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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
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. Escort Passport 9500ix
Radar detector users generally agree that the Escort Passport 9500ix is the best overall radar detector currently available. It can detect X, K and Ka Frequencies, Pop and Laser guns. It also offers top notch GPS service with a very good false alert detection. It allows you mark locations of speed traps, speed cameras and red light cameras.
It has a super clear voice alert system and a HD display, it can also pair with the “Escort Live” mobile app to download information on speed traps and traffic alerts. It is priced at $499.
2. Whistler CR90
Do you need a Radar Detector with top notch features at an affordable price, then you should get the Whistler CR90 Radar Detector as it is one of the cheapest for its capabilities. At just $280, it detects all the frequency bands used by traffic police, has in-built GPS with full dark mode, voice alert, red light and speed camera detection capabilities. It also has a very useful “Stay Alert” setting to help you stay alert during a long trip. It however lacks the traffic threats crowdsourcing and over speed limit alert systems.
3. Escort Passport Max 2
Another good radar detector is the Escort Passport Max 2 which is a high end radar detector with multi-colour display, better threat type recognition and connection to the Escort Live App via Bluetooth to get real time traffic threat detection from crowdsourced information via the internet.
It boasts of having one of the best listening ranges among radar detectors and is pre-loaded with major speed camera and red light spots all over the US. It has GPS, Over the Speed Limit detection and other features. It has a $300 price tag.
4. Escort Passport S55
5. Uniden R3
6. Cobra ESD7570
7. Valentine One
8. Max 360
9. Beltronics Magnum
10. Whistler CR93
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.