Best radar detector reviews : top-rated radar detectors ranked

Best radar detector reviews of the best radar detectors

Radar detector reviews of the best radar detectors from Escort, Radenso, Uniden, Valentine, and Whistler.

Updated: 03-15-2019

Top Rated Best Radar Detectors to Avoid Speeding Tickets

Veil Guy Reviews the Best Radar Detectors of 2018

UPDATE: Read our updated rankings for 2019.

Introduction

Radar detectors have been around a long time, nearly 40 years, and for much of that time the best radar detector was considered to be one that was the most sensitive and alerted to police radar from the farthest distance. A lot has changed in both the best radar detectors and traffic enforcement industries and today as we approach Christmas of 2018, the RF landscape continues to deteriorate, becoming even more challenging for a radar detector to function well. Now more than ever, the best radar detectors have to successfully balance two opposing dynamics: filtering (signal rejection) and sensitivity.

In fact, I have been putting greater emphasis one rating the best radar detectors by effective filtering and false signal rejection rather than mere radar sensitivity. Notice the use of the word effective. There’s a lot more to filtering than just keeping a radar detector quiet. The best radar detectors must also still be able to alert to genuine police radar (and now FMCW radar used for ticketing) while actively filtering out of the junk signals.

While there are some radar detectors that filter very well, there are those that will leave you exposed because they during that time of signal “interference,” the sensitivity to real police radar is so compromised that your radar detector is essentially rendered deaf, dumb, and blind.

Also keep in mind that today, most radar detectors offer plenty of sensitivity and will alert to radar (especially to continuous operation radar) at more than sufficient alerting distances, generally giving you ample amount of time to react. Today, now more than ever, other attributes or features of radar detectors matter more than they used to.

I’m going to first provide a quick summary of each radar detector’s rating, followed by a more detailed review of each radar detector. Individual in-depth radar detector reviews are also linked to, to help you learn much more about the specifics and nuances of a radar detector most appropriate for you.

With the rapid pace of a changing RF landscape, I recommend more than ever, to stay current with the most capable radar detectors available.

Be aware that all radar detectors are also laser detectors. I have also prepared a laser detector review, where I’ve rated the best radar detectors at detecting police laser.

We don’t sell radar detectors, Veil manufacturers a police laser and IR photo enforcement countermeasure that can be effectively used with them. Please consider using these links below to my personally recommended sources if and when you decide to make your purchase. I suggest avoiding sites like Amazon or review sites linking to them, which are often outdated, inaccurate, or light on useful information.

Amazon and eBay “stores” often quickly appear and then disappear, leaving you little options for post-sales and warranty support. Some are not even authorized to sell the products they list and the models they list may be older stock or overstocks and which may not come with a genuine manufacturers warranty. We’ve also seen outright fraudulent listings. You’ve heard the expression: If a “deal” looks to good, it probably is.

The specialized radar detector and countermeasure vendors recommended below are the most knowledgeable and supportive both before and after your purchase–far better than those aforementioned vendors; are authorized by the manufacturers; and are readily available for your support questions by phone.

Your support of these specialized radar detector dealers helps to defray my out of pocket costs for conducting these radar detector reviews. So your support is greatly appreciated! As an added bonus, one of these vendors, radarbusters.com, is offering my readers special discounts on some radar detectors and other countermeasures when you use the code: VEILGUY at checkout.

So, without any further delay, let’s get to it!

Top 10 Rated Best Radar Detectors of 2018

  • #1 Rated: Uniden R1 & Uniden R3 Radar Detectors
    Retail Price: $299 for the R1, $399 for the R3 Radar Detector
  • #2 Rated: Valentine One Radar Detector /w V1Connection or V1Connection LE
    Retail Price: $399 for the V1, $49 for Bluetooth module, associated iPhone/Android App is free
  • #3 Rated: Escort Redline EX Radar Detectors
    Retail Price: $599
  • #4 Rated: Escort Max 360c Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $649, associated iPhone/Android App is free for basic functions, but becomes $49/year for premium version
  • #5 Rated: Whistler CR97 Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $249
  • #6 Rated: Radenso XP & Radenso SP Radar Detectors
    Retail Price: $349 for the XP, $199 for the SP Radar Detector
  • #7 Rated: Escort iX Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $399
  • #8 Rated: Radenso Pro M Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $449 for either model
  • #9 Rated: Uniden DFR9 & Uniden DFR8 Radar Detectors
    Retail Price: $329 for the DFR9, $229 for the DFR8
  • #10 Rated: Escort X80 Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $299

A more in-depth look at the best radar detectors of 2018

 

 

Uniden R1/Uniden R3

Valentine 1 Radar Detector - V1

Uniden R1 & Uniden R3

Uniden’s recent re-entry into the radar detector industry has made a big splash with two new very impressive units. Both the Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 offer extreme performance sometimes exceeding that of the much more expensive Escort Redline or Escort’s custom installed models which run into the thousands of dollars. Both models offer advanced features like dedicated K-band filtering, K and Ka band narrow sweeps (to increase performance and minimize falsing).

Uniden R1/Uniden R3 Pros:

  • Advanced digital signal processing (DSP)
  • Extreme radar sensitivity across all radar bands
  • Easy to program/customize settings
  • GPS with red light camera alerts (Uniden R3 only)
  • Free GPS database updates
  • Updatable via USB connection to PC
  • Extremely “bright” multi-color OLED display
  • Special K anti-false filter
  • KA anti-false filter
  • Ka Narrow/Wide sweeps to maximize performance and minimize falsing on Ka-band
  • Ka-band segmentation for potentially increased performance and less falses on Ka-band
  • Individual band sensitivity adjustment (unique to Uniden)
  • Nearly SPECTRE RDD undetectable (but NOT undetectable, despite claims by some to the contrary)
  • Single & dual suction cup brackets included (unique to Uniden)
  • Cigarette adapter with MUTE KEY and USB JACK
  • Great price points for both models

Uniden R1/Uniden R3 Cons:

  • Quality control issues with some product runs (power cable failures)
  • Laser sensitivity could use improvement
  • While its K-filter is very good at filtering K-band CAS systems, it causes the detectors to completely miss K-band FMCW sources (see Whistler CR97 section)
  • Bright displays can lead to premature failure

Uniden R1/Uniden R3 Review Summary:

Either Uniden R1/R3 model is an exceptional detector for a blend of highway and city driving and offers extreme performance for substantially less than a similar performing Escort Redline EX.  These detectors would be even more incredible if they had arrows (hint, hint).  Uniden does need to improve their quality control as defect rates are higher than other manufacturers.

Further Reading:

Best place to buy:

 

Valentine 1 Radar Locator (V1, for short)

Valentine 1 Radar Detector - V1

Valentine 1 (V1) Radar Locator

Mike Valentine used to work with Cincinnati Microwave and had a hand in the design of their original radar detector, but eventually left the company to start his own radar detector manufacturing business to build the most uncompromising radar detectors. The V1 radar detector first appeared in the early 90s and his small cadre of highly dedicated engineers produce their first and only radar detector. The V1 radar detector was way ahead of its time. His radar detectors were the only ones that offered both a front and rear facing radar antennas, provided directional arrows that would point to the source of the radar threat.

Valentine’s philosophy then and now is that his radar detectors will be the only ones you will ever have to buy. He does this by offering a continuous upgrade path, both in hardware and when needed in firmware, for a nominal fee that can vary based upon the amount of changes that have occurred between upgrades. One notable thing about the Valentine 1 radar detector is that Valentine Research has retained the same pricing over its 28 year life-span.

Updates to the V1 radar detector do come slowly and methodically and this is by design. Valentine radar detectors are always very refined and new features are thoroughly developed and are not released until thoroughly tested.

For years I have used the V1 as my default “go to” detector, and I will continue to do so when I concerned about detecting police laser on my trips, but I find myself grabbing for the the Uniden R3 or the Whistler CR97 more and more.

Valentine 1 (V1) Pros:

  • Excellent sensitivity to all police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • The very best in police laser sensitivity
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detection instant-on police radar, especially when “custom-swept”
  • Directional arrows for maximum situational awareness to all radar and laser threats from the front and behind
  • A bogey counter to inform you of how many detections there are and what band is the most important to be concerned with
  • Accurate and exceptional signal strength alerting both approaching and receding a radar source
  • Exceptional filtering from K-band collision avoidance systems (TMF/TMF2)
  • High level of construction quality both externally and internally
  • Can be Ka-band segmented (ie; custom swept) for improved performance with optional Bluetooth module and smartphone app
  • Reasonably priced (relative to other manufacturers’ top products)

Valentine 1 (V1) Cons:

  • Does not include GPS to alert to photo enforcement locations (red light and speed cameras)
  • Difficult to program without optional Bluetooth module and smartphone app
  • X-band and K-band alert tones can sometimes be difficult to discern
  • Limited auto-muting options
  • No frequency display of Ka-band radar (without Bluetooth module and smartphone app)
  • Can be detected by radar detector detectors (RDDs) and can not be safely used in Virginia (where detectors remain banned)
  • With TMF2 filter,  the V1, like other detectors, often misses K-band FMCW ticketing sources

Valentine 1 (V1) Review Summary:

Valentine refrains from glitzy marketing terms and dubious “features.” It’s also a very technical detector, but for serious drivers looking a most refined and uncompromising radar detector, the Valentine continues to stand above all others and remains a preferred radar detector when I go on long-distance multi-state (and sometimes high-speed) trips.

Further Reading:

Best place to buy:

 

Escort Redline EX

Escort Redline EX Radar Detector

Escort Redline EX

New for 2018, the Escort Redline EX is made in the same vein as the V1 in many ways but includes all of the bells and whistles to make it more usable around town out of the box.  The Redline EX adds GPS, Bluetooth, IVT filtering, and the ability to detect police radar used in Canada and other countries including MRCD, MRCT, Gatso, and Streika.  While not currently used in the U.S., their incorporation in the Redline EX eliminates the need for an international version of the detector.  Now one detector can be used around the world. This is Escorts’ first detector capable of doing this.

Like other M3-based detectors, the Escort Redline EX incorporates two forward facing antennas (each tuned to specific frequencies). The V1 also has two as well, but one faces forward and the other faces backwards (for providing directional information) has one forward facing and one rear facing (for directional information). The Redline EX remains the only detector that is entirely undetectable to radar detector detectors, used in Virginia (where detector usage remains banned, violators are subject to fines) and at truck weigh stations to catch truckers who use radar detectors (which they are federally outlawed to do so).

While the Redline EX is no longer the long-distance champ (that distinction belongs to the Uniden R3 and Uniden R1), the Redline EX still posts some of the longest detections ever in a windshield-mount detector and continues to offer some of the highest levels of off-axis detection (radar detected from angles).  This can be especially useful for rural driving where winding roads and radar absorbing foliage makes it much harder on a detector to detect radar, especially instant-on (or I/O) radar.

The detector also provides very good laser detection perhaps a little better than its stablemate from Beltronics, the STi Magnum. It’s not at the level of the V1, but it’s sufficient for most encounters. Like its predecessor, the Redline, the EX can also be Ka-band segmented which can improve detection to weak Ka-band dramatically. Some vendors call a segmented Redline a Redline XR, but Escort doesn’t actually produce an XR (extra range), they are simply using the name to distinguish a segmented Redline from a default configured one. One vendor, charges for the custom programming while RadarBusters can provide the service at no additional charge.

Escort Redline EX Pros:

  • Exceptional sensitivity to all police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • Very good detection of police laser
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radar (without TSR enabled)
  • Can be Ka-band segmented for improved performance
  • Can be K-band segmentation (new for Escort) to reduce K falsing
  • Ability to detect MRCD/MRCT/Gatso/Streika hard to detector radar
  • Improved OLED multi-color display and alert lamp
  • Backlit buttons
  • Built-in bluetooth to support Escort Live! smartphone integration
  • GPS integration for Speed Camera and Redlight Camera alerts and variable speed based sensitivity
  • Can display actual frequencies of police radar (good for distinguishing real police radar from non-police radar)
  • Stealth design which can not be detected by RDDs so this detector is appropriate for use in Virginia and by CDL holders
  • High level of construction quality both externally and internally

Escort Redline EX Cons:

  • TSR is required to have a real effect on automotive-based K-band false reductions
  • Enabling TSR reduces sensitivity of K-band and adds a small delay to Ka detections
  • Alerts with very long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer detected, reducing ability to identify instant-on police radar

Escort Redline EX Review Summary:

The highest level of radar detection available in Escort’s current windshield-mount detectors and with its improved filtering is well suited for highway and rural driving as well as city driving. It is one of the more expensive windshield-mount detectors available, but for those that can afford it you’ll get extreme performance, undetectability, and advanced bluetooth and GPS functions.

Further reading:

Recommended places to buy:

 

Escort Max 360c

Escort Max 360 Radar Detector

Escort Max 360

After years of downplaying the importance of using directional arrows (VR had a patent on the technology), Escort has given us their second detector with just that–a front and rear facing antenna that provide arrows like the V1 has for nearly 26 years. But the Escort Max 360c–the replacement to the outgoing Max 360–is much more than a detector with arrows, it’s chock-full of features including built-in GPS; an industry leading photo enforcement database; built-in Bluetooth for easy pairing to your smartphone; WIFI for direct connection to the Internet, and quick integration with Escort’s crowd-sourcing Escort Live! application.

The Escort Max 360c also utilizes what Escort calls a fully digital signal processing back-end with high levels of signal processing performance. Escort claims that this helps the Max 360c reject (ie; filter out) many K-band automotive collision avoidance systems that can wreak havoc on lessor detectors and it appears to come without much penalty in K-band detection performance–that can happen with less sophisticated detectors.

Unlike VR, however, it is not entirely uncommon to find that Escort products are released before they are fully refined. Fortunately, Escort provides a means to update the firmware (and photo enforcement database) by incorporating a connection to your PC or Mac. There have been five firmware revisions to this point from the time this detector was first introduced in late 2015.

The detector overcomes one of the big drawbacks of the original Max 360 as its size is more in line with other detectors now. Arrow transitioning times have been improved as well but like with  like all Escorts, the trailing alerts on this detector are far too long causing false alerts to last longer than they should and can blur the detections to approaching I/O radar. While the Max 360c offers a four-color OLED display (compared to older LED types) and exceptional metering options, the display can be difficult to read, at times, in bright light conditions.  The filtering our of CAS systems appears much improved, but like other detectors it can filter out legitimate FMCW ticketing sources (read about this in the Whistler CR97 section).

Overall though that Escort Max 360c is a very capable radar detector for drivers looking to have similar capabilities to the V1 but with all the nice-to-have features that the V1 lacks. Where the V1 has to be programmed to extract its maximum performance, the Max 360c can basically be driven right out of the box with its default settings. Despite its high price tag, the Max 360c is popular to the well healed, but its performance has been equaled or surpassed by other detectors costing less.  WIFI is a novel feature, but really isn’t needed, although it has potential in the future.

Escort Max 360c Pros:

  • Very good sensitivity to a police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • Very good filtering of K-band collision avoidance systems
  • Good detection of police laser
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detection instant-on police radar
  • Directional arrows like the V1, but with different colors for easy band identification
  • Doesn’t require band segmentation to extract high performance of Ka-band detection
  • Most configurable metering system yet available
  • Can display actual frequencies of police radar
  • Built-in GPS for variable speed-sensitive sensitivity and photo enforcement database
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home
  • Bluetooth and WIFI add enhanced connectivity options
  • USB Smartcord now comes standard

Escort Max 360c Cons:

  • Multi-color OLED display can be hard to read at times in the daylight
  • All digital platform has yet to really prove that is more capable than conventional DSP in lesser priced detectors
  • Overly long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer detected
  • Still missing the USB to mini-D cable which is required for connecting to your computer to update it
  • Most expensive dash mount detector makes it out of reach for many
  • Detection performance was compromised during times of filtering out K-band CAS systems (addressable with newer firmware)
  • With filtering, FMCW ticket sources may not be detected (TraffiStar SR391 speed on green cameras)

Escort Max 360c Review Summary

The Escort Max 360c is an exceptional detector for a blend of highway and city driving. The 360c has the most features of any single detector yet. The 360c provides high levels of performance and filtering out of the box for drivers who don’t want to spend a lot of time programming their detector. The 360c is the equivalent of an ultra-high performance all-season radials and one that I wouldn’t hesitate driving with.

Further Reading:

Best place to buy:

Whistler CR97

Whistler CR97

The new Whistler CR97 is Whistler’s most ambitious detector to date and in our opinion is the best affordable high performance GPS unit available, period.

Whistler has been one of my favorite detector manufacturers for quite some time.  Whistler has stated that the new CR97 has up to a 6dB increase is sensitivity to Ka-band radar and up to 3dB in K-band.  X-band also sees big improvements we found.

Now more than ever, no other detector manufacturer offers as much value . The Whistler CR97 has a unique new feature that allows it to identify and alert to ticketing FMCW radar sources.  This is important because these systems often look like the K-band collision avoidance systems that other models today are being designed to filter out.

Off-axis detections are also noticeably improved. When I shared my observations with Whistler’s engineering, they confirmed a redesigned antenna was indeed used in the CR97 along with other tricks to improve performance so much over the outgoing CR93.

Detection to police laser remains excellent. Whistlers are sold oversees and as such detection of police laser is a priority as many more difficult to detect police lasers are found abroad. Whistler is also unique in being able to display the pulse rates of police laser which is very helpful. Some Volvos and Infinitis use laser-based collision avoidance systems which transmit as very specific pulse rates. Whistler not only locks them out based on the frequency pulse counts but also allows you to mute out others that you come across.

Like other Whistlers, the CR97 is super quick at detecting instant-on radar and its alerting ramps are very good. Trailing alerts are also worth mentioning and are far more useful than those of Escort’s models.

Like the Pro series of detectors that have come before the CR series, Whistler’s are, in my opinion, technically similar to the V1, both in behavior and in the extensive programming that is available. The CR97 can be very technical detectors for owners wishing to dig deep into the menu systems to customize in to a very high degree its alerting behavior.  Not other detector is so configurable out of the box.

The photo enforcement database alerted to every redlight camera monitored intersection that I’ve encountered in my driving (12,000 plus miles) and like the more expensive detectors out there, also offers the ability to be updated at home. What’s even nicer is that Whistler includes a USB to mini-D cable for doing so, something that the more expensive detectors do not.

Whistler CR97 Pros:

  • Performance now on par with some detectors costing twice as much
  • Excellent sensitivity to a K and Ka-band police radar bands
  • Excellent detection of police laser
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detection instant-on police radar
  • Very good alert ramp and useful trailing alerts
  • Can display frequency centers of police radar
  • Advanced FDSR ### feature informs driver that K-band FMCW ticketing systems such as TraffiStar SR391 speed-on-green photo enforcement
  • Verilight GPS photo enforcement database
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home
  • Speed sensitive automuting makes detector a pleasure to drive around town
  • Very readable OLED display
  • Includes USB cable for updating

Whistler CR97 Cons:

  • For the price, this is a tough one

Whistler CR97 Review Summary:

The most capable Whistler yet which provides exceptional K and Ka-band alerting performance and police laser nearly as good as detectors costing twice as much. Novel alerting, filtering, and muting features. Without question the best value going today and is a detector that I now routinely drive with, worry free.

Further reading:

Recommended place to buy:

 

Radenso XP/Radenso SP

Escort Max 360 Radar Detector

Radenso SP & Radenso XP

Radenso’s 3rd & 4th offerings in the windshield-mount radar detector category are also most impressive units. While not providing the absolute sensitivity of its more expensive cousin, the Radenso Pro M, they’re pretty close and either one more than makes up for it with fabulous K-band collision avoidance filters, that are specifically designed for this function. But what’s even more impressive is that sensitivity to real police radar doesn’t seem to be impacted while either radar detector is in the proximity of a K-band polluting vehicle. The GPS-capable Radenso XP (and the non GPS version, the SP) are also more sensitive to police laser than the Pro M and can detect police laser from the rear and more to the sides, whereas the Pro M can not. The new XP & SP can also be segmented to Ka, just like the Escort Redline, which ensures the highest levels of Ka-band sensitivity and quickness. These are some of the most well-rounded radar detectors I have had the pleasure of driving with, and each come with a ticket protection guarantee and a two-year warranty.

Radenso XP/Radenso SP Pros:

  • Very good sensitivity to a police radar bands (K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • Good detection of police laser
  • Can be Ka-band segmented to extract the highest performance of Ka-band detection
  • Minimal impact on detection to genuine police radar during times of active false signal rejection
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detection instant-on police radar
  • GPS equipped to permit manual lock-out of known false sources of radar (Radenso XP only)
  • Built-in GPS which allows for variable speed-sensitive sensitivity configuration (Radenso XP only)
  • Comes pre-loaded with database of redlight camera locations and is updatable with the supplied USB cable (Radenso XP only)
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home
  • Can display actual frequencies of police radar
  • Larger casing than the Pro M, pays dividends in features and sound levels
  • Bright and readable display
  • Recent price drops improve value of each detector

Radenso XP/Radenso SP Cons:

  • X-band performance not at the levels of K and Ka band (affects drivers in NJ and Ohio)
  • GPS redlight database not as complete as other vendors’ offerings (Radenso XP only)
  • Menu and programming procedures is somewhat confusing and can be tricky to use
  • Photo enforcement database not as robust as either the Escort or Uniden models
  • GPS version adds a hefty premium to the cost of the SP

Radenso XP/Radenso SP Review Summary:

The Radenso XP/SP is an exceptional detector for a blend of highway and city driving. The XP/SP does especially well when in the presence of vehicles equipped with K-band collision avoidance systems.  While its K-filter is very good at filtering K-band CAS systems, it causes the detectors to completely miss K-band FMCW sources (see Whistler section)

Best place to buy:

 

Escort iX

Escort iX Radar Detector

Escort iX

The new Escort iX is Escort’s replacement to their outgoing Passport 9500ix–Escort’s best selling radar detector of all time. The Escort iX addresses most of the weaknesses that I found with the Passport iX. While not at the performance level of either the Redline EX or the Max 360c, it’s pretty close, close enough that the iX is a great all-around detector for combined highway and city driving.

The Escort iX, proves that you don’t need the fancy “all-digital” signal processing that Escort offers in their Max series of detectors as it does an exceptional job of filtering out K-band falses that stem from automotive collision avoidance technology so prevalent on the roads today.

Like the Passport 9500ix detector, the new Escort iX incorporates built-in GPS–in fact their most capable yet. Quick GPS satellite connections and more accurate geopositioning happen as a result. As with all GPS detectors from Escort, the iX can alert to redlight and speed cameras with the use of its industry leading Defender database.

The Escort iX can be Ka-band segmented and is much quicker in responding and detecting instant-on police radar. This was a real limitation to the Passport 9500ix, it was sensitive, but it was also slow to respond. The Escort iX perfectly balances its sheer sensitivity with advanced filtering and signal rejection.

The iX also has improve sensitivity to police laser, a capability that I rate as very important. The 9500ix was below average in this regard and I’m pleased to see that the iX has address the 9500ix’s weakness.

The iX also incorporates a new sensitivity setting which is extremely useful for driving around town. This new setting is called AutoLoK and reduces the sensitivity of the iX to K-band. This is especially helpful when you are in the proximity of CVS and Walgreens that often set off K-band false alerts with other detectors.

One of the most novel features that the iX offers is a very quick release magnet mount which attaches to the top of the radar detector. This mount makes for very steady (bounce-free) connections to the windshield and instantly makes every other mount seem outdated.  Fortunately, this new mount is being found on more and more Escort products.

Finally, the Escort iX is a properly constructed detector in the vein of the older Passport 8500 X50. Some of the more recent detectors from Escort have been of dubious construction quality. I’m pleased to report that the iX is very solidly constructed, sleek, and is properly proportioned.

Escort iX Pros:

  • Great sensitivity to a police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-bands)
  • Very good detection of police laser
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detection instant-on police radar
  • Can be Ka-band segmented for improved performance
  • New AutoLoK sensitivity is a Godsend for driving around town
  • New IVT (K-band rejection filtering) does an exceptional job of filtering out these systems
  • Incorporates Bluetooth with Escort Live! integration
  • Most advanced GPS chipset yet in a radar detector provides excellent geolocation
  • Class-leading photo enforcement database
  • Can display frequencies of police radar
  • Awesome quick attach and release magnetic mount
  • USB Smartcord comes standard
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home
  • Sleek detector
  • High level of construction quality both externally and internally

Escort iX Cons:

  • Multi-color OLED display difficult to read in bright lighting conditions
  • Overly long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer detected
  • Still missing the USB to mini-D cable which is required for connecting to your computer to update it
  • Not stealth and can be detected by RDDs so it’s not an appropriate detector for Virginia drivers
  • K-band filtering can cause it to miss FMCW ticketing sources

Escort iX Review Summary:

This new Escort iX is the detector to drive with for both highway and city driving. It’s advanced filtering and sensitivity modes are some of the best to ever come out of Escort. This is my choice for a daily driver. Escort is calling this detector a “legend reborn.” I call it a new legend in the making, it’s that good.

Further Reading:

Recommended places to buy:

 

Radenso Pro M

Radenso Pro SE Radar Detector

Radenso Pro M

Radenso is a relative new player in the U.S. market. This very small detector packs very solid detections to K-band and particularly 34.7 Ka-band. Like the Escort Redline EX, the Radenso Pro SE incorporates an LNA (low noise amplifier) to improve detection performance.

Its detection performance in range and off-axis is in the realm of the extreme Escort Redline EX detector, not unlike the EX, the Radenso Pro M comes with GPS and a photo enforcement database, and can by updated by the user at home with a computer. The Radenso Pro SE provide very good signal rejection of K-band automotive collision avoidance systems and yet appears to still detect instant-on K-band police radar very well.

What’s new with the Pro M (over the outgoing Pro SE), is the ability to detect frequency hopping/modulated MultaRadar Close Distance (MRCD) and MRCT.

Another interesting and unique feature to this Radenso is its ability to “notch” K-band which tightens up K-and closer to the center of police K-band radar of 24.150 Ghz. By tightening K-band, it can reduce detections to K-band sources like automotive systems that still operate on K-band but do so outside the margins of genuine police radar.

The Pro M provides a host of interesting sensitivity modes including individual changes to each band for driving around town as well as speed sensitive sensitivity. This makes the Radenso Pro M a very good detector for combined highway and city driving.

Where the Radenso Pro M falls short, however, is its ability to detect X-band and police laser detections are well below those of other detectors at this price point. Radenso clearly has made it their priority to focus on the radar bands that will most likely be encountered. X-band is seen in Ohio and New Jersey and on a limited basis in North Carolina, but not many other states use X-band any more, so for many drivers, this won’t present much of an issue.

Radenso stands by their products offering a full two year warranty on their detectors compared to the typical 12-month warranties of other manufacturers.

Radenso Pro M Pros:

  • Exceptional sensitivity to a K and Ka-band police radar bands, particularly 34.7 Ghz
  • Excellent filtering of K-band collision avoidance systems
  • Built-in GPS and photo enforcement database
  • K-band sweep can be narrowed to focus more on genuine K-band police radar
  • Ability to detector MRCD/MRCT
  • Many filtering options
  • Large display (for its size)
  • Very small package
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home
  • Exceptional two-year warranty
  • Manufacturer is engaged with its customers
  • The one other detector that can also alert to FMCW ticketing systems with its K-band filters enabled.

Radenso Pro M Cons:

  • Display difficult to read in bright lighting conditions
  • Below average sensitivity to X-band and police laser at this price point
  • No rear laser sensor
  • Photo enforcement database not as robust as either the Escort or Uniden models

Radenso Pro M Review Summary:

Competition is a good thing and this new kid on the block is offering some compelling detectors with some new models on the way. While very popular with some in the enthusiast community, overall performance is not as well rounded as other detectors at this price point however for those seeking exceptional performance on K and K-band especially in such a small package, coupled with the ability to detect international radar bands, FMCW radar like MultaRadar and Traffistar, the Radenso Pro M stands alone.

Recommended place to buy:

 

Uniden DFR8 & Uniden DFR9

Uniden DFR6 & Uniden DFR7 Radar Detectors

Uniden DFR8 & Uniden DFR9

While the new Uniden R1 and R3 detectors have been taking the industry by storm, the lesser priced Uniden DFR8 and Uniden DFR9 are also great values.

Not as sensitive as their DSP cousins, these two detectors still offer very good detection to police radar on K and Ka bands (particularly 34.7Ghz Ka).

They also offer exceptional filtering to K-band collision avoidance systems.

Uniden DFR8/Uniden DFR9 Pros:

  • Very good sensitivity to a police radar bands (K-band & 34.7 Ka-band)
  • Good detection to instant-on police radar
  • K and Ka Narrow modes
  • Exceptional filtering to K-band CAS/BSM systems
  • Very readable bright multi color OLED display
  • Can display frequencies of police radar
  • Easy programming menu
  • Improved design
  • Good price points

Uniden DFR8/Uniden DFR9 Cons:

  • X band sensitivity reduced relative to K and Ka
  • Laser detection could be improved
  • While its K-filter is very good at filtering K-band CAS systems, it causes the detectors to completely miss K-band FMCW radar sources (see Whistler section)

Uniden DFR8/Uniden DFR9 Review Summary:

This DFR8/DFR9 both are fine detectors for those not looking to spend a mint on a radar detector and represents Uniden’s mid-level models.

Recommended place to buy:

 

Escort X80

Escort Passport X80 Radar Detector

Escort Passport X80

The Escort X80 is Escort’s new “entry-level” detector which essentially replaces their legendary Passport 8500 X50. The X80 is a solid detector. It provides very good sensitivity to all police radar as well as good laser sensitivity. The X80 is built in similar theme to the Passport Max and Max II radar detectors, which candidly haven’t been my favorites in construction design. The X80 includes a dual clear suction cup mounting bracket, which I actually prefer to the larger and more intrusive “sticky cup” designs that are appearing on Escort’s other detector.

Like the Escort iX and Escort Redline EX, the X80 can also be Ka-band segmented, but the performance gains are harder to notice in my opinion because the sheer sensitivity of this detector are not quite a the levels of the new iX or certainly the EX. Still, it’s a welcomed feature.

Unlike the short-lived Escort Passport X70 which did not include Bluetooth, the Escort X80 includes Bluetooth and does not requiring Escort’s SmartCord Live cord to give it the ability to interface with Escort Live! which also provides alerts to redlight and speed camera photo enforcement locations.

Escort X80 Pros:

  • Good sensitivity to a police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-bands)
  • Good detection of police laser
  • Good detection to instant-on police radar
  • Can be Ka-band segmented for improved performance
  • Integrated Bluetooth
  • Can display frequencies of police radar
  • Sleek detector
  • Reasonable price point

Escort X80 Cons:

  • Multi-color OLED display difficult to read in bright lighting conditions
  • Overly long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer detected
  • Doesn’t have the latest signal rejection technology to filter out K-band collision avoidance systems
  • Detection performance has the potential to be compromised during times of filtering out K-band CAS systems
  • Apparent construction quality not as high as other detectors from Escort

Escort X80 Review Summary:

This Escort X80 is a fine detector for those not looking to spend a lot and represents Escort’s entry level model. The X80 makes a good detector for those looking for an Escort branded model.

Recommended place to buy:

Conclusion

While this list is no means a complete list of detectors available, it is comprised of what I consider the stand-outs in the dash-mount category. Other honorable mentions include the Adaptiv TPX Pro (for motorcycles) and the Escort Solo S4 which is a battery-operated cordless detector.

To be clear, there is no “bad” detector in my rankings and the fact of the matter is that most detectors today are much better than they were even just five years ago. As speed enforcement technology has improved and there are so many more competitive options available to the consumer, detectors designs have improved substantially across the board.

I have driven with all of these detectors at one point or another and at speeds that would make most drivers blush. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. It really comes down to priorities, budget, and the areas you drive.

The Whistler CR97 is the best overall detector available for the money

If this is going to be your first detector or you want the most bang for your buck, I would suggest seriously considering the Whistler CR97. These are great all-around detectors that will provide terrific detection range, minimized false alerts, and the unique ability to alert to FMCW photo enforcement systems that are increasing in use throughout the states.  The fact that its only $249 makes it a winner in my book.  The Uniden R3 remains my top pick (even though there have been some quality control issues at times) for those seeking the very highest in detection performance and have the resources to afford one.  The EX is the one for those living in Virginia and for commercial truck drivers.

Please support this website and these ad-free reviews by using the links provided to make you make your purchasing decision. I ask that you support the vendors that support us, those that give the most back to this community and help enable me to conduct my unbiased reviews.

Thanks for reading and remember to drive safely, but most most importantly, protected!

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