Update: Unfortunately, after testing this product for a while, it’s outdated and not working well at all. Please check this page for better options.
The truth is, it’s tricky to find a radar detector that brings value to the table but doesn’t break the bank. The Whistler Z-11R+ is marketed as such, but does it really live up to that promise?
In this Whistler Z-11R+ review, we find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about this product.
The Whistler Z-11R+ is a medium-sized radar detector, not far from the size of other Whistler models such as the Whistler CR85 and the Whistler CR90. To be more specific, the Z-11R+’s dimensions measure at 1.23” x 2.85” x 4.44”. It’s lightweight as well at .34 lbs. Given this size and weight, it’s not a hassle to install and uninstall this on your car.
The display is easy to understand even if you’re a beginner. The information is highly legible like its fellow Whistler models, and the icons on-screen can be seen clearly in any lighting condition. So whether you’re driving day or night, you’d have no problems reading what’s on the display.
Still, if you prefer some customization, the brightness could be adjusted whether you want it bright, dim, or dark. That last one can be useful if you want to slightly mask your radar detector from onlookers.
On top of the radar detector, there are two LED signals that tell you when radar threats are detected. Tone alerts are also as dependable as the display, and these add another layer of safety as well because you don’t have to look at the screen to know there’s a threat.
While the model is designed to be used right out of the box, you can modify some of its settings to better fit both your environment and driving style. Of course, you don’t need to change this every time it’s turned on; the machine retains your preferences even when not in use.
In addition, you also don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the device off. Through the Vehicle Battery Saver, the machine shuts off automatically.
Good radar range
The Whistler Z-11R+ is designed to detect the most commonly used radar and laser guns in North America. You are also shielded from radar guns on POP mode and other instantaneous signals such as those emitted by laser guns. That’s mainly due to Whistler’s 360-degree Max coverage, which works to protect you from all directions.
Similar to slightly more expensive models from Whistler, the Z-11R+ comes with three different city modes and a highway mode that would adjust its detection range appropriately depending on where you’re driving.
In cities, for instance, you want to tone the sensitivity down a bit since there are more false alerts. And on the highway, you must bump up the sensitivity because that’s where police officers look for those going over the speed limit.
And if you want a quieter ride, the sensitivity on the X-band could be adjusted or completely disabled, as this band is also notorious for falses.
The most used radar and laser guns in the United States vary per state. Through the Whistler Z-11R+, you can indicate which band type should be prioritized in case the radar detector picks up more than one signal at a time. With this, false alerts can also be reduced.
Traffic Flow Signal Rejection (TFSR)
Occasionally, radar detectors mistakenly identify signals from traffic sensors as a threat. In our tests, that doesn’t happen with the Whistler Z-11R+ due to its TFSR. This is useful on highways in particular, where traffic sensors are commonly used.
Field Disturbance Sensor Rejection (FDSR)
Not all radar detectors at this price point can shield themselves from collision avoidance and blind-spot monitoring (BSM) systems, but the Whistler Z-11R+ can. Its FDSR function keeps false alerts low by addressing these features that are often found on newer cars. Without this tech, the unit would alert continuously and be rendered useless because it’s unable to tell which is a legitimate threat and which is not.
Quiet/Auto Quiet Mode
Detected signals should not jolt you continuously while on a drive. Thankfully, Whistler solves this with alerts that decrease in volume in every passing second. Moreover, with quiet and auto quiet mode, alerts could be completely canceled if you want.
- The interface is easy to understand and use
- Light and easy to transport
- Offers three different driving modes for the city and one for highway
- Alert priority lets you rank different signals
- Rejects signals from traffic sensors, blind-spot, and collision avoidance systems
- Quiet and auto quiet mode keeps the radar detector from beeping all the time
- Range could be better
- Filtering mechanism is not foolproof
- Unit does not feel durable
Q: Does the Whistler Z-11R+ provide any protection against radar detector detectors (RDDs)?
A: The Whistler Z-11R+ can go invisible against VG-2 and can also let you know if the unit is detected by the RDD. It offers no protection from Spectre models, however.
Q: What should I find in my package?
A: In the package, you will find the Whistler Z-11R+, a 12V power cord, a windshield bracket kit, and a user guide.
Q: Can I use this radar detector overseas?
A: That depends. While designed for use in the United States, it can function elsewhere granted that the country in question uses some or all of the same radar and laser signals.
Q: How long is the warranty provided by Whistler?
A: Whistler provides a one-year warranty.
Q: Does the Whistler Z-11R+ contain a Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC)?
A: No. Whistler reserves this for its maximum performance models (the Z-11R+ is categorized as high performance only).
Whistler Z-11R+ Review Conclusion
The Whistler Z-11R+ is a basic radar detector that provides a decent 360-degree radar and laser protection, sensitivity adjustment, alert priority, false alert filtering systems, and an overall good performance. While it’s not a premium device, it’s still reliable for avoiding speeding tickets.