Having a police scanner makes it possible to stay on top of all of the different events that are currently taking place in your local neighborhood and surrounding community.
A lot of what’s going on around you will never make it to the nightly news or show up anywhere in the newspaper but having a police scanner will allow you to keep up on neighborhood current events as well as know about any emergencies going on nearby.
Another benefit to using them is that you’ll be one of the first to know what’s going on with the roads in your local area and any problems caused by ongoing weather conditions.
There are quite a few different options available if you want to listen to what the police are saying to one another and you can choose between using a scanner app or a dedicated police scanner.
I’ll get into the apps later on but right now I want to talk about some of my recommendations for the best police scanner.
Before I get into my recommendations I just want to go over the three different types of scanners that are most common and that you’ll most likely come across.
One of the most popular types of scanners and the easiest one to bring around with you is a portable police scanner.
These are basically like walkie-talkies that allow you to pick up the signal and listen in to what the police are saying to one another over their scanner systems wherever you happen to be.
Another popular type are the fixed police scanners and these are fixed units that plug directly into the wall for a power source.
With one of these you’re only able to access the scanner from a stationary position and while it’s possible to bring it around with you they tend to be a little bit bigger than the portable ones and require more power so they need to be plugged in as well.
The final most popular type of scanner are ones that are installed right into the vehicle just like a car radio would be.
This type allows you to listen to the scanner while you’re out driving around and they can typically be installed in just about any car that’s capable of holding a radio device.
With some of the basics out of the way let’s take a look at my recommendations.
The Best Police Scanner
When it comes to the different standards available you’ll quickly realize that it’s the company Uniden that is really leading the way when it comes to the options you’re able to check out.
While there are a few other companies that are making scanners I’ll mostly be recommending ones made by Uniden and so far I’m very happy with the quality, signal strength, and durability of their gear.
Uniden Handheld Scanner (BC75XLT)
The Uniden Handheld Scanner (BC75XLT) is handheld, portable, and can be used to program up to 300 channels into the memory of the scanner for quick access.
With the ability to program 300 channels it’s possible to set up a wide range of different frequencies to connect to and this makes it possible to listen to various channels without having to search for a new one each time.
It’s also possible to set priority channels so that you can quickly switch to any channels that you’re interested in listening to at the moment and you can also find unlisted frequencies with a simple scan as well.
The display is backlit so it can be used at night and in poor lighting conditions while still being able to easily read the information on screen.
The antenna is also flexible so it’s possible to take advantage of great reception regardless of where you are as long as there is suitable signal strength available to connect to.
Keeping it powered is simple and it uses a pair of rechargeable batteries that can be charged with the USB cord even while it’s on so you don’t have to worry about any down time because you couldn’t find any batteries to use.
Ask for portability, this is one of my top recommendations when it comes to the best portable police scanner because it features a compact design, comes with an attached belt clip, and is a handheld device so it can be carried around quite comfortably.
Uniden Bearcat 500 (BC125AT)
The Uniden Bearcat 500 (BC125AT) is another handheld and portable police scanner that I would recommend checking out.
With this device it’s possible to listen to more than 40,000 frequencies and it comes with 500 alpha-tagged channels for more efficient searching capabilities.
The scanner itself features a lightweight and compact design that makes it easy to bring with you wherever you’re traveling and it also comes with presets that can be used to quickly hop-on to popular channels nearby.
The way it works is by taking advantage of a close call RF capture technology that allows it to quickly tune onto the signals nearby given off by close transmitters.
It also comes with a variety of active service searches that allow you to also quickly connect to police, fire, marine, and other frequencies.
With the large display and backlight it’s possible to clearly see the alpha tag, frequency, channel number, mode, and the signal strength meter and the light also allows for it to be used in poor lighting conditions.
For added portability there is a clip on the back of the device and the antenna can be removed for storage or to make it more portable depending on your needs.
Uniden BC355N Mobile Scanner
The Uniden BC355N Mobile Scanner more of fixed scanner that’s designed to be plugged directly into the wall for power and it also comes with an automotive power outlet plug so that it can be used in the car as well for more portability.
This little device it’s great to use at home as it sits nicely on a flat surface and it’s quite compact as well so it doesn’t take up too much space at the desk or on the counter when you’re using it.
As for using it, it comes with the ability to store up to 300 channels so that you can quickly tune to them depending on which frequency you’re looking to connect to and it also comes with a pre-programmed service search that makes finding other active frequencies a lot easier.
When it comes to dealing with those pesky noisy channels it’s possible to use a temporary lockout and there’s also search lockout capability that you can use to avoid tuning to those uninteresting frequencies that you don’t want to listen to.
The large backlit display makes it easy to see all of the information that you have available at your fingertips even in poor living conditions and all of the buttons you need to find frequencies and tune to your favourite range as well as change settings are accessible from the front and are of a large, easy-to-use design.
I believe that this is a great little device to use at home as a dedicated police scanner or to leave in your car in case of weather emergencies.
Whistler WS1025 Analog Desktop Scanner
The Whistler WS1025 Analog Desktop Scanner is a nifty little desktop device and offers the capability of a 200 channel memory.
It comes equipped with a backlit display that’s easy to read and operate even in conditions with poor lighting and it’s possible to set the scanner to check a new channel every two seconds while it’s scanning through the different frequencies available.
The option for data cloning is available and you can transfer any of the data from another WS1025 over to yours and it also comes with a key lock that locks the keys of the scanner so that you don’t accidentally change the programming while you’re listening.
With the lockout function you can skip any channels that you’re not interested in tuning in to and powering it up requires you to use the included AC adapter so it’s well-suited for home use.
Controlling it is done by the range of buttons on the front of this is scanner and there’s also a headphone jack if you’re looking to listen through your headphones for better sound.
With the buttons on the front it’s possible to quickly reach frequencies set to favorite ranges such as marine, fire or police departments, airplane, weather, and ham frequencies.
Uniden BC365CRS Radio Scanner
The Uniden BC365CRS Radio Scanner is another scanner that I would recommend checking out if you’re looking for one that’s well suited for home use.
It offers the ability to store up to 500 channels in 10 different banks depending on the frequencies that you’re most interested in listening in on and it also comes with a built-in FM radio so you can also listen to your local stations.
Thanks to the built-in alarm clock you can wake up with your favorite channels playing and ask for the FM stations it can save up to 30 different ones in the memory so that it’s possible to quickly tune to it and listen to a broadcast.
Like I mentioned this scanner is well-suited to use at home and the buttons boast a nice layout that makes them easy to use and the LCD display is backlit so that it can be used at night.
It’s possible to keep any frequencies that are important to you in the priority channels and during scanning these channels can be checked every 2 seconds making it possible to always listen in on anything important that might be happening.
It also comes with the ability to make 5 service searches so you can easily search the bands that are most often used by police, fire, amateur radio, marine, and aircraft transmissions.