We’ve put a lot of time and effort into researching the best radar detectors on the market today. Since we enjoy offering all the help to prospective buyers, we take pleasure in knowing we can present them the right choices for their needs. We’ve gone through the owner feedback and sales figures of thousands of models, and we’ve estimated the way they did on social media networks. What’s more, we have analyzed the value offered for the price and the overall brand and item quality. Some units might be more popular than others, but the bottom line is that the Escort Passport 9500ix is the best product we’ve discovered. It comes packed with all the characteristics one might ever desire, and it’s very easy to customize. Furthermore, the user-selectable preferences make it worth considering, as attested by the over 900 positive reviews we’ve consulted. Additionally, the unit has a variety of functions such as AutoLearn, TrueLock/GPS Filter, and Mark Location. The Escort Passport 9500ix is easy to install and utilize and provides all the benefits of a modern radar detector. If you’re unable to pick this model, we suggest going through the specs of the Cobra XRS9370, as it comes with almost the same features.
How to select a new radar detector in 2016
A radar detector is a convenient gadget that can help you avoid costly traffic tickets when you simply can’t afford to drive under the speed limit. While a radar detector does not make it safe to ignore the posted speed limit, these convenient devices can often detect the presence of a radar gun. Along with helping you avoid expensive court costs and tickets, the top radar detectors for 2016 can also help you manage your driving speed. There are several radar detectors to choose from, and the tips included in this buying guide will help you make an informed decision.
The product from the image is Cobra ESD7570
Radar Dectectors Described – Top Features To Consider
There are several factors to consider when you are looking for the best radar detector for the money. The amount of time you spend behind the wheel and how often you plan on using the device will affect your decision, and your budget should also be factored in. If you are only planning on short drives a cheap radar detector can keep you protected and help you stay within your budget, while higher priced models with plenty of extra features might be the best choice for drivers who frequently cover longer distances. Comparing well known brands and checking radar detector ratings can also help you narrow down your choices.
There are two types of radar detectors to choose from, and each has its own advantages. Basic models are generally inexpensive and can detect the presence of a radar gun, but these compact devices are not equipped to detect the newer technology commonly being employed by law enforcement. While a radar detector cannot detect the presence of a laser gun, these affordable devices are ideal for drivers who generally travel shorter distances.
Laser detectors can alert you to the presence of radar and the more technically advanced devices often used to monitor a vehicle’s rate of speed. While the combination laser and radar detectors are higher priced, it is often worth it for drivers who frequently drive long distances. Both radar and combination detectors are also available with different features, which can affect the cost of the convenient device.
Radar detector reviews suggest choosing a device that includes all of the features that you need. Today’s technically advanced models can do more than detect the presence of a speed trap, and most radar detectors are also designed to be easy to use. The best radar detector in 2016 will be able to alert you to the presence of a laser gun, along with red light cameras. Some devices also include a GPS system to ensure that you don’t get lost while you are driving, along with alerts for road construction. Also, some people may be interested in the best motorcycle radar detector and need exact information on functionality and installation for these particular models.
Some innovative radar detectors can also be voice activated, along with being compatible with your Bluetooth or smart phone. Additional power cords can ensure that the device is always charged, while other radar detectors give you the option of dashboard mounting. Carrying cases can help protect the device when you are not using it, and some radar detectors even include a convenient remote control.
Our recommendations – Top products
|Model name||Price||Detected bands||GPS based speed camera alerts||Special features||Rating||Read more details|
|Escort Passport 9500ix||$$$$||X, K, Ka, Ku and laser detection||Yes, with constant updates||Yes, with constant updates||A+||Full review|
|Cobra XRS9370||$$||360° Protection against 14 radar bands including KU-band, Pop Mode Radar Gun Detection|
|Not available||IntelliMute / IntelliMute Pro,|
|Escort Passport 8500X50||$$$||360° Protection against POP Mode Radar Gun Detection, X-band, K-band, SuperWide Ka-band, |
|Not available||AutoSensitivity Mode for reducing false alarms||C+||Full review|
|Valentine One||$$$$||360° Protection against X-band, K-band, Ka-band, Super Wide Ka-band, Ku Band, |
|Not available||Multiple radar antennas,|
|Uniden LRD750||$$||all radar frequencies, laser detection||Not available||Undetectable, Voice alerts, Battery voltage allerts||B+||Full review|
|Beltronics PRO300||$$$$||360° Protection against all radar frequencies, laser||Not available||Voice alerts, 3 city modes, AutoMute||B||Full review|
How radar detectors function
To ensure you purchase the best radar detector on the market it is important to understand how these devices work. Radar detectors are designed to “listen” for signals sent from police devices and flash or sound an alert. These devices will let drivers know what type of radar band is detected, along with the strength of the signal. The signal strength will indicate the distance of the police radar, giving drivers enough time to slow down and avoid an expensive ticket. It is important to note that radar detectors do not guarantee that all signals will be detected or that drivers will always be alerted in enough time to slow down.
Commonly used radar bands
There are several radar bands commonly used by law enforcement and you want the device you choose to be able to detect most, if not all of them. While your budget will affect the number of bands it is able to detect, it is possible to find a radar detector under 100$ that can sense the most commonly used frequencies. Police radar bands are regulated by the FCC and include the following four.
The X-band radar has been used by law enforcement officials since the mid 1950’s, and drivers have the advantage since it is incredibly easy to detect. Most radar detectors can sense a X-band signal from 2 to 4 miles away, and it is only capable of accurately recording speeds up to ½ mile. While this does give drivers plenty of time to slow down, there are some disadvantages associated with this common radar band. The X-band is also used in garage door openers and other technical gadgets which often results in false alerts, especially in suburban areas.
Introduced in 1978, the K-band is now the most common type of radar used by the police. Often found in the “radar guns”, this band can effectively track and record speeds up to a ¼ mile. Most radar detectors can sense a K-band signal for ¼ to 2 miles away, but this will also depend on the terrain. Some law enforcement officers have the added advantage of being able to place a K-band radar gun in “standby” mode which allows them to instantly clock a vehicle’s speed from 200 or 300 yards away. While the radar detector will alert the driver, it is rarely enough time to slow down to the posted speed limit.
Ka Photo Cop and Wide Band
The FCC allowed law enforcement to use another frequency in 1987 to help police counteract the effectiveness of radar detectors. This resulted in the introduction of the Ka band, which also includes an automatic camera or “photo cop”. The camera is triggered by an approaching vehicle and snaps a picture of the license plate and the face of the driver. The date, time and location are also recorded on the photo to prevent the accuracy of the ticket from being disputed. The camera is capable of recording speeds up to 200 miles per hour, and while the driver is not stopped a traffic ticket will be sent in the mail.
The range of the Ka band cameras is 120 to 300 feet and since it emits a steady signal it is relatively easy for most radar detectors to sense. It should be mentioned that legal issues and the high cost of maintaining the cameras has lead to only limited use in a few cities. Most law enforcement agencies still rely on traditional radar guns which could affect your purchasing decision.
Ka Super Wide-Band
Commonly referred to as “stalker” radar guns, the introduction of the Ka super wide-band has given some police agencies the upper hand in speed detection. This band is gaining in popularity across the country, and cannot be picked up by all radar detectors. When you are conducting a radar detector comparison, it might be worth it to pay a little extra for a new model that can detect all four frequencies.
There are also radar detectors that can sense the Ku-band. Commonly found only in Europe, most drivers choose not to spend the extra money on this rarely used radar band.
Factors that can affect a radar detector’s range
Radar detectors are an effective way to avoid expensive speeding tickets, but there are some factors that can disrupt the devices ability to sense incoming signals. Hills and curves can affect range, along with how the radar detector is mounted. Most experts recommend installing the radar detector lower on the windshield or placing it on the dash, since law enforcement officers generally aim the signal at the area around the license plate.
Tints and windshields with metallic films will also affect a radar detector’s ability to sense incoming signals, and it is important to check to see if this applies to your vehicle. Darker tints can cause a radar detector to lose up to 37 percent of its ability to sense incoming signals, and windshields with metallic sun blocks can cause it to be up to 95 percent less effective. In these cases it is a good idea to remember that you might not always have enough warning to slow down before you are clocked speeding.
Radar detector design
Once you have decided between a radar or laser detector that can sense both types of signals, you also want to consider its design. Some models simply plug into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter or are wired directly into the dash, while others are cordless and rely on battery power. While the length of the cord will limit where the radar detector can be placed, it should be noted that even the best wireless radar detector can run out of power if the batteries are not frequently changed. While there are advantages to cordless radar detectors and corded models, the best one for you will often depend on personal preference. There are also radar detectors that feature a compact design, which is ideal for use with motorcycles.
Reading a radar detector screen
If you cannot read the screen on a radar detector, it won’t be able to effectively protect you from all speed and traffic camera traps. Even with voice activated features it is still important to be able to read and understand what is displayed on the screen. Bright LED or OLED screens ensure that the digital display is easy to read in almost any lightening, and colored text can also improve visibility.
The screen should display whether the device is in city or highway mode, along with the band’s frequency. Some radar detectors will also display your current rate of speed when a police band is detected, along with the posted limited. The strength of the detected radar signal will let you know the approximate distance, along with the amount of time you have to slow down. In most cases radar detectors are designed to be easy to read and understand to ensure the device’s effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
Find the best product for your needs
Researching the market for the best radar detectors of 2016 takes a whole lot of time and patience. To make matters easier, we’ve conveniently selected three of the most acclaimed models out there. All of the following have gathered the appreciation of worldwide and US customers alike and are highly spoken of for their features.
This unit can be bought as a radar detector and as a radar detector bundle. Color variants include the blue and red display. One of the most acclaimed characteristics of this model stands in the user-selectable preferences, which makes the product highly versatile and allows it to speak to the needs of various users.
The Escort Passport 9500ix package includes a quick reference card, an owner’s manual, and a coiled SmartCord.
This is the best unit for the money, as emphasized by the over 900 positive reviews it has gathered.
Compared to the previously mentioned unit, the Cobra XRS9370 is remarkably affordable. A low price doesn’t mean low quality, however, particularly since this model includes a wide range of attractive features. For example, this Cobra alternative includes a KU band detection, which can even detect the Ku Band Radar Gun currently used in Europe.
Furthermore, the VG-2 and Spectre Alert come in handy for users who might be under the surveillance of a Spectre I/IV or VG2 detector.
This is a compact, lightweight unit, that gives buyers the freedom to select the preferred operating mode, depending on their driving conditions or the area they’re driving in.
The Escort Passport 8500X50 offers an excellent radar protection, as it includes a wide array of warnings, from the POP mode to the K-band. The DSP on this product is more than capable of providing maximum range while avoiding false alarms.
The display of this model is backlit and its brightness can be customized according to the user’s preferences, from dim to maximum levels.
The package includes a quick-release windshield mount, a quick reference card, and a coiled SmartCord.
Buyers state that this is an improved model of an older version in the 8500 series, recommended for its performance.
Even though it might be a little out of the budget of some potential buyers, this is probably the best Valentine One radar detector. This model is highly versatile and is probably the best alternative for truck drivers. The unit has a rear radar antenna and a directional indicator. The neat thing about this model is that it can detect any type of band, from X to Ka and even Ku.
If you’re looking for excellent laser reception, you might want to check this one out.
According to customer reviews, this unit can be used in any country in the world.
Although it usually costs somewhere around three hundred bucks, Amazon customers can sometimes get this unit for less than a couple hundred dollars. What’s all the hype about this model? First off, it has a remarkably powerful CPU, which is capable of sweeping the police radar band spectrum in as little as 240 milliseconds. Secondly, it’s a 3-in-1, as it’s a radar, laser and camera detector all into a single device.
This is a compact model that has military-grade components.
Customer reviews speak highly of the range and selectivity of this device, and most buyers use it with Bluetooth for their smartphones.
What are the most popular brands?
Finding the best radar detector can be difficult, especially when you considered all of the different manufacturers. To help you find a reputable brand, we have included the following brief reviews of the top manufacturers of radar detectors.
A leader in the industry, Whistler is proud to manufacturer some of the top rated radar and laser systems for automotive vehicles. The company not only produces state of the art electronic systems for its international customers, but it is also dedicated to manufacturing the best Whistler radar detectors for consumers. Each device is constructed according to strict specifications so consumers can rest assured that they are purchasing a high quality product.
Throughout the company’s history it has been the first in product advancements and innovations. With several of the advancements protected by patents only Whistler can supply consumers with top of the line products that are easy and convenient to use, and come at an affordable price. Dedicated to designing and manufacturing electronics that improve everyday life, it is easy to see why Whistler radar detectors are a popular choice with consumers.
Many companies have tried to replace the best Valentine One radar detector, and no one has succeeded since the first one was manufactured in 1976. For over 30 years Valentine One has been manufacturing high quality radar detectors, and very little has changed from the initial design. The company is officially known as Valentine Research Inc. and is dedicated to its customers’ satisfaction. Founder and President Mike Valentine has been designing and manufacturing affordable and dependable radar detectors since 1976, when he introduced the public to the Escort Radar Warning Receiver.
One of the reasons for the company’s amazing success is that it is still privately owned. This allows Mike Valentine and his team of engineers the freedom to create and manufacturer radar detectors that everyone can afford. Consumers won’t be able to find products manufactured by Valentine One in stores instead they purchase the radar detectors directly from the company. This ensures complete customer satisfaction through every step of the buying process. From choosing the right product to ensuring that it functions properly, Valentine One will help customers make the right decision.
The team at Escort is proud of its award winning record, and looks forward to developing new and innovative products for its consumers in the coming years. Not only is the company dedicated to manufacturing the best Escort radar detectors, it has also compiled a compelling list detailing why consumers should consider these products. Radar detectors manufactured by Escort are not only some of the top rated units available, these convenient devices can also help motorists drive safer and smarter.
Escort has been proudly manufacturing award winning and tested radar detectors for over 35 years, and the company holds 65 percent of the patents pertaining to these devices. Escort will work with consumers to help them find a reliable radar detector that is easy to use, and affordably priced. Consumers can trade in old models and apply the value towards the cost of a new one, and VIP members can take advantage of additional savings. Escort radar detectors also come with the latest technological advancements that ensure you are always aware of any traffic cameras and speed traps. You will also have access to the live app which will keep you in touch with other owners of Escort radar detectors, so you never have to worry about getting caught in an expensive speed trap again.
Since the best Beltronics radar detector, the GX65 has already been awarded the CES Innovations Award for In-Vehicle Accessories in 2009, consumers know that they are purchasing a quality product. With radar detectors that include the GX65 and others, it easy to see why Beltronics has remained one of the most trusted brands for over 40 years. The company was founded in 1967, and has dedicated itself to manufacturing top quality radar and laser detectors that feature some of the leading technology in the industry. This helps to ensure a reliable performance from all of Beltronics products and accessories.
It is not only the 2009 award winning GX65 radar detector that has consumers paying attention, but the other Beltronics models as well. Understanding that not all consumers are able to afford some of the higher priced units, the company has also engineered a reliable and cost effective radar detector. With ratings that include praise for “best overall performance” and test results that state a Beltronics radar detector is “10 times more effective” than other brands, it’s not hard to see why drivers depend on these top rated products to help them avoid speed traps and expensive traffic tickets.
While the company name may have changed since founder Carl Korn first began repairing TVs in his garage, Cobra is now one of the leading names in radar detectors. In response to the overwhelming popularity of the company’s products, the company name was officially changed to Cobra Electronics in 1993. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in revenue as consumers continue to experience the high performance reliability of the best Cobra radar detectors.
Since its initial humble beginnings over 50 years ago Cobra Electronics has gone on to become a top manufactured of radar detection products, along with CB and two way radios. Dedicated to producing the best radar detection devices for its customers, each device features the latest technology so you will never be surprised by a speed trap. Cobra also recognizes that different types of drivers have individual needs when it comes to radar detectors, which is why the company has a long line of top rated products. Whether you are a professional driver or simply want to get to work without getting a traffic ticket, there is a Cobra radar detection device designed specifically for you. Boating enthusiasts can also enjoy complete protection with a radar detector designed for use on the water, along with drivers of recreational vehicles.
What about the laws?
Radar detectors are convenient devices that can help drivers avoid speed traps, traffic cameras, and expensive tickets, but before you mount one on your dash or windshield it is important to know if it is legal in your state.
While the Communications Act of 1934 did give the federal government the legal right to regulate all wire and radio transmissions, the FCC has never exercised this right regarding radar detectors. Instead it has left any decision concerning the legality of the devices up to individual states, which has resulted in some confusion.
Most states allow the use of radar detectors, though some do limit how the devices can be mounted. The use of any type of radar detector is illegal in Virginia and Washington D.C. Not only is it illegal to use a radar detector, it is also against the law to own or sell one. Penalties do vary depending on the number of previous offenses, and can range from hefty fines to time served in jail. Military vehicles are exempt from this law.
It is illegal to use a radar detector on any military base. If the device is spotted, the MPs will politely request that it be unplugged and make sure that it is turned off. It should be noted that it is not illegal to bring a radar detector onto the base, as long as it is not in use.
The laws are different for private and commercial vehicles. While private vehicles can use a radar detector in most states, it is completely illegal for one to be used in some commercially operated vehicles. Federal law clearly states that any vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or more cannot use any type of radar detection device. In addition to federal law, some states have also enacted their own regulations prohibiting the use of radar detectors in any commercial vehicle. This includes New Jersey, New York and Illinois, though it is best to check with a particular state before installing one in any commercial vehicle.
Windshield Mounting Laws
Some states are also enacting laws that limit where the radar detector can be mounted, and it is best to check local regulations before installing the device in a vehicle. California and Minnesota prohibit drivers from mounting a radar detector to the windshield, but it is legal to attach one to the dash. Florida also has laws in place that regulate where a radar detector can be mounted, and to avoid an expensive fine it is always best to check with your state’s requirements.
Radar and Laser Jammer Laws
It is important to note that the use of any type of radar jamming device is strictly illegal, and it can result in a felony charge requiring mandatory jail time. While radar jammers fall under the guidelines set down by the FCC, the same is not true for devices that are able to block laser signals. Laser jammers are still legal in some states, but this is also changing. Twelve states, and Washington D.C. have already banned the use of laser jammers, and more are poised to follow suit.
The best advice before mounting a radar detector or laser jammer is to first check with the laws that apply to the state.