Essential Guide of Radio Scanners – May 2021 Edition

Looking to find the best Radio Scanners?

We researched 24 Radio Scanners, tested 8, and we have done 28 hours of research. The best Radio Scanners doesn’t have to be complicated to be great. Our first pick is exactly that. No more, no less. It also costs less than any other products we tested.

The best

No. 1
Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channel Clock/FM Radio Scanner with Weather Alert
  • Includes 500 channels in 10 Banks for scanning local public safety and other interesting frequencies.
  • Easily search bands commonly used for Police, Fire/EMS, Aircraft, Amateur Radio, and Marine transmissions.
  • Built-in FM radio with 30 FM presets, lets you listen to your local radio stations.
  • Built in Alarm Clock lets you wake to your favorite FM station, a weather channel, or scanning. Also has Snooze and Sleep.
  • Weather Scan with Alert, listen to local weather conditions and be alerted when hazardous conditions arise.
  • Large clear LCD backlit display is easy to read at night.
  • The buttons are nicely laid out for ease of use, so there's no fumbling around in the dark.

Intro

Here’s your guide to choosing the best Radio Scanners. As there is a great number of models with varying prices, you may find it difficult to figure out which one is right for you. For this reason, we decided to make a top 10 of the Radio Scanners of different brands and prices based on the best value for money. This ranking was created to help you find the best Radio Scanners depending on your needs and budgets. Our selection criteria are provided to give you a complete picture of the items offered. Get ready to find the Radio Scanners that’s right for you!

Our picks

No. 1
Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channel Clock/FM Radio Scanner with Weather Alert
  • Includes 500 channels in 10 Banks for scanning local public safety and other interesting frequencies.
  • Easily search bands commonly used for Police, Fire/EMS, Aircraft, Amateur Radio, and Marine transmissions.
  • Built-in FM radio with 30 FM presets, lets you listen to your local radio stations.
  • Built in Alarm Clock lets you wake to your favorite FM station, a weather channel, or scanning. Also has Snooze and Sleep.
  • Weather Scan with Alert, listen to local weather conditions and be alerted when hazardous conditions arise.
  • Large clear LCD backlit display is easy to read at night.
  • The buttons are nicely laid out for ease of use, so there's no fumbling around in the dark.
No. 2
Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner, 500-Alpha-Tagged Channels, Close Call Technology, PC Programable, Aviation, Marine, Railroad, NASCAR, Racing, and Non-Digital Police/Fire/Public Safety.
  • LISTEN IN AND STAY INFORMED, this sophisticated scanner has 500 alpha-tagged channels in a convenient compact design with loads of features. Close Call RF capture technology instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters and the Do Not Disturb Mode prevents Close Call checks during a transmission.
  • LISTEN TO OVER 40,000 FREQUENCIES, you can listen to both civilian and military bands, including Non-Digital Police, Ambulance, Fire, Weather, Marine, Aircraft, Railroad, Civil Air, Amateur radio services, and Racing events.
  • SEARCH MORE EFFICIENTLY with 500 Alpha-Tagged Channels finding the channel you want to listen to is easy, with 500 channels divided into 10 storage banks. Organize your channels by department, location, area of interest, or any other way you prefer. Alpha Tagging lets you assign names to your channels, so you can keep track of who you are listening to.
  • LIGHTWIEGHT PORTABLE DESIGN, take this Bearcat handheld radio scanner with you on the road, or on outings. It packs plenty of features, the orange backlight display is easy to read, even in low light conditions.
  • GET STARTED LISTENING RIGHT AWAY with convenient Pre-sets for the most popular searches. Frequencies are preset in ten separate Non -Digital Police/Fire/Emergency, Ham, Marine, Railroad, Civil Air, Military Air, CB Radio, FRS/GMRS/MURS, and Racing search bands. This makes it easy to find channels that interest you.
  • EXCELLENT HAND-HELD SCANNER (Please note: model BC125AT is NOT suitable for Trunking or Digital Radio system monitoring, (e.g. Project 25, DMR, NXDN). Some Police/Fire/Emergency/Public Safety Agencies in larger cities are switching over to DIGITAL Trunking systems. If you live in an area where Trunking or Digital Radio systems are used, you need to upgrade to a Uniden Digital model (“D” stands for Digital), such as models BCD436HP, BCD536HP, BCD996P2, BCD325P2, or HomePatrol-2.
No. 3
Uniden BC355N 800 MHz 300-Channel Base/Mobile Scanner, Pre-programmed Search “Action” Bands to Hear Police, Ambulance, Fire, Amateur Radio, Public Utilities, Weather, and More (Renewed)
  • The Uniden Bearcat BC355N Mobile/Base Scanner is one of the most feature packed, user-friendly, entry level scanners available today. It can pick up analog receptions including 6 Service banks for monitoring Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Marine, Air, Weather, and CB frequencies.
  • The BC355N features “Close Call RF Capture Technology,” which instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters. This pre-programmed search makes it easier to find active frequencies and helps you stay on top of local happenings and emergencies in your area. 100 ch/sec Scan Speed (max)
  • You can save up to 300 frequencies that are scanned along with the preset frequencies. So whenever you encounter a newly activated local frequency for any service category, you can add it to the bank for that category. This gives you quick access to the frequencies you want to hear.
  • The BC355N comes complete with a backlit display, making it easier to read in low light conditions, along with AC adapter, a DC power cable and an automotive power outlet plug, giving you more options for supplying power at home or in your car.
  • If you’re looking for an affordable way to jump into the world of scanners, the BC355N may be the right choice for you. (Please note: model BC355N is not suitable for trunking or digital radio system monitoring. If you live in an area where trunking or digital radio systems are used, you need to upgrade to a Uniden Digital model (“D” stands for Digital), such as models BCD996P2, BCD436HP, BCD536HP, BCD325P2, or HomePatrol-2.

Why you should trust us

This guide represents more than 10 years of experience in researching, testing, and writing about many subject. Our people are experts in all of their fields.
We alors spent 28 hours reading any article we could find on the internet and all the customer reviews at various retailer sites such as those of Amazon, Home Depot or Wallmart. We found many website that was a valuable resource with involved buying guides and detailed Radio Scanners information.
As for me, I’m very familiar with the Radio Scanners since I got it from 2 years.

Top 10

No. 1
Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channel Clock/FM Radio Scanner with Weather Alert
  • Includes 500 channels in 10 Banks for scanning local public safety and other interesting frequencies.
  • Easily search bands commonly used for Police, Fire/EMS, Aircraft, Amateur Radio, and Marine transmissions.
  • Built-in FM radio with 30 FM presets, lets you listen to your local radio stations.
  • Built in Alarm Clock lets you wake to your favorite FM station, a weather channel, or scanning. Also has Snooze and Sleep.
  • Weather Scan with Alert, listen to local weather conditions and be alerted when hazardous conditions arise.
  • Large clear LCD backlit display is easy to read at night.
  • The buttons are nicely laid out for ease of use, so there's no fumbling around in the dark.
No. 2
Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner, 500-Alpha-Tagged Channels, Close Call Technology, PC Programable, Aviation, Marine, Railroad, NASCAR, Racing, and Non-Digital Police/Fire/Public Safety.
  • LISTEN IN AND STAY INFORMED, this sophisticated scanner has 500 alpha-tagged channels in a convenient compact design with loads of features. Close Call RF capture technology instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters and the Do Not Disturb Mode prevents Close Call checks during a transmission.
  • LISTEN TO OVER 40,000 FREQUENCIES, you can listen to both civilian and military bands, including Non-Digital Police, Ambulance, Fire, Weather, Marine, Aircraft, Railroad, Civil Air, Amateur radio services, and Racing events.
  • SEARCH MORE EFFICIENTLY with 500 Alpha-Tagged Channels finding the channel you want to listen to is easy, with 500 channels divided into 10 storage banks. Organize your channels by department, location, area of interest, or any other way you prefer. Alpha Tagging lets you assign names to your channels, so you can keep track of who you are listening to.
  • LIGHTWIEGHT PORTABLE DESIGN, take this Bearcat handheld radio scanner with you on the road, or on outings. It packs plenty of features, the orange backlight display is easy to read, even in low light conditions.
  • GET STARTED LISTENING RIGHT AWAY with convenient Pre-sets for the most popular searches. Frequencies are preset in ten separate Non -Digital Police/Fire/Emergency, Ham, Marine, Railroad, Civil Air, Military Air, CB Radio, FRS/GMRS/MURS, and Racing search bands. This makes it easy to find channels that interest you.
  • EXCELLENT HAND-HELD SCANNER (Please note: model BC125AT is NOT suitable for Trunking or Digital Radio system monitoring, (e.g. Project 25, DMR, NXDN). Some Police/Fire/Emergency/Public Safety Agencies in larger cities are switching over to DIGITAL Trunking systems. If you live in an area where Trunking or Digital Radio systems are used, you need to upgrade to a Uniden Digital model (“D” stands for Digital), such as models BCD436HP, BCD536HP, BCD996P2, BCD325P2, or HomePatrol-2.
No. 3
Uniden BC355N 800 MHz 300-Channel Base/Mobile Scanner, Pre-programmed Search “Action” Bands to Hear Police, Ambulance, Fire, Amateur Radio, Public Utilities, Weather, and More (Renewed)
  • The Uniden Bearcat BC355N Mobile/Base Scanner is one of the most feature packed, user-friendly, entry level scanners available today. It can pick up analog receptions including 6 Service banks for monitoring Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Marine, Air, Weather, and CB frequencies.
  • The BC355N features “Close Call RF Capture Technology,” which instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters. This pre-programmed search makes it easier to find active frequencies and helps you stay on top of local happenings and emergencies in your area. 100 ch/sec Scan Speed (max)
  • You can save up to 300 frequencies that are scanned along with the preset frequencies. So whenever you encounter a newly activated local frequency for any service category, you can add it to the bank for that category. This gives you quick access to the frequencies you want to hear.
  • The BC355N comes complete with a backlit display, making it easier to read in low light conditions, along with AC adapter, a DC power cable and an automotive power outlet plug, giving you more options for supplying power at home or in your car.
  • If you’re looking for an affordable way to jump into the world of scanners, the BC355N may be the right choice for you. (Please note: model BC355N is not suitable for trunking or digital radio system monitoring. If you live in an area where trunking or digital radio systems are used, you need to upgrade to a Uniden Digital model (“D” stands for Digital), such as models BCD996P2, BCD436HP, BCD536HP, BCD325P2, or HomePatrol-2.
No. 4
Uniden Bearcat SR30C, 500-Channel Compact Handheld Scanner, Close Call RF Capture, Turbo Search, PC programable, NASCAR, Racing, Aviation, Marine, Railroad, and Non-Digital Police, Fire, Public Safety
  • LISTEN IN AND STAY INFORMED! The Uniden Bearcat SR30C is a very affordable 500 channel hand-held scanner with loads of features in a convenient compact design.
  • LISTEN TO OVER 32,000 FREQUENCIES: Get started listening right away with convenient pre-sets for the most popular searches. Frequencies are preset in ten service banks, Non-Digital Police/Fire/Emergency, NOAA Weather reports, Marine, Racing, Civil Aircraft, Ham Radio, Railroad, CB Radio, and other bands. This makes it easy to find channels that interest you.
  • PC PROGRAMING lets you program your scanner using your PC. Close call RF capture technology instantly tunes to signals from nearby transmitters and the Priority Scan function Scans the channels you have designated as priority channels. Memory backup keeps the frequencies stored in memory for an extended time if the scanner loses power
  • DELAY FUNCTION helps prevent missed replies during two-way conversations. Other features include keypad entry, Earphone Jack, key lock, battery low alert, battery save. The triple-conversion design ensures excellent Performance.
  • THREE POWER OPTIONS: #1- The included USB cable will power your SR30C from your PC or other USB power source, such as a smart phone USB charger (not included). #2 - Two AA alkaline batteries (not included). #3 - Two AA rechargeable Ni-MH batteries (not included). You can also charge rechargeable Ni-MH batteries in the unit using the USB cable.
  • EXCELLENT ENTRY LEVEL PORTABLE SCANNER This scanner is NOT for receiving DIGITAL communications (e.g. Project 25, DMR, NXDN). Some Police/Fire/Emergency/Public Safety Agencies in larger cities are switching over to DIGITAL Trunking communication systems. For Digital Scanners please look at other leading Uniden models such as the BCD436HP.
No. 5
Uniden BCD996P2 Digital Mobile TrunkTracker V Scanner, 25,000 Dynamically Allocated Channels, Close Call RF Capture Technology, 4-Line Alpha display, Base/Mobile Design, Phase 2, Location-Based Scanning
  • Uniden's BCD996P2 Digital Base/Mobile Scanner is a full-featured design with the serious hobbyist in mind. With an advanced digital decoding system and large memory bank, the Bearcat BCD996P2 scanner is an extremely powerful and useful Public Safety scanner.
  • The BCD996P2 comes equipped with Uniden exclusive features like Advanced Dynamic Memory System, Close Call RF Capture Technology, and GPS compatibility. It includes support for digital systems, including the latest APCO Project 25 Phase II systems.
  • Stay safe and informed with state of the art NOAA weather access and S.A.M.E. weather alerts that warn you of severe conditions in your area.
  • This mobile scanner radio offers 25,000 channels an advanced dynamic memory system, TrunkTracker V technology, and more. Enjoy location-based scanning and location alerts by connecting the BCD996P2 to an optional GPS receiver so you can stay informed when you’re on the go.
  • Included in the Box: BCD996P2 Scanner, AC Power Adapter, Vehicle Accessory Power Cord, Three-Wire Harness, Mounting Bracket and Hardware, Antenna, Owner’s Manual, APP Form, FREQ Form, other printed materials, and USB Cable.
  • NOTE:Kindly refer to the user manual provided as a PDF manual in the product description section
  • DCS/CTCSS Rapid Decode - Instantly Detects and Displays the Sub-audible Tone So You Can Quickly Determine the System Settings.
  • S.A.M.E. Weather Alert - Specific Area Message Encoding - During a NOAA Weather or Emergency Alert, a code for your specific location will alert you to severe conditions in your immediate area.
No. 6
Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. TrunkTracker V, Simple Programming, S.A.M.E. Emergency/Weather Alert, Covers USA and Canada
  • The BCD436HP is the first scanner to incorporate the HomePatrol-1 ease of use in a traditional handheld scanner. Plus, Uniden's exclusive Close Call RF Capture feature, GPS Connectivity, Extra-Large Display, Radio System Analysis and Discover Modes put the most advanced scanner features ever right in the palm of your hand.
  • Simple to operate, no programming needed. Simply turn it on, enter your zip code, and TrunkTracker V does the rest.
  • This user-friendly digital scanner will immediately begin receiving communications used by Public Safety, Police, Fire, EMS, Ambulance, Aircraft, Military, Weather, and more.Scan Speed - 85 channels per second
  • This functionality is made possible by combining the rich radio system database from Radio Reference with Uniden's patented radio system selection methods to correctly identify and monitor only nearby systems in the USA/Canada.
  • Whether it is across town or across the street, the BCD436HP keeps you informed. Now with the largest display on the market and more advanced features, the BCD436HP makes a superior unit for the scanner enthusiast.
  • Instant Replay – Plays back up to 240 seconds (4 minutes) of the most recent transmissions.
  • Custom Alerts – You can program your scanner to alert when you receive, a Channel or Unit ID, a Close Call hit, an ID is transmitted with an Emergency Alert, or a Tone-out hit. For each alert in the scanner, you can select from 9 different tone patterns, 15 volume settings, 7 colors, and 3 flash patterns.
No. 7
Uniden SDS200 Advanced X Base/Mobile Digital Trunking Scanner, Incorporates The Latest True I/Q Receiver Technology, Best Digital Decode Performance in The Industry
  • True I/Q Receiver, Trunk Tracker X
  • Direct Ethernet Connectivity for Streaming and Control
  • Complete USA/Canada Radio Database
  • Location Control for Simple Operation
  • 3. 5" Customizable Color Display
No. 8
Uniden BCD325P2 Handheld TrunkTracker V Scanner. 25,000 Dynamically Allocated Channels. Close Call RF Capture Technology. Location-Based Scanning and S.A.M.E. Weather Alert. Compact Size.
  • The BCD325P2 comes equipped with Uniden exclusive features like Advanced Dynamic Memory System, Close Call RF Capture Technology, and GPS compatibility. It also includes support for the latest APCO Project 25 Phase II systems.
  • Scan and search 25,000 channels. With Close Call RF capture technology, this scanner will automatically tune to the signals nearest you, so you can keep track of what's going on in your area.
  • Quick-Key System Access (100 Keys), allows you to quickly access the systems you us the most often. Uniden Police Scanners feature simple to set up keys to the systems you want to hear. Press them to enable or disable the system.
  • GPS Location-Based Scanning, connect this scanner to an optional GPS receiver and it will automatically select programmed systems based on your exact location. You'll save time by scanning only the local signals.
  • S.A.M.E. Weather Alert, supports Specific Area Message Encoding weather alerts. During a NOAA Weather or Emergency Alert, a code for your specific location will alert you to severe conditions in your immediate area.
  • DCS/CTCSS Rapid Decode - Instantly Detects and Displays the Sub audible Tone So You Can Quickly Determine the System Settings.
  • System / Channel Number Tagging - provides rapid access to a specific system or channel
SaleNo. 9
Whistler WS1010 Analog Handheld Scanner (Black)
  • Lock-out Function - skip over specified channels or frequencies when scanning or searching
  • Tune - find new and unlisted frequencies starting from a specified frequency,200 Channel memory - plenty of memory to store all your favorite frequencies in 10 separate storage banks
  • Scan Delay - delays scanning for two seconds before moving to another channel in order to hear replies
  • Priority Channel - set the scanner to check one channel every two seconds while scanning
  • PC programmable - allows users to backup data, update database and program scanner directly from a PC
  • IN THE BOX : Analog Hand-held Scanner, AC Adapter, Flex Antenna, Black Battery Shell, Yellow Rechargeable Battery Shell, User Guide, Quick Start Guide
No. 10
Uniden HomePatrol-2 Color Touchscreen Simple Program Digital Scanner, TrunkTracker V and S,A,M,E, Emergency/Weather Alert, APCO P25 Phase 1 and 2! Covers USA and Canada, Quick Record and Playback
  • The Uniden HomePatrol-2 is one of the most popular Digital Police scanners on the market. This model lets you quickly hear communications systems used by Public Safety, Police, Fire, Ambulance, Aircraft, Military, Weather, and more.
  • Simply enter your zip code and Home Patrol-2 does the rest. Whether it is across town or across the street, HomePatrol-2 keeps you informed.
  • Digital Capable, receives all unencrypted, non-proprietary radio systems including APCO-25 Phase I and Phase II digital, Motorola, EDACS, LTR, conventional analog and P25 digital channels. Covers USA and Canada. Optional GPS receiver also available.
  • Included In The Box: HomePatrol-2 Scanner, Flex Antenna, Desk Stand, USB Cable, 4 x AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries, SMA to BNC Adapter.
  • Please note: an AC or DC power adapter is NOT included. To power the unit and/or charge the NiMH batteries, it comes with a USB cable. Please use this cable to connect your HomePatrol‐2 to a standard Smart Phone USB Power Adapter (not included), or connect it to your computer’s USB Port with DC5V power output (not included).
  • Included Components: Unit
  • Instruction Guide
  • This scanner makes it easy to listen to transmissions in your area. Use the digital touch screen to see a list of radio services and choose the ones you want to listen to. You can tune to your local fire station or police department or to any open two-way radio transmission.

How we tested

We search all the field to find the best Radio Scanners and all the type for it and get the best alternatives, priced decently, and easy to use. After that we tested all the main parameters we use : These things can separate the great Radio Scanners from the good.

  • Easy To use
  • Options
  • Quality
  • Longevity

How we picked

We search for all the field to find the best Radio Scanners and all the type for it and get the best alternatives, priced decently, and easy to use.
The main parameters we use : These things can separate the bad Radio Scanners from the good.

  • Price
  • Easy To use
  • Customer reviews
  • Quality
  • Longevity
  • Dimensions

Current Offers

SaleNo. 1
Whistler WS1010 Analog Handheld Scanner (Black)
  • Lock-out Function - skip over specified channels or frequencies when scanning or searching
  • Tune - find new and unlisted frequencies starting from a specified frequency,200 Channel memory - plenty of memory to store all your favorite frequencies in 10 separate storage banks
  • Scan Delay - delays scanning for two seconds before moving to another channel in order to hear replies
  • Priority Channel - set the scanner to check one channel every two seconds while scanning
  • PC programmable - allows users to backup data, update database and program scanner directly from a PC
  • IN THE BOX : Analog Hand-held Scanner, AC Adapter, Flex Antenna, Black Battery Shell, Yellow Rechargeable Battery Shell, User Guide, Quick Start Guide
SaleNo. 2
Uniden BearTracker Scanner (BCT15X) with 9,000 Channels, TrunkTracker III Technology, Base/Mobile Design, Close Call RF Capture Technology with Location-Based Scanning, - Black Color
  • Mobile BearTracker scanner with 9,000 Channels, advanced dynamic memory system, close call RF capture technology, and more. Compatible with BC-RH96 Remote Head
  • TrunkTracker III technology lets you can keep up with the action on Motorola, EDACS and LTR systems. Individual channel volume offset. Alpha Tagging
  • Location-Based scanning automatically selects programmed systems based on your location when connected to a compatible GPS receiver
  • State-by-state preprogrammed channels for local police, DOT, and Highway Patrol frequencies when you travel, without having to program
  • 100 system Quick Keys with 10-channel group Quick Keys per system; system/channel number tagging for rapid access.Continuous Band Coverage* - 25MHz to 1.3GHz Excluding UHF TV and Cellular
  • Before purchasing, please confirm whether the communication you want to receive is Digital or Analog. The BCT15X is Not a Digital scanner
SaleNo. 3
Two-Way Radios and Scanners For Dummies
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Silver, H. Ward (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 07/22/2005 (Publication Date) - For Dummies (Publisher)
SaleNo. 4
Whistler WS1065 Desktop Digital Scanner,Black
  • Menu Driven Programming with Context Sensitive Help - Each menu item provides a few lines of help text that provide assistance with programming and using the scanner
  • Scan List-functionality allows you to arrange, group and scan objects according to your preference. Memory Backup - Frequencies remain stored in memory for an extended time even without batteries.
  • Free-Form Memory Organization - Allocation of memory dynamically and efficiently as it is needed. This differs from low cost and older scanners that had memory organized in rigid and wasteful memory banks
  • Skywarn Storm Spotter Function - Instant access to frequencies used by storm spotter networks. Multi-System Trunking. Tune - Find new and unlisted frequencies starting from a specified frequency
  • Digital AGC - Instantly compensates for low user audio levels that are common on digital systems
  • Scans most common trunked radio system signaling formats, including Motorola, EDACS, LTR and P25 trunked radio networks. Both talkgroup and individual call monitoring are supported
SaleNo. 5
BAOFENG UV-82 VHF UHF FM Transceiver Dual Band Two Way Radio
  • Pofung is rebranding Name of Baofeng
  • A/B band independent operation,128 groups channels storage, Shortcut menu operation mode
  • VFO & Memory channels scan, Emergency Alarm ,Tri-color background light selectable
  • 0~9 grades VOX selectable, PTT & ANI ID,FM radio 65-108MHz,1750Hz Burst, Time-out Timer
  • Channel Monitor, Battery Saver, Keypad Lock, Channel Step: 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25KHz,Low Battery Alert, ROGER SET, Emergency Alert

Conclusion

This guide is here to support you in your choice of Radio Scanners and is regularly updated so that you can make an informed selection. Nowadays, it’s not that easy to know about each and every product that’s on the market. So we hope that this comparison was able to help you with choosing the best Radio Scanners according to your criteria. Your comments are most welcome and they will help us improve the ranking.

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Last update on 2021-05-12 at 08:44 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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