Radio scanners have become essential gadgets to many Americans in today’s modern world. This is because of the many benefits they offer.
They allow you to monitor ground to air communications, tune into an international broadcast station, receive broadcast transmissions and listen to hobbyist radio, just to mention a few.
Many folks prefer handheld scanners because they are compact and easy to move around. But having a handheld scanner of your own choice is just half the battle.
It would help if you had a practical and functional handheld scanner antenna to get the most out of any handheld scanner.
Here is the blunt truth; most factory antennas that come with handheld scanners are frightful. They often have a range of up to 30 miles, depending on where you reside.
Thus, for those looking for comprehensive coverage, aftermarket antennas are the most suitable options.
But that does not necessarily mean that every antenna you buy on the market is legit and reliable. If you are not keen, you may end up getting a second-rate gadget.
In this review post, we have covered some of the best handheld scanners currently available on the market.
Take your time to go through the entire article to find out the top handheld scanner antennas on the market.
Best Handheld Scanner Antenna: Top 12 products
1. Uniden BATG-0481001 Antenna (AT218)
The Uniden AT218 is a manual, non-amplified antenna, and it is used to extend the range of any CB radio.
The antenna can be mounted on a flat surface or attached to a CB radio using an adapter cable.
- Brand: Uniden
- Band-width: 800MHz
- Weight: 0,32 ounces
- Dimension: 5 x 1 x 9
The Uniden AT218 Indoor Antenna is a durable, multi-directional antenna that can receive VHF and UHF signals.
The compact design of this indoor TV antenna helps it blend in with your home decor while picking up solid signals for clear television viewing.
The antenna is designed to be used with your Uniden CB radio. It provides excellent VHF and UHF reception. This makes it an ideal choice for motorcycles and ATVs in addition to cars and trucks.
It can also be used with automatic weather stations or any other device that requires a whip antenna. The extra length gives you better performance than the standard shorter antennas.
It is an amplified magnetic mount 5/8 wave antenna for VHF and UHF frequencies. This product includes a built-in amplifier to eliminate the need for an external linear amplifier and has a black finish.
This antenna is a high-quality cellular signal booster for home and office.
It has a slim design that can be fixed onto the wall, hidden from view. This device improves your cell phone/smartphone’s reception by amplifying the signal coming from your service provider’s tower.
It allows you to make/receive calls in areas that were previously poor coverage zones or dead zones.
It has an excellent gain of up to 2.15dBi, which means it can receive signals from distances up to 20 miles away with ease.
This is perfect for people who live in rural areas or have trouble picking up radio signals due to other obstructions such as buildings and trees.
2. Diamond RH77CA Dual-Band Antenna
The Diamond RH77CA is a compact, high-performance multiband antenna.
- Brand: Diamond
- Band-width: 120 -900 MHz
- Weight: 0.8 ounces
- Dimension: 15 x 1 x 1
It is a dual-band antenna, which means it covers both VHF and UHF channels.
This antenna has a gain of 5.2 dB on 2.4GHz and 6.5dBi on 5GHz, with an omnidirectional radiation pattern that will provide you with optimal performance no matter where it is mounted.
It can be mounted horizontally or vertically to suit your needs. It also comes with a mounting bracket for easy setup.
It is used in constructing two-way radio networks that include point to point and point to multi-point communications.
It comes with an N-Female connector that can directly connect to any compatible wireless device (such as routers or access points). It has an adjustable beam that helps us to get clear signals from the receiver.
It is a high-performance antenna for satellite and terrestrial reception.
The antenna has an average gain of 2.15dBi and a power handling capability of 100 watts maximum at 50 ohms. It includes the PL-259 connector for easy installation.
It has skin-friendly SMA connectors for easy plug-and-play installation. It has a sleek and compact design, providing excellent reception quality.
It is ideal for use in situations where space is limited, such as apartment dwellers wanting to install an antenna outside their living quarters or travelers who want to keep their radio gear light.
It does not require a ground plane or counterpoise for operation on these two bands. It’s also made up of a strong metal that is rust-resistant and durable. This antenna can be used on all types of vehicles like RVs, Trucks, Cars, etc.
3. Comet Original BNC-w100RX Scanner Antenna
It is a multipurpose antenna that can be used for both mobile and base. The added feature of being able to scan comes in handy for those looking to make quick changes on the go.
- Brand: Comet
- Band-width: 25 – 1300 MHz
- Weight: 1.76 ounces
- Dimension: 8 x 1 x 0.25
Comet Original BNC-w100RX Scanner Antenna is a replacement antenna for your Comet W100 and has been designed to improve the reception on this device.
With such an antenna, you can be sure that your Comet W100 will receive increased signal strength and increased sensitivity, thereby ensuring crystal clear signals with no unwanted interruptions or static at all.
It is a commercial-grade scanner antenna made of high-quality materials. It can perform well in all weather conditions, and it’s durable to last for years.
The antenna comes with the latest technology that boosts its performance to deliver an excellent scanning experience.
It is a high-quality antenna for most scanners. It features a 19-inch-long cable and can be used with almost all standard roof-mounted scanner antennas.
It offers a unique, compact design that is lightweight and easy to mount. Its novel shape provides extra gain over the standard rubber duck antenna found on most scanners.
It can be mounted almost anywhere inside or outside of your vehicle for excellent reception. It offers the best possible reception.
This antenna has been proven to enhance both the performance and range of all compatible scanners.
It can also effectively reduce multipath interference, which is common in urban areas. This antenna is compatible with the Comet Original BNC-w100RX Scanner and other devices.
It features an elegant black color which perfectly highlights its excellent function. This black indoor antenna measures 1.5 inches by 5 inches and has a 3 dB gain to provide clear reception up to 50 miles away from the transmitter.
4. AEcreative Wide-Band Scanner Antenna
The Wide-Band Scanner Antenna is a radio antenna that uses many similar dipole elements to cover a broad band of frequencies.
- Brand: AEcreative
- Band-width: 50- 1200MHz
- Weight:2.39 ounces
- Dimension: 14 x 2 x 0.2
This ultra-wideband antenna can be used in mobile phones, wireless LAN, GPS, wideband radio, and other communication devices.
It can be used to pick up cell phone signals, wireless internet signals, and other signals transmitted at frequencies between 300 MHz to 3 GHz. The antenna can capture wireless data from multiple devices simultaneously.
This device is handy for people who need to conduct long-term surveillance operations on a target area without being detected.
It is a passive device that detects microwave radiation in the frequency ranges from 300 MHz to 3 GHz.
It consists of two parallel dipole antennas, placed at a center-to-center distance and fed with a coaxial cable.
The tuning range can be varied by adjusting the separation between the dipoles.
Wide-band Scanner Antennas are usually made up of two elements. If you have a narrow band antenna covering 240 MHz to 310 MHz, there is no need for this modification.
5. TWAYRDIO CB Handheld Antenna Scanner
TWAYRDIO CB is a portable hand-held antenna for scanning the different channels of the CB radio.
- Brand: UAYESOK
- Dimension: 0.4 x 0.4 x 25.8
- Weight: 3.84 ounces
This is a handheld antenna scanner with three bands in one device. It has the function of AM/FM radio with LED display in blue LCD and can receive weather stations (NOAA) with an earphone jack.
The device also has two channels for police scanners, with priority mode to choose which channel you want.
It is a compact device that you can carry around with you in your backpack, bag, or even pocket without any problem. The most exciting part about this product is its price – only $16.99!
This scanner is a handheld communication device that combines wireless communication, scanning, and listening to electronic information in one body.
This communication device has the advantages of small size, lightweight, long standby time, large storage capacity, and strong anti-jamming capability.
It is designed for cars, trucks, SUVs, and boats. It can be used in any vehicle or marine application that requires an external CB antenna. With this product, you no longer need to buy three different radios for your car.
Being a new product on the market, it brings some new features and also some disadvantages.
6. GRA-RH795 SMAWide Band Telescopic Scanner Antenna
This antenna is a brand-new product and has been widely accepted by customers due to its unique design and high quality.
It is mainly used for spectrum monitoring and wireless communication systems, such as wireless LAN/WiMAX/Wi-Fi AP, GPS, GSM/GPRS, CDMA2000 mobile communication system, etc.
- Brand: Gabil
- Band-width: 70 -1000MHz
- Dimension: 8.54 x 2.6 x 0.63
- Weight: 2.11 ounces
This is the latest in wideband scanner antennas. The RH795 antenna has an operating frequency range of 25 – 1300 MHz, covering all cellular frequency bands in the US and Canada.
The antenna is designed for all scanner users for the first time, covering VHF and UHF frequency bands (136-174Mhz and 400-520Mhz).
It has a good reception sensitivity and selectivity.
The product is light in weight and easy to install on the rooftop or wall of the building, just like a long whip antenna that can be put up with installation.
It is the bestselling and most popular scanner antenna with a very high online reputation.
It is designed for medium to long-range operation, with its 2.5dB noise figure can pick up weak signals that other scanners cannot hear.
The antenna comes complete with SMA male connector as standard and will fit directly onto your radio.
It features a telescoping whip for easy adjustment and can be used with scanners that operate in VHF and UHF frequencies.
The higher frequency range of the RH-795 enables it to receive signals beyond what most common scanner antennas can obtain, making it an ideal choice for skip zone reception.
It’s a wideband scanner antenna that provides the most extended range of any scanner antenna available. The GRA-RH795 has an SMA connector that can be used with most modern scanners.
7. HYS-771N Antenna SMA-Male Dual Band Antenna
The HYS-771N Antenna is a dual-band antenna for novices and professionals made by Hygain.
- Brand: HYS
- Band-width: 144/430 MHz
- Dimension: 14.6 x 1.73 x 0.2
- Weight: 0.634 ounces
It is a 2.4GHz 7dBi gain and 5Ghz 8dBi gain dual-band antenna that offers excellent compatibility for any wireless device, which can help you get the best signal within the 100-300 feet range.
Antenna’s material is durable to use, very lightweight, and easy to install.
This antenna has good performance in preventing interference with other wireless signals, so it works well with all kinds of wireless devices, including IEEE802.11b/g/n networks and Bluetooth.
It is suitable for 802.11b and 802.11g wireless applications. It can be used for connecting to any standard N-type (female) connector such as the one found on a typical wireless router, print server, or USB adapter.
The 2.4GHz antenna is a half-wave dipole antenna based on the design of the venerable Inverted Vee, but with some improvements for better performance in a small form factor. The center feed point is at the bottom of the antenna, which makes it easier to mount.
It can be used in GPS, PDA, PSP, MP3/4, Cell Phone, etc. It has good sensitivity and high signal strength. This antenna is small in size and very easy to use with your portable device.
It operates in the 2 Meters and 70 Centimeters bands between 144 to 148 MHz and 440 to 450 MHz at 800 milliwatts. The antenna can be used on handhelds, base stations, UHF repeaters, or scanners.
8. UAYESOK Hand Held Radio Antenna
This is a suitable device for people who are in the field.
- Brand: UAYESOK
- Band-width: 26 -29 MHz
- Dimension: 10.59 x 3.07 x 0.47
- Weight: 1.69 ounces
The radio antenna is made of high-quality material; it is widely used for wireless communication, providing you with high sensitivity and strong anti-interference ability.
The specifications and performance of portable VHF handheld radio antenna depend on its model and frequency range as to whether it is a vertical or base loaded antenna, coaxial or non-coaxial type.
It’s easy to install and highly efficient. The UAYESOK handheld radio antenna is a must-have for those looking to improve their communication systems. The antenna comes with high-quality construction and design that delivers excellent performance.
With the UAYESOK antenna, you can quickly achieve optimal signal strength and coverage, making it an ideal choice for your business or organization.
This hand-held radio antenna features superior shielding ability against electromagnetic wave interference.
This antenna will be an excellent choice for those who need to fill the gaps in the range of your handheld radio because it is designed with a high gain and a low noise floor.
It is an essential tool for amateur radio enthusiasts. It’s a vital part of the setup that helps you receive and transmit information from your handheld transceiver.
9. Bingfu VHF/UHF Radio Police Scanner Antenna
The antenna can be widely used for radio police, fire, ambulance, and other public security radio communications such as digital trunk radio (DTR), analog trunked radio (ATR), or P25 digital voice system.
- Brand: BINGFU
- Band-width: 20 – 1300 MHz
- Dimension: 15.5 x 4.47 x 1. 06
- Weight: 2. 08 ounces
It has a very high sensitivity, low noise, and a simple structure.
It is a high-performance antenna that can be used to increase your reception for any type of radio scanner. It is easy to assemble, and you will enjoy crisp, clear audio within minutes.
It mainly works on the FM and TV bands. The antenna’s frequency range can be used for all kinds of radio transmitters in the VHF and UHF bands.
For example, the police, fire department radios, taxi radios, airplane radios, and other frequency signals with excellent sensitivity.
The antenna has a good performance on receiving FM radio signals as well. It is convenient to carry out for an outdoor activity or long-distance driving with compact size and lightweight,
It covers the frequencies of 136-174MHz and 400-480MHz. The antenna has two cable connection ports for dual-band use, plus it can be used as a single band antenna.
10. AEcreative Wide-Band Telescopic Scanner Antenna
The Wide-Band Telescopic Scanner Antenna is a multi-frequency, broadband omnidirectional scanner antenna.
- Brand: AEcreative
- Band-width: 20 – 1300 MHz
- Dimension: 9.25 x 1.73 x 0.47
- Weight: 2.25 ounces
It is a multi-functional and multi-characteristic antenna, which can be used in various areas such as wireless communication, GPS positioning system, RFID, digital television broadcasting, etc.
It adopts high-quality fiberglass substrate material with excellent mechanical performance to build the antenna body.
The telescopic structure makes it easy to adjust the length of AEcreative; then, we can get different bandwidths and different radiation patterns.
The antenna has been applied to many fields of research, from radio astronomy to remote sensing.
It’s a new high-frequency antenna, developed based on plastic strip technology and high precision three-dimensional forming technology.
It can be widely used in radio communication fields such as the UHF band (300-1000 MHz) and VHF (30-300 MHz).
11. Anteenna TW-999BNCScanner Antenna
The TW-999BNC is a high-performance broadband scanner antenna.
- Brand: Anteenna
- Dimension: 7.3*0.39*0.39 inches
The BNC connector allows the antenna to be connected directly to a scanner or other device. This antenna can be used in a variety of applications, including the following:
- Used in conjunction with VHF wireless microphones and audio transmitters
- Connecting an FM transmitter to a radio show host’s belt pack
- Decorating a stage for an event
It’s designed explicitly for trucking scanners. It has a small size, but it’s susceptible to incoming signals, and you can get this antenna up and running in no time.
All you need to do is just plug an N male connector into the BNC port of your scanner, then mount or locate the antenna wherever there would be fewer signal interferences.
It’s made of black ABS plastic that will match your scanner’s color scheme. The cable length is approximately 1 foot long and features a low-profile BNC connector, an RF connector used to terminate cables.
12. BTECH Nagoya NA-771 Scanner Antennae
The BTECH NA-771 Scanner Antenna, a high gain antenna that can extend your scanner’s range by up to 10 times
- Brand: BTECH
- Band-width:140-150 MHZ
- Dimension: 15*0.5*0.1 inches
- Weight:1.41 ounces
This scanner is a great starter scanner. It’s simple, easy to use, and has many features that more expensive scanners don’t have.
This is a very reliable and sturdy device that I would recommend to anyone new to the hobby of scanning and who wants something decent at a reasonable price.
This is a high gain antenna for scanner use. It has the highest gain in its class and outstanding performance in the low VHF/UHF bands (below 300 MHz).
It features a lightweight and highly durable fiberglass construction with a magnet mount roof mounting option, making it suitable for emergency response, field service, rental car fleet management, and government agencies.
It was used when the original antenna of NA-771 had no reception in some areas, so the company designed it with higher strength. It is compatible with the original equipment.
It’s a small, portable antenna that can be attached to the Btech BT-QS4004 Quad Surveillance System. This antenna allows for improved wireless transmission when used in conjunction with the Btech BT-QS4004.
The NA-771 was designed to operate within the 2.4 GHz range, standard for most wireless security camera systems.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Handheld Scanner Antenna
The market is filled with all kinds of handheld scanners for antenna, and this makes it choosing the appropriate product for your needs quite a hassle. While it may seem like a walk in the park, it’s not.
If you are not an expert in the field, you may have some difficulties choosing the correct scanner antenna.
Unless you are guided on how to choose the right product, we specifically have this section to guide you on how to choose the right unit.
When purchasing products, there are always some factors to consider before deciding which product to buy.
You will always look at what your needs are and which ones does a product fulfills before deciding.
Below are some things to consider before deciding which scanner antenna fits all or most of your needs.
Bandwidth should be on top of your consideration list when selecting your handheld scanner. When using a radio, in many cases, you would want to listen to a variety of radio stations. In that case, considering the frequency range is vital.
An excellent handheld scanner should catch a broad range of signals to ensure you don’t miss out on any stations.
Averagely a good handheld scanner antenna is considered to capture a signal range of 25 to 1300 MHz.
This signal range will give the most expansive coverage. Purchasing an antenna with this bandwidth will allow you to access several radio stations.
However, a user is not limited to choosing the long-range bandwidth; one is free to choose an antenna with a shorter bandwidth, especially if their radios have lower frequencies.
How long a product will serve you is another common factor to look at when buying a specific product. People always want to purchase something that will help them for a very long time.
When it comes to handheld scanners, you need to choose one that will offer excellent performance for a very long time.
It is vital to get handheld scanner antennas made with quality material as it contributes to the life of the product.
Handheld scanners come in two types; the rubber duck and telescopic antenna. The rubber duck scanner antennas are very durable and also quite flexible.
Telescopic antennas have better reception compared to the rubber duck, but they are not robust. This is because they can easily break as they are made from a series of short metal tubes that can be extended.
It is pointless to get a handheld scanner antenna that is not durable because, in the long run, it will cost you more due to frequent repairs and maintenance costs.
When choosing an antenna, you need to put into consideration the environment that you live in. Terrain greatly affects the performance of handheld scanner antennas.
With the same scanner antenna, you will obtain different performance and efficiency on hilly terrain and flat terrain.
Some antennas are designed to work well in congested areas like the city, while most work well in open spaces.
A handheld scanner antenna that works well in the city might not work the same in the countryside. You need to wisely choose a handheld scanner antenna depending on your location.
Everyone always has a budget when they want to purchase any item. When buying a handheld scanner antenna, price is an essential factor.
Before buying a specific handheld scanner antenna, one should do enough research on each brand before deciding to buy it.
Compare different brands of handheld scanner antennas online and check the customer reviews to help you decide which is the best brand and type to buy.
Every antenna has its named price. The prices are determined by the brand, quality, the material used, and many others. An expensive antenna does not necessarily mean it’s of good quality, and vice versa is also true.
One should ensure that the amount spent in buying the handheld scanner antenna gives full value in return, fulfilling your needs.
The product that you purchase should give you the value for your money. And always be sure to work within your financial capabilities.
With plenty of scanners on the market, you are sure to get an efficient scanner that is within your budget.
Products always come in different shapes and sizes, and the handheld scanner antenna is not an exception.
Knowing the type of antenna you need and where you’ll need to use it helps decide the best size of the antenna to purchase.
A handheld scanner antenna from the name would suggest that it is portable and can be moved from place to place. Therefore, you should choose an antenna size that fits your requirements and needs.
Telescopic antennas, for example, are designed to be extended and retracted. When retracted, its length becomes short, making it convenient to carry.
Before buying the type of handheld antenna you think is suitable for you, you need to know your radio’s connection type. Understanding the connection type helps you to choose an antenna that fits your radio.
There are two connector types that are common which are BNC and SMA. These connectors can be either male or female, depending on the scanner receiver.
Buying an antenna without making sure that it will work with your device might make it useless. However, if you mistakenly purchase the wrong handheld scanner antenna, you can buy adapters that connect SMA to BNC and BNC to SMA.
To avoid the extra cost of buying an adapter, it is easier to ensure you know the connector type of your handheld scanner before purchasing an antenna that suits your needs.
Most devices always come with controls on how to operate them. The way a scanner antenna is used varies depending on its brand.
While some people can be pretty comfortable operating units with complex controls, getting a unit that suits your experience is advisable.
Some units have simple controls that are particularly easy for people with little or no experience with antennas to operate.
Depending on how well you are versed with antennas, get a scanner antenna that matches your level of expertise.
Weight is another priority factor. A handheld scanner antenna is supposed to be lightweight for it to be easily carried around.
The weight of a handheld scanner antenna is determined by the material used in making it.
While weight does not necessarily affect the performance of the antenna, it makes it convenient to be carried around to different locations.
The material it is made of
The material used in making a scanner antenna influences its lifespan. It’s always advisable to get a weather-resistant and heavy-duty antenna as it is used primarily outdoors.
The recommended material that is good for your antenna is stainless steel, but your choice is not limited to it.
You cannot control the weather, but you can control the type of antenna to buy that suits rainy weather.
An antenna made of quality weather-resistant material will not get damaged when exposed to precipitation.
Some radios are designed to have the dual watch feature. This simply means that transmission can take place in different radio channels.
A multiband antenna enables a radio operator to customize a radio to receive as many stations as possible.
While choosing a handheld scanner antenna, you should consider checking if it allows communication in multiple bands.
You need to first know if your radio has the dual watch feature, which makes it a requirement to purchase an antenna that is multiband.
A multiband antenna provides a user with dual-band and even tri-band communication.
Getting a dual-band or tri-band antenna enables you to get the most out of your radio.
Handheld scanner antennas may look simple, but they need effort and time to set up. Depending on the type of antenna you purchased, the degree of effort and amount of time greatly vary, which can be quite frustrating for a learner.
Handheld scanner antennas can have an adhesive, magnetic, or suction mount. Choosing the desired type of mounting depends on how you are planning to use your handheld scanner.
Installation is a very important step that needs to be done right. However, this can only be achieved by getting an antenna that clearly shows the process of setting up.
Different products come with varying product warranty, which is determined by the manufacturer.
Some brands have an extended warranty period, while others have a short warranty period. Some brands don’t even have a warranty period at all.
A warranty is a guarantee that assures a customer that a defective product will be replaced or repaired free by the manufacturer.
It is advisable to consider the manufacturer’s warranty before buying an antenna. You should look for a brand that offers a good warranty.
Every person has his/her favorite band that they like to listen to, and different scanner antennas effectively work on different frequencies.
With countless scanner antennas on the market, you are guaranteed to get one that fits your needs.
We have reviewed for you the best 12 handheld scanners currently on the market and included a buying guide to help you decide on the best option.
If you have come across the product you are looking for, don’t hesitate to click that link and make your order today!