If you’re sick and tired of getting speeding tickets and are finding it hard to remember to cut down your speed, it may be time to invest in a radar detector. Unfortunately, with new manufacturers entering the market everyday it can be difficult to know which one to choose.
Luckily for you, we’ve created this buying guide on how to choose the best radar detector for your individual needs. In it, we’ll start by telling you about five of the best devices on the internet this year.
We’ll then highlight why you should pay attention when purchasing a radar detector for your vehicle, since we consider it as essential as a gps or a tire inflator for your car. And, finally, we’ll share some of the most important features to pay attention to when making your final purchase.
Before we run you through some radar detector buying tips, we’ve trawled the internet to share with you some of the best models currently available based on their price tags. Here they are:
*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.
Best Radar Detector Over $100
Best Radar Detector Under $100
Packed with a mound of features as well as one of the most stylish and compact designs on the market, it is no real surprise that we have voted the Escort Passport 9500IX Radar Detector our favorite model for the over $100 category.
This stylish and efficient radar detector is a superheterodyne and varactor-tuned VCO type of detector that is able to scan frequency discriminators as well as undertake digital signal processing.
The Escort Passport 9500IX Radar Detector uses laser detection through multiple laser sensor diodes which enables it to offer the driver more accurate alerts. It also features a quantum-limited video receiver.
The radar detector has a GPS receiver as well as variable speed radar performance for maximum efficiency. Thanks to its auto learn feature, the radar detector can log speed cameras for future journeys.
Because of its safety camera database, you’ll benefit from thousands of pre-loaded safety camera locations as well as fixed red light destinations in North America so that you know way ahead of time whether you’re being monitored.
The Escort Passport 9500IX Radar Detector is compatible with a mound of additional car accessories some of which include a radar mount mirror and various cords.
Not only this, you can choose between a blue and a red display. Customers who reviewed this item are particularly fond of the blue display because it is said to be more visible in bright sunlight.
Lastly, the Escort Passport 9500IX Radar Detector delivers amazing long-range warnings on all radar bands, including Superwide Ka, K, X, as well as instant-on and POP modes. Thanks to its multiple laser sensors you’ll always benefit from 360-degree protection against both stationary and temporary speed cameras.
This model is compatible with various mobile applications and has anti falsing meaning that it will recognize between speed traps and emergency vehicles, for example. And, if all the above isn’t enough, it comes with a quick release mount and is priced at less than $300 per unit. Included in this price, you’ll benefit from free shipping straight to your doorstep.
With nearly 1,900 reviews and an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, the Escort Passport 9500IX Radar Detector gets our seal of approval as one of the best radar detecting devices on the market in 2017.
If the above model doesn’t quite do it for you, we recommend you check out the Valentine One V1 Radar Detector. Packed with a mound of impressive and timeless features, this radar detector is bound to blow your mind.
Thanks to its additional laser detection the Valentine One V1 Radar Detector offers full 360-degree protection against all types of speed cameras. More impressively, it is able to detect X, K, Ka, SuperWide Ka, and Ku Bands from nearly a mile away.
This Valentine One model is one of the highest performing on the market boasting of multiple radar antennas one of which faces backward for maximum coverage by telling you the band and the strength of the radar signal.
This feature also highlights the number of radar units, also known as bogeys, detected. In addition to this, you’ll be made aware of where the signal is coming from.
If all the above isn’t enough, the Valentine One V1 Radar Detector has one of the best radar receptions in the industry, scoring highly on industry tests year in, year out. But, one of its most impressive features is that this model is completely timeless.
By this, we mean that Valentine One has provided consumers with the chance to send in their old models dating from as far as 1992 in order to get a software and hardware update for their radar detectors.
While this service does come at a price, it does not compare to that of a new device. The company’s goal is to provide customers with a product that will last them forever! The Valentine One V1 Radar Detector works in virtually any country across the world including the Americas, Europe, Australia, Israel, and further afield.
Customers have reported the installation process to be an absolute breeze. All you have to do is plug it in, turn it on, and it is ready to use.
Customers who bought and reviewed this product say that it is a high-quality radar detector that has already saved them hundreds of dollars in speeding tickets. Plus, it is compatible with a range of other accessories including mirror mounts and power cords.
With a price tag of less than $500 and nearly 400 reviews, the large majority of which are extremely positive, the Valentine One V1 gets our mark of approval as one of the best speed camera detectors today.
Another alternative to the Escort and Valentine One models mentioned above is another Escort model called the Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar Detector.
Similarly to the Valentine V1, the Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar Detector is a superheterodyne detector that provides long-range warning on all radar bands including X, K, and SuperWide Ka Bands as well as Instant-On.
Thanks to its patented digital signal processing, you’ll benefit from the most in advance warning possible without having to listen to consistent false alarms from emergency vehicles, electric doors, and so on.
It is an innovative state of the art laser detector equipped with a quantum-limited video receiver and comes with multiple laser diodes allowing it to offer drivers the best protection from speed cameras.
Aside from the above, this Escort model comes in a slightly more modern and slick design with high-resolution graphics and an OLED display. It requires two AA batteries to function, both of which come with the product, or alternatively, an Escort smartcord.
This escort radar detector uses only a fraction of the power of other detectors of its kind. The two AA batteries provide months of battery power and thanks to the new low-battery circuit, you’ll get both a visual and audible alert long before they need replacing.
Not only this, the programmable Auto Power feature means that the Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar Detector turns off automatically when not in use in order to conserve battery.
The Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar Detector comes with 9 user-programmable features meaning that you can adapt your radar detector based on your driving style and the areas in which you are going to be driving, for example, urban and rural.
All you preprogrammed details are stored in the device’s memory even when the batteries need to be replaced. You can also program your radar detector to provide you with unique audible and visual alerts for safety warning signals, for example, road hazards.
A feature that stands out for the Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar Detector that other models we have reviewed don’t offer is its one-year limited warranty.
Plus, if that’ not enough, it comes with a travel case so that you can keep your detector in good condition no matter how long you own it for.
Lastly, for a price tag of less than $230 and nearly 75% positive ratings across the board, the Escort Solo S3 Cordless Radar Detector is by far one of the most advanced and stylish radar detectors in the industry at the moment.
Last but not least in the over $100 section for this buying guide, we’d like to introduce you to the Beltronics RX65 Red Professional Series Radar/Laser Detector with RadarMount Suction Mount Bracket For Radar Detectors.
Designed in a slightly more old school and larger piece of hardware, this Beltronics model is another radar detector that has been designed with all the bells and whistles.
With extreme sensitivity to all types of laser bands, this RX65 Professional Series Radar Detector has over ten times the range of imported detectors.
The model comes with a SmartPlug power cord as well as a quick release windshield mount and a travel case which means you can take it from one vehicle to another without a worry in the world.
If you want a bit of peace and quiet, no problem, this detector features patented mute and automute technology on the SmartPlug power cord which allows you to silence alerts with the flip of just one switch.
The Beltronics RX65 Red Professional Series Radar/Laser Detector with RadarMount Suction Mount Bracket For Radar Detectors features a red display and has multi-sensor laser protection as well as digital POP radar alert.
It also comes with advanced autoscan and eliminates false alerts such as those transmitted from emergency vehicles, mechanical doors, and so on. The product offers clear digital voice or audio alerts allowing you to control 7 selectable features.
In addition to all the above, you’ll benefit from an ultra-bright, high-definition display for maximum visibility even during particularly bright parts of the day. There is also a dark mode for night time driving.
Similarly to the Escort model mentioned above, the Beltronics RX65 Red Professional Series Radar/Laser Detector with RadarMount Suction Mount Bracket For Radar Detectors comes with a one-year limited warranty.
For less than $150 and free shipping straight to your doorstep, this Beltronics radar detector is one of the best value on the market today. And, if you don’t believe us, you can always check it out on Amazon, where customers have given it a 4-star rating or more nearly 90% of the time.
When it comes to choosing a radar detector for less than $100, only one model springs to mind, the Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar/Laser Detector.
Aside from its stylish and slightly more modern design, this radar detector is packed with a mound of incredible features for such a low price tag.
Thanks to its superfast sweep circuitry, this cobra model provides extra detection range as well as the best possible warning for even the fastest of drivers.
Not only this, the VG-2 and Spectre alert mean that your Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar/Laser Detector with 360-Degree Protection will alert you when you are being surveyed by VG2 or Spectre radar detector detectors (RDD).
This model comes with the traditional city and highway modes so that you can switch between the two in order to avoid countless false alerts.
Plus, whether you’re in Europe or the United States, this Cobra model has a Ku band detectors, one of the types of radar guns being used most in Europe at the moment that is expected to make it to the U.S in the near future.
This small and compact device detects all 14 different types of radar and laser guns across the world. Not only this, it does it at a much greater range than any of its predecessors.
The Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar/Laser Detector with 360-Degree Protection is compatible with a variety of other car accessories include various cords and radar detector dashboard and windshield mounts.
With a price tag of less than $80, free shipping straight to your doorstep, and the choice of an additional 3 or 4 years of protection for just over $10 and $15 respectively, this Cobra model is by far one of the best value on the market at the moment.
Choosing the best radar detector for your individual needs is extremely important for a number of reasons, here are some of them:
Radar detectors can be very expensive so buying one without doing your research could lead to money down the drain. Before you make your final purchase, you should also consider the factors mentioned below.
Some parts of the world have made using a radar detector illegal because they deem drivers more reckless when equipped with a radar detecting device.
In Australia, some parts of Europe, South America, Canada, and various other parts of the world it is illegal to use a radar detector or a jammer. If caught doing so, you could end up with a fine.
In the United States, radar detectors are legal apart from in Virginia. California law does allow radar detectors but they cannot be placed on the windshield.1
It is worth mentioning that the best radar detectors are easy to install and come with simple to follow manufacturer instructions. Some just need to be plugged in and turned on while others require a bit more brain power.
Also where you want your radar detector to be should make a difference to the one your purchase. For example, do you want it mounted on your dashboard or your windshield?
Once again, be sure you know about the legalities in your country or state before installing your radar detector on your windshield or dashboard.
The best radar detectors on the market are also laser detectors. While more expensive, choosing one with multiple front and rear laser sensor diodes will make a huge difference to the number of alerts and in turn, speeding fines you receive.
This may seem like a very basic feature, but some devices only come with very simple displays, making them difficult to see in harsh sunlight or during the night. The best radar detectors come with a choice of different display modes making them accessible day in, day out.
No matter which radar detecting device you choose, you’ll always fall victim to at least one false alert in your life.
But, the best radar detectors can normally switch modes meaning that when you go from the highway to a city, your radar will not confuse speed cameras with other irrelevant waves.
Last but not least, the best radar detectors offer both visual and audible alerts. While you may not need both, make sure that the model you choose offers your preferred method of alert.
If you don’t like having to look at a screen audible alerts may be the best option for you. Plus, it’s a much less distracting, and therefore, less dangerous way of avoiding speeding fines.
Features to Pay Attention to When Choosing the Best Radar Detector
If you’re still not sure which is the best radar detector for your individual needs, here are some features you should consider when making your final decision:
As with nearly all electronic devices, you can now connect your smartphone to your radar detector depending on the model you choose.
In addition to connecting your smartphone to your device, there are now specific mobile applications on both iOS and Android that are free to download.
Through these applications, you can mark radar areas on your phone and your detector will then send you and anyone else using the application alerts based on their location and any data that has been saved in the app’s database.
Some of the best radar detectors also connect to smartphones via Bluetooth.
Laser guns are now increasingly popular because they are more accurate and can pinpoint the speed of specific vehicles in a matter of seconds. While these guns are spreading like wildfire, new and improved laser detectors are becoming available as well.
These detectors can alert you as far as a mile away from a radar. Plus, if you opt for a model with multiple sensors, you’ll gain 360-degree protection from all types of radars.
While the above features are all extremely important, we recommend you look at other, less common ones as well in order to get a full experience from your radar detector.
Safety warning systems are great if you live in an urban area where emergency police cars and ambulances are common. These systems alert you when an emergency vehicle is near, giving you time to move out of the way.
RDDs, also known as radar detector detectors, are devices that can tell law enforcement officers whether or not you are using a radar detector. They pick up on the oscillation emissions from the receiver in the detector.
The best radar detectors come with a special feature which eliminates these emissions thus allowing your detector to go unnoticed.
All models allow you to adjust the volume of your alerts to suit your individual preferences, however, newer more modern models automatically adjust the volume of the alerts based on the noise in your surroundings.
New models have an automatic mute function which stops all audible alerts if your vehicle is at a standstill. This is because if you are in a traffic jam or other situation where your car is driving extremely slowly you don’t need to be told if there is a speed trap ahead of you.
Last but not least, make sure you go for a reputable brand that produces quality radar detectors. By choosing a cheaper model from a manufacturer that is not established, you’ll waste a lot of money in the long run.
Choosing the best radar detector is a difficult task, but by considering all the features mentioned above, you’ll be sure to purchase a model that suits your individual needs and that sticks with you for the foreseeable future.