CB Radio Vs. Walkie Talkie: What’s The Difference?

CB radio vs. Walkie-talkie – which one to get? Do you know the difference? If not, then check it out right here.

For some, the two are the same. Both use the same waves and the same techniques to make communication happen. Just the use of it is different. One is more portable than the other. That’s it.

If you think about it the same way, you are somewhat right, and for the most part of it, you got it wrong.

Though they work in the same way, there are many things that separate one from the other. And knowing that will help you get the right machine for your needs.

So, if you’re interested in finding out, then keep on reading.

CB radio vs. Walkie-Talkie—Truth Unraveled:

CB Radio Vs. Walkie Talkie

Okay, let’s take some time and go deep into each of the devices to find out how they are the same and different.

CB radios:

Starting with the older CB radios. They are usually used in vehicles. But people also use them as their base unit from home to communicate with other CB users. Then there are the portable versions that are similar to the walkie-talkie. However,  they are larger and heavier than those.

That’s why they are more of a stationed device used at home or mounted to a vehicle.

Now, compared to your two-way radio, the range the CB radio offers is much more. That’s because it uses an external antenna to do it. The better the antenna, the better your signal strength will be.

And when it comes to using it for emergencies, there isn’t a no better option than this as it got a dedicated channel for sending distress signals.

With your CB radio, you, however, get a limited station. There are 40 channels around for you to use, and all of them are open to everyone. You can expect anyone can listen to you as there is no option to keep your talks private. And even of those 40 channels, some often get illegally used by CB users that use more power output to operate their radio. And that’s not legal as you can use CB radio with only 4 watts of power. So, already you got fewer channels to work with here.

Not to forget, channel 9 and 19 already gets occupied for a specific use. Like one is for your emergency, and the other gets used by truckers.


Then there is your walkie-talkie. These are the two-way radio that is perfect for taking with you on the move just like a phone. That’s a huge advantage it offers over the CB radio. Yes, similar handheld CB radio is there too, but those things are heavy, as I’ve mentioned earlier.

Now, coming to the walkie-talkie. Compared to CB radios, you get a lot of channels to work with. No doubt, you have limited options here too. Still, sub-channels used in the radio system offer more options to get connected. Finding a channel that is not occupied is much more comfortable in the walkie-talkie than the CB.

Also, the communication on the radio can be safe using the 2-way radio. It won’t be private. But with the number of channels, you can get a line which will be hard to find for others from the options you’ve got.

Then there are features like the CTCSS and others that make your conversation a bit safe. Unless others got the same setting on their radio, they can’t hear it. But it doesn’t make it absolutely secure.

Like your CB radio, you don’t need an FCC license to use your radio. When you’re using a walkie-talkie with an FRS signal, you get limited power output, requiring you to use an external antenna. That’s because the transmission power isn’t much to get it to send to distances.

But if you’re using the GMRS signal, then there are some complications. You’ve got to get an FCC license to use it. However, you get much power output to work within this case. You can get a maximum of 50 watts of power, making it possible to get a better range with your walkie-talkie without even using a detachable antenna.

CB Radio vs. Walkie-Talkie—Pros and Cons:

You can clearly see there are similarities as well as many differences. Now, you’ve got weigh down the pros and cons of each of the devices. That way, you will figure out more quickly, which is a more perfect solution for you.

Let’s take a look then.

CB Radio:

Okay, there are many good things, and there are things that make it not so great. Knowing them is, therefore, necessary. Let’s start with what’s good about it.


  • No license: To operate a CB radio, you don’t need a permit, which is a great thing.
  • Better range: The range it offers is around 1-2 km, and that is within the city. If you live in an open area, the range can go up to 5-6 km.
  • Talk in group: You can talk with a group of people at once.
  • Emergency channel: To send a distress signal to a nearby police patrol car or highway patrol, you can use channel 9.


  • Bulky: Even the handheld version of the CB radio is fat. So, you can imagine how much space the desk or mobile units might need.
  • External antenna: You’ve got to set up an antenna to get the range. Otherwise, the device is useless. So get a better performance you need essential CB accessories.
  • Tuning antenna: Without a proper SWR, tuning the antenna to get reception would be hard. Even you can damage your CB if you get it wrong. So, be sure to check out here how to get the tuning right.


Now, let’s check out the pros and cons of the walkie-talkie.


  • Portable: They got a sleek design, which makes them perfect for carrying around on hand.
  • Features: With a walkie-talkie, you’ve got more cool stuff like secure channels, VOX, and much more.
  • Easy tuning: The tuning on the walkie-talkie is more accessible than the CB radio.


  • Range: Compared to CB, the range isn’t much. However, with better quality devices like Baofeng and others, you can get a good range.
  • License: To use specific signals, you’ve got to need an FCC license.


Hopefully, this CB radio vs. Walkie-Talkie guide got your questions answered. Now, if you just get a CB radio or Walkie-talkie and enjoy it.

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