A Valentine patent kept Escort from putting directional arrows on its radar detectors previously. More than two decades later though, the former no longer had exclusive rights on the indicators and Escort is free to do what it wants, even with a feature that is occasionally dismissed as unnecessary, and to do it better.
The Escort Max 360 radar detector is the first from the Escort roster to be installed with the indicators and is considered to have done a better job with the technology than the original. It has received rave reviews for how it has improved performance especially in range detection but is it for you?
The design of the Escort Max 360 radar detector is not one to be ignored, especially when compared to that of the first Escort Passport Max and the Max 2. Besides being sleeker, it also is sturdier and able to withstand pressure (although we are not encouraging you to test it out!).
The mount has seen improvements compared to previous versions and is now giving an impression of durability and being stable enough to keep the radar detector in position. Max 360 is a heavy beast at 12 ounces, and it is not small either.
It may take a while to master all seven buttons on the radar detector—sensitivity (SEN), brightness (BRT), volume (both + and -), mark location (MRK), mute and power—but eventually, you’ll be thankful that they are there. Initially, these had a minor issue on the coating as it seems that they are fading faster than normal.
Escort remedied this by using a different lamination on the buttons which felt a little off when considering the entire design, and there was inconsistency when it comes to tactile feel, but those aren’t really big problems that should cause one to dismiss the Max 360 entirely.
Escort is taking concerns on its OLED displays by adjusting the Max 360’s so that it is not washed off by sunlight and readable in almost every possible lighting condition, although it still isn’t as clear as we hoped it would be. A user also has a choice to work with a color that feels personally comfortable, with the choices including blue, green, red and amber.
The display, however, has everything you might ever need, supplying you with important information so that you can act accordingly. Spec and Expert modes even detail the location of the radar picked up and its strength. You can further configure the machine based on your preferences, even though it is designed to work fine under normal settings.
Directional threat arrows
We’re starting with a feature that had many loyal customers excited: the directional threat arrows, which are lifted and improved from Valentine’s radar detectors. A consensus has been reached in the community that this works better than Valentine’s and is more informative and understandable too.
The four arrows glow depending on the type of signal it receives: blue for K band, red for Ka-band and green for X-band. It takes a while for the machine to register the change of location though, just like when you think it would if passing by a police radar gun.
Directional threat arrows aren’t the only features worth noting here. Max 360 also has the front and rear antenna, which increases its sensitivity. It is capable of picking up even faint signals of radar and then alerting you ahead in the process, especially when it comes to the K and X bands.
False alert filtering
You can expect a quiet drive with this radar detector, although one that beeps a lot more in comparison to the Passport Max and Max 2. Even though it is more sensitive due to the rear antenna, this is balanced out by the installation of filtering systems such as the traffic signal rejection (TSR) and Escort-patented AutoLearn technology.
Like any other radar detector on the market, this is not completely immune to false alerts, and some blind-spot monitoring (BSM) systems slide through the filter.
The presence of GPS is also helpful in keeping beeps down especially in a radar-filled driving environment. This is already a given in previous Escort radar detectors, but the company improves this capability for the Max 360 with a tightened radius. Moreover, you will be informed of the kind of threat (whether it is a red light camera, speed trap or others) and its location and distance from yours.
Audio quality & alert tones
The volume of alerts on Escort radar detectors has been criticized previously but the one on the Max 360 is reasonably better. Voice alerts are also enabled to keep you from having to glance on the machine and is also available in Spanish besides English.
Escort Live compatible
For added protection, a Max 360 owner can opt to connect to Escort Live which gives access to locations of both radar and laser threats as experienced by other Escort customers. Available in both iOS and Android environments, the app can also provide the speeding limit for your location and display your current speed on the radar detector to keep you within what is acceptable.
- The rear antenna gives additional coverage
- Comes with many useful features that can be configured as desired
- Windshield mount is better than that of previous Escort models
- Audio alerts include voice alerts, are considerably better on the Max 360
- Excellent detection of K and X bands
- Directional threat arrows that pinpoint the location of signals and give information on strength and type
- Could be connected to Escort Live
- Lessened false alerts due to TSR and AutoLearn technology
- Very expensive because of its extended functionality
- Arrows are slow to register threats’ location change with your vehicle
- Susceptible to BSM systems
Q: What should I expect to find on my Max 360 package?
A: Besides the Max 360 itself, it should come with a travel case, a Sticky Cup windshield mount, a 12V SmartCord, and a user manual.
Q: Can I use the Max 360 outside the United States?
A: Escort claims not to monitor overseas frequencies, but it should work in areas where similar radar bands are in use.
Q: What would I learn from the radar detector’s Expert Mode?
A: With the Export Mode, you can see up to 8 radar signals being monitored at a time, the bands associated with each one as well as their relative strength.
Escort Max 360 Review Conclusion
Escort Max 360 offers better driving awareness with its directional arrows. It boasts of increased range and sensitivity because of its rear antenna. The false alerts filtering it provides due to BSM systems and the promptness of arrows’ indicators on threats changing positions could be improved.
If you can afford the Max 360, you can maximize the features it offers by modifying it based on your driving style. You can also keep yourself within the normal speed limit and mark locations of false alarms through the GPS. Still, it is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 360C while essentially staying the same and having all of its features save for WiFi connectivity.