The best radar detectors help limit the number of fines for all speeding drivers. The radar detector will tell you if the police are using a radar gun to track the speed of your vehicle. The key to finding the perfect radar detector is to look for the ideal range, price and design.
The selection of the area should be the most important factor in the decision to buy a model or not. This part is necessary because it prepares you to slow down in the presence of substances. Don’t be surprised if you find a detector that detects up to 5 miles away! When it comes to design, try not to get too fixated on aesthetics and instead consider weight and size. As for the price, it will depend on the level of functionality your new device offers. If your budget is smaller, there are also plenty of options.
Radar detectors can be of great help to drivers, but before you start looking for one of the best radar detectors, check if they are illegal in your state.
Best Pack: Cobra RAD 250
If you want to avoid speeding fines while driving, you need a radar detector that works quickly, reliably and with a long range. The Cobra RAD 250’s powerful radar and laser sensor technology gives you that all-important peace of mind on the road. Quick search and alerts for police radar signals on typical X, K and Ki bands (and the Ku band used in Europe) as well as 360-degree laser signal coverage. It also warns if nearby police officers use the VG-2 or Specter radar detector (RDD) types in places where radar detectors are illegal (Virginia and Washington DC).
The light and compact RAD 250 is easy to handle and install. The suction cups allow you to attach it to the windshield and the long power cord connects to your car’s power source. It is also easy to use the device. Even without more advanced and flashy features like GPS or Bluetooth, it offers plenty of useful extras. The three brightness levels include a very bright setting. Alerts can be turned off automatically when you are standing still or moving slowly. The ability to switch from highway mode to city mode helps reduce false alarms in crowded areas, although users note that it can still be hypersensitive to false signals.
Best Stealth: Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range Radar Detector
The Uniden R3 is a functional radar detector that offers several features that make it the perfect companion for your car on long road trips or just around town. It offers 360-degree full-spectrum digital signal processing, theoretically eliminating blind spots (great for detecting even the most devious of stealth cruises). The built-in GPS function increases the detection of red light cameras, which many people fall for, even with simpler radar detectors.
They include the necessary K False and KA False filters, a feature that helps reduce noise interference from older car models (such as Cadillac). The latter feature is critical to eliminating false positive radar detections. Finally, there’s limited voice control so you don’t have to take your hands off the wheels, and there’s quiet operation too, so only those who know you’re using the radar detector are the ones you want to know.
Best Splurge: Escort Max360 Laser Radar Detector with GPS
Weighing in at 1.9 pounds and measuring 5.4 inches in length, the Max 360 is bigger than most of the detectors on this list, but with more features thanks to its large size. With similar functionality to the Passport Max2, the Max 360 adds screen enhancements such as directional alerts that tell you which direction the radar ping is coming from. Max 360 detects all frequencies currently used by law enforcement agencies: X, K, Ki, Ki-Pop and laser detection. The Max 360 has an “Auto” setting that increases the detection range based on vehicle speed (so you have longer range on highways and shorter range on suburban roads).
As the name suggests, the combination of GPS, Escort Live for crowdsourcing, and 360-degree security fills the Max 360 to the brim with functionality. Additional features include speed limit warning, backlight showing various radar detections and Bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone via Escort Live.
Best range: Escort iX
The intelligent, high-performance Escort iX offers one of the longest potential ranges of a radar detector on the X, K, KA and POP frequencies. Supported by its superior sensitivity, the maximum range is a real boost for drivers constantly on the move, especially on long stretches of motorway where advanced sensing can make a difference. Escort’s DSP technology and its improved laser sensors provide one of the first warnings of potential speed hazards or traps on the road.
Escort’s false threat detection, combined with GPS, automatically identifies and fixes false alerts for drivers. By synchronizing with the Escort Live community, iX users gain real-time ticket protection from photo surveillance, alert areas and real-time police alerts, thanks to huge numbers of users working behind the scenes to protect themselves from detection of threats, plus 10,000 radars and speed cameras. Throughout the United States.
The best with the screen: Escort MAX 360c
For those accustomed to visual gadgets, the Escort MAX 360c’s appearance is as impressive as its functionality. It not only detects X, K and Ka radar frequencies and laser signals with a coverage area of 360 degrees, but also uses directional arrows to quickly and accurately indicate where the signals are coming from. Together with the multi-colored OLED screen, they provide drivers with a lot of useful information.
Beyond what you see, the MAX 360c is not lacking. GPS allows you to mark known speedometers on your route and learns from false alarms to automatically block them in the future. This is in addition to a preloaded database of camera locations in North America that already filters collision avoidance, blind spot detectors and other in-vehicle (IVT) technologies that can trigger alarms.
It can use a Wi-Fi signal if your car has one or connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can then take advantage of the Escort Live app (which includes a free one-year premium membership) and real
Time crowdsourced alerts from the driver community. All of this advanced technology comes at a price, but there’s no denying the detection performance and connectivity of the MAX 360c.
Although missing the bells and whistles that are featured in some of our other popular menus. Our favorite radar detector is the Cobra RAD 250 (see on Amazon) for its durability, range and reliability. GPS and Bluetooth can be useful, but a device that starts up easily and works as advertised is a welcome improvement in quality of life.
What to look for in a radar detector?
The better the range of the radar detector, the more time you have to slow down. The range depends on the number, direction and quality of the antennas. Some of the best devices can give you a five mile signal range.
As mentioned above, in some states it is illegal to install a radar sensor on the windshield because it can affect the driver’s view. When comparing radar detector models, consider how you want to install yours. Also consider the size and weight of the detector, as a smaller car may require a smaller device.
What is the best place to place my radar detector?
Attaching the detector to the glare guard or installing it on the dashboard is often the best choice. Radar detectors work best when positioned high up with as few obstacles as possible.
Can I get a ticket to use the radar detector?
This depends on the jurisdiction of your state. For example, Virginia bans them entirely, while California and Minnesota allow them as long as they are not mounted inside the windshield. For more information on your country’s regulations regarding the use of radar detectors, see the AAA Digest of Motorcycle Laws.
Why did my radar detector not activate when I passed a police vehicle?
Radar detectors only warn you if a police vehicle is actively using radar. If the police vehicle is not using a radar gun or other detection method, the radar detector will not send you alerts.