To understand the benefits and features of car radar detectors you should first have a clear understanding of its functions. In one word, radar detector is a device to keep the driver attentiveand as the result ensure safe driving and avoiding the next speeding ticket. No matter where you are driving, radar detectors using the latest technology provide you with a range of options to make sure you are safe and secure while driving your car.
Brief Review of Top 10 Radar Detectors
1. Cobra ESD7570 9-Band Performance Radar/Laser Detector with 360 Degree Detection
(3.7 / 5)
This detector is capable of recognizing all the usual bands used by the police. In addition, it is able to pick speed traps and at the same time tells you how much you are over the speed limit. It is easy to install and read, you just have to connect the cord, turn it on and off you go. You can receive even up to 3 mile prior warning before reaching the actual point. It provides complete protection from Spectre 1 and VG-2 beams in a 360 degrees radius. In addition, it alerts the driver of approaching emergence vehicles, road hazards and railroad crossings.
This is a basic, entry level radar detector guaranteed to doits job. Of course, you must have in mind that you do get a number of false alerts by this device which is usually on the X and K band. This is the case for nearly all radar detectors which don’t have the in-built GPS technology. The other weakness is the poor clarity of the display especially if the sun light is on it. However considering the low price, it is worth the budget spent for it.
Considering all the Pros and Cons of this unit it does exactly as described in the manufacturers description. In comparison with similar brands the accuracy of Cobra ESD7570 is clearly superior. I do recommend it as a quality product.
2. Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar/Laser Detector with 360-Degree Protection
This is a plain radar detector with fast performance able to out maneuver most kind of radar guns. It is able to detect and react in time in front of radar guns using the POP technology. It provides complete protection towards VG-2 radar beams.In addition it is capable of detecting KU band which is currently used in the EU.By using this device the driver is able to detect the location of the target using 5 level digital signal strength technology. Also it does provide the Dim mode and the City mode settings.
Cobra XRS9370 is an overall basic radar detector, detecting the main bands without any of the fancy features provided by other detectors. Instead it gives you fast and quick basic detections you would need on the road.
Having in mind the fast detection ability of this detector and good performance in detecting different bands it is a device to rely on.
3. Cobra XRS9570 Voice Alert 14 Band Radar/Laser Detector with 360 Degree Protection and DigiView Data Display
CobraXRS 9570 is able to detect all 14 radar and laser bands used on the road. This includes protection towards 7 radar, 6 laser and one safety signals (Traffic warning system) in use. It has a 360 radius detection capability and performs a self test before operation; giving you assurance that everything is working fine. It is immune towards POP Mode radar guns fired at it and gives instantaneous alert to the driver. It has the usual features such as the City Mode and Dim Mode but it has a new Memory mode where the settings of the detector are permanently saved even if it is turned off. This unit is supplied with windshield mount and suction cups.
This is a detector with quality performance and a proven track record. It provides all the necessary features you will need to stay attentive on the road. The outstanding feature of this detector is its fast operation circuitry enabling it to give advanced warning in front of the fastest radar guns in use.
Overall this is a radar detector which has all the basic features and at the same time at an affordable price.
4. Beltronics RX65-Red Professional Series Radar Detector
(4.2 / 5)
Beltronics Radar Company with nearly 50 years of experience is one of the few companies which build all their components in the USA.Products of this company are rated as one of the best in the market, famous for their speed in data reading. The company provides one year warranty and 30 days trial period which gives you the option to return the device after a month if you didn’t like it.
Their latest product, the Beltronics RX65 is a basic detecting device offering advanced AutoScan processing, “POP” radar alert, Safety Warning System and immune to VG-2 detection. The interface is easy to program and offers 7 options.
Here you have a basic entry level radar detector which does its job reliably and efficiently. There are no dazzling features but straight forward detecting. It lacks GPS technology depriving you of being alerted of potential threats such as, speed traps or speed cameras. This device has 3 sensitivity controls and it does have dark mode function which turns off the display and alerts you through audio output.
The Beltronics RX65 is an ideal car radar detector for beginners. The main feature it doesn’t have is the GPS which in some ways restricts its capabilities. However it’s simple to operate and provides you with the basic alert signs you need which means detecting active surveillance on your car. However in its range of radar detectors it’s rather expensive. In my view its well worth the price tag.
5. Whistler CR90 Radar Detector
(3.8 / 5)
Whistler CR90 has almost all the capabilities of a top rated radar detector. Some of its outstanding features include:
Voice alert system which allows you to have your eyes on the road and listen to the warnings coming in to your detector. It has the capability of recognizing speed traps such as red-light camera or speed cameras.
- It has the capability of recognizing speed traps such as red-light camera or speed cameras.
- Using the in-built GPS you are able to register locations where you should drive with extra awareness.
- One innovative feature of this detector is the Stay Alert Function which keeps you on your marks by timed beeps.
- False alarm is one of the problems with the radar detectors. CR90 by using the GPS and the digital processor eradicates many of the false alarms.
- In all the car radar detectors which I have read CR90 is the only one which has a 2 year warranty provided by the manufacturer.
Of course there are weaknesses too, for example it doesn’t have the Bluetooth technology to connect with your mobile enabling you to share your information with friends and colleagues.
Whistler CR90 is in my view undoubtedly one of the best detectors in the market with a complete array of advanced features including the GPS. The lack of Bluetooth technology is the only drawback which for a radar detector of this caliber is a disadvantage.
The Whistler CR90 is a professional radar detector for experienced drivers, providing all the necessary features except the Bluetooth connectivity. I recommend it without doubt.
6. Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector, Blue Display
(4.3 / 5)
The PASSPORT 8500 X50, also nicknamed the, “X50 Black”, is an upgraded detector both in design and accessories. This detector covers all radar scanning including the conventional, instant-on, POP mode and X-Band radar. X50 has an improved detecting range as much as 50% in comparison to Passport8500. The latest digital signal processing technology is used in this detector minimizing the possibility of false alarms. The AutoSensitivity mode of this detector makes great improvement in detecting real threats. The display is extra clear using ultra-bright LEDs. The X-band performance is one other upgraded features of this model.
This detector is an upgraded version of PASSPORT 8500 with many innovative new features. While the laser and filtering performance of this model have not changed, improvements have been made on many other features. The black color and the stylish case provided are supplements to the enhancements made. Some of its outstanding improvements are:- Greater range.
- Greater range.
- Simple to use and navigate.
- Nice and clear display.
One difficulty which you might face is to mount it on a steep windshield by using suction cups.
The Escort Passport detectors have been introduced to the market for more than a decade and 8500 X50 is one of the improved versions. Considering all the features and upgrades made this detector is one of the best for experienced drivers. But have in mind that this model lacks the voice alert system which is a favorite feature with the drivers.
7. Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar Detector
(4.2 / 5)
Here you have a cordless detector which is portable and very easy and convenient to use. You just have to fix it on your windshield and turn it on. SOLO S3 using two standard AA batteries, uses only a fraction of the power in comparison to a conventional detector. To make sure that your batteries are not low there is a warning circuit alerting you on the battery level of the detector. In addition a new AutoPower feature automatically turns off the detector to save the battery life.
Other outstanding features of this cordless detector are:
- Long range warning on nearly all radar bands including: conventional, instant- on, X bands, K bands and also Superwide KA band.
- To provide long range warning and a wide scanning field it uses several low-noise laser sensors.
- You can set the detector to your own preferences by using the 9 programmable setting arrangement installed in this unit.
- The resolution in the OLED display is crystal clear and its set up is easy and simple to read.
- It does have audio alerts which count up to 64 warning messages.
The main selling feature of Escort Solo S3 is that it works independently from the car battery system. If you have to change from one rented car to the other this detector is exactly what you need. There are practical features installed on this detector to warn you about the battery level and preserve the battery life. Therefore as a portable detector it is a reliable and worth the money to spend on it.
Having in mind that with this detector you would have a marginal reduction of sensitivity, but considering all its features, it is one of the best portable detectors in the market. The winning card of this model is the battery saving features installed in it. Overall, I do recommend this detector.
8. Escort Passport 9500ix
(4.4 / 5)
Escort Passport 9500ix is one of the most modern radar detectors in the market equipped with all the latest technology in this field. It has won the,“Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for best radar detector”. One of its outstanding features is itsminimum number of false alerts in comparison with similar detectors. It uses a technology called AutoLearn which is an artificial intelligence recognizing and filtering false alerts. The in-built GPS and its sharing connectivity are the winning advantages of this model.
The one weakness of this model is that it lacks over-speed alert capability which plays an important role in safe driving on the road.
Escort Passport 9500ix has all the features you might require from a radar detector, in addition it has some unique features not matched by other detectors. In my view the wining match point for this radar detector is the Artificial Intelligence Protection capability eliminating false alerts.
Considering all the cutting edge capabilities of this detector and its good track record I, I think it’s worth every cent you will be paying for it. Therefore if your budget allows the rather high price tag, it surely is worth investing on.
9. Escort Passport Max Radar Detector
Escort Passport Max has some new unique features which stand out among similar models. Some of these new ideas are as follow:
- The in-built GPS is used in connection to signal processing technology to eliminate false alerts.
- The unit is mounted on the windshield using new suction cups which are much more secure.
- The OLED screen display gives you extra information such as your speed and forthcoming threats.
- The USB connection is provided to update the database and even a headphone jack is installed for audio alerts.
Escort Passport Max with its new and innovative features has made this model as one of the popular Escort products. The combination of the GPS and the Escort’s database of red light and speed cameras locations provide a wining formation.
Having assessed the special features of this model and their uniqueness this model gives you excellentwork efficiency. I do recommend it.
10. Escort Max 360 Radar Detectors (Black)
Escort Max360 with antennas both in front and rear is able to scan in all directions. This enables it to find the potential threat faster than many other detectors. The five levels filtering incorporated in to this unit ensureaccuracy and precision. Escort Max360 is equipped with Bluetooth technology enabling it to connect and create a database of locations you should watch out for. By using this feature you would learn all about your route to work, thus eliminating possible false alerts.
The display has a high resolution and shows your speed in relation to the speed limit. Also a voice alert system is installed with English or Spanish options which keep your eyes on the road ahead.
MX360 is a reliable overall detector, with a good range and especially fast response time to its credit. On the whole its performance matches the Max2 model. To tackle false alert filtering some improvements have been made in comparison to MAX and MAX2 detectors. The outstanding feature of this detector is its capability to scan in all directions telling you if the threat is in front or behind you.
Mx360 is a dependable detector with quick response time and the capability of defining the direction of the arrow towards you. The AutoLearn filter option is one more feature which ensures its high performance.
Radar Detector Buying Guide
Why you need to buy a radar detector?
Have you had the experience of the police officer calmly writing your speeding ticket, handing it to you with a smile and ironically wishing you a good day? I have had this experience several times and at one point I decided this is the last time and bought a car radar detector. According to the Communications Act of 1934, radar detectors are legal to be used in non-commercial cars in the USA. But you must know that these devices are banned in Virginia and Washington D.C.
There are many good reasons to buy a car radar detector which saves you money, time and ensures safe driving. Here are some of them:
- If you are a driver who drives for long hours on the road every day or you are a driver that drives over the speed limit without realizing it, you should seriously consider purchasing a car radar detector.
- If you are a driver with a high car insurance rate, surely receiving repeated speeding tickets will not be of any help.
- Receiving a certain number of traffic tickets can in one stage result in the suspension of your driving license.
Therefore the importance of radar detectors is to boost your awareness about your surroundingsand give you a chance to modify your driving speed.
What should you know before you buy a radar detector?
Radar detectors are electronic devices built to search and discover radio waves. They are used for a wide range of purposes, but regarding the motorists it’s built to alert them about speed traps in front of them. Considering the special functions of radar detectors,you should know the basic information about them and some useful tips to be able to make the best choice in accordance with your budget. Here are points you should know about:
Types of Radar Detectors
Generally there are 3 types of radar detectors in the market:
- Corded Detectors: Usually they are installed using suction cups on the windshield of the vehicle. They provide the best range detection for you.
- Cordless Detectors: They can be easily moved from one car to the other and are simple to install.
- Remote-mount detectors: They are installed permanently on your car. One advantage of this type is that it would be virtually impossible to be stolen by thieves.
Other special features
- City Mode capability: Some of the detectors are fitted with this technology where the range of the device is reduced in order to minimize the number of false alerts. This feature is more needed by car owners living in urban areas.
- 360 degrees Laser detection: Usual radar detectors are able to detect the signals in front of your car, but not behind or on the sides. In this model of detectors 2 sensors are installed to provide detection on the sides and behind. Undoubtedly if can afford it these detectors are much more reliable and provide much more security.
- Protection of the detector: Advanced technology is used to let you know exactly when you are being scanned by the police. Some of the more expensive models provide invisible protection. By using this technology your radar detector can not be detected by the police. Spectra is one of these technologies.
- Voice Alerts: A voice alert tells you the information which the car detector has picked up. By this technology there is no need to look at your dashboard.You continue to drive and listen to the warnings coming in.
- Instant on Protection: If instant- on radar is aimed at your car practically speaking before your detector alerts you your speed has been registered. But if this radar is focused on the car in front of you by this technology you would be alerted.
What should you look for in radar detectors?
To purchase the best radar detectors you should be looking for specific features which keep you alert of everything happening around you and at the same time features that filter out all the false information.
Here are the benchmarks for a good radar detector:
A good detector should be able to recognize and detect X-, K- and Ka-bands frequencies. The presence of a wide range of other devices such as garage door openers which operate on a similar band make this detection more difficult. If you car detector does not operate accurately you will get loads of false alarms. High quality detectors use digital processors to search and screen out the false alerts.
One function of car radar detectors is to alert you about lasers and radar bands, but there are other adversaries too, such as speed cameras, traffic light cameras and all sorts of speed traps. Best car radar detectors are capable of informing you on multiple threats simultaneously such as alerts for road accidents or hazardous weather conditions.
Top shelf car radar detectors have built-in Bluetooth and GPS technology. With this feature you virtually have full control on the detection and alert procedure of your detector. The other fascinating feature is the capability of linking to your mobile apps. This opens a whole new window of special features such as:
- Locating the threat on the map by the GPS.
- Registering specific coordinates on the road where there is a high probability of speed traps.
- Sharing information and live reports with your friends in the area.
Warranty and Support system
Nearly all car radar detectors have a one year warranty. However many producers offer active support by providing live chat and email answering services. In addition there is a wide range of tutorials, manuals, video clips and numerous FAQ pages at your disposal.
What is “POP” Radar Technology?
The nickname for this technology is the “Super Bee” and it was built in the form of a radar gun in 1999 to defeat the radar detectors. At present radar guns set on POP mode are able to defeat more than 85% of conventional car radar detectors. POP operates by sending very quick bursts of radar signals at the rate of 67 milliseconds.Producers of this technology emphasize that by using this mode the speed detection of the targeted vehicle is not very accurate and on this basis recommend to the police officers to use this method only to acquire a rough speed estimate in the first stage. Then in the second stage use the normal mode in order to register exact data of the car under surveillance.
Pop radar guns from this description seem invincible, but new generation of radar detectors have found ways to get round this latest technology. In some models the Pop detection ability should be set manually and does not operate automatically.
Where to mount your Dashboard radar detectors?
One important question about dashboard radar detectors is where to mount them in your vehicle. To work out the best place to mount your detector you should have the basic knowledge of how the radar beam operates. Radar is simply a microwave signal. When a radar beam is shot by a radar gun at your car from a distance of approximately 1000 ft., the radar band is 85 Ft. wide. Radar beam penetrates virtually everything except metals. Therefore this beam can be affected by any metal obstacles on its path. Having said this let us now find the best place to mount your detector.
Usually car radar detectors are mounted at the center of the windshield. However mounting it too high has many disadvantages, it will attract the attention of the thieves, it’s seen easily from outside and it obstructs your view. So try to mount it as low as possible by using windshield mounting brackets. Also make sure that the controls of the detector are within your reach when you are behind the wheel driving.
What are Remote radar detectors?
Remote radar detectors have many advantages to their credit. They do their job without publicizing it to everyone driving past. The components of this model are installed cleverly in front of your vehicle and connected to a small display on your dashboard. The display can be placed any where convenient at your reach. These kinds of detectors are turned on automatically as the engine starts and you don’t need to worry about loose wires everywhere.
The main advantage of this model of radar detectors is that they are concealed completely under the hood of your vehicle and the display panel can be fixed any where on your dashboard. Of course you must take note that you would need a technician to install this detector on you car.
There is a constant battle for car radar detectors to keep the edge in front of the technology used to identify the speeding vehicles. The latest models are packed with High-Tech features such as GPS surveillance and Bluetooth apps. However despite the complexity of the technology all has been made simple for drivers to be able to use their radar detectors practically and usefully when they are on the road.
With a radar detector installed on your car you are able to drive with self-confidence and diligence. Having a complete command on your surroundings gives you the edge to confront anything unexpected.
The Best Pick: Considering all the Top Ten reviews of car radar detectors my first pick is surely:
Cobra Electronics ESD7570 9-Band Radar/Laser Detector
This Cobra Electronics production is a reliable detector with a proven track record providing 360 degrees surveillance, capable of detecting all radar beams and laser signals presently used in the USA and Canada. This detector at a price of $49.45* performs closely with detectors such as Escort Passport at prices around $240. On the whole this is the best bargain between the Top Ten.