Radar detectors are devices designed to alert drivers to police speed traps and traffic lights with cameras. 112,000 speeding tickets are fined every day in America, often in speed traps.
Speed traps are unfair road constructions where the legal speed limit precariously drops in a short distance.
These traps don't ensure driver safety; rather, they are purely designed to "catch" speeders to charge fines, which often fund municipal governments.
Since enforcing this law directly brings revenue to officers' employers, the goal of charging fines to speeders becomes ridiculously prioritized over the goal of enforcing laws against serious crimes.
All in all, traffic laws in the United States do nothing to keep our streets safer. Municipal traffic laws are often unjust and unjustly enforced.
However, it is legal in every state but Virginia for citizens to protect themselves from this injustice and government monitoring by purchasing radar detectors. This post is to help you compare two popular models.
The Escort iX is a long-range radar laser detector. It responds to detection quickly, alerting the driver with flashing lights and alarms practically the moment it senses the radar signals that indicate the road is being monitored by traffic police.
Furthermore, this device can detect radar on multiple bands (frequencies), including both conventional and instant-on X-band, K-band, SuperWide Ka-band, and POP mode. This is useful, as radar lasers are often being updated in attempts to "outsmart" detectors, and radar bands could vary as a driver crosses state lines.
Other radar detectors sometimes falsely alert drivers, assuming that they're picking up speed trap radar when they're picking up regular car alarms and other signals installed by highway managers.
The Escort iX, though, protects drivers from the annoyance of false alarms by using a patented GPS-adjacent system. Alerts will only go off if genuine radar is detected.
Beyond all this, the Escort iX radar detector can sync with a driver's Bluetooth system and smartphone to access crowdsourced information regarding where drivers are frequently ticketed and other places where precautions should be taken.
The Escort iX Radar Detector has the following capabilities and qualities:
Currently, the Escort iX costs around $435 on Amazon, but that could change.
While it isn't the most expensive radar detection device on the market, strictly speaking, it's certainly on the high end. The least expensive radar detectors are only $70, and the median price range seems to be about $200 - $250.
That being said, a lot of the less expensive models are now useless; the new radar technology implemented by highway patrol, the tech that causes those false alerts? The cheaper devices don't have much of a defense against those kinds of things.
So those $150 radar detectors only work if you're in a state that hasn't implemented any anti-radar-detector technology yet. Otherwise, you're plonking down cash on an LED paperweight.
Still, it is a decent roundabout price for what you get? Is it potentially worth it to shell out even more to get next-level perks? Let's look at some pros and cons.
Based on the positive reviews on Amazon, there's plenty to appreciate about the Escort iX.
The main positive is that it works as advertised. I mean, it works excellently.
Most users report that they were readily alerted to speed-detecting radar and cameras at stoplights, and they weren't subjected to any false alerts from other cars, grocery stores, or other kinds of radar using technology.
Another positive mentioned frequently was how easy it is to use the app. The up to date information was helpful to many customers. The Escort app also has many configurations and user interface options depending on the driver's preference.
One driver appreciated the option to be alerted if he went too far above the speed limit at any time (past a number he pre-set). Another driver appreciated that it could inform her what band was being detected verbally and that the strength meters were easy to read at a glance.
Customers in general like the calm, clear voice that reads the alerts on the Escort iX. They also appreciate how lightweight and portable is it.
There are plenty of one and two-star reviews on Amazon as well, and certain complaints kept recurring.
Ignoring complaints that the item was damaged when they received it, most customers who disliked the Escort iX had similar problems.
One problem was that the device didn't pick up on the police radar and alert them soon enough to slow down and avoid a ticket. Essentially, the complaint is that the device's range is too narrow to be truly effective.
Another frequent complaint is that, contrary to its claim, there are too many false alarms from the Escort iX. One customer reported false alarms when they were the only driver out on a country road. Some customers wonder if the Escort iX simply isn't compatible with certain cars.
Some customers have found that the Escort iX drains their car battery if they don't turn the device off when they turn the car off.
The last common frustration is that the Escort iX breaks too easily. Many customers report it working fine for a few months and then breaking down. A possible culprit could be the heat in warm climates.
To summarize, the Escort iX is a radar detection device connected to a smartphone app. It alerts drivers to radar used by police to log drivers' speed and assign tickets and has software designed to limit false alarms.
It doesn't have a rechargeable battery; instead, it is powered via a power cord that connects to the cigarette lighter in a dashboard.
The smartphone app connects customers to a database that is consistently updated, so they can stay on top of cameras at stoplights and areas with frequent ticketing. The app allows for customizable user interface configuration and data like personal speed.
The most frequent complaints are that it lets through too many false alarms, it breaks down too quickly, and it doesn't alert drivers to radar soon enough.
The Escort Max 360 radar detector is pretty similar to the Escort iX. It's from the same company, and it uses the same patented apps, software, and other technology.
Like the iX, the Escort Max 360 is designed to alert drivers to radar being used by municipal governments to track their speed.
Both use crowdsourced data, which a customer can access and add to on the app, to inform drivers about frequent ticketing areas, cameras on stoplights, and speed traps.
Both use patented, GPS-integrated software to prevent false alarms created by other kinds of radar, like those projected by anti-theft systems in cars. Both can learn to ignore stable radar sources that aren't police lasers.
So, what makes the Escort Max 360 superior? It it worth the additional $120 in upfront costs? Let's look at the overall statistics of the Escort Max 360.
The Escort Max 360 Radar Detector has the following capabilities and qualities:
Currently, the Escort Max 360 costs around $555 on Amazon, but that could change.
This may well be the most expensive radar detector on the market. The least expensive radar detectors are only $70, and the median price range seems to be about $200 - $250. The Escort iX is around $435.
That being said, as was discussed regarding the pricing of the iX model, a lot of the significantly less expensive models are now useless; the new radar technology implemented by highway patrol, the tech that causes those false alerts?
The cheaper devices don't have much of a defense against those kinds of things. So those under-$150 radar detectors really only work if you're in a state that hasn't implemented any anti-radar-detector technology yet. Otherwise, you're plonking down cash on an LED paperweight.
With the Max 360 specifically, the device uses five separate layers of filtering to guard against anything that might cause false alarms.
Beyond that, the software technology to detect radar from further away than any other radar detector's capabilities is exclusive to the Escort Max 360.
Unlike any other detector, the front and rear antennas of the Escort Max 360 scan Omni-directionally. Then it uses Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to find threats faster and more accurately than any other detector out there.
Still, is the higher price reasonable for what you get? Or is the leveled up DSP overhyped? Let's look at some pros and cons.
The biggest pro mentioned by Amazon customers who ranked the Escort Max 360 highly were the directional arrows on the display.
It is an obvious, helpful bit of information. It's also easy to see and understand the information presented without having to turn one's full attention to the device, which is pretty vital since it is safest to keep your eyes on the road.
Generally, the other pros are that the Escort Max 360 works as it says it does. By all accounts, the AutoLearning system does genuinely understand when a driver routinely passes, say, a gas station with automatic doors, and can learn to ignore them.
It can also differentiate between that ignored radar and the new radar of a police cruiser with a radar gun parked directly in front of it.
Many of the positive reviews mention how nice the Max 360 looks, and how little space it takes up.
People who dislike the Escort Max 360 dislike it in the extreme.
By far the most frequent complaint on Amazon is that with the most recent IVT update, which is designed to reduce false alarms from other cars on the road, the range in which the Escort Max 360 can pick up K-band radar is was too narrow now.
This has resulted in many customers getting ticketed because they weren't alerted to speed monitoring radar until it was too late to do anything about it. Even more drivers had some close calls.
Other critics were frustrated that the Escort Max 360 seems not to work in CRVs or other cars with Turbo.
Some customers were irritated that attempts to repair or replace a non-functional device were met with customer service representatives who pushed additional subscriptions.
Finally, some customers disliked the sheer amount of data the Escort Live app gathers and wants people to volunteer about their driving habits and location.
There is worry that with any app-connected radar detector, a customer's personal information could be sold to insurance companies or other institutions who could use it against you. There is frustration that without the app, the GPS aspects are useless.
The main difference between the Escort iX and the Escort Max 360 is the Escort Max 360's ability to sense radar in all directions, as well as its capacity to clearly and easily inform the driver about which direction the radar is coming from.
Beyond that, the Escort Max 360 is slimmer and weighs less. It uses the same software, the same app, and the same hardware technology. It is similarly adjustable when it comes to the app's user interface and muting / volume options for alarms.
Both the Escort Max 360 and the Escort iX connect to the car's cigarette lighter to power. Neither are compatible with Mac, and both require the customer to purchase a USB cable to access updates.
Ultimately, the Escort Max 360's omnidirectional capability makes it more useful than the Escort iX. But, it's not clear whether that makes it worth the extra expense.
Outside of Amazon, there are places where customers have weighed in on the relative merits of the Escort Max 360 versus the Escort iX.
On a forum dedicated entirely to Escort products, many users find that the two models are virtually the same, in terms of performance.
The chief difference seemed to be the arrows. One customer suggested that the Escort Max 360 is better at deflecting false alarms from other cars' crash avoidance warning systems, but that wasn't confirmed.
Crutchfield compared the two devices on 20 relevant radar detection components and found them to be identical.
No complaints have been filed against the Escort Radar company with either Consumer Reports or the Better Business Bureau.
Look out for third parties selling the Escort products. They cannot provide any kind of warranty, and there's no guarantee you'll receive legitimate Escort radar detectors.
Scammers have been known to take advantage of customers looking to avoid the high price tag by selling broken products that were intended to be discarded by the company.
Also, be aware of the relevant subscription fees when considering the costs involved in making this purchase. The monthly and annual subscription to Escort Live and the software updates can really sneak up on a person.
Our advice is to stick with the Escort iX if you want to detect radar.
The Escort iX and the Escort Max 360 are both highly rated, reliable products. But the Escort Max is at least $100 more expensive, and it doesn't add a lot of value relative to the price increase.
At the end of the day, the Escort iX relays the information you need, and almost all of the Escort Max 360’s best features are present in the Escort iX as well.