It’s amazing how quickly a wonderful evening out on the town can be ruined by an encounter with law enforcement. Imagine a wonderful evening with your significant other. You’ve cleaned up and changed clothes after work, gone out for dinner together, shared wine and good conversation, and concluded the evening holding hands in the car during the drive home. You could be forgiven for losing track of your speed as you drive home, lost in the moment of a wonderful evening.
Unfortunately for you, the police officer tagging people on the freeway for speeding isn’t lost in the mists of love. His radar gun has clocked you going 5 MPH over the speed limit and now you’re stuck on the side of the road with those flashing lights blinding you in the rearview mirror. If you’d taken a few moments to consult our vast list of radar detector reviews, you could have been snapped out of that love mist by the beep of your detector alerting you to the officer’s presence.
Radar detectors have been popular for the past two decades, and are gaining popularity today as technology improves their functionality. Rather than waste your precious time reading endless feature lists on manufacturer websites, we’ve done the legwork for you and compiled reviews of the features, pros, and cons of various radar detector models. In this review, we take a look at the SPX 7700 from Cobra Electronics.
Features of the Cobra Electronics SPX 7700
Cobra Electronics is undoubtedly the most popular manufacturer of consumer radar detectors, and the Cobra SPX 7700 is touted as its most advanced device available today. With over 30 years of experience in building quality detectors, Cobra used the latest technology and military-grade components to manufacture a radar detector that offers the greatest detection range and warning time available on the market today.
The Cobra SPX 7700 has super-fast sweep circuitry that allows it to quickly detect radar and laser signals from law enforcement devices and provide the earliest warning possible. This model is capable of detecting all radar and laser signals in use today in both the United States and Canada. One particularly unique feature of the Cobra SPX 7700 is the color OLED display that provides the clearest indication of signals being detected, including the mode in which the detector is set.
Other impressive features of the Cobra SPX 7700 include Voice/Tone Alert, Signal Strength Meter, LaserEye, IntelliMute, VG-2/Spectre detector capability, and various color schemes to match the illumination of your dash.
The IntelliMute system and adjustable color schemes add usability features that are unmatched in the industry. IntelliMute helps minimize the distractions that your radar detector causes while driving. When the device detects a signal in the area, you’ll receive a voice alert the first time at normal volume levels. Subsequent detections of the same signal will be provided in one of two ways. IntelliMute’s standard setting will lower the volume of subsequent voice alerts for that signal. You also have the option to override the system with manual mutes that switch to tone alerts for those subsequent signals, also at lower volumes.
A color OLED screen is great for daytime driving, but at night it does pose a potential distraction as a bright light source in a dark vehicle. The colors on the display can not only be dimmed to minimize the visual distraction but can also be altered to match the dashboard lights of your vehicle to provide better continuity inside your vehicle.
Pros of the Cobra Electronics SPX 7700
Cobra models often garner immense praise from consumers for their range and reliability. The Cobra SPX 7700 lives up to that heritage with almost unanimous praise from consumers who rave about the range and early detection of the Cobra SPX 7700. On straight roads, countless reviewers point out that this model’s fast-sweep circuitry and LaserEye technology provide warnings that have reached as far out as 10 miles.
The vast majority find that the Cobra SPX 7700 routinely provides enough warning to adjust their speed before making visual contact with law enforcement. The City and Highway modes also garnered praise for helping minimize the number of false alerts in dense urban areas. While false alerts are impossible to avoid completely, the SPX 7700 is one of the top performers when it comes to minimizing this annoyance.
You’ll also get complimentary apps allowing you to link the SPX 7700 to your mobile device. This gives you the most out of the map provided, which in turn gives you a detailed look at reported scanner locations in and around your location with the GPS your phone offers. This will make it easier to plan ahead and slow down in areas you know the police lie in wait, preventing the anxiety that comes with the SPX 7700s siren. To help with connectivity, the SPX 7700 comes with Bluetooth integration so you never miss a nearby scanner notification on your phone.
Cons of the Cobra SPX 7700
When it comes to critical functions of the Cobra SPX 7700, there are no complaints. The main complaints on this Cobra model stem from its additional tech features. The SPX 7700 has Bluetooth connectivity and a companion app available for iPhone and Android devices. A handful of users have complained that the Bluetooth connectivity is spotty and that the mobile apps underperform. In the grand scheme, however, these individuals are still receiving radar warnings about law enforcement in the area, which is the primary objective of the device.
However, a rare occurrence that can cause repeated sirens and alarms is a defective unit that a fair amount of people have received. If you’ve bought a used device, then the warranty period is most likely out, which means you’ll be out of luck if your unit is defective.
Some overenthusiastic SPX 7700s can be the result of poor settings, which include alarms for bands that are likely out of use. So you may need to also get into the settings to set the device to the bands the cops use in your local area. This can be a bit difficult with the lack of instructions you get with the pamphlet in the box. But never fear as guides are available online to help you out.
Honest Assessment of the Cobra SPX 7700
Many of the radar detector models we review here receive, at the very least, favorable assessments. Judging a radar detector is always about focusing on the critical functions and establishing realistic expectations for performance. No radar detector is going to provide individuals with proper warning when traveling 10 to 20 MPH over the speed limit. However, devices like the Cobra SPX 7700 provide impressive warnings for drivers and successfully detect law enforcement devices in a 360-degree sweep.
Although this Cobra model is more expensive than many other standard models (average price $199.95), there are plenty of more expensive models that fail to perform to the levels of the Cobra SPX 7700. However, used and recertified models are available at much cheaper prices, often priced around $50-$100 depending on the condition it is in. So you could net yourself a great deal if you are lucky enough to find a mint one. This particular model is the best combination of performance and price that you’ll find on the market, hands down. So we definitely recommend the SPX 7700 for all your cop beating needs!