Are you looking to keep an eye on the crime and other emergency events happening in your local area? If you’d like to listen in as the communication is live, you’re going to need a gadget. Let us introduce you to our favorite police scanner for home use on the market; the Whistler TRX-2!
The Best Police Scanners for Home Need to Be Simple
The most ardent of police radio scanner fanatics do not want to make their life harder than it needs to be. Newbies to police radio scanning probably don’t want that either. Thankfully, the Whistler TRX-2 is a true joy to use.
Once you have tapped in your zip code, the scanner will retrieve a channel list from its in-built SD card. It will then automatically scan all open channels in your local area. Do bear in mind that this is a police radio scanner that does not have a GPS built-in. This means that it will not automatically detect your location, you do need a zip code. However, since you are looking for a radio scanner that can be used at home, we doubt that you are going to be taking it ‘out and about’ all that much.
Honestly, for those most part, this is a case of just switching the radio on and listening to broadcasts. It is dead simple. However, there are some more advanced features built into the Whistler TRX-2 too. This will, hopefully, allow you to get a bit more use out of your radio scanner.
Updatable Channel Lists
Emergency services never stick to the same radio channel. Most change things up a couple of times per year. This means that you need to stay ‘up to date’ with channel list changes. Thankfully, this is a fairly simple process with the Whistler TRX-2. They include software with your scanner that will update that channel list automatically. This means that you are always going to be able to listen to the right radio stations.
It is important to remember that you cannot take advantage of this feature if you are using an Apple device. For some reason, the software only works on Windows computers. We have seen a lot of complaints about this online, but it seems that Whistler has no intention of creating software for Apple computers. We suppose that the bulk of their target market is using a Windows computer, so it probably isn’t worth their time developing additional software.
Create Your Own Scan Lists
Chances are that if you are sitting at home, you only want to be able to listen to police broadcasts, maybe the odd military or local government transmission or two. The problem is that ‘out of the box’, the Whistler TRX-2 doesn’t really make this easy. It just throws everything onto the same scan list.
Luckily, with the included software (you will need to connect your scanner up to a computer), you can create up to 999 radio scan lists. Have as many or as few channels on each scan list as you want. This way you only end up listening to the police transmissions. You won’t be listening in on random walkie talkie conversations or whatever.
Once again, this is a feature that you are only going to be able to take advantage of if you have a Windows computer. This is a massive shame because it is one of the most useful features we have seen in a radio scanner.
Once you have found a suitable place for your TRX-2, we doubt that you are going to be moving it around all that much. However, if you do, you will be pleased to know that this is a rugged device. It can put up with a fair number of knocks and still work absolutely perfectly. At this price point, you aren’t going to get anything much better.
The sound quality is superb too. The only real change that we would make to this radio scanner would be a better antenna in the box. The one included is a bit better than the norm. but if you want the maximum range and the best signal quality, you will need to purchase something else. Just to give it the boost that it needs!
Police Scanners for Home Use vs Mobile Apps
We know that there are some people looking for a police scanner to use at home may be tempted to pick up one of the many apps that claim to be police scanners. It won’t be the same for a handful of reasons including:
- As available channels are quite limited, it may not have the channel(s) you’re interested in
- Dependent on your Internet & data connection
- Some police scanner frequencies that stream, will lag
- Many police scanner frequencies will be intermittent, not broadcasting 24/7
- The audio quality is typically not great
If you live near a busy city, there is a chance that some of your local frequencies might be available through a free scanner app. We encourage you to check and judge the experience for yourself. One of the more common apps at this time is called 5-0, which we’ve reviewed here with download links.
Trying to Save a Buck? Watchout for This…
Once you have a radio scanner for use at home, you are likely going to be using it regularly. For this reason, we wouldn’t suggest buying a cheap radio. There are several problems with this:
- They do not last long. You will need to replace them sooner as opposed to later
- They sound awful
- They lack customization (more on this in a short while)
- Most of them are analog, which means it will stop working in the near future.
If you are looking for a quality police radio scanner that isn’t too expensive, but will last you for a very long time (possibly forever), then we reckon that the Whistler TRX-2 fits the bill pretty well.
If you are interested in one of the best police radio scanners to use in the comfort of your own home, feel free to hop on over to Amazon and pick up the Whistler TRX-2 today. We promise you, your purchase will be more than worth it!