Whistler TRX-1 Handheld Scanner Review

Whistler TRX-1 Handheld Scanner Review

The Whistler TRX-1 is a handheld digital police scanner packed with lots of amazing features that we’ll discuss further in this review of the scanner.

Digital radio scanners have taken over old analog scanners, and a quick look at the TRX-1 is all you need to understand why. And even though they are much more expensive, they are equipped with the latest technology and a wide array of remarkable features.

As you can see, the layout of the TRX-1 is pretty similar to other handheld scanners, with the screen on top of the device, and the buttons and the speaker right below. The keypad is backlit, meaning you can use it with ease even at night. 

The scan, pause and skip buttons on the front allow you to quickly use the main features of the scanner without going through different menus, which can save you valuable listening time.

Around the whole scanner, there’s a strong and durable rubber casing that will protect the device in case you drop it while on the go. In addition, there’s a clip on the backside which you can use to attach the scanner to your belt and listen to transmission while on the go.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what are the features that make the Whistler TRX-1 one of the best handheld police scanners.

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Best Features

Object-Oriented Scanning

Programming scanning receivers can be difficult, but the TRX-1 simplifies this process with object-oriented programming and uses common conventions for scanning concepts with common characteristics.

Ease of Use

The scanner comes with a USB cable that you can use to connect to your Windows PC and program it from there. In addition, since this model is so integrated with the software, you can easily use your PC to upgrade the CPU and DSP firmware.

With such easy updating and programming options, you can always have the most recent information and update it to the latest firmware.

Storage Options

The Whistler TRX-1 comes with a 2GB microSD card, which is preloaded with the entire USA and Canada radio reference database. Additionally, you can use the leftover space on the microSD card to record received audio for up to 50 hours.

What’s more, with the expanded V-Scanner II storage system, you can use the PC software and save up to 200 V-Scanner configurations, which you can later on recall by using the keypad on the scanner.

Excellent Channel Compatibility

With the TRX-1 you will be able to monitor many different channels thanks to the Motorola P25 Phase 1, DMR, Phase II, and X2-TDMA. The list of channels includes MotoTRBO, MotoTRBO Connect Plus, MotoTRBO Linked Cap Plus, Capacity Plus, Hytera XPT, and NXDN.

SkyWarn and Weather Buttons

Another great feature of the Whistler TRX-1 is that it doubles as a weather alert receiver. You can set up weather warnings for your local area to keep track of any upcoming dangers. 

In addition, the SkyWarn software can be used for storm spotting and pressing the SkyWarn button while in Weather Alert mode will allow you to listen to the SkyWarn scan list alone, without the interruption of other channels.

Technical Specs

  • Tuning Steps: 2.5, 3.125, 5, 6.25, 7.5, 8.33, 10, 12.5, 25 kHz
  • Frequency Coverage: 25-54 MHz; 108-174 MHz; 216-512 MHz; 764-960 MHz (minus cellular phone ranges); 1240-1300 MHz
  • Speaker: Built-in 36mm 8 Ohms dynamic speaker
  • Display: Full dot matrix bitmap LCD (132×65)
  • Weight: 7.4oz (210g)
  • 2GB MicroSD Card

For the full list of technical specifications of the Whistler TRX-1, click here.

What’s in the Box

The Whistler TRX-1 comes with the following items in the box:

  • Antenna
  • 2GB MicroSD Card
  • USB Cable
  • Swivel Belt Clip
  • Protective Case
  • 2 Plastic Inserts
  • User Manual
  • Quick Start Guide

What Users Love the Most about It

Customers who bought the Whistler TRX-1 have fairly positive experiences with the scanner. A quick look through some of the online reviews tells us that some beginner users had difficulties with the programming at first, but the supplied user guide combined with a few online tutorials was all it took to better understand how this scanner works.

“When I started programming this scanner things were difficult, but after I watched a few videos it turns out it was much easier than I thought. Before this scanner, I only used scanners that had to be programmed manually, but now with Radio Reference and the EZ Software, all it took was 15 minutes to add more than 800 frequencies. And that counts the time needed to install the software on my computer. The scanner itself is amazing. I set up scan lists for my community, local airports, railroads, emergency frequencies, national parks, and so on. For each agency, I assigned a different LED color and set the light to flash. There are countless ways to customize the scanner to your liking, so you should never get bored. And trust me, if I was able to program and set up the scanner just the way I wanted, anyone can. Don’t let reviews about the hard programming stop you from getting this incredible scanner.”

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I can update the software or firmware in my scanner?

Launch the EZ Scan software that came with the scanner. Normally it will automatically look for all updates. If launched in the last few days and you want to force the check, click on the Updates tab and select Check for All Updates.

What type of batteries does this scanner have? Does it come with a wall charger?

It uses AA type batteries. Either NIMH rechargeables or alkaline. And yes it does come with a 120V to 9v wall charger. Not a 12V to 9V charger.

Will this unit also monitor analog frequencies?

Yes, it will receive both digital and analog.


While the price of the Whistler TRX-1 is certainly on the higher end, its amazing features, reliability, and ease of use make this one of the best scanners around. The excellent audio quality and reception only further improve an already outstanding police scanner.

Final rating: 4/5

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