Best police scanner for car 2018 [Driver’s Guide]

Best police scanner for car
Best police scanner for car

It is always better to know about your surroundings while you are traveling. The best source of such information is none other than police and emergency services radio frequency. The first question which pops into our mind after hearing this is how to tap into those frequencies. We will show you how to do that with help of the best police scanner for car. A police scanner gives you such instant information or news which in most cases never reach to local radio or news. While driving a police scanner can warn you about weather, accidents or incidents which you should know for a safer journey.

The police scanner is basically a device which can automatically tune or scan multiple frequencies. It stops when it finds a working signal or frequency, only to start when you give next instruction. The advancements of technology have allowed these scanners to store thousands of channels and scan hundreds of them per second. You can use Police scanners to monitor police, fire, emergency medical services, beach, and air-traffic control. Police scanners are heavily used by journalists, crime investigators, drivers, and hobbyists.

Best police scanner for car

Product NameImageWeightDimensionPrice
Uniden 800 MHz 300-Channel Base Mobile Scanner2.9 pounds9.2 x 2.7 x 8.3 inches Check Price
Uniden BearTracker Mobile Tracking Scanner5.3 pounds10.4 x 3.4 x 8.2 inches Check Price
Uniden BCD536HP Digital Phase 2 Scanner6 pounds12.8 x 3.2 x 8.5 inches Check Price
Uniden HomePatrol II TouchScreen Digital Scanner3 pounds4.2 x 3.8 x 6.4 inches Check Price
Uniden BCD996P2 Digital T.T. V5.8 pounds11 x 3.8 x 8.5 inches Check Price
Whistler WS1065 Desktop Digital Scanner2.64 pounds5.3 x 7.3 x 2.2 inches Check Price
Whistler TRX-2 Desktop Digital Scanner2.09 pounds5.3 x 7.1 x 1.8 inches Check Price
BearTracker 885 Hybrid CB Radio/Digital Scanner5.07 pounds15 x 8.6 x 3.7 inches Check Price
Uniden BCD996P2 Phase II Digital Scanner3.5 pounds5.9 x 7.2 x 2.2 inches Check Price
300 Channel 800MHz Base Scanner2.91 pounds9.6 x 8.6 x 2.8 inches Check Price

 

Uniden 800 MHz 300-Channel Base Mobile Scanner

Uniden BC355N is the best police scanner for car in a low-cost range. It can pick up analog receptions from 300 police and emergency responder channels. The Uniden BC355N have turbo search which allows it to reach 180 steps per seconds. Close call RF Capture technology gives the unit ability to instantly tune to signals from nearby transmitters. The unit is pre-programmed with police, emergency services, fire, weather band frequencies. This feature makes scanning and locating frequencies an effortless task.

The scanner comes with a black finish which makes it attractive. Markings are easy to read. The backlit display makes the marking even easier to read in the low or dim light. Portability is the major selling point of this unit. You are free to install this scanner at your house or in your car. The best feature of this unit is the temporary lockout. It enables you to lock out the noisiest channel and channels which don’t have interesting information.

 

Pros
  • Can scan 300 channels.
  • It is easy to use and program.
  • Comes with Close Call™ RF Capture Technology.
Cons
  • None.

 

Uniden BearTracker Mobile Tracking Scanner

Uniden BCT15X is a mobile Beartracker scanner which comes with 9000 channels, advanced dynamic memory system, and close call RF capture technology. The unit contains 1 BCT15X scanner, 1 AD-1009 AC adapter, 1 cigarette lighter adapter power cord and three-wire harness. There is also a mounting bracket and hardware, one telescopic antenna with BNC and a PC serial cable. The TrunkTracker III technology allows you to track Motorola, EDACS and LTR systems. There are state-by-state pre-programmed channels for local police, DOT and Highway petrol frequencies.

The location-based scanning system automatically selects programmed channels based on your location. Specific Area Message Encoding alerts you to severe conditions during an NOAA weather or emergency alert. With DMA style programming you never waste memory on unused channels. BCT15X uses two special buttons to operate, labeled as Function and Menu. The Menu button starts various programming tasks whereas the Function button acts as a modifier.

 

Pros
  • Packed with a multiple features.
  • The scanner is easy to program.
  • Perfectly designed to fit in your car.
Cons
  • Looks very basic.

 

Uniden BCD536HP Digital Phase 2 Scanner

Uniden BCD536HP comes with an antenna, one scanner, a DC power adapter, AC Adapter, a USB cable, a three-wire harness, mounting brackets and hardware. This is the only scanner which has wifi and it’s own app. It enables you to set up your scanner in one place and use it from anywhere in the world via a tablet or smartphone. The scanner is very easy to use. All you need to do is enter your zip code and it starts scanning the local traffic, fire, police, HAM, railroads, etc. There is a sentinel software included with the unit which allows you to create a favorites list, insert LED or audio alerts for individual talk groups.

It also allows you to re-write the site and talk group labels. The unit is capable of recording and replaying transmissions. You can set the record period of the transmissions which ranges up to 4 minutes. After you start recording, the scanner adds the replay-recording buffer to the recording. You can listen to these recording immediately or save it to listen later. You can also rename and delete these recording through a review recording submenu.

Pros
  • Close Call RF Capture Technology.
  • Can Monitor the weather.
  • Wifi and GPS connectivity.
Cons
  • Complex to programme.

 

Uniden HomePatrol II

Uniden HomePatrol 2 is the best police scanner for car with rich features and ease of use. You just need to enter your zip code or city via the touchscreen and it will start scanning for transmissions in the area. It can receive all unencrypted, non-proprietary radio systems including APCO-25 phase 1 and phase 2 digital, Motorola, EDACS and many more. The scanner is capable of listening to radio traffic from aviation, rail, police, fire, federal, state, business, etc. Unit comes with its own software and a standard mini USB cable.

You can use the cable to charge and program the radio. Programming is very easy and hardly takes 5 minutes which includes software installation as well. The unit comes with a full touch color display and two buttons. One button is for volume control while another is used to switch on or off the scanner. The unit includes an SMA antenna connector, a microSD card slot, a GPS connector, one line out and a headphone jack.

Pros
  • Easy to use.
  • Nice user interface.
  • Everything needed is included in the box.
Cons
  • Screen was slow to respond sometimes.
  • Lacks full control for power users.

 

Whistler WS1065 Desktop Digital Scanner

Whistler WS1065 is a 21 mode well programmed digital police scanner. The unit comes with a scanner, one PC/IF cable, one DIN-E adapter and one AC adaptor. It also includes one DC cable, telescopic antenna and mobile mounting bracket. The unit can scan over 38,000 objects, and offers spectrum sweeper. The programmable alert system in the unit is included as a feature. The multi-color LED is configured to flash when certain objects are active. It also has an audible alarm system which is configured to sound when certain objects are active.

The LED alert and audible alarms can be used all together or separately. The backlit liquid crystal display is easy to read and use even in low light. You can transfer the programmed data to another WS1065 with ease. The key lock feature allows you to lock the scanners key to prevent accidentally changing the scanner’s settings. The audio quality of the high-end speakers is loud and clear.

Pros
  • Has good reception and sound quality.
  • Functions with 115-volt ac and 12-volt dc.
  • Interface is easy to navigate.
Cons
  • Scanner does not work on Phase II.
  • Programming channels is tricky sometimes.

 

Buyer’s guide of Best police scanner for car

Before buying you should go through the best practices recommended by our guide. There are multiple questions and pieces of information which you must have before making a decision. The first thing you need to know is why you need a police scanner for car. Then you need to know about different types of police scanners. There are many more things like frequency range, scan rate, memory capacity, etc to know before you buy your scanner.

Why you need a police scanner for car

There are multiple reasons for you to buy a police scanner for car. Although it depends on multiple things like your preferences, location and future plans for uses. Below is some best reason for you to buy a police scanner for car.

Realtime Local News

A police scanner gives you real-time local news in any town. Updates about Crime, emergency, weather, etc are few things with which you stay ahead from others. You get to know about events even before they become news.

Fun

Listening to radio chatter is actually fun. The curiosity about your surrounding keeps the boredom away.

Safety

In severe weather conditions, or in time of natural disasters radio communications are the most important method of communication. By tapping into communications of certain agencies or departments you get the instant information about real situations.

Hobby

Playing with police scanners is a hobby for certain technology enthusiasts. But it requires serious knowledge. You must have the ability to modify the pieces of equipment and add features which the device lacks.

Types Of Police Scanners

Based on the format of radio transmission police scanners are divided into five categories. In most of the areas its felony to listen to encrypted transmissions. Hence we will discuss only four types of police scanners.

Analog Scanners

The Analog scanners are the most common type of scanners. Analog signals are just like simple FM or AM signals.

Trunked scanners

Trunked radio is a two-way radio system. It provides the benefits of less user intervention to operate the radio and greater spectral efficiency with a large number of users. Trunk scanners can pick up analog signals as well.

Digital Phase I Scanners

Digital phase I scanning refers to digital scanning which does not scan APCO-25 phase II encoding. Most digital phase I scanners can scan and monitor digital phase I, trunked and analog transmissions.

Digital Phase II Scanners

Digital Phase II scanners are most sold scanners in the market. Phase II scanners can scan and monitor Digital Phase II, Digital Phase I, trunked and analog transmissions.

 

Things to know before buying the best police scanner for car

In order to buy the best police scanner for car, you have to understand the different features of a police scanner.

Size and Portability

While choosing your first best police scanner for car you should keep size and portability in mind. Generally, cars don’t have enough space to fit and large device.

Types Of Scanner

Based on the fact that every transmission is going digital today, you should prefer digital phase II scanners. But you can choose others as well based on your requirements.

Memory Capacity

Some scanners can store hardly 100 channels while others can store up to 1000 channels. Based on your requirements you can choose the preferred memory capacity scanner.

Scan Rate

The scan rate refers to the number of channels a police scanner can scan. More scanning power is always better, but you should never forget what speed exactly you need.

Frequency Range

The frequency range is an important factor in choosing your best scanner for car. While some low-frequency range scanner can cover only 25-512 MHz. On the other side, high-end scanners can cover up to 1300 MHz.

Price

Budget is the most important factor to keep in mind while making a purchase. Always remember high prices doesn’t always mean the best quality. Remember to look for features which you exactly need within your budget.

Conclusion

Best10Lab have sorted out some of the most impressive and popular best police scanner for car. No matter what reason you are buying the police scanner, there is at least one device in the list which will satisfy your need. If you are a new user, we will advise you to invest time in thinking about its application and the features you need. If you are a car owner you can also look at our pressure washer guide for more information.

 

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