Cobra Rad 250 Review

05th Jun,2019

The Cobra Rad 250 is a laser radar detector with a long-range. It is used by thousands of American drivers to safely move around states. The Rad 250 is, in some ways, a truly radical detector. It boasts of multiple very important features that are necessary if you want to avoid police scanners. The Cobra Rad 250 minimizes false alerts, protects you from both the front and the rear, and comes with other useful add-ons that will enable you to be safer on long drives.

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How does it do that? And what are its possible shortcomings? Well, let’s find out.


The Cobra high standard in building its radar detectors is excellent. The Rad 250 proves that Cobra products truly sturdy equipment that can keep going on no matter how you drive. It’s sleek, modern, and uses flashy curves that add a layer of style on top of its efficient functionality.

The design is very user-friendly. It features three medium buttons on the top face which are easy to press. The mute button is right in the middle. And the middle part is separated by cuts, thus helping you navigate the button easily.

The build quality and design are both excellent, making it a five-star product in this realm. Cobra Electronics always puts user-friendliness first, in most of its radio detectors at least, and that shows in the Rad 250 clearly.


False Alert Filtering

The most prominent feature of the Cobra Rad 250 is that you get fewer false alerts., despite lacking GPS features of other Cobra models like in this review. False alerts are the notifications that you get from sources rather than police scanners. You don’t need alerts for these sources.

For example, you can get false alerts from stationary sources like automatic door openers and moving false alerts from cars near you that come with security technologies like emergency collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, etc. as these technologies use radar emitters. These technologies that use radar emitters are picked up by your radar detector. This can be a huge pain when you’re driving and are constantly bombarded by false alerts.

Cobra Rad 250, like Cobra RAD450, uses the IVT Filter system to reduce false alerts. It’s especially good in ignoring the radar emitters from collision avoidance systems in vehicles around you. Though this doesn’t make the radar detector 100% safe against false alerts, in truth, no system does. The best practice is always to mute alerts that you know are false. The Rad 250 just helps you out by reducing some of the constant alerts, unlike older detectors from Cobra, like the ESD 9150, which will have difficulty on this aspect.

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Front & Rear Laser Eye Sensor

The Cobra Rad 250 comes with a laser eye sensor. It protects your vehicle from police scanning from both, the front and the rear. So, it will show you an alert from miles away when there’s a police scanner at use further ahead of the road, and it will also show you an alert if a cop car is following you with the scanner on. And thanks to the ignoring of the collision avoidance systems, you can be sure that it’s a police car behind you rather than just another car inching closer to your car from behind.

Signal indicator

One great feature that we love is the levels in volume for different signal strengths. Weaker signals, like those from an automatic door opener or extremely strong signals, like those from digital construction signs or highway traffic speed sensors (not cop speed sensors), will be different when your detector alerts. The Cobra Rad 250 supports unique audible tones for different signal strengths and also different brands. So, when you’ve had your experience in driving around with your Rad 250, you will quickly identify alerts that are false and to be ignored.

Detection of Radar Detector Detectors

Also, many states disallow windshield mounting of anything, while some ban radar detectors altogether. For that, the Cobra Rad 250 comes with the VG-2 mode that helps you detect the radar detector detectors. The consumer electronics warfare is at its pinnacle when you need the feature to detect police scanners that detect your radar detector which supposedly detects those police scanners.

Real-time alert streaming as well as auto-updating on the Cobra app makes marking speed traps and avoiding false alerts even easier. (Here’s a newer model that uses Cobra’s iRadar app for this purpose:

Price competitiveness

It sits at a pretty fair price point for the features it packs. All top-notch features (except for a very long-range) are there for a very good price.

Many great Cobra radar detector models are close to this price point but come with fewer features. As far as functionality is concerned, the Rad 250 compares well to any of the other models from different manufacturers in this price range. So, we’d say the price competitiveness is really good.

Cobra Rad 250 Review Conclusion

Sure, the Cobra Rad 250 packs a good deal of features but lacks in range. And it’s also true that if you want range, you want to invest in the Redline model. Most other manufacturers provide essentially the same range in their radar detectors of this price range. A mile in busy traffic and about 3-5 miles on highways: that’s pretty much what you will get.

Sticky suction cups combined with a magnetic lock make the mounting bracket extremely reliable, enabling you to drive off-road as well or on rocky terrain without worrying about the grip of your radar detector. If you liked this model from Cobra, check the new version – the Cobra RAD 480i we reviewed.

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Cobra Rad 250 Review
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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.