Did you know that there’s an average of 41 million drivers in the US alone gets a speeding ticket every year? With each ticket costing around $152 on average, a total of $6 billion are paid out for speeding alone.
I’ve had my fair share of speeding tickets too, but you know which one’s the worst?
It’s the one I got after buying a “top” radar detector. I paid hundred of dollars to be safe from speeding tickets, but I ended up giving a couple hundreds more and and throwing out my radar detector.
I don’t want to make that same mistake again. DO YOU? Because not all premium radar detectors are as great as they appear to be. Good performance isn’t just based on specs written in paper, but on how the device actually works. So I’m sharing my own thoughts and experience through this buying guide.
If you’re in rush and don’t have time to read the full buying guide, here’s the products we used along with links to our full reviews and testimonials from Amazon.
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These great detectors range from entry-level to high-end devices. We picked only the models with the longest range on the highway in the market while looking also on the best city performance. Each unit had to match or pass a minimum range, block lasers some times (similar to the best laser jammers), avoiding cops with radar guns who are looking to issue another speeding ticket, and for the advanced ones, even hide itself from RDDs used by the law enforcement. With so many great models in the industry, which one is the best for you? Here’s RRD’s selection for the best radar detectors on the market for 2019:
Our Top Radar Detectors Picks in 2019
1. Uniden R3 – Extreme Long Range Radar Laser Detector
When Uniden resurfaced in the industry, nobody thought they would end up at the top. Yet with the release of Uniden R3 alongside R1 as part of its new R series, it was clear to enthusiasts, power users, and even the competition themselves that Uniden’s premium flagship detector is the clear winner. Hence, we give you our top pick for the best radar detector for 2019: Uniden R3.
Uniden R3 offers the longest range coverage and has set a new standard in that aspect, reaching 12x more than a standard model. It’s simple, with Uniden R3 you can filter K and Ka-band radar miles before your old one could. It’s because it features an individual band sensitivity adjustment systems that is unique only to Uniden devices.
Yes, it does contain dual antennas like the others, yet its detection is very capable and much enhanced by the 360-degree Digital Signal Processor or DSP added into it, sensitivity, accuracy and protection included.
These days no one should enjoy the annoying beeping, which Uniden R3 resolves through its Automute feature, an element that’s part of brand’s R series which came after the DFR series. We pressed the mute button twice after a false alert, and we were enthralled to have a quiet drive even when passing through a populated road.
Aside from that, R3 has a biult-in GPS function with Red Light camera that alerts you of camera speed traps along the way and keeps track of previously visited areas to filter false threats. It is pretty incognito too, from VG-2 to Spectre Radar Detector Detector, you won’t have any issues being apprehended for areas with strict rules.
- Bright & full-color oled display
- Exceptional detection range
- Great quality of tonal and audio alerts
- Three sensitivity settings: City2, Highway and City mode
- built-in GPS with accurate geo-location and quick signal acquisition
- Speed sensitive mute alerts for quiet rides
- Signal priority favors stronger radar signals first
- No special features that allows smartphones to control it
All these features are packed and locked in a well-constructed exterior, complete with easy to handle buttons, a high-res LED screen with four brightness options, and a USB connection. Definitely not bad for a product that reaches up to $500, right?
360° Protection against laser
Advanced K and Ka Band Filters; Traffic Sensor Filter
Spectre Elite Undetectable
Model: Uniden R3
Dimensions: 9 x 4 x 7 inches
Weight: 1.65 lbs
Power packed with all the amazing features it gives, its visual appearance comes as a total bonus, letting Uniden R3 triumph in all aspects over any other prime radar detector on the market. We give it 4.7/5. No doubt and no hesitation, it is our number 1 for this list. Check the online manual for more details, as we had to use an 8-power magnifying lens to read the mini printed guides that came with the radar detecting device.
2. Valentine One Radar Detector
A familiar face in the field is the Valentine One which has been in the town for a total of 28 years. Through the efficiency of Valentine Research, this device is known for the quick response and its high performance. It is actually one of the radar detector reviews I like to do the most every year.
Features like auto mute and alternative user settings were nonexistent in this device, but it’s a remarkable thing. It just means that the Valentine One is used for functionality and not for show.
The V1 is strong in alerts. It brings the highest level of reception, especially with its front antenna and back radar antennas.
But keep in mind, V1 is best to use on open highways. These areas have low radar signals and can be used to make it run quieter. The Valentine One has no frequency display of Ka-band radar. It uses directional arrows to indicate where the detected threats are coming from.
While the sale price is at $488.98, it offers high quality for the money. It does not have the same usefulness as others on this list, yet its reliability is at 100%.
- Extreme detection range
- Sensitivity to X, K, and Ka radar bands as well as laser – similar to the known laser detectors
- Super wideband detection for Ka and Ku radar bands
- Multiple Antennae for radar signal detection from both back & front
- Designed with knobs to adjust radar sensitivity and volume
- Not beginner-friendly because of the complexity of its functions
- Lacks extra features of more modern and high degree radar detectors
- No GPS
- Heavy in weight
One flaw of the V1 is the weight. When trying it for the first time, we’ve noticed how heavy it was. The lack of alarms is not a good look either. When using it, we found no warning to keep us alert throughout our highway and city driving.
However, the lack of features like that makes it one of the most effective detector. It’s nice and simple to use. Therefore, its key drawback is also its main advantage. Make sure to use the V1 if you’re wanting a model that specializes in performance.
X, K, Ka, and Super Wideband Ka Detection
Rear Radar Antenna
Arrow Directional Indicators
Model: Valentine One
Dimensions: 6 x 2.5 x 4 inches
Weight: 1.65 lbs
We give the V1 4/5. It has outstanding performance and that’s why it is one of the greatest radar detectors in 2019, but does not have any valuable features. Pick the Valentine One if you’re looking for something that can get the job done.
3. ESCORT MAX 360c – Laser Radar Detector
We’ve always secured a spot for the Escort Max 360°, but when the highly rated Escort launched the Max 360c, a tad bit pricier WiFi-enabled upgrade of the 360, we questioned if it was worth the money. After evaluation, we knew it was apt to replace the original 360 with the perfect 360c in our rankings.
Its major feature is the integrated WiFi, which allows it to have automatic updating and directly connect to Escort Live without the need to connect to your smartphone.
For firmware updating, the device itself notifies you whether an update is available. Since this excellent radar detector is red light camera (RLC) and speed camera capable too, the addition of WiFi means it can update the RLC quickly and automatically.
Design wise, the upgrades are pretty practical, since it’s small in size and much sleeker in form. The build was improved and buttons are much more comfortable to use. The directional arrows on the Max 360c reviewed are much larger too, for greater visibility.
- WiFi for Automatic Updates
- Auto learn technology
- Front and Rear Antenna
- Sleek updated design
- Pretty good response time
- Directional arrows
- Remarkable BSM Filtering
- Could be not cheap
- Advanced features cannot be accessed without mobile WiFi
Performance-wise, we are definitely impressed with this gadget, even though we already expected more than fine performance from this since it has a lot of same features as the Escort Max 360°. It offers a fantastic range that can protect a motorist adequately, although not on par with Uniden R3.
GPS-based – pinpoint Accuracy
Model: Escort Max 360C
Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.2 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 9.9 ounces
What it somehow lacks in the detection range, it compensates with impressive false filtering. Thanks to its Auto built-in GPS lockouts exclusive to Escort, plus its dependable BSM filtering, you are assured of silent driving especially in cities. It has a pretty decent Auto & AutoLoK features that automatically adjust the sensitivity, making it a very well companion on the road.
4. Radenso Pro M – Extreme Range Laser & Radar Detector
Radenso stepped up its game when it released Pro M a super contender among the newest models. First, its range is comparable to our most sophisticated radar detector, the R3.
While it may not have that extremely long range as R3, but it’s actually really close to the newest Uniden longer range model.
Added to this feature it its ability to almost completely filter out false warnings. Other models on the marketplace can do it, but there are just some false alerts that seem to always make their way through. With Radenso Pro M, even the notorious false alerts, Acuras & Hondas are filtered out, definitely making it a frontrunner in avoiding pesky alerts during drives.
Another standout ability of the Radenso Pro M is its ability to detect MRCD, a photo radar gun that is low powered and very difficult to identify. Only a few top rated radar detectors can pick it up, including Escort Redline EX and Uniden R3, but Pro M can detect it best.
- MRCD (MultaRadar Close Distance) / MRCT / GATSO RT3 detection capability
- Sensitive filtering (thru GPS)
- Has the latest technology in speed enforcement
- FREE GPS update for entire life
- 2-year warranty from Radenso
- Very expensive
- B-grade ease of use
- Build and display look outdated
This Radenso product is also GPS-enabled with a defender database for photo enforcement. It can also reject K-band radar automotive collision avoidance systems, while it still performs extremely well with instant-on K-band radar detection.
Other stand out features that comes with this model includes 2-level K-band TSR filtering, 1-9 radar signal strength meter, red light camera locations detection, low speed muting, and manual GPS lockouts.
GPS lockouts for stationary false alerts
MultaRadar Detection (MRCD, MRCT)
BSM & TSR false alert filtering
Model: Radenso Pro M
Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.3 x 1 inches
Weight: 0.64 ounces
Overall, it is a more expensive than Uniden R3. However, if the level of detection and false filtering matters more to you than the range of detection, Radenso Pro M is an incredible radar detecting device for you.
5. Escort RedLine EX – Extreme Range Radar Detector
We’ll put this info out there first. The Escort RedLine EX costs around $600. It replaced the 2007 model, Escort RedLine when it was released in 2017.
But do not be intimidated by its sale price. The Escort RedLine EX is powerful, easily accessible, and actually one of the best radar detectors on the market for the money.
The Redline has a quality that matches even more expensive ones. But since its default mode is Ka-band radar, it is really a match for highway usage.
- Superb range for radar and laser sensitivity
- Digital Signal Processing
- Automatic GPS lockouts
- Display brightness automatic adjustments
- Allows adjustment of settings through smartphone
- Automatic switching between full and reduced sensitivity depending on the car’s speed (if you’re a biker, check our buying guide for motorcycle radar detectors)
- No alerts on the direction of radar source
- No overspeed (driving over the current speed limit) alert
Escort Redline EX is equipped with GPS technology feature, boosting the protection and Bluetooth. The speed camera & speed traps ticket protection, which for us took a hit in the older model, was even more improved with the satellite technology.
Of course, it connects to Escort Live, which enhances the driving experience, as we always get when using the app. Also, amongst windshield mounted detectors the Redline is the best in its league.
Escort Live crowd & speed limit alerts
IVT false alarm filter
Smartmute & Automute
Model: Escort Redline Ex
Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 1.85 lbs
However, the Redline Ex just takes after the Escort IX and Max 360 in terms of other features. We give it a 3.75/5 because of its many added features, yet just an above average performance. The improvements in the model, including extra display functions, better sensitivity, and more dashing appearance, it is well worthy of a purchase.
6. Escort iX – High Performance Laser Radar Detector
The sixth on our leading radar detector product reviews list is Escort’s first “long-range model”, the Escort iX which gives the best value for the money.
It is a refined and updated version of the Escort Passport 9500ix from the brand, packing into a smaller built mostly all the features of the 9500ix with an increased memory and faster processor.
Although marketed as one of the best products from the brand and was given the “long-range” tag, the Escort iX seems to only land at the mid-tier range, especially when evaluated from a professional’s point of view.
This device only comes at our Top #6 mainly because it doesn’t compare to the range of the better radar detectors in this list. However, despite the average range, iX performs well in terms of advanced features.
Despite it lacking the Escort’s “all-digital” radar signal processing, the iX proves its ability for first-rate K-band false filtering. It uses Automatic GPS Lockouts, unique to the brand’s devices, to easily take out the alarms from speed signs and radar controlled automatic doors.
The Cruise Alert feature of this device is very useful in this sense also, because it mutes down the device when you are cruising through an “unfamiliar territory”—meaning, there isn’t a lockout info yet of possible false alarms.
- Features blind spot false alert filtering
- Great alert filtering through Automatic GPS lockouts and AutoLoK sensitivity
- Multicolored OLED display
- Escort Live capable through Bluetooth connectivity
- Low-speed muting
- No front facing mute option
- Low contrast & visibility of display
- Not invisible to RDDs
The Escort iX also features a new sensitivity setting called AutoLoK, which lessens K-band radar sensitivity for a quiet drive. This can easily be switch into a full-on sensitivity by changing it to Highway mode, or varying sensitivity with the Auto mode.
The Traffic Sensors Rejection of this device, which helps in filtering blind spot falses, is decent as expected in any modern advanced radar detector nowadays, but its BSM radar filtering is where it gets a little tricky. Clear warnings are expected in this feature, but the iX takes it to another level with its full blast alerts that can be either too disturbing or too attention-grabbing.
Intelligent AutoLearn Technology
Variable Speed Sensitivity
Model: Escort iX
Dimensions: 1.25 x 2.875 x 5.125 inches
Weight: 1.45 lbs
Overall, the Escort iX reviewed fares averagely, yet it’s an awesome starting point for new users and non-professionals. We give it a 3/5.
7. Radenso XP – Radar & Laser Detector with GPS
Last on our Top 7 list is Radenso XP, one of the best performing radar detectors (ideal for mid-range) that provide a superior performance with a fair sale price at $400.
It is popular for being one of the quietest of the featured radar detectors. We weren’t expecting much about this claim, but we came through with a noteworthy quiet test.
This model will show a numeric frequency of radar signal, that will let experienced driver know whether the Ka-band radar alert is false warning or illegal.
Despite not having the ultra-long-range that others in this list offer, Radenso XP matches up with the false alert filtering system it has, including a manual GPS lockout that can instantly block the common false alarms in your usual highway or city driving routes.
It can even mute any voice alert when your speed gets really low and camera alerts are directional too, making it consistent to its “quiet device” selling point.
Another remarkable thing about this radar detecting device is it’s equipped with effective avoidance filters for K-band collision too, designed to retain great radar sensitivity for police radar guns even when a vehicle with a K-band polluting gear is around. That’s pretty impressive.
- Range of detection is above-average and has top-flight sensitivity
- Features automatic muting with user’s speed preference
- Automatic sensitivity switching based on the speed of the car
- Three sensitivity modes: Autocity, highway and city mode
- Multiple Threat Display
- No overspeed alerts
- No Bluetooth feature
The Radenso XP gives another level of excellence with associated windshield mount and with a built-in red light and speed cameras database with free lifetime updates. Every purchase of this device will gain you a two year warranty from Radenso as well.
GPS lockouts for stationary false alerts
Low Speed GPS auto-muting
Stealth to radar detector detectors (VG2 / Spectre Elite)
Model: Radenso XP
Dimensions: 4 5/8 x 2.75 x 1.25 inches
Weight: 8.2 ounces
A drawback that we think the brand should fix is the missing over-speed alert, common to many finest radar detectors but missing from this one. But aside from that, we think Radenso XP is one must-have radar and laser detector for both newbies and expert users. Overall, our experience with it was pretty smooth and quiet, true to its claims.
The best police detector in 2019 is the Uniden R3, it was rated best overall among the built-in custom installed models and windshield-mounted models. Valentine One came second, with its reliable performance and high functionality.
Uniden R3 is a recent release that enjoys the advantage of more advanced features and systems that certainly beat the competition. The ultimate range it gives for detection of radar is excellent while keeping the balance in other important elements: radar sensitivity, alert accuracy, and detection from all directions.
Highly notable radar detectors save time on tickets, losing a license or to avoid speeding tickets and points, so choosing any of the picks on this list can fulfill anyone’s needs. Yet for those who actually know and are knowledgeable about the pros and cons and other measures, the features of Uniden R3 are superb and remarkable.
Thus, our winner is the Uniden R3.
UNIDEN R3 IS THE
BEST RADAR DETECTOR OF 2019
The R3 is fully supported with GPS and false alarm filtering, making it even easier to detect false warnings throughout the area. It is the winner due to its long range coverage paired with accuracy. While others models on the market perform well, R3’s innovation and functionality is like no other, and the best for 2019.