Cobra 29 LX Max CB Radio Review
Looking for a CB radio to use is not like looking for a mobile phone. These two-way radio systems are the first port of call for those who travel long distances away from most cities and large towns.
As such, they have to be a special breed of communicative device to be able to reach people when you need to. If we take out all devices that can’t manage that, we are left with two pieces of technology: the satellite phone and the CB radio.
If you want a quality CB radio that works for you, then there are not many better choices than the Cobra 29 LX Max. This radio is based on some older models – such as the 29 LTD – but it has been upgraded and a ton of new features have been added to make its use and range easier and better than before.
If you are in need of a durable but advanced radio system for your rig or just in general, then the Cobra is definitely one you should be considering. You may be wondering why this is? Well, that’s why I’m here to tell you about it and all the things it can offer you.
The one thing to say about this radio is that it is extremely resilient. In almost any situation you may find yourself in, from long haul trucking to fishing trips out at sea, the Cobra should be able to handle it. This is due primarily to the high quality parts that the radio uses.
With this durability, you would think that the Cobra is quite a heavy or bulky piece of equipment, but the opposite is actually true. The entire radio only weighs about 5.6 pounds and, though it is wider than you would expect, this still doesn’t mean it is big at all. Its exact measurements are 7.25 (length) by 9.25 (width) by 2.25 (height), which is a nice, reasonable size to fit in the cab.
The Cobra radio itself comes with a microphone and hook attachment, a nine-foot cable to the microphone, hardware to mount the radio, and power cabling. The length of the microphones makes it perfect for treacherous expeditions, and the ease with which it can be mounted is great for beginners. The power output of the radio is 4 watts of AM RF, which lets you transmit at the legal limit of power.
The total amount of channels that this radio can pick up is 40, which is the limit that the FCC puts on CB radios, but it also has a large number of dials on the front ranging from volume to T Back and delta tune with one large dial in the center that lets you go through the menu options.
If you have a preference, the cobra also comes in four colors: amber, green, blue, and red, so you can pick which one is most appealing to you.
- Emergency Radio - CB Radios provide reliable communication which is not dependent on satellites and cellular networks that can be the difference between getting experienced help in an emergency and being left on your own when you need assistance.
- iRadar App - Receive and report live police alerts including, speed traps, road hazards and red-light cameras based on the nearly 1 million iRadar users out on the road today.
- Bluetooth - Legally use your smartphone to answer, place and terminate phone calls at the touch of a button while staying focused on the road. With a noise cancelling microphone, you can have quality conversations over the noise of the engine.
- Rewind-Say-Again – Replay the last 10 seconds of a missed message that is automatically recorded with a digital voice recorder so you never have to miss valuable information and you can also record a 10 second memo to replay at anytime.
- Nightwatch - Fully illuminated customizable 4-color LCD Display in Blue, Red, Green and Amber for easy viewing in day or nighttime conditions so you can stay focused on the road without distracting bright lights.
As stated earlier, the Cobra has 40 different channels to choose from, however 10 of these channels are the NOAA weather channels – or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This may not seem like much, but it is a real lifesaver on the road or at sea.
It will give accurate and up-to-date reports of the weather happening in your area, with emergency alerts occurring whenever it’s necessary.
The US experiences on average 10,000 thunderstorms, 1300 tornadoes, 2 hurricanes, and 5000 floods every year and if you are not aware of where they are occurring you could be in their path. NOAA channels keep tabs on all of these events, so you don’t have to.
The Cobra also has a clock that has an alarm and timer function. This may seem a little silly because all phones have clocks now, but what happens when your phone runs out of power?
Since the Cobra is powered by your rig or boat, then this isn’t a problem, and seasoned truckers will find this appealing. Having an alarm for when you are taking a rest from work is great, and a timer can be applied for breaks on the road, so you don’t go off schedule.
As mentioned earlier, there are four different colors to choose for this display, but it is also especially nice for its large display which can be easily seen without squinting. The lighting of the display can be adjusted for the needs of the user, with brightness settings, and the text itself on the display is clear and very easy for people to read.
The one issue with the color display is that while the displays themselves are backlit, the buttons and knows of the radio and display are not. This can be tricky at night when driving, and you need to check in on something, but you just don’t know what button you are pushing.
On CB radios, the talk back control dial allows you to hear your own voice and transmissions. If you can hear yourself, then you are probably transmitting. Yet, you don’t want your own voice to sound like there is static behind it or that it’s too quiet for the receiver. Therefore, having a good talk back dial is essential.
The Cobra’s talk back dial is very easy to use and allows for extensive modulation, so you can always sound clear and concise to other parties. Not only that, but it is consistent meaning that when turning the dial you can hear real change, but if you go back, it should be as it was.
The memory channel is perfect for saving and storing your most used channels, and with the Cobra you can store up to 10 of these channels. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is essential to rural travel.
If you spend too long flicking through not being able to get the right frequency for the NOAA weather channels, you might miss an urgent report about a storm coming your way, which could spell disaster.
Although it seems hard, storing and saving channels is not that hard, particularly with the Cobras scan function. This allows you to scan for all 40 channels and pick the one you want.
This feature is more unique to the Cobra than other CB radios, and it actually is quite surprising to see. For the Cobra can be used as a PA system if necessary. It will never be as loud as standard PA systems, but it would be good for extreme occasions, such as loud storms stopping close quarters listening.
Another thing the PA system can be used for is transmitting received signals. Say if everyone is trying to listen to a report on one radio, you can turn on the PA, and it should be loud enough for all.
Something you were never able to do in the old days with CB radios on the fly was diagnostic reviews of the systems, but that has changed in recent years and Cobra isn’t one to miss out on this change.
While you can’t look into the actual schematics and data processing that goes on inside the Cobra, you can look at the voltage and the RF output.
These two control the potential strength of your system, and by running a diagnostic you can strengthen each one tenfold with very little effort. This means that no matter where you are or where you are going, you can always have the strongest possible signal without any problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Popular is CB radio?
Despite its main use being in the 70s and 80s and with the mobile phone being an international phenomenon, CB radio is still very popular. The popularity mainly comes from its reliability and its connection to power sources. The reliability makes it good for people who are adventurous or have dangerous jobs, as it won’t break just when you require it.
Also, unlike a phone, the CB radio doesn’t rely on an internal battery, instead it must be connected to a power supply. This may make it seem less portable or easy to use, but that power supply can be a vehicle. Since most vehicle batteries recharge themselves through the mechanical energy of combustion engines, these radios will last as long as your vehicle lasts.
This means that long haul truckers or fishermen don’t have to panic every time their phone’s battery dips below 50% and can instead focus on their jobs. For hobbyists, it’s more of a fun activity, since you can contact people from all over the world with the turn of a few dials.
Are CB Radios Useful?
It depends on your job. If your job takes you into rural areas with poor phone reception for extended periods, then yes, a CB radio is very useful.
If not, then it is not so much. Mobile phones are only really reliable in our large towns and cities, as they need infrastructure to function properly. However, CB radios don’t need as much to function and can be a lifeline for those living in countryside areas.
For example, if you are a park ranger who has noticed the tell-tale signs of a forest fire beginning, but you are a thousand miles from the nearest town and the signal isn’t great, what do you do? If you have a CB radio, you call it in and potentially save lives, that’s what. Any difficult or arduous rural job is made so much easier by these radios.
The improvement of the Cobra 29 LX Max over previous models in the series is immense. Cobra as a company have taken a step back and listened to what people said when their models were being critiqued, which led to the production of this wonderful little machine.
It is a great choice for anyone using one as part of their job or for hobbyists looking for an easy-to-use CB radio. Cobra have made the 29 LX a very simple machine to use, with its colored LED screen and large dials, and it’s only drawback is really it’s dials not being properly lit.
If you are feeling the need for a new radio to play with, maybe think about investing in this little gem. You may be happier with the purchase than you thought you would be.
Also available to purchase from: