Introduction To Radar Detectors – Be Safe, Not Sorry
Let’s face it; speed detectors are all over the place nowadays. The only way to redress the balance in the police and driver playing field is to purchase a radar detector. While it might seem like a considerable investment, you’ll actually save money in the long-run by avoiding speed traps (which as you know, can cost you several hundreds of dollars). To help you purchase the right detector, we compiled a comprehensive buying guide.
What Is a Radar Detector?
A radar detector is a device a driver can fit into their car to alert them of the presence of radar gun used by police to monitor speed. Using a detector can assist drivers to avoid speeding tickets.
Things To Consider:
Most of the radar detectors combine ergonomic design and other premium features such as GPS, smartphone integration, and Bluetooth compatibility. However, here are a few standard considerations to keep in mind when searching for one:
Type of detector– Detectors are available in three types; cordless, corded, and remote mounted. Cordless detectors are easier to install and can be transported from one vehicle to another. It is best for owners with more than one car. Corded detectors are usually fitted on the windshield using suction cups. They provide the best range of radar gun detection. Remote-mount detectors are fitted permanently to your vehicle. They provide clean installation that’s virtually unnoticeable by thieves.
City modes– this reduces sensitivity or range so that you can receive fewer false alerts from similar objects to radar guns, such as automated door openers. This feature is helpful for those in urban areas.
Laser detection– a radar detector with a single laser sensor can only detect laser beams in front of your car, but not off to the sides or behind your car. A 360-degree laser sensor has two sensors to help you look for laser beams behind you and to the sides. Models with a 360-degree laser detection are more reliable, but a bit costly.
Digital voice alerts– a voice alert notifies you what your detector has picked up and thus you don’t have to take your eyes off the road ahead to look at the detector’s display.
False alerts– all radar detectors will give you false alerts, which will come from non-speed detectors that are on the same frequency as the detector you are using. The last thing you want is to keep posing because of frequent false alerts. To prevent this, purchase a detector that has a GPS as it will be able to “remember” these false alert locations, so they don’t keep recurring.
Warning System– radar detectors will notify you of a nearby speed detection device through different methods. For instance, some radar detectors may indicate whether the signal is coming from the rear or front of your car and tell you how strong the signal is.
Comparison Chart Between The Best Radar Detectors Available Today
1. Beltronics PRO200 Radar / Laser Detector Review
The BEL Pro is one of the top rated radar detectors on the market at the moment thanks to its ergonomic design and a host of features. It is an upgrade from Beltronics Pro 200. Its housing is made of a unique matte-black material that has a soft touch. The rubber-like finish gives the BEL Pro 200 an upscale hardware besides making it resistant to generating reflections on the windshield. Its high-visibility LED display is more readable even in difficult lighting conditions than most of the competitor LCD displays. You can control the display brightness of its LCD in four modes; dark to full bright mode; the former displays a tiny, dim icon to help you confirm operating mode. It is stealthy for low-profile operations, especially at night.
The 3.55mm audio output allows BEL Pro 200 to be linked to an earphone, external speaker, or helmet headset. This allows even motorcycle riders on a budget to carry a detector.
Primary modes are AutoScan, City, and Highways (longest radar-warning range, maximum sensitivity). The former lets the microprocessor sample nearby environment and self-regulate sensitivity; an upscale feature that is rarely available in most of the radar detectors on the market. The City modes have three modes; standard-which leaves X-band sensitivity unchanged, NoX- which disables X-band entirely, and LoX- which lowers sensitivity of the detector to resist false signals better from automatic door openers.
It has GPS which enables it to limit false alarms. For us, this is the best radar detectors for motorists on a budget.
2. Escort RedLine Radar Detector Review
First, it’s worth mentioning that no radar detector is 100% effective. Nevertheless, the Escort RedLine scores highly in many areas. It saves you from hefty fines charged when you are caught flouting speed limits. It not only provide alerts, but also provides separate warnings and alerts for KA, K, and X bands. Its dual antennae design gives you the longest warning time making it possible to adjust your speed before you are flagged down by the police with a radar gun.
It is renowned for its superior detection besides being undetectable thus making law enforcement officers wonder how you came to know about their presence. It has an auto-mute and easy to use mute feature. The ultra-bright display makes it impossible to ignore the text alerts from the presence of radar gun in your vicinity that come your way. Its safety radar notifies you of any maintenance or any construction work taking place on the roads ahead.
Many users have praised Escort RedLine for its top-notch performance and solid construction. Even though this detector doesn’t come cheap, its performance and longevity will justify every dollar you’ve paid for it.
3. Valentine One Radar Detector Review
This radar detector offers 360 degrees protection from all speed and laser guns. It is renowned for providing excellent band detection capabilities for various laser bands. Drivers rank it very highly. The placement and location of the antennas make it deliver accurate information.
The Valentine One radar detector gives accurate information on the direction the laser beams signals are coming from. Its improved interface coupled with a power cord has made this detector a great solution for drivers nowadays. Its laser reception and detection is unmatched. It has no problem detecting multiple targets all at a go.
It notifies you when you are approaching, passing, or already passed a speed camera. Its dark finish and cables ensure that it blends in perfectly with your car dashboard. However, avoid packing your car in direct sunlight for a long time as it will heat up the detector. You can remove the detector when packing your car and reattach it when driving off.
4. Escort Passport 9500IX Radar/Laser Detector Review (Black)
This detector issues crystal clear voice alerts. The high-resolution display ensures that you can read vividly all the alerts and warnings irrespective of whether it’s extremely bright or dark. The Escort Passport 9500IX has an AutoLearn intelligence that is accompanied by several selectable preferences. It also has a safety warning system that informs you about an on-going maintenance or construction works on the roads within the city or on the highways.
It comes with a coiled SmartCord, reference card, comprehensive manual, and windshield mount that releases quickly. It has an internal filter for false alerts based on GPS system. Its mark location feature allows Escort Passport 9500IX to inform you about speed cameras, red light cameras, and speed traps among other information that you need to know to avoid being issued with speeding tickets.
It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee; you can request a refund if the detector didn’t appeal to you. It is one of the most sensitive and highest rated radar detectors on the market. The display gets darker at night so that law enforcement officer can’t see you are using radar detectors.
5. Escort Max 360 Radar Detector Review
The detector front and rear antennas can scan all directions in a short time. The antennas placement makes detecting new threats more accurate and faster than its competitors. It is renowned for unmatched detection and precision. It comes with a mute button, travel case, SmartCord, and alert lamp among other features.
Its manufacturers raised the bar by including a directional indication to this device. The newest version of Escort Max 360 offers extreme range, pinpoint precision, and direction alert display. You can rely on the information that this detector gives you. It has a GPS mechanism that rejects false alerts thus saving you from unnecessary warnings that will make you waste time hiding from non-existent speed cameras and law enforcement officers.
Besides, it is easy to use, and its plug and play capabilities are admirable. Its DSP performs remarkably well in scanning the surrounding environment quickly to enable you to adjust speed before you are caught. The Escort Max 360 detector is worth every dollar you spend on it.
The above radar detectors that we found after comparing the prices, detection performance, and customer reviews. We hope that you’ll find a radar detector that suits your needs and budget on this list.
Before winding up, there are several factors that interfere with the range covered by a detector. We thought it would benefit you to know the factors affecting covering range so that you can make the necessary adjustments.
According to a car and driver study, a significant reduction in detection range occurs when your windshield has metallic film embedded or when commercially tint films are applied. Radar detection range is affected by metallic film solar-barrier treatment applied on windshields. These treatments are mostly found in Ford products that have instaclear windscreens, GM products with Everclear and PPG windshields, and also in some premium imports. In these vehicles, detection capability can reduce by about 95%.
Laser detection is affected by glass, making it lose its sensitivity by close to 80 percent. It is also affected by tint films. Tint films with a metallic layer can reduce radar detection ability by about 37 percent.