Radar detectors are cool, but you may not want to always have them on display. Usually placed on the windshield or the dashboard, a radar detector can be seen by anyone who enters your vehicle or even by someone who simply takes a peek through the car windows.
But it does not always have to be that way—the highly convenient and useful pieces of electronics can actually be concealed (hidden and custom-installed radar detectors are other names they usually go by). This option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, of course.
So, how does a hidden radar detector work and how does it differ from the more mainstream, corded options? The key difference, of course, is on the keyword: it is concealed. Instead of positioning it on the usual spots in your car, it is installed on the inside of your vehicle.
The different parts are usually divided into three: the laser detector, the radar detector and the control panel. The last is particularly important because it is where everything could be adjusted by the user, and is consequently what you’ll be holding onto, but it is not as obtrusive as a corded radar detector would be. There would be no visible wires to obstruct the view, just like you would with a cordless radar detector.
Concealed radar detectors wouldn’t be a giveaway to troopers as other types would. Stealing it would be generally useless, so you are also protected when it comes to that aspect. The features are usually no different from detectors meant to be mounted on the windshield or the dashboard.
One major downside though is mobility. You can’t just pull the installed wires and transfer it to another car as desired. Another is the added cost.
Unless you are confident enough to do the installment yourself, it’s best to leave the radar detector to an expert’s hands, which would cost you more on top of the already considerable buck you’ll pay for custom-installed equipment.
As with all other radar detectors, there are a few considerations to take before buying a concealed radar detector. After all, you’ll be paying premium for the service. First is its filter. Newer cars with automatic doors emit the same radar band as some equipment by traffic authorities, but many radar detectors cannot distinguish that.
If you’re getting a concealed radar detector, make sure that it filters blind spot monitoring systems. Another is sensitivity. The elevation of the sensors could affect the accuracy of your alerts, so it’s better to have something that does not compromise this. The third is GPS. This is helpful in alerting you in advance of red lights and speed cameras, a feature that many topnotch detectors already have.
Top Undercover Radar Detectors
With that said, we’ll now delve into the top concealed detectors you could have if you decide to take the leap. Here are some of our recommendations for hidden radar detectors that you may want to check out:
We’ve said it previously that the Escort 9500ci is something that is designed to maximize convenience. The control panel is no bigger than your hand, and it’s easy to learn. When it comes to radar detector detectors (RDDs), it has sufficient defense through Escort’s Totalshield technology, rendering it almost invisible.The Traffic Safety Rejection, which functions as a filter, is also enabled. Through GPS, the device takes note of incoming threats so you can prepare ahead. And of course you can take advantage of the Escort Live app available to the brand’s customers.
Everything you would want from a radar detector is in the Whistler PRO-3700: it has a wide and 360-degree detection range, can identify and shield you from different radar bands, has mechanisms to lessen false alerts, and has an alert priority feature. But there are also a few things that make it standout: you have the option for Spanish as the device’s language, there is more than one way to install it to maximize its features, and Whistler gives a five-year warranty, which is not offered often for equipment of this kind.
Valentine One Remote
One of the highly rated concealed radar detectors around, the Valentine One offers protection from both radar and laser signals. It can even tell you the direction of a threat based on its directional arrows. An updated version of the detector now allows for protection from RDDs. Its sensitivity and range are both impressive.
Beltronics STiR Plus
Beltronics’ STiR Plus is similar to the Escort 9500ci when it comes to using the M3 antenna, although its price point isn’t quite as high. The difference in price can be pointed to the absence of the Laser ShifterPro, which STiR Plus compensates with the Digital Signal Processing for impressive range performance and invisibility to all RDDs. It has an Achilles’ heel, though: it is still vulnerable when it comes to filtering Anti-Collision Avoidance sensors.