10 Best Radar Detector for the Money In 2021 [Buying Guides Included]
You ended up here because you are looking for a guide to help you find an accurate radar detector that is worth your money. Lucky for you, we provide the most comprehensive review and analysis of some of the best radar detector for the money.
In this review, we have included the important specifications and the pros and cons of each product so it will be easier for you to decide. At the end of the article, we choose the one which we think is worth buying.
Escort Max 360C
Our Top pick
Valentine One V1
- Why Do You Need A Radar Detector?
- How does A radar detector works?
- Top 10 Best Radar Detectors for the money
- (Table Of Radar Detector Comparison)
- Top 10 Best Radar Detectors on the market
- 1. Valentine One V1 Radar Detector
- 2. Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range radar
- 3. Escort MAX 360C - premium pack
- 4. uniden R1 - best speed traps radar detector
- 5. Whistler CR90 - Best Radar Detector under $200
- 6. escort max Passport
- 7. Cobra ESD7570 - best radar detector under $100
- 8. radenso XP
- 9. beltronics RX65
- 10. Escort Passport 8500X50
- Best Radar detectors
- Buying Guide
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do You Need A Radar Detector?
Your need for a police radar detector for car depends on what kind of driver you are. If you are a law-abiding driver that is never in a hurry and does not get impatient with other drivers, then you don’t need this device. The chances of getting caught for over speeding is very slight.
What you should think about is a police officer giving you a speeding ticket by mistake. You might think that it is impossible, but it happens many times to many drivers at certain blind spot. This is one good reason why you need a good radar detector.
Most of the times over speeding takes place in the city. You might commit it unintentionally. There are lots of drivers who were not able to realize that they are committing such violation.
How does A radar detector works?
A radar detector is a radio transmitter and receiver in one unit. It is a device that oscillates an electrical current to increase and lower the voltage at a specific frequency. The electricity produces electromagnetic energy.
Once the current oscillates, the energy passes through the air as an electromagnetic wave. The transmitter has an amplifier that increases the electromagnetic energy intensity, and the antenna broadcast it in the air.
The radio receiver is the reverse of the radio transmitter. The antenna picks up the electromagnetic waves and transforms them into an electrical current.
The radar with its radio waves detects and monitor different objects. It can tell you how far are you from the object. The device transmits a radio wave and checks if there is an echo.
In case there is an object within the radio wave, it displays the electromagnetic energy, and the radio wave bounces back to the device.
The radio waves move into the air at a speed of light, to help the device calculate the distance of the object based on how long it will take for the radio signal to return.
The radar is used to measure the object’s speed due to a Doppler shift. Radio waves have a certain frequency.
When the car and the radar are not moving, the echo will get the same wave frequency as the original signal. Once it reaches the car, each part of the signal is shown, showing the original signal.
But once the car moves, each part of the radio signal is reflected at various points in space, thus changing the wave pattern.
A second segment of the signal will travel into a greater distance when the car moves away from the radar guns. The effect is known as moving out of the wave or reducing its frequency.
On the other hand, if the car moves toward the radar guns, the second segment travels on a shorter distance as compared to the first segment. Because of this, the valleys and peaks of the wave get squeezed together, and the frequency increases.
The radar detector can calculate the speed of the car based on the frequency changes.
Top 10 Best Radar Detectors for the money
(Table Of Radar Detector Comparison)
The table below shows the summarized of comparison of the best radar detectors on the market for your easy reference. However, the positions are in no particular order of importance on top rated detector reviews and ratings.
1. Valentine One V1
(Our Top Pick)
4.8 / 5.0
Price : $ $ $
2. Uniden R3
4.5 / 5.0
Price : $ $ $ $
3. Escort Max 360C (best Cop Radar)
4.3 / 5.0
Price : $ $ $ $ $
4. Uniden R1
4.3 / 5.0
Price : $ $ $
5. Whistler CR90
4.5 / 5.0
Price : $ $
6. Escort Passport Max (Best Escort Radar Detector)
4.7 / 5.0
Price : $ $ $ $
7. Cobra ESD7570 (Best Budget Radar Detector)
4.2 / 5.0
Price : $
8. Radenso XP (Best for city driving)
4.4 / 5.0
Price : $ $ $
9. Beltronics RX65
4.2 / 5.0
Price : $ $
10. Escort Passport 8500 X50
4.4 / 5.0
Price : $ $
Top 10 Best Radar Detectors on the market
1. Valentine One V1 Radar Detector
The Valentine One Radar Detector is considered as one of the best radar detectors due to its performance and speed detector. It can easily detect five different frequency bands that the police uses typically. This will provide you a high-end form of protection against the police radar guns.
This device adapts to the present technology so it can function at the highest efficiency and help drivers. Valentine One Radar Detector has two antennae found at the outer part and a windshield unit. It can also determine K, X, and KA laser signals.
The primary function of the two antennae is to detect threats near your car. This will keep you protected from the police car driving behind you.
Type of Antenna
High efficiency double-ridged horn
(X Band) 10.500-10.550 GHz
(K Band) 24.050-24.250 GHz
(Ka-Band) 33.400-36.00 GHz
(Ku Band) 13.400-13.500 GHz - not applied in the US
(Laser) 820-950 nanometers
Negative ground 11.0-16.0 Volts DC
225 mA typical standby
425 mA maximum alarm condition
Temperature Range detection
degree centigrade to +70 degree centigrade
4.5 x 3.6 x 1.0 inches
2. Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range radar
Uniden R3 (top rated radar detectors) is one of the most expensive radar detectors in the market today. If you want a quality product, this product is worth buying for. One of the standout features of Uniden R3 is its built in GPS function.
This improves the detector with speed camera positions, which makes it better as compared to other devices. You will also love its high radar sensitivity and the highly effective false alarm filter. This device will provide you complete 360-degree protection.
Its voice alerts or notification enables the drivers to focus on the road as the built in GPS feature lets the user get red light camera alerts, mark location or mute memory false alerts. The detector has a mini-USB port to connect it to a PC to update it.
3. Escort MAX 360C - premium pack
The enhanced Escort Max 360c (Best Laser Detector) has a modern exterior with a premium, better angular look. Its exterior is covered in a textured black plastic with front fascia and silver buttons.
As compared to the old model of Max360, the enhanced version has the 360-degree alert arrows all over the front display.
The package includes a 12V charging SmartCord along with 2-amp USB charging port, and an EZ Mag Mount. All of them are enclosed in the Escort radar travel case.
Max360c (cop detector) can detect laser or K, KA and X radio bands with a wider range detection up to 2,500 ft. It has four different modes to get rid of false alert - Highway, Auto, Auto Lo K, and Auto No X.
The AutoLearn technology of Escort Max detectors (police detector) can recognize false alerts localized on an area and locks them out instantly. You can change OLED display from red, amber, blue or green.
4. uniden R1 - best speed traps radar detector
If you do not need the GPS feature of Uniden R3, it is best to get the Uniden R1. It provides the same ultra-high performance of R3 at a low price.
Uniden R1 and R3 are the most sensitive windshield detectors even surpassing the performance of other well-known top radar detectors.
It has upgradable firmware, impressive false alert filtering, and performs well.
This device uses directional technology, so you are aware of where the signal is coming from. It has two antennas to give the location of a radar signal and the type of band it is using.
So, you will know if there is a cop around or it is just another private car radar with a detector. You will also get a notification when you pass through a speed traps so that you can drive calmly again.
5. Whistler CR90 - Best Radar Detector under $200
The Whistler CR90 is a top-of-the-line model that comes with GPS-enabled radar detection. It has a sleek design with black housing, a bright OLED display, and minimal buttons.
There are different small indicators and buttons on the structure of the device. The display screen is wider.
It offers several advanced functions. Some of which includes real-time notifications, GPS, and others.
The Whistler CR90 can detect all the laser frequency and radar bands. This product come with all the best features at an affordable price.
This device can notify you when there is a threat like speed camera and red light thanks to its GPS technology. You will be impressed with its StayAlert feature that is useful for you if you are on a long trip.
It will keep the detector active for a long time. A blue LED will display the signal strength once detected, and a voice alerts will inform you of the type of the signal.
6. escort max Passport
The Escort Max Passport (best police radar) comes with DSP technology, AutoLearn, access to Escort Live, a multi-color OLED display and Defender Database.
It is the first radar detector with High Definition Radar Performance system. This only means that it is a responsive and accurate device.
The DSP technology can easily scan laser and radar signals in the area and can identify threats accurately. The faster the threats are identified, the quicker you can change your speed.
The Passport Max (best police detector) can distinguish real laser and radar signal threats from other noises in the surrounding. Thus, there will be less false alerts and identify real threats accurately.
To change the volume, mark the locations, and set the detection mode, adjust the buttons on top. Do read more on our escort max radar detector reviews for more details.
7. Cobra ESD7570 - best radar detector under $100
The Cobra ESD7570 (Best Cobra Radar Detector) has a sleek-looking attractive design. When on the road, the detector has a diverse range. It has an UltraBright Display that provides clear and easy to read notifications and warnings.
To control the brightness of the display, adjust it using the DIM button. You can choose from dim, faint, and brilliant. Switching between the brightness levels is easy with just a few presses.
This cobra polices radars detector has sound signals. As soon as it picks up a signal, the sound goes off. You can mute the sound if you find it annoying or distracting.
8. radenso XP
The design is standard, and it does not stand out that much as compared to the other designs. The size of the buttons are uniform and are a distance apart and have enough spacing in between.
The Radenso XP Radar Detector provides a level of sensitivity which stands out among other detectors.
It does not matter what type of bands you are looking for and what you need to filter or how heavy the traffic; this thing performs very well.
This device is very powerful that it can detect radars up to many miles away and gives you their location so that you can avoid that route.
This device has Red Light Alerts. The red-light cameras are very annoying as they can snap an image of yours without knowing.
The best thing to do is by having this detector so that you will know the location of the cameras. You can adjust your route and avoid those cameras.
9. beltronics RX65
This product has a unique design that helps you avoid getting expensive speeding tickets. You can easily customize the device depending on what you need.
It has 280-nits LED screen that is quite impressive, and it lets you track different threats at once. If you are in search of a solid radar detector, this Beltronics RX65 is highly recommended.
The device has an old design but with solid Construction. It provides a good amount of heft when compared to other models that are too light. If you will use the device while driving the controls can be a bit tricky.
The RX65 can detect all radar frequencies, including X, K, Ka, and even Instant-On. There are some highway traffic monitoring that still uses X-band radar even if it is already obsolete.
K-band radar is used by police to monitor traffic, and it usually comes from automatic door openers.
10. Escort Passport 8500X50
This is one of the most respected brands in the market. The Passport 8500x50 (cop radar detector) has lots of features that are very helpful.
This device has V-tuned radar, AutoMute technology, Traffic Signal Rejection software, greatest band-protection, and three high-resolution meter modes. It can detect all radar used by police like the POP mode guns, and different laser signals.
The device improved radar protection and laser protection provide the strongest detection possible with a distance that no other detector can match.
Passport radar detector 8500x50 V-tuned radar receiver warns long-range frequencies for all radar. The laser sensors provide optimum warnings and best off-axis protection to detect signals from different angles.
Its TSR is a unique offering that can be found on this product only. The TSR is designed to reduce false alerts due to traffic measurement equipment installed on side streets and highways.
The device meter modes provide the users the option to view alerts as standard bar graphs, SpecDisplay, and ExpertMeter mode.
Best Radar detectors
If you are looking for radar detector that is reliable and effective, here are a few tips you can consider when choosing or comparing radar detectors.
Even if the drivers are not driving over the speed limit; if they see a police car around, they feel anxious. It is best to have a good dash cam radar detector.
1) Cost and Performance
The first thing you need to figure out before buying a radar detector is if it is worth to buy radar detector for.
Determine if the device performance is worth it. There are lots of good detectors that are available at different price points.
Just like other electronics, you get what you pay for. A good system feature technology like a super long range or band selection that cost more than the ordinary detectors.
So, determine your budget and choose the best detector that is worth buying for.
2) The Device Should Avoid False Alarms
Most of the detectors have the same qualities. It is best to choose the one that helps you know who is on the road ahead of you. You also need a detector that repeatedly activates due to false positives. You want an undetectable detector.
3) Offers Detector Protection
Using radar detectors on areas like Washington and Virginia is prohibited. If you were caught in these states, you would be penalized.
Police can catch you through Radar Detector-Detector devices. They can identify and track you down with the use of a detector.
Good thing some detectors are undetectable and keeps you protected. Thus, it is important to consider a device with detector protection.
4) Reliable - Eliminate False Alarms
Radar detectors are very sensitive, and users are aware of this. An automatic grocery store doors can set off your detector. If you are passing thru several automated doors, this could be annoying. A detector that turns off constantly defeats the purpose of having a detector.
Choose a radar detector that eliminates false alarms. It should not turn on or off easily as you don’t know when those type of signals will come.
The best radar detectors have target counters so you will know how many alerts they can get. Although this does not get rid of the false alarm, the fact that you can still detect if a police radar is in the parking lot, it is still very helpful.
5) Wide Range of Frequencies
It is best to choose a radar detector with a longer range. Range pertains to the distance a detector can detect a possible radar threat. The farther it can detect the radar, the greater the range.
Your detector should be able to detect cop ahead before he can measure your speed. So if you have an old detector, you have to replace them with a modern device that can detect longer range.
This may not be as important as the other features, but if you have some budget for a device with GPS, then we would suggest that you get one.
What makes this feature very helpful? One is that detector with GPS has a built-in camera locations database that you can update the list of locations with red light and speed cameras.
GPS can mark false alert locations. A device can block the location and the band. If you pass this route regularly, this can cut down the noise. This feature can lower sensitivity or muted when you are driving slowly.
Some radar detectors have large, multicolored, fancy screens. Although these are nice and easy to look at, we don't think the display is as vital as the other features.
Keep in mind you are driving. You should be focusing on the road, not on the detector. Visibility and how it handles glare what matters.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
1. I just passed a cop car, but my radar detector didn’t go off, is it defective or not?
There are several reasons why your radar detector did not go off even when there are cops around.
Maybe, the police car you just passed might not have a radar gun in their vehicle, or they are not transmitting and clocking cars.
If this is the case, there is nothing that your radar detector can detect and therefore it will remain silent.
2. Why My Radar Detector Goes Off Sometimes Even When There Is No Police In The Area??
Some things can trigger a radar detector and not just the police radar guns.
Some of which includes door openers in a grocery store, car, and semis with new collision avoidance systems, "your speed is" signs and even cars and semis with collision avoidance systems.
These collision systems are very helpful that usually operate on K band and are becoming very common and can be hard to filter out.
3. Is it Legal to Use a radar detector?
As mentioned earlier, it is not legal to use the detector on Virginia and Washington DC. If you get caught, they will confiscate your device, and a speeding ticket will be issued.
However, some say that the law is more relaxed nowadays, and they do not do that anymore.
They write down your RD's serial number. The device is also not allowed on military bases or in commercial trucks above 10,000 pounds.
4. Does radar detector work on police using a laser?
TNo. You will not get any advanced alerts if the police are using laser guns. Your detector may go off, but it is a bit late as the police already have your speed.
For this kind of situation, you need a laser jammer. So it is best to get a detector and pair it with a laser jammer.
5. Will a radar detector always help a driver avoid speeding tickets?
Absolutely not. The device is designed to help lean the odds in your favor but not to make you invincible. Even if you buy the most expensive and advanced device, you can still get tickets.
In some cities, it is not allowed to use this device. So you might get a speeding ticket if you happen to go to the cities like Virginia and Washington.
After reviewing the 10 best radar detector for the money, we find Valentine One as our top pick radar detector on the market.
One thing that makes it our top choice is its quality design and build in radar detector. It can also provide you better protection against laser and radar detector.
Also, the device is easy to use. Valentine One is not cheap, but the features it offers are all worth it.
We hope this buying guide was able to help you find the product that you need. If you find this post helpful, feel free to share this with others.