5 Best Police Scanners (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Whether you are an EMS official, you are a law enforcement official, or you are a civilian and you just want to stay aware of any major events that are occurring in and around your area, a police scanner is a great device to invest in.

Police scanners connect to the transmissions of fire, police, and other emergency services so that you can receive the most updated news and information in your area. You can use these devices to find out about accidents, fires, burglaries, and even severe weather, for example.

If you’re thinking about investing in a police scanner, there’s no doubt that you are going to want to choose the highest quality, most reliable device possible. There are tons of police scanners on the market to choose from though, which can make it hard to decide which devices are reliable. To help you on your quest for finding the best police scanner, we’ve put together a list of the top five options:

Best Police Scanners


1. Uniden HomePatrol-2 Color Touchscreen Simple Program Digital Scanner

Uniden Homepatrol 2 Color Touchscreen Simple Program Digital ScannerThe first option our list is a digital police scanner from Uniden. This manufacturer is one of the best names in the communication technology industry. They offer a wide variety of products, including CB radios, long range two-way radios, HAM radios, and walkie talkies, and all of them are very durable and outfitted with the most advanced technologies. Their HomePatrol-2 Color Touchscreen Simple Program Digital Scanner is certainly no exception to the reliable products that Uniden offers.

This police scanner is so easy to use; all you need to do is enter the zip code or the name of the city that you would like to receive information from and this device will automatically load all of the frequencies, alpha tags, and trunking systems for that area. If you’d like, you can add a GPS receiver to it, too, which will allow the unit to instantly tune itself to whatever location you may be in.

The color touch screen simplifies use and makes it very easy to see; there aren’t any bulky, strange dials to worry about, you just need to press on the screen and it will automatically adjust to your settings. This police scanner also features quick record and playback, weather alerts, and instant replay. Use it in your home or in your vehicle; whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to get all of the latest breaking news when you need it with this digital police scanner.

What We Like About It

  • Outfitted with a color touch screen
  • Offers very clear reception
  • Connects to frequencies over great distances
  • Very easy to use, thanks to the automatic detection of your location
  • Runs on a rechargeable battery
  • Features quick record, instant play, and playback

Reasons to Complain

  • A couple of customers said that they had issues with the product when they received it

Final Verdict: If you are on the market for an easy to use police scanner that’s reliable and offers great connectivity, the Uniden HomePatrol-2 Color Touchscreen Simple Program Digital Scanner is a fantastic option. It is outfitted with the highest quality features and is very durable; plus, it’s incredibly easy to use.

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2. Whistler TRX-2 Desktop Digital Scanner

Whistler Trx 2 Desktop Digital ScannerIf you’re interested in a stationary police scanner, the Whistler TRX-2 Desktop Digital Scanner is definitely an option worth considering. Whistler is also a very well-known manufacturer of communication devices. Their products include radar detectors, long-range walkie talkies, and business two-way radios, among other things. All of the products that they offer are outfitted with the latest technologies and are thoughtfully designed; the TRX-2 Desktop Digital Scanner is certainly no exception.

A multi-system trunking scanner, this police scanner features Motorola P25 Phase I, X2-TDMA, Phase II, and DMR, which means that it can access encrypted channels. With zip code programming, setting up this scanner is a breeze; all you have to do is enter your zip code and it will instantly upload all of the information for the selected area.

The device also contains American and Canadian databases; plus, it comes with a MicroSD card. You also have the ability to store as many as 200 scanlists and a Skywarn scanlist, too. You can also scan multiple scanlists; in fact, you can scan as many as you would like to. With a dedicated Skywarn weather feature, you can stay abreast of the most current weather forecast with the push of a button, so you can use it as a weather radio. The compact design of this desktop digital police scanner won’t take up tons of space, either; or, if you’d like, you can install it in your vehicle.

What We Like About It

  • Multi-system adaptive trunking
  • Has the ability to monitor encrypted channels
  • Zip code programming feature allows for quick and easy setup
  • A MicroSD card is included
  • Offers a dedicated Skywarn weather button
  • Compact and lightweight; it can be used on a desktop or you can mount it in your vehicle

Reasons to Complain

  • The display could be bigger
  • It’s lacking an automatic shut-off feature

Final Verdict: With the Whistler TRX-2 Desktop Digital Scanner, you can get the most updated information in your area – including weather. It’s easy to set up and use, durable, and compact.

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3. Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner

Uniden Bcd436hp Homepatrol Series Digital Handheld ScannerIf you are looking for a portable police scanner that allows for total flexibility, the Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner is ideal. Since it’s a Uniden – makers of some of the highest quality electronic devices, including motorcycle GPS devices, marine GPS devices, and car GPS devices – you can have confidence knowing that you are investing in a highly durable and technologically advanced piece of equipment.

Featuring both US and Canadian radio databases, you can use this police scanner in either location for the most up to the minute news and information. The enhanced dynamic memory of this scanner allows you to control the size of your banks so that you can control the amount of space you’re using. Narrowband and location-based scanning are also featured on this handheld police scanner.

The SAME weather alert feature lets you stay updated on the weather and notifies you of any severe storms that may be entering your area. The TrunkTracker V lets you tune into a variety of trunked systems, too. Other notable features include Close Call RF Capture Technology, and GPS scanner capability, which allows the device to update your information automatically according to your location. Because it’s handheld, you can take it anywhere you go; and, it offers up to 8 hours of battery power.

What We Like About It

  • Handheld, lightweight, and compact design
  • Features SAME weather alerts
  • Outfitted with enhanced dynamic memory
  • Close Call RF Capture Technology
  • GPS compatible
  • Features a TrunkTracker system

Reasons to Complain

  • A couple of the customers who purchased this item said that the reception wasn’t always reliable

Final Verdict: With the Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner, you’ll be able to get the most updated information in your local area, wherever you may be. It’s handheld, so you can use it anywhere you go, and it offers a variety of useful features.

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4. Uniden BC75XLT, 300 Channel Handheld Scanner

Uniden Bc75xlt, 300 Channel Handheld ScannerAnother reliable portable police scanner is the Uniden BC75XLT, 300 Channel Handheld Scanner. Since it’s made by Uniden, you can be sure that it’s durable and built to last; plus, you can also be certain that it offers the most advanced technologies.

Featuring 300 channels, as well as 10 programmable search ranges, you can program as many as 30 channels into the memory of this device; 30 channels on each of the 10 available banks. Once your channels are stored in, you can then scan for transmissions on the channels that you stored.

Close Call RF Capture Technology detects and tunes into nearby transmissions that are found; even frequencies isn’t programmed into a channel. Other notable features include narrow band compatible, a do not disturb feature, VHF low/high and UHF frequencies, and an easy to read LCD screen. According to the reviews that we read, it seems like most of the customers who purchased this handheld police scanner were very impressed with it.

What We Like About It

  • Features 300 channels, including 10 programmable search ranges
  • 30 channels can be programmed into each of the 10 banks
  • Close Call RF Capture Technology
  • Features VHF low/high and UHF frequencies
  • Narrow band compatible
  • Bright LCD screen
  • Portable and easy to use

Reasons to Complain

  • A couple of customers who purchased this scanner said that the device was defective when they received it

Final Verdict: Overall, we were very impressed with the Uniden BC75XLT, 300 Channel Handheld Scanner. It’s lightweight, portable, and offers a full range of useful features that will let you stay current with the latest news and information in your area, no matter where you are.

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5. BaoFeng UV-5R5

Baofeng Uv 5r5The last option on our list of the best police scanners is the BaoFeng UV-5R5. BaoFeng makes a variety of electronic products; all of which are thoughtfully designed and feature a range of features that make them easy to use, which is certainly true with their UV-5R handheld police scanner. It can be legally used on all amateur frequencies, it’s portable, and it’s easy to use.

This handheld police scanner features a built-in receiver that can monitor two different channels and frequencies at the same time, on different bands. The device will give you priority to whichever station receives an incoming call. You can use this scanner to listen to broadcasts and FM channels while still being able to monitor radio frequencies in the background, so you never have to worry about missing an incoming call when you’re listening to the radio.

It can send DTMF tones, too, which means that you can send ANI or remote commands that need DTMF tones. It’s powered by 1800mah battery, has a built-in flashlight, and it is extremely durable. All of this, plus, this handheld police scanner is very affordably priced.

What We Like About It

  • Features a 7 inch high gain antenna
  • Two selectable power levels
  • Powered by a 1800 ah rechargeable radio
  • Can transmit narrowband and wideband channels
  • Dual channel monitoring
  • Can listen to FM radio while still monitoring radio frequencies
  • Can send DTMF tones
  • Durably built
  • Very affordably priced

Reasons to Complain

  • A few customers said that the transmissions weren’t as clear as they hoped they would be

Final Verdict: If you’re looking for an affordable handheld police scanner, the BaoFeng UV-5R5 is definitely an option to consider. It’s durably built and loaded with tons of useful features so you can keep tabs on all of the latest news and information

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The Best Police Scanner: A Buyer’s Guide

Best Police Scanner ReviewsWith a police scanner, you can keep tabs on all of the latest and most important information in your area. These wireless devices transmit various radio bands at the same time so that you can hear incoming information from police, fire departments, emergency responders, and even weather radios.

If you’re going to invest in a police scanner, it stands to reason that you want to purchase a high quality, reliable model. In order to do that, you should take a few important factors into consideration before you buy.

Factors to Consider

The following factors are important considerations that should be made before you purchase a police scanner:

  • Stationary or handheld. Police scanners can be either stationary or handheld. Stationary scanners tend to be more powerful; however, handheld devices can be taken anywhere, even in the car, offering more flexibility.
  • Frequency coverage Before you purchase a police scanner, make sure you which frequencies you want to follow so that you can ensure the device you select can access those frequencies.
  • The more channels the device offers, the more information you’ll be able to keep tabs on.
  • Banks and lists. With this feature, you can organize channels into categories (banks), which will make it easier for you to monitor specific information
  • Scan feature. A scan feature will scan through all of the available channels and connect to the channels that have the highest frequencies, which is a useful feature if you have a lot of channels stored
  • Trunk tracking. If you would like to follow an agency that uses a trunked radio system, you’ll have to invest in a scanner that is outfitted with trunk tracking
  • Weather scan. Some police scanners can access specific weather stations, and are even outfitted with a weather feature that will allow you to hear the latest forecasts with the push of a button

These are just some of the factors that you should take into consideration before you purchase a police scanner. Do your research to ensure that the scanner offers all of the features that you will need so you can maximize the use of this device.

Summing It Up

If you want to keep up with the latest information in your area for any reason, a police scanner is worthwhile device. All of the scanners featured on this list feature the most advanced technologies, are durably built, and are easy to use so that you can get the most out of using this device. If, however, you  decide to purchase another police scanner, make sure you consider the above-mentioned factors before you buy to ensure that you are choosing the right device for your needs.


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