We have a lot of experience in the world of police scanners. Not only are we using them daily, but testing and putting them through the paces. We’ve compiled a ton of reviews on NoWiresRadio. It is safe to say that we live and breathe the world of radio technology. If you have begun looking for police scanners, let us introduce you to our top recommendation; the Whistler TRX-2.
Top 5 Search Criteria To Use When Looking for Police Scanners
When NoWiresRadio decided to enter the world of police radio scanners, we searched through literally tens of products and used the criteria we’re about to layout for you, to rank them. Please enjoy our guide of the top 5 things we’ve outlined to look for when considering a purchase for a new police scanner. It is our hope that this makes the buying process for those in the market, that much easier.
1. Can Scan More than Just Police Radio
Not many people realize that scanners can tap into so much more than just police radiowaves. Although, to be honest, this is the main reason why most people want to pick one up. They want to listen in on police broadcasts. However, the TRX-2 can pick up any emergency service, certain military broadcasts, local government broadcasts, the whole hog. In fact, you will be surprised at just how many stations are out there, free for you to listen in on.
The great thing about this device is that it is equipped for the future. It is a digital radio scanner. Since most emergency services (particularly the police) are broadcasting using digital radio nowadays, you need a digital radio scanner. Don’t pick up something analog. Their use is on the decline as radio infrastructures around the world convert to digital. Soon you will only be able to see them in a museum or antique store :)! Since radio signals are not going to stop being digital any time soon, or ever for that matter, this is a bit of kit that will last you a long time. We know the price can make it seem like a major investment but bear in mind that this is something that you are unlikely to ever need to replace.
2. Simple to Use
Despite the complicated features packed into the TRX-2, it is surprisingly easy to use. In fact, this is probably one of the most intuitive devices on the market. Honestly, you need to do nothing more than tap in your zip code. Assuming everything is up to date, the TRX-2 will do the hard work for you.
Of course, if you want to tap into some of the more complicated features the TRX-2 offers, you are free to do that. This is simple too. The manual you get with the TRX-2 is fantastic and tells you everything step by step. Even if you have never touched a radio scanner before, you will know what is going on.
3. Create Your Own Scan Lists
This is a feature that we wish could have been included in other radio scanners. It is great. If you have access to a computer, you can connect up the TRX-2 and make your own scan lists. This way the radio scanner will be only listening in on channels you tell it to. Great for those who want to focus on just one or two communication channels. Don’t worry. You can create hundreds of scan lists, and you can flick through them with the push of a button.
4. Easy to Update
As you may well know, radio channels, particularly with the emergency services, are not static. They get changed a couple of times per year in most places. Thankfully, Whistler is well ahead of you on that front.
Inside your TRX-2 will be a little SD card that has a channel list on it. Whistler provides you with the software to update this channel list. Don’t worry, their staff will go through the rigmarole of finding ‘updated station lists’ for you. You just follow the update wizard and their system will do the hard work. Obviously, you need to make sure that you are connected to the internet when you do this!
While the Whistler TRX-2 is a device that is a bit on the bulky side, there is no reason as to why you can’t have it in your vehicle. In fact, it comes complete with the perfect mounting bracket for it. Just make sure that you pay attention to the laws for the state you are traveling in. Some may not allow you to have a police radio scanner in your vehicle!
That being said, if you are mostly going portable, this probably isn’t going to be the best bit of kit for you. This is because each time you change zip code, you will probably need to manually reprogram your device. This is probably not something you need to worry too much about if you are driving around the same town and city. The channels will remain the same, so no reprogramming needed. However, if you are traveling a good while down the road, it gets annoying. You can program in advance, though. However, it would have been better if the Whistler TRX-2 came with a GPS, but this would have pushed the price up!
In order to take advantage of our favorite features, you need a Windows computer. There is no way to get the programming software on the Whistler TRX-2 working on a Mac. Annoying, we know. This means that if you have a Mac, you will need to find a Windows computer if you want to be able to create your own scan lists.
Some people also report that the default scan lists can be slow to get through. We are not surprised. The pre-installed scan lists are pretty extensive. However, you can create your own scan lists. This will speed up the process, as the radio scanner will only now be going through the channels you have told it to scan.
So, there you have it. If you are looking to buy a police radio scanner, we truly stand behind our recommendation of the Whistler TRX-2. It is fantastic! Whether you are a beginner or a vet, you will get a lot of use out of it.