7 Best CB Antenna to buy in 2020: Reviews and Buying Guide

It’s no secret that all the CB radios are pretty much alike when it comes to power. The power is either 4 Watts or 12 Watts (in case of SSB CBs).

Don’t you think it’s immature to expect high performance with such a lower power rating?

Of course, yes! This is where a CB antenna comes into play. They can improve the performance of your CB radio and can get you more miles out of the same radio.

But, you need to ensure that you are buying the best CB antenna which is compatible with your system.

But it’s not easy as it sounds. You might ask me, why. This is because:

  • There are hundreds of CB radio antennas in the market and it’s hard to test each.
  • You have to choose the right antenna type(whip/magnetic/fiberglass etc.) which is compatible with your vehicle or need.

But don’t worry! We have done the job for you.

Our expert team has spent hundreds of hours testing different antennas to pick the best ones in the market.

Best CB Radio Antenna; xRoadGPS Top Picks

Here is a list of our top choices:

  1. Wilson 1000 Series: Editor’s Choice
  2. Wilson 305-38: Customers’ Pick
  3. Firestik FS-3BK: Most Durable CB Antenna
  4. K40 K-30 CB Antenna
  5. TRAM 3-B-HC
  6. Hustler IC-56: Longest range
  7. Wilson 305-492

We have given the detailed reviews of all these 7 antennas later in this article. However, if you are in a hurry the below comparison will help you choose the right CB radio antenna for you.

CB AntennaFeatures
Wilson 1000 Series
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Top magnetic CB antenna
Weather channel ready
Powerful magnet mount
Great Value for money
It can potentially handle 3000+ watts
Wilson 305-38
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Heavy-duty coil
Stainless steel whip
Secure mount
Excellent range
Firestik FS-3BK
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Top-rated Fiberglass CB radio antenna
Good quality antenna
Sturdy construction
Easily tunable
Great reception
K40 K-30
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No drilling necessary
Works well out of the package
Clear signals and long-range
Well-made
TRAM 3-B-HC
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Heavy-duty fiberglass construction
1500 watts power rating
Excellent clarity and performance
Value for money
Hustler IC-56
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Resists bending
8.5 feet long
Tough build
Reduces unwanted static
Wilson 305-492
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Amazing Center load antenna
Rated at 3500 watts
Center loaded coil
Highly flexible and sturdy
Great clarity
Comparison table of top CB antennas in the market/Updated on 30.06.2020

Best CB Antenna Reviews

xRoadGPS team have spent countless hours to test 32+ CB antennas in the market to find out the top picks.

Here are the reviews top 7 CB radio antennas you can buy.

1. Wilson 1000 – Our Top Choice

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Wilson 1000 series is highly powerful and long-lasting best for every person

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What You Will Love:

      • Works exceptionally right out of the box
      • Easy to set up
      • Increases range by several miles
      • Well worth the price
      • Magnet withstands torrential rain and high winds

Wilson 1000 series is a magnificent product, made to suit both newbies and experts! The brand ensures there is no room for error with their flawless magnetic CB antenna. In fact, this is the best magnetic CB antenna you can get.

The top-of-the-line product offers clarity and ease of communication with its premium performance. Moreover, the tall antenna handles wind at highway speed! The best part is: the base won’t budge and lets you drive stress-free!

If you’re considering the Wilson 1000, the product is worth the price. It is the exact length needed for a perfect SWR reading!

2. Wilson 305-38 – Customer’s favorite

Wilson 305-38

A high-end choice that provides exceptional range.

What You Will Love:

      • Tough antenna whip: withstands smashes
      • Easy to adjust
      • Incredibly strong base
      • Great-looking antenna
      • Easily removable

Why look for more when you have a reputable brand like Wilson? Known for its premium quality and superior customer support, the brand has introduced excellent products one after the other. The Wilson 305-38 is no less!

Little Wil seems to have a very high reception for its size and price. The massive and durable base is another notable feature worthy of appreciation. Its sturdy magnetic mount stays put even in hurricane winds!

However, you should note that the antenna requires adjustment and tuning. If you’re wondering how to tune it, let’s help you! Participant in the Amazon has found it to be easy to tune.

In case you don’t want to risk it, you can even hand it over to technicians to get the job done.

3. Firestik FS-3BK – Popular fiberglass antenna

Firestik FS-3BK

Firestik is a brilliantly capable fiberglass antenna that is stylish, efficient, and easy-to-use.

What You Will Love:

      • Easily tuned
      • Flexible and rugged
      • Reduces static
      • Offers loud and clear reception
      • Efficiently clears parking systems and garages

We cannot emphasize enough; Firestik is, hands down, the best fiberglass CB antenna in the market!

This antenna whip is made with rust-proof brass. Additionally, the CB antenna has a static-reducing, water-tight sleeve containing a pigment stabilizer.

This 3 feet tall CB antenna is an ideal choice for off-roading and talking to partners in groups. The clear reception and tunable tip make it a perfect choice.

It may get tricky for you to find a replacement for this antenna, for this sure sells like hotcakes!

4. K40 K-30 – Sturdy and durable

k40-k30 cb radio antenna

K-30 by K40 is the ultimate choice for off-road riders.

What You Will Love:

      • Works well even without trimming and tuning
      • Great quick-detach antenna
      • No permanent modification required
      • Withstands smashes
      • Plenty of coax cable

It is no secret that K40 sells some of the best antennas. The K-30 is a similar product with all the top-notch features known to be the best.

Fortunately for all the newbies and amateurs, the CB antenna does not require much fine-tuning.

It works well right out of the box!

Although it clears most parking areas and garages, you can unscrew and detach the antenna anytime you want. The procedure is swift and comfortable, to top it all, it does not damage your vehicle!

The antenna comes well-packaged with plenty of coaxes to support easy installation.

Tell you what, most antennas slide off the roof at high speeds. But this, magnetic mount won’t budge! Doesn’t that sound like a dream that most CB users dream of?

Not only that, but this antenna also comes out scratch-free even after collisions with tree branches!

5. TRAM 3-B-HC – Pocket-friendly

The best cheap fiberglass CB antenna available today!

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What You Will Love:

      • Heavy-duty construction
      • Minimalistic appearance
      • Excellent clarity and performance
      • Fantastic tuned antenna

Find the other brands and their antennas to be expensive? Don’t worry! The TRAM 3-B-HC is a popular choice among drivers for its budget-friendly price. The affordability doesn’t mean the product is of lower-quality!

In reality, the product is just as great as many high-end ones. The heavy-duty construction and sturdy build are what make it a top choice.

The best part is its minimalistic appearance, which is compatible with most vehicles!

Unlike many of the other fiberglass antennas, this one comes already tuned. That means there is no hassle of adjusting this antenna. This noticeable feature is what contributes to TRAM’s high-class performance and efficiency!

6. Hustler IC-56 : CB Antenna for Longest Range

Hustler IC-56

Hustler IC-56 is a sturdy CB antenna for long-range communication

What You Will Love:

      • Dissipation ball reduces unwanted static
      • Tough build
      • Improves CB range
      • Does not bend
      • Requires a heavy-duty spring

This 102” whip mobile CB antenna has the perfect length and power rating needed to maximize efficiency. What makes it one of the finest in the market is its static reducing feature. This is the best CB base station antenna in the market.

Moreover, the robust construction allows it to resist damage, to bend, and to kink. This feature enables the product to live longer, making it a user-favorite!

The antenna precisely delivers what you’re looking for: efficiency, affordability, and high-performance!

Its commendable performance can be noted from its added range coverage of 7 to 10 miles.

7. Wilson 305-492 – Top rated center-loaded whip Antenna

Wilson 305-492

An amazing center loaded CB antenna which is a compelling choice for most drivers!

What You Will Love:

      • It is rated at 3500 watts
      • Works well for roof and trunk mounts
      • Highly recommended for large trucks
      • Very flexible and lightweight
      • Requires tuning and adjustment

This center loaded antenna from Wilson handles a power capacity of 3,500. Many users have termed it as the best thing you can get for your CB!

I have to tell you that this CB antenna may not be the easiest to trim and tune. However, the clarity it offers is unmatchable.

It is a brilliant choice for big trucks and those looking to maximize their range. Experienced truck drivers have found the product to be long-lasting, sturdy, and durable.

Although Wilson 305-492 is a bit large in size, it’s highly flexible and lightweight.

Top CB Antennas: Comparison

ProductTypeLengthWeightPower Rating
Wilson 1000Magnet Mount62.5”3 lbs3000 watts
Wilson 305-38Magnet Mount36”2 lbs300 watts
Firestik FS-3BKFiberglass36”0.01 lbs650 watts
K40 K-30Magnet Mount35”0.01 lbs300 watts
TRAm 3-B-HCFiberglass36”0.43 lbs1500 watts
Hustler IC-56102”102”0.8 lbs500 watts
Wilson 305-492Center-loaded49”0.01 lbs3500 watts

How to Choose the Right CB Antenna?

Here are some of the things you should focus while choosing a CB antenna:

long range CB radio antennas

Know Types of CB Antennas

If you think that any antenna could work with your type of vehicle, you may be wrong! When purchasing a CB radio antenna, you must find one that is compatible with your car/truck.

Take a glance at the different types of CB antennas :

TypesAdvantagesDisadvantages
MagneticEasy installation
Excellent performance
Most preferred choice
Doesn’t require alterations of vehicle
It can be removed without damaging the vehicle
May have clearance issues
FiberglassBest for 4×4 and off-roaders
Highly durable
It can be mounted anywhere!
It can sustain the abuse of off-road use.
Mount and coax will need to be purchased separately
Whip AntennaExceptional performance
Vast range
Designed for serious CB users.
Inexpensive
Sustains damage
Enormous
Center loadeHigher-watt capacity
More efficient
Best for large trucks and tractor-trailers
Damage-prone

Which CB Antenna Type works Best for you?

We’re hopeful that you may now see how evident it is that not every type will be suitable for every vehicle.

  • For example, when it comes to cars, magnet base antennas work best. They are easy to install, affordable, and work well to match the 102” whips. You can install them in the center of the roof for the best performance.
  • On the other hand, fiberglass top-loaded and center loaded antennas are more suitable for semi-trucks or pickups.

How Long Should be Your Antenna?

The length of the antenna is directly proportionate to the range it offers. The taller the whip, the better performance you get out of it. In case of large trucks looking for a vast range of distance, you should opt for a 102” whip antenna.

It approximately covers 7 to 10 miles which is a good enough radius. Whereas, the 5’ magnetic base antennas typically fall short of 7 miles.

For base station antennas, it is challenging to offer an estimate as terrain plays a vital role. Though, a well-installed antenna should provide at least 15 miles of range.

Center-loaded antennas typically provide a 7 to 10 miles range.

Look for Durable Antennas

The construction and build of the products should be sturdy to withstand harsh climate conditions. They should be able to resist strong wind and adverse climatic conditions.

When purchasing a magnet-mount CB antenna for your car or truck, always opt for a robust base. It helps in mounting it to the roof with absolute ease. Moreover, the thermoplastic covering like that on Wilson 1000 and 305-38 increases product-life and durability.

Warranty and Support

Quite often, drivers complain of their CB antennas going bad. It could be due to poor quality or defected pieces.

In such a case, warranty and the brand’s customer support can be quite a relief. Most brands are prompt at responding to complaints regarding defects and damages.

Some of the top brands also offer a warranty that covers the product for a good two years!

Here are few more tips from Firestik regarding CB antennas.

FAQs

What is a CB antenna?
A CB antenna is a device that helps transmission and reception of radio-frequency signals to and from a CB radio.

You can call it as the first point in receiving signals and the last point in transmitting signals in a CB system.

Are dual CB antennas better?
Dual antennas are a popular choice among big rigs. This configuration helps in the case when cabs/trailers block signals on the other side of the truck.

Say there is only one antenna on the driver’s side of the truck. Much of the signal would not radiate from the passenger side, impacting the message in that direction. By having a dual system, they allow signals to radiate on both sides.

However, this isn’t a practical setup for most vehicles. It would result in unwanted signal radiation.

How long should my CB radio antenna be?
Taller CB antennas are the ideal choice for a range of distance. The optimal length of the CB antennas is 102 inches or 8.5 feet. However, this length is mostly impractical for most mobile applications.

Manufactures have resolved the issue with a more practical solution: coils. It helps with clearance for garages and parking structures while still offering vast range.

Where to buy CB antenna?
You can buy them locally from CB shops near you or through online stores like Amazon, eBay, rightchannelradios.com, wearecb.com etc..
How to tell if CB antenna is bad?
Use a multi-meter to touch the probes to the metallic end of the antenna. With fiberglass antennas, you will need to perform the step with the tunable tip on the antenna’s end. It will be the stainless steel whip in the case of center-loaded or magnetic antennas.

The next step is to connect the other probe to the metallic threads at the end of the antenna. By doing this, you measure the circuit resistance.

It should show little to no resistance. However, if you find total resistance, it indicates that one of the antenna components may be defective and in need of replacement.

What does CB antenna warning mean?
CB antenna warning indicates a poor connection. It could damage the radio if not fixed promptly.
How to fix CB antenna warning?
Use an external SWR meter to assess the problem.

Take your time analyzing where the problem is before bench testing the radio.

If you get bad SWR (3 to 1 or worse), you should plan on replacing your antenna and coax with a new one.

How to ground a CB antenna at home?
There are two ways you can ground a CB antenna at home.
  1. Through the trunk lid. One handy spot can be the screw under the lip of the trunk. Keep in mind; it may not be practical owing to the trunk lid hinges. To overcome this problem, you can add a ground strap using a short flat braid.
  2. Through a nearby door. For this, you will need to bypass the door hinge. You can do this by running the ground from the door to the door pillar. Make sure to attach the ground to metal rather than plastic or other materials.

Conclusion

Contrary to what it seems, picking a good CB antenna is not an easy task.

However, it’s a must to get the best performance out of your CB radio.

Most experts know which antenna to choose for their vehicle type, while many beginners fail! However, with our comprehensive guide and tips, there is no way you’re getting the wrong antenna brand or model for your vehicle.

We hope our reviews of hot-selling long-range CB radio antennas will undoubtedly help to ace your game.

What are you waiting for?

Hit the stores now for the best.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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