Top 10 best rated cheap radio scanners reviews to buy

Best radio scanners to Buy in 2020 [Updated]

Last updated: Jul 5, 2020 By Monica

 

top rated Models tested 27 Models Considered
hours of research 36 Hours of Research
experts interviewed 6 Experts Interviewed
best Reviews Analyzed 96 Reviews Analyzed

If you’re questioning, what is the Best radio scanners for Daily Use? You’re at right place. Well finding the good one isn’t an easy task. So we’ve consulted top experts who has in and out knowledge about it. After testing a couple of products, our team listed down some top valuable items which performed a lot better than the rest hundreds of options.

Our team spent tons of hours in order to find out the best option available right now in the USA market. An increasingly popular option is a Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. TrunkTracker V, Simple Programming, S.A.M.E. Emergency/Weather Alert, Covers USA and Canada, which is unbeatable in case of reliability and performance. However, if you have a low budget or wanna save some bucks, you can check out Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner. 500 Alpha-Tagged channels. Public Safety, Police, Fire, Emergency, Marine, Military Aircraft, and Auto Racing Scanner. Lightweight, Portable Design.. In both, you’ll get all those features which you expect in radio scanners.

To ease your work and save your time, we created a comparison table of Best Selling radio scanners. All the products are sort based on expert’s reviews.

10 Best radio scanners Reviewed : Top Selling in USA 2020

RANK IMAGE PRODUCT NAME SCORE
1

1st Place

Best Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. TrunkTracker V, Simple Programming, S.A.M.E. Emergency/Weather Alert, Covers USA and Canada
Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. TrunkTracker V, Simple Programming, S.A.M.E. Emergency/Weather Alert, Covers USA and Canada

9.7

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2

Best Value

Cheap Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner. 500 Alpha-Tagged channels. Public Safety, Police, Fire, Emergency, Marine, Military Aircraft, and Auto Racing Scanner. Lightweight, Portable Design. radio scanners
Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner. 500 Alpha-Tagged channels. Public Safety, Police, Fire, Emergency, Marine, Military Aircraft, and Auto Racing Scanner. Lightweight, Portable Design.

9.4

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3
Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channel Scanner and Alarm Clock with Snooze, Sleep, and FM Radio with Weather Alert, Search Bands Commonly used for Police, Fire/EMS, Aircraft, Radio, and Marine Transmissions reviews
Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channel Scanner and Alarm Clock with Snooze, Sleep, and FM Radio with Weather Alert, Search Bands Commonly used for Police, Fire/EMS, Aircraft, Radio, and Marine Transmissions

9.0

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4
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
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

8.9

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5
affordable Uniden BC355N 800 MHz 300-Channel Base/Mobile Scanner, Close Call RF Capture, Pre-programmed Search
Uniden BC355N 800 MHz 300-Channel Base/Mobile Scanner, Close Call RF Capture, Pre-programmed Search “Action” Bands to Hear Police, Ambulance, Fire, Amateur Radio, Public Utilities, Weather, and More

8.7

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6
Uniden SR30C Bearcat, 500-Channel Compact Handheld Scanner, Close Call RF Capture Technology, Turbo Search, PC Programming, NASCAR, Auto Racing, Public Safety, Police, Fire, EMS, Marine, Civil Air in USA
Uniden SR30C Bearcat, 500-Channel Compact Handheld Scanner, Close Call RF Capture Technology, Turbo Search, PC Programming, NASCAR, Auto Racing, Public Safety, Police, Fire, EMS, Marine, Civil Air

8.3

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7
Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio best to buy
Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio

8.1

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8
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 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

7.8

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9
Uniden BEARTRACKER 885 Hybrid Full-Featured CB Radio + Digital TrunkTracking Police/Fire/Ambulance/DOT Scanner w/ BearTracker Warning System Alerts, 40-channel CB, 4-Watts power, 7-color display.
Uniden BEARTRACKER 885 Hybrid Full-Featured CB Radio + Digital TrunkTracking Police/Fire/Ambulance/DOT Scanner w/ BearTracker Warning System Alerts, 40-channel CB, 4-Watts power, 7-color display.

7.7

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10
Whistler WS1010 Analog Handheld Scanner (Black)
Whistler WS1010 Analog Handheld Scanner (Black)

7.4

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Top 10 Best Rated radio scanners in USA 2020 : Read Detailed Reviews

For convenience, we have listed down the Top 10 radio scanners of 2020 which we reviewed

After investing a lot of time, here we list down top Best radio scanners with their Key Features. All of them are crushing the USA market. Without any further delay, let’s check them out:-

#1 Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. TrunkTracker V, Simple Programming, S.A.M.E. Emergency/Weather Alert, Covers USA and Canada – Best & Top Rated radio scanners


Best Selling Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. TrunkTracker V, Simple Programming, S.A.M.E. Emergency/Weather Alert, Covers USA and Canada
Key Features
  • 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.

#2 Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner. 500 Alpha-Tagged channels. Public Safety, Police, Fire, Emergency, Marine, Military Aircraft, and Auto Racing Scanner. Lightweight, Portable Design. radio scanners 2020


Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner. 500 Alpha-Tagged channels. Public Safety, Police, Fire, Emergency, Marine, Military Aircraft, and Auto Racing Scanner. Lightweight, Portable Design. 2020
Key Features
  • 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 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.
  • Lightweight, 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 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.

#3 Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channel Scanner and Alarm Clock with Snooze, Sleep, and FM Radio with Weather Alert, Search Bands Commonly used for Police, Fire/EMS, Aircraft, Radio, and Marine Transmissions


Uniden BC365CRS 500 Channel Scanner and Alarm Clock with Snooze, Sleep, and FM Radio with Weather Alert, Search Bands Commonly used for Police, Fire/EMS, Aircraft, Radio, and Marine Transmissions reviews
Key Features
  • 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.

#4 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


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
Key Features
  • 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
  • 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

#5 Uniden BC355N 800 MHz 300-Channel Base/Mobile Scanner, Close Call RF Capture, Pre-programmed Search “Action” Bands to Hear Police, Ambulance, Fire, Amateur Radio, Public Utilities, Weather, and More


Uniden BC355N 800 MHz 300-Channel Base/Mobile Scanner, Close Call RF Capture, Pre-programmed Search
Key Features
  • 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.

#6 Uniden SR30C Bearcat, 500-Channel Compact Handheld Scanner, Close Call RF Capture Technology, Turbo Search, PC Programming, NASCAR, Auto Racing, Public Safety, Police, Fire, EMS, Marine, Civil Air


Cheap Uniden SR30C Bearcat, 500-Channel Compact Handheld Scanner, Close Call RF Capture Technology, Turbo Search, PC Programming, NASCAR, Auto Racing, Public Safety, Police, Fire, EMS, Marine, Civil Air
Key Features
  • 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, police and fire departments (including rescue and paramedics), NOAA weather reports, Marine, Racing search bands, Civil aircraft, ham radio, railroad, CB radio, and (FRS/ GMRS/MURS) bands. This makes it easy to find channels that interest you.
  • Pc programming 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.
  • The 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.
  • The dimmable backlit LCD display makes for easy nighttime operation. Operation is from two AA cells providing flexibility in choice of batteries: alkaline for long life or rechargeable NiMH batteries for economy. Niamh Type batteries can charge while in the scanner. Niamh AA batteries may be charged from a USB power source such as a PC or smartphone USB charger.

#7 Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio


powerful Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio
Key Features
  • 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;Lock-out Function
  • Skywarn Storm Spotter Functionality – Instant access to frequencies used by storm spotter networks
  • Digital AGC – Instantly compensates for low user audio levels that are common on digital systems
  • If you pressed the FIRE icon button it is possible that the frequencies pre-programmed in the scanner do not include your area. These Pre-programmed frequencies are generally common Police/Fire frequencies

#8 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


strong 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
Key Features
  • 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.

#9 Uniden BEARTRACKER 885 Hybrid Full-Featured CB Radio + Digital TrunkTracking Police/Fire/Ambulance/DOT Scanner w/ BearTracker Warning System Alerts, 40-channel CB, 4-Watts power, 7-color display.


affordable Uniden BEARTRACKER 885 Hybrid Full-Featured CB Radio + Digital TrunkTracking Police/Fire/Ambulance/DOT Scanner w/ BearTracker Warning System Alerts, 40-channel CB, 4-Watts power, 7-color display.
Key Features
  • The BearTracker 885 does what no other CB Radio can do: It can keep you up-to-date with current public safety activity in US and Canada by scanning for Police, Fire, Ambulance, and/or DOT radio traffic.
  • BearTracker Warning System, Alerts you when nearby public safety transmissions are detected. Included GPS allows you to automatically select nearby channels from its nationwide database.
  • Full-featured CB Radio with 40-channel CB operation, 4-Watt RF power, a 7-color display, a SWR meter for precision antenna tuning, RF Gain, Mic Gain, PA mode, Talkback, and NOAA Weather with Alerts.
  • The Scanner feature operates alongside the CB radio features, there is no switching back and forth between modes; just press a button and you’re listening to Police, Fire department, etc. , while standard CB channels are active.
  • The ergonomic noise cancelling microphone is designed to enhance your transmissions, even in the noise environment of a tractor-trailer cab.

#10 Whistler WS1010 Analog Handheld Scanner (Black)


multipurpose Whistler WS1010 Analog Handheld Scanner (Black)
Key Features
  • 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

Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best radio scanners

It’s not easy to buy something which you never used before. That’s why our team tested tons of radio scanners and choose the most performing and versatile ones for you.

If you do not pay enough attention to the details, then you may end up with a less efficient item that can make you crazy even before you start your day and wreck your mood throughout that day. Therefore, we are listing the most important factors that you need to know before you make a purchase.

1. Quality and Durabiity

Since you’re going to own the radio scanners for a long time, make sure that the overall build quality is good. It should be strong, rust proof and should not be flimsy.

2. Brand Reputation

One of the most important feature to look in a radio scanners is brand. Before investing any more, it is better to choose a brand that determines good product quality and service levels.

However, you will find a few main brands that are dominating the radio scanners market. These brands not only stand above the others, but have a reputation for creating quality products. We dug into the consumer reviews for models made by each brand to get a clearer idea of what customers think about their products.

3. Value for Money

What are your budget limit? Want to spend generously or you have a price constraint? Based on how much you want to spend, do a price comparison between the models within your budget limits. Usually, radio scanners aren’t much expensive, in respect to the value it will provide to you.

4. Warranty

Always know the coverage indicated in the warranty. This is always indicated in the user manual. The longer the warranty period the better.

That’s all the tips you need to keep in mind while going through your radio scanners selection.

We know you did enjoy this review as much as we did doing it. Always go for the model that perfectly fits your needs and wants after considering all the things we said above. Have a happy shopping experience, guys!

How we Tested?

Testing a four-five items is easy, but more than that isn’t. To make the whole process easy and to get decent some radio scanners at the end, our team simplify the testing procedure by divided into steps. Here are they:

1. Make a List

We don’t want to waste time on testing those products which aren’t available in United States market. So first of all we list down all the products which are in available in the market.

2. Sort out the Best selling radio scanners in USA

Sorting out the listed items on some necessary criteria, make the process more easier. Some factors which we must include in every item is Brand Trust, Value for Money and Reliability. Also, we contact with some retailers to know about product’s good and bad things.

3. Apply Filters

Furthermore, we divide them out on the basis of Features, Online Popularity, Consumers Reviews, Brand Reputation, Prices And More. And finally, we got our targets.

4. Assign the Task

We have multiple team squad for distinct types of testing, like separate team for testing strength, performance, durability. The Manager assign the the task among then. And finally the results get reviewed by experts and sorted down the best ones.

Conclusion

If you are new to buying a radio scanners, you can surely make a mistake as there are several options available in the market. That is why we have provided guide to you. Read it carefully to make a correct choice and save your money from going waste.

After analyzing the data, without any doubt we can say Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Handheld Scanner. TrunkTracker V, Simple Programming, S.A.M.E. Emergency/Weather Alert, Covers USA and Canada and is the decent option for you right now. Althrough, Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Handheld Scanner. 500 Alpha-Tagged channels. Public Safety, Police, Fire, Emergency, Marine, Military Aircraft, and Auto Racing Scanner. Lightweight, Portable Design. is also fabulous choice if you want a little cheaper one. Do check them out both.

Have a Great Day!

Cheers