No one enjoys an encounter with law enforcement. Whether we’re caught speeding or a traffic camera captures us running a red light, it’s never fun to be on the receiving end of a fine from police. With the help of a radar detector, you can receive an advanced warning when police are active in the area with radar equipment.
There are numerous devices available on the market today to help alert you to the presence of police equipment. The average driver might have no idea what to look for in a radar detector, so we’ve taken the time to compile the features and compare the pros and cons of some of the most popular models on the market today. In this post, we’ll take a look at one of the many no-frills models. The Cobra ESD 7570 is available at a low price, but is it worth your hard-earned money?
Features of the Cobra ESD 7570
When we use the term “no-frills” to describe the Cobra ESD 7570, we mean just that. This radar detector is capable of detecting nine bands, including all the radar and laser frequencies that law enforcement officials use in both Canada and the United States. Despite the low price and the no-frills feature list, this particular model from Cobra does come with beneficial features that provide drivers with useful information on the road.
The nine band coverage of the Cobra ESD 7570 helps detect the common frequencies in use by police. Its most impressive feature is a VG-2 and Spectre alert feature. Most of Cobra’s radar detectors come with this technology which alerts drivers when the police are using their own detector equipment to identify radar detectors in use by motorists.
Another primary feature of this model that offers significant benefits to drivers is the optional City/Highway mode on the detector. When you’re driving in urban areas with higher population density there is the potential for numerous other devices to interfere with the performance of your radar detector. The most common result of this is false alerts from a radar detector as it picks up interfering signals from devices not in use by law enforcement. This feature allows drivers to switch operational modes based upon the environment.
Additional features include UltraBright display, safety alerts, and 360-degree detection. The UltraBright data display on the ESD 7570 means you get clear indicators from the detector so you spend less time staring at the detector, and more time focusing your gaze on the road ahead. Safety alerts can warn you of upcoming emergency vehicles and road hazards, but only in vehicles with manufacturer-installed safety alert transmitters. The 360-degree feature provides better detection of radar and laser signals.
Pros of the Cobra ESD 7570
Cheap or not, this Cobra model simply works. Customers praise the ability of this affordable device to detect radar and laser signals in use by law enforcement. Even though it detects fewer bandwidths of other devices, nine compared to at least 14 for other devices, users of the Cobra ESD 7570 find it immensely helpful in picking up police signals. Most drivers find that the Cobra successfully alerts them to a police presence in the area long before they make visual contact with a squad car.
The success of the ESD 7570 is due to its 360-degree detection. When mounted properly in the front windshield, up away from the dashboard, the detector effectively picks up signals both in front of and behind motorists as they drive down city streets or open highways.
Many drivers even take the time to point out the easy-to-use nature of the Cobra ESD 7570 and its clear, audible warnings. The latter might sound pointless, but is your radar detector worth having in the car if you cannot hear the signals while listening to music? Additionally, the Cobra’s buttons are responsive. This too might seem frivolous, but the last thing you should be doing while driving is fiddling with buttons. When you push the power button it should work the first time.
Cons of the Cobra ESD 7570
Compared to other radar detectors, including other low-end Cobra models, this device can only claim to detect nine bandwidths. While that should cover drivers against the most common signals used by law enforcement, there are comparable devices that offer 14 and 16 band coverage.
It is worth noting as well that the Cobra ESD 7570 appears prone to providing a high number of false hits. Drivers have noted when driving through areas with high population density the unit provides a number of false hits. Even when drivers switch over to the City mode on the detector, there is still an annoyingly high number of false alerts. This can wear on drivers quickly as a constantly chirping detector is not only a distraction but also erodes trust in the device to provide reliable alerts. With too many alerts, you won’t trust the device and could be pulled over.
One of the key features missing on this device that other Cobra models have is IntelliMute. While other Cobra models have “smart volume” capabilities that automatically adjust the volume of alerts from the device as the speed of the vehicle increases, the Cobra ESD 7570 lacks this technology. Though not a major problem, it can serve as a distraction if drivers are forced to take their attention away from the road to fuss with the volume controls.
While users are on the most part satisfied with the Cobra, with a 4.2-star Amazon rating based on over 2000 reviews, some complain that while the Cobra does pick up signals from police cars, it has the tendency to be a bit late at times. This gives you insufficient time to pump the breaks to avoid a ticket
But considering the price point, some corners had to be cut. You won’t get features like an easy-to-use display with this sensor. Plus, icons will be hard to see even in dim lighting, which can make it harder to operate and alter overall. Also, the velcro the sensor comes with isn’t the best, usually going a bit loose after a few days if attached to plastic. There isn’t anything some good old-fashioned tape couldn’t fix, though.
Another issue that some users complain about is the Cobra is slightly dated, picking up bands that aren’t used by the cops anymore. This can lead to constant alarms going off which can be annoying to deal with. So we’d advise you to adjust the settings and remove unused bands, such as the X band, out of the default alarm detection settings.
Honest Assessment of the Cobra ESD 7570
The overall value of the Cobra ESD 7570 depends upon your expectations of the device. If you are looking for a device that can flawlessly detect police signals with a high degree of accuracy, spending $59.95 (average retail price) on this detector isn’t going to cut it. This detector won’t perform well enough under varying conditions to allow you to speed down the local highways and byways undetected by police.
You’ll also have to live with a few inconveniences such as removing the outdated band frequencies and having to apply extra sticking strengths to the velcro at times.
If, however, you are looking for a reliable device that promises a good rate of detection in all directions, you have picked the right detector. The Cobra ESD 7570 comes with all the basic features that drivers can expect to find in a radar detector, and has a wallet-friendly price that makes it perfect for first-time buyers. While it certainly isn’t as good as the higher-priced detectors (that often run into the hundreds of dollars), it’ll at least save you from a few tickets, which will recoup the investment made.