What Is the Best Digital Police Scanner of 2018?

Are you curious what happens in your neighbor once the sun goes down? Do you ever drive by a bad car accident and wonder what exactly happened? You may think that you're in the know in your area, but there is a lot that happens which you don't know about.

If you want to be a more informed citizen, listening to a police scanner can keep you up to date on criminal and emergency situations. While it may seem sketchy to newcomers, police scanners are legal in most states.

When you begin looking for the best police scanner, you may become overwhelmed by the sheer variety offered on the internet. While they may all seem the same, there are some huge differences, making some better than others.

Do you want to know which police scanners are worth the money? Keep reading to discover the best digital police scanner of 2018.

8. 5-0 Radio Police Scanner App

Alright, so this first one isn't really a digital scanner, but it's the best way to go to get a taste of this hobby without spending a fortune.

The 5-0 Police Scanner is a free app that's available in both the iPhone and Android app store. Your phone's location features allow the app to find your location and give you relevant feed for your local area. If you're interested in listening to feed from different cities or countries, this app does offer international coverage.

Not only can you listen to police feeds, but fire, EMS, military, train, and plane feeds are available as well. If you try this app out and really like it, you can upgrade to pro which has an additional 50,000 frequencies.

Is this as good as the best police scanner? Not quite. But, if you aren't committed to spending several hundred dollars, you can't go wrong with this free app.

7. Whistler TRX-2

If you're ready to dip into your savings for a quality police scanner, but are still fairly new to the game, the Whistler TRX-2 may be the best police scanner for you.

Many other police scanners are very difficult to program, but this scanner already has a nice selection of Canadian and American zip codes to choose from. If you don't see your desired zip code in the pre-loaded selection, it is easy to load your location.

Just like many modern electronics, sometimes scanner software starts to go obsolete. When this happens, there is an easy-to-use option to update the Whistler TRX-2's software, keeping it competitive for years to come.

Are you also worried about inclement weather in your area? Well, the Whistler TRX-2 has you covered. It comes complete with a SKYWARN weather feature that will warn you of inclement weather before you hear it on the news, so you can stay ahead of the curve.

This scanner's biggest downfall is its size. It's a 2.1-pound desktop scanner., making it heavier and less convenient than its handheld counterparts. However, the handle also doubles as a stand lift so you won't need to purchase a separate lift.

6. Uniden BearTracker

Do you have trouble remembering your favorite frequencies? Then, you'd love the Uniden BearTracker. This digital police scanner allows you to name each frequency, so you can stay organized and efficient.

But it doesn't stop there. The Uniden BearTracker includes 100 Quick Keys, so you can quickly navigate the system. There is also a channel number tagging feature, which comes in handy because this police scanner has over 9,000 channels available.

Set-up is a breeze - in fact, you don't even need a computer to program it. It can be linked to a GPS receiver and automatically choose local frequencies to make finding the right channel easy. There are also pre-selected police and highway patrol frequencies which can be used across the country, so you won't have to constantly stop to reprogram.

5. Uniden BCD536HP

Did you like the idea of having a police scanner on your phone? While scanner apps may not be as effective as digital police scanners, the Uniden BCD536HP makes great strides in combining the two.

This car-based scanner is extremely easy to use. The keypad and display are well lit, so you won't have trouble seeing in the dark. The keypad is simple, making programming your digital scannereasy. HomePatrol data is already included, meaning entering your desired zip code can be done quickly, so you can start listening right away.

All the necessary cords and brackets are included in the package, so no additional purchases are needed. Since it's a vehicle-based digital scanner, it runs off your car's battery, eliminating the need for regular batteries.

So, where does your smartphone come into play? Well, Uniden seems to know that car-based scanners can be quite inconvenient since they aren't mobile. They've found a way around this by offering a Uniden Siren App that can be downloaded onto your phone. It uses Wi-Fi to connect the app to your car scanner, so you can listen in from anywhere on your smartphone.

4. Uniden HomePatrol-2

Do you ever mishear something and wish you could listen to it again? The Uniden HomePatrol-2 masters this by including playback, instant replay, and quick record features.

It's also one of the best police scanners if you're looking for something simple. It comes loaded with a pre-programmed database, so all you have to do is enter your zip code to gain access to all your local police, EMS, and fire stations. It's so easy to use, that it only takes about 3 minutes to get it all set-up.

Another great asset of the Uniden HomePatrol-2 is its revolutionary touchscreen. It brings a modern and user-friendly element to a classic digital scanner.

While most other police scanners are designed for mobile use or for in-vehicle use, this was designed as a home scanner. It comes equipped with a tilt stand for better screen visibility, and it weighs in at only 1.1 pounds, making it easy to move around the house.

It also comes with an AC adapter cable and rechargeable batteries, so you can power it using a wall outlet, or go cordless. Since the batteries last 5-6 hours between charges, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy wireless police scans.

3. Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol

You may not think display size matters much when deciding what the best police scanner is - you're just listening to it anyway, right? While screen size may not be the most important factor, a nice sized screen can come in handy when choosing stations and playing with other features.

Uniden has made this a priority in their BCD436HP HomePatrol digital scanner. The screen is much larger than other scanners, so you can view more at once when navigating the system. They've also included a backlit keypad, so you can see what you're doing in the dark.

In addition to the large screen, this scanner also offers GPS connectivity, over 4GB of memory, and various discover modes, making it a great overall option to meet your needs.

Unlike other Uniden police scanners, like the Uniden HomePatrol-2, the Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol is not powered using rechargeable batteries. Instead, it takes AA batteries which can be an inconvenience, although they do last fairly long.

If you're looking for a budget scanner, this may not be the best option as it costs around $420. However, if you're a police scanner hobbyist, it may be worth the cost.

2. Whistler WS1080

Do you like to scan various types of networks? While some scanners are limited in this area, the Whistler WS1080 can scan X2-TDMA networks in addition to Phase I and Phase II digital networks.

If that isn't enough variety, you'll be pleased to know that the Whistler WS1080 can track Motorola P25 signals too. This will keep you up to date on things being shared on radio waves.

If your computer runs on Windows, you'll also have the option to record any transmissions you want and play it back later. While this is a great feature, it's unfortunately only for Windows - Mac and other operating systems won't be able to utilize this.

One big downfall to this police scanner is the battery life. It runs on AA batteries, and many customers have complained that they don't last long enough. If you're a frequent scanner user, you may want to keep a battery stash at home.

Although it has a hefty price tag of roughly $440, the overall device is very highly rated and has some great features that make it the runner-up for best police scanner

1. Whistler TRX-1

If you're a serious police scanner enthusiast, you're probably looking for the best of the best. Well, look no further than the Whistler TRX-1. But, what makes it the best police scanner on the market?

Well, not only does it have a wide array of digital frequencies, but it also picks up AM, FM, and analog channels, so you have as many choices as possible. It also comes with a SKYWARN button, so you can be on top of weather-related events before the local news can even put a story together.

Like most police scanners, you can input zip codes to ensure you find the best local frequencies. This feature is easy to use, so you don't have to frustrate yourself fiddling with the scanner. There are also plenty of pre-loaded Canadian and American zip codes, so you may be able to start listening right away if you find your zip code on this list.

Of course, the best police scanner has the best features as well. The Whistler TRX-1 has a fully equipped backlit keypad which includes scan, select, and pause functions. You can even program the keypad to flash in different patterns to alert you to significant radio traffic. The sweeper and scanning functions are efficient, so you can waste as little time as possible finding a good channel.

What really makes this the best scanner is the alarm clock function. This handy feature lets you program it to start scanning at a certain time, so you can hear all about the crazy late-night shenanigans without having to stay up all night.

You won't have to worry about attempting to interpret crackly voices anymore, either. It has one of the best voice qualities for a police scanner and its sensitive sensors make it possible to pick up weak signals.

If you like a scanner with lots of storage space, the Whistler TRX-1 comes with a 2GB microSD card that has enough available memory to save up to 50 hours of audio recordings. If you need more space, it is compatible with 32 GB cards. You can date and time stamp your recordings and group your stored objects in up to 200 different Scanlists to stay as organized as possible.

Of course, the best police scanner won't come cheaply. Be prepared to shell out around $500 to get the bragging rights of owning the Whistler TRX-1.

The Best Police Scanner

Finding the best police scanner can be difficult whether you're a newbie or a seasoned police scanner hobbyist. There are many different scanners with varying features and costs, so it's important that you find one with all the features you need.

We have voted the Whistler TRX-1 the best police scanner in 2018 for its variety of frequencies and amazing features, like the alarm clock feature. However, the Whistler WS1080, Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol, Uniden HomePatrol-2, Uniden BCD536HP, Uniden BearTracker, Whistler TRX-2, and 5-0 Radio Police Scanner app are all great options too.

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