While an average speeding ticket in the US costs $150, the truth is it can go as a high as $2000. A radar detector can help you avoid getting a citation, but with all the choices out there, it’s tricky to pick just one product.
To help you out, these are the best radar detectors under 200 that we’ve tested on the road.
- 7 of the best radar detectors under 200 reviews
- Our Top Pick – Uniden R1
7 of the best radar detectors under 200 reviews
These are the best radar detectors under $200:
1 – Uniden R1
In the under-200 department, the Uniden R1 is one of the best options you can get. It has an extreme long range capability with a 360-degree DSP (digital signal processor), so you’re protected from speed guns, speed cameras, and red light cameras in all directions.
- 360-degree DSP (digital signal processor)
- Clear and colored OLED display
- Comes with suction and cigarette adapter
- Detects many bands
- Long range detection
- Highly sensitive
- Voice notifications
- Undetectable by the Spectre Elite
- Comes with a carrying case
- Reduces false alerts
- Lightweight and slim design
- Affordable price
- The suction isn’t meant for extremely hot weather.
The Uniden R1 detects a wide range of bands, including the K and Ka bands. These are notorious for sending false alerts to detectors, but Uniden has a false filter to help sort that out.
Another great feature we’ve tested is the Uniden R1’s undetectability from the Spectre Elite. This is a common police radar detector detector used by law enforcement, and if you want to go stealth mode, the Uniden R1 has cloaking capabilities – something you don’t usually get from radar detectors under 200.
On the display, this radar detector displays the bands and signal strength. This makes it easy to view all the info you need at a glance. And when it comes to the setup, the suction mounting brackets and cigarette adapter are already included in the package, so there’s no need to buy separate accessories.
2 – Cobra Rad 480i
The sleek design of the Cobra Rad 480i makes it popular among budgeteers who want a premium look. But appearances aside, this radar detector is equipped with long-range capabilities, DSP technology, and LaserEye technology. With all these working together, you get front-and-back radar detection and fast notifications.
False alerts are also minimized with the IVT filter, which works to ignore threats that don’t really come from speed guns.
- Wide range detection
- iRadar app for sharing and receiving alerts
- LaserEye Technology
- Improved IVT filter to reduce false alerts
- Adjustable sensitivity
- Updatable software
- Impressive DSP
- Sleek design
- The software may not be compatible with some computer operating systems
Aside from its excellent radar detection capabilities, the Cobra Rad480i has a few features that offer convenience. Its Bluetooth connectivity, for example, allows you to download the iRadar app on your phone. If you’re new to Cobra, the iRadar app lets you share and receive real-time alerts from other Cobra users on the potential locations of law enforcement, speed cameras, and red light cameras. As such, you’re always updated on the road. On that same note, the radar detector’s software can also be updated with the latest improvements.
And in terms of setup, the Cobra Rad 480i comes with everything you need in the box, so you have all the bits and bobs to get this device up and running.
3 – Cobra iRad
The Cobra iRad is similar to the Cobra Rad 480i, featuring Bluetooth connectivity and the iRadar app to connect with fellow drivers on the road. As mentioned, the app lets you access real-time alerts to red light cameras, speed cameras, and even hidden law enforcement officers.
What the Cobra iRad also has is voice alerts, which makes sure you get the warning even without looking at the screen. In our tests, voice alerts have alway been more convenient than visual alerts since it’s unsafe to have an eye on the radar detector while driving.
- Features voice alerts
- Bright white OLED display
- Enhanced IVT Filter
- Laser detection from the front and back
- Wide range detection
- Supports Bluetooth
- The alerts can be a bit quiet
That said, the visual alerts on this device are pretty decent. The Cobra iRad features a bright OLED display with black text, which contains info on signal strength and band type. When we tested this on the road, the display performs pretty well day or night, making sure that the info is clearly displayed in any lighting condition.
4 – Uniden DFR7 Super Long Range Radar/Laser Detection with GPS
The Uniden DFR7 is marketed by the brand for long range detection, and in our tests, it fulfills that promise well. In fact, it can sometimes perform even better than Escort Max 360 or Valentine One.
Just an important note though: while it has a good record in detecting signals on the US radar frequency 34.7, we can’t say the same when it comes to others like 35.5 and 33.8.
GPS lockouts are one feature in this radar detector that helps in the filtering process. It works by essentially locking out repeated alerts in a certain location, which probably come from automatic doors and other sources.
To add to this, you can also use the Quiet Ride feature if you want to drive quietly. Pressing the Mute button twice can activate this feature, ensuring your drive is free from annoying false alerts when you’re driving slowly.
- Long-range detection
- Features blind-spot monitoring (BSM)
- Quiet driving due to Low-speed muting (Quiet ride)
- Features GPS lockouts for false alert filtering
- Red light camera (RLC) and speed cam alerts
- Notifications can be loud.
With these features packed into a less than $200 radar detector, this is one of the best value devices in the market. However, if you like something similar but with a cheaper price tag, you can opt for its GPS-less brother, Uniden DFR6. But if your budget is more flexible, there are some good detectors in higher price range.
5 – Whistler CR93 Laser/Radar Detector
If you need a detector that is convenient and powerful, the Whistler CR93 is a great option under 200 dollars.
This radar detector can spot radar guns at ranges that other models at this price point can’t, so if you’re a frequent highway driver, this model is a worthy investment.
In terms of false alert filtering, the Whistler CR93 has several measures in place to eliminate many of the false alarms that usually bombard other models.
For example, the inclusion of a traffic flow rejection system means that you will be able to know when other cars are causing the false signals. And if you like to customize, you’ll also be able to adjust your options with six different filters. This allows you to handle false alarms in different ways.
- Features 360-degree protection
- Features a range of laser protection options
- Has both radio signature ID and laser signal signature ID systems
- Features six different filters which cut down on false alarms
- Features a traffic flow signal rejection system for less false alerts
- Features an internal GPS which gives you a map of ticket cameras
- Can detect signals like Superwide, X band, Ku band, K band, Spectre I and IV+
- Build quality is less than high-end detectors like Escort, but is great for its price.
- Range is reduced when placed too low in the dash, so it should be mounted properly in the middle.
The inclusion of an internal GPS also allows you to keep track of all of the different cameras in your area. Plus, this database can be updated regularly online. All you have to do is connect your radar detector to your computer with a USB, cable and you will be ready to head out with your new map.
6 – Escort Passport S55 Performance Pro Radar and Laser Detector
The Escort Passport S55 is a powerful device, so if you want a radar detector that can work in most situations and you don’t mind spending a little bit of extra money, the Passport S55 is an excellent choice.
Escort makes some of the top radar detectors which are available to consumers (check here), and this one is no exception. It offers long-range protection, Escort LIVE compatibility, and an overall great performance on the road.
The ability to connect to the ESCORT Live network means that you will be able to get updates for your detector from your smartphone. With a network of millions of users, your radar detector will have maximum reliability all the time.
- Features an automatic sensitivity setting mode for optimal adjustments
- Superior range to much of the competition
- Capable of detecting K and Ka bands at longer ranges
- Effective filtering of false alarms
- Features an option for the omission of X band transmissions
- Connects to ESCORT Live, a network which updates the detector automatically
- A little more expensive than some of the other options
One of the features that also make this this Escort model stand out among other models is its omission of the X band frequency. If you’re not new to radar detectors, you know that this band can be too cluttered, so if you don’t like to be bombarded with annoying false alerts, you can just completely turn off X band detection.
Overall, this product is a superb unit for under 200 bucks.
7 – Uniden DFR5 Long Range Radar/Laser Detector
Uniden has a handful of radar detectors under 200 bucks. But if you want the best quality radar detector at a reasonable price, this model from Uniden is a great option.
While this product is capable, it’s not very flashy compared to other models. Still, this radar detector has almost the same array of other features you’ll find on most radar detectors. This is also a rather stealthy radar detector, so you don’t have to worry much about RDDs.
When it comes to the setup, you can conceal the cable with ease when plugged into your cigarette lighter outlet. But if you like a more permanent installation, you can also splice the wire into your car’s battery. If you don’t have experience with wires and electrical components, though, it’s best to leave the complex installation methods to a mechanic or electrician.
- Features superior range to other models
- This model can’t be detected by Spectre detection systems
- This product is less sensitive than much of the competition, which reduces false alarms
- Though it is less sensitive, this product is adept at long-range detection
- Much more affordable than competing models
- Has difficulty detecting some traffic cameras and other detectors which operate using low power
- Detection reaction may take a bit more time in windy roads.
All positives aside, there are some downsides to this model. While it’s affordable, we don’t consider this the top detector in its price range. In our tests, this radar detector has trouble picking up weaker signals that are used in more passive methods of detection. Regardless, it does the job well.
Our Top Pick – Uniden R1
In our list of best radar detectors under $200, the Uniden R1 is the most reliable radar detector for the money. It offers DSP technology, long range detection, and cloaking from the Spectre Elite. Coupled with voice alerts, the Uniden R1 is a reliable option at a good price point.