The best Radar detector is a driver's best friend to determine if they're approaching a speed trap or their car is being scanned by a cop. They're fully legal in 40 of 50 states, and they can save you from an annoying traffic ticket.
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We've done the research to find the best radar detector products on the market. If you're looking for a road travel gadget that makes your trips around the country safer and less of a hassle, you'll want to check out our radar detector reviews below.
Rare to get a false reading, even in towns and cities
High sensitivity; good range of signal detection
Great product at a great price
Detects laser, radar, and vg-2 signals; catches signals from both front and rear, updateable system to reduce false alerts, updates via traffic flow monitoring devices and collision avoidance systems, digital voice alerts, and includes instant turn-on feature.
No way to shut off X and K bands and expect the occasional alert malfunctions.
Performance: This radar detector can pick up all radar signals—ka bands, K bands, and x bands, at all signal strengths—as well as vg-2 and lidar (laser gun) signals. It’s able to detect from both the front and rear of the car, and you’ll find it’s fairly reliable (though some users claim occasional malfunctions with the alert system).
The detector is “instant on-ready”, and it will activate instantly to detect radar and laser guns, as well as speed monitors. It’s quick, reliable, and a great product at a price just about anyone can afford.
Features: The device is designed to be updated to reduce false alerts. It can draw data not only from alerts it receives, but also from collision avoidance systems and traffic flow monitoring devices to ensure maximum accuracy.
The digital voice alerts (available in English and Spanish) will help you to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel while still warning you of cops. There’s also a built-in OLED display if you miss the alert.
Price: At just over $110, this is a great budget buy, one that will help you avoid speeding tickets and speed traps at a very affordable price.
Ideal for anyone who drives multiple cars and travels often
Up to 40 hours of battery power; great for use anywhere in the country
Easy to operate thanks to OLED screen and multiple control buttons
Battery-powered, good range of detection, reliable, compact, lightweight, fairly well-priced, compatible with city and highway driving, includes auto shut-off feature, good battery life, easy to monitor, and user-friendly.
Reduced capacity and range when on battery power.
Performance: For those who spend time traveling around but switch cars often, this radar detector is just what you need. While it can operate using a power cord, it's also designed to run on battery power. You get 30 to 40 hours of operation per pair of AA batteries. Thanks to its portable design, it's a device you can carry with you anywhere you travel.
It's compact and discreet, so it can be set up on your dashboard or windshield easily. It's easy to move from vehicle to vehicle and run immediately. No need to fiddle with power cords! Though it doesn't have the best range, it's reliable enough to take on any trip.
Features: The Escort Passport has SiRFstar IV GPS positioning buit in, so it will be able to "learn" where threats are for the future. It's not the most feature-rich device, but it does a good job of detecting radar bands and alerting you to hidden police cars. All in all, a decent option if you want something portable.
As an added bonus, the auto shut-off feature will help to conserve battery by turning off the radar detector if your car remains motionless for more than 25 minutes. It also comes pre-loaded with thousands of safety camera locations all over North America, including both fixed position and red light speed cameras.
Price: At $380, this is a slightly pricey radar dector, but well worth the cost. If you travel in rental cars often, this is the perfect device to bring with you on your trips!
The most sensitive, reliable radar detector on the market
Scan your surroundings for miles to be aware of any potential radar
Highly sensitive to any and all threats/radar systems
Detects all frequencies, highly sensitive to any and all radar systems, shows location of threats, displays radar/lidar band, scans for miles ahead, directional arrows make it easy to locate signals, durable, and features a sturdy metal housing.
May be too sensitive; triggered by automatic doors and car radar systems.
Performance: If you're looking for a radar detector that will pick up anything and everything, you'll love the V1! Some users complain that it's TOO sensitive, as it detects car radar systems, automatic sliding doors, and motion sensors. However, if you want to know of everything in your surroundings, this is the radar detector for you.
Not only does it detect all radar/lidar bands—including K, Ka, X, and Super Wideband Ka—but it will help you to locate the source's origin. The "bogey counter" will display the locations of all "threats" in the area, keeping you updated on everything happening around you. It delivers the fastest response time of any radar detector, and you'll be able to scan miles ahead of you to catch speed traps and hidden cops before they catch you.
The V1 is heavy, with a solid metal housing that makes it highly durable. The suction cup doesn't quite work effectively, so you may end up installing it on the dashboard instead of the windshield.
Features: The V1 is fairly low on features: it doesn't have convenient features like auto-mute or alternative settings. There's no way to turn down the sensitivity, so you may become easily frustrated with how many unimportant signals are picked up. However, if you're driving on the highway, you'll appreciate its excellent range and sensitivity to help you locate hidden cops and speed traps.
The multi-directional arrows let you know which direction the radar signal is coming from, and the screen will display what frequency is being detected.
Price: At just under $490, this is a fairly pricey radar detector. It's NOT intended to be used in the city, but it's an excellent device to have on the open road for cross-country/trans-state driving.
Alerts you to presence and direction of radar signals; highly reliable
Colorful OLED display makes operation a breeze
Detects all frequency bands and laser gun lights
Dual antennas, excellent range, highly accurate, reliable, real-time detection, offers the ability to manually lock out unwanted signals, multi-directional locating, and easily paired with the user-friendly Live app.
You must subscribe after 60 days for access to Defender database.
Performance: If you're looking for a reliable radar detector that will alert you of police monitoring well ahead of time, you'll want to give the Escort Max 360 a try. Thanks to its omni-directional scanning, it will let you know if you're being clocked from ahead, behind, or to either side. A directional arrow will pop up to alert you to the direction.
Escort offers the Live app, which allows you to control and monitor the radar detector via your smartphone. The app has a few design flaws, but it's mostly user-friendly and simple to use. Compatible with iOS and Android and connected via Bluetooth, the app makes it easy to keep an eye on your surroundings for hidden police cars or speed traps.
The pre-installed Defender Database alerts you ahead of time of any speed traps, cameras, or approaching red lights. You'll have to pay to continue the Defender database subscription after 60 days, but it's worth it to have continued access to this information in real time. With these alerts, you'll always be able to avoid speed traps.
Features: The dual antennas are highly effective at scanning in every direction, and the OLED screen will display the direction from which you are being scanned—not just ahead and behind, but to the right and left as well.
The Auto setting adjusts the sensitivity according to your vehicle's speed, and the Auto No X setting will block out X-band devices (garage openers, motion detectors, etc.). The Highway setting monitors the highway around you for any speed traps or radar scanners.
The radar detector can pick up all the typical police scanner frequency bands, including X, Ka, and K. It will even pick up the light used by laser guns. Thanks to the built-in GPS, you can always stay on top of traps or cops in your area no matter where you travel.
Price: At over $520, this is one of the pricier radar detectors on our list. The omni-directional scanning definitely makes it worth the cost, and you'll find it's the best radar detector to locate and identify threats.
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