Our hate for speeding tickets pushed us to try different options for radar detectors, including the cheaper and the inexpensive ones that wouldn’t cost as much.
We did our research tests to give you our recommendations and reviews for the top 7 most affordable radar detectors under one hundred dollars price tag!
Before we proceed to the in-depth reviews, here are our top picks from these great detectors:
The Best Cheap Radar Detectors Under $100 Reviews
One of the more advanced radar detectors from Cobra, the Rad 480i also features front and rear protection, which gives you 360 degrees detection. It’s also capable of supporting Bluetooth, which gives you the opportunity to sync the device with your smartphone.
You can then receive and send alerts and warnings to your fellow Cobra community members via the iRadar app with minimal delays. Send and receive alerts such as the whereabouts of law enforcement, and speed and red-light cameras.
- Improved and enhanced IVT filter
- All-around protection (front and rear)
- Supports Bluetooth and the iRadar app
- Send and receive warnings
- DSP for early warnings
- Reduction of false alerts
- Dynamic detection range
- LaserEye technology
- Intuitive controls
- Clear OLED screen
- Not a colored screen
The improved IVT filter will help weed out the false alarms from unassuming devices such as garage doors and even microwaves. To help with false alerts, the Cobra Rad 480i also features adjustable sensitivity right from the body of the radar detector.
The Cobra Rad 480i is an intuitive device that can be controlled with the panel built-in. Simply update the software for improved performance.
The controls of the Cobra iRad are similar to other radar detectors from the company except for the orange report button. It’s also easy to use with Bluetooth connectivity to help with smartphone and iRadar app usage.
What’s great about this Cobra radar detector is it can alert you of incoming traffic deterrents with voice notifications. What’s more, the voice alerts can be in both English or Spanish.
- Bluetooth connection for iRadar app
- Voice prompts
- Reduces false alerts with the IVT filter
- DSP for advanced warnings
- OLED display visible in any lighting condition
- Sleek design that won’t take up space
- Everything you need in the box
- Instant-on ready
- Wide range detection
- LaserEye technology
- All around protection (front and rear)
- The display is only black and white
Access the iRadar app when you are in need of real-time updates on road blocks and other issues. Join a large community of users that share and receive information every day.
The bright white OLED display with black text makes the details and stand out. Stay informed easily in any lighting condition with information such as signal strength and band.
The setup is easy and the sleek-profiled radar detector comes with everything you need right in the box.
3 – Uniden DFR1 Long Range Laser/Radar Detector
The Uniden DFR1 is one reliable radar detector that fulfills most needs of every driver in the highway, even with its value and it being at the lower end of the market. Many were blown away by its accurate, wide-ranging, and seemingly false-free device, especially when it costs below a hundred bucks.
It alerts the user right away through its audio alerts and then determines what band range the signal is coming from.
- Long Range Detection Capability
- Can protect from X, back, and Ka-band alarms
- Crisp and clear pop and laser alert alarms
- Options to drive with Highway/City/City 1 modes
- Alert sound is high pitched, which may be disturbing for a few.
The Uniden DFR1 performs almost as well as its other much expensive brothers, the DFR6 & DFR7, only it lacks traffic sensor filters. It displays the type of frequency it detects on its display, whether it’s x, K, KA, or L.
It also indicated the signal strength (1-5) so the driver knows approximately how near or far the source of the signal is. This way, cautionary actions can be calculated even more, with even more assurance of no speeding violation.
With Whistler first-class quick signals detection you will have the most powerful detector among others which will last you for years. If you want a radar detector which is more capable than many other supreme radar detectors under $100, there aren’t many choices which are more viable than this model from Whistler.
The blue LED display ensures that you will never have issues seeing the screen of your radar detector, even in the harshest of glare.
The Whistler offers you the ability to detect quick signals that ensure that this model will not be outdated for years to come unless radar detection bands change.
The adjustable volume for this detector means that you will not have to deal with any of the issues that you get with most other radar detectors that can tend to get annoying in the car. The whole user interface of this radar detector is simply a joy to use, unlike other models.
- Features a blue LED display for improved visibility.
- It provides superior range when compared to most competing models.
- Features speed detection radar for the identification of quicker signals.
- Capable of recognizing a wide range of radar bands.
- Features adjustable volume for more comfortable use.
- A little more expensive than some options.
Most of the users noticed that this Whistler is very good at recognizing false signals. The number of radar bands that can be caught by this model is quite impressive. Some of the newer bands, which are meant to be more difficult to pick up, are much easier to spot with this model.
If you want a radar detector that is versatile, modern, and useful, this product is a great purchase that is worth your money. It comes with a clip mount, windshield mount, and power cord. It can be purchased either on Amazon or at Walmart.
5 – Whistler XTR-135 Radar Detector
Cheap, small, yet provides superb coverage – the Whistler XTR-135 is an excellent radar detector with a price tag under $100. For those with a higher budget, topnotch radar detectors priced at $300 are great options, too.
Design-wise, we love how compact this radar detector is because stealth mode is so easy if you don’t want anyone getting curious as to why you have a radar detector in your car. But don’t let the small size fool you; this radar detector packs in enough power to give you reliable performance on the road.
This pocket-sized device provides total band protection from all laser and radar signals. You also get full coverage on all sides of your car, thanks to its 360-degree protection.
As an added feature, you’ll also know the strength of the signal so you can react accordingly and reduce your speed.
Like most radar detectors, the Whistler XTR-135 has a City Mode and Highway mode. When you’re driving on the highway, sensitivity is increased so you’re alerted immediately if there are radar or laser guns targeting the area.
On the other hand, City Mode lowers the sensitivity level when you’re driving in the city since there are a lot of false threats waiting to make your radar detector go crazy.
- Very compact size, good for stealth applications
- 360-degree protection
- Highway and City modes
- Total band protection from radar and laser
- Volume control
- Smaller display than other detectors.
This radar detector also conveniently comes with a volume control option. Honestly, we don’t know why many radar detectors to this day still don’t incorporate this simple function. Controlling the volume is handy if you don’t want to be bombarded by loud alerts while you’re on the road. If you want a quiet drive, you can mute your radar detector as well.
A reason to complain is the smaller icon display. It does take a while to get used to, but the small display is pretty much expected given the size of this radar detector.
All in all, we like how this small radar detector is able to deliver such a performance that even bigger radar detectors fall short at. Although the small display is a bit unsettling at first, the Whistler XTR-135 provides great functionality to help you avoid speeding tickets.
6 – Cobra SPX 955 IVT Radar Laser Detector
Want the best value for your money? The Cobra SPX 955 is tough to beat in the under-$100 department. Design-wise, it’s more compact than other units in the SPX line. But more than appearances, the Cobra SPX 955 delivers reliable performance too.
There’s two ways to get alerts on this radar and laser detector: through the display or through audible alerts. I love the UltraBright Data Display on the SPX 955; it’s easy to read whether day or night.
Plus, you can adjust the brightness from “bright” to “dim” to “dark. If you’re going stealth mode especially during night driving, switching to dark is useful.
The Cobra SPX 955 detects both radar and laser for ultimate protection against speeding tickets. It detects X, K, Ka, and even the less common Ku bands. It’s also instant-on ready so you won’t be caught off guard by hard-to-detect POP guns.
When you’re on the road, a fast response from your radar detector is crucial for you to have ample time to reduce speed.
- Adjustable brightness
- Voice and tone alerts
- Ultra-fast response
- IVT filter system
- IntelliMute and IntelliMute Pro
- Device may get warm after a long time of use.
Armed with Xtreme Range Superheterodyne Technology (it’s a mouthful, I know), you get lightning-fast detection and extra range so you’re warned as early as possible. Plus, you’re protected against VG-2, Spectre I and Spectre IV+ RDDS for undetectability.
To handle annoying false alarms, the Cobra SPX 955 has several features in place. It has an IVT filter system which reduces false threats coming from sources such as collision avoidance and cruise control systems.
The other features are IntelliMute and IntelliMute Pro. The former is a mute function that lessens false alerts depending on your set engine RPMs, while the latter prevents detection by RDDs when you’re traveling at slower speeds.
Overall, the Cobra SPX 955 has a great feature set even at under $100. If you want a radar detector that’s affordable yet equipped with advanced features, this will not let you down.
If you want the best cheap radar detector around but you don’t want something which amounts to an overpriced paperweight, this guide should help you out. If you a little higher budget, check our under $200 series, with added features like detection of red light speed cameras, etc.
We hope that we have managed to give you a good idea of how effective these individual models are, feel free to ask us anything in the comments below.
Our Top Pick – Cobra Electronics RAD480i Radar
Among all cheap radar detectors that cost below $100, Cobra’s RAD 480i emerges as the winner. Its all-around protection (front & rear) added with advanced features like iRadar app connectivity, LaserEye technology, and IVT filter give any user the best service for its price.
False alerts are diminished by this device, while making sure there’s proper detection of real threats to help you avoid speeding tickets. To top it all off, it’s designed with a sleek external case, complete with stylish buttons and a low-key display screen that won’t draw unnecessary attention.
With these amazing features and so much more, RAD 480i takes the title of the best overall radar detector under 100 dollars.