Based on our research and radar detector reviews, here are the 6 best radar detectors for 2020:
- Escort Redline Ex – Best Overall Radar Detector
“Much like with the R7 that we started this review list with, this is an excellent choice if you are willing to pay more for a first-rate detector.”
- Uniden R7 – Runner-Up, Best Overall Radar Detector
“The R7 is one of the best options for customers that want something with high-level performance and don’t mind paying more dollars for it.”
- Escort Max 360C – Third Best Radar Detector
“The Escort 360c is the successor to one of the most popular radar detectors on the market by Escort, the Max 360, and the most notable improvement over the original previous one is that this one is capable of connecting to wifi.”
- Escort Max 360 – Best Value for the money Radar Detector
“While this radar detector does away with wifi connectivity that makes its upgraded counterpart more convenient, it is also a lot more affordable.”
- Valentine One – Runner-up, Best Detection Range Radar Detector
“All of this detector’s components are modern, and it offers excellent all-around performance which can rival some of the best detectors on the market, but it still features a relatively classic design.”
- Radenso Pro M – Best Stealth Radar Detector
“The Radenso Pro M is also designed to be as stealthy as possible, reducing the likelihood of counter-detection.”
What About Speeding Tickets?
Speed tickets are something that we all HATE with a passion, whether it’s the first speeding ticket you got or the 26th, we all wish it would not continue to exist. After all, this year a whopping 6 BILLION dollars was paid to the police, traffic law enforcement and government, and yes, all of that money came from drivers just like you.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not rich and I don’t wish to pay any exaggerated speeding ticket just to feed the money-hungry monster that always wants more and more.
I assume that you feel the same way, right?
Now, these high-quality radar detectors are battle-tested and PROVEN to work the way they should. Upon reading this helpful list, you’ll learn that they are not just the popular type, but are actually good radar detectors.
Here’s a quick table of the top products:
Whether you’re a highway driver, city driver, or just someone who wants a radar detector that will do a great all-around job, we have pooled the top radar detector choices for you.
The Best Radar Detector Reviews
1. Escort Redline Ex – Best Overall Radar Detector
A premium all-around radar detector, the Escort Redline Ex lands the top of this list with its long range detection, international gun protection, and a bunch of smart functions. The Redline Ex’s dual antenna greatly enhances sensitivity of its sensors, allowing for more area coverage.
Considered as the pioneer of long range detection, the Escort Redline Ex also outperforms other radar detectors in the market when it comes to some features (e.g. false alerts) and price.
The number of intelligent functions of the Escort Redline Ex is perfect for any user seeking for convenience and best automation, more than the sleek design of its red on black detailing. For one, its low-speed muting ability effectively detects when cars are driving at a high speed or low speed – and will automatically adjust the high performance radar laser detector’s sensitivity at full when your speed is more than 50mph, and reduce it when your speed is less than 50mph.
Thus, false alerts will be filtered out as it detects any radar signal, especially when you’re in the city, for instance.
- Detects radar signals at excellent range
- Beautiful design with red accent details
- Intelligent features with a reasonable price
- Accurate alert filter systems for quieter operation
- GPS lock outs
- Smartphone integration
- International gun support
- Has Escort’s Speeding Ticket Guarantee – if you’ll get a speeding ticket with this product, they will pay it for you!
- Larger in size, harder to physically conceal
- No directional arrows to determine where the direction of the police radar signal and laser source are coming from
- No alerts when vehicles are over speeding
- On the expensive side
Redline Ex has also improved the IVT of top Escort Passport device models, detecting false alerts from nearby vehicles to filter and avoid them. A big selling point of this best radar laser detector is its automatic GPS lock outs. While other top performance radar laser detectors require you to do it manually, Redline Ex automatically distinguishes between legit and false alerts.
It also operates nicer and quieter without the bombardment of false alarms. No screen lighting up with all red notifs or constant beeping with this device
Escort Redline Ex also has a Bluetooth feature that allows smartphone integration of your radar detector for easy adjustment of settings through your phone. Paired with the Escort Live app, you can receive real time alerts on anything that the Escort Live community reports and stores on the database.
Support for international radar guns such as MRCD, MRCT, Gatso, and Strelka is also a major plus, especially when you live or spend time abroad. Some areas of Canada, Russia, and Europe have different radar technology than the U.S, and the Redline Ex throws in this international feature as the top solution to the problem.
At a price point of $599, the Escort Redline Max may have a more expensive price than other detectors, but the product performance and feature set are worth that price.
Who should buy the Escort Redline Ex? Those who want convenience, long range performance, and international gun support.
2. ESCORT MAX 360c – Best All-Around Radar Detector
Housed in a smaller, more compact and light casing, the Escort Max 360c is a well-rounded radar detector that ticks all the major boxes. For $599, the 360C covers a full 360-degree range, has GPS functionality, DSP technology for lightning-fast reaction times, laser pulse detection, a great BSM or blind spot filter, and several connectivity features.
The Escort Max 360C is an updated product version of the Escort Max 360 known to also have a lot of good reviews. Wi-Fi function is the primary improvement in the 360C, allowing the device to install updates automatically and completely wireless. This auto-update feature is extremely handy because you don’t have to detach the best radar detector and connect it to a home computer just to perform updates.
- Connectivity options (Escort Live compatible)
- Compact build with OLED display
- Automatic GPS lockouts
- Radar band frequency segmentation
- Detects and auto learn different types of police bands and laser & radar signals
- Not the best at long range radar and laser detection
- Can be expensive for its price of $599
Smartphone integration is also possible with Max 360C. Bluetooth allows access to Escort Live, giving you real time alerts and crowdsourced information from fellow Escort Live users. However, if your car has a Wi-Fi built-in, you don’t need your phone anymore to connect to Escort Live. The 360C will automatically do it for you without you needing to tinker on your windshield mounted gadget.
The 360C also outshines the other products with a great BSM (blind spot monitoring) filtering that doesn’t need TSR – a filter that reduces general sensitivity for less false alerts. Radar detecting performance on the 360C is not compromised, effectively distinguishing between true and false alerts.
Additionally, the 360C features a radar band segmentation that allows users to set frequencies at which the detector scans. This fine-tuning filter significantly cuts out false alerts that cause annoyance and unnecessary notifications on the display.
Automatic GPS lock outs are an excellent advantage with the 360C. It locates any stationary false alerts and remembers them in a database to filter and lock them out automatically in the future. False alerts that might come from automatic door openers, construction signs, and similar devices are reduced by the filter, if not eliminated.
Even if it’s not an OLED display, the screen of the 360C also provides a good deal of info for users, as it detects speed limit and has directional arrows pointing to the source of radar pings. If you’re looking for a reliable and convenient radar and laser detector without needing long-range detection as much, the Escort Max 360C is an awesome pick despite its price.
Who should buy the Escort Max 360C? Casual drivers who love a set of automated features.
3. Escort Max 360 Radar Detector – Best Performance For The Money
Essentially a Max 360C without a Wi-Fi, the Escort Max 360 radar and laser detector delivers a stellar performance if you want the best radar detector on the market that simply gets the job done. Complete protection, less false alarms, wide range detection, red light camera, speed traps and speed camera alerts, GPS technology, and smartphone integration along with other useful set of features are packed in the Max 360 body.
Antennas located on the front and rear of the radar and laser detector create full protection around your car or vehicle, which avoids speed tickets, detects and determines the direction from which the radar is coming from. Albeit a bit larger than the 360C model, the Escort Max 360 provides all the same features except for Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Good price
- Great performance radar on any vehicle
- Wide-band radar detection (including K & Ka Band) and impressive sensors
- Red light camera detection & speed camera alerts
- Superb auto features with effective filter system
- Over the speed limit alert while vehicles are on a drive
- No Wi-Fi
- Needs manual updates
The 360 model detects all radar frequency bands like K-band, Ka bands, and X and Ka-Pop radar bands. For an added layer of protection, it also has a Defender Database installed for efficient red light camera and speed camera alerts. Furthermore, the latest DSP technology runs superior false alerts filter systems and quick reaction times.
Like with other Escort radar detectors, the Max 360 has terrific automated features, including the GPS lockout. It’s able to detect and filter false alerts from stationary sources or signals from devices, and proceeds to store it in memory to prevent unnecessary alerts and false alarms in the future.
Besides, the Max 360 can also automatically adjust its sensitivity levels depending on your car speed. If it senses that your vehicle moving at increased speed, it adjusts to full sensitivity. When you’re driving at a slower speed, it reduces to a shorter range, which means it becomes less sensitive.
Another unique advantage of Max 360 is its over speeding alert that notifies you when it’s time to slow down a little bit.
Even without Wi-Fi, users can still connect to the Escort Live community and access the app database through Bluetooth with impressive speed. Pairing the 360 with a smartphone allows access for real-time support and crowdsourced information on display.
With a price of $549, the Escort Max 360 is one of the best radar laser detectors that deliver outstanding performance.
Who should buy the Escort Max 360? Casual motorists who want full protection from speeding while enjoying automated features as they drive
4. Uniden R7 – Runner-Up, Best Overall Radar Detector
The R7 came after Uniden R3, with an improved condenser lens as its main feature. It significantly boosts range and sensitivity, providing you with the highest level of protection. With this development, the R7 helps those who are always on the open road and encountering deserts, hills, trees, and challenging terrain.
Cheaper detectors will have a shorter range in these scenarios, but the R7 has extreme sensitivity that ensures you’re shielded against police radar guns wherever you are. No more speeding ticket!
With simple installation and mounting, ideally with a windshield mount, the R7 is great for beginners who want optimum performance. With a price of $599, this product is one of the high-end units that may be in a steep price range for some, but great for those who want a long-term investment for protection all the time.
- Great range and improved sensitivity
- Directional arrows in red and voice alerts
- K-block filtering prevents false alerts and false alarms
- Bigger storage for GPS lock outs
- Hassle-free to install with a windshield mount
- Poor laser detection sensitivity
- Nearly stealth, some police or law enforcement radar detector detectors can detect it
- Can be expensive for its price
False alert filtering on the R7 is also top-notch, with its built-in K-filter and K-block working together to filter out blind spot false alerts and falses from Hondas and Acuras. The R7 also has MRCD and MRCT Detection, which are low-powered guns slowly cropping up in the US.
Compared to other models such as the Redline Ex, the R7 has red directional arrows that notify you of the location where the radar and laser emissions are coming from. A quiet drive in cars is also assured with the radar detector’s instinctive mute ability to stop audio and voice alerts when you’re driving at a low speed.
The long range and extended sensitivity have their drawbacks though, including manual GPS lock outs. While it may not be an issue for some users, GPS lock outs provide convenience to users when it comes to false alerts while they drive.
Although you can essentially “teach” a radar detector where false stationary signals are, it would just be much more convenient to have everything automated along with the setup. Nevertheless, the R7 has extended its lockout storage to 1,750 lockout number, a substantial memory boost to the usual 500 files.
The R7 has a stealth mode as well to be undetectable by RDD of law enforcement or the police, but tests reveal divisive results as some RDDs were alerted, while some didn’t cause any effect at all.
Who should buy the R7? Beginners in radar detectors who want a high-performing, all-around device should consider buying the R7.
5. Valentine One Radar Detector – Runner-up, Best Detection Range
Known among radar detector enthusiasts, the Valentine One exhibits phenomenal range with its multiple antennas. Valentine One is equipped with first-rate sensitivity, warranting utmost protection from any radar threats.
With its long-range performance almost parallel to the Redline Ex, Valentine One is perfect for your vehicle’s highway navigation. For urban drivers, however, this product might not be the topmost choice due to the model’s extreme sensitivity yet lack of false alert muting. This is a major hitch since lights will blink like crazy even at false detections.
- Extreme long range protection
- Classic design
- Built for radar laser detector enthusiasts
- GPS function requires an external module
- Cannot detect signals from red light cameras
- Cannot filter many false alarms like other models
- Not beginner-friendly
- Requires additional setup to gain access to some functions
Compared to other detectors on the market, the Valentine One is a more tech-savvy option for any user who doesn’t mind a bit of advanced programming technology. Design-wise, however, the V1 has more of a vintage look with its digital display that works even in low light and knobs for volume adjustment.
One of the downers of the V1 is its lack of GPS, meaning it’s unable to detect red light camera and speed traps of the police ahead. GPS lockout function and low-speed muting are not readily available as well. This means you are not guaranteed with 100% speeding ticket free drives.
With a price of $449, you’d expect these topnotch features to be included straight out of the box – greatest modern radar detectors in the market have these basics down.
Nevertheless, you can purchase the optional Bluetooth module and integrate the radar detector with your phone. This allows access to the missing functionalities such as automatic GPS lock outs, low speed muting, and more. Third-party apps can help expand this model’s capabilities as well.
Who should buy the Valentine One? Techy people who want advanced options are suited for the services of this product.
6. Radenso Pro M Radar Detector – Best Stealth
If you want a more silent car companion, go with the Radenso Pro M. This product a user-friendly radar detector that has exceptional false alert filters, best police laser detection, and provides long range protection for full coverage.
GPS compatibility in the Radenso Pro M quickly notifies you of any police speed traps, red light camera and speed cameras ahead to save you from getting a ticket. Manual GPS lock outs also significantly increase the filtering of false alerts.
- Long range signal detection
- Great filtering system helps filter and limit false alerts and signals
- Detects Ka bands frequency better than other models
- Quieter; gives peaceful drive each time
- Future-proof (2-year warranty and lifetime free GPS update)
- Alerts for police speed traps, speed cameras and red light camera locations
- A bit expensive
- Could use some design improvements
Reliability is the prime attribute of the Radenso Pro M. It has better BSM filtering, blocking out false alerts from Hondas and Acuras. Radenso has the best first-class filter that accurately detects and eliminates false alerts, substantially lessening annoying wrong beeps.
Moreover, it emits quieter warning tones that ramp up gradually as the signal gets stronger. Thus, you are not constantly bombarded by light and beeping from accidental radar and laser detections and false alerts—best for an experience of quiet rides every day.
Stealth against counter-detectors is also a great feature in most radar detectors, including the Radenso Pro M. The unit also has the power to detect signals from MRCD, which is a low-powered police radar gun used in some parts of the U.S.
For beginners looking for an easy-to-use radar detector that delivers amazing performance and a quieter operation, the Radenso Pro M is a superb choice at $449 price. It includes free lifetime updates, making it future-proof – a huge bonus as well.
Who should buy the Radenso Pro M? People who do highway drives and want a quieter radar detector.
Conclusion – What is the best radar detector?
The best radar detector on the market is the Escort Redline Ex.
What to look for in a good radar detector – Buying Guide
Performance matters with these devices because it will keep you free from tickets. You should know and learn the strengths and limitations of high-performance radar detector models to avoid getting ticket on the road. These include impressive range, false alarms, covered radar bands (K and Ka band included), accuracy, immunity from VG-2, and protection from speed cameras and red light cameras, among others.
Durability is partly dependent on how careful one handles the radar detector regardless if it is used on a car dash with your dashboard camera, attached through a windshield mount with suction cups, or mounted on a bike in place by motorcyclists and any other vehicle. It is also partly dependent on the quality of the material of the radar detector models. The manufacturer may be a factor, but a tiny one. Make sure to look out for any negative reviews to make sure you’re not getting something that will break in just a few months or over a short period of time.
Ease of use is equally important to new and veteran users. Being behind the wheel requires all of your attention; your radar detector should have the best, simple, and intuitive design that will be great for most vehicles. It should also be simple to mount with a dash or windshield mount. For more specific features to look for, audio or voice alerts, OLED display screen that’s good with low light environments, adaptive cruise control and different modes (e.g. city mode) in your chosen models of these devices will definitely come in handy. To make sure you’re good with the law enforcement in your area, check your state’s traffic and speed ticket laws as some consider the use and mounting (especially on the windshield) of detectors illegal.
Price range matters because you should be sure that you are getting your money’s worth from the price of the product you will get, especially as many of these are not light on the pocket. Among the affordable ones that are not on this list is the Cobra ESD 7570, a product that Cobra just recently refurbished. You should also consider a radar detector with a nice price range that can be used in different states and not limited only to where you live. (Side tip: Keep an eye on every price range on Amazon for latest accurate details, reviews, and related info).
Frequently Asked Questions
Are radar detectors worth it?
Yes. One radar detector can cost from $150 to $400, and it can help you avoid many speeding tickets. On the other hand, just one speeding ticket can cost from $100 to over $500. Essentially, a radar detector pays for itself pretty quickly.
Are radar detectors legal?
It depends on which state you live in. Except for Washington D.C and Virginia, all the other states legally allow the use of radar detectors in private vehicles. For commercial vehicles, radar detectors are not allowed. That being said, it’s best to check your specific state laws so everything’s crystal clear.
Can police tell if you have a radar detector?
Radar detectors are placed on the windshield or dash, so they’re not really physically hidden and police can tell you have one if they pulled you over. Also, the police have devices called radar detector detectors (RDDs), but they’re mostly used in areas where radar detectors are illegal. Some higher-end radar detectors have cloaking features that make them invisible to RDDs as a countermeasure. However, having the police know you have a radar detector is not really an issue if it’s completely legal to use in your state.
Where should you place a radar detector?
Ideally, radar detectors are mounted on the front windshield near the center of the rearview mirror. For some people, they prefer it to be low on the dash. However, if you want the best radar detecting capabilities, it’s best to put your detector as high up as possible.
How far away can a police radar detect your speed?
It depends on the size of your vehicle. If you’re driving a truck or some other big vehicle, police radar can detect your speed from about a mile away. If you’re driving a smaller vehicle like a sedan or a sports car, it will be around 500 – 1500 feet distance.
Common Radar Detector Terms
Some radar detector terms might be a little confusing. Here’s what some of them mean:
- DSP: This stands for Digital Signal Processing. A radar detector with DSP uses a microchip for automatic recognition and prioritization of radar signals used by law enforcement.
- False alerts: These are alerts that don’t come from speed guns yet they can set off your radar detector. Some of these include automatic door openers and electronic warning signs.
- IVT: This acronym stands for in-vehicle technology. Essentially, these are safety features in modern vehicles such as lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control. IVT can also cause false alerts.
- K-Band: Police radar guns only operate between 24.125 and 24.15 GHz of the K band. It’s a band that’s harder to detect from a long distance and is also used in many non-enforcement devices, making your detector more prone to false alerts.
- Ka-Band: Operating between 33.4 and 36 GHz, the Ka-band is the most popular frequency used by law enforcement.
- Laser: For faster speed detection, police officers are starting to use laser technology which is more powerful and more accurate compared to radar.
- Laser defuser/Laser jammer: While radar detectors protect against radar, laser defusers jam signals emitted by laser guns. Remember that these devices are banned in some states.
- V signal: When you get this on your radar detector, it means there’s a VG-2 RDD being used nearby to detect radar detectors on vehicles.
- X-Band: Operates on 10.5 to 10.55 GHz. The X-Band is the easiest to detect among other bands, but it’s also used in a variety of things like supermarket doors and traffic sensors.