Here’s the truth: most factory antennas that come with police scanners are lousy. If you really want a wide coverage, an aftermarket antenna is the way to go. But if you’re not careful, you may still end up something substandard.
So, we’ve compiled the best antennas for police scanner radios to help you make the right purchase.
7 Best Antennas for Police Scanner Radios Reviews & Comparison
1 – Procomm Scanner Radio Mini Magnet Mount Mobile Scanner Antenna
First on our list is an Amazon’s choice product, the Procomm mini scanner antenna. This wideband scanner antenna has a compact design, making it great for portable use. If you’re going to use your scanner outdoors, the small size of the Procomm is convenient.
The transmission frequency of this antenna is 25 to 1200Mhz, allowing you to send and receive clear transmissions. Aside from the antenna itself, the box comes with a mini magnet mount plus 12 ft of RG-174 cable. The design is also a perfect fit for scanners with an SMA connector jack.
On the field, this is the best antenna we’ve tested for police scanners. That’s not really a surprise because Procomm is a trusted brand when it comes to electronic devices and their parts. However, this antenna has a slightly steeper price compared to others, but you get what you pay for together with good customer service.
- Compact design
- Impressive sending and receiving frequency of 25-1200MHz
- Included mini magnet mount to make sure that the antenna sits upright on most metal surfaces.
- Compatible with both digital and analog devices
- Proven to improve reception compared to the original antenna.
- A lot of antennas don’t work so well indoors due to the architecture and structure of buildings, but this one does.
- The wire frays easily at the connector piece.
2 – Onlineservice-USA A Pair Telescopic Antennas
Telescoping antennas like this one are a great option if you’re looking for portability. If you want your scanner to fit in your pocket, you don’t want a long object sticking out of it – and that’s exactly why this is a good choice.
The Onlineservice-USA A Pair Telescopic Antenna has a total length that measures 5 inches when tucked in. When it’s fully extended, it measures at about 16.5 inches. At this length, its range of frequency stands at 25-1300 MHz (MegaHertZ).
This is also compatible with both analog and digital radio scanners. That means you can hear every transmission within range, whatever type of scanner you use. If you have a sound/voice machine, PA system, VHF, or UHF wireless system, this is a great antenna that you can use to send and receive transmissions.
- The telescoping design allows you to extend the antenna as needed without it getting in your way.
- Compatible with analog and digital scanners
- MHz level is average to high
- Affordable price
- Reception might not be better than a rubber antenna.
- Many consumers claim it’s just a mediocre product
3 – Fosa 30MHz-1200MHz Wideband Scanner Mobile Radio Antenna
For those who aren’t really tech-savvy, a beginner-friendly antenna is ideal. This antenna from Fosa is easy to install and use, coupled with a strong signal and reception at 30MHz to 1200MHz.
This antenna is lightweight and compact in design, making it easy to carry around. It’s easy to pocket this mobile radio antenna until you need it, much like the more expensive Uniden BCD325P2 (full review HERE). Not only does it connect to handheld devices, but it also works with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats.
A glass mount is included in the box, plus an adhesive tape to keep in place. When it comes to sticky adhesive products, remember that it needs to have enough strength for support. In our tests, that isn’t difficult with the lightweight antenna.
- Easy to install and use
- Compact design makes it easy to carry around and use
- Strong adhesive tape holds the glass mount securely as you use the antenna
- Comes with a BNC connector and is compatible with most vehicles
- Reasonable list price
- Might have poor reception sometimes
- Adhesive tape can be so strong that it’s nearly permanent once mounted
- Flimsy material and loose wiring in some.
4 – Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone/Scanner Base Antenna
Another Amazon’s Choice product on our list, this antenna has a wideband reception with a transmission range of 25-1300MHz. Compared to most antenna designs, this one is quite large at 33.8”x4.8″x2.2″ and weighs around 2.85 pounds.
With these measurements, it’s clear that this antenna is not meant to be carried around. Instead, it’s designed to give you a strong signal.
Then again, it can be used outdoors and outside your car as well. Its entire structure is made with stainless steel, which is an extremely durable material that can protect the antenna from harsh weather and environmental conditions.
- This Tram antenna is designed to boost and ensure the strongest radio signals
- The frequency of 25 to 1300Mhz is an optimal range.
- Tram takes the outdoors into consideration through its stainless steel construction, which keeps your new antenna safe from corrosion
- For such a large structure, it’s quite light.
- The spokes at the bottom of the antenna break off easily if you aren’t careful.
- No assembly instructions come with this purchase, so we would advise seasoned users to buy this product.
5 – BingFu HF VHF UHF 7-Sections 115cm Telescopic BNC Male Antenna
This antenna is compatible with many different radios, including scanners, CB, 2-way radios, and ham radios. With a frequency range of 25MHz to 12MHz, our tests have reflected a clear and good quality transmission.
Using the BingFu radio antenna is easy and smooth as well. The connector fits nicely and everything holds together with the telescoping element. You can angle the antenna in any direction and it will still hold securely.
- The high compatibility of the makes it multifunctional and will most likely fit with your radio.
- The signal of this antenna is extremely strong and transmission is very clear
- Picks up new police scanner frequencies easily
- The grip and hinge are very strong and holds the antenna securely.
- It can be quite long in length fully extended (115.3cm).
6 – Anteena TW-999BNC BNC Male Handheld Antenna
Before you purchase this product, note that it’s not a CB antenna, but a telescopic BNC one. The frequency measures at 20-1300MHz and the max power are 10watts, which are both pretty decent.
It’s quite a long antenna when not retracted, measuring at 127cm at full size and 18.6cm retracted. The size is still small enough for you to slip it into your pocket or keep it in your glove compartment. In our tests, the reception is great even while retracted, making it more convenient for the outdoors.
The antenna from Anteena is compact, easy to use, and very well-made, hence worthy of being an option in our best police scanner antennas review.
- This antenna improves reception by a mile due to its long design
- Can pick up more stations and frequencies and enhance the existing ones
- The collapsible design makes this antenna easy to carry with you everywhere
- The long design makes it more susceptible to breakage. Don’t use it with the windows down in bad weather.
- Some claim the fully extended antenna is over 4ft long and very inconvenient.
7 – Ant32 Uniden Bearcat Motorola Type Telescopic Scanner Antenna
If you like the telescopic design but want a much shorter version, we have the Ant32 antenna that measures at 7’’ collapsed and 26” fully extended. The original design is a trademarked product of Scanner World USA, which does make it unique in its own way.
You can use this antenna with base, mobile, and other compatible scanners. If you do have a Bearcat scanner, this antenna will have a simple plug and play installation. Just connect it to the back of the Uniden Bearcat Base and mobile scanner and you’re done. But even if you don’t have this particular model, the setup isn’t very complex.
- Simple installation
- The signal is strong and picks up various frequencies
- If used with compatible models, this telescopic antenna fits perfectly.
- Doesn’t work with every model, so make sure you read the listing carefully to be sure it fits.
- Some claim the connection is a little bit loose on compatible scanners.
What to Look for When Buying a Police Scanner Antenna
The standard broadcasting frequency is anywhere from 25-1300MHz, and that’s the baseline you should settle for when buying an antenna. Without a high frequency, you won’t hear communications clearly, miss out on transmissions, etc. (US Frequency Allocation chart)
Of course, you need to find the quality antenna for a police scanner that best matches your device. Most products will state the sort of connection, whether it’s male or female (the best options are usually an SMA connector and BNC male connector), and if it’s analog or digital compatible. Without making sure if it works with your device, you could just be buying a piece of metal with no use at all. You can also get an external BNC male connector or SMA connector and other types for your device.
Stainless steel is a good material for your antenna, but any other material that is heavy-duty and weather-resistant is fine too. Handheld or mountable antennas might be used outdoors sometimes, and since we can’t control the weather, there is no telling when it will rain. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and it’s good to go out knowing that a little precipitation won’t harm your new antenna.
A telescopic design means it’s retractable and easy to store. This makes your antenna easy to take with you without having a long and inconvenient rod poking out of your pocket all the time.
Antennas for handheld scanners might not always have the best mount, but ones that do come with either a suction, magnet, or adhesive mount. Suction mounts are the easiest to move around, while adhesive mounts can be semi-permanent if the stickiness is strong enough. This is important to ensure before programming your police scanner.
Whether you’re a police officer or a normal citizen who wants to listen in to transmissions, an antenna is a must to get the most use out of your scanner. Being able to hear clearly and pick up multiple channels should be pretty high up on your priority list. And aside from all the factors we listed above, you must make sure the antenna you choose meets all your needs as well. Asking yourself questions such as the purpose of the scanner and where you’ll use it for will help you narrow down your choices even further.
Want to stick with your phone? Read about the best police scanner apps available now.
Our Top Pick – Procomm Scanner Radio Mini Magnet Mount Mobile Scanner Antenna
Overall, the Procomm Mobile Scanner Antenna is the best antenna on our list. It offers a standard range at 25-1200MHz, a portable size, magnet mount, and a low-profile design that’s easy to take anywhere. In our tests, transmissions can be heard loud and clear, so any crucial broadcast isn’t missed.