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The Best Radar Detector

Last updated on March 16, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Radar Detectors and dug through the reviews from 64 of the most popular review sites including Radar Test, Rated Radar Detector, Gazzette Review, Digital Trends, New York Times Wirecutter, Car and Driver and more. The result is a ranking of the best Radar Detectors.

Best Radar Detector

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Radar Detectors and also dug through the reviews from 64 of the most popular review sites including Radar Test, Rated Radar Detector, Gazzette Review, Digital Trends, New York Times Wirecutter, Car and Driver and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Radar Detectors.

Our Picks For The Top Radar Detectors

Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Escort

iX Radar Detector

Overall Take

Crowdsourcing is an important feature in today's radar detectors. The Escort iX Radar Detector links up to an app that allows users to input police sightings, enhancing its capabilities. You'll also get highly accurate radar detection and a lower price than other devices in its class.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Digital Trends, Gadget Review, Top Ten Reviews, Radar Test. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
"An Upgraded model from a trusted brand"
Cons
"The most noticeable change between the GT-7 and the Escort iX is a softer female voice that can often be difficult to decipher over driving noise when compared to the deeper and clear male voice on the Beltronics device."

Escort

MAX360 Radar Detector

Overall Take

One unique feature on the Escort MAX360 is also perhaps the most criticized. The directional arrows are handy for knowing exactly where police are stationed, but there have been complaints about accuracy. Its price is also much higher than other radar detectors.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Digital Trends, New York Times Wirecutter, Car and Driver, Radar Test. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Buy.
Pros
"In terms of the essentials, the Max 360’s accuracy, range, and overall filtration abilities are exactly what you’d expect from a range-topping radar detector; it just works incredibly well."
Cons
"But even if it’s as good as, or even better than, the Valentine One, the Max 360 still costs $650, compared to the Valentine’s $400 price tag."

Valentine One

Radar Detector

Overall Take

Advance notice can be very handy when you're using a radar detector. and in that area, the Valentine One excels. You'll also get high sensitivity, which is helpful in alerting you to speed-detecting radar, but it also means plenty of false alarms. The price is also higher than other detectors... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Ten Reviews, Car and Driver. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
"Three modes of radar detection."
Cons
"The most common complaint against the V1 is that it errs on the side of caution by alerting to every bandwidth of radar it detects, which can sometimes mean alerts to non-police sources."
  The Best Value

Cobra

Radar Detector

Overall Take

One highlight of the Cobra radar detector is its ability to sense radar detector detecting devices and alert you to them. However, the Cobra does tend to pick up on non-police radar, so you may get more false alarms than you'd want. An easy-to-read display and extremely low price make... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Digital Trends, V Best Reviews, Gazzette Review, Rated Radar Detector. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
"Sleek-looking and compact, it mounts to your windshield using suction cups and features an easy-to-read display that shows data clearly even in bright sunlight."
Cons
"Don’t get me wrong, the ESD 7570 works, there can be no questions there, but I feel like its utility is somewhat limited, due exclusively to how Cobra designs their builds."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the radar detectors available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products to review and score.

View All Product Rankings

64

Expert Reviews Included

Reviews from our DWYM category experts and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Radar Test, Rated Radar Detector, Gazzette Review, Digital Trends, New York Times Wirecutter.

47,584

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Escort iX Radar Detector

Expert Summarized Score
9.2
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
371 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

Crowdsourcing is an important feature in today's radar detectors. The Escort iX Radar Detector links up to an app that allows users to input police sightings, enhancing its capabilities. You'll also get highly accurate radar detection and a lower price than other devices in its class.

What other experts liked
An Upgraded model from a trusted brand
- BestReviews
This new iX modernizes the look and arrives in a silver and black with the choice to view the stunning OLED display in amber, red, blue, or green.
- Digital Trends
October 24, 2016 | Full review
The Escort iX has a logical, yet sharp-looking, design.
- Gadget Review
September 27, 2018 | Full review
The controls are clearly labeled and the functions are clear.
- Top Ten Reviews
April 2, 2018 | Full review
The Escort Passport iX is the entry-level Escort with GPS technology, used by high-end radar detectors to reduce false alarms.
- Radar Test
What other experts didn't like
Digital display is somewhat difficult to read
- BestReviews
The most noticeable change between the GT-7 and the Escort iX is a softer female voice that can often be difficult to decipher over driving noise when compared to the deeper and clear male voice on the Beltronics device.
- Digital Trends
October 24, 2016 | Full review
Although this Escort iX radar detector review shows this is a strong model, the iX’s price point is higher than some other Escort radar detectors.
- Gadget Review
September 27, 2018 | Full review
Having all controls on top of the radar detector is inconvenient but a common trait.
- Top Ten Reviews
April 2, 2018 | Full review
Among them: too much data crammed into too little space, tiny fonts and low contrast.
- Radar Test

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Cobra Radar Detector

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.4
1,769 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

One highlight of the Cobra radar detector is its ability to sense radar detector detecting devices and alert you to them. However, the Cobra does tend to pick up on non-police radar, so you may get more false alarms than you'd want. An easy-to-read display and extremely low price make this one well worth considering though.

What other experts liked
Sleek-looking and compact, it mounts to your windshield using suction cups and features an easy-to-read display that shows data clearly even in bright sunlight.
- Digital Trends
July 17, 2018 | Full review
It’s undetectable by law enforcement
- V Best Reviews
The 7570 is very cyberpunk, and seen as it is supposed to sniff out radar signals there is some nice symmetry there
- Gazzette Review
May 22, 2017 | Full review
The Ultra Bright Data Display gives great signal and indication of the signal detected to give you adequate time to respond and make the right move.
- Rated Radar Detector
November 28, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Don’t get me wrong, the ESD 7570 works, there can be no questions there, but I feel like its utility is somewhat limited, due exclusively to how Cobra designs their builds.
- Gazzette Review
May 22, 2017 | Full review
The Cobra ESD 7570 is prone to detect false alarms, especially when on high-density areas.
- Rated Radar Detector
November 28, 2018 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. Escort iX Radar Detector
Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 8

2. ESCORT MAX360 Radar Detector
Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 7

3. Valentine One Radar Detector
Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 7

4. Escort Passport S55 Radar Detector
Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 6

5. Cobra Radar Detector
Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 7

6. Beltronics RX65 Radar Detector
Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 8

7. Cobra RAD 450 Radar Detector
Overall Score: 7.4
Reviews Included: 7

8. Whistler CR90 Radar Detector
Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 6

An Overview On Radar Detectors

A speeding ticket can put a serious damper on your day. Not only will you face a fine of $150 on average, but you’ll also have to deal with the drama of being pulled over by a police officer. Although smartphone apps like Waze can alert you that a police officer is coming up, do you really want to trust your fellow travelers to report one?

The best solution remains the same thing people used to avoid speeding tickets before we had smartphones. A radar detector picks up the emissions produced by police officers’ devices. Today’s top radar detectors are advanced enough to get around the many issues consumers faced in the past with radar detectors. They’ll find the band most often used by officers and filter out the common causes of false alarms.

If you don’t want to give up the crowdsourced approach to traffic alerts, don’t worry. Some radar detectors sync up with an app that helps you access the power of the crowd. This combination of information will ensure you have the best chance possible of knowing when your speed is about to be checked.

One problem with having a radar detector is that the police may be able to detect you have one on board. A device called Spectre can detect radar detectors and potentially lead to a ticket, depending on where you live. In Virginia and the District of Columbia, use of radar detectors is illegal. You can turn your detector off once it sends an alert since you’ll be slowing down anyway. Once you’re safely past the police officer, you can then turn it back on. There are also some radar detectors that claim to be undetectable to Spectre detectors.

Of course, the most important feature is accuracy. It’s important to look for a radar detector that captures all suspected radar incidents without routinely setting off false alarms. Once you have your detector, there are tweaks you can make to ensure it’s as accurate as possible.

DWYM Fun Fact

Speed limits date all the way back to the 1600s, when the colony that later became New York passed a law that wagons, carts and sleighs could not be operated at a gallop. In 1901, Connecticut became the first state to pass a speed limit, which was 12 mph in cities and 15 mph on more rural roads. A national speed limit was finally set in the 1970s to help reduce the impact of high fuel prices. In 1974, a speed limit of 55 mph was set nationwide, at which point traffic fatalities began falling. By 1983, they’d dropped from 4.28 million to 2.73 million.

The Radar Detector Buying Guide

  • As valuable as radar detectors are, it can also help to have fellow travelers alerting you to police officers ahead. The Escort iX Radar Detector and Escort MAX360 Radar Detector connect to a smartphone app that allows users to report all radar and laser encounters, with the information reported as alerts through the detector.
  • If you’re concerned about an officer’s Spectre device detecting you have a radar detector in your vehicle, consider the Cobra Radar Detector. It promises complete immunity to Spectre I radar-detector detectors.
  • Accuracy can be tough to quantify, but the Escort iX Radar Detector uses technology that is often implemented in high-end radar detectors in order to reduce false alarms.
  • Range is also important in a radar detector. The Valentine One notifies drivers well in advance of a potential radar incident. Its rear-facing antenna can also keep a lookout for any radar behind you as you travel.
  • False alarms are an ongoing issue with radar detectors. Both the Valentine One and Cobra Radar have a bad habit of picking up every hint of radar. The Valentine One doesn’t mute DSP and GPS signals, which means you’ll probably be alerted to every radar you pass.
  • One popular feature on the Escort MAX360 Radar Detector is its directional arrows, which show you the direction of the radar in relation to your car. However, the arrows can have a slow reaction time, making them not as useful.
  • Readability is important in your radar detector. Alerts mean nothing if you can’t decipher them. The controls on the Escort iX Radar Detector are clearly labeled, with all functions easy to understand. The Cobra Radar Detector’s display is notably easy to read, even in bright sunlight.
  • You don’t have to blow your savings to protect yourself against speeding tickets. The Cobra Radar Detector sells for close to $50, making it by far the least expensive. The Escort iX Radar Detector retails for more than $300, while both the Escort MAX360 and Valentine One detectors are more than $400.