Let’s clear one thing up before we dive into this review. When we are talking about a local 911 scanner, we are talking about a police scanner that will allow you to listen to the emergency services and the work that they are doing. There is no scanner that will be able to listen in on 911 calls. That would be highly illegal.
So, with that out of the way. How do we find an awesome police radio scanner? Let’s take a look! Bear in mind that as we go through these points, we are going to be talking about the Whistler TRX-2. This is because we, genuinely, believe it to be the best radio scanner on the market. If you want to pick one up, you can hop on over to Amazon.
Let’s jump in!
Local 911 Scanner Meets Simple
We use digital emergency service radio scanners daily. We have used some complicated pieces of kit in our time. Guess what? These complicated pieces of kit were hell to use. They didn’t really offer anything that we couldn’t get with any other radio scanner out there. We just had to jump through hoops to try and work out what we were doing. Honestly, with some of them, just setting up your location was about as complicated as defusing a bomb (we would imagine)
The Whistler TRX-2 is dead simple to use. It has an intuitive design. While you probably will need to read the included manual (which is rather hefty), experienced radio users will probably be able to work out what is going on based on sight alone. If you are a beginner, it will take mere minutes to start listening in on emergency broadcasts in your local area.
Don’t worry. For experienced radio users, there are some rather cool little features for you to enjoy too. Although, we are going to talk more about those in the following sections. Oh, and they are just as simple to use as the rest of this emergency services radio scanner. They won’t take too long to learn.
The Need for Digital
There are still some companies that are trying to push analog radios. We can’t fathom why. They barely work nowadays, and in a few years they are going to be obsolete. Do not buy an analog radio scanner. Even if you decide not to take our advice and do not pick up a Whistler TRX-2, under absolutely no circumstances should you buy an analog one. DON’T!
Easy to Update
If you have never used a radio scanner for emergency services before, you may not be aware that the emergency services can change the frequencies that they broadcast on. This means that one day you can be listening to a channel, and the next day it disappears.
In the past, you would have had to work out the new radio frequencies yourself. Now? All you need to do is update the channel list on your radio scanner. The Whistler TRX-2 makes this dead simple. They tend to be pretty fast with their updates too. This is what you call awesome customer service!
There is a major downside here, though. This is the fact that the Whistler TRX-2 update software will only work with Windows computers. If you have an Apple device, it isn’t going to work. You can’t update the radio scanner. Although, this is fine and we do not see this as a massive issue. As long as you don’t work at some hipster internet start-up, we are positive that you will be able to find a Windows computer somewhere that you can use for 30-minutes, tops.
The ‘advanced’ feature of the Whistler TRX-2 is the ability to be able to create your own scan lists. You will need to use the included software for this, but it isn’t too difficult.
Custom scan lists mean that you can tune into the channels that you want to listen to. You have the opportunity to create hundreds of scan lists too, so if you are taking your radio scanner out on the road across multiple towns, cities, and states, you can preprogram it with your location. This means that you will always be able to tune into the right radio channels.
Unless you do a bit of customization, your Whistler TRX-2 won’t be that fast. This isn’t the fault of the unit by any stretch of the imagination. It is because there are so many radio channels loaded into it.
Once you have customized your scan lists to channels you actually want to listen to, you will be pleased to know that this is one of the fastest radio scanners on the market. It will be hopping from channel to channel at lightning fast speeds. This means that you do not have to worry about missing masses of a conversation. You will lose a second, at the most.
Local 911 Scanner Build Quality
You donä’t really want to be plumping up hundreds of dollars in cash for something that needs to be replaced in a few years, do you? You want something for the long haul. Well, you will be pleased to know that the Whistler TRX-2 is going to provide you with many years of happy use. In fact, it is so well-built that this may actually be the last radio scanner you ever need to buy.
The one component that we would replace on the Whistler TRX-2 would be the included antenna. However, we would say that with just about any unit. It is always better to buy a better antenna. The ones included in the box are never that great.
So, there you have it. If you are in the market for a digital radio scanner for emergency service broadcasts that will work ‘right out of the box’, head on over to Amazon and pick up the Whistler TRX-2. Trust us. If you want a quality scanner, this is a purchase that you are never going to be regretting!