If you’re looking for a two way radio scanner, you will need to be specific with your options as not every scanner is going to work as well for your two way radio. There are a few important factors you will need to consider which you can go through at the end, but if you don’t want that bother simply pick one of the 5 best two way radio scanners we have reviewed below.
Best Two Way Radio Scanners
Here are our two way radio scanner reviews.
The Uniden BCD436HP is one of the most advanced but also one of the more expensive radio scanners on the market. However, if its price doesn’t worry you much, you will be hard-pressed to find a better option in terms of functionality and performance.
Despite the advanced operation, you would have great ease of use just like with a traditional scanner. In fact, it’s so simple to operate it’s kind of just plug and play. All you need to do is put in your zip code and it will automatically pull up all the frequencies to scan based on your area. How cool is that!
There’s a plethora of features with this scanner. Many menus and options. GPS connectivity, radio system analysis, Close Call RF capture, discover modes and whatnot! It starts receiving signals from different public and emergency safety and service organizations right out of the box with a scan speed of 85 channels per second. No wonder it’s one of the best police digital police scanners on the market!
- Super advanced and functional scanner
- Surprisingly easy and simple operation, though getting used to the numerous features takes some time for beginners
- Receives communications right out of the box
- Great scanning speed and great overall quality
- The battery life is a bit on the poorer side
The Uniden Bearcat BC125AT is one of the most popular radio scanners on the market, and for a good reason. It’s surprisingly functional for its price, and allows you to listen to over 40,000 frequencies and all types of emergency services.
Some users mention how it doesn’t pick up anything but local amateur conversations and perhaps the local cab company, but you need to download the PC software from the Uniden website after which it will pick up pretty much every local EMS in your area in minutes.
You would easily be able to listen to all types of local EMS, with the Close Call feature turning out to be really useful, especially when you’re out on the road. It’s lightweight and portable but very durable.
- Very functional scanner at a great price
- Allows you to listen to all types of local EMS after installing the software
- Close Call feature is very useful
- Portable yet durable
- It doesn’t support some particular frequencies, but they are not a deal-breaker
- The battery isn’t the best with this one too
If you’re looking for a mobile scanner, the Uniden BearTracker Scanner BCT15X is going to be your best bet, but ONLY if you’re not an absolute beginner and know your way around scanners. It comes with over 9,000 channels, the impressive Close Call RF technology, a memory system more advanced than what you will find with other units in this price range and more.
When you connect it with a compatible GPS receiver, it will automatically choose the relevant programmed systems based on your location. Many of the emergency service channels for local police, highway patrol and DOT are preprogrammed for every state, which is a great help for travelers.
It’s an incredibly powerful scanner, but comes with a steep learning curve. The audio is pretty good and loud, and the reception is clear and strong too.
- One of the most advanced mobile scanners for the price
- Very advanced functionality
- Location-based scanning and preprogrammed frequencies for state-to-state local EMS
- Incredibly powerful with great sound and reception
- Steep learning curve with no printed manual – there’s an online manual but you have to rely on third-party YouTube videos for the most part
The Uniden BC75XLT is another surprisingly cheap yet super functional radio scanner. This is the reason it’s also one of the most popular digital scanners on the market. If you’re a beginner to scanners and looking for a simple-to-use scanner for your radio, then this is going to fit the bill well for you.
It works great for UHF and VHF (both high and low) frequencies, and even comes with the Close Call RF capture technology. There are 300 channels and 10 programmable searches. The Close Call feature works very well by automatically finding and tuning in to local transmissions around you.
It’s easy to use but a bit tricky to program, and boasts great reception and good build quality. The battery life, however, is disappointing.
- Very functional option for UHF and VHF frequencies
- Easy to use with the impressive Close Call RF capture technology
- Great reception and build quality
- A bit difficult to program
- Poor battery life
The Uniden HomePatrol-2 is another super advanced scanner with tons of features and a very responsive touchscreen. Listening to emergency services including your local police frequencies is easy and quick with this unit.
It comes with automatic location-based scanning as well, while there are so many other features that you will have to spend quite some time on to get familiar with. The range is pretty good at 15 to 25 miles too. After all, there’s a reason it’s our best police scanner.
For two way radio users, however, you would only be able to decode the AM and FM signals, but in both the UHF and VHF bands. It will also pull up all the local repeater frequencies for you automatically, but it won’t work for anything HF related.
- Super advanced scanner with an impressively responsive touchscreen
- Easy and quick location-based scanning
- Good range
- Fairly easy to use
- For radio users it won’t work for anything HF related
Two Way Radio Scanner Buyer’s Guide
It’s obvious that for a scanner, its scanning ability is going to be the most important factor. However, in this case, you will want to make sure the scanner can scan the UHF and VHF frequencies well in particular, as that would cover all two way radios, including the dual band ones.
While the ability to scan other frequencies for letting you listen in to the EMS communication may be important to you too, the UHF and VHF frequency scanning is going to be the most important factor for you.
All the scanners we picked above are able to do this, as they come with very large frequency ranges.
The ease of scanning, quality of reception, and features like Close Call RF capture are important as well. The better or more these features, the easier and more advanced your scanning operation would be.
Location-based automatic scanning often turns out to be a very handy feature for scanning operations for your handheld two way radio, too.
Again, all the scanners we have reviewed in this post are very durable and quality units. They would last pretty long, unlike some of the cheaper options that may stop functioning well after only a few months of use. It’s not something very uncommon so you must take the durability seriously as well.