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The Best Radar Detector of 2020 – Comparison & Reviews

what is the best radar detector

Here’s a fact: a speeding ticket can easily cost you five hundred dollars. It doesn’t end there—it can also cost you the time and stress of dealing with the police, going to court or seeking legal help. Thankfully, you can avoid all of these hassles with a single device: a radar detector.

Our experts tested and evaluated today’s best radar detectors in order to guarantee that you won’t be getting those expensive tickets again.  

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Best Radar Detectors Reviews

1. Escort Redline 360c Radar Detector

The Escort Redline 360c is an undetectable best radar detector that protects you from potential threats all around you. The heightened sensors on the radar detector can pinpoint the location of threats with exceptional accuracy.

Escort Redline 360c’s radar detection range is impressive, as it surpasses that of the Redline Ex and the Max 360C.

Enjoy more peace of mind on the road with the Escort Redline 360C’s extreme range capabilities and performance to know exactly what lies ahead with time to adjust. With AI assisted filtering, the Escort Redline 360C will block false alerts, ensuring a smooth and quiet ride without unnecessary alerts. Escort has a Defender’s Database, which allows users to connect in real-time with other drivers to send out and receive alerts on potential threats.

Pros

  • Extremely long-range radar sensors
  • Escort 360-degree protection
  • Heightened sensors
  • Access to the drivers’ database
  • AI assisted false alarms and false alert filtering
  • Rapid response time
  • Stealth mode available
  • Triple antenna design
  • AutoLearn Technology by Escort
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth available

Cons

  • Comes only in red
  • Directional arrows are small

Who should buy the Escort Redline 360c? Every driver who requires convenience, extreme radar range performance, and international radar gun support.

2. ESCORT MAX 360c Radar Detector

The Escort Max 360c is a smaller detector but covers basic and advanced features for effective and high performance radar and laser detection.

As an updated version of the popular Escort 360 product, the high performance Escort 360C adds a Wi-Fi function, which allows automatic wireless firmware updates.

This product also has smartphone integration, Bluetooth, and access to Escort Live app. This enables real-time alerts from fellow Escort Live app users and makes it one of the best radar detectors on the market.

The Max 360C by Escort offers a full 360-degree radar range, GPS functionality, and BSM filtering.

The 360C radar detector features a radar band segmentation that significantly cuts out false alerts and false alarms. Its blind spot monitoring filter also doesn’t need TSR to reduce sensitivity for less false alarms/false alerts.

Automatic GPS lockouts are an excellent advantage with Escort’s 360C radar laser detector, meaning it can let you store false alerts in a database and are automatically locked out the next time you pass by as you drive.

Its OLED display screen shows easy to read data and arrows to find information on the source of radar bands signals. Additionally, the display notifies when there are red light cameras and speed cameras nearby to protect from a ticket.

Pros

  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & GPS enable
  • Escort Live compatible for real-time alerts
  • Good OLED display by Escort
  • Automatic GPS lockouts to better filter false alerts
  • Speed camera alerts and red light camera alert
  • Band frequency segmentation
  • Easy to install with a windshield mount
  • Front and rear detection of radar
  • Blind spot monitoring

Cons

  • Price is a bit expensive
  • Directional arrows on display aren't that visible

Automatic GPS lockouts are an excellent advantage with Escort’s 360C radar laser detector, meaning it can let you store false alerts in a database and are automatically locked out the next time you pass by as you drive.

Its OLED display screen shows speed limit and directional arrows to find information on the source of radar bands signals. Aside from the arrows, the display notifies when there are red light camera and speed cameras nearby to protect from a ticket.

Who should buy the Escort Max 360C? Casual drivers who need automated features.

escort max 360c testimonial

3. Escort Max 360 Radar Detector

The Max 360 radar and laser detector by Escort has front and rear antennas that create full defense and spotting the direction of the radar bands’ source.

This affordable radar detector provides all the same features and performance of the small 360C from Escort, except for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Max 360 by Escort delivers wide-range detection of radar, red light cameras, speed traps, and speed camera alerts.

The 360 radar detector model by Escort  detects signals from all radar frequency bands, plus a Defender Database that is efficient for the red light camera and speed camera alerts.

Escort Max 360’s terrific automated features include GPS lockouts that store stationary false alerts & false alarm sources in memory and ignore them any time in the future.

Pros

  • Digital signal processor for superior digital false alerts filter systems
  • Wide ability to detect radar signals or find bands (including different X K radars & Ka Bands)
  • Auto filter system, Autolearn tech, and the GPS feature by Escort
  • Defender Database
  • Affordable
  • Clear and easy to read OLED display
  • Over the speed limit alert and voice alerts as a guide while you drive
  • Front and rear antennas for greater perception
  • Speed cameras and red light camera alerts
  • Stores sources of false alerts
  • Smartphone pairing thru Bluetooth

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Need manual updates

Max 360 automatically adjusts its sensitivity levels depending on your speed. At the same time, this product even notifies with voice alerts when you’re speeding beyond the limit.

Even without Wi-Fi, 360 users can still connect to Escort Live app via Bluetooth, which is all worth its affordable price.

Who should buy the Escort Max 360? Casual motorists who wish for full safeguarding from a speeding ticket and automated features should get this best model.

Escort Max360 testimonial

4. Uniden R7 Radar Detector

The Uniden R7 came after Uniden R3, another high performance radar detector from the brand. It comes with a nicer condenser lens to improve from Uniden R3, plus a better range and radar signal sensitivity for the highest level of protection at all times.

Despite its steep price range, the R7 by Uniden is a big help in open road, highway, and challenging terrains, unlike cheaper price radar detectors with shorter radar range. It also features speed cameras and red light camera alerts.

The Uniden R7 is great for beginner drivers who want optimum performance and extreme sensitivity.

False alerts filtering on the R7 is also top-notch, with its built-in K-filter and K-block that filter out blind spot false alerts from Hondas and Acuras, aside from the regular alerts from door openers.

The Uniden R7 also detects MRCD and MRCT, the relatively new low-powered radar guns.

Red directional arrows on R7 notify you of where the laser guns signal emissions are coming from. Aside from that, its instinctive mute ability when driving at low speed ensures quiet rides even in dense areas.

Pros

  • Great range and sensitivity for signals
  • Directional arrows on the display
  • Built-in K-block filter for blocking of blind spot false alarms and false alerts
  • Bigger lockout storage of 1,750
  • Red light camera alerts and speed camera alerts

Cons

  • Firmware updates aren't allowed with Chromebook
  • A bit expensive in price even if it's among the best

This has drawbacks though, including manual GPS lockouts, which can be less convenient compared to an automatic model.

But despite the downsides, the Uniden R7 remains as among the best radar detector units today.

Who should buy the R7? Beginners who fancy a high-performing, all-around detector in their daily city drive without much false alerts.

Uniden R7 testimonial

5. Valentine One Radar Detector

Radar detector enthusiasts know the Valentine One well, with its phenomenal range with its multiple antennas, including front and rear, it’s one of the best radar detectors even though it’s among the oldest models.

With its extended detection range (radar) performance, this best radar & laser detector model is perfect for highway & open road navigation.

The Valentine One is equipped with first-rate sensitivity, warranting protection from any radar threats.

This top radar detector is a more tech-savvy option, but design-wise, the V1 has more of a vintage look.

However, this best detector’s extreme sensitivity yet lack of false alerts muting would not be good for urban driving—lights for alerts will blink like crazy every time.

Pros

  • Extreme long range detection of radar for protection
  • Classic design & display
  • Display of the model is good even in low light
  • Arrows to point to the direction of source
  • Optional Bluetooth module

Cons

  • Requires additional setup for advanced features (e.g. built-in GPS, speed camera alerts & red light camera alerts, and false alerts filters)
  • Might be complex for beginners
  • Quite bulky for windshield mount setup

One of the downers of the V1 is its lack of GPS that’s built-in, which means it’s unable to detect the speed or red light camera and other speed traps.

GPS lockout function and low-speed muting are not readily available, and only accessible with the optional Bluetooth module, you can integrate it with your phone.

Who should buy the Valentine One? Techy drivers who have a need for advanced options of a high performance radar detector.

valentine one testimonial

6. Radenso Pro M Radar Detector

If you want a more silent and user-friendly vehicle companion, what’s best for you is the Radenso Pro M model.

Radenso Pro M’s GPS compatibility quickly notifies of any police speed traps ahead. Manual GPS lockouts also significantly increase the filtering of false alerts.

Radenso Pro M has first-class false alert filters, police laser detection, and long range protection.

Radenso Pro M is a reliable radar detector with a great BSM filtering and performance. With it, blocking out false alerts from Hondas and Acuras is no problem at all.

Moreover, Radenso Pro M emits quieter warning tones/alerts that ramp up gradually as the signal gets stronger. Users are not constantly bombarded by light and beeping from false alerts and non-relevant signals.

Pros

  • Long range detection
  • Best false alert filtering systems and performance
  • City and Auto City Mode
  • GPS compatible
  • Best for quiet drives
  • Quick to setup with a windshield mount or other types of mount
  • Lifetime free GPS update and firmware updates
  • Detects speed traps ahead

Cons

  • Price is a bit expensive
  • Could use some design improvements

Stealth against counter-detectors is also a great feature in the Radenso Pro M. It has the power to detect signals from the low-powered law enforcement police radar gun, MRCD.

For beginners, Radenso Pro M is the best easy to use a radar detector. It includes free lifetime firmware updates [1], which is a huge bonus when you order.

Who should buy the Radenso Pro M? Any driver who does highway drives and came make use of a quieter detector (less alerts) without getting a ticket.

pro M testimonial

What to look for in a good radar detector?

Performance

Performance matters since it determines the reliability of your detector on the road. You should look out for an impressive range for different bands, best signal strength, and red light camera alerts, arrows to point to radar source, and built-in technology like GPS to detect false alerts. Performance is also reflected in the Bluetooth pairing capability and immunity from VG-2, among others, in picking the best radar detectors.

escort detector

Durability

Durability is partly dependent on how it is used, attached using a mount on either a car or a motorcycle. The durability of a product is also partly dependent on the quality of the material, especially when it comes to the display.

So read customer and user ratings before you order to make sure you’re getting a good detector that won’t break in just a few months.

GPS in Radar Detectors

One main benefit of having GPS in your radar detector is having fewer false alerts. Many of the best radar detectors nowadays have built-in GPS, but some that still don’t have a GPS can use Bluetooth for the same functionality. Other benefits of having GPS in radar detectors include red light camera alerts, low-speed muting, and GPS lockouts.   

Ease of use

Ease of usage is critical, as being behind the wheel requires all of your attention especially when you pick up speed on the road. Your detector should have a simple and intuitive design, aside from being easy to operate and setup with a windshield mount.

There are specific best features that help with this, including voice alerts, GPS, filters for false alerts, great OLED display screen with arrows for direction, windshield mount inclusion and adaptive cruise control.

Radar Detector's Price Range

Price range of best radar detectors matters, as you should get money’s worth when you purchase. Many of these best models are not light on the pocket, but among the best cheap options are the Cobra ESD 7570 (a product not on this list) and other low price Whistler detectors on the market.

You may want to find and search for the price of accessories too, like the windshield mount radar detectors need. A lot are available in Amazon, too, so it’s best to compare them before you order.

Our Top Radar Detector Pick: Escort Redline Ex

Our experts have concluded that the Escort Redline 360C is the best radar detector on the market. It protects you while remaining in the shadows with its proprietary TotalShield Technology, to block it from detection.

Know what’s in front of you with the extreme range sensors that offer 360-degree protection. Get alerted with ample time to adjust your speed. AI filtering will make sure you don’t receive false alerts. Even if one does get through, the AutoLearn technology will learn your routes and filter them out for good.

Radar Detectors - FAQ

Are radar detectors worth it?

Yes, radar detectors are worth it. In 2020, they can cost from $150 to $650, but you’ll be pleased with its results. You’ll see that it can best help you avoid many speeding tickets and saving money is definitely a good reason to get one.

On the other hand, if you get your first speeding ticket, it can already cost you $100 to over $500. Essentially, every model of detectors on this list pays for itself back pretty quickly. However, if you already got one, you may get it dismissed by participating in a traffic school online

Are radar detectors legal? 

It depends on which state you live in and where you will be using the radar device. 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. As always, wherever your home is located, check your specific state or city law, to be sure. Another option is using an anti-camera license plate blocker.

Can police and law enforcement tell if you have a radar detector?

Radar detectors are usually mounted with a windshield mount or on the dash with suction cups, so they’re not really physically hidden, even though you may have tinted side mirrors or windshield. Law enforcement and police can also tell you have one if they pulled you over.

The police also have radar detector detectors (RDDs), but they’re mostly used in areas where radar detectors are illegal. If that’s an issue, you should be using one of the detectors with a good cloaking component that works to make them invisible to RDDs. 

escort detector

Where should you place a radar detector? 

Ideally, the best radar detectors are mounted on the front windshield (using a windshield mount radar detectors need) near the center point or high up the rearview mirror with suction cups. Others are more comfortable to mount radar detectors low on the dash. But some states have restrictions about where drivers may mount their detectors, so make sure you know your state’s laws before you’re getting any kind of windshield mount radar detectors require.

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, radar guns can detect how fast you’re driving speed is from about a mile away. If you’re using a smaller vehicle like a sedan or a sports car as you drive, they will know from around 500 – 1500 feet distance. 

Common Radar Detectors Related Terms

Some terms might be a little confusing and need a bit of explanation. Here’s what some of them mean:

DSP

This stands for Digital Signal Processing technology. A radar detector with DSP or digital signal processing technology uses a microchip for automatic recognition and prioritization of signal list used by law enforcement.

False Alerts

These are false alarms / false alerts that don’t come from speed guns yet they can set off your detector. Some of these false alerts include automatic door openers and electronic warning signs. High performance detector models often have false alerts or alarms blocking or filtering (e.g. GPS lockouts & blind spot monitoring system) as these false alerts can cause distraction for drivers.

GPS Lockouts

GPS lockouts keep record of recurring false alerts and automatically eliminate them. This only works for detectors with a GPS feature or a built-in GPS chipset. GPS lockouts both work in low speed muting and automatic alert block, but mostly on stationary false sources where the GPS can effectively remember the coordinates. Having a GPS also increases a detector’s sensitivity to speed cameras.

IVT

This acronym stands for in-vehicle technology. Essentially, these are built-in safety additions and devices in modern vehicles on the market such as lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control. Another thing about IVT filter is that it can also cause false alerts. Some of the known models have an IVT filter.

Escort Max 360 mounted on windshield

K-Band

Radar guns only operate between 24.125 and 24.15 GHz of the K band. Among other bands, this band is harder to detect from a long distance, more difficult to filter and is also used in many non-enforcement devices, making your detector device more prone to false alerts.

Ka-Band

Operating between 33.4 and 36 GHz, the Ka-band is the most popular frequency among the bands used by law enforcement.

Laser

For faster speed detecting capability, police officers are starting to use laser technology which is more powerful and more accurate compared to radar. Many motorists have gotten a ticket for this reason.

Laser defuser/Laser jammer

While just having a detector can protect you against radar, laser defusers help jam signals emitted by laser guns. But remember that these devices are banned in some states. You can also use a decent police scanner to listen to the radio and get some information beforehand.

Red Light Camera

A red light camera is a fully-automated camera that can detect red light runners. Any red light camera can also collect data of a vehicle with a violation, that’s why many radar detectors have red light camera detection as well as red light camera alerts/notifications.

valentine one radar detector

V Signal

When you get this on your radar detector, it means there’s a VG-2 RDD device being used nearby to detect radar detectors signal on vehicles.

X-Band

Operates on 10.5 to 10.55 GHz. The X-Band is the easiest to detect among other radar bands, but its use is wide-range, like in shop doors, automatic door openers, and traffic sensors.

Have a tight budget? Check some of our top options under $300.

William