BAOFENG BF-F8HP Dual Band Scanner
Last updated date: December 31, 2019
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We looked at the top Police Scanners and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Police Scanner you should buy.
Working with your first police scanner can be tricky. This BAOFENG BF-F8HP Dual Band Scanner's in-depth manual and concierge customer support will turn newbies into scanning pros in no time. It also has a whopping 18-hour battery life. In our analysis of 58 expert reviews, the BAOFENG BAOFENG BF-F8HP Dual Band Scanner placed 5th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note December 31, 2019:
Checkout The Best Police Scanner for a detailed review of all the top police scanners.
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An Overview On Police Scanners
If you’ve ever watched out your window as emergency vehicles sped to a home down the street, you know the value of having a police scanner. These devices let you listen in on local police transmissions, helping you stay aware of what’s going on nearby. This can help you monitor your area for crime so that you can keep your own home safe.
Choosing a police scanner means finding a device that can help you get the best reception possible. With the right scanner, you’ll get the widest range of options when you’re listening. The wrong scanner will have you frustrated as you struggle to find a transmission. Look for a scanner that offers a broad frequency range and a large number of channels. Some scanners also offer both analog and digital frequencies, which can be a plus.
Some of the best police scanners use something called Close Call RF Capture technology, which helps you tune in to nearby transmissions. Since many consumers investing in police scanners are interested primarily in nearby happenings, this feature comes in handy. Location scanning is another feature that can help you access the transmissions in your immediate area. When a scanner has location scanning built in, it searches for transmissions nearby rather than forcing you to manually input them. This is especially valuable if you plan to use your scanner in more than one place.
Before you shop, though, you should make a decision about the build you want. Some scanners are designed to be used on a table or desk, while many others are handheld. If you want the freedom to move around your house or even take your scanner on the go, a handheld scanner may be a better option for you.
DWYM Fun Fact
As police scanners have grown in popularity, concerns have emerged that criminals might use them to get away with crimes. This is largely unfounded, especially since most scanner users are simply hobbyists. In other words, criminals aren’t likely to buy a police scanner simply for the purpose of getting away with a crime.
Even if they did, though, the information they’d gain wouldn’t be very helpful since communication is often incomplete. Not only do authorities use codewords only those involved in the incident would understand, emergency services often communicate using multiple methods, so you wouldn’t get the full picture of an incident anyway.
That said, it’s important that those using scanners avoid sharing details on social media, especially if the information gives away the addresses of homes that are currently being searched.
The Police Scanner Buying Guide
- The most important feature in a police scanner is its reception. Some scanners can pick up frequencies in both analog and digital modes, which means you’ll be able to pull up transmissions from emergency services and the military. Others can pick up hundreds of channels in a broad range of frequencies.
- If you’re hoping to capture what’s going on in your neighborhood, scanners with Close Call RF Capture Technology can be useful. It tunes into signals from nearby transmitters, alerting you if you get a hit nearby. Do-not-disturb settings will let scanners with Close Call continue to look for nearby transmissions while still letting you listen to whatever is happening now.
- Built-in location-based scanning is useful for detecting nearby signals. Some scanners automatically search frequencies in the surrounding area to keep you from having to find your location manually.
- The biggest difference between scanners is their general build. Some are tabletop models, while others are handheld (similar to the ones that police officers wear on their belts).
- Once you’ve found a good channel, you likely want to come back to it again. A scanner with a favorites list helps save all of the best channels. Many scanners with this feature let you customize your channel names so that you can create nicknames to help you remember the ones you’ve used before.
- Scanners have come a long way in the smartphone era. Some models have a feature that lets you sync up with a smartphone app. That means you can access your scanner using your smartphone even when you’re away from home.
- With other scanners, advanced functionality is built into the device itself. Certain scanners have advanced dynamic memory systems that remember your preferences and handle more complex tasks. You may also be able to skip certain channels that aren’t helping you out.
- Handheld scanners are more affordable than desktop scanners, so they’re great for beginners.
- Look for scanners with weather-alert features if you’re a budding meteorologist.
- If you want to record what you hear, you’ll need a scanner with plenty of storage. Some models have a microSD slot that provide several GB of storage, which is more space than you’ll probably ever need.
- If you’re new to scanning, you’ll want to look for a scanner that’s easy to use. Look for a scanner that lets you create automated tasks for quicker scanning.