If you have bought a desktop or in-car CB radio, chances are that it doesn’t come with an antenna. This often triggers people to ask the question ‘does a CB radio need an antenna?’. The answer? Absolutely! On this page, we are going to take a look at the reasons as to why, as well as point you in the direction of an antenna which we think will work well for you.
Why a CB Radio Needs an Antenna
When you buy a CB radio, you are often just going to get the transceiver, microphone, and if you are lucky the power supply. You can plug all of this into your vehicle (or wherever else you are planning to put the CB radio), but it won’t work. You need the antenna.
The antenna is what will draw in the radio waves which will be converted to audio for you to hear. It will also be the item that takes your audio signal and sends it out as radio waves so that people can listen to you talk. Basically, without an antenna, your CB radio is pretty much useless.
In most places where you buy a CB radio it is likely that it will have an antenna included. This is going to be fine if you are ‘on to go’ e.g. outdoors on a hunting trip. However, if you are in a vehicle, you may want to unscrew that mini antenna and screw the new one into place.
The Placement of The Antenna
In a short while, we are going to talk about an antenna that we really, really love. However, we need you to remember that the selection of the antenna is not everything when it comes to the quality of the radio signal that you receive. You will also need to think about the placement of the radio antenna. You need to ensure that you put it in exactly the right position on your vehicle.
The correct position will be different for everybody. Most people find that putting their antenna on the top of the vehicle is more than enough. Once it is in place, you will need to fine-tune the radio antenna using an SWR meter. This will ensure that you are always going to be getting the perfect radio signal with your CB radio.
Actually hooking up your CB radio to a base antenna to the rest of your system shouldn’t be that difficult. You just screw the antenna cable into the back of the radio and you are done.
Our Recommendation for A CB Radio Antenna
We are going to round off by talking about a CB radio antenna brand which is absolutely huge among CB radio enthusiasts and professional users alike. Our top pick include the antennas made by Nagoya. There are several reasons why we love them, and we are sure that you are going to love it too.
Everything You Need Included in The Box
If you pick up a Nagoya antenna, you will be pleased to know that it includes everything you need to get it hooked up. Complete with mounts and cables. You won’t need to purchase anything separately.
That being said, some people have complained that the included connectors are not all that great. You may want to purchase a few more. They will only be a few dollars, so this isn’t really an issue.
Easy to Install
In our experience, the majority of people who are using a CB radio don’t want all the fuss. They just want a system hooked up, and they are ‘good to go’. The Nagoya antennas offer simplicity.
As we mentioned before; everything that you need to get up and running is included in the box. This includes the magnet mount or base bracket. Just choose where you’d like to install it and you are ready to roll. The magnet version does make portability a lot each if the location is subject to change.
When people ask if CB radios really need antennas, it’s usually because they sound intimidating. The only real upkeep is optional and it just involves a little tuning using an SWR meter. Some CB radios have this ability built-in. This isn’t something you absolutely have to do. Any adjustments and tuning are just to get the most out of your setup, but most often everything will be operational without having to tune or adjust anything.
Fantastic Audio Quality
Some people have claimed that these antennas don’t really increase their CB radio range. Honestly, in most cases, we doubt that it is really going to change the range that much. CB radio is already going to be quite limited. Most people are never going to get more than 30-miles. So, if you are purchasing a new antenna for extended range, you are only ever really going to see benefits if your current antenna caps you out at 10-20 miles.
The Nagoya line will offer better audio quality in other ways, though. This is due to the tightly wrapped coil inside of the antenna. This is fantastic at picking up and sending audio signals. Once you have this hooked up to your CB radio set-up and tuned properly with your SWR, we can virtually guarantee that people will see a change in your audio quality…for the better.
To cap it all off; Nagoya antennas are affordable. You don’t need to be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a radio antenna. Most often they’re installed outside and will be exposed to the elements. You want something that is affordable. You want something that ‘just works’. That is exactly what thse antennas are able to provide.
As you can see; Nagoya antennas offer the perfect blend of quality and price.
Beware of Counterfeits
Even with the low price point, do bear in mind that there are a few counterfeits of these particular radio antennas on the market. If you want a genuine Nagoya antenna, we suggest that you purchase from Amazon or another reputable vendor. This will ensure that you end up with a product that matches your expectations.