Whistler XTR-195 Review

06th Jun,2019

The Whistler XTR-195 is a laser radar detector that comes for around $55. This is cheap, functional, and comes from a company that never lets its customers down in providing support. All this makes for a good combination, therefore, the Whistler XTR-195 is a good buying choice for people looking for cheap radar detectors.


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There is also a niche consumer base for the XTR-195 (and other similar models): people who will be using a radar detector only once, at least for now. Now, even if their need is limited to a one-time usage, that doesn’t mean they can run risks or their risks are lower than those who frequently need and use a radar detector.

For that reason, we recommend everyone to get a high-quality radar detector that won’t fail you. If your budget is low, one thing that will trouble you throughout your journey is the constant warning from false alerts. But in comparison to more frequent radar detector users, your pain will be less because of the XTR-195 only a one-time product for you. So, if you can get through that and you don’t care about how long does the product last, then the Whistler XTR-195 is truly a good investment. It’s reliable and gets the job done. You can rely on it for future drives as well, and perhaps this will be the product that helps you avoid risky situations in the future.

It comes with a set of really cool features. To unleash its full potential, you will need to learn to use these features when the situation demands.


The build quality is sub-standard. But this is the quality that you should be expecting in cheaper models, no matter which brand they hail from. The Whistler XTR-195 surely offers a weak body but is sturdy enough for a long drive with rocky regions in between.

The design is sleek and clean with no visible wiring. After installation, you won’t need to worry about any clutter. The buttons on top are easy to reach and press. The display is informative. XTR-195 is quite a user-friendly radar detector.


Distinct audio warnings

The Whistler XTR-195 comes with distinct audio warnings for different frequency bands. So, whenever you get an alert, you would know whether it’s the X, the K, or the KA band. After driving around for a while, identifying bands will come naturally to you.

One less-appreciated way in which this technology from XTR-195 helps you is when you commute on a route regularly and find certain false alerts of a specific band. Now, you can mute those errors. And because you identify the tunes with them, you can almost automatically do it with your hand whenever you hit that location. Of course, the more user-friendly way to go about it is purchasing a GPS-enabled radar detector that will remember the coordinates of false alarms that you mute, but for quick use, you don’t need to invest in that.

VG-2 detection

It comes with VG-2 detection. Many state troopers use signal receivers to receive radar detector signals. So, if you’re driving with your radar detector on, it will be picked up by these cop receivers. Thankfully, the Whistler XTR-195 comes with VG-2 signal detection. So, it can detect the detector which the police use to detect your detector for their speed guns. Complex, but handy to know. (There are instances that radar detectors don’t go off too, and here’s why.)

Whistler XTR-195


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Omnidirectional coverage

It comes with the 360-degrees Max coverage like its Whistler brothers Z-11R, XTR-543 and XTR-130, that helps pick up the signal for cop scanners from the front, rear, and the sides too.

Though most of the work that a radar does is alerting you of speed traps miles ahead, sometimes cop cars follow you and suddenly toggle their speed guns on from a distance. Protection from the rear helps you there, just make sure the alert is not false, coming from a nearby vehicle’s collision avoidance system.


There are two modes: The City mode and the Quiet mode. City mode (actually there are three city modes) allows you to mute certain false alerts in urban settings. This is not particularly reliable, but a handy add-on nevertheless in many situations. The Quiet mode helps you automatically enable the Auto Quiet mode.

Automatic shutdown

The Whistler XTR-195 supports the automatic shutdown. The Auto Shut Off features helps you out in certain situations where you know you’re not going to need it. For example, if your regular commute involves a part where you won’t be speeding, you can program the detector automatically shut down during that time.

  • Plenty of features and add-ons for the price, giving you a price competitive advantage.
  • Sleek design, effective range, and good customer support.
  • Installation is easy.
  • Clear and well-audible alerts on low volume.
  • There is a dark or dim mode when you don’t need a lot of brightness, like during the night. The dark mode will dim down the LCD brightness so that there’s no strain on your eyes.

  • We might need some time getting used to it.
  • It comes with a weak case that we believe should have been better.
  • Prone to false alerts.
  • Very low display brightness makes reading the information on the LCD panel a nightmare in bright daylight.


Q: Is it reliable for the cross-state commute?

A: It lacks voice alerts, GPS, and app integration, making it inferior in detecting speed guns of special kinds and avoiding spamming with false alerts.

Q: There are alerts thrown when my car hits bumps, why?

A: This might be due to many reasons. First of all, make sure the batteries are installed properly and that the battery door is fully closed. The lighter socket might be loose, tighten it. It sometimes also happens due to a weak connection at the ends of the power cord. If this is happening due to the power cord, ask for a replacement as soon as possible.

Whistler XTR-195 Review Conclusion

Overall, the Whistler XTR-195 gives you the bang for the buck. It’s a handy and reliable laser radar detector that notifies you, efficiently, of cops with speed guns miles away on highways. We would have loved a longer range, but it is what it is. The case quality is somewhat weak, and the false alerts will pile up as your total distance increases, which can be a trouble. If you need a radar detector for quick use, this is the go-to product. Sure, the false alerts can be a problem sometimes, but once you get your way around that trouble, you will be good to go.

It’s one of the best radar detectors in the $50 range, all thanks to Whistler’s principle of stripping down on needless functionality and glitter to give its customers what’s truly important.

One of the problems with the model is that the LCD screen is not bright enough to understand the information if the sun is right above you. Also, the detector is often falsely advertised as including a solar panel. As a general rule of thumb, cordless radar detectors are prone to the lesser range and weaker performance, and so is the case with this battery-powered Whistler model as well when compared to other models.

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Whistler XTR-195 Review
5.5 Total Score

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William Johnson

William Johnson is the owner and founder of RatedRadarDetector.org. 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.