We’re all guilty of breaking motor vehicle laws from time to time. Most of us don’t do it on purpose or even do it maliciously. We slowly roll through a four-way stop without coming to a complete stop, or we turn on a red light when it says “no turn on red” because, well, no one else is around. Of course, the most common infraction behind the wheel is speeding.
The majority of drivers on American roads don’t set out in the morning with the intention of breaking speed limit laws. We get caught up listening to the radio and drift over the limit by a few MPH, or we’re running late so we push the gas a little harder in hopes of making up for lost time. For those that make a habit of speeding, take frequent long-distance road trips, or both, a radar detector is a good investment.
The Cobra XRS 9445 is one of the many models produced by a company that is well known for manufacturing some of the most reliable radar detectors on the market. Rather than waste your own time reviewing every model out there, we’ve done the homework for you. In this review we’ll cover the features, pros, and cons of the XRS 9445. In the end, we’ll offer you an honest assessment of this model’s value and performance.
Features of the Cobra XRS 9445
The Cobra XRS 9445 offers 14-band protection against the most common radar and laser signals used by law enforcement in the United States and Canada. In total, this model is capable of detecting seven radar, six laser, and one safety signal. In addition to helping you detect the presence of police radar guns in the area, the Cobra XRS 9445 is also capable of shielding itself from detection.
Law enforcement officials use VG-2 and Spectre equipment to detect signals emanating from commercial radar detectors in motor vehicles. The Cobra XRS 9445 is VG-2 and Spectre I/IV resistant. Not only does this model detect when those devices are in use by law enforcement, it effectively blocks its own signal from being picked up by the radar detector(s).
This particular model comes with high-performance antennae built-in that allow it to effectively detect radar and laser signals with time to spare, meaning you can react before you make visual contact with the police. The LaserEye technology, capable of 360-degree detection, alerts you to signals emanating from both the front and rear of your vehicle. The Cobra XRS 9445 even comes with POP Mode Radar Gun detection.
Most radar detectors work by scanning the local area for active signals. Law enforcement has adapted to this full-time scanning by using new POP Mode radar guns that emit no signal until they are used to target a specific vehicle. The aim is to make it difficult for radar detectors to catch the signal before it is too late, but the Cobra XRS 9445 is capable of detecting even instant-on signals so drivers can still react.
Other handy features include IntelliMute technology, voice alerts, and safety alerts. The IntelliMute technology adjusts the volume of the signal alerts from your Cobra device to ensure you receive an initial audio alert without constantly being reminded. After one alert, the device mutes audio and uses only visual indicators to alert drivers to signals in the area.
The voice alerts help drivers keep their focus on the road. Rather than hearing simple beeps and looking at the detector to see which signals it is picking up, the XRS 9445 provides voice identification of the signals detected in the area. Safety alerts help notify the driver of approaching emergency vehicles, railroad crossings, and other road hazards.
Pros of the Cobra XRS 9445
The Cobra XRS 9445 is one of the few radar detectors that we can say truly lives up to the billing. It is one thing for the manufacturer to boast about its ability, but it is another entirely to listen to the consumers that use it on a daily basis praise it for its consistent performance. The two biggest points of praise for the Cobra XRS 9445 are its range and false alert reduction.
Numerous consumers have lauded the Cobra XRS 9445 for consistently detecting radar and laser signals far enough in advance for drivers to react. While there are certainly other models available that boast a more effective range than this Cobra model, none of them can match the under $100 price tag and offer all of the same features.
The Cobra XRS 9445 also comes with a voice system, which is great if you prefer a softer approach to the blaring sirens most detectors come with. Here you’ll at least get the choice between the two.
When it comes to false alarms, effectively mitigating them is a critical function of any radar detector. At the very least, false alarms are an annoyance. They most commonly occur in dense areas such as suburban retail and housing sections of a city. Numerous other devices easily interfere with the radar detector and cause false alerts. In a worst case scenario, drivers turn off their radar detector altogether due to numerous false alerts, and then it does them no good.
Another reason for these false alerts can be the Cobra XRS 9445 picking up bands not used by the cops anymore to track speeding vehicles. Certain bands such as X have mostly been phased out by police forces across the country, with only a few areas where it’s still in use. This means these bands are detected and sound an alarm when there isn’t an officer in sight. However, this is easily fixable and you can remove the X band from being detected by changing the XRS 9445’s settings.
The Cobra XRS 9445 has proven effective at minimizing (total elimination is impossible) the number of false alerts the average driver hears. This is particularly true in urban and suburban areas. So what doesn’t work so well with the Cobra XRS 9445?
Cons of the Cobra XRS 9445
The most common complain about the Cobra XRS 9445 is that it does not provide the full-band detection it promises. A handful of users that live in Europe or have taken their device with them on business trips have noted that although it promises to detect radar signals used in Europe, it is largely ineffective at detecting them. Other minor complaints include devices that simply never alert to any signals and those which do not stay in their windshield mounts.
Another thing to take note of is that the Cobra XRS 9445 can be a bit too much for a novice to handle, with a wide variety of features and setting options to tinker around with to suit your driving style and needs. While this cannot be called a con per se, its something to keep in mind if you’re not the most tech-savvy person around
Honest Assessment of the Cobra XRS 9445
There are few units that we review that are worthy of gushing praise. Many units perform well in a few areas, such as reliable detection over long distances or strong signal filtering. The Cobra XRS 9445 is a solid investment for most drivers because it provides the best bang for your bug. You get many of the features that top-of-the-line models offer, without forking over $200 or more for a radar detector.
The Cobra XRS 9445 is also widely available on sites such as eBay where you can find one in mint condition for under $100! This ensures you won’t have to worry about recouping the cost because, with the features you’re getting, the Cobra XRS 9445 is sure to save you a bunch of tickets every year.
So we’d recommend the Cobra 9445, a detector that’ll save your cash and even time, as there’s no need to come up with new excuses every time the cops pull you over.