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The Best Radar Detectors 2021

best speed camera detection devices

Cars have become more powerful than ever and as a result, it is common to find drivers having the desire to speed especially on a straight road.  This is where a radar detector comes in useful as they detect speed radar guns and speed cameras.

The best radar detector is the Escort Passport 9500IX, which provides long distance radar detection even on hilly roads and built-in GPS for stored locations.

Radar detectors are designed to provide drivers with useful information on what lays ahead. Furthermore, it eliminates the chances of you getting a ticket.

Table of Contents

Best Radar Detector For The Money

Radar Detector360 ProtectionGPS
Escort Passport 9500IXYesYes
Valentine OneYesYes
Whistler CR90YesYes
Cobra ESD7570YesNo
Beltronics PRO100NoNo

Owning a police radar detector is essential if you are on the road regularly. Speeding fines can range depending on the speed over the limit and various other factors. The price of a radar detector can be less than one speeding fine but of course this is depending on the speed you were caught doing.

You may get caught out by the speed dropping suddenly or a speed trap round the corner. Every driver on the road would have sped at some point of their lives and the risk of being fined has never been greater with the police upgrading their gadgets.

Radar detectors are very common in the US but are slowly becoming more popular worldwide. Below is a list of the best radar detectors on the market that provide powerful frequency rates for long distance radar detection.

Escort Passport 9500IX Radar Detector

The Escort Passport 9500IX is one of the most popular speed radar detectors you can buy. The sleek design is fairly stealthy and can be placed within a compact area within your car, usually on your windscreen.

The Passport 9500IX uses the frequency bands X, K, Superwide KA and Instanton POP. This means that this radar detector is able to provide the driver with long range warnings of speed traps. In a way, this can be seen as a disadvantage because it is too good and may trick the driver into thinking its a false detection.

However, as you get used to the 9500IX you will be amazed of how much better the Superwide KA band is compared with cheaper models.

Another great feature of the 9500IX by Escort is the 360 degree laser protection made possible via multiple front and rear laser sensors. This provides the widest field of view against any direction you are traveling towards. The specification of this radar detector also includes:

  • AutoLearn GPS Technology
  • Anti Falsing
  • Smartphone Compatible
  • LED Color Display
  • 1 Years Warranty
  • Safety Camera Database
  • Low Cost Price Updates

Of course you are not meant to speed but the Passport 9500IX give you the upperhand. It is known for this radar detector to work from over a mile away even when driving on “hilly” roads. For those driving thousands of miles per year, it the best radar detector for the money that will save you money in speeding fines.

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Valentine One Radar Detector

The Valentine One is the most expensive radar detector within this article with many unique features. The best feature is the directional arrows that indicates the direction which the radar is located. This is due to multiple radar antennas built into the Valentine One Radar Detector.

The combination of antennas allows this radar detector to single out false alerts as well as detect those radars that may well have been undetected.

The Valentine One series has been in the market since 1992 and this is their latest device. This brand has always been at the forefront of the latest radar detection technology.

The arrows located on the Valentine One is the standout feature of this radar detector. This information tells you where and how many threats are nearby your current location.

If you are looking to connect your smartphone to the Valentine One, you are able to do this by purchasing a Bluetooth Module. This will allow you to alter the settings of the radar detector as well as use your smartphones GPS.

The Valentine One is a high end radar detector for those wanting the best they can buy. It has impressive features that do make it expensive but it is the best radar detector you can buy.

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Whistler Cr90 Laser Radar Detector

The Whistler CR90 is an affordable radar detector that has a similar specification than those twice the price. The bands used for speed measurement are  X band, K band, SuperWideBand Ka and Laser protection, which is offered in terms of a 360 degree view by the CR90.

A unique feature that are the city modes, which are City, City 1 and Highway. These are relevant as they prevent false alerts. False alerts are more common for highway driving when passing many towns.

Another great feature of the Whistler CR90 is that it prioritizes the most important signal first i.e. upcoming police radar. Other features include a battery saver that automatically switches off when the car ignition is turned off.

Overall, the Whistler CR90 provides excellent value for money against other less equipped radar detectors. There are many other radar detectors to choose from the CR series but the CR90 is the best affordable radar detector you can buy.

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Cobra ESD7570 9-Band Radar Detector

The Cobra ESD7570 is the cheapest radar detection device with an impressive 9 band detection system. Using the “Spectre I”, it has a cloaking feature to provide immunity to detectors often used by the police.

The Cobra ESD7570 gives two clear methods of informing you of incoming speed traps. The first by a VG-2 Alert with volume control and the second by a LED data display. Another feature is the choice between City and Highway driving to prevent false alerts within densely populated areas.

Overall, it is a cheap radar detector that uses a performance laser detection method with 360 degree detection. For peace of mind, it even comes with a 1 year extended warranty for those that do not have confidence with this budget radar detector.

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Beltronics PRO100 Pro Radar Detector

The Beltronics is an upcoming radar detection brand that is reasonable priced with plenty of features. This radar detector has been designed to alert US drivers of all the different types of speed traps used by the police. Using the latest POP modes and highly sensitive detectors, it is able to fish out the false alarms.

Unlike many detectors of a similar price range, the Beltronics PRO100 uses a fast processor to alert the user in milliseconds instead of seconds. This may be the difference in a speeding fine or slowing down fast enough before the trap.

To alert the driver, the PRO100 uses sound and visual signals. The bright screen will indicate the alert as well as the signal strength, with the audio also making a noise.

The Beltronics PRO100 has been designed to be intuitive with ease to use button that are clearly labelled and informative text alerts through the display. Because of this, the PRO100 is very popular in the US with many drivers claiming up to 2 miles of warning before a speed trap.

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How Do Car Radar Detectors Work?

Radio Detection and Ranging which is also referred to as Radar has been used since the 1950’s in the detection of speeding cars. Law enforcement officers have been equipped with X-band to Ka-band radar guns to capture law breakers. These police gadgets are designed to send out high frequency waves which bounce back once they locate an oncoming car.

A radar gun is engineered to calculate the number of oscillations made by the wave. That is how time and distance is determined. Thank to a high tech chip with Arithmetic Logic Unit, the gadget is able to calculate the speed of the oncoming car.

What you need to know is that different models are able to detect cars from a certain distance. For example X-band models generate a low frequency while K-band generates a high frequency. Low frequency models are able to detect the speed of a car at ¼ mile while high frequency models detect the speed of a car from 2 to 4 miles.

Car radar detectors are designed to identify the radar gun signal before it detects the car. This gives you ample time to react. As a result, law enforcement agents have changed to using laser speed detection guns.

They generate a narrow laser beam which covers a limited area unlike the traditional radar gun. As a result, drivers have less time to react. Thanks to modern technology, there are laser detectors designed to counter laser speed guns. Read on to find out more.

speed radar dectors

Car Radar Detector Buying Guide

Gadgets like car radar detectors, it’s a minefield of technical terms and numbers. For starters, you have to know which brand is reputable. Why? A reputable brand fabricates its products with high end components. When it comes to models, only the best are on offer. So, how do you go about shopping for the best radar detectors?

Radar Frequency Bands

It is difficult to make head or tail when it comes to radar bands but don’t worry, our buying guide will help you understand. There are three radar bands available in the market today. They include the Ka-band, K-band and X-band. The K-Band is one of the most commonly used bands by law enforcement agents. It has a frequency that spans between 24.05 to 24.25 GHz. This frequency range provides an accurate reading from a ¼ mile away making it better than a low range band like X-band.

The problem is they are harder to detect. The best car radar detector is able to detect K-band from a ¼ mile to 2 miles away. Ka-band includes the Ka-wideband, Ka-super wideband and Ka-band. It has a frequency range of 33.4 to 36.0 GHz. This type of band is able to be picked by detectors that support Ka-band. What you need to know is that K and X band detectors will not be able to pick up their signals.

X-band is the oldest frequency allocated to law enforcement agents using radar guns. It spans from 10.5 to 10.55 GHz. One thing you need to note is that the frequency is high powered and extremely easy to detect. It can be detected from 2 – 4 miles away. The problem with radar guns designed with this band is that they can only get an accurate reading from ½ a mile away. As a result, they are no longer in use.

speed radar detectors

Types of Detectors

Today, the market is filled with two types of radar detectors. They include digital radar detectors and laser detectors. While there are two types, it can be quite confusing to know which fits your needs. This is why research is important. Not only will you be able to differentiate between a simple and complex radar detector but you will learn which features they have.

Laser detectors are designed to scan both types of speed monitoring devices as well as the laser gun. This is because they are engineered with the latest chip technology that helps to detect laser guns much easier. Some of the features they have include the ability to warn drivers regarding upcoming red light cameras and dangerous intersections. If you opt for the expensive version, you will get to reap more benefits especially when you travel through dangerous and highly trafficked areas.

The digital radar detector comes as a compact electronic device that notifies drivers about upcoming police radar guns. Thanks to their compact size, they are lightweight and portable. They are perfect for the driver who does not want to spend a lot. What you need to know is that a basic model will not be able to respond to newer law enforcement technology.

Best Speed Radar Detectors Brands

Over the years, noteworthy brands have come up with the purpose of fulfilling the market needs. To provide customers with the best, they usually go out of their way to fabricate high quality products. It is common to find reputable brands selling their models a little pricey than others. The good thing is that they last long providing you with excellent service.

Some of the best brands you will come across in the market include Whistler, Cobra and Escort. Whistler has been around for a couple of years and during this time, they have been providing the best products for all price ranges.

Not only are they designed with a digital compass, they come with a windshield mounting device designed for convenience. There are models that come with a cloaking device that helps you read all types of laser guns. The Escort brand is known for producing corded and cordless models. They are fitted with a screen and GPS. Furthermore, they are portable and perfect for a frequent traveler. They also make an iPhone detector which works with the driver’s iPhone.

Cobra offers a wide range of devices that even works with the driver’s smartphone. They are engineered with Bluetooth technology alerting you of safety hazards on the road. For example red light cameras, road construction, radar and laser guns too.

Speed Radar Detectors Alert Features

When it comes to safe driving, it is important as the driver to maintain awareness of your surroundings. Yes the windshield provides a wide view of the road but you need gadgets that are able to alert you of any upcoming dangers.

The best car radar detectors are designed with an alert feature that helps to update you about traffic threats for example speed cameras and red light cameras. Furthermore, they help to inform you when the speed limit is exceeded. There are models that come with GPS capability. This informs one if you are exceeding the speed limit within a particular area.

The gadget also provides safety warnings pertaining to road hazards, severe weather conditions and accidents. This allows you to plan and seek an alternative route. It comes in handy especially if you had a crucial meeting, presentation or interview to attend.

Not only will you be able to shave off several minutes but you will arrive before the deadline. There are models that can provide you with multiple alerts at the same instance. For example you may be approaching a speed camera or police laser gun. To ensure you are aware, the gadget will provide alerts for both.

Smartphone Compatibility

Since their inception, smartphones have enabled users to make work easier. Not only do families, friends and work colleagues communicate much easier but they share content easily too. For example, smartphone users are able to capture photos and videos which they share with family members and friends.

As a result, people are able to keep in touch. To extend the functionality of the smartphone, developers have come up with apps – from productivity to entertainment. Furthermore, smartphones have been made to be compatible with other devices.

When it comes to the best car radar detector, you need to look for one that has smartphone compatibility. As said earlier, technology has allowed the development of apps compatible with other devices.

This allows users to extend the functionality of the device by tweaking different settings as well as updating the firmware. The best model should be able to work with iPhones and Android devices.

Warranty for Speed Radar Detectors

The law requires that every manufactured product should have warranty coverage. This is done as a form of assurance to the owner. The good thing about warranty coverage is that it helps to reduce the total cost of ownership. Furthermore, it helps to extend the life of the unit.

Today, companies have invested in the best tools and machinery which have made production to be easier. The problem is mass produced items usually end up with a few defects here and there. Although quality assurance is done inform of testing, it is common to find that a few products having some flaws even when they end up on the shelf. When a customer purchases and uses the product, they end up failing after a few months.

To ensure that customers have a worthy product, companies provide a guarantee which helps to extend its life. Warranties cover products against manufacturing flaws. It is common to find manufacturers repairing faulty products at their cost or at a small fee to the customers. When shopping, look for a product that comes with a warranty of more than 1 year.

Automate Volume

It is important to hear every single alert made by your car radar detector. The only way to do so is by adjusting the volume of the unit. Cheap models have a manual option which can be quite distracting depending with the surrounding. How? You will have to change the setting manually.

Automatic volume adjustment is found in high end models. Not only are they fabricated with high quality components but they are designed to last. The unit will be able to adjust the volume to compensate for outside and interior loud noises for example traffic and the radio. This means you will never miss any warning when on the road.

Safety Camera Database

This is also referred to as the red light camera database. It hosts all red light camera locations within a particular country. What you need to note is that the feature is not available in all countries. We recommend that you research to find out if it’s available in your area.

It works with GPS to notify you immediately when cameras are present in the location you are heading. There are models that come with this database built-in while others require you to download it. If you are able to find a radar detector that has the ability to connect to the internet, you will be able to download the latest database.


Investing into a police radar detector to be made aware of speed traps is definitely a worthwhile investment. A few speeding fines can total up to the price of a premium radar detector and make you a more confident driver on the road.

The latest batch of radar detectors are littered with modern technology and perform much better than those nearly a decade ago.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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