Radar detectors detect whether your speed is being monitored by a police radar gun operating on the Doppler effect. They are most often used to slow down your car’s speed before you get pulled over and written up for speeding. While speeding should never be encouraged, radar detectors can be useful to alert you of your own driving habits and take better precaution on the road. Often the presence of the radar detector itself can be a good enough deterrent against reckless driving.
The best radar detectors should have good detection performance with coverage for many types of bands. Since the frequency range for radar overlaps with many common devices, like motion detectors or remote door openers, having a good digital signal processor will prevent false alerts. Also, alerts should be timely to give drivers enough time to evaluate and react. Other key features include pre-emptive alerts, intuitive controls, and GPS map support.
Here are the top 10 radar detectors.
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1. Cobra XRS9370
The Cobra XRS9370 is an inexpensive option for a radar detector with decent performance and a sleek aesthetic. It can detect most major radar/laser bands at a large range. It uses a quick sweep circuitry which gives it extra detection range for faster advanced warnings. It also detects VG-2 radars and lets the user know if they are under surveillance. It comes with City/Highway modes for different levels of false alert filtration, and the UltraBright display is easy to read with intuitive band identification icons.
9. Escort Passport 9500IX
The Escort Passport 9500IX has great detection performance for the 4 major radar bands as well as LIDAR. It has a simple, high resolution blue display readout, and crystal-clear voice alerts. One of its best features is its AutoLearn intelligence. It automatically filters through frequency signals and analyzes them. After a week, it will eliminate most if not all false alerts. It comes packed with the Defender Database which includes locations for thousands of potential threats that do not have detectable signals, like speed cameras, red-light cameras and speed trap areas.
8. Cobra ESD7570
The Cobra ESD7570 is a budget option for those looking for a simple radar detecting machine. It provides 360 degree coveragte of laser signals, and will alert drivers for a variety of precautions. These include Safety Alerts for nearby emergency vehicles and road hazards, and VG-2 and Spectre Alert for specific surveillance alerts. It features 2 filter modes to reduce the amount of false signals based on where you are.
7. Valentine One Radar Detector
The Valentine One Radar Detector is a rugged, high-end device for those looking for a simple solution. It has X, K, Ka, and super wideband Ka detection. With its 360 degree coverage, you can rest assured that you will be safe. One of the reasons why this model performs very well is because it supports multiple radar antennae. They not only increase the strength and range of detection, but also the precision of incoming information. It well let you know how many radar units are in range, the strength of the radar signal and what band it is on. It also has excellent laser detection, so it will not become obsolete any time soon.
6. Cobra XRS9470
The XRS9470 series by Cobra is identical to the XRS9370, aside from a few upgraded features: this newer, update version contains voice alert functions. This announces messages without averting your full attention from the road. Another feature it has that is different is that it is both Spectre I/IV+ and VG-2 undetectable. It also detects the latest POP Mode Radar guns, as well as Ku Band Radar Guns.
5. Escort Passport 8500X50
The Escort Passport 8500X50 features solid performance, intuitive controls and is one of the more affordable high-end models on the market. It provides 360 degree full laser coverage and all-band protection. You can control the display brightness, mute and sensitivity features easily, and it doesn’t require additional calibration out of the box. It comes with built-in traffic sensor rejection and AutoSensitivity digital signal processing modes that drastically reduce false alarms.
4. Escort Passport Max 2 HD
The Passport Max 2 HD by Escort is an excellent radar detector because it does more than just help you avoid traffic cops; it helps you proactively drive more safely. It comes with built-in bluetooth and GPS technology, as well as a brand new digital signal processing technology. The multi-color OLED display is easy to read and more vibrant than other mono-color displays. One feature it has is its over-speed alerts, which activates when you have exceeded a specific speed you have configured. It also comes pre-loaded with Defender Database which has locations of thousands of red-light cameras, speed traps and speed cameras. You can update this database with an additional subscription fee.
3. Whistler CR90
The Whistler CR90 is a useful, fully featured radar detector with GPS implementation. It has some of the best alert features among radar detectors. The voice alert gives you a vocal cue on important things coming up without having to take your eyes off the road. It also tells you the speed you were traveling at when you received the alert. Using its internal GPS, it has alerts for red-light cameras, speed cameras and speed raps as well. Its most unique feature though is its Stay Alert function. It beeps quietly and then a large alarm is activated if you do not respond within 5 seconds. This keeps you fully alert and emphasizes safe driving habits.
2. Beltronics RX65
The Beltronics RX65 is a straightforward radar detector that is easy to use. It comes with 3 sensitivity settings: Highway, AutoScan, and City. The Highway setting is the least discriminatory, turning off all filters within a couple of miles. AutoScan uses its digital signal processing to detect false alerts, and the City setting removes the X-band from detection which is most prone to create false alerts. If you’re just looking for a introductory glimpse in radar detectors, this is a decent first step in that direction.
1. Beltronics Pro 500
The Beltronics Pro 500 is one of the better radar detectors on the market because it combines radar detection with the benefits of GPS. It can detect three radar bands, X, K and Ka, as well as LIDAR. It has multiple sensor diodes to provide a wide 360-degree laser coverage. The best feature of this radar detector is its GPS implementation. It comes pre-loaded with thousands of red-light camera and speed camera locations which do not emit radar signals. You can receive alerts for these locations based on your GPS. With a paid-subscription, you can even update this database by connecting it to the internet.