BaoFeng Dual Band Two Way Radio

Last updated date: December 31, 2019

DWYM Score

8.4

BaoFeng Dual Band Two Way Radio

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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.

Editor's Note December 31, 2019:
Checkout The Best Police Scanner for a detailed review of all the top police scanners.

Overall Take

The BaoFeng Dual Band Two Way Radio is a handheld scanner that can pick up 128 channels. The low price on this model makes it popular with those who simply want to give scanning a try. You can also customize your channel names, giving them names that mean something to you. There can be a bit of a learning curve with this model, though, making it not as ideal for beginners.


In our analysis of 57 expert reviews, the BaoFeng BaoFeng Dual Band Two Way Radio placed 7th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The BaoFeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136- 174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes special VHF receive band from 65 - 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported. The transceiver is a micro-miniature multiband FM transceiver with extensive receive frequency coverage, providing local-area two-way amateur communications along with unmatched monitoring capability.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.1
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.6
3,451 user reviews

What experts liked

Combines wonderful functional and operational features with a reasonable price.
- Best Advisor
Going for just $24, you get 128 channels and a frequency range of 136 to 174. You can customize the names of the channels and monitor 2 different frequencies.
- List Outdoor
This handset is strong and sturdy and has been built keeping in mind rough usage. The device’s ergonomic design and respectable looks are one of the best features.
- Walkie Talkie World
The build quality is quite solid. This device has survived 3-4 drops so far, and it is still working fine.
- Walkie Talkie Reviews
It has three-way (FM, VHF & UHF) radio wave reception with complete frequency coverage.
- Sea Slug Team

What experts didn't like

This device might make an impression of being too complex to use.
- Best Advisor
Can be difficult to program.
- List Outdoor
Manual programming could be a lot better.
- Walkie Talkie World
This has its downsides as well. For example, one option the software has that is not available through manual programming is to disable a stored channel for the scan function.
- Walkie Talkie Reviews
The only drawback we found in BaoFeng UV-5R is, it’s battery power. It can run in 1500 mAh batteries, which can last for 12-18 hours based on the power mood.
- Sea Slug Team

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.

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.