The 8 Best Police Scanners of 2018

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Best Police Scanner For Car
Best Handheld Police Scanner
Best Digital Police Scanner
Best Buy Police Scanner

You can never be too safe. Having a police scanner is very important for many different reasons. First of all, you should know what a police scanner is. What this cool gadget does is scan lots of radio frequencies, which allows you to listen to radio calls. Whether this radio call is made by firefighters, police or whatever, you’ll be able to listen to it clearly and know what is going on around you. You might also be interested in our articles about the best cb radios and the best car battery chargers. As you can see, police scanners can be fun and useful in all sorts of ways. For starters, if you love police action and want to drop an ear from time to time, you can easily tune in and listen to the action while it happens real time. Imagine being able to listen to a police standoff while it’s actually happening. How cool is that?

Another factor that makes those police scanners really important is safety. Having one of those means that you can be aware of everything that’s going on around you. If there is an emergency, you’ll be able to receive important weather or safety alerts before anyone else. You don’t have to wait till the authorities alert you, which could be too late. So whatever it is that is going on around you, you’ll be the first to know. With that, you’ll be able to alert your loved one to any dangers at the right time. Most people use police scanners simply to stay tuned in with local news and events. However, some use them for more professional reasons. For example, some firefighters or policemen may need to use it to stay tuned in, even when off the job. And it doesn’t stop there, security guards also need it and the list goes on. However, not all police scanners are similar. They vary in a lot of different things such as size, quality or even the functions that they perform. Before you rush and buy the first police scanner that your eyes fall on, there are a few things that you should take into consideration.

1. Size and portability

The first thing you should know about your police scanner is where do you plan on using it. Police scanners vary significantly when it comes to size and portability. Keeping that in mind when you set off to buy your new police scanner is very important. The right size is directly related to the type of use. However, in most cases, when you gain more portability you tend to lose some other features. There are basically 3 types of police scanners, portable, desktop, and ones that are designed to be installed in a vehicle. If you need a police scanner on the go, a portable model is definitely a must. If you want a police scanner that you can use at home -next to your PC for example, get the desktop one, and so on. By doing so, you’ll avoid the disappointment that could result from getting a police scanner of the wrong size.

2. Features and Capabilities

While most police scanners can be programmed using a computer, not all of them are the same. As the features increase, so does the price. While some police scanners are built in the most basic form, others come with lots of high-end features and technologies, making them easier and more convenient to use. For example, some police scanners require that you enter that you program them using a keyboard. Others require only a zip code and an internet connection. What features you should get depend on your specific needs and expectations from your new device.

3. Type of Format

Knowing what kind of format you need to depend on what you want to listen to and where you live. Knowing whether the format of the communication is digital, analog, trunked or digital phase 2 will determine which type of police scanner you need to purchase. One thing to keep in mind though is that police scanner that are equipped with digital phase 2 can pick up any kind of formats out there (except for encrypted ones). If you want a police scanner that’ll keep you safe from all that hassle, you should just pick the most advanced format, which is digital phase 2. Now that you’re familiar with what makes a police scanner right for you, it’s time to have a look at some of the best models that are currently available on the market.

Best Police Scanner For Car

1. Uniden BC125AT: Police Scanner with Alpha Tags and 500 Channels

Designed with portability and easy handling in mind, this is a police scanner with a relatively small size. With that, you can take it with you wherever you go. If you want to stay aware of what’s going on around you while you’re in your car, at home, or even when having a walk around the block, this product is probably the best choice. This police scanner gives you the ability to listen to over 40,000 different frequencies. This includes police, ambulance, marine, aircraft and the list goes on. Whatever it is that you want to listen to, this police scanner will do just so.

With more than 500 channels, you’ll probably get lost. That’s why this police scanner gives you the ability to name each channel individually. In addition to that, you can easily organize your channels by the department, location or whatever way that best suits your needs and make you feel more organized. With a USB port, you can easily program this police scanner using your PC so it would be easier. Also for extra convenience, you can simply download software for it from online so you can get the best quality and the optimum performance.

However, you should keep in mind that this police scanner is an analog meaning that it only picks conventional communication and it isn’t designed for digital or trunked ones. If you’re looking for a small, portable police scanner with a variety of different channels, frequencies and is super-easy to use on the go, this is a model that you should definitely consider.

Product highlights:

  • Includes 500 channels
  • Can name channels individually
  • Sleek and easy organizing of channels
  • Small and portable design
  • Can be programmed using a PC

Best Handheld Police Scanner

2. Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner

This is an elegant-looking police scanner that is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. The small design of this portable handheld police scanner means that you can comfortably take it with you anywhere you go, whether it is in the car, at home or wherever. If you’re looking for a police scanner that’ll make you safe and look good at the same time, you should definitely check this one out. This digital police scanner is designed to comfortably work with different kinds of formats such as digital, trunked and analog. If you’re looking to listen to digital communication, trunked or even if you are looking to pick up conventional communication, you can easily do that with this advanced device.

The close call technology is designed so that this device can pick up on any near transmissions that are taking place, this occurs even if the frequency of the communication isn’t programmed into the police scanner. Equipped with “specific area message encoding”, police scanner will keep you posted whenever a situation is going on in your area. Having such feature means that you’ll never miss anything important that’s happening around you.

To make using this device even easier, you can save the channels or frequencies that you use most in a favorites list. If you’re a fan of police chases and there are a few channels that you like to save in your favorites, you can easily do that with this model.

Product Highlights:

  • Extra safety with weather alert
  • Compact design
  • Digital format
  • Equipped with specific area message encoding
  • Can save frequencies to a favorites list

3. Whistler WS1065 Desktop Digital Scanner

On the more professional and expensive side of police scanner is this wonderful device. Its design along with many features give it a competitive advantage when compared to other police scanners out there. This police scanner is specifically designed to those who are dead serious about the matter. You can easily program this device using the intelligent and informative menus. Each item on the menu is associated with information on how to use it and how to better program it. Reading the text is super easy thanks to the amazing and clear screen of this model.

With such impressive list functionality, you can easily arrange your frequencies and channels in whatever way you find comfortable. Unlike other poorly designed police scanners, this device can store frequencies for longer periods of time. Even if the battery is removed, you don’t have to worry about your saved frequencies.

As for safety, it has an impressive spotting function that puts the highest priority on storm spotting networks. In case of any storms, this model will give you instant access to the network so you can be informed as fast as possible. Since this scanner is a digital one, you can use it to listen to digital, trunked and even normal analog communication. Whatever the type of frequency that you’re trying to drop an ear on, this model has got you covered.

It’s worth mentioning that if you’re into portable and more compact police scanners, then this model isn’t really the one you should be going after. This police scanner is specifically designed to be placed on a desk so it doesn’t really offer much mobility.

Product Highlights:

  • Easy programming
  • Excellent screen
  • Each menu object includes helpful tips
  • Digital format
  • Extra security with instant access to storm spotters

Best Digital Police Scanner

4. Uniden BCD996P2 Digital T.T.C Close Call Alpha Display Base

If you’re looking for a premium police scanner and don’t mind shelling out some extra bucks for this kind of quality, this is a model that you’ll definitely love. With a small and intelligent design, this scanner won’t take much space on your desktop and will sit comfortably in any place you choose to put it in. However, this is not a portable police scanner. If you’re looking for something that you can take with you on the go, there are other models out there that are better suited for the job.

To make using this model as easy as possible, its screen and buttons are all designed in a way that makes using it super simple. With such an intuitive and user-friendly design, operating device is never a problem. The close call RF technology on this device means that it will capture and tune into any signal that is being used by nearby transmitters. With that, you’ll always be informed if anything happens around in the neighborhood.

With such an advanced memory system, you can easily store frequencies and channels that you like for later use. By doing so, you can check those channels whenever you please without having to manually adjust the frequency. The number of channels on this device is massive. With 25000 channels, you’ll have access to more than what you ever thought was possible. In addition to that, this is also a digital police scanner. With that, you can easily tune in to, digital, trunked, or even plain old analog communication. Whatever it is that is going on around, you will be the first to be informed with this device.

Product Highlights:

  • More than 25,000 channels
  • Amazing build quality
  • RF technology
  • Impressive memory system
  • Digital format

5. Uniden HomePatrol II Touch Screen Digital Scanner APCO P25

With such a user-friendly touchscreen, using or programming this police scanner is as simple as it gets. If you’re looking for a police scanner that provides excellent performance without unnecessarily complicating things, you’ll definitely love what this model has to offer. Equipped with many smart technologies, all you have to do to get started is enter your zip code using the intuitive touchscreen and you’re good to go. After doing that, you’re ready to start listening to the police, aircraft or even fire department, all thanks to this amazing device.

Simple programming goes a long way when it comes to police scanners. After all, you don’t want to waste lots of time just to get your scanner up and running. With the easy programming and the amazing touchscreen of this model, you’ll be able to program this device and start ear dropping on different channels in no time. To make this device even more awesome, it has weather alerts. This means that in case of storms or any unfortunate emergencies, you’ll be immediately informed.

One of the things that really make this model stand out is its record and playback capabilities. You can easily record whatever communication that you want and play it back at any time. With such amazing features, this police scanner is hands down one of the best models out there.

Product Highlights:

  • Touch screen design
  • Weather alerts
  • Amazing record and playback ability
  • Digital format
  • Simple programming

Best Buy Police Scanner

6. Uniden BCD536HP Digital Phase 2 Base With HPDB and Wi-Fi

The smart technology that was used when designing this device makes it one of the easiest mobile police scanners to program out there. In addition to that, you can easily download the Siren app on your phone and instantly get access to your scanner. Whether you’re at home or in your car, you can easily use the app to get instant access to your local police frequencies. In addition to that, this model allows you to tune in on communications on APCO 25 phase 1 and 2, Motorola, EDACS, trunked or analog system and the list goes on. Virtually, any kind of communication can be easily tuned into using this scanner.

Whenever nearby transmissions are detected, this scanner will automatically tune to it. Even if the frequency isn’t saved or programmed anywhere on the device, you’ll still get tuned to the communication instantly. As for safety, in case of any weather alert or emergency alert, you’ll be instantly alerted with a code for your location, letting you know the drastic conditions that are going on in your surroundings. Knowing such information early on can be the difference between life and death.

This wonderful device is designed to fit comfortably on a desktop or in a vehicle. Whether you want to keep this police scanner in your home to know if anything is going on in your surrounding area, or you just want to take it for a ride and know what the cops are up to, this police scanner won’t fail to impress.

Product Highlights:

  • Easy programming
  • Weather alert system
  • Digital Phase 2 format
  • Desktop/vehicle design
  • Can access it using a smartphone

7. Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channels Clock/FM Radio Scanner With Weather Alert

When it comes to useful features, this police scanner has a ton of them. The amazing 500 channels capacity of this police scanner allows you to listen to a range of different frequencies, which range from police all the way to fire department and aircraft. If you’re in the mood for some radio tunes, don’t worry. This model has a built-in FM radio so you can enjoy listening to your favorite band or whatever it is that you wish to enjoy on the radio.

Another super-helpful feature that comes along with this device is the alarm clock. With this wonderful feature, you can set certain channels to play at certain times. If you like to wake up to the sound of a particular host, this device can make that happen. In addition to that, this model gives you a huge amount of memory to store frequencies; this makes it a lot easier to find the frequencies instead of having to type in the frequency every time you tune in. This amazing feature completely eliminates this hassle.

Don’t let the countless features of this police fool you though. Despite all of those awesome features, this is a very compact device and it can fit wherever you place it. Another feature that we really like about this model is the backlit LCD display. With the backlighting, you can see what’s displayed on the screen even in the dark.

Product Highlights:

  • Includes 500 different channels
  • Backlit screen
  • Compact design
  • Includes a radio
  • Convenient alarm clock

8. Whistler TRX-1 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio

When it comes to portable police scanners, this one is arguably the best one out there. The small and sleek design of this device allows you to take it with you anywhere you go with ease. Whether you’re using it at home, in your vehicle or just while you are taking a walk around the neighborhood, this device will accompany you without being a burden.

Programming a police scanner can be such a hassle, not with this model though. This scanner comes with an innovative technology that makes programming it a super easy task. All you have to do is insert your pin code in the device and that’s it. You’re ready to start ear dropping on all of this radio chatter. In addition to that, this device is equipped with a calendar and a clock so you can simply tell time and know what day it is. Also, you can easily update the scanner via the internet with just a few clicks.

Since this is a digital scanner you can tune to digital, analog or even trunked frequencies. If you’re looking for a police scanner that’s super easy to use and has lots of cutting-edge technologies, this is a model that you should definitely consider.

Product Highlights:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Digital scanner
  • Easy to program
  • Can be updated via the internet
  • Equipped with calendar and clock