These radar detector reviews are designed to help you get the most enjoyment and protection out of your investment. If you are able to avoid just one or two traffic tickets throughout the life of your radar detector, it pays for itself. Plus, each and everyday you get to experience the enjoyment of advanced warning before passing a police officer. I know having a radar detector has saved me several times from getting a ticket and I always get a kick out of it when my passengers say, “wow! That thing works really well!”
Do You Need a Radar Detector?
If you travel by car a lot, particularly in long distances, having this device to alert you whenever there’s a police radar around is a great advantage.
As it is, radar detectors are designed to warn drivers that there’s an officer in the area who is using an active radar device. With advance notice, you’ll be able to adjust your speed and ensure that you are within the posted speed limit.
Even if you are a careful driver who adheres to the speed limit EVERY SINGLE TIME, there’ll be some days when you may be so out of it you won’t even realize you’re going over.
With a radar detector, you can monitor your driving speed. You’ll be able to maintain your speed limit without any worries.
And then you’ll reap the actual advantage that comes with being a safe driver – lower insurance costs, avoid speeding tickets, thus avoiding penalties and fines as well, and ultimately, a safe driving experience.
Unfortunately, some drivers see a radar detector as a free license to speed. This device encourages some drivers to drive more aggressively because of a false assumption that they will be able to slow down immediately when a signal is detected.
This may not always be the case though. Unless you have a highly advanced detector with a 100% accuracy rate, some radar detectors can still catch false alarms, or fail to detect every radar signal.
So how do you separate “cheap” radar detectors from “quality” radar detectors? Keep on reading to learn more.
Separating “Cheap” Radar Detectors From “Quality” Radar Detectors
If you’re going to spend money on a radar detector, you might as well do it right. A radar detector is one of those devices where unfortunately, yes, price does matter! If you want a radar detector for under $100, you might as well just walk into Walmart and buy the cheapest one they have in stock, because no matter which one you buy, it’s going to suck. It’ll give off false warnings constantly, it won’t alert you properly to new threats like laser and LIDAR, your warning time will be limited, and you will end up throwing it in the glove box because it’s annoying and never works right. If you don’t have the cash to buy a high quality radar detector, don’t buy one at all. If you want adequate protection, you’ve gotta pay up.
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Staying One Step Ahead
The makers of radar detectors and the makers of traffic enforcement equipment are constantly in battle. Each one is always trying to outsmart the other. That means, if you buy a radar detector today, expect to get a new one in about 5 to 7 years. I know, that’s not what you want to hear just before you’re about to plunk down several hundred bucks on a radar detector, but that’s the reality. You might as well know now. And that’s the other reason I only review top notch radar detectors. Many cheaper radar detectors are a decade behind the technology curve. These radar detector reviews are for the best of the best. Get informed and make your own decision. My only advice…. do not cheap out!
The Best Radar Detector Reviews
These radar detector reviews are listed in order from my favorite radar detector down. These are all high quality, but I do have my preferences.
Escort Passport 9500ix Review
The Escort Passport 9500ix is hands down my favorite radar detector right now. As soon as this thing has any sort of decent competition, I’ll be sure to review it. However, as of right now the Passport 9500ix is in a league of its own. This is known as a “smart detector” because it is, well, smart. By using GPS technology, it goes far beyond detecting radar. You get alerts for photo enforcement cameras including red light cameras and speed enforcement cams. It also uses a unique feature to almost entirely eliminate false alarms.
The Cobra XRS 9970G radar detector is probably the single best radar detector Cobra has ever made. Finally, they have incorporated GPS into this device so instead of a typical radar detector, you have a “smart detector.” Sure, it can still alert you to radar and laser (LIDAR), but you have full access to the full AURA GPS database with every known location of photo enforcement cameras. What’s more? This unit is about half the price of other GPS enabled radar detectors. It isn’t perfect though and I was very disappointed with some aspects of the Cobra XRS 9970G. Read the full Cobra XRS 9970G radar detector review to find out both the good and the bad.
The Beltronics V955 radar and laser detector is the best selling Beltronics radar detector on the market today. It is also priced at under $200, making this a very popular choice among many drivers. However, with the lower price, this unit excludes some very important features. While back in 2005 when this unit was first released to the public, it included state of the art technology, it is not becoming outdated. This unit provides no protection against photo enforcement cameras and does not automatically store false signals like newer units do. Nonetheless, the protection provided in this unit is very good when it comes to radar / laser. Check out my full review and see what my initial impressions are for this older, yet very popular radar detector.
Police forces in states and municipalities across the US rely upon various pieces of technology to help enforce the law. Cops cannot simply adjudge a person to be speeding down the road with the naked eye. They use radar guns to gauge the speed of a vehicle as it approaches to determine speed. Police can’t be everywhere at once. When they can’t survey areas in person, cameras and in-ground sensors are used to catch traffic violations at intersections. If the police are going to use technology to catch you speeding, then you’ll need to use technology to help detect when you are under the radar gun or approaching a monitored intersection.
There is nothing more troublesome than getting a speeding ticket while you’re on the way to work or just starting a long-distance road trip. Not only is a speeding ticket going to take time out of your day while the officer issues you a citation, it is obviously going to cost you money. For some, the cost is limited to the fine itself. For others, too many tickets can result in higher insurance fees and even larger fines in the future for repeated offenses. Many drivers try to avoid the headache of a speeding ticket by purchasing a radar detector. Designed to identify law enforcement radar and laser signals in use, detectors provide drivers with audible alerts when radar guns and other equipment are in use within a certain range.
Cobra is a brand that is synonymous with radar detectors, and the Cobra XRS 9345 is one of its best-selling models. So, is the XRS 9345 worth it? This review takes a look at the features, pros, and cons of the XRS as analyzed by us and reported by other consumers. The XRS 9345 offers 14-band detection that helps drivers identify when some of the most common law enforcement detectors are in use in their environment. This model can detect a total of seven radar, six laser, and one safety-signal devices. The XRS 9345 accomplishes this feat with the help of its LaserEye, a 360-degree detection feature that can detect signals coming from both the front and rear of your vehicle.
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 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?
The Cr90 from Whistler is the top-of-the-line model offered by the company and is the first model in the series to come with GPS-enabled radar detection. The Whistler Cr90 offers a sleek design that includes a black housing, minimal buttons, and a bright OLED display that shows messages in easy-to-read blue text. Rather than include a variety of small indicators and buttons on the external structure of the device, Whistler took a minimalist approach and left plenty of room for the display screen. This particular radar detector has a number of advanced functions available. Its GPS-enabled, real-time notifications have to be considered the most significant functions. Drivers receive warnings from the detector when they approach nearby red-light cameras, as well as speed cameras placed along highways and freeways. Existing speed cameras and red-light cameras are preprogrammed into the device, and it comes with a USB port on the side that allows you to update the device’s memory.
The Whistler XTR 130 is one of the most affordable radar detectors available on the market. The average price for a new Whistler XTR 130 is $60, though it is possible to snag one in new condition for $15 to $20 less. This models offers full-band protection against the seven common radar signals used by law enforcement in the US. The power of this device is aided by Whistler’s 360-degree detection technology that helps pick up signals in front of and behind your vehicle. Whistler offers an adjustable Quiet/Auto Quiet mode on the Whistler XTR 130. As you’re driving down the road, pressing QUIET before a signal is detected engages the Auto Quiet feature.
The greatest temptation any driver faces behind the wheel of a car is the desire to speed. Every day there are drivers that surpass the posted speed limit on roads everywhere. Some of us keep it reasonable and go just a few MPH over the limit. Others push the bounds of reason and go 10 to 15 MPH over the speed limit. Whatever your speeding desires are, you may find a radar detector a useful tool in avoiding citations and fines for speeding. Law enforcement officials in cities, counties, and states across the US use radar and laser detection devices to catch motorists pushing the boundaries of speed. These devices all emit signals that can be identified by radar detectors, which means they can be traced by units like the Escort Redline. We’ve done all the work for you to decipher the effectiveness of this device, and offer you an honest assessment at the conclusion.
The Cobra SSR 80 is an affordable, entry-level radar detector that has proven itself useful for everyday driving conditions. The UltraBright data display makes reading alerts easy and tone alerts make sure you can keep your eyes on the road while driving, so you can maintain your focus rather than read visual texts all the time. As with all Cobra models, the SSR 80 features a sleek and stylish design that is more compact than the average competing model. Cobra’s SSR 80 features full-band detection and is capable of identifying all radar and laser signals used by law enforcement in both the United States and Canada. This model promises efficient early detection, but it is the LaserEye feature that provides the Cobra a notable feature.
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.
The Beltronics Pro 300, known as the BEL Pro 300, is one of the finest (and little known) radar detectors available today. It is produced by a company that is a subsidiary of Escort, which itself manufactures a variety of radar detectors for consumers. This lends a great deal of performance capability to the Beltronics Pro 300 because Escort detectors have been in production for decades. The experience is put into the modern technology that drives this model. The Pro 300 is a sibling unit to other BEL models such as the Beltronics Pro 500. The primary difference between the BEL Pro 300 and comparable models from BEL (and Escort) is that it lacks GPS capability. However, this does not take away from the performance of the Pro 300.
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.
Alongside Cobra Electronics, Whistler is one of the preeminent manufacturers of radar detectors for commercial consumers. The Whistler CR85 is one of the latest radar detectors manufactured by the company. It is extremely similar in capability to the Whistler CR90, but lacks the GPS functions of the Whistler CR90. Nevertheless, the Whistler CR85 is a high-performance detector capable of consistent, accurate warnings when radar and laser signals are in use around you. The Whistler CR85 is capable of detecting all the major radar and laser signals used by law enforcement in the US and Canada, and can even detect the new POP Mode radar gun used by police.
The SPX range of radar detectors from Cobra Electronics offer double the detection range and warning time of previous models. Using military-grade technology and components, the Cobra SPX 7800 BT possesses super-fast sweep circuitry that quickly and accurately identifies radar and laser signals used by law enforcement, and comes with a variety of additional features to make the unit easy to use. One of the primary features of the Cobra SPX 7800 BT is the ability to detect POP Mode radar guns. Law enforcement has adapted its tactics in recent years to counter the improvements in modern radar detectors. The POP Mode radar gun uses instant-on radar technology rather than always-on signals. This allows police detectors to remain unnoticed by most radar detectors, popping on with short notice to tag vehicles driving down the road.
The Cobra XRS 9470 offers detection of seven radar signals, six laser signals, and safety signals. The XRS 9470 uses 360-degree detection to help identify signals emanating from in front of and behind a vehicle, providing you with all-around coverage as you drive down the road. The UltraBright radar display provides accurate information about the active signals in the area. The simple display provides band identification signals and a distance meter that provides a rough estimate of the signal’s proximity. As with many other models from Cobra, the Cobra XRS 9470 has VG2 and Spectre Alert technology. Law enforcement officials use radar detector-detectors that are capable of identifying consumer models in use in the area. With VG2 and Spectre protection, the Cobra XRS 9470 is able to block those signals and help your device remain undetectable when in use.
The Passport Max is one of the most advanced radar detectors available on the market today. It comes with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology, a multi-color OLED display, AutoLearn, the Defender Database, access to Escort Live, and the industry’s first High Definition (HD) Radar Performance system. This all sounds great, but what does it mean? Escort’s DSP and HD Radar Performance technology make it one of the industry’s most accurate and responsive devices. The DSP technology is a military-grade system that quickly scans for radar and laser signals in the area and provides fast, accurate identification of threats. The faster a threat is identified, the quicker you can adjust your speed. With HD Radar Performance, the Passport Max is able to separate real radar and laser signal threats from all the other “noise” in the world, minimizing false alerts and identifying real threats with greater accuracy.
In order to avoid receiving a speeding ticket you can purchase a reliable radar detector to help alert you to the presence of police radar guns and laser signals. If you’ve got better things to do with your time than spend your days online reading feature lists, then you should give our radar detector review a read. We offer quick and concise reviews of the features, pros, and cons of various radar detectors. In this review, we look at the Cobra iRadar iRad 100. There are millions of Americans on the road each day that have a smartphone with them. This unique radar detector from Cobra takes advantage of the millions of iPhones on the marketplace by optimizing it for use with Apple devices.
The Escort Solo S3 is one of the sleekest models available. The Solo S3 is the next-generation version of the Solo S2. Physical upgrades to the S3 include a black housing, as opposed to the platinum housing of its predecessor. The Escort Solo S3 boasts an enhanced display, long-range radar detection, high-performance laser detection, and a variety of other programmable and additional features. The Escort Solo S3 is one of the few radar detectors available that offers cordless operation. Most radar detectors are powered by a cord that must be plugged in to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or 12V outlet. The Escort Solo S3 is the most portable model available and is great for travelers (business or personal) constantly hopping in and out of rental cars.
The feature list for the Whistler XTR-265 is impressive to say the least. It comes standard with total band protection, POP mode alerts, 360-degree protection, VG-2 cloaking, City/Highway modes, Auto Quiet mode, Stay Alert, and a Safety Warning System. These features all sound fantastic, but what do they really mean for you as a driver? For starters, total band protection and 360-degree detection offer the first line of defense against law enforcement radar and laser signals. Whistler radar detectors are capable of detecting all laser and radar signals, such as X, K, and KA, that are in use by law enforcement in the United States and Canada.
The best feature a modern radar detector can offer is full-band protection. Police and other law enforcement officials use a variety of different radar and laser signals to tag speeding drivers. The Whistler XTR 140 offers full-band protection against K, X, and Ka radar signals, as well as VG-2 cloaking and safety radar band identification. VG-2 is a technology used by police that can best be described as a radar detector-detector. The Whistler XTR 140 alerts you to the presence of VG-2 detectors active in the area and helps cloak your device from detecting by police.
A good radar detector offers features that provide drivers with advanced warning of radar and laser signals, identify signals by type, and offer additional features that allow the driver to enhance the device’s performance based upon driving conditions. The Whistler XTR 540 meets all of these needs with a device that operates cordlessly and provides additional features that put it above the competition. The Whistler XTR 540 comes with full-band protection, laser detection, and 360-degree identification capability.
The Whistler XTR 580 includes many of the features that are common on Whistler radar detectors. Whistler devices feature total-band protection, voice alerts, Twin-Alert periscopes, numerous City/Highway modes, VG-2 cloaking, safety warning system (SWS), and customizable options that make their radar detectors easy-to-use, high-performance devices. Total-band protection on the Whistler XTR 580 provides alerts for all major radar and laser signals used by law enforcement today. Among the layers of protection offered to users is the ability to detect POP mode radar guns. Rather than emitting a constant radar signal, that is easily detected by radar devices, POP mode guns feature instant-on technology. These devices use super-fast radar signals that turn on quickly to tag vehicles and turn off. The XTR 580 can easily detect POP mode devices.
The Beltronics Vector 995 offers full-band protection against X, K, Ka, and Ku radar, as well as laser detection and Safety Warning System (SWS) alerts. The V995 is powered by front and rear laser-detection technology, digital signal processing, and an AutoScan mode that help make it one of the most reliable devices available today. Vector 995’s front and rear laser-detection technology helps the device identify signals that originate ahead of your vehicle on the road, as well as behind it. Digital processing technology allows the device to increase its effective range and reduce the number of false alerts through the use of multiple laser sensors.
Escort is one of the most respected brands in the industry. The Passport 8500 X50 offers some of the best features available on a modern radar detector. This device includes V-tuned radar, Escort’s exclusive Traffic Signal Rejection software, 3 high-resolution meter modes, mute and AutoMute technology, and the greatest band-protection available today. The Passport 8500 X50 protects against all police radar in use today, including POP mode guns, and numerous laser signals as well. The Passport 8500 X50’s enhanced radar protection and high-performance laser protection offer the strongest detection possible with a distance that can’t be matched by the competition. Escort’s V-tuned radar receiver helps provide long-range warning for all radar. The laser sensors offer maximum warnings and superior off-axis protection to help detect signals from various angles.
The Valentine One is considered by many consumers and critics to be the highest performing radar detector available today. The very first Valentine detectors were introduced in 1992. While the physical design of the device has changed little over the years, the internal technology has kept pace with advancements in the industry to ensure that the Valentine One continues to perform at the highest level possible. Valentine One radar detectors come with the windshield-mounted unit and two external antennae. Valentine radar detectors can identify all X, K, and Ka radar bands, as well as laser signals. The Valentine One also comes with super wideband detection for Ka and Ku radar bands, and directional indicators that alert you to the direction that signals emanate from during detection.