Police scanners can be a very important piece of equipment to have, especially in times of emergency. Many times, simply having an extra bit of knowledge can give you a real boost in deciding what to do next, where to go and what to expect. Sure, you can still manage without one, but if you have the opportunity to have one, you certainly will not be sorry.
Best Police Scanner Reviews
With that in mind, we have put together a list of the six best police scanners for your review. In looking through these different scanners and their many different features, hopefully you will be able to make a well informed decision about purchasing your own.
Uniden BCD436HP Home Patrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner Review
First on our list is the Uniden BCD436HP Home Patrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. Another handy, handheld device, the portability of this Uniden makes it a great choice for anyone who is often out and about and not inside as much as most people.
Backpackers, campers, hikers and other outdoors people will love this model. It features a favorites list for all your favorite frequencies, department and site quick keys as well as a temporary avoid function. The enhanced dynamic memory has a narrowband reception and location based scanning, preemptive trunking priority and a multi-site system support.
Other features include S.A.M.E. weather alert with USA/Canada radio database and fire tone out alert. It also features, like most of the others, close call RF capture with 4GB of memory. While this unit is, in fact, rechargeable, the unit must be powered off for the batteries to charge. It can be powered by an external power supply, but keep in mind that it will not be charging during this time.
Uniden Bearcat Close Call 4-Line Alpha Display Digital Scanner Review
Next, the Uniden Bearcat Close Call 4-Line Alpha Display Digital Scanner. With this scanner, you can easily follow communications on apco 25, Phase 1, Phase 2, x2-tdma, Motorola, edacs and ltr trunked systems. With an advanced dynamic memory system, the close call RF capture technology allows you to instantly tune in to signals from nearby transmitters.
This Bearcat scanner features GPS capability and has 25,000 allocated channels as well as location based scanning. With the Uniden trunk tracker V digital scanner, you can turn any space into a safe space, as you are able to keep up with weather and local events as well as any emergency information that may be broadcast.
Other features include easy to see display, push buttons that are clearly marked, a USB plug and headphone jack for listening privacy. This Uniden scanner runs on one lithium ion battery, which is included.
Whistler WS 1065 Digital Desktop Scanner Review
Next up is the Whistler WS 1065 Digital Desktop Scanner. The Whistler is an easy to use unit that features programming that is menu driven and context sensitive help.
Each item on the menu provides a few lines of help text in order to provide you with assistance for programming and using the scanner, should you need it. The scan list functionality allows you to arrange and scan for objects according to a specific set of preferences that you can program in.
Free form memory organization means that you can allocate memory dynamically and efficiently, as it is needed. This is quite different from lower cost or older scanners that organized memory into rigid and wasteful memory banks.
The Skywarn Storm Spotter Function gives you instant access to frequencies that are used specifically by storm spotter networks. Digital AGC will instantly compensate for low user audio levels that are sometimes common on these digital systems.
Uniden BCD536HP Digital Phase 2 Base/Mobile Scanner with HPDB and Wi-Fi Review
The Uniden BCD536HP Digital Phase 2 Base/Mobile Scanner with HPDB and Wi-Fi is next up on our list. This Uniden seems to have it all, with a favorites list, system and department and site quick keys or ease of use.
The enhanced dynamic memory with narrowband reception and location based scanning means that you will not have to sift through channel after channel to find exactly what you are looking for.
Other features include a preemptive trunking priority and a multi-site system support. The S.A.M.E. weather alert has a USA/Canada radio database and fire tone-out alert. Additionally, there is a close call RF capture with 4GB of memory. While this unit does offer the Wi-Fi option, it currently only works with the PC and Apple app, as the Android app is still under development.
Uniden BX355N 800 MHz 300 Channel Base Mobile Scanner Review
Next, is the Uniden BX355N 800 MHz 300 Channel Base Mobile Scanner. This Uniden model features 300 channels with close call RF capture technology as well as preprogrammed service search for police, fire, emergency services, marine, CB, aircraft and weather bands so that finding exactly what you want is only as far as the push of a button.
No more scanning through frequencies for long periods of time, looking for what you need to hear. There is also a temporary lockout feature on this model as well as search lockouts, for when you need them. While this is a very basic mobile scanner, it is also a very affordable one, since it does not have all the extra features that some models have, that are great for home, office or mobile use.
All 300 channels are storable, giving you coverage of all the action bands, as well as a wealth of powering options depending on which application you are using.
Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Handheld Radio Scanner Review
We round out our review with our final model, the Uniden Bearcat 500 Channel Alpha Numeric Handheld Radio Scanner. This handheld police scanner gives you far more mobility than any of the base models you may have seen, since you can take this one on your person with ease.
While it is smaller, it still has a wealth of features that will be sure to come in handy, including both civil and military aircraft bands, close call RF frequency counter capture mode, CTCSS and DCS, 10 banks, optional PC programming with included USB cables and free software that is available online.
In addition to these great features, it is good to know that each of the 500 channels available on this device can be assigned an alphanumeric name for ease of use of searching. With built in auto searches for police, fire, ham radio, marine radio, air radio, railroads and more, you can quickly pull up exactly what you need to hear with a quickness.
With the Bearcat, you can listen to more than 40,000 frequencies, when you need to hear them, with presets for the most popular channels. This lightweight, portable design gives you all the important weather and safety alerts as well, all at the tip of your fingers. This model runs on two AA batteries that are good for months of use before you will need to replace them.
My Vote for Best Digital Police Scanner
Of these six police scanners that we have looked at here today, my top pick for personal favorite is going to be the Uniden Home Patrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. This unit has all the great features anyone could need and all the portability anyone could possibly want. No need for extra features that you will not be making use of, while still having a great number of frequencies as well as weather alert and fire tone out alert.
While this scanner is much like the other handheld on our list, I had to go with this one due to the rechargeable battery feature, which makes it a great deal. Saving money on batteries actually really adds up in the long run.