Radar detectors have become quite popular over the last few years. Some drivers try to use them to beat the system while others use them to avoid costly speed traps and speeding tickets on long trips.
Here at tadesite.com, we frown upon the use of Radar Detectors as a license to drive at very high speeds, rather it should be used to ensure safer driving and to prevent having to shell out huge sums for speed tickets.
Newer speed detectors now use LIDAR (Pulsed Laser Light) to measure speed and are undetected by traditional Radar Detectors, they can only be detected by LIDAR detectors or devices with a combination of Radar and LIDAR detection capabilities.
What is a Radar Detector?
Radar detectors are electronic devices used by car drivers to check whether law enforcement officals such as Traffic Police are monitoring their vehicle speed with the use of a police radar gun. The aim of most radar detectors is to inform the driver to reduce his or her vehicle’s speed to avoid speeding tickets.
How Do Radar Detectors Work?
Radar detectors work using a principle in Physics called “Doppler Effect” which is when a wave has a frequency change within it relative to another source. Police Radar Guns emit pulses of radar which bounces off the surrounding areas, the pulses are then reflected back to the police radar gun by moving objects.
Doppler effect is perfectly seen when a police siren sounds lower when far away from you, gets louder when closer to you and recedes as it moves away from you. The police radar guns measure the relative speed of vehicles using the Doppler effect.
The radar detector in turn detects radar frequencies and hence if a law enforcement official uses a radar gun to measure your speed, your radar detector will sense the police radar gun using a superheterodyne receiver and alert you.
Due to the fact that some other electronic devices use radar, radar detectors may give users false alerts, devices such as automatic door openers and speed signs have the same effect as a police radar gun. Therefore a good radar detector has to be able to differentiate between police radar detectors and others.
Some radar detectors also have GPS technology inbuilt to enable users store locations popular for speed monitoring, the detectors will usually sound an alarm whenever users are close to such locations. It also helps users store locations of false alerts to ignore them next time.
Popular Radar Detector Brands
These are the most popular radar detector brands in 2019.
Cobra Radar Detectors
This brand of radar detectors are manufactured by Cobra Electronics Corporation and are very affordable but have limited features. Popular Cobra Radar Detectors include Cobra SPX 7800 BT, Cobra XRS 9370 and Cobra DSP 9200 BT.
Escort Radar Detectors
Escort Radar Detectors are one of the most popular radar detectors and are some of the only radar detectors with in-built GPS capability. They are manufactured by Escort Inc.
Whistler Radar Detectors
Whistler Group is one of the biggest makers of radar detectors and are notable for making affordable radar detectors with premium features. Popular Whistler Radar Detectors include Whistler CR68 Laser Radar Detector,Whistler CR73 Bilingual Laser Radar Detector and Whistler Pro-3700 Laser Radar Detector
Best Radar Detectors 2019
The best radar detectors are those which can detect radar, lasers. red light cameras, photo radar and speed cameras. Good radar detectors also need to have features to alert users to road hazards close to their locations, have minimal false alerts, have GPS tracking and should be pocket-friendly.
According to TopTenReviews.com, Lifewire.com and other aggregated reviews of Radar Detectors, the best radar detectors in 2019 are:
1. Whistler CR90 High Performance
Whistler CR90 High-Performance Radar Detector is well recognized for its great performance. It is a model that brings a lot of excellent features to the table with a friendly price. This Radar detector helps you get detection across all bands of radar and it comes with built-in laser detection. The features of Whistler CR90 High-Performance Radar Detector are listed as follows:
- 360 Degree Detection Range
- Detection of All Bands of Radar
- Detects Lasers
- Price below $300
- Excellent Performance
- Detects both Laser as well as Radar
- Mid-Market Price tag
- Increased Rate of False Alerts
2. Cobra XRS9370 Performance
Cobra XRS9370 Performance Radar Detector is a cheap device that will give you outstanding performance. This device is small making it easy to mount on windscreen and dash without obstructing anyone. The Cobra XRS9370 Performance Radar Detector is calibrated to detect the entire standard wavelength used by the police. In addition, the device is also designed to detect every kind of laser speed detectors. The features of this product are given below:
- 360-degree Detection range
- Detection of Radar & Lasers
- Audio Alerts
- Product is affordable
- Relatively Effective
- Poor Laser Detection
3. Beltronics RX65
This is a great laser detection device that comes with a nice bright LED screen that is very easy to see especially when there is darkness. The Beltronics RX65 does not come with laser detection facility. This may not be considered as a huge loss because not all police forces the use of laser speed guns. The features of Beltronics RX65 are listed below:
- Ability to Scan all Radar Wavelengths
- AutoScan Increases Range
- Immunity against VG-2 Radar Detection
- Built-in Protection from Police Detection
- Lower End Price
- No laser detection
4. Uniden R3
This product comes with some outstanding features that justify its price. One of such functions is the built-in GPS. The built-in GPS updates the detector with known speed position making it to outperform other devices. In addition to the GPS features, the device is endowed with excellent radar sensitivity and a superb false alarm filter which combines to boost the performance of the device. The features of this device are as follows:
- 360 Degree Protection
- Extreme Radar Sensitivity
- Utilizes GPS
- Extreme Long Range
- Very Sensitive
- Utilizes GPS Technology
- It is costly
5. Escort Passport 9500LX
Escort is known for their best radar indicator in the market, the Escort Passport 9500LX Radar detector is not an exception. This detector is very sensitive; it gives 360-degree protection against laser speed guns as well as radar. This device is exceptional because of its ability to detect both the laser gun and radar with a high degree of sensitivity.
The availability of a built-in GPS system makes this device to stand tall among others. It utilizes a preloaded database with numerous camera locations. The device uses the GPS to communicate with other Escort detector users thereby creating a real-time map of camera and location of speed guns. It should e noted that the real-time map, as well as speed gun location, are constantly being updated via the GPS. The features of Escort Passport 9500LX Radar Detector are as follows:
- 360-Degree Protection Range
- Very High Long Range Sensitivity
- Utilizes GPS
- Extremely Long Range
- Detects Radar and Laser
- Auto Learn Functionalities that Connects you to Other Drivers
- The device is expensive
6. Whistler XTR-145
This model is very cheap as it cost a little below $50. The Whistler XTR-145 Laser/Radar Detector gives you the value that is more than its price. This device has a detection capability across all radar bands used by the cops. Also, the device provides 360-degree protection from laser and speed guns. Whistler XTR-145 Laser/Radar Detector makes use of the cloaking technology to protect itself and every other person from being detected.
The drawback of the Whistler XTR-145 Laser/Radar Detector is that it comes in a basic model without direction indication and patchy false alarm elimination. Its features are listed below:
- Detects all kinds of Radar Bands
- 360-Degree Protection
- Detection Cloaking Technology
- Very Cheap
- Lot of features for a Low Price
- No Direction Finding
- Very Basic Model
7. Valentine One
The Valentine one radar detector are externally mounted antenna. This is a unique radar detector is designed to provide unmatchable performance when it comes to the detection of laser speed guns and Radar. The Valentine One Radar has a sure guarantee against becoming outdated. It was designed in 1992 and its still remain relevant.
A great plus for this radar detector is that you can always send it back to the manufacturer for new software updates when required. The Valentine One Radar Detector does not come cheap but can be an excellent long-term investment that will keep serving you for years to come. Its features are as follows:
- Built-in Antennae
- Full Band Capability
- Full Laser Protection
- Powerful Antennae
- Rear and front Facing for 360 Degree Protection
8. Escort Max 360
This is a fantastic radar detector that takes everything from the well-known max line of detectors. It is a device that packs all features in one incredible small package. The display of this detector is very easy to read with a superb display of directional arrows to direct you away from any speed camera or lurking cops. Some of its features are as follows:
- Front and Rear built-in Antenna
- Swift Acting DSP Technology processes information quickly
- Simple Communication such as Direction Arrows
- It does everything perfectly.
- It is very expensive
Cheapest Radar Detectors
The cheapest radar detectors currently available in 2019 based on matching their features with their prices are:
Escort Passport 9500IX
Tips for Choosing a Good Radar Detector
Choosing the best radar detector for your need can be quite tricky so here are some tips to guide you to make the right decision.
Determine what exactly you want from your Radar Detector: If you require just basic police radar detection then you should go with an affordable low end detector because its detection features will be pretty much the same as high end radar detectors. But if you want special features such as Bluetooth, in-built GPS, false alarm detection and speed trap location detection, you need to buy the more expensive radar detectors.
Most high-end radar detectors have prices upwards of $500 while the more affordable low feature detectors have prices below $250.
Radar Detectors should not be confused with Radar Jammers which are illegal all over the country and may be punishable by fines up to $10,000 and/or up to one-year imprisonment.