Best radar detector reviews 2020: see the top radar detectors of the year.

Best radar detector reviews 2020: what are the top radar detectors?

What is the best radar detector 2020?

Best Radar Detector 2020 Reviews

Best Radar Detector 2020 Reviews, Ranked by Veil
Updated: 7-30-2020

Best Radar Detector Reviews 2020 Introduction

Despite COVID-19 and the subsequent  lock-down of our economy, the radar detector manufacturers continue to continue to crank out, ever better radar detectors.  Just in the first six months, drivers have been presented with two new appetizing radar detectors.  The first out of the chute for 2020, is the brand-new completely redesigned Valentine 1 radar detector, now called the V1 Gen 2 (for generation two).  And more recently, Escort pulled out all of the stops with their latest top-of-line radar detector called the Redline 360, claiming to be the best radar detector to ever grace a dashboard.

Several more radar detectors are on deck and should appear sometime later in 2020.  Radenso, a relative new comer, is upping their game, claiming they will have the most sophisticated radar detector ever produced, the first with a built-in operating system, like a computer.  Whistler, for its part, also has a higher performance radar detector in the pipeline.

I think what has been driving this innovation and quantum leap in performance is Uniden radar detectors.  Several years ago they dazzled us with their best performing radar detector yet, whose performance was unimaginable up to that time.  It really redefined what as was possible in a windshield-mount radar detector. Uniden then followed up last year with a dual antenna radar detector which upped the ante in radar detection performance even further.  I believed at the time the R7 has been the  best long-distance radar detector, in terms of sheer performance, ever produced.

The other radar detector manufacturers took notice, their sales suffered, so after a couple of years playing catch-up all other major detector manufacturers in the US will have viable alternatives to the two killer Uniden models, the R7 and R3 by the end of 2020.  How successful they’ll be will be determined over time, but I think it’s safe to say that 2020 and 2021 will end up being banner years for the consumer radar industry.  Given the substantial loss of income to so many Americans this year, the question is, will enough consumers be willing to pay the premium prices that these new radar detectors will command.

Like our previous best radar detector reviews, I also 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 radar detectors and we suggest every driver to consider using it. All of the best radar detectors are also laser detectors capable of detecting police laser, but some are better than others.

Please consider using these links below to my personally recommended sources. I recommend that you avoid sites like Amazon or sales affiliate review sites linking to them.  Such sites are often outdated, inaccurate, rank discontinued radar detectors, and tend to offer little useful information or information scraped from other review sites. Amazon doesn’t offer any meaningful product technical support and now nationwide state taxes make purchases on that marketplace even less favorable.

Radar detectors can be complicated to configure and use properly and if you are not familiar with them or with how police radar or laser traffic enforcement works, your experience may not be as good as it should be.  The specialized radar detector and countermeasure vendors recommended below are the most knowledgeable and supportive both before and after your purchase and are readily available for your support questions by phone and can help you properly configure your radar detector.

If you find our reviews and rankings helpful and you’ve decided on which radar detector will serve your needs, we would appreciate you making your purchase with the links where to purchase as we will receive a slight benefit on some of them which will help enable us to defray our out-of-pocket expenses for continued radar detector testing and our compilations of the best radar detectors.   In no way does this influence our radar detector rankings and as always we will continue to provide honest and unbiased opinions based solely on how these radar detector perform in the real-world, a review technique we actually pioneered in 2004.  We are the original real-world radar detector reviewer with 40 plus years of using radar detectors.  Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to what the radar detector manufacturers have in store for us next year, in 2021.

So, let’s take a look at the best radar detectors of 2020 ranked!

Best Radar Detector 2020 Rankings

  • #1 Best: Uniden R7
    Retail Price: $449
  • #2 Best: Valentine 1 Gen2
    Retail Price: $499
  • #3 Best: Escort Max 360c
    Retail Price: $649, associated iPhone/Android App is free for basic functions, but becomes $49/year for a premium version
  • #4 Best: Escort Max 3
    Retail Price: $399
  • #5 Best: Cobra DualPro 360
    Retail Price: $399
  • #6 Best: Uniden R3
    Retail Price: $299 for the R1, $399 for the R3
  • #7 Best: Escort Redline 360c
    Retail Price: $749, associated iPhone/Android App is free for basic functions
  • #8 Best: Escort iXc
    Retail Price: $449
  • #9 Best: Escort Redline EX
    Retail Price: $599
  • #10 Best: Radenso XP
    Retail Price: $249 for the XP
  • #11 Best: Valentine One
    Retail Price: $399 for the V1
  • #12 Best: Radenso Pro M
    Retail Price: $449
  • #13 Best: Whistler CR97
    Retail Price: $249 for the CR97, $199 for the CR95
  • #14 Best: Escort X80
    Retail Price: $299
  • #15 Best: Adaptiv TPX Pro
    Retail Price: $399

Summary review of the best radar detectors of 2020

#1 Best Radar Detector: Uniden R7

Uniden R7

Uniden R7 Radar Detector

The Uniden R7 remains our top pick for the best radar detector in 2020.

Without a doubt, Uniden took the industry by storm several  years ago and has run away with a significant share of the marketplace in very short order.  The directional R7 was the natural evolution of the incredible little wonder, the R3 and clearly bests its radar detection performance.

We found the Uniden R7 has detection performance even more sensitive than the Uniden R3 radar detectors, which means the R7 has some of the best radar detection range of windshield-mount radar detectors we’ve ever witnessed.

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 radar detectors available.  With continued improvements to its firmware and a big price drop (now only $449) we believe the R7 remains the best extreme radar detector produced to date.

Uniden R7 Pros:
  • More advanced digital signal processing (DSP) than the R1 and R3 detectors
  • Generally has the best radar sensitivity across all police 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
  • Best at MultaRadar detection
  • 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 lower price point
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 one of the very best detectors 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 radar 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 was the first stealth dual antenna radar detector available (it’s no longer) although it is not completely undetectable by Spectre RDDs.  If you are looking for one of the most sensitive and longest range dual antenna detectors capable of ferreting out the best radars and the most sophisticated used by police, look no further as the R7 continues to reign supreme.

Best place to buy:

 

#2 Best Radar Detector: Valentine 1 Gen2

Valentine 1 Gen 2 - V1 Gen2

Valentine 1 Gen2  Radar Locator

The V1 has been around since the early 1990s and Mike Valentine’s small cadre of highly dedicated engineers produced their one and only radar detector. The V1 was way ahead of its time when it was first introduced. Valentines 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 manufacturers of radar detectors have also incorporated arrows into several of the top offerings.  Truth be told, even though the original V1 was a fabulous radar detector and has remained one of my favorite reliable detectors, the V1 was getting long in the tooth.  Even Valentine’s website had been looking a bit dated in design.  One of the ironies in this industry was the fact that Escort had marketed their detectors stating how unnecessary it was for a radar detector to have both a front radar facing and rear facing radar antennas.  Since the Valentine patent expired, they began touting how important having situational radar detection capability was essential in the best Escort radar detectors they began manufacturing.

The last time I visited the founder of Valentine Research, Mike Valentine, we had a nice long talk about the state of the current radar detectors on the market, including Uniden, and it was clear to me that 1) Valentine took notice, just as the other radar detector manufacturers had done, and 2) I got the distinct feeling from Mike, that he wasn’t going to allow Uniden to dominate the high-end radar detector performance category for long.  While the R7 is indeed a beast (a redefining piece really), the quality of construction of materials is not, how should I say, up to the standards of either Valentine nor Escort and while it offers killer performance (and is still one I tend to pick on long trips), the long-term durability of the R7 hasn’t been established yet as there has not enough time has elapsed since its introduction to know for sure.

One this that is for sure is that Valentine radar detectors are built to the highest and exacting standards including using true magnesium housings.  We knew something was up at Valentine Research when the V1 went (and stayed) out of stock on their website for months. In fact, I was concerned that Mike was considering retirement altogether from the radar industry.  Fortunately for all of us, I was wrong and so what we have here is the new V1 Gen 2 radar locator.  The changes to the radar design were so significant that updates really could no longer apply to the continued 20 year evolution of the V1.  The new V1 doesn’t disappoint either.

In 2004, there was a specialty electronics company based in Australia that claimed to have made a modified V1 that they claimed made to V1 fully stealth and undetectable by radar detector detectors like the SPECTRE.  It was my understanding that Mike believed that it was not possible to do such a thing, due to the nature of the radar’s superheterodyne design.

Fast forward several years and Escort (actually Beltronics at the time) proved that it was indeed possible to do so.  Other manufacturers subsequently have also done so or have gotten sufficiently close to being entirely undetectable, including certain models from Radenso and Uniden.

Beltronics was also unique in offering LNA’s (low noise amplifiers) to significantly increase sensitivity as well.  Again, other manufacturers followed.

With the new Gen 2 V1, the engineers incorporated both features into their new radar detector meaning that the performance is now on par if not slightly better in some cases than with the Uniden R7 and the Redline 360c while also being effectively undetectable.

Valentine has eschewed using OLED displays instead continuing with the use of simple LEDs.  While OLEDs are nice, they tend to be hard to read in bright sunlight and such displays may fail prematurely.  Beyond radar detewction performance gains and undetectability, the new Gen 2 incoporates Bluetooth into the detector to allow it to pair with Valentine’s free smartphone application which can convey a wealth of information about your radar and laser encounters.

While Escort continues to price their new radar detector into the stratosphere, Valentine has held the line for two decades.  The V1 Gen2 is only modestly more than its predecessor, now at $499.  This puts the V1 Gen2 in the exclusive group of the very top performing radar detectors and will most surely continue to provide the comfort of sure footed performance that Valentine owners have long been accustomed to.

Valentine 1 (V1) Gen2 Pros:
  • Extreme sensitivity to all police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • The very best in sensitivity to police lasers
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radars
  • 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
  • Excellent filtering of collision avoidance systems (TMF/TMF2)
  • Very high level of construction quality both externally and internally
  • Reasonably priced
Valentine 1 (V1) Gen2 Cons:
  • Does not include GPS function to alert to photo enforcement locations (red light and speed cameras) and to quiet itself at slower speeds
  • More difficult to program without smartphone app
  • No frequency display of radar (without smartphone app)
  • Reports of front face plate attachment issues (problem being address by VR)
Valentine 1 (V1) Review Summary:

The V1 Gen2 re-establishes itself as one of the very best extreme radar detectors you can own today.

Best place to buy:

#3 Best Radar Detector: Escort Max 360c

Escort Max 360c

Escort Max 360c Radar Detector

I hadn’t driven with the Escort Max 360c radar detector 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 radar detector’s performs, not just with its high radar  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 radar 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 class-leading filtering.  However unlike the Uniden top dectectors, the filtering out of the K-band CAS radar makes this detector blinder to Multa Radarm giving Uniden the edge.

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 that bests the other Escort detectors
  • Good detection of police lasers
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radars
  • 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 alert to MultaRadar and Gatso what I consider the best radars and hardest to detect
  • Most configurable metering system yet available in a radar detector
  • 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 police radars (may be addressed in future firmware update)
Escort Max 360c Review Summary

Simply put, the Escort Max 360c is the one of best detectors overall.  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:

 

#4 Best Radar Detector: Escort Max 3

Escort Max 360c

Escort Max 3 Radar Detector

Despite the lock-downs this year, Escort has managed to crank out two new top performing detectors, this being one of them, the other being the Redline 360c.

The Escort Max 3 is the third in a series of the Max detector line and by far is the best.

We have never been a fan of the earlier Maxes, especially the exterior designs as we felt the cases never looked proper and cheapened their appearances.  The final detector with a similar design is the Escort X80.  With the new Max 3, however, Escort has returned to its roots designing a proper case.

In terms of radar detection performance, the new Max 3 is head and shoulders above any other of their single antenna models and is $50 cheaper than the Escort IXc, which we expect to ultimately see a price drop or be discontinued at some point.

Escort Max 3 Pros:
  • Extremely high level of sensitivity to a police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • Exceptional filtering of K-band collision avoidance systems that bests the other Escort detectors
  • Very good detection of police lasers
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radars
  • Doesn’t require band segmentation to extract high performance of Ka-band detection
  • 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
  • Bluetooth adds enhanced connectivity options
  • USB Smartcord
  • 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 3 Cons:
  • Multi-color OLED display can be hard to read at times in bright sunlight (but increases longevity of the display)
  • K-band alerting coupled with signal rejection needs some improvement (addressable in future firmware updates)
Escort Max 3 Review Summary

The Escort Max 3 is currently one of best Escort detectors overall and the top performing single antenna detector they offer.  It is the first of the Max series that I would consider using on a regular basis.

Best place to buy:

 

#5 Best Radar Detector: Cobra DualPro 360

Cobra DualPro 360

Cobra DualPro 360 Radar Detector

The new Cobra DualPro 360 is arguably the best dual-antenna 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, but no longer alone there since the Uniden R7 is now at the same price point.

Cobra DualPro 360 Pros:
  • Currently the best 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
Cobra DualPro 360 Cons:
  • Cobra brand not historically regarded as high-end, but so what, times have changed.

Best place to buy:

 

#6 Best Radar Detectors: Uniden R3/Uniden R1

Uniden R3 & R1

Uniden R1 & Uniden R3 Radar Detectors

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
  • Some of the best MultaRadar detection capabilities available
  • Individual radar 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 radar CAS systems, it causes the radar 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 radar detector for highway driving and the Uniden R3 is well-suited for both city and highway driving.  Both radar 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:

 

#7 Best Radar Detector: Escort Redline 360c

Escort Redline 360c

Escort Redline 360c Radar Detector

The Escort Redline 360c was a supposedly a radar detector that Escort could never build.  For years we’ve been told such a radar detector would be too large in size given the complexity of the hardware.  But things happen.  In this case it was Uniden and their R7 radar detector.  The game had been so substantially upped that Escort couldn’t sit on their laurels and so the impossible, became the possible.

What Escort has done here is combine the best radar platforms of the much revered Redline with the sophisticated bells and whistlers of the Max 360c.  Escort claims a 6dB increase in sensitivity to radar, which makes it possible that the Redline 360c can alert to a threat at twice the distance of the Max 360c.  This puts the radar detection performance of the Redline 360c squarely in the neighborhood of the Uniden R7 and the new Valentine 1 Gen2.

The challenge that Escort is going to have is with its price point.  At $749, its $100 more than what was formerly the most expensive radar detectors on the market.  In other words, if extreme radar sensitivity is something you desire, you can find it for considerably less money along with more sure footed performance.  Like the other Escort’s “digital radar detectors,” the 360c suffers from the same types of inconsistent performance found in other radar detectors like the Redline EX and once again appears to have released a radar detector before it was ready.

Like the original Max 360, the arrows are lethargic and don’t install the confidence of providing situational awareness like that from the Uniden R7 and Valentine 1.  Also like many other detectors from Escort of recent years, this radar detector has serious issues with its signal ramp-up as you approach a threat making it very hard to gauge the actual distance to the radar source.  It’s disappointing to see yet another flagship product from Escort act this way.  It makes me wonder who is designing these things and if they are every actually taken out on the road and field tested during development.

Like Escort’s other GPS radar detectors, the Redline 360c alerts very well to redlight and speed camera locations.  When configured optimally, the Redline 360c, like 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.   However it does come at a cost and that is its ability to alert to genuine certain MultaRadar frequency modulated sources of certain speed cameras.  We believe the Uniden R7 is the class leader in this regard.

The Redline 360c, like other Escort detectors comes standard with both WIFI and bluetooth connectivity two features that I don’t particularly use, but are available for those that will.  If Escort can work out its current issues with software updates, the 360c will then be placed higher on our ranking list.

 

Escort Redline 360c Pros:
  • Among the highest levels of sensitivity to a police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band) yet seen in a windshield-mount radar detector
  • Class leading filtering of K-band collision avoidance systems
  • Very good detection of police laser
  • Exceptional quickness and ability to detect instant-on police radars
  • Immunity from detection by SPECTRE radar detector detectors
  • 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
  • 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 Redline 360c Cons:
  • Multi-color OLED display can be hard to read at times in bright sunlight
  • Overly long trailing alerts which continue to sound even when radar or laser source is no longer present
  • Highest priced detector on the market
  • Inconsistent performance
  • Directional arrows are sluggish
  • Signal ramp-up is extremely poor
  • Similar (and more consistent) performance can be found for much less
Escort Redline 360c Review Summary

The Escort Redline 360c has the potential to be one of the most capable detectors ever made once its issues are worked out.  The big question is going to be, who will be willing to spend so much on a detector when there are other (better) compelling models (and will be more in the near future) that can be had for much less money.  The other concern I have is with Escort’s pricing strategy.  It is not uncommon to see Escort offer huge discounts on their detectors, as much as $150.  While the savings are welcomed when their sales are on, I feel bad for the ones that purchased their detector at full price only to find it heavily discounted later.  I wish Escort would just pick a price and stay with it so there is stability in the market and customers (and resellers) won’t get burned as they have been.  But, given that it’s unlikely anything is going to change anytime soon, you may want to wait for the sale that will most surely come.

Where to buy

 

#8 Best Radar Detector: Escort Escort iXc

Escort iX

Escort iXc Radar Detector

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)
  • Currently Cobra DualPro 360 is $50 less expensive than the iXc
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:

 

#9 Best Radar Detector: Escort Redline EX

Escort Redline EX

Escort Redline EX Radar Detector

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:

 

#10 Best Radar Detector: Radenso XP

Radenso XP

Radenso XP Radar Detector

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 as 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 is 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 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 Pros:
  • Best overall budget-priced detector for the money
  • Very good sensitivity to a police radar bands (K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band)
  • Incorporates high-end feature of an LNA in its reception circuitry
  • 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
  • Built-in GPS which allows for variable speed-sensitive sensitivity configuration
  • 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 by SPECTRE RDDs
  • New versions of these units now come with a power cord that includes a mute button
  • Price reduction makes it an incredible value for the money
Radenso XP 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
  • 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
Radenso XP Review Summary:

The Radenso XP is a very good detector for a blend of highway and city driving. The XP 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.  However the good news is Radenso lowered the price on the XP by a whopping $100 to $249!  This makes the Radenso XP currently the best value going by far!

Best place to buy:

#11 Best Radar Detector: Radenso Pro M

Radenso Pro M

Radenso Pro M Radar Detector

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 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 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
  • 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:

 

# 12 Best Radar Detectors: Whistler CR97 & Whistler CR95

Whistler CR97 & CR95

Whistler CR97 Radar Detector

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 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.  The CR97 has seen a recent price decrease of $50 which makes it the only good GPS detector under the $200 price point, which is compelling for those on tighter budgets.

Further reading:

Best place to buy:

 

#13 Best Radar Detector: Escort X80

Escort Passport X80

Escort Passport X80 Radar Detector

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 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
  • 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 detection sources are 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 Radenso XP is now at the $249 price point and one of the best radar detectors at any price.

If want the best GPS detector for the money, look no further than the Radenso XP, at $249 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 and we will report on them once we test them in the real-world.

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 one our top-rated models, the DP 360 can be had for $200 less than the similar (but more featured Escort 360c).

The Escort Redline 360c, Uniden R7, or the V1 Gen2 are the best radar detectors to get if you can afford it

While we found the Uniden R7 offers a little bit more radar 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.  If you encounter difficult to detect radar like Gatso, MultaRadar, or Redflex we recommend opting for the R7 over the 360c.  But 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 radar 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 $195 makes it a winner in my book in the under $200 price category.

The Redline EX or Redline 360c are 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 (radar detector detector).

Please support this website and this ad-free review 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 me conduct my unbiased tests.

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

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