Laser jammer review: best laser jammers of 2017
Laser jammer review: best laser jammers of 2017?
Laser Jammer Reviews of AntiLaser Priority (ALP), Blinder HP-905 Compact, Escort Laser Shifter Pro, Stinger VIP Laser HD
A lot has changed since the last laser jammer reviews article I wrote years ago. Ironically, the biggest and most significant changes have come from the police laser gun manufacturers, not the laser jammer manufacturers, and they have proven capable of staying ahead of the laser jammer manufacturers. Police lasers have been appearing that are more difficult to jam as well as detect with some laser detectors / radar detectors.
In summary, the best laser jammers consist of AntiLaser, Blinder, Escort (rebadged Laser Interceptor). A relative newcomer still has the potential of joining this list despite extended development difficulties, Stinger.
Blinder HP-905 Compact
Blinder remains a leading laser jammer manufacturer. Their older LED-based laser jammers, the Blinder X-treme series, have given away to laser diode based systems, called the HP-905 Compact. Their laser jammer heads, like other diode-based laser jammers, are much smaller than Blinder’s earlier LED-based jammers. This allows the Blinder HP-905 laser jammer to be more discretely mounted and offers greater placement flexibility.
Blinder still retains the patent on laser jammers which utilize lookup table algorithms–where the known pulse-rates of police lasers are stored so that the interfering return pulses can effectively counter the fixed-pulse trains of the police laser guns they jam.
Over the years a large number of patent-infringing laser jammers have come and gone in our market, but after many years of willful patent infringements, many of these “knock-off” jammers have failed and Blinder has successfully either driven these products out of the market or has established royalties to be paid by the products that have been permitted to be sold in the U.S. market by Blinder. It was primarily because of the ugliness of the laser jammer industry that I refrained from writing about other laser jammers as I didn’t want to be seen as condoning the practice of patent infringement.
One of the companies that settled with Blinder was a company called Laser Interceptor. Their product proved to be very successful over the years and had dominated the performance of the older LED-based laser jammers. The LI laser jammers were more refined in their operation and proved to be more effective at jamming a larger number of police lasers than the other laser jammers available at the time.
Escort ZR4 Laser Shifter
Escort’s ZR4 “laser shifter”–also LED-based–was quite popular as well and appeared as a stand-alone laser jammer or nicely integrated into the Escort Passport 9500ci remote mounted radar detectors. While the advantages to system integration were high and their retail price was more attractive, Escort’s ZR4 laser jammers were not quite as effective as either the Blinders or the LI laser jammers.
Laser jammers have proven over the years to be quite effective. But, both the police laser manufactures and the traffic departments took notice. Neither of them took too kindly to being one-upped.
Legality of Use
While radar jammers have been outlawed for years nationally at the federal level, individual states, provinces, and other countries have recently begun outlawing laser jammers. Today, most of Canada’s provinces have outlawed them as has a good number of European countries. Don’t even think about operating a jammer in China, U.K, or Australia.
Just recently a driver was imprisoned in England for being caught operating laser jammers and others face similar consequences. In Hong Kong, a driver that I personally knew, had his Mazda 6, that was outfitted with jammers, confiscated by the authorities not to have it returned. That cost him upwards of $30,000 in equivalent U.S. dollars.
Fortunately, in the U.S., penalties are not quite that severe. Nonetheless, if you are thinking of purchasing a laser jammer, familiarize yourself with the laws in the areas you drive.
As of today the states that outlaw their use include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In Canada only the more western provinces allow the use of jammers: British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. All other provinces, watch out. Drive with them at your own risk.
If the banning situation wasn’t bad enough, a new police laser manufacturer appeared some years ago claiming that their new police lasers were going to be unjammable and for some time, certain irresponsible online forum members publicly taunted the developer. As it turned out, the company, called DragonEye, wasn’t fooling around. They started manufacturing guns that proved to be difficult for jammer companies to beat and they were marketed to police departments around the world interested in finally beating the laser jammer manufacturers at their own game.
Today, DragonEye Technology makes several guns that are quite inexpensive which use variable and random or “pseudo-random” pulse-rates, rendering all of the laser jammers that solely rely on conventional look-up table algorithms useless against them.
The irony of the whole thing was that the company that really promoted the notion of “jam-to-gun” performance, Laser Interceptor, has proven to not be able to keep up with DragonEye (formerly called Laser Ally).
The problem is, when a laser jammer can’t jam or even detect a police laser gun, instant-punch-though or IPT occurs at every distance, even very far away. It’s as if the driver has no laser jammer at all. That’s not a good situation for a driver that has spent more than $1600 on a four or five head system. (To learn more about these new police lasers, visit our FAQ page).
Not to be “one-upped,” other police laser manufacturers to stay competitive, such as LTI and Stalker, have also started manufacturing police lasers that are very hard to jam and many of these police lasers are being built to detect jam-attempts which alerts the officer to jammer usage. What that means is even if your laser jammer is effective at laser jamming, the officer will know this and will likely pull you over. If you are driving in a region where jammers are banned, big penalties, far exceeding the cost of a speeding ticket, may await you.
Unfortunately, despite promises to the contrary by the company, all of the legions of LI customers have been left with a jammer that has limited or no support. The individual behind Laser Interceptor U.S. essentially stopped supporting their products and instead began working with another manufacturer called Stinger which is currently in the process of entering the U.S. market with their $4000+ super-expensive radar detector and laser jammer combo.
Escort Laser Shifter Pro
In another twist of irony, Laser Interceptor U.S. arranged to have their products sold by Escort, re-branded as the Laser ShifterPro, the model replacing their older ZR4s. The Laser Shifter Pro is a very capable and fortunately, for Laser Shifter Pro owners, the model continues to improve.
More recently, a new entrant to the marketplace (actually an old player) is AntiLaser and their product is the AntiLaser Priority. It too is an effective jammer, albeit it’s also the most expensive stand-alone system currently being produced.
Since the pace of new firmware appearing is fast-and-furious from the police laser gun manufacturers, it is getting increasingly difficult for all the laser jammer companies to keep up with the changes. At least today, all of the viable jammers today can have their firmware updated. When a new police laser algorithm is discovered the jammer manufacturers are able to provide their existing customers an update.
This does require the owner of a jammer to routinely check for firmware updates or suffer the consequences. That being said, even firmware updates have their limitations. Some police lasers are requiring that the jammer manufacturers make substantial hardware improvements (ie; CPU changes) and that has proven very challenging to the manufacturers.
It’s important to note as well, that a number of “independent” enthusiast testing groups have appeared over the years, but some of them have proven to have hidden agendas–tacitly supporting certain laser jammer manufacturers and their retailers (being biased towards a particular model)–by either hiding specific weaknesses to the public or by over-emphasizing (the importance of) a specific capability of one model over another.
The tests they conduct are often very limited in scope; are created to favor the jammer; use targeting techniques that may not be representative of how a laser is actually operated in the field; focus on jamming performance of only the front of the vehicle; and tend to be on dead-flat road surfaces with straight-on shots all to ensure optimal conditions for them to perform. Even more alarming is that results of total jammer failure (ie; when a jammer is entirely ineffective against a particular police laser gun) are often left undocumented.
This happened repeatedly at a recent test conducted that’s been recently promoted (by a couple of retailers as being “authoritative”). As was noted in the published results:
During RALTEC’s testing they discovered an issue with the DragonEye…Because of this RALTEC requested that the results of the DragonEye be omitted from these results.
In another “test,” one manufacturer’s product was tested and then later promoted that turned out not to be representative of the models that were actually shipped to the consumer. The models sold were less capable “stripped-down” versions.
In yet even another “test,” an older Blinder model was made to look bad (in videos) when their jamming heads were intentionally covered with shoe polish so that a vendor could promote an inferior knock-off that they were selling as being better. It wasn’t.
As a consequence, published test results can be misleading, incomplete, or not entirely representative of performance in the real-world against real traffic enforcement. So take any testing by these forum-based groups with a grain of salt.
Also be aware that it’s very hard to successfully jam from the rear of an automobile and also exceedingly difficult to jam police lasers that are used from an elevated position. In a number of states, like New Jersey, rear-targeting is routinely conducted and it’s not uncommon to encounter police laser traps being operated from overpasses in states like Delaware.
In either instance, drivers are especially vulnerable. Some online vendors oversell their capabilities and owners of these systems can be lulled into a false sense of security that is until they come across these sorts of speed traps.
The Golden Rule
The most important take away here is this: no single countermeasure is 100% effective.
With these facts in mind, the following jammers are currently the best performing:
Best Laser Jammers of 2017
- AntiLaser Priority
Costs: $750 – 2 Head (Dual), $1000 – 3 Head (Triple), $1250 – 4 Head (Quad), $1500 – 5 Head (Quint)
- Blinder HP-905 Compact
Costs: $600 – 2 Head (Dual), $750 – 3 Head (Triple), $900 4 Head (Quad)
- Escort Laser Shifter Pro (formerly Laser Interceptor in the U.S.)
Costs: $600 – 2 Head
AntiLaser maintains that they are not patent infringing on Blinder’s IP because they are able to jam the Dragon Eye’s “random” pulse-rate guns. However, the “random” pulse-rate police laser guns from Dragon Eye (Laser Ally) may not be entirely “random.” Without going into the technical details, if this proves to be the case, Blinder may have a future claim against ALP and their dealers.
Years ago, a company called Laser Pro Park and DriveSmart both made brief appearances in the U.S. market, but because of pressure from Blinder’s assertion of their patent they didn’t stick around too long. The purchasers of those products were left holding the bag, basically “losing” their investment since product support disappeared basically overnight. Caveat Emptor.
Stinger Laser HD
We haven’t formally included Stinger’s Laser HD jammer in the list because the product is still being “developed” for the U.S. market and the manufacturer has been having difficulty overcoming some performance issues for more than a year now.
If Stinger can eventually figure things out, it deserves another look. The Stinger laser HD is unique in that it can use fiber optics instead of conventional jammer heads. The installation possibilities are far superior with such a system.
Unfortunately, it’s a part of a $3000+ radar detector system, the Stinger VIP. The Stinger Laser HD is not available as a stand-alone system. Blinder has suggested that they may also have an IP claim as this product becomes more readily available in the U.S. market.
For these reasons, we can not recommend the the Stinger VIP system at this time.
We consider the preferred choice to be that of the Blinder HP-905 or the Escort Laser ShifterPro used in combination with the Veil Stealth Coating. The Escort’s Laser ShifterPro offers the advantage of seemless integration into Escort’s remote-installed Passport 9500ci as well as Beltronics remote-installed detectors.
The ShiferPro models are available for purchase from the manufacturer directly using the links below:
- Escort’s Laser ShifterPro (stand-alone)
- Escort’s remote-installed Passport 9500ci (integrated)
- Beltronics STiR Plus remote-installed detector (integrated)
Both Blinder and Escort have proven–for more than a decade–that they have the staying power and Veil has proven to be effective in improving jamming efficiency over that same period. In the instances where jammers fail to jam at all, Veil can fill in their performance gaps. In the instances where a jammer has punch-throughs that are far away, Veil can significantly reduce those distances.
Blinder U.S. sells bundles of the HP-905 and Veil which also include specific radar detectors at a combined discount.
Improving Jammer Performance even Further
Since no single countermeasure is infallible, we are believers in a defense-in-depth strategy.
It’s been demonstrated when Veil is paired with any jammer, jamming efficiency can improve significantly.
Furthermore, Veil has shown that it can help to equalize the performance of all jammers. This means that you can effectively spend less on a jammer and Veil in combination and get better results than relying solely on the performance of a (more-expensive) jammer itself.
Veil has also shown that it is possible to reduce the number of jamming heads required to be effective. For example, a three or four head system, may be reduced to only a two head system and still provide similar overall performance.
Considering that the cost of jammers can run anywhere from $500 to $2000, not including installation costs, retailing at less than a $100, Veil has proven to be the greatest value running in the laser countermeasure industry for more than a decade.
And, if you drive in a state where jammers are outlawed or you are not interested in spending that much on such a system, know that you do have an alternative solution, for a fraction of the cost, which can also help protect your privacy from invasive photo enforcement.
So, drive safely, but most most importantly, protected!