NOTE: These products are NOT “police” detectors, but police “radar” detectors. Sometimes police don’t turn on their radar or laser, so a radar detector will have nothing to alert to. Don’t panic when you see a police cruiser in front of you and no alerts.
Remember to read the radar detector reviews carefully.
Most commonly used police radar frequencies:K band 24.100-24.500gHz, KA band 33.8gHz, 34.7gHz, 35.5gHz
Top 5 Best Radar Detectors
Having a detector in your car, can be one of the most valuable tools that can help you drive. With thousands of speed traps, red light cameras, and police officers enforcing speed limits, it’s easy to get caught when you least expect.
A high-quality radar detector can often times give you an advanced warning when you’re approaching a speed capturing threat. From all radar detector reviews, we picked five of the best radar detectors to buy, they are:
Main Considerations From Our Radar Detector Reviews
Radar & Laser Detection
This is the bread and butter of any radar detector. Your satisfaction for any selected radar detector heavily relies on its ability to pick up police laser, and police radar (X, K & KA bands).
Looking at the included features can make or break your decision. Things like “false alert filtering”, “frequency segmentation”, and a few others, can drastically improve your overall experience.
Price plays the biggest role in this category of electronics. In almost all cases, you get what you pay for, thus high price, equals to great performance. We include great performing radar detectors in every price bracket.
Radar & Laser Detection
RedLines new twin antennae design introduces an all new level of radar performance, tuned specifically for each radar frequency.
With its name being shown in almost all corners of the radar detector community, its a proven fact, that the Escort RedLine has the best sensitivity to police radar. While its not a new radar detector, it has progressively gotten better and better with new updates, which include features that bump its performance up big time.
If there was one thing that you can compare this radar detector to, it’s to a silent samurai. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles a lot of other radar detectors have, but it does have dual antennas built-in to increase its ability to detector radar from sometimes miles away (yes, miles). Unlike 99% of all the other radar detectors, the Escort Redline is 100% undetectable to all modern “Radar Detector Detector” devices, such as all Spectre RDD units. Seems like this is going to be the best performing radar detector to buy for 2015 & 2016.
The Valentine One is an obvious contestant. Running for over 20 years and during that time, attracting a hoard of fans along with it. It’s all for good reason. What the V1 is really good at doing is being a great “all around” radar detector. It can detect Laser, X, K, and KA bands of all types that are used in 1st and 2nd world countries. The great thing about that is it gives you PLENTY of warning time upon the first alert.
With the included arrows, you’ll be able to tell from which direction the radar or laser signal is actually coming from. This was the only detector that had that option, up until the recent release of the Escort Max360. However, the V1 will probably be the king of arrows for a long time to come.
With a very recent entry into the radar detector industry, Uniden has made an impressive statement with their LRD series of radar detectors. Specifically, their higher end LRD950 has been able to show that it can detect X, K & KA band frequencies at impressive distances. Wither you encounter instant-on radar or constant-on radar signal, the LRD950 puts up a good fight.
To say the least, if you were to compare it to other radar detectors in terms of detection performance, you’d see it can match and sometimes outperform radar detectors that are 2-3x more in cost. The biggest bang for the buck you can get as of today. Again, performance is far above its class.
The Escort 9500ix has been out for quite some time now. Being built in the M4 platform, much like the Max2, it has been able to boast some impressive detection range. As long as you live in an area where radar detectors are allowed, you’ll be able to live comfortably with its detection against X, K & KA band frequencies. Although it has GPS built in, we will cover that in a bit. Laser detection is quite good actually, working especially good when counted right at the top of your windshield. If you can summarize it on one sentence, it would be this: “The 9500ix is more than a barebones radar detector, especially with the brains and filtering capabilities”.
The Escort Passport 8500 X50 came right before the 9500ix (mentioned above). As time goes by, it gets better in value for practically anybody. While it may be lacking some useful features, it doesn’t lack radar detection. Based on the same platform as the 9500ix, it can keep up with a radar detector that costs 2x more. Whether its X, K or KA bands, when you mount it high, expect to get impressive warning time. Just remember to mount it high, this usually ensures you’ll be able to catch a lot more radar and laser signal that may not hit you directly.
With years being in production, the Valentine One has some of today’s best false alert filtering. Requiring only the use of the YaV1 Android application.
Let’s talk about the RedLines features. As we mentioned above, its more of a bare-bones radar detector, right from the box. There is some KEY features this radar detector comes with, they are: TSR (Traffic Signal Rejection), RDR (Radar Detector Rejection), Multiple Sensitivity Levels, & Band Segmentation. In addition, this radar detector is completely undetectable to police RDD units, and some settings can allow it to be used in complete dark while allowing you to still get an audible notification. For GPS capabilities, you can pair it up with an Escort Line bluetooth unit. This allows you to experience all the features that the much more expenses Escort radar detectors have like GPS.
-NOTE- Thebest radar detector setting for the Escort RedLine, this will improve performance by a noticeable margin: Highway Mode ON + X-Band OFF + KA Band SuperWide OFF + Ka2 ON + Ka5 ON + Ka6 ON +Ka8 ON. Done. You now have the most sensitive setting for the Escort RedLine, and it true will show!
The Valentine One right from the box doesn’t come with many features. Much like the RedLine, its barebones and gives you exactly what is necessary. When you unbox this detector, you’ll notice it has multi-directional arrows. Those arrows like we mentioned earlier, will help you identify where the threat is coming from. In fact, the V1 does it best. Moreover, there’s very clear indicators for Laser, KA, K, and X bands.
With the little LED screen by the volume and power knob, it’s called the bogey counter. It will indicate various sequences which the detector will be in, including: A (All-Bogey), little L (Logic Mode), big L ( Advanced Logic), 1,2,3,4 etc (counter of how many threats detected), \\\ (laser warning), and J (which is false alert terminated). This radar detector has two true antennas, which allow t to accurately detect frequencies from the front and back.
Valentine One when paired up with YaV1 Android application, can enable top class false alert filtering. This is something that no other detector can match for now.
Coming in as a true value deal, the Uniden LRD950 is not only economical but also packed with useful features. Without a doubt, it looks sleek, but its whats under the hood, that really counts. The LRD950 comes with GPS built-in, enabling you to track the direction in which you’re traveling, read your live traveling speed, your current local time, and most importantly, ability to lock out false alerts on the spot. Though the downside with locking out false alerts, is you get only 100 lockouts before memory is full.
The white LCD display is crisp, and it compliments most vehicles nicely. When an alert becomes present, you’re able to get the actual frequency its picking up down to two decimals (three is ideal though). This last feature is something higher-end radar detectors have, and almost all lower end detectors, don’t. A low-noise (for radar) amplifier is built-in, being one of the reasons why the performance is high.
Being undoubtedly, one of the best-selling radar detectors Escort has ever made, its all for a reason. Its M4 platform enables it to have pretty dang good radar and laser detection. But what makes it a sweeter deal, are the included features. First and foremost, it has GPS built-in, enabling you to lock-out an infinite amount of false alert locations (also called TrueLock). Probably one of the best radar detectors we’ve reviewed that have such good GPS technology. You can see your live speed, get red light camera alerts, enable false alert filters, and select from various sensitivity modes. It gives you the ability to disable any alerts below a certain speed.
You can update it via USB, which comes very useful when the red light and speed trap database becomes dated.
One thing that makes this radar detector stand out from the 9500ix (mentioned above), is no GPS. With that being said, the price difference is quite significant. Based on the same platform as the 9500ix, the 8500 X50 radar detector has some useful features that improve its daily functionality. First one being the sensitivity option (Highway Mode & Auto). Highway mode removes any kind of false filleting, giving you all out performance. Auto mode enables some false filtering, making it best for in city driving. Again, no GPS integration but Escort Live can be hooked up. This is where GPS integration becomes possible.
Ease of use is obvious, with little to no setting up required. Just plug it in, and start driving. We recommend using Highway mode for the highest level of X, K & KA band sensitivity. While it false alerts a lot more, it’s worth living with when you get a few extra seconds of alert time.
Unidens top of the line radar detector, shows performance figures of radar detectors that are 2-3x as much (sometimes). GPS lockouts for under 200 dollars, make it a BIG value.
At the cost of around $409 (give or take at times), you’re getting serious protection power on your windshield. The newest radar detectors like the Max2, Max360, and even the GT7 don’t even come close in terms of performance. Why spend 100-250 more for less performance? It’s undetectable, barebones, and super sensitive when you set it up according to the ideal settings (mentioned above).
Mount it up high, by the rear-view mirror, to get better sensitivity.
The Valentine One isn’t a cheap radar detector, its actually the most expensive one in our list (most of the time). For around $450, you’re getting solid performance in ALL conditions, even in the city. What makes the V1 better than any of the radar detectors mentioned, is the resale value (assuming condition is good). It’s not unusual to purchase and sell the V1 for the same or higher price you got it for. Plus, keep in mind that the demand for the V1 is very high overseas (Europe, Asia, Australia etc..).
Without a doubt, the Uniden LRD950 like we mentioned above is a bang for the buck. It didn’t start as one at first. Being nearly $400 from its launch date, it has reduced in cost by more than 50%, which makes it a very desirable radar detector for lower budget tiers.
Usually, you can pick it up for around $168-$180. With performance comparable to the 9500ix and even the Passport Max2, you’re saving 200-300%. As for right now, the LRD950 is probably the best budget friendly radar detector for 2015 & 2016.
Being one of the best-selling radar detectors on the market, the Escort Passport 9500ix is definitely a popular model. Without being said, it has gradually dropped in price, making it quite affordable for anyone who can save some money up. As of December 2015, you can grab this radar detector online for anywhere between $315-$350. The performance of this radar detector will please almost everyone, and give a sense of security that is hard to come by.
When it comes to radar detectors that are dropping in price, but are great performers, the Escort Passport 8500 X50 is one to look at. Being the radar detector that has come right before the 9500ix, it can sometimes match and exceed the performance of the 9500ix. Truth be told, the only reason its dropping in price is because: its getting older, and new Escort models are constantly coming out.
For alow budget, you can grab this radar detector for under $200 in most places.
Best Bang For Your Buck
For anyone who asks, “what is the best radar detector for the money, while being a great performer”? We would of said the Passport 8500 X50, but very recently, the title has been handed to the Uniden LRD950. It performs better than the 8500 X50, has GPS, and now costs less.
As long as you live in an area where radar detectors are allowed, the Uniden LRD950 will serve you very well.
We’re going to drawn an overall conclusion to this these radar detector reviews, by getting down to two of the most important categories from radar detectors. First one is being, “What is the best radar detector on the market?”
Bar none, as we mentioned above, the Escort RedLine radar & laser detector has constantly prove its potency in the city, highway, mountains, plains and practically anywhere. It’s the most effective radar detector you can buy if you’re looking for all-out performance. When you do the settings right, you’ll get exceptional performance.
When you do the settings right, you’ll get exceptional performance.