Best Radar Detector for the Money

Best Radar Detector for the Money

As hard as we try not to, all of us end up going over the speed limit at least once as we drive. And nowadays, there are plenty of radar traps and speed cameras that can catch us and prevent us from driving faster than the road speed limits. Getting pulled over for speeding can cost a lot of money, with tickets, penalties, and your insurance premiums all part of the risk. Having a good radar detector can help to prevent that from happening, but it can be hard to know which is the best radar detector for the money when so many manufacturers make the same promising claims.

We did the research for you and compiled it all into this article, which lists and reviews ten models that all provide a great option for the best radar detector for the money. We also answer some common questions about radar detectors to help make your search a little easier.

Radar Detector FAQ

There are a lot of considerations that go into buying a good radar detector, so it’s important to be thoroughly informed about them before buying a product that may end up disappointing you.

1. What Is a Radar Detector?

A radar detector is a device mounted into the interior of a vehicle that is used to pick up signals from radar guns used by police to monitor the speed of drivers. All basic radar detectors can pick up X-band, K-band, and Ka-band frequencies, which are the most commonly used by the police.

2. Are Radar Detectors Legal?

All states have their own laws regarding radar detectors, so it is best to check the law in your local state and those of any state you will be driving through regarding detectors. However, they are currently only officially banned in Virginia and Washington DC. They are also banned for use in large trucks in the states of Illinois and New York. There is also a federal law against using them in any commercially owned vehicle.

Never try to drive with a radar detector if it is prohibited. These can be detected by the police, and you could pay a fine larger than any speeding ticket and even go to jail if they catch you. It’s very important to make sure you are aware of state and federal laws surrounding radar detectors and follow them strictly.

3. What Are the Types of Radar Detectors?

All radars have the same basic makeup, but the main difference is in how they’re mounted to the car. They can be corded, cordless, and remote-mount detectors.

Corded detectors are typically the most powerful and are mounted on the windshield with suction cups. Cordless detectors provide excellent portability and an easy install for those who need to move them between vehicles. Remote-mount detectors are installed in the vehicle permanently.

4. What Features Do I Look For?

When trying to find the best radar for the money, you want to pay attention to the detection range, the radar bands, what laser frequencies it can detect, the type of mount, and the indicator display system. Some other great features are GPS, automatic functions like auto-sensitivity and auto-mute, false alarm filters, directional indicators, the warranty, and the cost.

How We Reviewed

To come up with this list, we researched the different brands and types of radar detectors, how they work, and their legal limitations. After that, we read numerous user reviews of each detector so we could get a balanced view of their advantages and disadvantages. Finally, we compared different models based on their features, pros and cons, price, where they can be bought, and their warranty. By comparing these five categories, we were able to choose the best radar detector for the money.

Overall Price Range

Radar detectors have a pretty wide range of prices, anywhere from around $50 to around $500. Some more expensive detectors may have longer detection ranges, 360-degree detection, direction indicators, voice alerts, laser detection, and more. We included great detectors at various price points so that you can find the best radar detector for the money without missing out on the features important to you.

What We Reviewed

  • Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range Radar Laser Detector
  • ESCORT MAX360 Laser Radar Detector
  • Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar
  • Beltronics RX65-Red Professional Series Radar Detector
  • Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector
  • Escort Passport S55 High Performance Pro Radar and Laser Detector
  • Radenso XP Radar Detector
  • Whistler CR90 High Performance Laser Radar Detector
  • Valentine One Radar Detector
  • Cobra RAD 450 Laser Radar Detector

Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range Radar Laser Detector

Features

If you’re wanting great features for a detector for a higher price, then the Uniden R3 may be the best radar detector for the money for you. This detector has built-in GPS with red light camera alerts, which updates the detector with known speed camera positions. It also has a 360-degree design for maximum protection and can be set to auto-mute for a quiet ride.

This long-range detector offers high sensitivity with low rates of false alarms thanks to the K and KA false filters. It also has a low battery indicator on the OLED display and an auto-shutoff feature when the battery is low. It comes with a single suction cup bracket, a double suction cup bracket, a cigarette adapter with a USB jack and a mute key, and a carrying case.

Pros

  • Long-range detection
  • High sensitivity
  • Built-in GPS
  • 360-degree protection
  • Low false alarm rate
  • Good accessories

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Gets very hot

Warranty

This detector is covered by a one-year warranty.

ESCORT MAX360 Laser Radar Detector

Features

The ESCORT MAX360 offers great features, such as the anti-falsing technology and 360-degree protection provided by the GPS, dual antennas, and memorization of exact frequencies of former false alerts. It can be operated hands-free thanks to voice warnings, with alerts tailored to fit your movement and location. It comes with a SmartCord, sticky cup mount, and travel case.

You can use the ESCORT LIVE app with your smartphone to receive tailored police threat warnings and stay ahead of threats thanks to the database with thousands of pre-loaded locations. You can also add your own locations and create your own database. You can also keep up-to-date with threat locations and software updates by connecting to your computer via the USB port.

Pros

  • Long-range detection
  • Highly sensitive
  • 360-degree protection
  • ESCORT LIVE app
  • Tailored threats with database
  • Simple communication using directional arrows

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • A bit bulky

Warranty

This detector comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar

Features

The Cobra XRS9370 provides a much cheaper option for the best radar detector for the money while still providing great features like the super-fast sweep circuitry for extra detection range and advanced warning. It features Pop Mode to detect the latest radar gun pop and City/Highway modes to reduce the frequency of false detection in densely populated city areas.

It can detect all 14 radar and laser bands and display them on the screen via the UltraBright data display. The VG-2 and Spectre alert lets you know when you are under the surveillance of a VG2 device or Spectre I and IV radar detectors.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Superfast sweep circuitry
  • Different modes
  • Wide detection range
  • VG-2 and Spectre alert

Cons

  • No directional indicator
  • Poor laser detection

Warranty

This detector is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

Beltronics RX65-Red Professional Series Radar Detector

Feature

The Beltronics RX65 provides great features for a very low price, making it a great choice if you’re seeking to get the best radar detector for the money. It has X, K, KA, and safety warning system radar capability with digital signal processing and AutoScan processing to increase range and greatly decrease false alerts. All alerts and bands are displayed on the bright LED screen.

You can customize up to seven options for your driving style, and it also features mute and auto-mute technology on the included SmartPlug power cord to silence the digital voice alerts quickly. It is immune to VG-2 radar detectors and it comes with a custom travel case.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Long-range detection
  • X, K, KA bands
  • Customizable
  • Mute/Automute technology
  • Digital voice alerts
  • VG-2 immunity
  • Travel case

Cons

  • No laser detection

Warranty

This detector is covered by a one-year limited warranty.

Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector

Features

The Escort Passport 8500X50 provides 360-degree, long-range X, K, and Ka band radar sensitivity as well as laser sensitivity with multiple laser sensor diodes and digital signal processing. The auto sensitivity mode automatically reduces false alarms by identifying real threats from other radar sources, and the Traffic Signal Rejection software makes it quiet to operate by rejecting interstate traffic sensors. It also features POP mode, three-meter modes for the ultra-bright matrix display, and mute and auto-mute capability. You can also choose three levels of brightness on the radar itself.

Pros

  • Radar and laser detection
  • X, K, KA band sensitivity
  • Long-range detection
  • Auto-sensitivity mode
  • Quiet to operate
  • Multiple different modes
  • Mute/-Automute capability
  • Fully customizable
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Increased false alarms within cities

Warranty

This detector comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Escort Passport S55 High Performance Pro Radar and Laser Detector

Features

Escort provides another great radar detector with the Passport S55, which provides long-range detection of K and KA radar bands as well as laser detection. The auto-sensitivity feature reduces false alarms and the radar also has auto-mute, Auto No X, and highway settings. It is also compatible with ESCORT Live, which is a ticket-protection network that gives audio and visual alerts of upcoming alerts reported by other users and provides access to local speed limit data for alerts when you’re over speed.

Pros

  • Long-range detection
  • Autosensitivity
  • Three different settings
  • Compatible with ESCORT Live

Cons

  • More false alarm when in cities
  • Responds to the sun as a laser

Warranty

This detector is covered by a one-year limited warranty.

Radenso XP Radar Detector

Features

If you’re looking for a detector with excellent features but only a mid-range price tag, the Radenso XP may be the best radar detector for you. It provides long-range detection with blind spot and traffic monitor filtering to prevent false alerts. Thanks to the innovative GPS Lockout technology, it can remember common false alerts along the routes you regularly drive to prevent duplicate false alerts; all you have to do to add an area is press and hold the button.

It also features auto-mute below the speed you set, automatic sensitivity adjustment, a speed camera database with free updates, and a built-in red light. It comes pre-mounted and set up so you can use it right out of the box.

Pros

  • Good detection range
  • Blindspot/traffic monitor filtering
  • GPS Lockout technology
  • Auto-mute and auto-sensitivity
  • Database with free updates
  • Easy to install
  • Reasonable price for the features

Cons

  • Not as long-range as other similarly priced models
  • Needs better instructions

Warranty

This detector is backed by a one-year warranty.

Whistler CR90 High Performance Laser Radar Detector

Features

The Whistler CR90 offers a surprising amount of features for the extremely low price tag, such as 360-degree coverage with both X, K, and KA-band radar detection as well as Laser Ally, Laser Atlanta Stealth mode, and LTI Truspeed S laser detection. It features POP mode, 6 filter modes, 3 city/highway modes, and traffic flow signal rejection to help prevent false alarms.

It also uses real voice alerts and a full-text OLED or color icon display with flashing LED lights for additional notification. For such a cheap price, this may be the best radar detector for the money for those with a tight budget.

Pros

  • 360-degrees of complete perimeter protection
  • POP mode
  • Great filtering modes and traffic flow signal rejection to reduce false alarms
  • Real voice alerts
  • Flashing LED lights provide additional notification
  • Customizable bands
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • May get more false positives without manually setting bands

Warranty

This detector is covered by a two-year limited warranty.

Valentine One Radar Detector

Features

The Valentine One is the only radar detector on the list that employs externally mounted antennae, with one facing forward and one facing backward for excellent 360-degree detection of X, K, and KA radar detection as well as detection of all types of lasers. This design also allows the detector to display the strength and band of the radar along with arrow directional indicators of where the signals were detected.

Pros

  • Externally mounted antennae
  • Superior rear detection
  • Detects all types of radars and lasers
  • Arrow directional indicators

Cons

  • Must be sent in to Valentine for software and hardware updates
  • Not all updates are free

Warranty

This detector comes with a one-year warranty.

Cobra RAD 450 Laser Radar Detector

Features

The Cobra RAD 450 is last but certainly not least in our search for the best radar detector for the money, with long-range detection and an IVT filter TM system to reduce false alerts. The high-quality OLED display has a numeric signal strength meter and band identification icons to keep you accurately informed, while Instant-on can quickly detect radar guns for you at all times. The detector comes with a windshield mount, power cord, and hook and loop fastener, providing everything you need to start using it.

Pros

  • Long-range detection
  • IVT filter TM system reduces false alerts
  • OLED display
  • Instant-on
  • Comes with everything needed to use out the box
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Can not set radar frequencies
  • Does not announce which frequency it displays

Warranty

This detector is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

The Verdict

After comparing these top ten models, we choose the Escort Passport 8500X50 is the best radar detector for the money. It provides long-range, 360-degree protection at all radar bands and also detects lasers. It features auto-sensitivity and Traffic Signal Rejection software, reducing false alarms and making it quiet to operate. We also love the POP mode, mute and auto-mute options, and customizable LED display. It offers all these features at a cheap price with a one-year warranty, so you are sure to get a great product for your money.

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