Best Radar Detector Reviews (2020)
Below is a list of today’s best performing, the best value, and truly undetectable radar detectors.
Only purchase one of the following detectors if you want TRUE peace of mind.
1,320 feet = 1/4 miles, 2,640 feet = 1/2 miles, 5,280 feet = 1 mile
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 things 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 it.
A high-quality radar detector can oftentimes give you an advanced warning when you’re approaching a speed capturing threat. Those alerts can help you avoid traffic tickets.
From all radar detector reviews, we picked five of the best radar detectors to buy, they are:
- Escort Passport 9500ix
- Valentine One
- Uniden LRD950
- Escort RedLine
- Escort Passport 8500 X50
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 great performance. We include great performing radar detectors in every price bracket.
Radar & Laser Detection
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.Buy on Amazon
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.Buy on Amazon
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”.Buy on Amazon
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.Buy on Amazon
Let’s talk about the RedLines features. As we mentioned above, it’s more of a barebones radar detector, right from the box. There are 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 the complete dark while allowing you to still get sound alerts. For GPS capabilities, you can pair it up with an Escort Line bluetooth unit. This allows you to experience all the features, like GPS, that the much more expenses Escort devices have.
-NOTE- The best radar detector setting for the Escort RedLine, that 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 will show!
The Valentine One right from the box doesn’t come with many features. Much like the RedLine, it’s 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 are 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 it to accurately detect frequencies from the front and back.
Valentine One when paired up with YaV1 Android application, can enable top class filtering of false alerts. 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 it’s what’s 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, allows you to reject false alerts on the spot. The downside of locking out false alerts is you get only 100 lockouts before the 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 it’s 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.
It’s not without a reason why it is one of the best-selling radar detectors Escort has ever made. 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 lockout an infinite amount of locations of false alerts (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 is 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. The first one is the sensitivity option (Highway Mode & Auto).
Highway mode removes any kind of false filleting, giving you all-out performance. The auto mode enables some false filtering, making it best for 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, depending on your speed, around a few extra seconds of alert time.
At the cost of around $409 (give or take at times), you’re getting serious protection power on your windshield. The newest devices 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, it’s actually the most expensive one on our list. 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.
Escort Passport 9500iX – Long Range, Fewer False Alerts, National Coverage, GPS Capable, Ticket Protection
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 2020, 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.
Escort Passport 8500 X50 Radar Detector – Extended Long Range, AutoMute, AutoSensitivity, Audible Alerts, Adjustable LED Display, Signal Strength Meter, Grey
When it comes to 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 it’s dropping in price is because it’s getting older, and new Escort models are constantly coming out.
For a low 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 have 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 they are allowed, this device will serve you very well. Uniden LRD950 is one of the best radar detectors available on the market.
Best Of The Best
We’re going to draw an overall conclusion to these radar detector reviews, by getting down to two of the most important categories from radar detectors. First one is, “What is the best radar detector on the market?”
Bar none, as we mentioned above, the Escort RedLine radar & laser detector has constantly proven 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.Buy on Amazon
FAQ and Guide to Buying the Best Radar Detector
There are hundreds of different radar detectors available on the market, which is why it might be difficult to know which one would suit your needs the best. Thankfully, in a second, you’ll learn about the most important features of radar detectors.
➡️ Why Choosing Right Sensitivity is Crucial?
If you are looking for a radar detector, its sensitivity should be one of the first features that you focus on. The radars that the police use to control speed use several different frequency bands. Those are called X, K, and Ka. There is also one called Ku, though it is not used by the police in the United States.
The first one of those, X, that has been used since 1965, operates on a 50 MHz channel with a 10.525 GHz frequency. It was more popular in the past, though the police in some states still use it. The radars that use this frequency band have wider beams and bigger antennas, but they perform worse in bad weather.
K bands use a 200 Mhz channel and transmit at 24.150 GHz. They are becoming more popular among the police. If the weather is bad, the detection range decreases. The police started using Ka frequency in 1983. The previous bands use a single channel, but it’s not a case with Ka. It can operate on multiple channels between 33.4 – 36 GHz. Their detection range decreases in bad weather.
Recently, more and more police radars started using it. One of the modes of radars that use this band allows police officers who control the speed of the drivers to hop between different frequencies to avoid being detected by radar detectors. Still, it is not commonly used, as the users often encounter technical problems.
In the 1990s, laser radars were also introduced. As it is a relatively new technology, some of the older radar detectors won’t be able to detect laser radars.
➡️ Why does range matter?
Even the worst available radar detectors on the market will give you enough time to adjust your speed. It doesn’t mean that the range is not important. The types of alerts vary – some of the detectors give a visual cue, the others will let your ears know that it’s time to slow down. You might not spot the sign instantly, and react right after your device has managed to detect danger.
A radar detector with a long range will give you a long time to react to the radar guns and speed cameras waiting ahead. This way, you’ll be able to relax.
➡️ What about filtering systems?
If your detector alerts you about speed cameras and radar guns, and gives you plenty of time to react, that’s great, but there might be another problem. It might detect not only the radar signal, but also other, non-important ones, like security alarms.
If you don’t want to live in a constant panic, you should make sure that your detector can differentiate between the speed-detecting devices and other, non-essential things.
That’s why a filtering system is one of the most important features of the best radar detector.
➡️ Types of alerts
Depending on the type of a police detector, you might be informed about the radar guns and speed traps in several ways. Most devices will emit a sound if they detect that you’ll be passing a speed control soon. This way, you won’t have to look at your device, and you’ll be able to focus on the road.
Unfortunately, loud music might make it harder for you to hear alerts. The majority of detectors will also have the option of informing you about speed traps through a visual cue. Such alerts might be useful if you enjoy listening to loud music on a radio, though they might make it harder for you to focus on the road.
➡️ What about the mount?
Usually, a detector is mounted on a windshield, though in certain states it is illegal. It’s best to check what are the local laws before you start your journey – otherwise, you could be unpleasantly surprised. If that’s the case, you have to think of another place where you could mount your device. Remember to make sure that it is firmly mounted. Otherwise, if you drive on rough terrain, it could fall off.
➡️ What are the other features that you should focus on?
Apart from the previously mentioned features, there are also other things that would make your life easier:
Devices with GPS are useful, as the locations where you can expect speed cameras and radar guns rarely change. A GPS would allow your device to access data about the location of past encounters with speed-measuring devices.
A detector that is compatible with a smartphone is even better. Why? There are numerous apps that store the data about the places where police controls usually happen. It would increase the accuracy of the alerts that you get.
Choosing a device that will help you avoid traffic tickets doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Sure, there are a number of features that you need to take into consideration, but hopefully, after reading this article, you won’t have any more problems.
And remember, that even if you receive the alerts about the speed control, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be careful on the road.
To help avoid theft from your vehicle, you need to a good quality window tint film. We created a guide just for you, view it by clicking on the search bar above.