Whistler WS1088 Review

If you need a reliable radio that can give you all of the emergency coverage that you need without tearing a hole through your wallet, the Whistler WS1088 handheld digital scanner is a great place to start.

In this review, we will discuss all the key features and details needed to make sure that you can make a confident choice the first time around when you go out to look for a product.

Whistler WS1088 Features

One of the first things we noticed with the Whistler WS1088 scanner is the design of the radio itself. It has a backlit LCD to keep the information on the screen clearly visible at all times and underneath it a fully functional keyboard that makes programming the radio and entering things like systems, stations, and talk groups as easy as possible. 

Being a digital scanner, it is no surprise that you can get a wide range of frequencies all across the spectrum, but what we noticed is that it was easy to do so with clear audio feedback with nearly no noise and static. The speakers being high-quality aids in the crystal clear sound as well. 

The radio also features a navigation system that is reliable and convenient. All frequencies in the United States and Canada come preprogrammed in the radio’s database. Entering the zip code that you are in generates quick and automatic scanning for your location, doing most of the work for you. 

This digital scanner can work on different systems, like the Motorola P25 Phase I, Phase II, and X2-TDMA. It is also equipped with a PC program to allow for easy setup and to update frequencies. 

The Virtual Scanner mode incorporated in the radio allows you to store up to 200 scanner configurations with no problem. The scanner records them through a Windows compatible file that can be accessed by a computer when needed. The clock and calendar on the scanner keep everything organized and easily accessible. 

Whistler Ws1088 ReviewThe radio was straightforward to program upon receiving due to this software, and the instructions included helped to save extra time. Whistler has upgradeable CPU and DSP firmware as well to ensure that the scanner can be of use and reliable for as long as possible. 


As you may have guessed by all the things this scanner has to offer, there are quite a few pros that make it stand out compared to other devices like it. For one, there is the inclusion of a Skywarn weather button on the radio that provides a shortcut to all the frequencies for storm networks and weather reports instantly.

Also, another benefit is the fact that it is a handheld digital scanner. The inclusion of the keyboard and PC software makes it possible to use without a computer while also still being compatible. You can transfer files easily from one to the other while also having the option to take it on the go. 

The clock on the scanner gives the product the ability to automatically turn on the radio at a specific time if needed. 


While it does have many great qualities, the Whistler WS1088 has a few downsides. The antenna on the scanner is on the short side and may have trouble picking up signals from farther out. 

While not the best at picking up weak signals, there is the option to buy an additional antenna that is longer and more reliable if you see that this is an issue. Another thing to look out for is the battery life, as a lot of its power is used when scanning. 


The Whistler WS1088 is a great choice if you are looking for a reliable and reasonably priced digital scanner. Even though the antenna and battery life is not the most ideal, there are ways around it and other redeeming qualities that make this radio one of the best on the market. 

To check it out for yourself, click on the yellow button to be directed to its Amazon page for more details. Thank you for reading, and we hope that this review helped you get to know the product. 

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