Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector Review

Those of us who drive everyday know what a hassle it can be to hear a siren behind you and know that you are about to be pulled over for speeding. There are times when you may not even be aware that you are driving above the speed limit purely because you missed a road sign that signified a change in the limit. The Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black radar detector will help you to avoid the inconvenience of being pulled over and ticketed by the boys in blue, and having to spend more time and money that it’s worth to clear up the issue.

What it can bring to you?

Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector
Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector have a sleeker design and the black color gives it a more aesthetic look.

The Escort Passport 8500 series has been around for a long time, and has been hailed as one of the best radar detector series ever made. This updated version of the Escort Passport 8500 X50 comes with a sleeker design and the black color gives it a more aesthetic look that will match with any car interior.

The Passport is very easy to use and understand, and is ready to use straight out of the box. However, customizing the device is also very simple, and you can change various parameters including the power-on indication, meter type, AutoMute, audio tones, display brightness and even the types of laser and radar bands that you would like to be detected.

The matrix display uses 280 individual LEDs to provide you with clear information regarding alerts, signal strength of the signal it is detecting and text for programming. It can detect all kinds of police radar bands, including POP mode radar threats, X-band, K-band and Ka-bands. It also comes with a handy feature called Traffic Sensor Rejection (TSR) that helps to reduce the number of false alarms that you may receive due to traffic signals.

The Passport has a very long range in all directions, and has a capture distance that is four times higher than that of conventional police K and Ka radar guns, giving you more than enough time to slow down when you are approaching speed traps. The strength of the radar signal is relayed to you visually using a bar graph on the display that rises the closer you get to the radar. You are also alerted audibly by a beeping noise that increases in frequency the closer you get to the speed trap.

The radar has three different city modes that you can use to help you further reduce the chances of a false alarm. The City mode reduces the sensitivity of the device to help reduce the instances of false alarms. City LoX mode further reduces the sensitivity of the radar detector should City mode prove insufficient. City NoX mode completely cuts out the X-band frequency, which can be useful in areas that have a high concentration of microwave signals. This would be useful in heavily built up areas where devices such as automatic door openers use the same X-band frequencies as police radars. Once you are out of the city and driving on the highway, flipping the device into highway mode will restore X-band to its full sensitivity, allowing you to detect police radars that still use the X-band.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you do not have to worry about false alarms is to use Escort Live for Android and iPhone. This app links to your smartphone to the Passport 8500 X50 and uses the GPS to help reduce false alarms even more. It also provides you with various views including a map view that displays your current location and alerts that you should look out for such as speed traps, and a dashboard view that not only displays your speed but also gives you information on the speed limit in that area and the sensitivity of the radar that you are approaching.

The best thing about the Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black is that it comes complete with everything that you will need to use it. The box contains a travel case, windshield mount, SmartCord (which you may have to replace should you want to use Escort Live), a quick reference card and a more in-depth owners manual.

Is it totally perfect?

It may have one of the highest ratings for a radar detector in its class but the Excprt Passport 8500 X50 Black does have a few disadvantages that are worth noting. For instance, the lack of a vocal alert is rather irritating, and means that you have to look down at the detector every time it beeps to find out what type of radar band you are detecting and what the signal strength is.

The Audible alert can also become irritating after a while, and despite the fact that it has an AutoMute feature, the beeping can be extremely loud and annoying, regardless of whether it is in standard or loud mode. Due to its age, the detector lacks crucial filters that help to distinguish the signals from police radar and laser detectors and the lasers and sensors in cars with anti-collision features. For this reason, it sometimes confuses the two signals, which can also cause a constant beeping due to false alerts.

However, possibly its biggest downfall is the fact that without the Escort Live app (which only works on some Passport 8500 X50 Black devices according to the website) you have absolutely no access to GPS systems. This means that you will not be forewarned about threats like red-light cameras, speed cameras and speed traps.


There is a reason why the Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black is still one of the best radar detectors with price Currently Not Available*. It may not have many of the bells and whistles than its more expensive, GPS enabled competition, but it is still the best at what it does, which is detect police radar and laser signals.

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If you are looking for a radar detector that is reliable and by far the best in its class, you need look no further than the Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black.

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