Best radar detector review: top-rated radar detectors of 2020

Best radar detector reviews of the best radar detectors for 2020

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

Best Radar Detector 2019

Best Radar Detectors and Radar Detector Reviews of 2020
 

The best radar detectors have evolved more in the last several years than they did for the last several decades.  For much of this time there were effectively only two means of measured traffic enforcement in use, police radar and police laser.  In terms of police radar, there have been three radar bands to measure speed: X-band, K-band, Ka-band.  With police laser, it’s been infrared light at a wavelength of 904nm.  Since these remained the primary methods of measuring speed, radar detectors didn’t need much changing or updating.

Another reason for relatively minor changes were that there was a stable number of manufacturers–those being Cobra, Beltronics, Escort, Valentine, and Whistler.

Year over year improvements to radar detectors were mainly found in increased sensitivity (ie; the ability to detect radar at farther distances and laser at closer distances).

All of this has changed, however and there have been several new developments forcing rapid changes to radar detector designs:

The first development is the utilization of new traffic enforcement technologies, including photo enforcement, advanced new radar including MultaRadar and Redflex. The second development has been the widespread use of radar-base automotive collision avoidance systems.  The third development, has been the appearance of two new radar detector manufacturers, Radenso and Uniden.

Never has it been a more challenging time to drivers looking to avoid tickets, nor an exciting time for drivers using radar detectors. In these changing times, the radar detector industry has stepped up in earnest to provide new radar detectors which can provide answers to these new challenges.

[Updated:  November 2019]

Best Radar Detector Review Introduction

If you have been driving with an older radar detector (one that’s older than say three years), it’s definitely time to make the jump to one of the newer more sophisticated radar detectors that are now being manufactured and there are some real values out there to be had today (competition is a good thing).

Like our previous best radar detectors rankings, I’m provide quick summaries with each radar detector’s ranking.   Individual more in-depth radar detector reviews are linked to, to help you learn even more about the specifics and nuances of each radar detector.

Along with our best radar detector rankings, we make recommendations on where to purchase radar detectors. Veil doesn’t sell radar detectors, Veil manufacturers a companion product, a police laser and IR photo enforcement countermeasure that can be effectively used with them that we suggest every driver to consider.

 

Let’s take a look at the best radar detectors of 2020 ranked!

Best Radar Detectors of 2020

  • #1 Best: Escort Max 360c Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $649, associated iPhone/Android App is free for basic functions, but becomes $49/year for a premium version
  • #2 Best: Uniden R7 Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $599
  • #3 Best: Cobra DualPro 360
    Retail Price: $449
  • #4 Best: Uniden R3 & Uniden R1 Radar Detectors
    Retail Price: $299 for the R1, $399 for the R3 Radar Detector
  • #5 Best: Escort iXc Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $449
  • #6 Best: Escort Redline EX Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $599
  • #7 Best: Radenso XP & Radenso SP Radar Detectors
    Retail Price: $349 for the XP, $199 for the SP Radar Detector
  • #8 Best: Valentine One Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $399 for the V1
  • #9 Best: Radenso Pro M Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $449
  • #10 Best: Whistler CR97 & Whistler CR95 Radar Detectors
    Retail Price: $249 for the CR97, $199 for the CR95
  • #11 Best: Escort X80 Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $299
  • #12 Best: Adaptiv TPX Pro Radar Detector
    Retail Price: $399

Summary review of the best radar detectors of 2020

Escort Max 360c

Escort Max 360 Radar Detector

Escort Max 360c

I hadn’t driven with the Escort Max 360c for a long time, but at the encouragement of Escort I decided to take another good long look at this radar detector now that Escort has been able to tweak and make improvements on it since it was first introduced.

And I am glad I did, because I have simply been blown away by this detector’s performs, not just with its awesome sensitivity, but also its quickness, and quietness.  After driving nearly 5000 miles with it during the last two and a half months across a number of states, I’m convinced. Escort has never produced a better radar detector.  That’s a pretty big claim and one I truly believe.

Like Escort’s other GPS detectors, the Max 360c alerts very well to redlight and speed camera locations.  When configured optimally, the Max 360c can be scary quiet.  I believe no company is better at filtering out CAS systems than Escort is, it’s nothing short of exceptional.

Sure, the arrows are great for identifying where the threats are and its WIFI connectivity is potentially a useful thing, but purchase this radar detector for its extreme performance and its class-leading filtering.

Escort Max 360c Pros:

  • Extremely high level of sensitivity to a police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • Class leading filtering of K-band collision avoidance systems
  • Good detection of police laser
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radar
  • Directional arrows that can be configured to display different colors for easy radar band identification
  • Doesn’t require band segmentation to extract high performance of Ka-band detection
  • K-band segmenting can further cut down on potential falses from collision avoidance systems
  • Able to detect and alert to MultaRadar and Gatso when featured enabled
  • Most configurable metering system yet available
  • Can display actual frequencies of police radar (good for distinguishing real police radar from non-police radar)
  • Built-in GPS for variable speed-sensitive sensitivity and photo enforcement database
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated wirelessly
  • Bluetooth and WIFI add enhanced connectivity options
  • USB Smartcord now comes standard
  • Very high level of construction quality both internally and externally
  • Magnetic quick release mount makes for super quick removal and is rock solid and vibration free
  • Can easily mount alongside Escort’s new M1 dash camera

Escort Max 360c Cons:

  • Multi-color OLED display can be hard to read at times in bright sunlight (but increases longevity of the display)
  • Overly long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer present
  • K-band filtering can cause it to miss MRCT/MRCD ticketing sources (may be addressed in future firmware update)

Escort Max 360c Review Summary

Simply put, the Escort Max 360c is the best detector ever made.  While it has interesting (if yet unrealized) connectivity options, get the 360c for its incredible blend of extreme performance and superior filtering.  The ability to easily pair it with Escort’s great dash cam, the M1, makes it a winner in my book.

Further Reading:

Best place to buy:

 

Uniden R7

Uniden R7 Radar Detector

Uniden R7

We knew it was just a matter of time that Uniden was going to offer a dual antenna version of their extremely popular R3 radar detector and so they have.

We found the Uniden R7 has detection performance at least equal to the Uniden R3 detectors, which means the R7 is the king of radar detection range of windshield-mount detectors.

But the Uniden R7 is more than simply a directional R3.  MultaRadar detection has been improved; the processor is 50% more powerful to perform more advanced digital signal processing; and currently has the largest display or any of the detectors available.

Uniden R7 Pros:

  • More advanced digital signal processing (DSP) than the R1 and R3 detectors
  • Extreme radar sensitivity across all radar bands
  • Dual antenna, directional arrows
  • Easy to program/customize settings
  • GPS with red light camera alerts
  • Free GPS database updates
  • Updatable via USB connection to PC
  • Extremely “bright” multi-color and large OLED display
  • Auto-dimming based upon varying lighting conditions
  • 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
  • MultaRadar detection capability
  • Individual band sensitivity adjustment (unique to Uniden)
  • Notch filter to help reject certain blind-spot monitoring systems (of GM, Honda, and Acura)
  • Multiple threat display with directional arrows
  • Nearly SPECTRE RDD undetectable (but NOT undetectable, despite some claims to the contrary)
  • Single & dual suction cup brackets included (unique to Uniden)
  • Cigarette adapter with MUTE KEY and USB JACK
  • Audio alerts with direction, band, and frequency (only detector able to do this)
  • Quick arrow transitions when passing radar sources
  • Power connector located on the right side
  • Great price points for both models

Uniden R7 Cons:

  • Plastic case feels chintzy
  • Laser sensitivity still could use improvement
  • Bright displays can lead to premature failure and screen burn-in and still washes out in bright sunlight
  • No back-lit buttons (like on the R3 detectors)
  • Mute/DIM and Mark buttons in odd place (hidden and on the left side)
  • Rear antenna sensitivity may be a little too “hot” (pending a firmware update)
  • Arrows can jump around during an encounter

Uniden R7 Review Summary:

The Uniden R7 is a great detector for both high and city driving.  For those wanting similar performance of the R3 detectors but with directional information, the R7 is the natural choice.  We found the quality of the case material to be below what we would have expected on a $600 (the Escort 360c is much better in this regard), but the performance is undeniable.  The R7 is the only detector we found that can reliably alert to the difficult to detect MultaRadar without excessively falsing to it and it is one of the best at alerting to one of the most difficult to detect radar used by Redflex photo enforcement systems.  The R7 is the stealthiest dual antenna detector available, but it is not completely undetectable by Spectre RDDs.  If you are looking for the most sensitive and longest range dual antenna detector, look no further, the R7 reigns supreme.

Best place to buy:

 

Cobra DualPro 360

Cobra DualPro 360 Radar Detector

Cobra DualPro 360

The new Cobra DualPro 360 is arguably the best detector for the money, on the market and if getting the highest performance for the money is most appealing you need look no further.  The reason for this is simple. The Cobra DualPro 360 is based upon the same platform as Escort’s top-of-the-line Max 360c radar detector, our top-ranked radar detector that retails for $200 more

The Cobra DualPro 360 doesn’t have as many features as the Escort Max 360c but those missing features have no impact on detection performance and for that the DualPro 360 is $200 less. If price were a ranking factor, the new DualPro 360 would be right at the top.

Pros:

  • Currently the best radar detector available on the market for the money
  • Dual antenna and directional arrows
  • Extreme radar sensitivity
  • All-digital signal processing (DSP) for extreme long range radar detection performance
  • Exceptional at detecting instant-on police radar
  • Best anti-collision sensor rejection filtering in the industry
  • GPS enabled
  • Builtin Bluetooth for wireless pairing to your smartphone
  • Cobra iRadar ready
  • Firmware and Photo Enforcement database are both user upgradeable
  • Bi-Lingual Voice Alerts – English & Spanish

Cons:

  • Cobra brand not historically regarded as high-end, but so what?

Best place to buy:

 

Uniden R1/Uniden R3

Valentine 1 Radar Detector - V1

Uniden R1 & Uniden R3

Uniden’s recent re-entry into the radar detector industry several years ago has shaken the industry up big time. Both the Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 offer extreme performance. Both the Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 detectors offer advanced features like dedicated K-band filtering, K and Ka band narrow sweeps (to increase performance and minimize falsing), band selectable sensitivity, and MultaRadar detection.

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
  • MultaRadar detection capability
  • Individual band sensitivity adjustment (unique to Uniden)
  • Nearly SPECTRE RDD undetectable (but NOT undetectable, despite some claims 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 and screen burn-in

Uniden R1/Uniden R3 Review Summary:

The Uniden R1 is a great detector for highway driving and the Uniden R3 is well-suited for both city and highway driving.  Both detectors offer extreme performance for less cost than other manufacturers’ top models.  For those wanting direction arrows but with similar performance, the Uniden R7 is the natural alternative.  Historically, Uniden has had some quality control issues with defect rates higher than other manufacturers.

Further Reading:

Best place to buy:

 

Escort Escort iXc

Escort iX Radar Detector

Escort iXc

The new Escort iXc is Escort’s replacement to their now outgoing Escort iX.  The Escort iXc adds WIFI connectivity but the real showstopper though is its enhanced performance.  The revised M4 plus (M4+) platform adds three to four dBs in sensitivity over the original iX’s previous M4 platform. That can equate to a potential 70% increase in alerting range.

Performance is now close enough to Escort’s highest priced models that the Escort iXc is an exceptional all-around detector for combined highway and city driving for those not insisting on having arrows.

Quick GPS satellite connections and more accurate geopositioning happen as a result of an improved chipset. As with all GPS detectors from Escort, the iXc can alert to redlight and speed cameras with the use of its industry leading Defender database.

The Escort iXc can be segmented making it potentially more quick to alerting to instant-on Ka police radar and K-band segmented to reduce falsing from in vehicle collision avoidance systems.

The iXc also has improve sensitivity to police laser, a capability that I rate as very important.

One of the great features that the iXc offers is a quick-release magnetic 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 including the 360c and EX.

We found the iXc to be nearly undetectable to SPECTRE, a big surprise that even Escort wasn’t aware of when we share our test results.

Escort iXc Pros:

  • Exceptional sensitivity to a police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-bands)
  • M4+ platform give us a 3-4dB increase in sensitivity to the outgoing Escort iX
  • Very good detection of police laser
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detection instant-on police radar
  • Can be Ka-band segmented for improved performance
  • Can be K-band segmented for even quieter operation
  • Improved IVT (K-band rejection filtering) does a great job of filtering out these systems
  • Incorporates bluetooth with Escort Live! integration
  • Class-leading Defender/iRadar photo enforcement database
  • Can display actual frequencies of police radar (good for distinguishing real police radar from non-police radar)
  • Awesome quick-release magnetic mount
  • USB Smartcord comes standard
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home or wirelessly
  • High level of construction quality both externally and internally
  • WIFI capable
  • Nearly undetectable to SPECTRE
  • Compatible with Escort M1 dash cam

Escort iXc Cons:

  • Multi-color OLED display can be a little difficult to read in bright lighting conditions (but it extends the life of the OLED display)
  • Overly long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer present
  • K-band filtering can cause it to miss MRCT/MRCD ticketing sources (may be addressed in future firmware update)

Escort iXc Review Summary:

The new IXc adds WIFI connectivity to the outgoing Escort iX, however the star of the show isn’t WIFI, it’s the M4+ platform that adds some serious performance increases.  If you don’t want or need the arrows in an Escort branded radar detector, the iXc is the natural alternative for those seeking an exceptional detector that is suited to just about anything you can throw at it.

Best place to buy:

 

Escort Redline EX

Escort Redline EX Radar Detector

Escort Redline EX

The Redline EX sports GPS, bluetooth, IVT (CAS) filtering, and the ability to detect police radar used in Canada and other countries including MRCD, MRCT, Gatso, and Streika.  MRCT type systems are beginning to appear in limited areas of North America.  While these new capabilities are impressive, they are not implemented as well as they are on the Uniden R7.  Unlike the R7, enabling these features causes excessive falsing on the EX.

The Escort Redline EX incorporates two forward facing antennas (each tuned to specific frequencies). The Redline EX remains the only detector that is entirely undetectable to radar detector detectors, not just the SPECTRE Elite RDD but other models as well.  Other detectors may be very good, but they’re not perfect.  The Redline EX is.

While the EX is very sensitive, Escort’s all-digital Max 360c, performs equally (if not better).

The Redline EX is more of a specialty piece tailored to specific applications like protecting truckers or for use in regions where radar detectors are banned.

Escort Redline EX Pros:

  • Great sensitivity to all police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • Good detection of police laser (but perhaps not as good as the original Redline)
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radar (without TSR enabled)
  • Improved performance and filtering with their latest firmware
  • Can be segmented for improved Ka performance
  • Can be segmented to reduce K falsing
  • Ability to detect MRCD/MRCT/Gatso/Streika hard to detect radar
  • Improved OLED multi-color display and alert lamp
  • Backlit buttons that are easily viewable and reachable from your driver’s seat
  • 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 well suited for use in Virginia and by CDL holders
  • Very high levels of construction quality both externally and internally

Escort Redline EX Cons:

  • Very long trailing alerts which continue to sound even well after the radar or laser source is no longer present, reducing ability to identify instant-on police radar
  • Multi-color OLED display can be hard to read at times in bright sunlight (but increases longevity of the display)
  • Inconsistent performance
  • Often falses to MRCD/MRCT/Gatso from BSM systems when features enabled

Escort Redline EX Review Summary:

The Redline EX is a very fine detector, but I believe it’s more a specialized detector with capabilities and features that not everyone needs.

Further reading:

Best 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 very good units. While not providing the absolute sensitivity on some bands of its more expensive cousin the Radenso Pro M, they’re still quiet good and perform better on X-band and laser.

What’s even more impressive is that sensitivity to real police radar doesn’t seem to be impacted much 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 Radenso Pro M and can detect police laser from the rear and from greater angles than the Pro M. The new Radenso XP & Radenso SP can also be Ka-band segmented, similar to the Redline EX, which ensures the highest levels of Ka-band sensitivity and alerting quickness.

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 of genuine police radar during times of active false signal rejection
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radar
  • GPS equipped to permit manual lock-outs 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 updateable with the supplied USB cable (Radenso XP only)
  • Firmware can be easily updated at home
  • Can display actual frequencies of police radar (the Pro M only gives center frequencies)
  • Larger casing than the Pro M pays dividends in features and sound levels
  • Bright and readable display
  • Recent price drops greatly improves value of each detector
  • Nearly undetectable to SPECTRE
  • New versions of these units now come with a power cord that includes a mute button

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 Escort’s
  • Does not alert to MRCT/MRCD source with K-band filtering enabled
  • The XP’s GPS feature adds a hefty premium to the cost of the SP

Radenso XP/Radenso SP Review Summary:

The Radenso XP/SP is a very good 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 it’s very good at filtering K-band CAS systems, it causes the detectors to completely miss K-band FMCW ticketing sources which may be an issue if you drive in an area where such systems are used.  At $199 price point, the Radenso SP is the best detector at the $200 price point.

Best place to buy:

 

Valentine 1

Valentine 1 Radar Detector - V1

Valentine 1 (V1) Radar Locator

The V1 radar detector has been around since the early 1990s and Mike Valentine’s small cadre of highly dedicated engineers produced their first and only radar detector. The V1 was way ahead of its time when it was first introduced. Valentine’s radar detectors were the only ones that offered both a front and rear facing radar antennas and provided directional arrows that would point to the source of a radar or laser threat.  But a lot of time has elapsed since then and VR’s patent on their multi-arrow design has since expired and so other radar detector manufacturers have also incorporated arrows into several of their own top-end radar detectors.

While I have always loved the V1 radar detector, especially its performance with police laser, I must admit that this radar detector is getting long in the tooth and Valentine really hasn’t come up with any truly new innovation for some time.  With all of the newer traffic enforcement threats that have been appearing, the V1 is dated.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a wonderful and very capable radar detector, but even I must admit that there are other better radar detectors now available.

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 detect instant-on police radar, especially when “custom-swept”
  • Directional arrows for maximum situational awareness to all radar and laser threats from the front and from behind
  • A bogey counter to inform you of how many radar signals there are at any given moment and what radar band is the most important to be concerned with
  • Accurate and exceptional signal strength alerting for both approaching and receding radar sources
  • Good filtering of collision avoidance systems (TMF/TMF2)
  • Very high level of construction quality both externally and internally
  • Can be segmented (ie; custom swept) for improved Ka performance using the V1’s optional bluetooth module and smartphone app
  • Reasonably priced

Valentine 1 (V1) Cons:

  • Does not include GPS function to alert to photo enforcement locations (red light and speed cameras) and to quiet itself at slower speeds
  • Difficult to program without optional bluetooth module and smartphone app
  • X-band and K-band alert tones can sometimes be difficult to discern
  • No auto-muting options
  • No frequency display of 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, can miss some K-band FMCW ticketing sources

Valentine 1 (V1) Review Summary:

Valentine refrains from glitzy marketing terms and dubious “features,” but in today’s increasingly complex RF environment and with the threat of speed cameras its utility is being diminished. I still wouldn’t hesitate to take it on long cross-country trips, but I wouldn’t consider using it primarily around town or on crowded highways as there are other radar detectors better suited to such tasks.

Further Reading:

Best place to buy:

 

Radenso Pro M

Radenso Pro SE Radar Detector

Radenso Pro M

Radenso is a relative new player in the U.S. market and 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 M incorporates an LNA (low noise amplifier) to improve detection performance.

Its detection performance in both range and off-axis is in the realm of the original Escort Redline detector.  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 M provides some of the best in-class signal rejection of K-band automotive collision avoidance systems while still being able to detect instant-on K-band police radar as well as detecting frequency hopping/modulated MultaRadar Close Distance (MRCD) and MRCT.  Enabling MRCD/MRCT alerting does increase its falsing rate, however.

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 Radenso 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 sensitivity is well below those of other detectors at this price point. 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.  The Pro M is not as substantially built as other detectors at its price point.

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 is a manufacturer to continue to watch.

Radenso Pro M Pros:

  • Exceptional sensitivity to a K and Ka-band police radar bands, particularly 34.7 Ghz
  • Very good 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 detect MRCD/MRCT (at the expense of increased falsing)
  • Many filtering options
  • Large display (for its small size)
  • Smallest detector made
  • Firmware and photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home
  • Exceptional two-year warranty
  • Manufacturer is engaged with its customers

Radenso Pro M Cons:

  • Display can be 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 others
  • Increased K-band falsing to CAS systems when MRCT/MRCD detection is enabled
  • Some filtering options causes it to miss bonafide MRCD/MRCT sources.

Radenso Pro M Review Summary:

Competition is a good thing and this new kid on the block is offering some compelling products. While very popular with some in the enthusiast community, overall performance is not as well rounded as others at this price point.  However, for those seeking exceptional performance on Ka and K-band especially in tiny package, coupled with the ability to detect international radar bands the Radenso Pro M is a solid choice.

Best place to buy:

 

Whistler CR97 & Whistler CR95

Whistler CR97

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

Whistler has stated that both the CR97  and CR95 have up to a 6dB increase is sensitivity to Ka-band radar and up to 3dB in K-band.  X-band also sees a huge improvement.

Now more than ever, no other detector manufacturer offers as much value except perhaps the non-GPS version of the CR97, the Whistler CR95. The Whistler CR97 has a unique new feature (not found on the CR95) which 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 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 and CR95 along with other tricks to significantly improve performance over their previous models.

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 can be very helpful. Some Volvos and Infinitis use laser-based collision avoidance systems which transmit at very specific pulse rates. Whistler not only locks many of them out by based on the frequency pulse counts by default, but they allows you to permanently mute out others with different pulse rates that you may come across.

Like other Whistlers, the CR97 and CR95 are super quick at detecting instant-on radar and their alerting ramps are exceptional. Trailing alerts are also properly timed in duration.

Both the CR97 and CR95 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.  No other detector is so configurable out of the box.  You will probably have to experiment with these settings to tailor them to your particular liking, so reading the manual is a must.  For a more quiet operation, we recommend the following settings: XK FILTER 4, TFSR ON, FDSR OFF, KA FILTER 3.  Use these settings when driving in heavy traffic.  If you are on a more isolated highway you may want to use the following settings: XK FILTER 1, TFSR OFF, FDSR ON, KA FILTER 1.

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

Whistler CR97/CR95 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 center frequencies of police radar
  • Advanced FDSR ### feature informs driver that K-band FMCW ticketing systems such as TraffiStar SR391 speed-on-green photo enforcement (available on the CR97 only)
  • Verilight GPS photo enforcement database (available on CR97 only)
  • Firmware and/or photo enforcement database can easily be updated at home
  • Speed sensitive automuting makes detector a pleasure to drive around town (CR97 only)
  • Very readable OLED display
  • Includes USB cable for updating

Whistler CR97/CR95 Cons:

  • Can sometimes alert with Ka to FMCW K sources
  • Can require some programming work
  • Signal processing not as sophisticated as more expensive DSP (digital signal processing) models

Whistler CR97/CR95 Review Summary:

The most capable Whistlers yet which provide 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 these two offer some of the best values going today.

Further reading:

Best place to buy:

 

Escort X80

Escort Passport X80 Radar Detector

Escort Passport X80

The Escort X80 is Escort’s “entry-level” detector which essentially replaces their legendary Passport 8500 X50. The X80 is a good 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, which candidly haven’t been my favorites in appearance. The X80 includes a dual clear suction cup mounting bracket.

Like the Escort iXc and Escort Redline EX, the X80 can also be segmented, but the Ka 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 iXc nor the EX.  Use it more for filtering unnecessary signals.

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 Live2! so it can also provides alerts to redlight and speed camera photo enforcement locations when using the app.

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 segmented for improved Ka performance
  • Integrated bluetooth for mating with Escort Live2!
  • Can display actual frequencies of police radar (good for distinguishing real police radar from non-police radar)
  • Reasonably priced

Escort X80 Cons:

  • Multi-color OLED display difficult to read in bright lighting conditions (to extended display longevity)
  • Overly long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer present
  • Doesn’t have the latest signal rejection technology to filter out collision avoidance systems
  • Detection performance has the potential to be compromised during times of filtering out CAS systems
  • Apparent construction quality not as high as other models from Escort
  • The chassis design is not as compelling as the 360c, EX, or the iXc

Escort X80 Review Summary:

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

Best place to buy:

 

Conclusion

While this list is no means a complete list, it is comprised of what I consider the stand-outs in the dash-mount category.  The Adaptiv TPX Pro is specifically designed for motorcyclists, provides good performance, and has large buttons for riders who use gloves.

You may be wondering why we didn’t include Uniden products in this year’s rankings.  The reason is that that they have been experiencing quality control issues which have resulted in high return rates for some of their retailers and as such we can not recommend them at this time.

The Cobra DualPro 360 is the best radar detector for the money

The DualPro 360 is not your father’s Cobra.  Based upon the same platform of our top-rated radar detector, the DP 360 can be had for $200 less.

The Escort Max 360c or the Uniden R7 is the detector to get if you can afford it

While we found the Uniden R7 offers a little bit more sensitivity and is better in certain aspects, we feel the 360c is more well-rounded, refined, sturdier, and better overall (especially with the quality of materials used), but picking one over the other is going to come down to the specific capabilities each one offers.  Both the Escort Max 360c and Uniden R7 are my top choices when I go for a drive.  You really can’t go wrong with either model.

The Whistler CR97 is a good GPS detector for the money

If this is going to be your first detector or you want the most bang for your buck, I would suggest considering the Whistler CR97. These are great all-around detectors that will provide terrific detection range, minimized false alerts when properly configured for that kind of operation, and has the unique ability to alert to FMCW photo enforcement systems that are in use in some municipalities.  The fact that its only $249 makes it a winner in my book.

The Radenso SP is the best detector at the $200 price point

If you can do without GPS and don’t want to break the bank to get some great performance, look no further than the Radenso SP, at $199 it’s a steal.  At SEMA 2019, Radenso has announced some new technology they call RAI, which is promised to make their new detectors even more resistant to falsing.  We expect to see RAI sometime in February or March of 2020.

The Redline EX is for those needing true stealth operation

The EX is the one for those living in Virginia and for commercial truck drivers and remains the only detector truly undetectable by all versions of the SPECTRE RDD.

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