What is the range of a CB radio?


Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question.


All Cobra CB radios transmit using the maximum FCC allowable power output which is four watts of power. The amount of power that actually gets out can be affected by the type of antenna used, it's condition and location, the physical length of the whip, and also the proper matching of the standing wave ratio or SWR. For more information on setting the SWR, please refer to the FAQ section on our website.


Another factor that can affect your range is the operating environment. Tall buildings, trees, hills, and interference from other CB radios all limit the effective range of a CB radio. Certain atmospheric conditions can also limit the range for CBs.


If we were to eliminate all negative environmental factors, a properly set up base station could communicate between 10 to 15 miles, a mobile unit 5 to 7 miles, and a hand held unit approximately 2 miles with the only variable being the type of antenna used with your unit. Unfortunately, these optimum conditions rarely exist and the range of your unit will typically be less depending on the conditions under which you are operating.