Best Radar Detectors Review

Radar detectors have become a common sight in cars all across the world. The technology behind it is pretty complicated even though it has been around for more than 50 years. What these devices basically do is they use high-frequency waves to detect the different bands used by radars for speed detection.

Modern police cars are equipped with laser detection which is more effective. Placing those detectors on top of the dashboard without any object in front of it is the key to increasing its success rate. It is a great way to protect yourself and your family from accidents that can be caused by speeding cars.

There have been many questions regarding the way you should pick the best radar detector. We took some of those questions and turned them into guidelines used to help you purchase the right device. A decent radar/laser detector is not cheap. That is why we hope our insight will be enough to get you started.

Our Quick Recommendations

Here’s a quick look at our TOP picks for the best Radar Detectors on the market today or check out our full reviews below.


1. Cobra RAD 480i

The RAD 480i radar detector keeps you safe on the road. It features real-time speed trap alerts from the Cobra community and advanced tech for longer-range detection and accurate alerts. Also, you can get access to the nationwide database of red light and speed cameras.

With the iRadar App, you can see what lies ahead of you on your phone or tablet. And with long-range detection, you’ll know what’s coming before it gets there. It also comes with a next-gen updateable IVT Filter and advanced anti-falsing circuitry that intelligently reduces false alerts from blind spot systems and other vehicle avoidance systems.

The Cobra RAD 480i is equipped with a 12V vehicle power cord and suction cup car windshield mount so you can use it anywhere in your car or truck—even when you’re driving off-road!


2. Uniden DFR1 Long Range

This top-of-the-line radar detector has a huge range of detection capabilities that can detect police radar from up to one mile away. It comes with Uniden’s Eagle Eye Laser Detection technology that provides 360° protection against laser guns and radar guns.

It’s also equipped with an easy-to-read color icon display that shows you exactly what kind of signal you’re getting. If it’s a police laser, you’ll see a red icon. If it’s just a regular radar gun, you’ll see a green one. And if it’s something else entirely—like an automatic door opener or even an ambulance—you’ll see a blue icon!

The Uniden DFR1 also has two different modes: city mode and highway mode. In city mode, this detector will alert you when there are multiple signals nearby so that it doesn’t get overwhelmed by all those signals at once by going off constantly. On the other hand, if you’re on the highway where there are no other cars around and there aren’t any other things producing any type of electromagnetic radiation nearby then this detector will work


3. Uniden R3 EXTREME LONG RANGE

The Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range Laser/Radar Detector is one of the most advanced radars and laser detectors on the market today. It features a built-in GPS that will automatically mute the detector when approaching a stored location and then resume alerting once you reach your destination.

It also comes equipped with an OLED multi-color display that lets you know how close you are from a threat without having to look down at a screen. It also has voice alerts that provide an extra layer of protection by telling you what type of threat is coming up on your path so that you can make a quick decision about whether or not it’s worth slowing down or speeding up.

The Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range Laser/Radar Detector also includes red light camera alerts as well as speed camera alerts so that you can be prepared for any violations that might get you into


4. Uniden R7 EXTREME LONG RANGE

The Uniden R7 is a top-of-the-line Radar Detector. It comes with built-in GPS so you are able to mark geographical points where you may typically encounter radar alerts.

You can also easily set alerts to notify you to speed zones, speed traps, construction zones, school zones and other traffic issues as you approach. Once you mark the points the R7 will announce “user mark ahead” as you near the saved GEO point.

The R7 voice notification lets the user know what type of radar it is detecting (speed, red light, etc.). Its dual-antenna allows the device to detect threats from all 4 directions, with voice alerts for the direction of the threat.


5. ESCORT MAX360 Laser Radar Detector

The MAX 360 provides full 360° awareness with a forward and rear-facing dual-antenna system. It can accurately detect all-around that indicates the direction of the incoming signal.

It comes equipped with true Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for the fastest response rate available—seeing further, quicker, and more accurately than ever before. And AutoLearn Technology consists of GPS intelligence, IVT filtering, and AutoSensitivity to eliminate false signals by learning your route and varying sensitivity with vehicle speed.

The MAX 360 has Bluetooth connectivity for instant access to the ESCORT driver community app on your mobile devices. You can get real-time and shared notifications on a traffic camera, speed trap, and speed limit alerts.


6. Uniden DFR7 Super Long Range Wide Band

The DFR7 is a top-of-the-line Radar Detector with a built-in GPS feature. It comes with wide band protection from all radar and laser guns with advanced false alert filtering.

With the DFR7, you can mark geographical points where you commonly encounter radar transmissions. These can be school zones, red-light cameras, and places where police frequently monitor traffic. You can mark these points so the detector will announce “User mark ahead” when you approach them. Among other announcements, the Voice Notification feature lets you know when you are approaching a radar and what type of radar it is (red light, speed, etc).

It also features preloaded red light and speed camera locations with free database and firmware updates ensuring your detector will never be out of date and an OLED display that is Easy-to-read, displays radar band frequency, numeric signal strength, max. Speed warning, and vehicle battery voltage for a more informed drive.


7. Escort MAX360C Laser Radar Detector

The ESCORT MAX 360c is the first radar and laser detector designed for the connected car. With built-in Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz only), the MAX 360c updates through the onboard Wi-Fi connection, alerting the driver to the latest ticket threats in real time.

Forward and rear-facing antennas pinpoint threats around your entire vehicle. Intuitive on-screen arrows display the direction of the threat relative to you. With IVT Filter, you can reduce false alerts from In-Vehicle Technology like collision avoidance systems and adaptive cruise control automatically.

This detector also has an Intelligent Speed Sensitivity that automatically adjusts sensitivity based on your speed to eliminate false alerts and maximize precision.


8. Whistler CR70 Laser Radar Detector

Whistler CR70 Laser-Radar Detector is designed to help eliminate false alerts from radar-based traffic flow sensors. It comes with Real Voice Alerts and Traffic Flow Signal Rejection and can detect Laser Atlanta Stealth mode, Laser Ally, and the new LTI Truspeed S.

The Whistler CR70 also features advanced POP Mode speed detection capabilities that respond to brief bursts of radar. The Real Voice Alerts provide verbal alerts for modes selected and bands received. It has X band, K band, SuperWideBand Ka, and Laser protection.

It offers 360-degree Maxx coverage to detect from the front, sides, and rear. There are 3 city modes/highway modes (City, City 1, and City 2) to reduce the annoyance of false alerts and a quiet mode to silence audio alerts. The Safety Warning System keeps the driver informed of highway safety where transmitters are located and Alert Priority displays the most important signal when more than one is detected.


9. Escort X80 Laser Radar Detector

The ESCORT X80 radar and laser detector offer a long-range detection range and provide early alerts against all radar bands including conventional and instant-on guns. This is high-performance laser sensors provide off-axis protection and maximum warning so you can react in time.

The device has a multicolor display that Identifies threats at a glance. Brilliant new graphics, intuitive icons, and user-selectable backlit colors to match your vehicle’s gauges. Its unique voice alerts provide clear communications and eliminate distractions so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Other features of this radar detector include False Alerts and sensor rejection technology to eliminate false alerts to keep you focused and secure and the ESCORT Live app can complement your favorite navigation apps to provide an extra level of driver awareness.


10. Escort Passport S55 Radar Detector

The Escort S55 police radar detector brings one of the most advanced high-performing radar detectors for cars to your travels, wherever they may take you. With all of the features the S55 brings to your car, this police scanner for cars comes ready to use out of the box. The Escort Passport S55 does come with Auto-Sensitivity mode and Travel Signal Rejection (TSR) which, working in tandem, can lessen false alarms.

However, you can also instantly customize it for your unique driving preferences, including Power On indication, Meter type, AutoMute, Brightness level, including full Dark Mode, Audio Tones, and selectable radar.

It can connect to Escort Live (Escort’s exclusive real-time ticket protection network), which keeps drivers aware of upcoming alerts reported by other users in the area and gives you access to local speed limit data for over-speed alerts, right out of the box.


Radar Detector Buying Guide

Radar and laser detectors are a great way to keep yourself safe while driving. They can help you avoid accidents and detect when drivers are following too closely or speeding. They also make it easier to catch drivers who illegally pass other cars in the fast lane, which is a serious safety concern.

Even though radar detectors are efficient, don’t expect them to work 100% of the time. There are several things that usually interfere with its performance so keep in mind a few things before you start doubting your investment.

First off consider the position of your radar detector. Also, remember that some devices have both front and rear coverage. These are the detectors you need. There is no knowing when a radar you’ve just passed is being pointed at you.

Secondly, look out for radar detectors that send out false alarms. The best ones have all sorts of software destined to remember certain locations and to also isolate signals which are not sent by actual radars or police lasers. We recommend the Escort RedLine Radar Detector when it comes to reducing false alarms.

How to Use a Radar Detector

How does radar work to detect the speed?

The radar releases radio waves at a specific frequency that has the same speed as that of light. These rays travel towards the car and hit it. At this point, they bounce back toward the radar.

If the targeted vehicle is in motion, then the waves that bounce back have a changed frequency. The car moving towards the police radar reflects back to the higher frequency waves.

On the other hand, when the car is moving away from the police cops, then the reflected rays would have the lowest frequency.

The police compare this difference with the initially emitted signal and determine the car’s direction and speed.

How does radar work to detect the distance?

The total time, that the rays take to hit the car and go back to be detected by the radar gives the distance. The difference between the emitted and received rays tells us about the speed of the vehicle.

One point to know,

Only those vehicles which are approaching the radar directly show a very accurate reading of speed. But car direction at an angle with the reference to the radar gives less accurate readings.

Now,

It’s time to have an insight into the working of a radar detector. It is easy to understand now because you have the key functioning of the radar.

How to use a radar detector?

We have told you before that radar emits radio waves of a certain frequency that hits the car in its path.

At this point, the actual game starts.

These rays, in the air, are detected by the detectors present in the car. And you get an alert, in the form of the voice of light, about the presence of radar before coming into the eyes of the police. And the driver readily lowers the car’s speed.

The more the range of the radio waves, the earlier the detector will give you an alert.

What is the strategy behind it?

You can consider three basic parts of a radar detector. These are:

  • Receiver
  • Processor
  • Detector

The receiver is in the form of antennas that are present on the front and rear sides of detectors. They receive the radio waves and transfer them to the processor. This part basically analyzes this signal and generates a response.

The response generated is caught by the detector and produces alerts in the form of sound or light, according to the internal setting.

Types of radar detectors

As stated earlier, radar emits signals of different frequencies. So the detector, you are using, should have a working range of these frequencies.

These frequencies are available in the form of bands. Each band has its own frequency. The detector can detect only those signals whose matching frequency band is available in the radar detectors.

Typically, radar uses the following frequency bands:

  • Ku band
  • Ka-band
  • K band
  • X band

The Ku-band frequency is the most uncommon one, which has a frequency value of 13.45 GHz.

Ka is not a single-frequency band. But it has multiple sub-bands in it. These sub-bands are Ka super wide bands, Ka wide band, and the Ka-band. Their frequency range is 34.2 to 35.2 GHz.

K-band uses the frequency range of 24.05 GHz to 24.25 GHz. This is the most common band used by the police radar.

Detect the signal from the 2 to 4 miles. This low-frequency X-band makes detection very easy. In addition to police radar, other devices also use this frequency band.

How do laser detectors work?

Let me tell you that laser radar uses light waves in place of radio waves to detect the speed of cars. These rays fall in the infrared region; hence, have a more wavelength than that of light.

Police use this type of radar because the light waves are not detected by the typical detectors used by most drivers. With the 905nm wavelength and 30 ns pulse, these rays went undetected in most cases.

In this situation, drivers prefer the laser detector or a detector with a dual function, i.e., laser and radio wave detection.

Disadvantages of the laser detector

From the same initial distance, the beam divergence from the laser radar is fairly less than the typical radar. Due to this reason, some rays went undetected by the radar. Police have to focus on the specific point to collect the reading. This is quite frustrating.

Advanced radar detectors

Due to the multiple uses of radar detectors, law administrators have banned their use of radar detectors.

To make it possible, the police have started to use RDDs (Radar Detector Detectors). This device picks the availability of a radar detector by the emitted oscillations from the device.

Companies have introduced advanced type of radar detectors on the market that suppresses these oscillations, which make the RDDs working impossible.

Final Verdict

It seems funny that here begins the hide-and-seek between the police and the drivers. I don’t know what would be the next strategy of the police and law enforcement. We can just wait and watch where would this game is going to end.

The winner will be law enforcement or the radar detector user. It will be decided by the time.

Radar detectors are amazing, but you should know how to use a radar detector. This will, of course, save you from frustration and let you drive in a very cool and worry-free mood.

We have written this post for you to save your time. If you have thoroughly understood our guide, then this is going to give you 100% favor.

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