A radar detector sits quietly on your dashboard, using its instruments to provide information not just about radar signals, but about many different road and traffic conditions. They’re valuable auto tech devices for many kinds of drives, but when the time comes to actually buy one, many people don’t know what they’re looking for…which is why we’re here to break it down for you.
Radar detectors sense not only radar lasers and frequencies, but also traffic lights, road conditions, and even driver behavior, depending on the model. The more advanced versions come with iPhone apps and are equipped with GPS for an even more comprehensive look at road around you. Notable features for top models include the ability to filter out false positives, an alert if it looks like you’re getting sleepy, real time traffic updates, and of course detailed maps and information on radar hotspots and detection.
When looking at what to buy, focus on the readout screen and any associated apps or car accessories, because this is how your information is relayed, and you want it to be clearly legible while you are driving. You should also look at the radar detection quality – radar signals function on a number of different bands, and a good detector will search for all types of radar in use on the streets at a handy range. After that, the extra features are largely about personal choice. Truckers may enjoy the many add-ons, but they may not be necessary for the average driver. Let’s take a look at a couple strong candidates for our best radar detector list.
Escort is one of the top names in radar detection and has several very powerful lines of devices. The Max360 easily proves itself as one of the best radar detectors on the market, including some of the latest algorithms for detecting radar signals as well as an installation process that anyone can complete. The detector is compatible with smartphones, and is so accurate that Escort is willing to pay off your first ticket if you still get one with escort. The price, at $650, may sound steep, but it’s far from the priciest model on our list.
Escort Passport 9500ix
This radar detector provides full protection by monitoring the X, K and Ka bands for any activity, as well as traditional laser monitoring. It even has a network of camera locations, updated by the community, which it can use to identify when you are on film. The readout screen is pretty tiny, but the price, at $350, is very competitive.