Laser jammer reviews: best laser jammers 2020
Laser jammer reviews: what are tge best laser jammers of 2020?
Laser Jammer Reviews of TMG Alpha-15, AntiLaser Priority (ALP), Blinder HP-905 Compact, Escort ZR5/ZW5, Stinger Laser Defense
A lot has changed since the last laser jammer reviews article I wrote years ago. Ironically, the biggest and most significant changes facing laser jammers have come from the police laser gun manufacturers, not the laser jammer manufacturers themselves, and they have proven capable of giving the laser jammer manufacturers a run for their money. Police lasers have been appearing that are more difficult to jam as well as detect with some laser detectors / radar detectors.
To quickly summarize this review, the best laser jammers consist of the TMG Alpha-15, AntiLaser, Escort ZR5 / Escort ZW5, Blinder Xtreme, and the new and updated Stinger Laser Defense laser jamming system.
Legality of Use
While radar jammers have been outlawed for years nationally at the federal level, individual states, provinces, and other countries have recently begun outlawing laser jammers. Today, most of Canada’s provinces have outlawed the use of laser jammers as has a good number of European countries. Don’t even think about operating a laser jammer in China, U.K, or Australia.
Just recently a driver was imprisoned in England for being caught operating laser jammers and others face similar consequences. In Hong Kong, a driver that I personally knew, had his Mazda 6, that was outfitted with laser jammers, confiscated by the authorities not to have it returned. That cost him upwards of $30,000 in equivalent U.S. dollars. Similar instances have also been documented in Australia. These police departments don’t take kindly to being jammed, to say the least.
Fortunately, in the U.S., penalties are not quite that severe. Nonetheless, if you are thinking of purchasing a laser jammer, familiarize yourself with the laser jamming laws in the areas you routinely drive.
As of today the states that outlaw the use of laser jammers include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In Canada only the more western provinces allow the use of jammers: British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. All other provinces, watch out. Drive with laser jammers at your own risk.
If the banning of laser jammers wasn’t bad enough, a new police laser manufacturer appeared some years ago claiming that their new police lasers were going to be unjammable and for some time, certain irresponsible online forum members publicly taunted the developer. As it turned out, the company, called DragonEye, wasn’t fooling around. They started manufacturing guns that proved to be difficult for laser jammer companies to beat and they were marketed to police departments around the world interested in finally beating the laser jammer manufacturers at their own game.
Today, DragonEye Technology makes several guns that are quite inexpensive which use variable and random or “pseudo-random” pulse-rates, rendering all of the laser jammers that solely rely on conventional look-up table algorithms useless against them.
The irony of the whole thing was that the company that really promoted the notion of “jam-to-gun” performance, Laser Interceptor, has proven to not be able to keep up with DragonEye (formerly called Laser Ally).
The problem is, when a laser jammer can’t jam or even detect a police laser gun, instant-punch-though or IPT occurs at every distance, even very far away. It’s as if the driver has no laser jammer at all. That’s not a good situation for a driver that has spent more than $1600 on a four or five head system. (To learn more about these new police lasers, visit our FAQ page).
Not to be “one-upped,” other police laser manufacturers to stay competitive, such as LTI and Stalker, have also started manufacturing police lasers that are very hard to jam and many of these police lasers are being built to detect jam-attempts which alerts the officer to jammer usage. What that means is even if your laser jammer is effective at laser jamming, the officer will know this and will likely pull you over. If you are driving in a region where jammers are banned, big penalties, far exceeding the cost of a speeding ticket, may await you.
Unfortunately, despite promises to the contrary by the company, all of the legions of LI customers have been left with a jammer that has limited or no support. The individual behind Laser Interceptor U.S. essentially stopped supporting their products and instead began working with another manufacturer called Stinger which is currently in the process of entering the U.S. market with their $4000+ super-expensive radar detector and laser jammer combo.
One of the relatively new entrants into the marketplace (actually an old player) is AntiLaser and their product is the AntiLaser Priority. The ALP is one of the most effective laser jammers ever produced and has been very popular with the online community for years.
Since the pace of new firmware appearing is fast-and-furious from the police laser gun manufacturers, it is getting increasingly difficult for all the laser jammer companies to keep up with the changes. At least today, all of the viable jammers today can have their firmware updated and this includes the ALP. When a new police laser algorithm is discovered the jammer manufacturers are able to provide their existing customers an update.
This does require the owner of a jammer to routinely check for firmware updates or suffer the consequences. That being said, even firmware updates have their limitations. Some police lasers are requiring that the jammer manufacturers make substantial hardware improvements (ie; CPU changes) and that has proven very challenging to the manufacturers. Fortunately, ALP (as well as TMG) do an especially good job at keeping up with the changes. ALPs tend be more costly than others such as the ZR5 and TMG, but to many, their performance justifies the price differential. It remains a solid choice.
Blinder HP-905 Compact
Blinder is one of the oldest and longest running laser jammer manufacturer. Their older LED-based laser jammers, the Blinder X-treme series, have since given away to laser diode based systems, called the HP-905 Compact. Their laser jammer heads, like other diode-based laser jammers, are much smaller than Blinder’s earlier LED-based jammers. This allows the Blinder HP-905 laser jammer to be more discretely mounted and offers greater placement flexibility.
Blinder still retains the patent on laser jammers which utilize lookup table algorithms–where the known pulse-rates of police lasers are stored so that the interfering return pulses can effectively counter the fixed-pulse trains of the police laser guns they jam.
Over the years a large number of patent-infringing laser jammers have come and gone in our market, but after many years of willful patent infringements, many of these “knock-off” jammers have failed and Blinder has successfully either driven these products out of the market or has established royalties to be paid by the products that have been permitted to be sold in the U.S. market by Blinder. It was primarily because of the ugliness of the laser jammer industry that I refrained from writing about other laser jammers as I didn’t want to be seen as condoning the practice of patent infringement.
The Blinder HP-905 is long-in-the-tooth and needs an updating. We are told that we should expect a new and more capable Blinder jammer sometime later this year.
Escort ZR4 Laser Shifter
Escort’s ZR4 “laser shifter”–also LED-based–was quite popular as well and appeared as a stand-alone laser jammer or nicely integrated into the Escort Passport 9500ci remote mounted radar detectors. While the advantages to system integration with other Escort products were high and their retail price more attractive, Escort’s ZR4 laser jammers were not quite as effective as the newer laser jammers making their way onto the market at the time.
Historically, laser jammers have proven to be quite effective however, both the police laser manufactures and the traffic departments took notice. Neither of them took too kindly to being one-upped and so the latest police lasers are much more difficult to jam effectively. The older ZR4 has now been replaced by Escort’s new ZR5/ZW5 version as it’s considered dated.
Escort ZR5/ZW5 Laser Shifter
Based upon a next-generation Blinder platform, the Escort ZR5 is very capable and the model continues to improve with downloadable software updates. Escort also offers a wireless version of the ZR5 called the ZW5. Either model can be run independently or be integrated into certain Escort radar detector models. The Shifters also make their appearance on the super expensive and super capable Escort Max 360ci custom installed radar and laser system and they have demonstrated that they are up to the performance task.
One of the companies that settled with Blinder was a company called Laser Interceptor. Their product proved to be very successful over the years and had dominated the performance of the older LED-based laser jammers. The LI laser jammers were more refined in their operation and proved to be more effective at jamming a larger number of police lasers than the other laser jammers available at the time. However, LI hit a wall that they were not really ever able to scale and that was the ability to effectively jam the newer variable pulse police laser guns that have been more recently introduced and have since fallen out of favor.
The recently introducted TMG Alpha-15 is the newcomer to the laser jamming market and it has taken it by storm. TMG has proven that they are at least as capable as the ALP laser jammer and at significantly less cost, making them my pick of the list. In partnership with RadarBusters, we thoroughly tested the TMGs both used as a stand-alone and in combination with the Veil stealth coating and we came away very impressed. Since that time, TMG has further updated their jamming algorithms to make them even more effective against the most lethal variable pulse-rate police lasers, including the mighty Stalker RLR.
TMG is introducing a dedicated VPR head that improve jamming against these sorts of police laser even more which is going to make them even more effective.
Certain Third-Party Testing Results
It’s important to note as well, that a number of “independent” enthusiast testing groups have appeared over the years, but some of them have proven to have hidden agendas (such as the RALTEC testing group). This online testing group has marketed itself as a purely independent and non-biased testing group, but we learned during a 2014 laser jammer shootout that RadarBusters and Veil jointly sponsored that the members had a secret undisclosed relationship with one of the manufacturers that they were testing that was discovered after the even and when the results were posted by RadarBusters. We witnessed the group hiding specific weaknesses of a number of jammers from both us and the public by not reporting them and ceasing testing them against a number of guns that were “tearing up” some of the jammers.
Also, the tests they conduct are often very limited in scope; are created to favor the jammer; use targeting techniques that are not be representative of how a laser is actually operated in the field; focus on jamming performance of only the front of the vehicle; and tend to be on dead-flat road surfaces with straight-on shots all to ensure optimal conditions for them to perform. Even more alarming is that results of total jammer failure (ie; when a jammer is entirely ineffective against a particular police laser gun) are often left undocumented.
This happened repeatedly at a recent test conducted that’s been recently promoted (by a couple of retailers as being “authoritative”). As was noted on RadarBusters website’s published results:
During RALTEC’s testing they discovered an issue with the DragonEye…Because of this RALTEC requested that the results of the DragonEye be omitted from these results.
In another “test” conducted by yet another testing group, one of the manufacturer’s product that was tested and then later promoted turned out not to be representative of the models that were actually shipped to the consumer. The laser jammer heads were twin diode models, but the models that were ultimately sold were less capable “stripped-down” single-diode versions.
In yet even another supposed independent enthusiast “test” an older Blinder model was made to look bad (in videos) when their jamming heads were intentionally covered with shoe polish so that a vendor could promote an inferior knock-off that they were selling as being better. It wasn’t.
As a consequence, published test results from these supposed expert groups can be misleading, incomplete, or not entirely representative of performance in the real-world against real traffic enforcement. So take any testing or their conclusions and opinions by these forum-based groups with a grain of salt. As a consequence of calling some of these groups out, we have been targeted by some of these groups, but like our opinion of radar detectors, Veil has no financial connection to any of these jammer manufacturers.
You won’t see many tests demonstrating jammer performance from the rear and that’s because it’s very difficult to successfully jam from the rear of an automobile and also exceedingly difficult to jam police lasers that are used from an elevated position. In a number of states, like New Jersey, rear-targeting is routinely conducted and it’s not uncommon to encounter police laser traps being operated from overpasses in states like Delaware.
In either instance, drivers are especially vulnerable. Some online vendors oversell their capabilities and owners of these systems can be lulled into a false sense of security that is until they come across these sorts of speed traps.
The Golden Rule
The most important take away here is this: no single countermeasure is 100% effective.
With these facts in mind, the following jammers are currently the best performing:
Best Laser Jammers of 2020
- TMG Alpha-15
Costs: $629 – 2 Head (Dual), $699 – 3 Head (Triple), $1449 – 2 Head + VPR Head
- AntiLaser Priority
Costs: $750 – 2 Head (Dual), $1000 – 3 Head (Triple), $1250 – 4 Head (Quad), $1500 – 5 Head (Quint)
- Blinder HP-905 Compact
Costs: $600 – 2 Head (Dual), $750 – 3 Head (Triple), $900 4 Head (Quad)
- Escort ZR5/ZW5
Costs: $849 – 2 Head
- Stinger Laser Defense
Costs: $1100 – 1 Head
AntiLaser maintains that they are not patent infringing on Blinder’s IP because they are able to jam the Dragon Eye’s “random” pulse-rate guns. However, the “random” pulse-rate police laser guns from Dragon Eye (Laser Ally) may not be entirely “random.” Without going into the technical details, if this proves to be the case, Blinder may have a future claim against ALP,Stinger, and TMG and their dealers, however, I believe this to be unlikely at this time.
Stinger Laser Defense
We have now formally included Stinger’s Laser Defense jammer in the list because the product has improved since its first version appeared. The Stinger continues to have the smallest transponder heads of any manufacturer which enables it to be mounted in vehicles that would otherwise be difficult to install on. As their price point suggests, Stinger is targeted at very high-end vehicles.
The Stinger laser defense system is unique in that it can use fiber optics instead of conventional jammer heads. The installation possibilities are far greater with such a system.
Unlike the previous Stinger Laser HD system, the new system is available as a stand-alone system.
We consider the preferred choice to be that of the TMG A-15, Blinder HP-905, or the Escort ZR5/ZW5 used in combination with the Veil Stealth Coating.
Our recommended purchasing source is RadarBusters, the largest and most dedicated countermeasure company online:
Both Blinder and Escort have proven–for more than a decade–that they have the staying power and Veil has proven to be effective in improving jamming efficiency over that same period. In the instances where jammers fail to jam at all, Veil can fill in their performance gaps. In the instances where a jammer has punch-throughs that are far away, Veil can significantly reduce those distances.
RadarBusters sells bundles of the HP-905 and Veil which also include specific radar detectors at a combined discount.
Improving Jammer Performance even Further
Since no single countermeasure is infallible, we are believers in a defense-in-depth strategy.
It’s been demonstrated when Veil is paired with any jammer, jamming efficiency can improve significantly.
Furthermore, Veil has shown that it can help to equalize the performance of all jammers. This means that you can effectively spend less on a jammer and Veil in combination and get better results than relying solely on the performance of a (more-expensive) jammer itself.
Veil has also shown that it is possible to reduce the number of jamming heads required to be effective. For example, a three or four head system, may be reduced to only a two head system and still provide similar overall performance.
Considering that the cost of jammers can run anywhere from $500 to $2000, not including installation costs, retailing at less than a $100, Veil has proven to be the greatest value running in the laser countermeasure industry for more than a decade.
And, if you drive in a state where jammers are outlawed or you are not interested in spending that much on such a system, know that you do have an alternative solution, for a fraction of the cost, which can also help protect your privacy from invasive photo enforcement.
So, drive safely, but most most importantly, protected!