It’s rarely a good thing to see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Law enforcement may pull drivers over, out of caution, to inform them that a light on their automobile is burned out or to warn them about changing lanes without signaling first. However, law enforcement officers generally pull drivers over to issue them a citation for violating traffic laws. Speeding is, undoubtedly, the most common traffic violation.
Few people speed intentionally. We’re all guilty of speeding on occasion, but most of the time it is a result of lost focus behind the wheel. We get distracted by our music, the cars around us, or conversations taking place in the car. Before you know it, you’ve slipped a few MPH over the speed limit. On the other hand, there are those who will speed on purpose because they believe it saves them time in reaching their destination.
Whether you do it intentionally or accidentally, you can avoid or cut down on speeding tickets with the help of a radar detector. If you don’t want to waste your time reading product descriptions on countless websites, we can help. We’ve compiled all the relevant information from consumers and professionals to compose radar detector reviews that highlight the pros, cons, and features of various devices. In this post, we review the Whistler XTR 580.
Features of the Whistler XTR 580
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.
When it comes to protection, the Whistler also offers protection against radar detector-detectors used by police. When the Whistler XTR 580 detects these devices, such as VG-2 detectors, it cloaks its own signal to prevent police from detecting your device when it is in use. Whistler also makes the Whistler XTR 580 user friendly. The device uses both audible tones and vocal alerts to inform drivers about detected signals, and features a quiet function that mutes both alerts while continuing to provide visual alerts.
The SWS system on the Whistler XTR 580 keeps drivers informed about events taking place on the roads around them. This device can inform drivers of upcoming emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, and even warn about hazards ahead of drivers on the road.
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Pros of the Whistler XTR 580
Whistler’s greatest upside is the voice alerts. An increasing number of devices come with vocal alerts, and for good reason. When you have to rely upon audible alerts or visual alerts, you are taking your focus off the road to see what radar or laser signals are detected. Voice alerts allow you to keep your focus on the road while remaining informed about the signals detected around you.
Cons of the Whistler XTR 580
The Whistler XTR 580 is one of the few devices that fails to perform at a high level. Numerous users have reported that this Whistler does in fact provide reliable alerts, but the distance between alerts and visual contact with police is bemoaned by many as inefficient. The Whistler XTR 580 does offer 360-degree protection to cover you regardless of the direction the signal originates. But features such as this one, and the Whistler XTR 580’s other detection capabilities, are useless if you don’t get an alert in time to adjust your speed. This particular device does perform, but the lack of distance mutes the value of this particular benefit.
A large number of users have complained about defective Whistler XTR 580s. Defective devices are impossible to avoid, but when there are multiple incidents with devices that fail to operate properly there is a greater problem. Some have found that their device fails to work well, regardless of the settings and configurations that have been adjusted. Others have found that their device simply stopped working after a short time of use.
The other big con with the Whistler XTR 580 is the blue backlight on the LCD display. Although the device does provide vocal alerts, if you mute the vocal alerts with the mute function and rely on visual alerts you won’t be able to see anything. Daylight conditions have created issues for many users of the Whistler XTR 580. Some have even complained that, among other defective issues, the backlighting stopped working, which provides no visual alerts at all.
Honest Assessment of the Whistler XTR 580
There are few devices that have received the number of negative reviews that the Whistler XTR 580 has received. Issues with general operation are common in many devices, but the high number of them with this device is cause for concern. Given the Whistler XTR 580 is already one of the least expensive models available, these issues further the idea that the device is altogether cheap. In fact, it would appear that the price tag matches the performance on this device.
As always, the value of any radar detector is up to the user. There are those who would find the Whistler XTR 580 useful. If you want an inexpensive device that will perform its primary duty by detecting radar and laser signals, you’ve got the perfect unit here. However, for most drivers, this radar detector simply is not worth the investment. There are numerous devices, both from Whistler and competitors, that perform better than the XTR 580 for the same amount of money.