Pros:Good value. Good sounding radio, that is attractive and will fit in smaller spaces.
Cons:Squelch "pop". Signal meter blanks when squelch engaged. (No hinderance to functionality)
The Bottom Line: This met all my expectations of the historic Cobra 19 series. excellent and my main CB radio. Appearance, functions and performance make it a fine addition to my communications system.
Recommend this product?
By the way... this is NOT a base CB radio... it is a mobile radio.
I decided to hook up some old CB equipment. I always favored my old Cobra 19 Plus. The transmitted and received audio were excellent. I consider it the best radio ever made. Regrettably, due to its extreme age, its receive was degraded.
I saw the new line of the Cobra 19 series and decided to give the DX IV a try. I hoped Cobra continued the fine tradition.
The DX IV (from now on to be referred to as the "DX") is simply laid out. I will describe all controls.
2:Squelch: You use this to cut background noise and make the radio quiet when not receiving a signal.
3: RF Gain: This cuts the sensitivity of the receiver. This is different fron the squelch control. (alhough an inset of the same knob)
4:CB/PA switch. Allows the cb to be used as a Public Address system by adding an external PA speaker.
5: Channel 9/19 switch. Allows one button access to Emergency Channel 9 or the popular trucker's channel 19.
6: Backlit LCD Display (very unique to CB radios)
7: Small size for easy install in modern vehicles.
8: Modern design for the "High Tech" look.
Bear in mind, ALL aspects of transmission and receive capability are based on the antenna!! This is the most overlooked part of many people. They immediately consider the radio to be at fault. Most times this is false.
All radios must be "tuned" to the antenna. The manual to all radios indicate this. Not all CB antennas are created equal. Once tuned to the antenna, your radio will perfom the best it can... on the specific antenna you have.
Also, the operating environment is crucial. If you have a vehicle that generates a lot of electrical noise, such as electric fuel pumps, electric fans, etc, you may need additional filtering. This is not the fault of the radio.
With that said, the DX performs very well. My vehicle is a noise gererator and then some. I set the squelch appropriately, and the radio will not be noisy. True, some distant people will not be heard; but I have discovered that this is a nonfactor. I can hear radios over 4 miles away, which is typical for a CB.
Suond quality is very good. A weaker station sounds almost as loud as a strong station. This indicates a good Automatic Gain Control (AGC).
Reports indicate my transmitted audio is also very good. I have an effective transmit of over 4 miles reliably, which again, is normal, based on my antenna and vehicle configuration. This is to other mobiles. To a base station that has a higher antenna, ranges are naturally greater.
I see no need for the RF gain control. Whil it can help reduce noise, it also cuts the snesitivity to other stations. I never use it. Cobra has another radio, the Ultra III, which is the same as the DX, but without an RF gain. (which also uses the same circuit board)
The LCD display gives a nice, modern look to the radio. The display shows you channel number, Transmit indication, and signal strength of received station.
What may annoy some:
When the squlch engages and disengages, there may be a slight "Pop". I personally do not consider this a flaw, but some may. This is mentioned as a courtesey.
When the squelch is engaged.... blocking weaker signals, the LCD graph goes away. (goes blank) On most radios, the signal strength display will still show some activity even though you cannot hear them. Again.. I do not consider this a flaw, but some may.
All in all a good radio. Easy to use. Good price. It works like any legal CB radio should. There are no serious problems. It will serve well.
The modern design looks good. It isn't one of those chromed over radios with 100 different switches and controls that do nothing, except increase prices and allow sellers to market a radio as bigger and better.
This radio will do the exact same thing as any other CB that costs three times as much. It transmits and receives. That is all it needs to do.
I recommend it.