Handheld and digital police scanners are special devices that let you listen to different wireless radio conversations, making them useful for picking up channels that are primarily used by emergency responders. Besides that, these scanners also allow people to listen to more than the police and emergency responder communications. Hence, this article will discuss more of its benefits later on.
For now, the top-rated police scanner reviews are discussed below, giving you no less than the best options on the market. You will learn about each of the model from specific brands or manufacturers, explaining the product features, including the advantages over the other models. So, if you are interested in buying the best police scanner, then you are on the right page.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|Uniden BC75XLT Handheld Scanner|| (3.8 / 5) |
|Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Radio Scanner|| (3.8 / 5) |
|Uniden HomePatrol-2 Digital Scanner|| (3.8 / 5) |
|Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Scanner|| (3.8 / 5) |
|Uniden BearTracker Mobile Tracking Scanner|| (3.8 / 5) |
Best Police & Radio Scanner Reviews
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Police & Radio Scanner Reviews
- 2 Police & Radio Scanner Buying Guide
- 3 Important Features
- 4 Conclusion
The first item on the list is the Uniden BC75XLT Handheld ScannerUniden BC75XLT Handheld Scanner, which garners an average rating of 3.8-Stars from its customers on Amazon. It is among the handheld police scanners that let you monitor fire and police departments as well as the communications between rescue and paramedics.
This design has a lot in store, featuring NOAA weather transmissions, including business and/or industrial radio, marine, utilities, air band transmissions, and amateur bands. Keep in mind that scanning frequencies could be very frustrating and time-consuming, but thanks to the Uniden BC75XLT for its Close Call capture technology. These special, added aspects on this model can immediately tune to signals within nearby transmitters.
Thus, the technology helps you in detecting and identifying local signals and frequencies. Also, this handheld police scanner provides a comprehensive memory, which can store up to 300 programmed frequencies. Moreover, the Uniden BC75XLT can receive conventional channels on 25-54 MHz, 406 – 512 MHz, and 108 – 174 MHz. You will also find a ‘Do Not Disturb’ function, preventing close calls throughout your transmission.
On top of the scanner’s USB chargeable cord, easy-to-read display, which is also backlit and a flexible antenna for exceptional reception, this gear surely offers optimum customization feature. It is conveniently customizable, allowing you to get all the channels you want or need and designate them to your ‘priority channels’; thereby, resulting in frequent scanning.
All in all, the Uniden BC75XLT Handheld Scanner offers you peace of mind due to the pre-set function, while quickly tuning to nearby channels and avoiding interruption through the ‘Do Not Disturb’ facet. This powerful device also complies with the FCC regulations, considering its narrowband-ready design. Finally, this could be the best handheld police scanner because it is lightweight and portable, thanks to the rechargeable alkaline batteries. Read our detailed Uniden BC75XLT Review.
The next one is theUniden Bearcat BC125AT Radio Scanner, which is a 500-channel scanner with CTCSS and DCS features. Also garnering an average rating of 3.8-Stars, the BC125AT is a handheld scanner radio that presents a Close Call RF Capture technology, enabling an instant tuning to signals within nearby transmitters. This gadget also offers the Close Call ‘Do Not Disturb’ function, preventing close call checks throughout a transmission.
The BC125AT is a compact scanner, resulting in optimum portability and flexibility, letting you bring the equipment where ever you need it. Aside from the mentioned highlights, this also provides a Weather Alert technology. Furthermore, it is highly capable of connecting to military and civilian air bands. Similar to the previous model, the Uniden Bearcat BC125AT can receive conventional channels on 400-512-MHz, 225-380-MHz, 108-174-MHz, and 25-54-MHz frequencies.
Hence, this is a very good police scanner that lets you stay informed through more than 40,000 frequencies. This sophisticated device also features 500 alpha-tagged channels, including important weather and crucial safety alerts, allowing you to search more efficiently. On top of that, you can likewise assign each of the 500 channels into their alphanumeric names.
In addition to the above-mentioned features, the Bearcat BC125AT also flaunts 10 Banks, including an optional PC programming. The kit includes a USB cable, plus software that is free online. This could be the best police scanner for you, considering the loaded marks it has to offer at a very affordable price tag! After all, it has generated a lot of positive reviews on Amazon as well as happy and satisfied customers. Read our Bearcat BC125AT Review.
Meanwhile, the Uniden HomePatrol-2 Digital Scanner is the Phase-2 version with a pre-programmed database. This 3.8-Star-rated tool is the epitome of simplicity, letting you enter the city code or zip code and the scanner instantly selects the active channels within that area. This digital police scanner is able to follow communications on APCO 25 Phase 2, Phase 1, Motorola, EDACS, X2-TDMA, as well as LTR trunked systems.
It is also capable of receiving conventional channels and a wide array of trunked channels such as the Motorola Type I, II, Iii Hybrid, II Smartnet, Smartzone, Smartzone Omnilink, II VOC, including LTR Standard, EDACS Standard, Project 25 Standard, EDACS Narrowband, and so much more! It receives channels on frequencies like 758-960 MHz and 25-512 MHz, but not cellular telephone bands.
While this has almost the same look and design as the HomePatrol 1, it boasts the additional TDMA Phase 2 function. It is very easy to operate, unlike other brands and models out there. In fact, this allows you to enjoy its functions within three minutes or so. There is no programming necessary, just letting you enter the zip code, and voila! It’s up and running!
After entering the city or zip code, the HomePatrol-2 will immediately load EMS channels, fire, and police channels within your designated area. It is among the best police scanners today with included rechargeable batteries and USB cable. What is more, this instrument also makes use of a simple database, plus firmware upgrade capability.
The Uniden HomePatrol-2 Digital Scanner is preferred by many customers simply because of its ease of use, as well as the built-in Record/Replay capabilities, the ultra-detailed channel descriptions, and the available programming software for customization. Read our Uniden HomePatrol Review.
Another item that receives a 3.8-Star rating on Amazon is the Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Digital Handheld Scanner. This could be the best radio scanner because it is the first ever scanner to integrate the HomePatrol-1’s simplicity, but in a traditional handheld type.
Among the loaded features of the BCD436HP HomePatrol includes the Close Call RF Capture function of Uniden, GPS Connectivity, Radio System Analysis, Discover Modes and the extra-large display. These advanced features put everything right in your hand, making it the most reliable one to date.
Meanwhile, the LCD backlit keypad illuminates the screen and keys, allowing for an easy and quick setup of your favorite lists. The site/department Quick Keys, on the other hand, allows for fast call or tagging the channel number/system. The Uniden BCD436HP covers five different frequencies, including 25-512 MHz, 849-869 MHz, 758-824 MHz, 1240-1300 MHz, and 894-960 MHz.
There are added features that you can likewise enjoy such as the APCO 25 Phase II and Phase I, TrunkTracker V, X2-TDMA, P25 NAC decoding, CTCSS/DCS rapid decoding, and the very convenient Sentinel PC software, keeping the scanner’s firmware and database up to date. Similar to the previous model, this one too, is capable of receiving a wide array of trunked channels like the Motorola Type I and Type II, Type IIi Hybrid, Motorola Type II Smartzone, Motorola Type II Smartnet, Motorola X2-TDMA, Project 25 Standard, LTR Standard, EDACS Standard and Narrowband, and more.
Surely, the Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Digital Handheld Scanner is among the top police scanners, considering the impressive and powerful features, its location-based scanning function, fire tone-out alert, and its enhanced dynamic memory, multi-site system support, and preemptive trunking priority. Read our Uniden BCD436HP Review.
The last item, but not the least in rating and performance is the Uniden BearTracker BCT15X Mobile Tracking Scanner. Also receiving a 3.8-Star rating, this scanner comes in an elegant black color with GPS support system.
This advanced equipment has a room for 9,000 channels, including Uniden’s exclusive features such as the Advanced Dynamic Memory System, GPS compatibility, and the Close Call RF Capture Technology. Just like its brothers, the BCT15X can also receive conventional channels and analog trunked channels like Motorola Type I and Type II, Type Iii Hybrid, Type II Smartnet, Type II Smartzone, Smartzone Omnilink, Type II VOC, including LTR Standard, EDACS Standard and Narrowband, EDACS SCAT, EDACS Networked, and so much more.
This Uniden police scanner boasts the TrunkTracker III Technology that allows for trunked 2-way radio system monitoring. With this special function, you can keep up to date with the actions on LTR, EDACS, and Motorola systems. Meanwhile, the Close Call technology results in the instant tuning to signals within nearby transmitters, allowing you to stay on top of everything within your area.
Additionally, the location-based scanning capacity is capable of selecting programmed systems automatically, depending on your area once connected with a GPS receiver. Its fire tone-out search mode can determine the tones received, resulting in a quick and convenient tone-out programming.
The continuous band coverage includes 25MHz – 1.3GHz, but excluding UHF TV as well as cellular telephone. The temporary lockout feature unlocks channels automatically when there is cycle power. All in all, the Uniden BearTracker BCT15X has created pleasant radio scanner reviews because of these useful features, plus bonuses like alpha-tagging, band scope, 100 fast key system access, public safety scanner, individual channel volume offset, and so much more. Read our Uniden BCT15X Review.
Police & Radio Scanner Buying Guide
Without a doubt, digital and handheld police scanner reviews are very helpful for every potential buyer of such product. Aside from reviews, customer feedbacks and ratings, here are more things you should take note of when shopping for police scanners.
Police scanners are basically categorized into five types. However, each mode can also be a combination of two or more kind. Below, you will understand better the available varieties of scanners on the market.
- Base Scanner –This type of police scanner is sometimes referred to as mobile or desktop scanner. In general, it is widely used for home purposes as this model is oftentimes difficult to move from one place to another. Hence, it is called a base scanner as it is designated for use at a base location, although it could also be situated into the vehicle dash, but requiring brackets for mounting. It usually requires an AC power if used at home or from the cigarette lighter when used in the vehicle. Other models make use of power through the vehicle’s battery.
- Portable Scanner – A portable police scanner is also called as the handheld model, allowing for maximum portability due to the small, compact, and easy to use design. You can carry and bring this model anywhere you go because of its handiness. Most of its models come with an AC adapter, such as the stated products above.
- Pre-programmed Scanner – A pre-programmed scanner says it all, coming pre-programmed or already setup for the consumer, although its capacity could be limited to the local area where the buyer is using it. Most of these types come in the analog configuration with trunking capability, but cannot handle the latest APCO-25 digital, while some models are also analog with digital trunking.
- Trunking Scanner – On the other hand, this system allows agencies and communities to offer a larger number of groups to allocate a small number of frequencies within congested scanner bands. This type is highly capable of monitoring regular radio systems. But, a model designed for regular radio systems alone will not scan a trunking system. When opting for this type of scanner, it is always crucial to identify your needs and inform the scanner provider ahead of time, prior to purchasing.
- Digital Scanner – This type costs more than the standard or basic scanner due to its versatility. The best digital radio scanner can monitor analog radio and digital radio systems, including the standard and trunking radio systems. Hence, a digital scanner is widely used by many people in order to keep up and not to miss out on anything.
Primary Users and Uses
So, who makes use of this equipment? Basically, a police scanner is maximized by everyone engaged in emergency response teams and throughout the communications department. Those in the infrastructure businesses also make use of police scanners, and virtually all those are simply curious on its functions. Below are the primary users and uses of such device.
- Home users
- New media reporters
- Dispatch centers
- Patrol centers
- Corporate security workers
- Government agencies
- Military agencies
- Public building workers
- School organizations
- Neighborhood watch
There are several, important features that you should consider when shopping for the best police scanner for car or home use. In this section of the article, you will better understand each of the primary and crucial ones that a scanner must possess for it to function to the fullest. By understanding these, you will also make a good product comparison later on.
It is important to determine the number of channels that a scanner is capable of scanning or monitoring. This feature may depend on your personal preference, identifying the number of agencies or organizations that you are interested in. Keep in mind that a basic model would offer between 10 and 20 channels, making it sufficient for some users, but others aim for a model with a larger number of channels.
Banks and Lists
The ‘banks’ feature allows you to organize or simplify a large number of channels. A scanner that offers a Dynamic Memory Allocation feature makes use of Scan Lists, which is almost similar to Banks, but you can control the number of channel in each.
Meanwhile, the search mode allows you to search for frequencies, even those unpublished or unlicensed. It is used by many people in following the US Park Service or federal government agencies.
This feature is necessary if you intend to follow an agency, which utilizes a trunked radio system. Hence, it is important to identify if the model that you are buying has this feature for that specific purpose.
Today, there are scanners that offer alpha-tags for alphanumeric displays, providing you with very useful and helpful text in order to identify different agencies and channels.
Many other features to watch out for when looking for a digital scanner includes the mode and step selection, sensitivity, selectivity, computer control, and dynamic memory. Each of these functions could give a particular model of scanner the edge and advantage over other models.
All in all, digital police scanner reviews are helpful tools for all the potential buyers of such equipment. These reviews provide the reader and buyer with crucial information about a particular product, based on the actual user’s experience. And, by having such information at hand, the buyer will eventually make an informed buying decision.
Nonetheless, exploring the available options on the market, ranging from the size, type, portability, and added features is always crucial, before placing your order online. Take note that the featured products in this review are the most reliable and portable police scanners today.
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