radio to an external antenna, such as the Maxrad TSMA NMO mount with 17’ low profile coaxial cable.
- After you’ve had your mobile set for a while, you may need a replacement part, and CB World carries a variety of replacement parts.
- CB World offers a 30-day return period.