Cobra RAD 480i Review

09th Apr,2020

After its release, the Cobra RAD 480i was dubbed as a breakthrough in radar-laser detection. But because it comes at an affordable price, it’s hard not to doubt that promise.

So, does it really live up to the hype? Or are you better off with another model? Let’s find out in this Cobra RAD 480i review.



The Cobra RAD 480i packs in a lot of powerful features. It has an ultra-fast long range protection, voice alerts, Bluetooth connectivity, and next-level IVT filtering for significantly less false alerts on the road. 

It’s much cheaper than the DualPro 360 and the Road Scout, but you still get amazing performance from the Cobra RAD 480i. 

With that quick look, let’s dig in a little deeper into the features of the new Cobra RAD 480i.

Design-wise, Cobra didn’t veer away from the usual. This model maintains the aesthetic of the Cobra radar detector line, and that’s not a bad thing because the products look sleek and modern.

The Cobra RAD480i looks much like the RAD 450, but with curved sides. The black and gray really suits this radar detector well, and it blends in perfectly with the vehicle interior. 

This radar detector has a bright OLED display that’s easy to read. On the screen, you’d find band identification icons and a numeric signal strength meter so you know how near or far away the police radar gun is.

However, there are still no directional arrows on this radar detector, but that may be fine for many users.

On top of the device, you have the different buttons like the menu, mute, dim, and SEN for sensitivity settings. The volume scroll is on the side for easy adjustments, which is something we find convenient.

Overall, the design is pretty straightforward and you won’t have any trouble figuring out how to use this radar detector – whether you’re a beginner or a pro at using these devices.


Long Range

Range is the showpiece of this radar detector, and our road tests reflect that as well.

The Cobra RAD 480i boasts 2x the detection range of its predecessor and other products on the same field. It detects threats from miles away so you have more than enough time to adjust your speed. 

And with LaserEye technology, the Cobra RAD 480i is able to detect radar and laser signals from the front and rear of the vehicle. Thus, you get full protection from threats on the road, no matter where they’re coming from.

IVT Filter

If you’ve been using radar detectors for a while now, you know all too well how annoying false alerts are. Radar doesn’t just come from police radar guns. They can come from the cars around you and other sources as well. 

To address this, the Cobra RAD 480i is equipped with an advanced anti-falsing circuitry to significantly reduce the false alerts that come from blind spot monitoring (BSM) systems and collision avoidance systems. 

This way, you won’t be bombarded by false alerts and you get the performance you expect. 

Sensitivity (SEN Button)

Aside from the IVT filter, another shield against false alerts is the adjustable sensitivity settings. 

The roads you drive on are not the same. You may be driving on the highway, around town, or within the city. And with these settings, you would have different needs.

To ensure that you only hear the alerts you need to hear, the Cobra RAD 480i has a sensitivity button so you can adjust the sensitivity and filtering modes according to the situation. This way, you can control how many notifications you receive. 

This will be useful especially when driving in the city, so your radar detector won’t go crazy on the alerts with all the falses there.

Digital Signal Processing (DSP)

Many radar detectors today have DSP, and the Cobra RAD 480i is no exception. 

Basically, DSP is responsible for providing you early warnings whenever there are threats around. With DSP, you’ll be able to know faster if police are targeting the area. You get an early notification so you can slow down before your speed is recorded, thus avoiding that speeding ticket.


One of the best things about the Cobra RAD 480i is the access it gives to the Cobra iRadar app[1]. This allows you to get real-time alerts from over 3 million drivers who are using a Cobra device.

So,  not only do you have protection from radar and laser signals, you also get advanced warnings on traffic and law enforcement cameras, speed limit signs, road hazards, accidents, and any road threat. 

Millions of users update the database all the time, so you always get the latest information for that ultimate road coverage.


Q: What’s the difference between the Cobra  RAD 480i and the RAD 380?

A: The difference between the Cobra RAD 480i and the RAD 380 is the absence of Bluetooth, lesser range, and access to the iRadar app. The RAD 380 doesn’t have these features. 

Q: What comes inside the box?

A: Inside the box, you get the Cobra RAD 480i, the windshield mounting bracket, and a power adapter.

RAD 480i Review Conclusion

The new Cobra RAD 480i is definitely one of the best radar detectors on the market today. It offers great detection range, lighting-fast response, advanced anti-falsing circuitry, and access to the iRadar app. Overall, it provides a great and reliable performance to help any driver avoid speeding tickets.

Cobra RAD 480i Review
8 Total Score

User Rating: 2.72 (50 votes)
William Johnson

William Johnson is the owner and founder of He writes about car accessories, with his passion stemming from a deep enthusiasm for all things automotive. His website, RRD, focuses on in-depth reviews of car accessories to help people find the best and latest products in the market.