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The Best Radar Detector of 2021 – Comparison & Reviews

what is the best radar detector

There is nothing worse than slamming your breaks at the last second only to realize that it’s too late and you probably just got yourself a speeding ticket. We have all been there and know the frustration. In this article we have reviewed the best radar detectors and we will go into why each device could work for you.

If you are in a hurry and need a police detector quick, we recommend selecting one of the three below based on your needs. We will go into further detail below on why these radar detectors will keep you one step ahead of the dreaded speed gun. 

Beginner-friendly
Escort Max 360
Best Overall Radar Detector
Escort Redline 360c
Best for Pros
Escort Max 360c
escort passport max 360 radar detector
Escort Redline 360c
photo of escort max 360c radar detector
The sensitivity, range, over-the-speed-limit alert, and other convenient features of this device guarantee that even if you’re a newbie, you won’t run into a speeding violation.
Upgrade your protection with the Escort Redline 360C, a radar detector that offers extreme range, increased accuracy, more advanced filtering and an easy-to-use interface.
Max 360C’s extensive range, GPS, Wifi capability, and filtering features make this a fully capable detector that will satisfy you, especially if you’re already a pro.
Beginner-friendly
Escort Max 360
escort passport max 360 radar detector
The sensitivity, range, over-the-speed-limit alert, and other convenient features of this device guarantee that even if you’re a newbie, you won’t run into a speeding violation.
Best Overall Radar Detector
Escort Redline 360c
Escort Redline 360c
Upgrade your protection with the Escort Redline 360C, a radar detector that offers extreme range, increased accuracy, more advanced filtering and an easy-to-use interface.
Best for Pros
Escort Max 360c
photo of escort max 360c radar detector
Max 360C’s extensive range, GPS, Wifi capability, and filtering features make this a fully capable detector that will satisfy you, especially if you’re already a pro.

Sensitivity / Range – It’s important to buy a radar that has a strong sensitivity. This will help you detect threats far in advance, so you have enough time to react.

GPS/Bluetooth/Wifi – You want a radar detector that can connect to other drivers on the road. This can be done through GPS, Bluetooth, or wifi. Radars with these capabilities will have the most up to date information.

False alarm filtering – There is nothing more annoying than when your radar goes off only to discover it was someone’s garage door opener. The best radar detectors will have a filtering system to minimize false alarms.

Best Radar Detectors Reviews

1. Escort Redline 360c Radar Detector - Best Overall

The Escort Redline 360c is the best radar detector that will protect you from potential threats all around. 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 and receive alerts on potential threats.

RDD (radar detector detectors) are sometime used by police to detect which drivers are using detectors. This device will keep you completely anonymous. The advanced stealth technology will keep you invisible against a police radar detector.   

The manufactures of the Escort Redline 360c are so confident with this detector that they guarantee to pay for your radar if you receive a ticket in the first year. We wrote a complete review of this product and you can read it here. Escort Redline 360C Radar Detector Review.

Features

  • Triple antenna design. Dual front, & single rear antenna provide 2x the coverage.
  • Directional alert arrows.
  • Proprietary stealth feature. Keeps you undetected on the road.
  • Auto learn technology. Minimal false alerts
  • Build in Wifi & GPS

Pros

  • Extreme 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
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth available

Cons

  • Comes only in red
  • Directional arrows are small

Final Verdict

This is by far the superior product in the market. Every driver who requires convenience, extreme radar range performance, and driver community that allow for real time updates wouldn’t go wrong with this radar. Also, they provide a guarantee to pay for your ticket. See full features by clicking below.

2. ESCORT MAX 360c Radar Detector - Connect to Navigation Apps

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.

You can also, connect this radar to your favorite navigation apps for additional coverage. You can connect it to WAZE and it will notify you of the alerts reported to the app.

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. You can read the full review of this detector here Escort Max 360C Review.

Features

  • 360 degree protections. Forward & rear facing antennas.
  • Autolearning technology. Less false alerts.
  • Built in WIFI & GPS
  • Access to Escort live app.

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

  • Alert sound can be quiet for some
  • WIFI range is short

Final Verdict

This is a great detector, and we liked all the automatic features on this device. You can also, connect it to Waze and other navigational app for additional alerts. You can also connect to the Escort live app to be connected with other drivers on the road. Click below to see full features.

escort max 360c testimonial

3. Escort Max 360 Radar Detector - Best Beginner

Another Escort radar that made our list is the Max 360. Escort certainly makes far superior product than most other radar we tested.

The Escort Max 360 has front and rear antennas that create full defense to pinpoint the direction of the radar bands’ source. The terrific, automated features include GPS lockouts that store stationary false alerts in memory and ignore them in the future.

This affordable radar detector provides all the same features and performance of the small 360C from Escort, except for Wi-Fi connectivity. Even without Wi-Fi, 360 users can still connect to the Escort Live app via Bluetooth.

The 360 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.

Max 360 automatically adjusts its sensitivity levels depending on your speed. It will notify you with a voice alert when you’re driving over the speed limit while reducing the sensitivity when you’re under the speed limit.

The 360 degree threat coverage is displayed on the device with directional arrows that help you pinpoint where the threat is coming from. See our full detailed review of this detector. Escort Max 360 Review.

Features

  • 360 directional alerts. Forward and rear facing antennas.
  • Autolean technology. Less false alerts.
  • Defender database. See red light & speed cameras
  • Escort live app

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, Auto learn tech, and the GPS feature by Escort
  • Defender Database
  • Clear and easy to read OLED display
  • Front and rear antennas for greater perception
  • Speed cameras and red-light camera alerts
  • Smartphone pairing thru Bluetooth

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Need manual updates

Final Verdict

This is a good entry detector for casual motorist who want safeguarding from speeding tickets, red light cameras, & speed traps. You can also connect to the Escort live app with Bluetooth connectivity. If you live in a city that has a lot of red light & speed cameras this might be the best radar detector for the money. Click below to see the full features.

Escort Max360 testimonial

4. Uniden R7 Radar Detector - Large Bright Display

The Uniden R7 came after Uniden R3, another high performance radar detector from the brand. It comes with a nicer condenser lens improved from Uniden R3. The ultra bright OLED display make it easy to read the alerts as your driving down the road. It’s able to display notification in different colors so you can quickly identify the theat.

It has a long 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. You can see our full review of this detector here. Uniden R7 review.

Features

  • Large multi-color OLED display
  • GPS enabled
  • Dual antennas with directional arrows
  • Advanced K/KA filtering. Remembers false alerts

Pros

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

Cons

  • Manual GPS lockouts
  • Bigger than previous R3

Final Verdict

The R7 is a new radar detector from Uniden. This is an upgraded version of the previous R3. We loved the bright multi color display on this device. It was also functional and easy to use. If you prefer a detector that’s easy to read especially if you drive in a busy city this might be the one for you. See the full details by clicking below.

Uniden R7 testimonial

5. Valentine One Gen 2 Radar Detector - For Techy Drivers

Radar detector enthusiasts know the Valentine One well but Valentine released a new and improved radar. The Valentine 1 gen 2 is out and wow is it packed with impressive features.

The V1 gen 2 is designed for absolute range superiority. This is possible with new patent technology inspired by radar used by the military. It is able to detect the faintest signals which drastically increase the range capabilities.

Its multiple antennas, including front and rear, provide you with 360 protection from threats. You can see where the alert is coming from with the directional arrows on the detector.

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

The Valentine One gen 2 is equipped with first-rate sensitivity, warranting protection from any radar threats.

This radar detector is a more tech-savvy option, and the new look is a much needed improvement from the prior V1.

It also, block incoming signal making it undetectable from a police radar detector. The new stealth technology makes it virtually undetectable.

However, one of the drawbacks of the V1 gen 2 is its lack of build in GPS. This means 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.

The lack of false alerts muting would not be good for urban driving—lights for alerts will blink like crazy every time.

Features

  • Patented SAW D2L for superior range
  • Build in Bluetooth
  • Stealth mode makes it undetectable
  • K-verifier. Blocks all K-bands.

Pros

  • Extreme long range detection of radar for protection
  • Improved design & display
  • Display of the device works great in low light or direct sun light
  • Arrows to point to the direction of source
  • Optional Bluetooth module

Cons

  • Requires additional setup for advanced features
  • Might be complex for beginners
  • No auto filtering. Increased false alerts

Final Verdict

We really enjoyed testing the new and improved V1 gen 2. The new features are great and the range was impressive. We would recommend this radar to techy drivers for its advanced options. This could be a tough radar for the beginner or if you do a lot of city driving. The lack of GPS results in higher false alerts for city drivers.  

valentine one testimonial

6. Radenso Pro M Radar Detector - Best False Alert Filtering

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 and long range quickly notifies of any police speed traps ahead. The manufacture statues that it can provide several miles of protection although they don’t tell us exactly how many miles.

It can detect false alerts from cars around you that have blind spot monitoring, auto cruise control, and other none threatening radar signals. 

The radar is equipped with GPS but you have to manually enter the false alert. This isn’t as convenient as other radars that provide auto lock outs but manually entering the false alert is as simple as pressing a button on the detector.

Radenso Pro M is a reliable radar detector with a great BSM filtering and performance. The manufacture provides excellent customer service and has a 1 year ticket free guarantee.

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.

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 guns, MRCD.

See our full review here. Radenson Pro M review.

Features

  • Detectable Radar: Ka, K, X, MultaRadar (CD, CT), Gatso. Excellent filtering
  • GPS (manual) lockout for false alerts
  • Red light / speed camera database. Lifetime updates
  • Low speed GPS auto muting

Pros

  • Long range detection
  • Best false alert filtering systems and performance
  • Highway, 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

  • No Bluetooth
  • Manual GPS lockouts
  • No directional arrows

Final Verdict

For beginners, Radenso Pro M is an easy to use a radar detector. It includes free lifetime firmware updates [1], which is a huge bonus when you order. Also, if you are looking for a reliable but quieter radar (less alerts) this is the one for you. See full detail by clicking below.

pro M testimonial

Additional Tips, Features, & FAQ’s When buying 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.

back and top parts of an Escort Max 3

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

Staying within your budget while finding the best radar detector matters. You should get your 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. Most radars will have a windshield mount for the radar detector.

A lot are available on Amazon but we wrote and compared which mount and where to mount it here in this article. Best Place To Mount A Radar Detector.

Our Top Radar Detector Pick: Escort Redline Ex

We have concluded that the Escort Redline 360C is the best radar detector on the market. It protects you while remaining undetected 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, radar detectors are mounted on the front windshield (using a windshield mount) 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.

Beginner-friendly
Escort Max 360
Best Overall Radar Detector
Escort Redline 360c
Best for Pros
Escort Max 360c
escort passport max 360 radar detector
Escort Redline 360c
photo of escort max 360c radar detector
The sensitivity, range, over-the-speed-limit alert, and other convenient features of this device guarantee that even if you’re a newbie, you won’t run into a speeding violation.
Upgrade your protection with the Escort Redline 360C, a radar detector that offers extreme range, increased accuracy, more advanced filtering and an easy-to-use interface.
Max 360C’s extensive range, GPS, Wifi capability, and filtering features make this a fully capable detector that will satisfy you, especially if you’re already a pro.
Beginner-friendly
Escort Max 360
escort passport max 360 radar detector
The sensitivity, range, over-the-speed-limit alert, and other convenient features of this device guarantee that even if you’re a newbie, you won’t run into a speeding violation.
Best Overall Radar Detector
Escort Redline 360c
Escort Redline 360c
Upgrade your protection with the Escort Redline 360C, a radar detector that offers extreme range, increased accuracy, more advanced filtering and an easy-to-use interface.
Best for Pros
Escort Max 360c
photo of escort max 360c radar detector
Max 360C’s extensive range, GPS, Wifi capability, and filtering features make this a fully capable detector that will satisfy you, especially if you’re already a pro.
William