While many drivers would like to believe they never actually speed up beyond the limits, it is an easily committable mistake most people make. But thank goodness for the invention of the radar detectors, motorists today can be at ease while driving and let the device do the “detective work” for them.
The Best Radar detectors are useful driving tools that can identify radar signal frequencies sent from police speed cameras, air patrol, red light cameras, and photo radars. Until just a few years ago (earlier than 2018), buying a simple radar detecting product was enough, but police and traffic enforcers got new tools for scanning speed of passing cars, even ones that are way far from their position.
Alongside the evolution of those devices, many brands stepped up their game and developed new features to keep up with the more advanced “radar detector detectors”. We have looked for the finest radar detector options in 2018 that were designed to cover you from the new threats, rendering you undetectable (helpful for Virginia and other states that don’t allow the use of radar detectors) and practically ticket-free for as long as you use them.
The real question is: Which among these instruments for radar detection will be perfect for your driving needs and will surely save you from all threats?
To find out and to guide the driving community, we gathered up the best-seller detectors, tested and reviewed them with consideration of their claims in terms of performance, sensitivity, false threat filtering, software, GPS, and other special features. These detectors range from entry-level to high-end devices, compared to each other and were subjected to different tests. Each unit had to match or pass a minimum range, block lasers sometimes (similar to laser jammers) and for the advanced ones, even hide itself from radar detector detectors. Gear up for Rated Radar Detector’s List of the Best Radar Detectors for 2018:
The Best Radar Detectors in 2018
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1. Uniden R3
When Uniden resurfaced in the radar detector 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 flagship detector is the clear winner. After a serious scrutiny of the radar detector, we immediately understood why. Hence, we give you our top pick for the best radar detector for 2018: Uniden R3.
Many promises were made during the release of Uniden R3 about its excellent performance and breakthrough features. But promises are just plain claims until they tested, right? Well, here we offer you real observations and facts that we for sure know about this model.
Uniden R3 offers the longest range coverage and has set a new standard in that aspect, reaching 12x more than a standard detector. It is an outstanding feature that says a lot about the impressive performance of this device. It’s simple, with Uniden R3 you can filter K and Ka-band miles before your old detector 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 capabilities are much enhanced by the 360-degree Digital Signal Processor added into it, sensitivity, accuracy and protection included.
These days no one should enjoy the annoying beeping of their detector, which Uniden R3 resolves through its Automute feature, an element that’s part of brand’s R 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. We certainly love this feature.
Aside from that, R3 has a 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
- Impressive range
- Great quality of tonal and audio alerts
- Three sensitivity settings: HIGHWAY, CITY, And CITY2
- Gps with accurate geo-location and quick signal acquisition
- Speed sensitive mute alerts for quiet rides
- Signal priority favors stronger signals first
- Lack of special features that allows smartphones to control the radar detector
All these features are packed and locked in a well-constructed exterior, something we immediately noticed and appreciated. It is complete with easy-to-handle buttons, a high-res LED screen with four brightness options, two options for mounting, and a USB connection. Definitely not bad for a product that reaches up to $500, right?
Power packed with all the impressive features it gives, its visual appearance comes as a total bonus, letting Uniden R3 triumph in all aspects over any other radar detector in 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 guide that came with the device.
2. Valentine One
A familiar face in the radar detector field is the Valentine One which has been around for a total of 28 year span. Through the efficiency of Valentine Research, this device is known for the quick response that it gives when it is used. One other thing that is recognizable about the detector is its high performance. It is actually one of the radar detector reviews I like to do the most every year.
Most of the best radar detectors 2018 tend to make the mistake of focusing on selling based off the features. This often leads to them forgetting the fundamental needs of a good detector. Valentine does not have that issue.
When first using it, we noticed the lack of certain gadgets. Features like auto mute and alternative user settings were nonexistent. It’s a remarkable thing, though. It just means that the Valentine One is used for functionality and not for show.
The V1 is strong in alerts. With its radar, the detector brings the highest level of reception. It is high rating product, which ranked high above the Escort’s brand of products, and certainly is among the top ones for all detectors. But remember, 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 price is at $488.98, the detector offers quality for its cost. It does not have the same usefulness as others on this list, yet its reliability is at 100%.
- Extreme range
- Sensitivity to X, K, and Ka radar bands as well as laser
- Super wideband detection for Ka and Ku radar bands
- Multiple Antennae for 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-tech radar detectors
- No GPS
- Heavy in weight
One flaw of the V1 is the weight. When trying the detector for the first time, we’ve noticed how heavy it was. While it is a slight annoyance, the detector is overweight. For advanced radar detector users, the Valentine One is the way to go. The lack of alarms is not a good look either. When using it, we found no warning to keep us alert throughout our driving. However, the lack of features like that makes it an effective detector. It’s nice and simple to use. Therefore, its main drawback is also its main advantage. Make sure to use the V1 if you’re wanting a detector that specializes in performance.
We give the V1 4/5. It has great performance and that’s why it is one of the top radar detectors in 2018, 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 360°
Escort raises the bar one more time.
Best among its Max series, the Escort Max 360° is made with extreme range and pinpoint decision on its mind.
This device rating is for Ka-POP, X, K and laser detection. With its dual antenna setup, it gets you covered from front and rear and from side to side. Infused with digital hardware and effective software, Escort’s main model reacts quickly. Additionally, its outstanding range is what makes it worth the price. It usually costs about $650, but the price on Amazon might be lower.
Escort Max uses a DSP chip that is used to create full awareness. While regulars and long-time fans of the brand understand the detector, we believe that the Escort Max is great for those who are new into the field. It definitely is easy to use, we haven’t encountered one complication while testing it.
The defining feature of an Escort Max is its real-time detection. Connected with Escort live, this device can accurately notify you of where local threats in the area are coming from through the use of directional arrows. Added to accuracy, it has a great range in detecting radar frequencies from all sides, hence, the name 360°.
When it comes to essentials the Escort Max 360° is what you’d expect from a high range radar detector.
- Overspeeding alert
- Features dual antennas for long-range protection from all directions
- Has AutoLearn technology to avoid false warnings
- With AutoMute, SmartMute and CruiseAlert features
- Multi-color OLED display
- Escort Live compatible for real-time protection
- Weekly updates for Defender Database
- Too expensive
- Complex use and setup
- Free Defender Database updates last for only 90 days
- No ability to detect VG-2 or Spectre I/IV
The Escort Max allows the user to manually lock out unwanted signals. Sure, the 360 remembers your inputs for frequent use. The screen is reduced to a small, gray popup, from its usual multi-colored bright display with high-resolution graphics. This feature makes Max 360° a great choice for those in crowded areas or for highway driving. It’s like an intelligent companion that has all eyes on every direction with very reliable directional arrow indicators.
Like the Max 2, the DSP moves through saturated radar reception bands. These bands help find reception that is used in all areas of law enforcement. The background noise is ignored, leaving you to have a comfortable and relaxing ride.
We give the Max 360° a 4/5.
4. Beltronics GT-7
Beltronics GT-7 is one remarkable radar detector because of its sleek look and great external design, yet it earned its spot in this list not only because of that. Sure, the first thing we noticed upon unpacking it is its solid body construction and great aesthetic. But its performance according to our resarch, is beyond average which makes it stand out among its competitors.
Reliability is a serious feature for this model, giving the user 360° laser detection and all sorts of bands detection. It was an easy plug-and-play experience setting up this detector, a great partner for those who drive often. It immediately sets to the Novice mode that’s best for casual driving, featuring both Cruise and Overspeed alerts when one is driving below 20 mph or beyond 70 mph, respectively. We have tried buzzing both alerts off and they work perfectly. The range of detection isn’t a joke in the GT-7 too, with the Digital Signal Processing feature enhancing the capability of the device to detect even with long distances.
When it comes to sensitivity, it is a great feature that can be too distracting when not balanced with filtering. The GT-7 removes that problem with its “speed-variable sensitivity”, which automatically lessens sensitivity at slow speeds and increases it when driving fast. That’s a striking feature, especially when combined with the ability to separate the false alerts from the real ones, a digital feature that any frequent drivers would love. Added to this is the is the GPS chip installed in the device, which not only helps in false alarm filtering but also alerts the driver of speed cameras, speed traps and red lights ahead.
Of course, it connects to the Escort Live, as Beltronics is under the same firm as Escort, yet a few more minimal details we noticed about this detector shows the professional construction done to it by the brand. Both its voice notification and digital display are bright and clear, and it features a StickyCup Mount, a SmartCord, a travel case, and a one year limited warranty.
- GPS protection with AutoLearn and “mark location” features
- Overspeed alert and 360° laser protection
- Traffic Sensor Rejection for quieter rides
- One-year warranty
- Highway, Auto (speed-based), and Auto No X sensitivity modes
- Display is not that bright
- Vibration of the radar detector can be distracting for drivers
- No Bluetooth feature
The only thing that’s a bit off about The GT-7 is its price. But while it is on the higher end of cost at $499, it gives a consistent and unfailing performance that would make any motorist confident at all times when he is out on the road. And for that one downside, if you could get the range, display, alarms and added features of this product, then that would be a great price to pay instead of the many tickets you could possibly get. With all these considered, Beltronics GT-7 is undeniably among the top contenders for the best radar for 2018, and we are sure of it.
5. Escort RedLine EX
We’ll put this info out there first. The Escort RedLine EX costs around $600. It replace the 2007 model, Escort RedLine when it was released in 2017 promising better and more advanced features.
But do not be intimidated by its price. The Escort RedLine EX is powerful, easily accessible, and actually one of the best radar detectors on the market for its price. It is the newest release of Escort, backed up by the advanced innovations that the company offers. Escort it known for providing some of the most trusted radar scanners in 2018 and in the past decade. It wouldn’t take up 3 spots in our Top 7 list if it wasn’t an outstanding brand, right? And among its newest radar detectors is the Escort Redline EX.
Most of the models tested in this radar detectors reviews for 2018 present good range, but Escort Redline boasts of a range greater than that of other models. Since its main mode is Ka-band, it is perfect for highway usage. The Redline has a quality that matches even more expensive detectors, such as Escort Passport 9500ci (which explains why it is on this list instead of the expensive 9500ci).
- Long-range radar detection and laser sensitivity
- 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
- No alerts on the direction of radar source
- No overspeed alert
One disadvantage of the older Escort Redline is the lack of GPS. Escort Redline EX leaves that in the past as it is equipped with GPS feature, boosting the protection and Bluetooth. The speed camera & speed traps protection, which for us took a hit before, was even more improved with the satellite technology. Our issue about the older model it that it is a good investment for only 2-3 years. But Redline EX matches up with other top radar warning devices with its adaptable capability.
Yet we acknowledge that it just takes after the Escort IX and Max 360 in terms of other features, hence it’s lower ranking in this list. Of course, it connects to Escort Live, which enhances the driving experience, as we always get when using the app. You obtain protection from false alarms and red light cameras. Also, amongst windshield mounted detectors the Redline is the best in its league.
We give it a 3.75/5 because of its many added features, yet just an above average performance. With the original RedLine earning acknowledgments for being one of the best in long-range detection and outstanding system for information-delivery, we expected more from its successor. Sure, we love that Escort finally added GPS, yet most of the best features of older RedLine were not highlighted and improved, making us wish RedLine wasn’t replaced at all.
But still, we laud Escort for the many improvements in the model, with extra display functions, better sensitivity, and more dashing appearance, it is well worthy of a purchase.
6. Escort iX
The sixth on our radar detector reviews list is Escort’s first long-range model, the Escort iX Long Rang. The radar detector does a great job at giving a fast response. If you would ask me what would be my top pick for the most reliable radar locating device for 2018, I might answer that it is the Escort iX even though it is not part of the Escort Passport series.
This group of radar bands consists of instant and conventional modes (X-band, K-band, Pop mode). We like a large amount of quality laser detection sensors provide off-axis protection. It also features a new sensitivity setting called AutoLoK, which lessens K-band sensitivity. In addition, it produces anti alert falsing technology system. Meaning that it uses GPS to learn and reject unwanted fake alarms.
These fake threats can destroy the safety of your driving. What’s interesting is that its systems takes away the fear of false alerts. Through its innovative technology sources (Ex: cruise control that adapts to your speed) and software that helps with Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) radar.
Lastly, the best thing that we liked about this Escort is the Escort Live app. You can connect your smartphone to your radar protector to prevent getting a ticket and use it similar to radar detector app.
- 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
- Lack of front facing mute button
- Low contrast & visibility of display
- Not invisible to radar detector detectors
One of the features that we like from the Escort Long Range is the auto learn technology. The auto learn technology uses GPS and scouts around the area. When finding harmful alarms around the area, it detects and alerts the user.
False alarms are a pain. They can destroy the driving experience by exposing you to a lot of legal issues. We like the Escort IX Long Range because it allows the user to drive easy. There is no need to worry about negative police behavior when using it because it can display police radar frequencies. Amongst its competitors, it’s one of the best and maybe actually the best police radar and laser detector available. While the other detecting apparatuses have limited range, the iX is one of the Escort Long Range specialties.
Long range detection is the main feature. It creates over 6 miles of detecting capabilities. It also offers clear warnings, which makes the Escort iX is great at locating unwanted signals and speed camera locations. These features lead to the assurance that you’ll find a great amount of distance protection when using this.
The one issue that we found when using the Escort Long Range was its accuracy. It is great for finding harmful signals in over 6 miles, but at certain driving times, it does not have an accurate reading. This throws off drivers a bit.
But, we believe that the Escort iX is still one of the best radar detectors and obviously should be in the seven top radar detectors. It’s long range effectiveness is outstanding. Compared to any of the other remarkable radar-detecting gadget on this list, it holds its own.
We give it a 4/5.
7. Radenso XP
Last on our Top 7 list is Radenso XP, a mid-range detector that gives out a great performance with a fair price at $400. It is known for being one of the quietest radar detectors there are, which is a definite advantage, especially for those who had quite the experience in unnerving fake alarms. We weren’t expecting much about this claim, but we came through with a noteworthy quiet test. While others might deem that as a possible negative sign, it doesn’t mean that Radenso XP isn’t sensitive enough to warn you off from radar bands. It has effective K-band detection in our experience, no complaints from us regarding this. This model will show a numberic frequency of numeric signal, that will let experienced drivers know whether the Ka-band alert is false warning or legit. The display is usually clear and easy-to-read, even with a very bright surroundings and lighting conditions.
Despite not having the ultra-long-range that others in this list offer, Radenso XP matches up with the false alert filtering systemit has, including a manual GPS lockout that can instantly block the common false alarms in your usual driving routes. It can even mute all voice alerts 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 detector is it’s equipped with effective avoidance filters for K-band collision too, designed to retain great sensitivity for police radar guns even when a vehicle with a K-band polluting gear is around. That’s pretty impressive. Different modes are available depending on where you’re gonna drive: it has City, AutoCity and Highway. Radenso XP high-performance radar/laser detector is leading the industry with excellent overall performance. However, 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.
- 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: Highway, City, and AutoCity
- Multiple Threat Display
- No overspeed alerts
- No Bluetooth feature
A drawback that we think the brand should fix is the lack of over-speed alert, common to many 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 detector users. Overall, our experience with it was pretty smooth and quiet, true to its claims.
The Verdict – What is the most outstanding radar detecting instrument you should get for 2018?
The best radar detector in 2018 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 radar detection is outstanding while keeping the balance in other important elements of a radar detector: radar sensitivity, alert accuracy, and detection from all directions.
Other products are great on their own. However, the Uniden R3 is the most outstanding and consistent in all conditions. With Uniden R3, a quiet ride can be enjoyed with its Auto Mute feature. With 4 bands of detection, it is versatile and can identify modern police radars within seconds. Uniden R3’s functionality and ease of use make it the leader of this radar detector reviews.
But along with these major considerations, Uniden made sure to be excellent not only in the big things but the minute details as well. It designed R3 with consideration of the ease of use of buttons, great support, brightness settings and options for mounting, including using suction cups to mount.
Highly notable radar pointers save time on tickets, losing a license or avoiding speeding tickets and points, so choosing any of the best radar detectors 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 Radar Detector.
UNIDEN R3 IS THE
BEST RADAR DETECTOR OF 2018
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 longest range coverage paired with accuracy. While other perform well, R3’s innovation and functionality is like no other, and the best for 2018.
What Are the Top Radar Detectors Reviews 2018
Think about the last time you received a speeding ticket. It is a stressful scenario that at times can place your financial situation in shambles. A few states, like Virginia, have very strict laws on driving and traffic that can slap you with a $1000+ ticket for just a minor infraction or accident. Luckily, there are available ways for you to avoid this. One of which is to invest in one of the trusted radar scanners on the market. Amongst top radar detectors 2018, there are alot of similarities in features, pricing, and opportunity to save money by avoiding costly conversations with the law. Efficient and high-performing radar spotters can locate, track, and warn well in advance of any impending police scanner.
Annually, devices that can detect radar save thousands of dollars in tickets. In fact, it improves the driver by helping the driver reach their destination quickly and effectively.
Speeding tickets take a serious toll on your wallet. Not only do they take a large amount from your savings, but they can also force you into traffic school which can rack up additional charges if not adhered to. Other issues as being stuck in court or fighting against the law. Buying a radar detector is mandatory to prevent this issue.
One common mistake drivers make is associating radar detectors to crime.
Why Buy a Radar Detector?
Before we get on with our radar detector reviews, we want to explain the importance of a radar detector and how to asses the leading radar detecting instruments of today.
First things, it is not a “cop detector”. The premier detectors of police radar are preventative measures to save money, at best. At worst, radar detectors make long trips easier by offering peace of mind.
It is not going to alert you about every police officer that is in the area. However, it will detect radar signals to help determine if a police officer is nearby, acting as your driving guide. This saves you thousands in fines, court fees, and defense classes. But like everyone else, you need to know how the best radar detector on the market should work.
How to find the ultimate radar detector for my vehicle that’s worth my money?
Finding what is the best radar detector for the money varies from vehicle to vehicle. One thing that also matters is the amount you invest in it. Paying for a cheap radar detector is useful, but many problems occur. You’ll find yourself getting fake alerts; ruining your driving experience.
When finding the right detector, consider:
- The laws regulating the use of radar detector. Check this out in your state or community.
- What do you need to be alerted for?
- If you want it synced with your smartphone: iOs (Apple) or Android (Google)
- Your budget. Radar detectors come in a wide range of prices. Remember, you’ll want to pay for quality no matter the cost. Cheap detectors won’t work effectively.
- Your preference of the radar detector. Whether it is a standard dash mounted radar, or a high-tech radar placed in a secret area in your car.
We didn’t include any cobra radar detectors here, even though they are big brand in the industry we think their products are not good enough to be compared here.
The top radar detectors worth your money can balance affordability with useful and unique features. Many companies boast their products as the unbeatable radar scanners in the market today. But to actually find the best radar detectors, you should hone in on what works for your particular needs, driving style, and the community you live in. Even the latest and radar detectors can fail or not be 100% reliable, but the most reliable products are those that are a bit of an investment.