Can Walkie-Talkies Talk to CB Radios?


Walkie-talkies and CB radios are two common forms of communication among certain professions and survivalists. Whether or not they can talk to each other is a common question since they seem to work in similar ways. I wondered this myself, so I decided to do some extensive research to find out a definitive answer. These are my findings.

Walkie-talkies cannot talk to CB radios. This is due to many reasons involving frequency that keep them from communicating with each other. They are similar but also very different.

Keep reading to learn more about the communication barriers between walkie-talkies and CB radios. They can be very similar but are also quite different in many critical ways that impede their ability to communicate.

Can Walkie-Talkies Talk to CB Radios?

Though there are instances where someone on a walkie-talkie can hear chatter on a CB radio, it is not possible to communicate. You cannot use a walkie-talkie to speak to someone on a CB radio because they do not operate on the same channel.

Some other items that get in the way of communication include:

  • Range of the walkie talkie in use
  • Frequency of the operation
  • Privacy of channels used by the walkie talkie

All of these prevent walkie-talkies from being able to communicate with CB radios.

The most that you can do with a walkie-talkie is listen to chatter that happens on the CB radio. You can gain interesting insight, but there is no way to talk to those who are speaking on the other end of the line. All you can do is find a way to hear in on the communication that is happening.

What is the Difference Between CB Radio and Walkie-Talkies?

Although they both serve similar purposes, walkie-talkie and CB radios are not the same things by any means. They both operate on frequencies, and they both make use of channels for communication. Sometimes, they might even look alike. However, they are not the same at all, thanks to a few key differences.

Some of the main items that set CB radios and walkie talkies apart include:

  • The range that they can operate at
  • They utilize differing frequencies often
  • Walkie talkies often use code that only allows transmission with a paired device

These items distinguish the CB radio from the walkie-talkie.

If you want something private, the walkie-talkie is likely your best bet. If you want something that can transmit over a long distance, a CB radio will work for you. They are both beneficial for differing purposes.

Both of these items are great for those who want to communicate over the radio. These are both excellent options, but they are different from each other. You must understand the things that set these two apart so that you can use each of them as they were intended to be utilized.

Are Walkie-Talkie Channels the Same as CB Radios?

There are many, many channels used by a CB radio. Forty main channels make up the system that is the CB radio system. Different channels are utilized by varying people for differing purposes. A walkie-talkie uses one of these frequencies on this system, but not all of them as the CB radio might.

Some examples of these channels include:

  • Channel 4, which is often used by off-roaders
  • Channel 9, which is used for emergency communication
  • Channel 21, which is used by truckers

All of these channels serve different purposes for those that make use of them. Those that are often on the road have channels that are designated for what they do.

Walkie-talkies operate on channel 14, which operates at a frequency of about 27.165. This channel is generally the only channel that this device uses.

It is rare for a walkie-talkie to be on the same channel as a CB radio. Thus, talking is impossible. Hearing conversations on the line is not much easier.

Can Walkie-Talkies Pick Up CB Radios?

CB-Radio-in-a-Semi-Truck

Walkie-talkies can pick up CB radio transmissions. However, they cannot communicate with anyone speaking on the line. Chatter can be heard if the walkie-talkie is on a precise frequency, but it needs to be exact.

Many walkie-talkies cannot get to a frequency that most CB radios sit at as a standard. It is not uncommon for this connection to be impossible. If you cannot hear CB chatter with your walkie-talkie, do not get discouraged. It is a tricky task to pair the two without a perfect match.

How to Pick Up CB Signals with a Walkie-Talkie

If you use a walkie-talkie, you might wonder how to pick up a CB signal by using this device. This can be accomplished by turning your walkie-talkie to the same frequency as the CB radio. By doing this, you should be able to hear transmissions that are happening with the CB radio.

To attempt to hear the CB signal with a walkie talkie, you should:

  • Ensure that you are near a CB radio with a similar frequency
  • Turn the walkie talkie to the same channel as the radio
  • Moving the walkie talkie around until voices come to life

These steps will permit you to pick up a CB signal.

You should be able to hear voices if you are successful. These are people transmitting their conversations on a CB radio.

With a walkie-talkie, you will only be able to receive the transmission. You will not be able to communicate. You will only hear voices if you achieve the same channel and frequency as the CB radio with your walkie-talkie.

Final Thoughts

Walkie-talkies and CB radios are both excellent forms of communication that have been around for a while. It would be convenient for them to communicate, but these two items exist on different frequencies and thus cannot speak. 

If a walkie-talkie happens to fall on the same frequency as the CB radio, you could achieve limited communication between the two. However, this is rare. More often, it is impossible to connect these devices to each other.

I hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for reading!

For more, check out How Much Does a Satellite Phone Cost? (And Plan Details).

Jim James

Hey, I'm Jim and the author of this website. I have always been interested in survival, fishing, camping, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!

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