Here’s the truth: most factory antennas that come with police scanners are lousy. Most can only cover up to 30 miles of range but the range is normally shorter depending on where you live.
If you really want wide coverage, an aftermarket antenna is the way to go. But if you’re not careful, you may still end up with something substandard. We will cover indoor scanner antennas and mobile antennas as well. After you read our reviews you will know which is the best scanner antenna for your device.
6 Best Antennas for Police Scanner Radios: Reviews & Comparison
1 – Bingfu VHF UHF Ham Radio Police Scanner Antenna – Best Cheap Option
The double spring oscillator provides a great steady connection for this BNC scanner antenna. You can also purchase the Bingfu antenna with an SMA female or male connection.
This antenna will work great indoor and can be mounted with the magnetic base. The connection cable at 10 feet makes it easy to mount the antenna where you prefer to listen. You can mount the antenna in your attic, basement, bedroom, or wherever you prefer to tune in.
The compact antenna size at 12 inches also makes it easy to take it with you and works well as a portable scanner antenna. You can mount the antenna on the roof of your car or trunk whichever works best for you.
The frequency range 20MHz – 1300MHz will have you covered for most situations. You can use it to listen to police scanners, firefighter scanners, and much more.
The Bingfu antenna will work with public radio scanners, Ham Radios, Two Way Radios, Walkie Talkies, and mobile radios.
This antenna is compatible with most radio scanners. It will work well with Uniden radios, Whistler radios, Radio Shack radios, and most Ham radios. You can search for your model by clicking the link below.
- Frequency Range: 25MHz – 1200MHz;
- Compatible with: CB Radio; Amateur Radio; Car Mobile Radio; Handheld Ham Radio; Two Way Radio; Public Radio Scanner; FM Radio Transmitter;
- Feature: Magnetic Base Mounting
- Cable Connector: BNC Male Connector
- Stable signal : Double Spring Oscillator with Steady Signal.
- Small and compact easy to carry
- Easy installation
- Magnetic mount
- Great for ameature and hobbyist
- Large frequency range
- Steady signa
- Magnet not recommended for high speeds
This is a great police scanner antenna and will work well if you are using it indoors. The quality and performance is great and you can’t beat the price of this antenna. If you plan to mount it outside of your vehicle the magnet is quite weak and you might need to mount it with the provided 3M sticker.
2 – Comet Original BNC-W100RX – Best Mobile Scanner Antenna
The double pivot design of the comet antenna makes it a good choice for indoor scanners. You can attach this antenna to your desktop scanner and the design makes it easy to angle it in the direction that will give you the best signal.
The telescope design can extend to 40 inches and when collapsed the length is 8 inches. The antenna makes it easy to carry and doubles as a handheld scanner antenna. You can easily take it with you if you have a mobile scanner.
This antenna is priced higher than most others but the build and quality is certainly noticeable. The high performance will capture weak and distant signals. If you enjoy listening to police scanners and want to tune in to distant cities this might be for you.
You can receive and transmit a wide range of frequencies from 25 – 1300 MHz. The adjustable antenna will let you find your desired frequency.
- Double pivot design
- Extends from 8 inches to 40 inches
- Receives frequencies from 25-1300Mhz
- Lightweight 1.76 ounces
- High quality design
- Compact and can be used for portable scanners
- Lightweight and extendable
- Pivot design make it easy to angle the antenna
- Wide frequency range
- High priced
Overall, this is our favorite on this list. The high quality build will bring in radio frequencies that you wouldn’t get with the stock receiver antenna. You can also extend the telescope design to 40 inches and it collapses to 8 inches. The light weight design makes it easy to use a mobile antenna.
3 – Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone/Scanner Base Antenna
The design of this antenna makes you feel like you’re getting ready to send signals to space. The Tram 1411 has a wideband reception with a transmission range of 25-1300MHz. The antenna will also transmit CB bands and comes with 2 tunable radials so you can catch the frequencies.
Tram provides instructions on how to tune the radials and complete installation instructions so you won’t have to guess and wonder. It does take some time to install the radio scanner so be prepared.
Compared to most antenna designs, this one is quite large at 33.8”x 4.8″ x2.2″ and weighs around 2.85 pounds.
With these measurements, it’s clear that this antenna is not meant to be carried around so this would be better as a home scanner antenna. However, it’s designed to give you a strong reliable signal.
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.
- 6 lower radials 32 3/4″ & 8 upper radials 11 1/4″
- 2 lower CB radials 48″- 52″ (adjustable)
- Wideband reception 25-1300 MHz
- Rust free stainless steel structure
- This Tram antenna is designed to boost and ensure the strongest radio signals
- Wide frequency in optimal range.
- Weather proof structure
- For such a large structure, it’s quite light.
- Large and not meant to be portable
- Installation required (not for beginners)
If you mostly listen to your radios at home and don’t need a portable antenna then this would be a great pick. This antenna will give you a wide range and also covers CB radios. For best performance you should consider mounting it outside. If you are an enthusiast this will be a great choice for you.
4 – 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, the adhesive was strong but it made it very difficult to remove the device once it was mounted. This would be best if used on a window inside your house. Before you apply the 3m sticker make sure you test the signal first.
- 10ft cable length
- BNC connection 
- Glass mount (stick with adhesive tape)
- Frequency 30MHz ~1200 MHz
- 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
- Adhesive tape can be so strong that it’s nearly permanent once mounted
- Flimsy material and loose connector
If you are looking for a cheap upgrade from the standard ducky antenna then this might work for you. It will perform better than the stock antenna on your scanner but the only downside is that the 3M sticker makes it very difficult to move once the antenna once is placed.
5 – Procomm Scanner Radio Mini Magnet Mount Mobile Scanner Antenna – Best Indoor
Procomm mini has a low profile design making it easy to fit and place anywhere in your home. It comes in at 15 inches and is easy to install. 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.
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 base is magnetic which means you can mount the antenna on your car.
The transmission frequency of this antenna is 25 to 1200Mhz, allowing you to send and receive clear transmissions.
On the field, this is the best indoor 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.
- Frequency 25-1200Mhz
- 15 inches tall with magnetic base
- 12ft of low loss RG-174 Cable
- SMA connector installed.
- Compact design
- Wide range frequency
- Included mini magnet mount
- Compatible with both digital and analog devices
- Proven to improve reception compared to the original antenna.
- Need adapter if you don’t have SMA connector
- Not a BNC connector
- Pricey compared to other connectors
This antenna will boost your signal and will work best in your home. If you don’t mind connecting it to the roof of your car then it can be easily portable. The magnetic base is strong enough to handle highway speed but be careful if you are going to take your car through a carwash. You can easily mount this close to a window and route it to your scanner with the 12ft cord.
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.
- Telescopic antenna
- Frequency 20 – 1300MHz
- 10W max power
- Length 18.6cm ( retracted)/127.0cm(full use)
- Long antenna improves range significantly
- Can pick up more stations and frequencies and enhance the existing ones
- Collapsible design makes it easy to carry
- Reliable signal and performance better than stock antenna
- Not a CB antenna.
- The long design makes it top heavy when extended.
This is a great compact antenna for your handheld scanner. You can easily carry it in your pocket or glove box. You will have improved signal even when the antenna is retracted. For better performance, you can extend the antenna. This is a good choice if you need a portable antenna.
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 look for when buying an antenna.
Without a high frequency, you won’t hear communications clearly, miss out on transmissions, etc. (US Frequency Allocation chart). Check out this post we did on police scanner frequencies and learn how to tune in.
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. You want one that has 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.
How can I get better signal from my scanner?
The antenna that came with your radio is typically small and designed for portability. Although this sounds like a great idea, you can miss out on quality reception and range. There are two things to consider if you want to improve your signal.
First, you will want to upgrade your antenna. If you are using a handheld device you will want to look for an antenna that is easily portable and best fits your scanner. If you typically listen indoors then you can buy a larger antenna that you can place indoors or outside permanently.
Second, you want to make sure that the coax cable is high quality. A quality cable will give you clear transmissions. This is mainly important if you are wiring your scanner in a different room or outside on your roof. It is better to spend a little more than buy a cheap antenna with a cheap coard.
What happens if you transmit without an antenna?
Most scanners will not work if you are not using an antenna. Transmitting without an antenna can damage your device so most scanners will have an auto shutoff when they sense the antenna is removed. When you transmit without an antenna the high frequency energy (electricity) has nowhere to go and this is what damages your device.
Whether you’re a police officer or a normal citizen who wants to listen in no 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.
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 will help you narrow down your choices and find the best antenna for your scanner.
Want to stick with your phone? Read about the best police scanner apps available now.
Our Top Pick – Comet Original BNC-W100RX
Overall, the Comet Original BNC-W100RX is the best Mobile Scanner Antenna on our list. It offers a standard range at 25-1300MHz, a portable size, 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. If you enjoy listening to police scanners on the go this might be the antenna for you.