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What are the Best Radar Detectors Under 300? – Complete 2020 Reviews

No one likes having to be on edge and on the lookout for radar detectors on the road while driving. It takes the driver’s attention away from the road which could increase the risk of accidents.

Everyone should have a radar detector to do the job for them, and some can come at quite an affordable price.

Top Radar Detector Under $300

1 – Escort Passport 8500 X50 Radar Detector

This radar detector under 300 has a small digital screen that will display all the important information when you come across a radar alert. Why buy a radar detector if you cannot trust it?

False alerts are also something radar detectors under 300 or over can fall victim to. Once that happens, your tickets can start piling up.

To help make sure the Escort Passport is always accurate, it is equipped with auto sensitivity to weed out false readings by analyzing incoming alerts and signals.

PROS:

  • It has voice alerts which allows you to keep your attention on the road.
  • It alerts you faster than other brands on the market.
  • Comes with a case and USB charger.
  • Receives long-range for X-band, K-band, Ka band and POP.
  • Intelligent radar detector that understands the difference between a radar gun and other signals.

CONS:

  • Issues may happen within the first few months.

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2 – Whistler CR93 High Performance Laser Radar Detector

All products from the CR65 to this CR93 radar detector are under 300, but the CR93 offers the best performance. It can detect all radar guns used, which eliminates false alarms and is one of the best with 360-degree protection.

Get alerts on the OLED display or enjoy voice prompts. This radar detector is bilingual, and able to speak the two official languages of the USA (English and Spanish). 

PROS:

  • Has six filter modes to filter out regular radar traffic monitors.
  • Bilingual device with both English and Spanish alerts.
  • 360-degree protection.
  • Eliminates false alarms.
  • The internal GPS will notify you of the locations of traffic cameras in North America.

CONS:

  • Might not be very durable

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3 – Cobra iRad Laser Radar Detector

Cobra is a well-known name in the radar detector community and it’s no wonder they earn a spot in the best radar detector under 300 list. It features something other run of the mill radar detectors might not have – bluetooth connectivity!

Not only that, it outdoes the Cobra RAD450 by having the ability to sync with your phone. They send out warnings via voice alerts and the app will tell you what’s on the road ahead of you in real-time and the OLED display will show you the band ID and signal strength.

PROS:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Can be synced with your phone
  • Offers voice alerts
  • OLED display with band information and signal strength
  • The IVT filter reduces false alarms and only focuses on police radar guns

CONS:

  • The range may not be as advertised
  • May not be long lasting.

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4 – Uniden R1 Extreme Long Range Radar Laser Detector

This radar detector from Uniden features long range detectors and built-in GPS for early detection and location of all police radar guns. Get all-around protection with the 360-degree signal processor and receive all the information on the OLED display.

All these features plus the affordable price of under 300 makes this one of the best radar detectors on the market. Red light cameras will no longer be a threat because you will see (or hear) them coming from light years away!

PROS:

  • Built-in GPS and long range sensors
  • A radar detector with 360-degree all-around protection.
  • OLED display with all the band information
  • Reduce chances of false alerts. 

CONS:

  • The detection could be inaccurate
  • Might not have a long lifespan.

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5 – Uniden DFR1 Long-Range Laser and Radar Detection

The display on this radar detector is very easy to read with colored indicators on a black screen. The signal strength meter bars will show you how strong the signal is even from a long way away.

The radar detector is undetectable and a DC charging cable is included in your package. The Uniden signal detector also advises you to slow down if when you step too hard on the gas pedal and get your vehicle targeted.

It acts as an invisible guardian against traffic tickets!

PROS:

  • Gives you prompts if you are going too fast
  • The radar detector is undetectable
  • Easy to read screen 
  • Shows signal strength on the easy-to-read indicator

CONS:

  • The range isn’t long.
  • Won’t pick up a lot of red light cameras and radar guns.

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Best Radar Detector Under 300 Buying Guide

Different radar detectors are capable of different things. What is it you are most susceptible to in your city? Do you need a reminder when you put too much pressure on the gas pedal or more for when cops are hiding in the bushes?

Let’s take a look at what features a radar detector can have.

Type

There are different types of radar detectors for your car. When we say type, we mean mount type. There are corded, cordless and permanent mount options. 

The corded ones are very common and sit on your windshield by the power of suction cups. Yes, this keeps it out of your way but it doesn’t make it very portable. If you have one camera for multiple vehicles, you could look into the cordless options.

Since they do not have an attached cable, you can move it easily from one vehicle to another and they are much easier to install. The permanent mount design will secure the radar detector securely to your car.

Detection

The best radar detectors have 360-degree protection. This means they have more than one sensor that can detect signals not only from directly in front of you, but from all sides. This greatly decreases the chance of any unpleasant surprises on the road.

Radar detectors are becoming increasingly important, and although 360-degree protection is pricier, you can get them with a radar detector under 300! Why invest in something that costs a few hundred dollars if there is still a chance of a ticket?

Unfortunately, radar detectors aren’t always legal. In some cities or states where these devices are against the law, police officers may have devices that can detect your radar detector.

To counter this, manufacturers have come out with models that are shielded, making your new radar detector undetectable. So if you know that it’s illegal to use these ticket curbers where you live, make sure you find one that’s shielded.

Voice Alert

A lot of radar detectors have a screen that displays necessary information or emits some sort of alert (such as a beep) if something requires your attention.

However, with voice alerts you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to glance at your radar detector. This makes you a safer driver if you ask us.

Also, some detectors can have visual alerts or the detector has a mute function just in case you have sleeping passengers but don’t want to miss a prompt.

This feature isn’t usually found in less than $100 detector products, so prepare a bigger budget if you want it.

GPS

Radar detectors can now come with built-in GPS. They can give you even more accurate readings while also pinpointing the location of the speed cameras and radar guns. 

One big advantage a GPS radar detector has over regular options is they can tell you how fast your vehicle is going as well as when you need to slow down.

Some best GPS radar detectors can also tell switch and adjust their sensitivity which helps depending on if you are driving through the suburbs or city.

GPS radar detectors are “smart” devices that have the ability to remember areas you’ve been to. They will automatically recall that information and let you know of camera locations and speed limits.

Bluetooth Connection

Bluetooth connection is essential if you want smartphone compatibility. Sometimes you can be a good samaritan and log where the cameras are in the vicinity for other drivers using the same device and app. 

You can also get the alerts sent to your phone so the radar detector remains invisible. See, control and set everything via your smart device if your best radar detector under 300 has bluetooth.

Range

Range is everything. You want to be able to get ahead of the game and not even register on the policeman’s radar gun. To do this, you need to know it’s there before you’re in range.

A radar detector with long-range capabilities can alert you of the radar gun’s presence even before they know you are there, allowing you to slow down. Short range radar detectors are almost redundant since they won’t go off until you’re being pulled over – yikes!

Highway/City Modes

What is this function you ask? If you enable the city mode in urban areas, your radar detector will lower its sensitivity so small things such as car alarms won’t set it off. The highway mode turns up your radar detector’s sensitivity up to give you advanced warnings.

Sensitivity

Gone are the days when police officers wait in the wings with a radar gun that’s already on. Now there are instant-on guns that turn on the instant or right before you pass, not giving your X-band only detector the chance to act accordingly.

Find radar detectors that can sense K-bands. These K-band detectors can even detect instant-on radar guns.

Warranty/Guarantee

For technological devices, we always suggest looking for a warranty of at least a year and maybe a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re lucky.

You never know if you will receive a defective device or if some component goes haywire in the near future. Being protected keeps your purchase risk-free.

Are Radar Detectors Under 300 Worth It?

Yes! Just because a radar detector doesn’t hit or come close to the 500 mark doesn’t mean it’s any less functional.

Sure, the more advanced and pricier designs could come with fancier features such as the highway and city modes, K-band detection and stealth mode, not all of those features are vital to a good radar detector.

If after going through our buying guide made you feel like you need these capabilities, you can probably find a rare deal where a camera is one sale for less than 300.

We were actually quite surprised how well-made and capable radar detectors under 300 can be! They still have the revered long-range capability to alert you of an enemy waiting in the wings from meters away.

Some for this affordable price even come with built-in GPS and bluetooth! Yes, for a radar detector under 300, you can still find some of the best ones that are reliable, and will offer their services for many years to come.

If your budget is a hundred bucks short for this list, we also have a list of under $200 detectors.

Conclusion

Radar detectors can be very important, especially if you think the grounds of the ticket are unfounded. Although we find that the main purpose of having a radar detector is to help you avoid tickets altogether.

There are many great choices for under 300 on the market, so there is no need to overspend. 

Our Top Pick – Escort Passport 8500 X50

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Our top choice among these options is is probably the Escort Passport 8500 X50.

This radar detector makes it to the top because it does have the ability to sense K-bands and that gets you out of plenty of tickets. The auto-sensitivity sensors understand the difference between a radar gun and a car alarm, so there will be virtually no false alerts.

If you are looking for the ultimate choice of functionality with nothing too fancy for a reasonable price, then we suggest the Escort Passport. Have you added it to your cart yet?

William
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